Thirty years after Lin Breedlove escaped her hometown of Mimosa Branch, Georgia, she is back. With her tail between her legs, and now as Lin Breedlove Scott, divorced and broke.
She is not looking forward to staying at her parents’ home, despite how huge it is; what keeps her going is her plan to refurbish the garage apartment. The bliss of privacy beckons.
But almost as soon as she arrives, old friends and enemies appear and threaten the serenity she seeks. And a next door hunk of a man tempts her, even as a part of her sounds a warning bell.
In the midst of reconnecting, and while maintaining her regular phone contact with best friend Tricia, a cauldron brews, hinting at high drama and hijinks.
What political corruption will bring Lin into the midst of the town? What new connections will form, even as those old ones realign? And how will Lin stave off the desires that clamor, threatening to derail her new life?
Guilty pleasures reign in this dramatic Southern tale, even as the girlfriend connections and getaways promise fun and more adventure. An excerpt sets one of the scenes:
“With guilty pleasure, I snagged the biggest brownie and bit into it. Whoever had made them must have used bran, because it had a strangely coarse consistency, but the taste was sinful and chocolaty, with just a hint of coffee and a spice I couldn’t identify.”
Queen Bee of Mimosa Branch: A Novel was a delightful, if somewhat predictable, tale. Four stars.
Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events, from Tuesday/First Chapter/Intros, hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea; and Teaser Tuesdays hosted by Should Be Reading.
Just grab your book and share the opening lines; then find another excerpt that “teases” the reader.
Today’s featured book is Queen Bee of Mimosa Branch, by Haywood Smith.
Linwood Breedlove Scott’s life has officially hit rock bottom. Her husband of thirty years has run off with a stripper. The IRS has taken everything but her coffee table. And her hot flashes are four-alarmers. The only thing that could make being flat-broke and fifty any worse is having to crawl home to her parents’ house in Mimosa Branch, Georgia…which is exactly where she’s headed.
Lin’s barely prepared for the loony bin that greets her, from her controlling, eighty-year-old mother and shockingly blunt father to her long-suffering Aunt Glory and her deranged Uncle Bedford who is convinced a cannibal lives under the furniture. Nor is she ready for the instant love-hate attraction she feels for her handsome new next-door neighbor. Trying to navigate her way through the second act of her life with nothing more than a prepaid calling card, a broken heart, and plenty of Prozac, Lin’s about to discover that it’s never too late for old friends, new romance, the ties of family, and a second chance to survive it all on the road to becoming the person you were always meant to be…
Beginning: I took the long way home that fateful midsummer day last July, maybe because I still couldn’t quite believe what I was about to do.
I could still hear Miss Mamie—that’s my mother; everybody calls her Miss Mamie, including my brother and me—telling me, on the eve of my wedding, that if I insisted on marrying Phil at nineteen, I shouldn’t even think of turning up on her doorstep again. “You make your bed, you lie in it,” she’d said with absolute conviction. (Miss Mamie says everything with absolute conviction).
Yet here I was thirty years later, galled to my very soul that my family’s dire predictions for my marriage had finally proven true. The phantom umbilicus that connected me to my mother had turned out to be a cosmic bungee cord, my fifty years of life one long, ludicrous leap that was rebounding at light-speed back to the womb. God help me.
So that Thursday, the day after the Fourth of July, I took the slow, scenic route through Mimosa Branch. Driving into the old business district, I was struck that my hometown seemed to have come up in the world at least as far as I had come down. Everything was fixed up, filled up, and decidedly suburban upscale, right down to the contemporary artists’ warren in one of the old mill buildings.
Teaser: I lifted my glass. “Here’s to celibacy.” Then I did as Geneva suggested and got good and snockered—on only two drinks.
So what’s the verdict? Is this a book you’d keep reading? I hope you’ll come by and share your own snippets.
When I’m in the mood for guilty pleasures, I often think of cocooning in something like this gorgeously “dressed” bed. Doesn’t it look luxurious?
Imagine curling up in this bed to read or watch movies!
This weekend, I plan to guiltily read and watch some flicks that evoke nostalgic moments. On tap for this weekend:
I’m reading The Language of Sisters on my Kindle. But in case I need a change, I have a whole potpourri of books resting on Sparky.
Meanwhile, I will resume my nostalgic marathon through movies of the 80s and 90s, like these sitting nearby:
About Last Night, with Rob Lowe, Demi Moore, and assorted stars from back in the day.
And how about Urban Cowboy? The music alone will amp up the guilty pleasures factor.
Recently, I read and loved a memoir by Sissy Spacek, so I have several of her movies on my stack. Like Coal Miner’s Daughter.
Can you feel the music? Do these flicks take you back? Or maybe you weren’t even around then…if not, you can enjoy it for the first time. Meanwhile, I’m off to start my marathon…guilty pleasures, nostalgia style.
And to further take me back…here’s what I looked like back in the eighties….
Happy Birthday, Heather!
Sometimes our guilty pleasures include enjoying the celebrations of those near and dear. Today is daughter Heather’s birthday, and here she is enjoying some bubbly with her special friend Andy.
Yesterday was a birthday brunch at a special place we all enjoy here in town…
Brunch at Campagnia’s
What do you enjoy on special days? Do you have a favorite place?