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About the author:
Rebecca Goldwater is a poet, writer, and novelist. Specializing in romance, Rebecca has been writing short stories and fiction pieces since she was a child. She is pursuing an MFA in creative writing. Currently, Rebecca resides in northern Washington with her two dogs. Southern Desires is her first published novel, but she plans on releasing more soon.
Here is a short sample from the book:
Have you lost your wedding ring, Melissa?”
I glance down at my naked fingers, almost startled by the sight of how plain my hand is without Arthur’s ring. I slip my hand under the table, but it is already too late to avoid the stares of the ladies around me.
“I haven’t been a married woman for nearly a year now,” I muster in response.
“Oh, absolutely,” Dotty tuts. “You do what is best for you.”
Georgie reaches over to pat my hand. Her lips open into a smile, a genuine one, the likes of which have been hard for me to find this far south in Fairville, Alabama.
“I’m proud of you,” Georgie says. “Arthur wouldn’t want to see you acting so sad and lonely all the time.”
“I suppose Arthur and my Luke are two different men, in that case,” Louisa adds. “If Luke had suffered as greatly as your Arthur did, I know he would want me to wear my ring until I joined him in heaven. But, you knew your Arthur best, I’m sure.”
As hard as it is, I bite my tongue. I have no talent for the banter the women of the south are so fond of. Every word is a dagger, every smile a double-edged sword. I wasn’t born this way, wasn’t raised in it. In my heart, I’m a northern woman. If I told Louisa all the sour thoughts pooling up in the back of my mind – like how her ‘gentle Luke’ is well-known for visiting whorehouses when he travels to Maytown for business – I would be outcast from Fairville, and maybe the entire south, for all eternity. Even Georgie wouldn’t stick up for me then.
“I did know him best,” I finally reply. It’s the best response I can come up with.
A bead of sweat trickles down the back of my neck. Dotty ordered the help she employs to throw the windows open in the hopes of inviting in a breeze, but we have had no such luck. The other ladies fan themselves, pretending not to mind too terribly, but I have never gotten used to the high Alabama temperatures.
During the first summer I lived here with Arthur, I had no complaints. The weather was sweltering, but it was a welcome replacement for the New Hampshire winters I had grown up with. The small town was tight knit and wary of outsiders, but I loved the challenge of winning them over. All of it was worth it when I was doing it with Arthur.
When he died, it was the like the south died, too.
What is there to love about a place when the person who taught you to love it is gone?
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