Thursday, June 21, 2012

Dancing Naked in Dixie by Lauren Clark

Dancing Naked in Dixie

Lauren Clark

Monterey Press

May 21st 2012

Travel writer Julia Sullivan lives life in fast-forward. She jet sets to Europe and the Caribbean with barely a moment to blink or sleep. But too many mishaps and missed deadlines have Julia on the verge of being fired. 

With a stern warning, and unemployment looming, she's offered one last chance to rescue her career. Julia embarks on an unlikely journey to the ‘Heart of Dixie’—Eufaula, Alabama—home to magnificent mansions, sweet tea, and the annual Pilgrimage. 

Julia arrives, soon charmed by the lovely city and her handsome host, but her stay is marred by a shocking discovery. Can Julia's story save her career, Eufaula, and the annual Pilgrimage?

The Best Butts in Alabama, the huge billboard above my head brags. A robust pink pig, dressed in blue overalls and a cowboy hat, winks down at me. Next to the hog’s turned up nose, royal blue letters read ‘Phil’s Bar-B-Q.’ 

Phil certainly knows how to make a first impression. As does Mother Nature.

The sunshine beats down on my shoulder through the window. Is it always this muggy in December? I swipe at my forehead with the back of my hand and do quick surveillance.

Where is the historic, elegant city I was promised in the letter? There is a normal-looking church across the street, a run-of-the-mill real estate business to my right, and a tiny hole-in-the-wall place called The Donut King, which seems to be doing ten times more business than the Winn-Dixie grocery store I just passed.

So far, all I see of Eufaula, Alabama is more in-your-face commercial than traveler chic. Of course, I’m not in the best frame of mind to become one with my surroundings.

After a lousy Thursday morning of sulking and a rushed packing job, I sent an RSVP with regrets for the fundraiser, gave away my tickets to the Met, left a voice mail for Andrew, and changed my ticket to an earlier departure.

Hours later, after fighting through JFK security, surviving the cramped flight to Atlanta, I spent the night in Buckhead, Georgia, picked up my enormous rented SUV this morning (it was either that or a red minivan), and began driving the three-and-a-half hours to reach my pinhole-on-a-map destination.

All to save my job.

Dancing Naked in Dixie is a really fun read. I was laughing out loud in the first chapter! Being born and raised in Alabama this book brought so many people, places and things to me that seemed familiar, made me feel right at home. Having also lived in New York I could totally relate to how Julia felt about all those “strange” southern things.  I was truly impressed with Ms. Clark’s ability to weave lots of southern charm into this book. In the end Julia realizes the hustle bustle of the big city and always being on the go is not all there is to life. After I read Stay Tuned I became a fan of Ms. Clark’s books but this one is even better. I love this book, my favorite book so far this year. Ms. Clark is great with character building and her ability to build a scene is superb. Grab a big glass of sweet tea and plop down in the porch swing and enjoy this great story!
This book was provided to me by the author for review.

The Deep South is the perfect setting for Lauren Clark’s novels; contemporary fiction sprinkled with secrets, sunshine, and surprises. Her heroines are real women with real obstacles in their lives; challenges that require strength, sacrifice, and personal growth. And while it’s convenient to have a prince charming on standby, Lauren’s heroines are capable of creating their own happily-ever afters–with brains, not beauty, saving the day.
A former TV anchor, Lauren is a reformed news junkie, non-reformed coffee drinker, and certified library geek. She loves the color pink, her Electra Townie bike, and any place she can see the ocean and stick her toes in the sand. Lauren adores her family, paying it forward, eight hours of sleep a night, homemade macaroni and cheese, and true-blue friends.

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1 comment:

  1. A glowing report. I'm glad, because I am looking forward to this.