Saturday, September 8, 2012

CWA: A South Carolinian Treat

The sun tries to peer out of the clouds as the hay wagon you are riding upon slowly makes it way down the gravel road. The fresh scent of rain enters  your nose. Who could have imagined you would be taking a hayride in the middle of upstate South Carolina? You wouldn't trade it for anything in the world. The sound of laughter comes from behind you. You turn and pay closer attention to the conversation. 
"How long has your family owned a cattle ranch, Dalton," a heavy set man asks cradling his camera. 
"Since 1800. That was forty-five years before Texas became a state. Back then Texas was part of Spain. My father's family was one of the first Spanish colonists to the area. He wants me to take over the business when he retires. I just love it ranching. I'm glad we're visiting a farm today. I've never been on one before just ranches."
"Dalton," you ask. He turns towards you. "How long are we going to stay on the farm. You said this morning due to the rain our visit was delayed. It's almost 2pm now." 
"We can't stay long. We have a schedule to maintain and Tasha is all about staying on schedule."
"Thank you." Dalton nods then rejoins the conversation with your friends. You glance at the two wagons that are traveling behind you then peer up at the cloudy sky. You hope the rain decides to stay away. Hmm, you wonder. If the ship can dry dock, travel through time and transport you somewhere why can't it control the weather too? You turn back to Dalton. "Did you make the rain stop," you ask.
Dalton chuckles. "No. What makes you think that?"
"Your ship can do many things. I thought perhaps it could do that too."
"Unfortunately, that is something the ship has no control over."
"Ah, so it does have a flaw."
Dalton leans towards you and whispers. "We don't like to mention those."
You smile as he leans back. This trip is getting more interesting each day. You wonder what other flaws there might be. 

"Welcome to the farmhouse. Glad to see you're the back door kind of folks. My name's Cynda Avery. I'll be showin' you around, since Daniel's at work. Three generations of De Marcos have lived here, but it was Daniel's mama Cammie who had the place painted yellow. I love the color, it reminds me of sunshine."
"Things weren't too sunny in my life when I first saw this old two-story clapboard house.  My grandmother was in debt to a loan shark 'cause she was old and upset and made a bad decision 'bout borrowin' money from him. That man—his name's Kingsley Dazza—told me if I wanted to stop him from throwin' her into the street and takin' her house, I'd need to talk Daniel into sellin' some of his land. Because Dazza's an evil bastard, he recommended I try doin' that on my back, if you know what I'm sayin'.  Then he put a dog collar and leash on me, drove me out here, and tied me to the hitch on Daniel's truck."
"When Daniel picked me up and carried me into this house, I couldn't stop lookin' around, even if those handprints he put on my butt were still stingin'. The high ceilings, the china plates set on a rack on the wall, the glassed in porch off the kitchen filled with plants, all told me this man didn't need the money for sellin' no land."
I didn't have no other options to save my grams' house, though, so we made a deal. I'd give him what any man wants from a woman if he'd give me an hour a day to try'n talk him into sellin' King that land he wanted. I knew I'd have to figure out what he needed more'n money, but to be honest, I wasn't expectin' the kind of kinky stuff Daniel's into. Lord, the man can think up some wild ways to—I guess I prolb'ly don't know y'all well enough to get into that."
"I love the stuff in this house, the old furniture that's been in his family for generations. It all looks to me like somethin' you'd see in a museum or on a movie set, like this huge oak hall tree.  While most folks would hang their coats and hats on the big brass hooks, the men in this family like to tie the occasional misbehavin' woman to it. It's even bolted to the wall for that reason, and I know from personal experience it won't topple over when you get tied to it. Come into Daniel's office and take a look at his big old walnut roll top desk. All those pigeon holes are holdin' paperwork for the family farm. Eight hundred acres can make for a lot of notes and records, but the desk held onto a secret for over twenty-seven years till I came along and accidentally knocked the side panel off."
"After y'all look around upstairs at all the bedrooms, the nursery, and even the attic if you're like me and love to nose around in people's old trinkets, I'll take you up the mountain so you can see the orchards and the old migrant camp. De Marco Farms used to be the biggest commercial peach orchard in South Carolina, but after his mama disappeared, Daniel's daddy opened up the garage where the three brothers work now. I'll just go check on his English Setter, Daisy, and her new pup Jacques while y'all make yourselves at home." 
By Karen Blaha (Flickr: Peach orchard in bloom)
[CC-BY-SA-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons 

"Ready to go see the orchards? The varieties at the top of the mountain are late-bloomin, so there's some peaches you can taste, right off the tree. You'll want to try this variety Daniel's grandpa invented called the Dark Beauty peach. See how the flesh inside is all dark red almost right out to the skin? I'm real partial to it, it tastes like a cross between a pomegranate and a peach, but Lord Almighty, does the fuzz on it make you itch. That fuzz brought tears to my eyes, but that might be because Daniel rubbed it on me in places I can't mention in polite society. There's an old quarry pond where y'all can go swimmin' to cool off if you want, or wash the fuzz off your hands."
"After you all eat your fill, we'll double back so you can see the old camp that used to house migrant workers. Unlike the other peach farmers 'round here, Daniel's grandfather built them nice cabins to stay in. Maybe that's why the man don't seem to mind bein' seen out in public with a black woman like me on his arm. See, this state can still be kinda backwards 'bout interracial datin'. The Klu Klux Klan still has a couple of active klaverns here, too. Maybe when you came into town, you drove past the old courthouse? I got arrested at a Klan rally held on the front lawn there, but instead of kickin' me out after I got released, Daniel took care of my legal problems the same way he takes care of the rest of the problems in his family or his business."
"I hate y'all have to go so soon. I was hopin' we could go back to the house and grab a tall glass of sweet tea and talk while we wait for Daniel to come home, but Tasha says you have another destination to set sail for, so it was sure nice meetin' y'all. Come back any time."

Most of my stories are set where I live, in South Carolina, so expect the handsome stranger to come equipped with a slow southern drawl.

I'm addicted to hazelnut creamer, I like the music of Motown and when not writing about characters behaving badly, I take a stab at the occasional needlepoint canvas.

I use my B.A. in Psychology to write contemporary erotic romances filled with characters you can love, making decisions you can respect.

Wildly Inappropriate is available for pre-order at SilverPublishing, and will be available soon on Amazon, Amazon UK, Barnes & Noble, and All Romance. 

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