Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Are You a Closet Southern Belle? by Duffy Brown

Duffy Brown loves anything with a mystery. While others girls dreamed of dating Brad Pitt, Duffy longed to take Sherlock Holmes to the prom. She has two cats, Spooky and Dr. Watson, and conjures up who-done-it stories of her very own for Berkley Prime Crime. Iced Chiffon, out October, 2012, is the first in the Consignment Shop Mystery series. Duffy writes romance as Dianne Castell and is a USA Today bestselling author.


Why, hi there!


One of the reasons I wrote Iced Chiffon was that I wanted to set a book in the South, the real South as it really is. It has a flavor all its own from the way folks talk...How’s your mamma and daddy? the food, anything that has a stick of butter and cup of cream has got to be life moving a bit slower, a smidge more meaningful! 


So my question today is... Are you a closet Southern Belle? Now you ask, Okay what the dickens makes a Southern Belle? Well, I just happen to have a little list...


* Do you never wear white after Labor Day or before Easter


* Do you own a strand of real pearls and wear them with pride


* Always drink sweet tea and love it when they have it on the menu


* A part of you truly believes in damn Yankees


* Civil War? What Civil War? Now that unfortunate Northern Occupation...that you know about


* Have Lee as part of your name or your children’s


* Fav movies are GWTW and Steel Magnolias and Fried Green Tomatoes, Something to Talk About


* Actually read GWTW and reread parts from time to time. Wish you had the name Scarlett


* Have a tiara hidden in your panty drawer and know how to twirl a baton


* Have an umbrella that looks a bit like a parasol


* Make sure your children know manners and use them


* Love Red-eye gravy, grits, country ham and make your own biscuits


* Know that prime real estate is The Mall, The Country Club and The Beauty Salon


* Buy more then one can of hair spray at a time


* Have actually said Y’all come back, Bless your heart, Drop by when you can, How’s your mamma?


* Love white gloves and wear hats


* Have a subscription of Southern Living or rippeda recipe from that magazine at the doctor’s office


* Have a pineapple decoration somewhere in your House


* Think the scent of magnolia is heaven on earth


And what about the food? Do you own a Paula Deen Cookbook? Catch her on TV whenever you can? I know how to make cream gravy from scratch and would rather poke myself in the eye with a sharp stick than put cool whip on my pecan pie! Is there anything better than Southern cooking? Well maybe Italian but that’s another blog.


So, how do you measure up? Is a part of you a Southern Belle? Do you know someone who is? I really tried to keep these characteristics in mind when writing my Consignment Shop mystery series. A gal in NY City is way different than a gal in Savannah and I sure wanted it to feel that way.


I am definitely a closet Southern Belle! I do make fried chicken and bathtub gravy. That’s what my kids call my cream gravy because they could eat a bathtub full of it. I do make my own pies, have white gloves, crab at my kids if they don’t mind their manners, buy extra-hold hair spray, subscribe to Southern Living, have a fancy umbrella that I’ve been known to twirl from time to time and I do know how to twirl a baton for real. I even took lessons and still have the baton!


On the Southern Belle scale I’m about a 7. Well, maybe an 8. What about you? What is your Southern Belle Score? Are you a closet Southern Belle like me who sometime feels as if they got born on the wrong side of the Ohio River? Or are you a Yankee through and through and proud of it?


I’ll give away three Iced Chiffon totes and a signed copy of Iced Chiffon from the replies.


Ya’ll have a good day now, ya’ hear.



Kaye Wilkinson Barley - Meanderings and Muses said...

Duffy, Hi and Welcome!!!

LOVE this piece and I cannot wait to read Iced Chiffon, which sounds like my kinda book.

Thanks very much for being here.

Patty said...

I must rate a 1 or even a zero. Born and bred in Iowa and South Dakota. I don't care when I wear white, didn't like either the book or the movie GWTW, did like Steel Magnolias though. Been trying to lose weight so no butter/cream combinations for me. Sigh.

However, I'm about 3/4ths of the way through Iced Chiffon and loving it! Library books are wonderful to get introduced to new to me authors. Great job!

Anonymous said...

I'm maybe a 2, just something I've never thought about (thanks for making me think) - Iced Chiffon sounds like a good read! Thanks for opportunity!

jenny milchman said...

Love the bathtub gravy! I'm big on the teaching kids manners, and GWTW is one of the great American novels in my book. I think I have a sliver of the South in my heart, despite being born and bred NY/NJ, and for sure the southern booksellers are ones I long to visit as soon as I have a book out. I bet the belle in your book rings just as true as those "come back soon's"!

Pat Browning said...

Hi, Duffy! Great post, lots of fun. I enjoyed the chat last night but never could figure out how to do a "?" so didn't get to ask my question.

My question: If your cozies don't have any sex, does that differ from an amateur sleuth? I'm assuming you mean graphic sex, but a little romantic canoodling is okay??

Serious question. Awaiting your answer. :--)

Pat Browning

Kimberlee said...

Hi. I just stumbled across your blog and I LOVE it! We share a love of mysteries. Stop by and visit my blog if you get a chance.

Hope to see you there. Happy Reading!

Duffy Brown said...

Hi, Everyone!!!
Always fun reading books set in different parts of the US. Love the cowboys and California girls and out-doorsey Colorado guy.
Iced Chiffon is a mini vacation to Savannah. Such a Southern city. And I use a lot of the city in the book...the restaurants, shops, bars are all for real.

Duffy Brown said...

Here's an excerpt from Iced Chiffon. A little fun. :-)

Auntie KiKi scurried out the front door waving her hands in the air. “Where in the world have you been?” she panted, leaning in through the open car window. “When I got home, there were people waiting on your porch ready to shop! They said they got one of those tweets.” She tsked, the universal sound of exasperated Southern women everywhere. “Whatever happened to the days when you got a nice phone call from a friend telling you what was what?” she lamented. “You have customers in your dining room looking for bargains, and I have a waltz lesson in ten minutes.”
KiKi thrust a wad of bills at me. “What in the world are you doing with the Lexus?”
“I sold that fountain in the back yard to Raylene Carter for a small fortune. Now I have to deliver it as well as get the car back before Hollis knows I took it. I sort of didn’t tell him.”
“Oh, honey, Grand Theft Auto, your mamma will be so proud.”
I ignored the possibility that my scum-bucket ex would call the cops and I popped the trunk. “Take a look-see at how much room we have. Hollis stores his real estate junk in there.”
I grabbed my purse and rummaged for keys to the shed as I headed for the back yard. “I’ve got a cart. We can haul the fountain and--”
“Sweet Jesus in heaven! Uh, Reagan, honey,” KiKi called, her finger crooked at me in a come-here gesture. “We have junk, a great big pile of it.”
“Dump it on the lawn,” I said hurrying back to the car to help unload. “If I have to hire movers I won’t make any money and I have an electric bill due and-- Holy mother of God!” My gaze landed on Cupcake, eyes wide open, and dead as Lincoln right there in Hollis’s trunk.
KiKi and I stared, neither of us breathing. KiKi finally whispered, “She doesn’t look nearly as good in the pink chiffon as you do.”
“Maybe because she has blood in her hair and is rolled up in plastic like a hotdog in a bun.” I made the sign of the cross for disrespecting the dead.
“There is that.” KiKi sounded faint and slowly slumped to the curb. “You wouldn’t happen to have a martini in that purse of yours, would you?”

Margaret said...

Enjoyed your posting, Duffy. Read the list, and I'm afraid I'm a Midwestern Yankee through and through. But that doesn't mean I don't enjoy "Southern." One of my favorite series is written by Carolyn Haines and is about the Mississippi Delta area. Looking forward to reading Iced Chiffon. Hope it is a successful series for you. Margaret Franson

Duffy Brown said...

Hi, Margaret.
Yep, I'm a midwest girl too and proud of it. I think my other self lives in Savannah. LOL
When I need to play I head south...though I love hiking out west. Did Zion last year and Glacier NP the year before. God's country for sure

KarenM said...

Thank you for that excerpt. It helps get a feel for your style.

I'm sure I will be on the lookout for a copy of Iced.

I don't rank very high as a southern belle. I was born and raised in San Francisco.
(We don't wear white after Labor Day either)

Best of luck on your book!


Duffy Brown said...

Jenny, Pat, Kimberlee, Karen.
If you would like an Iced Chiffon tote email and I'll send one along.
Thanks for chatting at Meanderings and Muses.
Hugs, Duffy Brown