Friday, August 19, 2016

Blogiversary Guest Post and Giveaway with Beth Albright, author of Stardust in Dixie

The Real Magic In Dixie

I had a little epiphany the other day when a reader wrote to me and asked me why I started writing. I’ve always known why: my heart needed to speak—I write to satisfy my heart, to express my heart, to share my heart.
My heart resides way down in the Deep South, where the most hilarious, most passionate, most resilient women I have ever known live. Tuscaloosa, Alabama is home for me, although I have lived quite literally all over this country. Still, the college town of Tuscaloosa, with our famous national champion football team, The Crimson Tide, The Black Warrior River that runs through town, and the tremendous mouth-watering food all beg me to come back and nestle myself on the banks of the ink-colored river under a brilliant turquoise and creamsicle sunset; the moss hanging in lacy shawls across tree-tunneled streets— it all whispers to me to come home.  
But mostly it’s the strong funny women-- the women who supported my mom and had her back constantly helping her raise my brother and me after my Daddy died in a car accident. My mother was a young widow at twenty-five with two babies. I was only four years old and my brother was barely two. Over my whole life, during tragedy or triumph, we broke out the Krispy Kremes and sat around my grandmother’s yellow 1950s styled kitchen table laughing until we couldn’t. I learned a lot about life from those loud, funny, opinionated women and it’s them I love to write about. They are and always will be my inspiration. My mother’s mother, my daddy’s mother, my aunts, my mother’s hilarious strong-willed friends—they make me want to tell our stories.
In the South, we are good at stories. We hold them close like fine diamonds, polish them up like precious silver, and we hand them down like a priceless heirloom to our young with the hope that they will tell our stories for us when we are buried beneath the red clay of home.
These women who surrounded me were always telling their own stories of growing up down south. They are my passion and inspiration. They were hilarious. That’s why comedy is such a huge part of my stories. In my life, we couldn’t have made it without all the laughter. Fun is the way I remember it all, and happy—happy in the face of real life that was sometimes tragic.
It’s the southern way—laughter in the face of adversity. And to simply believe in the magic of tomorrow—as our favorite southern heroine, Scarlett O’Hara always said, “ I’ll worry ‘bout that tomorrow. Tomorrow is another day.”
Writing was the way I could be home—home in Tuscaloosa with my circle of hilarious, strong, resilient women. And of course all that delicious food, along with a string of pearls, a good bit of Aquanet, some bright lipstick and high heels—cause, honey, even in a crisis, a southern woman has to look good after all! It’s in our raising—part of the tradition that has been carried down from mother to daughter for hundreds of years.
I go home to Alabama as often as I can. On a recent visit I was staying with my nephew and his fiancé. It was the wee hours of a fall morning before the sun came up. A gentle rain was falling and I found myself standing on my nephew’s back porch, musty air mixed with damp cool, his tiny aging starter home nestled cozily back into an older part of town, edged by an overgrown lush backyard—so perfectly imperfect. I was exactly where I wanted to be and I could have stayed there indefinitely, cradled in memories and love and quiet. I wanted that small moment to last, to pause, and just hold it close for just a bit longer, but it slipped away too quickly.
The rain is so soft there, the fragrance sweetened by boxwoods, magnolias, fig trees and the wet ground—I stood still and inhaled a South I miss every single day. It was a slow moment of southern nature at its soft ending, as if taking a bow at the end of an emotional play. I alone was the standing ovation, watching the rainfall, tears sliding down my cheeks mixed on my face with the pouring steady rhythm of the rain.
My books are a piece of me I give to every reader. I love writing about the Deep South. My passion to write was born there and to this day, I always find there’s still so much MAGIC IN DIXIE.

Abigail Harper Cartwright was coming undone.  As the promotions director for a Tuscaloosa radio station, a huge upcoming Mother’s Day live event could make or break her career.  But at the same time, two former lovers have stumbled back into the picture turning her life upside down.

One old boyfriend – who works for a competing radio station, seems to be out to sabotage everything she does, while another may just be her knight in shining armor. But after being dumped during a very public marriage proposal, he may not be able to give Abby a second chance.

To make matters worse, a nosey neighbor has started an epic turf war and azalea bushes, a stolen mailbox and some front porch graffiti are the result.

As event day draws near, the dirty tricks at work get more intense and Abby has to call on her sassy sisters to help get to the bottom of it.  

And Abby’s new/old love has another love of his own – a three year old thoroughbred horse whose name holds the secret to some long harbored feelings.
It all culminates in some Derby Day and Mother’s Day fireworks that will get your heart pounding and tears flowing.

National best-selling author Beth Albright does it again with this new Southern page-turner filled with romantic comedy, emotion, passion and laugh-out-loud humor.  Grab your best girlfriends and hang on tight for this hilarious, exciting, sassy, southern tale.

Links to purchase

About Beth!
Beth Albright is the author of the award-winning, best-selling series The Sassy Belles, and the nationally best-selling series In Dixie. After spending nearly 15 years as a talk radio host in talk radio, acting as a principal character on the soap opera, DAYS OF OUR LIVES, owning her own acting school and children’s theater, and raising a son who was a nationally ranked figure skater, Beth returned to her roots; storytelling. “In the south, we are good at stories. We hold them close like fine diamonds, polish them up like precious silver, and we hand them down like a priceless heirloom to our young with the hope that they will tell our stories for us when we are buried beneath the red clay of home.” Except from Southern Exposure, Tales From My Front Porch. (Beth’s Memoirist book of essays.)
“It’s just what we do down south, pass on our stories,” she says.
Though Beth has had a remarkable career, literally from New York City to Hollywood, she has never forgotten where she came from, and what she loves: The Deep South!
Beth is also a screenwriter, a voice-over talent for commercials, and a nationally known speaker and emcee. Beth lives with her TV producer husband, award winning promotions and branding executive, Ted Ishler. Her son, graduating with Distinction from Berkeley in the top 10%, is on his way to graduate school in the fall.

Follow Beth!

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