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The Big Game

images-5No matter how you feel about football, there’s a buzz of anticipation in our area surrounding the upcoming University of Georgia versus the University of Alabama national championship game this weekend. I live in the heart of SEC football territory here in metro Atlanta. My son is a graduate of UGA even though we are big LSU fans (also SEC). I would like to say I’m rooting for Georgia, or Alabama. I am neutral, however. When you’re a fan of one big team, it’s hard to root for another.

I write books set in small-town Alabama, so much of my time and energy this year has been spent researching football schedules and creating scenes in my stories about football rivalries between family members and games played during the holiday season and beyond. It was as if I could see the future. I also wrote about two characters whomoovealong175 were on opposite sides of the pro Saints/Falcons rivalry. AND in my latest book, a huge snowstorm hit Alabama and Georgia hard. Hmmm… Just hand over the tarot cards and call me psychic. Just kidding. But it was all kind of juju freaky, I have to admit. I can’t say I predicted every football outcome, but pre-writing the seasons before they were played was strange.

So, if you want to immerse yourself in the fun and excitement of the BIG GAME, plus enjoy some small town fun and romance, grab a copy of Christmas, Alabamaor really any of my Alabama series. They are packed full of all the Southern fun and crazy you could ask for, in addition to SEC football.

Or, just tune in on January 8th. Did I mention the game will be played here in Atlanta? I’ll be watching passively wishing my tigers would have made it all the way. But I wish both teams the best, as I have friends and readers who might be willing to donate a body part (a small, unimportant one) for their team to bring home the trophy.

Have a fantastic weekend, y’all!!



A Memory from Paradise

Hurricane Dorian wiped out one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever visited. Now, 10391612_1277792467505_1799334_nyou must understand I’m no world traveler, but Abaco Island in the Bahamas is stunning. We visited for an extended weekend during the child-raising years, so, my memory fails me as to exactly how long ago it was. A decade at least.

The water was stunningly blue and so clear. I was in such need of a vacation at the time and so grateful to my sister-in-law and brother-in-law for their offer to whisk us all away to the islands. There were six of us:  My husband, his brother, his sister, their spouses, and me. All family.

It was cold when we left Atlanta and we’d checked our luggage, so we arrived in sweatshirts and jeans. Unfortunately, our luggage didn’t arrive with us. The resort where we were staying offered to have an employee drive us in their Suburban to Marsh Harbour, a half hour away to get swimsuits and t-shirts so we could go to the beach until our luggage arrived. Good thing, because the luggage didn’t come until the next day.

Marsh Harbour is a small town of around 6,000 people. It’s not built for hurricanes nor is it a large tourist destination. Marsh Harbour is filled with local people, shops, a post office, grocery stores, and is the largest town to service the island’s needs. The young woman who drove us to “town” from the resort was one of my favorite parts of the trip.

I don’t remember her name, but the young woman who drove the Suburban warned us that people on the island didn’t like her. When we asked why, she sighed and smiled. Then told a tragic tale. Apparently, this lovely girl was an outsider who’d recently married an eligible local man (a real hottie), which enraged the local women. She took one of theirs. Then, shortly after she moved there, she avoided hitting a stray dog on the road and knocked down a power pole instead. This took out power to nearly the island for the better part of a week (could have been longer, I can’t remember). Apparently, stray dogs are like vermin, and better off dead to many locals. So, avoiding one and causing great trouble for the residents was adding insult to injury in their minds.

She considered herself the most hated person on the island. So, taking us into town in the company Suburban was like showing up with a neon flashing sign over her head. I guess she was warning us in case things didn’t go well.

As soon as I heard about the destruction of Abaco and Marsh Harbour, the memories immediately resurfaced from our fun weekend a decade ago. I can’t imagine how anyone survived a category 5 hurricane in structures not meant for such weather. It’s a terrible tragedy and my heart bleeds for the people and their beautiful home.