In the spotlight: An old lady vs. the Klan
Today’s spotlight shines on my novel Conjure Woman’s Cat and brings you news of a three-day freebie for my Kindle novel At Sea.
Conjure Woman’s Cat
The old lady, who says she’s older than dirt, is a conjure woman in a small Florida Panhandle town in the 1950s when the Klan in Florida was very strong, in bed with almost everybody in power, including the police, the mayor, and leading businessmen.
So, when a young black woman is raped and murdered by whites on the railroad tracks, there won’t be a police investigation. The minister of the local church doesn’t get involved because he’s afraid his church will get fire bombed at night.
The Klan already burnt Eulalie and her family out once, so she knows what that’s like. But, she’s got magic and guile on hand along with all the herbs a root doctor would ever need.
The story’s a mix of bad stuff, discrimination, lyrical prose and humor. Available in e-book, paperback and audiobook editions.
AudioFile Magazine Earphones Award Winner: Wanda J. Dixon’s warmth and gorgeous singing voice are superb in this story about Conjure Woman Eulalie, which is told through the voice of her cat and spirit companion, Lena. Dixon zestfully portrays Eulalie, who is “older than dirt” and is kept busy casting spells, mixing potions, and advising people–that is, when the “sleeping” sign is removed from her door. Most distinctive is Eulalie’s recurring sigh, which conveys her frustration with Florida in the 1950s, when Jim Crow laws and “Colored Only” signs were routine. Dixon’s Lena is fully believable when she spies around town and reports to Eulalie that rednecks have raped and murdered a young women. They almost escape until Eulalie persuades a witness to come forward. Listeners will marvel at the magical realism in this story and benefit from the helpful glossary of the charming local dialect.
Vietnam Navy Novel Freebie
This is a story about a prospective conscientious objector who serves on board an aircraft carrier during the Vietnam War. The novel is not a book about battles or major military campaigns. Instead, it focuses on the trials of being against the war when everyone else thinks fighting the VC is a good thing, and daily life on the ship and the liberty town bars. As David Ward learns, the letters from home can be nastier than prospective shipboard dangers or the bar girls who want to take his money.
This story is inspired by my experiences on the former carrier U.S.S. Ranger which, sadly, the navy decided to scrap rather than turn into a museum. The ship’s motto during the war was “Top Gun, Bar None.” That was the spirit then and it became more fitting later when movie crews filmed some of the scenes for “Top Gun” on board the ship as it pretended to be the Enterprise. (I wish I’d been there to see that.”