My guest today is the fabulous Carolyn Haines!
In the world of Sarah Booth Delaney, the protagonist of my mystery series, there are two things a reader can count on. One—that someone will quote Sarah Booth’s dead Aunt Loulane with a wise saying, often Southern in origin. Two–that Jitty, who is also dead but is very much a lively part of the book, will be sassy.
BONE TO BE WILD is the 15th book in the series, which is set in Zinnia, Mississippi, in the heart of the Delta. It goes on sale May 19 at all bookstores.
In this book, Sarah Booth is on her own again—the engagement with Graf Milieu is broken—and Scott Hampton, the incredibly sexy blues singer (and former lover) from CROSSED BONES has returned to town and needs help. He’s bought a blues club at a famous crossroads and someone is sending threatening messages for him to leave town.
When the bartender is gunned down in back of the club, Sarah Booth realizes the threats are deadly. Any band member, including Scott, could be next.
Sarah Booth and her partner, Tinkie Bellcase Richmond (a true Daddy’s Girl who can manipulate men like putty) are on the case. They have to find out who is behind the threats before more people die.
Jitty, who is known for being a decade-hopping fashionista and the ‘haint’ who goads Sarah Booth to settle down and have a family, shows up in this book as famous blues divas. She is more than an annoying ghost, though. She has come back to Dahlia House (Sarah Booth’s home) to serve as a guide and protector, as well as tormenter.
I thought it might be fun to explore some of the sayings that Jitty is prone to quote from Aunt Loulane, the woman who took care of Sarah Booth after her parents were killed. A wise woman and a proper lady, Aunt Loulane wasn’t above putting it on the line when necessary.
If a person was quite satisfied with their lot in life, Aunt Loulane might say, “She’s as happy as a one-eyed dog on a gut wagon.” The meaning here is that a one-eyed dog, while not able to scrap effectively for food, would have plenty to eat on a gut wagon. (I don’t make this stuff up, I just repeat it.)
Aunt Loulane was very fond of saying of Mrs. Hedgepeth (an old crank) that she was “half a bubble off plumb.” Meaning she isn’t level, or sane.
Another expression from the old South—“Somebody beat her (or him) with an ugly stick.” This person is not attractive.
And poor old Lewis Felts was so thin “he’d have to stand up twice to cast a shadow.”
Another way of calling a person thin is to say, “You’ve about fell off to nothin’.”
For the young men who get into it in a local juke joint, the dire threat to hurl is always, “I’m gonna punch you in the mouth so hard your teeth march out your ass like little white soldiers.” Wow. Now that’s a visual.
Or, the second bad boy threat—“I’m gonna stomp a mud hole in your ass and walk it dry.”
For ladies who weren’t careful with short skirts or how they sat, you would hear other ladies say, “Well, Lulu Belle won’t be single long, I can see clear to the Promised Land.”
Or, the highest compliment a Southern girl can hear. “Girl, you look so good I’m gonna take you home and sop you up with a biscuit.”
The colorful expressions of the South are only one of the things that make it so unique. The landscape can range from sandy white beaches, to the flat pine barrens, up to the Mississippi Delta, where the topsoil is the richest on earth. But there are also mountainous areas and white-water rivers. It’s a land of great diversity of topography and of character.
In the books Aunt Loulane’s wisdom is repeated by any number of characters who knew her. While she would never be so crass as to tell someone to “shut your pie hole,” she might say, “You should close your mouth before your ignorance falls out and ruins the carpet.”
My grandmother had her own sayings, and a word of wisdom she told me all the time—warning me to the dangers of being bossy and independent. “A whistling girl and a crowing hen will never come to a good end.”
About The Author
Carolyn Haines is the author of over 70 books in a number of genres. She has been honored with the Harper Lee Award for Distinguished Writing and the Richard Wright Award for Literary Excellence. The Sarah Booth mystery series was named “Top Amateur Sleuth” by Romantic Times. Carolyn also runs the Good Fortune Farm Refuge, which is an animal rescue where she cares for dogs, cats, and horses. For more information, go to www.carolynhaines.com to sign up for her newsletter. You can also join her on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
Bone to Be Wild: A Sarah Booth Delaney Mystery
15th in Series
Publisher: Minotaur Books (May 19, 2015)
Hardcover: 368 pages
E-Book ASIN: B00OXEL8HI
Sarah Booth Delaney is heartbroken: her fiancé Graf Milieu has decided to move to Hollywood permanently, leaving their relationship in shambles. Sarah Booth has a perfect distraction, however, in the form of the Black and Orange Halloween ball her best friends are throwing in New Orleans. Sarah Booth plans to dance the night away to the swinging tunes of her old flame Scott Hampton’s blues band. But just as the party gets going, Scott receives a mysterious message that threatens his life and the lives of his bandmates. Sarah Booth knows that a new case is just what she needs to take her mind off her failed relationship with Graf, and she’s ready to help Scott investigate. And then the message turns from threat to reality when the bartender from Scott’s club is gunned down in a drive-by. Enlisting Sheriff Coleman Peters and the rest of her friends from Zinnia, Mississippi, Sarah Booth is caught in a race against the clock as she tries to stop a killer from striking again.
With a twist around every corner, Carolyn Haines will delight readers with Sarah Booth Delaney’s latest zany adventure in Bone to be Wild.
The author is giving 1 copy of Bone to Be Wild away!!
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