In 1965, twenty-two year old Marine, Paul Helms, searches for romance but finds one-night stands. Sir Lancelot’s doppelganger, Paul, wooed a Northern girl before capturing Carolyn’s young heart with his turquoise eyes. Waves of romantic longing, teased by salty beach breezes, stir within the tempest. Carolyn Pettis, an eighteen-year old bookworm, taunts True Love to find her, if it exists. Romantic nuances surface as the three young lovers collide within kaleidoscopic patterns. The poets promised eternal love. But did Fate agree?
As time spins, Happily-Ever-After teases a mature Carolyn with friendship, in the guise of a tall, dark man with brown sugar eyes, versus sexual fantasies.
Then along comes need … as sexual heat threatens to swamp their beach with irresistible urges. What’s a woman to do? Direct her destiny! Romantic and touching story of a tempestuous woman deciding will she, won’t she …
Targeted Age Group:: 25 – 75
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
As a bride, I whispered Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s poem from Sonnets from the Portuguese to my husband each night as we awaited sleep. “How do I love thee” blessed our nights and replaced our traditional wedding vows as time scurried past. The first six lines twined from my heart to his as we learned together to count the ways of our love.
Elizabeth’s poem promised, “I shall but love thee better after death.” Each night my recitation stopped short of this thought. Only once, did I murmur these words —the day I scattered his ashes.
Writing Honky-Tonk Wild allowed me once more to whisper, “How do I love thee?”
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
The characters flowed from merging my wish for a happy-ever-after ending with earlier tragedy. Real folks cry and laugh so each of my protagonists does, too.
The sixties defined folks as hawks or doves. Paul Helms’ Marine background lent credence to his hawkish dark tail feathers, and his caravan lifestyle as a boy promoted aggression. Was he a bad boy? Sometimes …
Carolyn Pettis, bookworm changed by life into a fire-breathing dragon killer, or we might say, from a Good Girl to Honky-Tonk Wild …
Our dove, George Mathis, arrived just in time …
Patty, well, Patty remains an enigma we’ll have to explore in another story.
A woman staggered in right behind Carolyn wearing a sparkling pair of royal blue five-inch spiked heels with peek-a-boo cutout toes. Carolyn’s purse matched the blue of the heels.
“Damn, these sons of bitches hurt,” the inebriated woman whined. The shoes she kicked across the vinyl floor. “Shit fire, first and last time I’ll put these bitching feet to work. My ass is worth $20.00 …And these goddamn shoes cost me a hundred!”
A night of firsts, Carolyn thought: lost my juke-joint virginity, my faith in Paul, and now, I’ve lusted after a streetwalker’s shoes. Four of the Ten Commandments smashed if you include the cussing! Damn straight it counts, the strait-laced puritan in her head whispered.
“Hey, honey, don’t be so sad …” Carolyn patted the woman’s shoulder. “A naughty thought’s a terrible thing to waste, don’t you think?” She scooped up one discarded shoe. Carolyn shook her head at the waste, and stared at the heels with an envious gleam. “Your hot blue spikes coo ‘Yes … I have a dirty mind, and you’re on it!’”
Feeling lightheaded, she drawled to the moaning woman as the redhead rubbed a blistered foot, “Just the thing I need to whisper to my man tonight …”The cadence of these words slowed until slow as Tupelo honey dripped from a bear-shaped bottle.
Making eye contact, Carolyn said in a now heated gush, “Would you please sell them to me?”
The redhead weighed the simple beauty of the girl with her ballerina slippers. “Cinderella, if you’ve got X-rated toes that say touch me, tease me, torment me … these shoes are made for your walking. I’m a romantic hooker; pay me fast before I change my mind …”
The two women exchanged footwear, but Carolyn’s white A-line silhouette dress, teasing the tops of her knees, sent signals of the inner quiet bookworm crawling into the room — despite the sexy heels’ loud disclaimer of adult rated content.
“Shit, girl, we need a belt to shorten that sack! Give me your purse …”
Grasping the long shoulder strap, the hooker reached into her pocket and removed a straightedge razor blade.
Carolyn’s eyes rounded as she looked at the lethal metal.
“Prince Charming or Johns,” a raucous wink from a blue shadowed eye, “sometimes want to take nasty to a whole new level … No is easier done than said.”
Two minutes later, a belt clinched Carolyn’s waist with a brilliant rhinestone broach lent as a clasp.
“Now, the little dress hits at your thigh and you’re almost doable, Cinderella!”
As the other woman watched, Carolyn teased and fluffed her dark brown hair until locks wildly cascaded from a top knot onto her shoulders. The hooker’s big purse yielded hairspray, bright red lipstick and enough eye makeup to transform Carolyn’s pretty, green irises into bold, dramatic Sofia Loren cat’s eyes. Admiring her creation, the lady of the night, gave Carolyn a pep talk as they both looked into the mirror …
“Cinderella, the difference in sex being tangled sheet sweaty or dull, is not less skill, but lack of will. Go out there, girl, and burn your brand right on the bastard’s muscular arse!”
She slapped Carolyn’s ass and opened the door.
“Another good girl gone honky-tonk wild …” the woman wiped a tear from a blue shadowed eye.
About the Author:
Maria started life in the Piney Woods just short of the Alabama line, or as she confides, within calling distance of Wiregrass country. Her parents wandered hither and yon before finding a bayou where her family of nine lived in genteel Southern poverty. The salty air of the bayou settled into her blood early and her heart beats with the tide’s rhythm whenever she travels to the Gulf.
As a young widow, she ran away from the bayou and came back home to a small village named Grace. Writing rescues this damsel from fire-breathing dragons. Biking, birding, and books feed her soul with pleasure.
The piney woods cast a powerful hold on her, but there’s a hunger for the acrid smells of bayou country, too. The fiddler crabs scuttling away from low tide tease her back to the bayou if she spends too much time in the country. The wild blackberries, nestled under pines in the Wiregrass, come June, taunt her to return and taste the sweetness …
As she spins around and around like a top, where she stops, only she’ll decide. More and more, Maria splits life between the two places. After all, an hour and a half brings her from the bayou to the Wiregrass.
Even simpler is to travel from land to land via stories of the past.
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