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I am so happy you are here! Now sit and visit with me for a while, visit all my pages and feel free to leave a comment. I'd love to hear from you! It's all just a SOUTHERN THING.


Monday, June 16, 2014

There Really is MAGIC IN DIXIE

 WELCOME BACK!  I am so excited you're here!! It has been a while, I know. Writing 6 books in 18 months has been--well--let's just put it this way, I've been a tad busy! :)



                  I am so excited to introduce my new IN DIXIE series! It is filled with love, laughter and the special bonds women share. And as always, the entire series is VERY SOUTHERN, and full of southern humor!  The first book in the series, MAGIC IN DIXIE is out NOW!
The IN DIXIE series is about each of these new Belles discovering themselves, their passions, their hearts and souls. And then making the difficult decision to embrace that—or not. Of course, part of that journey will always be finding true love and learning just who your southern sisters are when things get tough. And my novels will NEVER be without laughter and hilarious situations. It’s the southern way—laughter in the face of adversity
             These books are so near and dear to my heart! All of these women have a story to tell. They are funny and sexy, sophisticated but very genuinely southern!

             Look for CHRISTMAS IN DIXIE, coming in December, Followed by DAYDREAMS IN DIXIE, and STARDUST IN DIXIE, in 2015!

I had a little epiphany the other day when a reader wrote to me and asked me why I started writing. It got me thinking. I reached back into the dusty cobweb-filled corners of my mind-- and found my heart. My heart has always been at the center of my writing—and I’ve been writing stories for as long as I can remember. So, “my heart needed to speak”, was the answer to that question—I write to satisfy my heart. To express my heart. To share my heart.
        My heart resides way down in the Deep South, where the most hilarious, most passionate, most resilient women I have even known live. Tuscaloosa, Alabama is home for me, although I have lived quite literally all over this country and now live in San Francisco, CA. Still, the college town of Tuscaloosa, with our famous championship football team, The Crimson Tide, The Black Warrior River that runs through town, and the tremendous mouth-watering food all beg me to come home and nestle myself on the banks of the river under the brilliant turquoise and creamsicle sunsets. Moss hanging in lacy shawls across tree-tunneled streets call my name. 

        But mostly it’s the funny women-- the women who supported my mom and had her back constantly helping her raise my brother and me after my Daddy died in a car accident. My mother was a young widow at Twenty-five with two babies. I was only four years old and my brother was two.  Over my whole life, during tragedy or triumph, we broke out the Krispy Kremes and sat around my grandmother’s yellow 1950s styled kitchen table laughing until we couldn’t. I learned a lot about life from those women and it’s them I love to write about.
          My mother was the craziest of them all, carrying a Mary Poppins sized bag for a purse and pulling anything we ever needed out of it—from batteries, to a plate, it was magically in that “purse.” Sometimes I just stood, staring at my mother—my mouth wouldn’t close. My aunt would whisper in my ear, “Beth, your mother is crazy, never ever forget that.”  Then we would all somehow be glad Mother had that extension cord buried in that purse! Yep. She does to this day. All of them were a tad different. Fun is the way I remember it all. And Happy. Happy in the face of real life that was sometimes tragic.
These women are what I know. They are my passion. That’s why comedy is such a huge part of my stories. In my life, we couldn’t have made it without all the laughter. Through them, I learned what it really means to be a Southern Woman. I wanted to be just like them!
Writing was the way I could be home--home in Tuscaloosa with my circle of hilarious, strong, resilient women. And of course all that delicious food, along with a string of pearls, a little Aquanet, some lipstick and high heels,-- cause, honey, even in a crisis, a southern woman has to look good after all! It’s in our raising—part of the tradition that has been carried down from mother to daughter for hundreds of years.
Passion is what a writer, any artist, taps to hit that geyser of truth--the flow. I know mine lies in the Deep South, in Tuscaloosa, with all that hilarity and sweet sisterhood that calls me home, at least in my heart, every day. This is the real MAGIC IN DIXE
 But, the MAGIC IN DIXIE also lies in the place itself. The romance of the seasons, the symphony of a summer night, the damp warm summer evenings, the sound of crickets, the magic of fire-flies, or "lightening bugs" as we call them down south; these are things I love about the place I call home. Summer days are a different story: most days, the heat kisses your face like opening a dishwasher mid-cycle! I love the bright neon yellow and orange leaves of fall, the crisp cool air and the cornflower blue skies. In winter, I love waking up to the excitement of the first fresh snowfall (usually just a dusting), but on that day we all become children filled with excitement; rosy cheeks stinging in the frigid air. And I love the incredible burst of the most fragrant spring you’ll find anywhere on Earth. Azaleas abound in hot reds and pinks, color bathes your eyes at every turn and magnolias fill the air with perfume. You know you’re alive in the Deep South. It breathes long slow deep breaths. You feel it. And it’s full of the romance of just being alive. 

I love the people of the Deep South, where family comes first-- where that sense of community is unique and rich and holds that tapestry of our people woven tightly together like a well-worn heirloom quilt. It’s a place where people still love to sit on their front porch and shout “hey” while they wave to everyone who walks by-- Where you will be invited inside for some sweet iced tea and some good story-telling at your neighbor’s kitchen table any day of the week. And there’s always the food, from my favorite delicacy of fried green tomatoes to cornbread and BBQ to cobblers—it’s the very best food anywhere.
The women of the Deep South (and I am one) love their make-up, pearls and pageants, but underneath all that hair and make-up is a wonder-woman, the glue holding her family and friends together. They are the strongest people I have ever known. Always feminine and polite but make no mistake, we are steel magnolias. There’s nothing we can’t or won’t do for those we love. And we’ll look like beauty queens while doing it! We can hug your neck, wring your neck and bless your heart all in the same day!
And then there’s college football, the religion of the Deep South. Our gods are our football players in Alabama. The University of Alabama Crimson Tide has more national championships than any other school in the nation. And weekend church is the tailgating that fills the University of Alabama quad every Saturday in the fall. We burst at the seams with Crimson Pride. The mantra “Roll Tide” in Alabama is like “Aloha” in Hawaii—it means hello, goodbye, and God bless you all at the same time.
            I am so filled with pride to call Alabama and the Deep South my home! With Alabama Love Stories, in the IN DIXIE series, you’ll get strong, smart, funny, sexy southern women who stick together like warm peach cobbler, love their men, and never give up on anything—or anyone they love.
            I love writing about the Deep South. My passion to write was born there and to this day, I still always find there’s MAGIC IN DIXIE.