|A new Column below!
THE DEVIL’S BONES, originally set for release May 12, was finally in the bookstores exactly a week ago. Here’s a buy link for this book: THE DEVIL’S BONES
While each book is special to me, this one is set in my hometown of Lucedale. I grew up there and have many wonderful memories of small-town life and friends, many I still hold close. It’s amazing the freedom I had as a child, riding my bicycle all over town with my trusty dog, Venus. There were neighbors’ yards, woods, backyards, small town shops—all within a five-minute bike ride. One place was very special to me, Palestinian Gardens, now called Palestine Gardens.
When I was a little girl, we would have a school field trip to the gardens, which was created and run by Rev. and Mrs. Harvel Jackson. Brother Jackson, as we called him, had created a fabulous, to scale, miniature Holy Land. The gardens were surrounded by woods, and we would tour the Holy Land with Brother Jackson retelling us all the Bible stories we loved, and then we’d have an Easter egg hunt in the woods, and finally a cook out. The local elementary school would bus us out there—about 8 miles from town—and our school “room mothers” would prepare the wonderful cookout and arrange the Easter egg hunt. These fabulous Easter trips are one of my very best childhood memories.
Brother Jackson is gone, but the gardens are still there, and I hope some of you will be inspired to make a visit and take a tour. Don Bradley now maintains the wonders of the miniature Holy Land, building, planting, maintaining, and adding on. It’s truly a labor of love. And the most special event is the Sunrise Service at Easter. Of course it goes without saying that nothing in my book has ever happened in Lucedale, but that’s the fun of it, isn’t it?
I am about to “expire” from the summer heat. It is always hotter than I remembered from last year, but I am lucky to have AC and to have a job where I can stay in the house for the biggest part of the day. I do go out and hose the horses, put on their fly masks, and do what I can to make the day a little more tolerable for them. Heat indexes have been over 100. Mostly, I have been “in the house.” I’ve been sheltering in place since March 10—the day after I was inducted into the Alabama Writers’ Hall of Fame. I came home from that event, the virus hit hard the next day, and I’ve been here ever since. I’ve always enjoyed time alone—time to be with my characters—but this is enough!
It seems kind of impossible, but soon A GARLAND OF BONES will be on sale, too. This is a fun Christmas story set in Columbus, Mississippi. Here’s a pre-order link: A GARLAND OF BONES
I’ve visited a lot of the wonderful little cities in Mississippi and there is always something unique and interesting to be found. The Delta towns, like Zinnia, are very different from the coastal cities like Biloxi or Bay St. Louis. And the cities along the Tombigbee Waterway also have a different character, just like the Mississippi River towns that I love. Mississippi is a big and diverse state, but the people everywhere are generally warm and welcoming.
I also have a short story in another book—ALABAMA NOIR. This is part of the terrific Akashic Press Noir series. Don Noble pulled all of the writers together and edited the book. My story takes place in Mobile, and the book covers the state with stories of crime, sometimes humor, but always that necessary touch of darkness. It is available in both digital and print, and I’m excited to be included in it.
Our book launch was canceled due to COVID, but we are having online events at some bookstores. I’ll post these things on my FB page at: facebook.com/AuthorCarolynHaines
Because I’ve spent so much time alone, I’m kind of boring these days. No gossip. No scandal. I got nothing!
But maybe Jitty can liven things up. Check her column below to see what advice she’s dishing out. And don’t forget to dream a little dream of me! Dream a Little Dream of Me. This song just makes me smile!
Until August—Carolyn and the Critters
I’ve discovered that my man is cheating on me. Now he pays the bills and provides a nice house and fine car for me to drive. The thing is, the money is okay, but I really cared for him. I feel like a fool because everyone warned me he was a two-timer. I didn’t listen because I loved him. Now, things have to change. I don’t have much use for a cheater. Time for me to pack up and move on down the road. We aren’t married, so I can’t hit him up for alimony, but I really want to make him pay. Any suggestions?
Betrayal is a bitter pill to swallow. Girl, I don’t blame you for thinkin’ about some revenge tactics that might make this man sit up and take notice. You know, I’d like to help you put a hurtin’ on him. Too bad you can’t go all Lisbeth Salander on him and tattoo cheater all over this ass. But an assault charge won’t help your job resume, so hold onto that temper. Jitty’s rule of thumb—when you’re dishin’ out payback, be sure you won’t get caught. Now keep in mind that the good Lord claims all the rights to Vengeance, but maybe a tad of Karma would be just the ticket. My recommendation is to pack your things—because you are right, cheaters cheat. No point waitin’ for Round Two. No matter how cushy the lifestyle he offers, livin’ with a man you can’t trust will curdle your blood over time. So have your things packed and gone, wait for him to come home, tell him why you’re leavin’ and get out with your dignity and self-regard. Take your time plannin’ this, but start putting your plan in action. It may seem like a dark time to you, but remember daylight is on the other side, along with your freedom to create the life you deserve.
P.S. For everyone reading this, let me guide you honey chile. Get some advice by writing me at DearJitty@yahoo.com