“What are you doing, Frankie?”

“Digging for plot holes in my new novel,” she tells me.

“Any luck?”

“Found some.”

“But there are always more,” I tell her. “It’s best to find a good editor.”

I’m so grateful for the time and attention River Grove/Greenleaf Books Publishing gave to my upcoming novel. After going through it a gazillion times, they still found plot holes, word issues, etc. Unlike Frankie, my new and mischievous puppy, Distilling Lies is clean and about to hit the shelves on May 9th. Of course, I’ll send you a reminder! 😜

And, ain’t she cute?!

Shameless, Underhanded Self-Promotion

Case in point – As a teenager, I got my first job as a telephone solicitor. I sat at a table with a phone and a script of what to say to random strangers. The script included a section for “what to say if they resist your sales pitch and could care less about buying a subscription of the Austin Citizen Newspaper. ” I never got that far. If they said “no,” that was that. I had bothered them enough and wanted no part in wasting their time any further. Needless to say, I was fired after three days. As the saying goes, I couldn’t sell a Bible to a Baptist preacher. And now, many, many year later, still can’t.

So, I have a new book coming out this May. “They” say I need to promote it. Ha! And, oh no.

Now, to change the subject without changing the subject.

Who doesn’t like cute animals? So, without further ado, here are a few to ooh and ahh over.

Aren’t they adorable?

Don’t let the coppers stop us!


The goods are hidden under a canvas in the backseat. I pinch my nose. The smell’s giving me a headache.

“Lux,” Frank says as we putter down the road.

I remember the advertisement. Lux soap, rich in fragrance.

“Every box has a layer of soap on top. Not Ivory. Miss Helen says it’s not strong enough.”

“But you can’t smell sealed moonshine anyway,” I say.

“No. But she says if I’m stopped, I’m supposed to say I’m delivering soap to Common’s Variety in Houston.”

“And if we are stopped, say I’m your little sister. It would look daffy otherwise.”


We settle in for the drive, Miss Helen’s directions between us.

“You know what she told me before I left?” Frank says.

Before I’ve counted to three, Frank says, “Get there as fast as Holly Gap gossip.”

I backhand his shoulder and laugh. “Then we should already be there,” I say, and settle into Nervous Town where a daddy finds out his daughter lied.


Excerpt from The Moonshine Thicket by CD-W





Lustful jelly-mixing?


“Daddy says that an almost fourteen year old boy might want something more than an almost twelve year old girl might want to give.”

Now it’s Miss Helen’s turn to puzzle her face. “A thirteen year old boy tried to take advantage of you?”

“Take advantage?” I say.

“Sit down, child.”

I start thinking we’ll be late for school.

“Emma June,” she says. “Boys that age don’t always think above their neck.” She sees the look on my face and says, “Let me continue. They have this jelly that runs through their veins and makes them look at girls with lustful eyes. Pay attention now, you’re not leaving till I’ve had my say. Anyhow, I don’t know if they can help it or not, but a boy trying to grow into a man wants to touch every part of a girl trying to grow into a woman.” Miss Helen leans back to peek in her family room where Mr. Leonard is sitting. “Well, grown men are kinda the same.” She mumbles and turns back to me. “Now, as girls get older, they get their own kind of lustful jelly. But girls need to keep that jelly under control and wait until they’re married to mix their bodies with a man’s.” Her hands fidget with that ugly, flowery, ruffled apron around her waist. “Clear?”

About as clear as thick chocolate cake.

Excerpt from The Moonshine Thicket


Not such a Vivid response, is it?

Stupid pinwheel, stupid me

I had motioned Mama away. I was stupid because I had to save my pinwheel. Stupid that I let Brandon pour so much rotgut down my throat that I was too sick to leave with Mama.

What if I had given up the pinwheel? Never let Brandon pour that hooch down my gullet? I know the answer. If I’d been well, I would have made Mama stay. In a red chili second, I would have forced Mama and Daddy together to finish talking, to work out their problems.

I lift my head and see the note Miss Delores read to me. It’s three-quarters folded and right then I know something’s funny. Miss Delores didn’t write down Mama’s words from a telephone conversation. I’d Recognize Mama’s writing a mile away.

Excerpt from The Moonshine Thicket


Many of you may have read my blog posts of excerpts from THE MOONSHINE THICKET. After two rejections, I was just notified by an agent who has read the first 50 pages. She said, Dear Carolyn, I hope you’re having a great week so far. I enjoyed the first 50 pages of THE MOONSHINE THICKET, and I’d love to keep reading. Would you please send me the full manuscript? Thanks in advance! My best…”

Cross your fingers for me, please!