Tag Archives: Unleashed

[COVER REVEAL] Embedded – Liz Coley

This post is part of the official cover reveal for Liz Coley’s Embedded. Below, you’ll find the cover, the author’s links, and information about her books.

Liz Coley
Photo blog

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1st May 2015 Releases

Happy Release Day to:

Liz Coley
Disarmed (Tor Maddox, Prequel)
LCTeen (US: 1st May 2015)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA)

When Tor sees past the gun in her face to the face behind the gun, two lives could be saved.

Liz Coley
Practically Invisible (Short story)
LCTeen (US: 1st May 2015)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA)

Some friends are forever, and some are left behind.

Liz Coley
Sticks and Stones (Short story)
LCTeen (US: 1st May 2015)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA)

Family is something we create when home is only a distant memory.

Liz Coley
Unleashed (Tor Maddox, Book 1)
LCTeen (US: 1st May 2015)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA)

When sixteen-year-old Torrance Olivia Maddox, self-confessed news junkie, figures out that the mysterious and deadly New Flu is being spread by dogs, she has one question – if the danger is that obvious to her, why hasn’t the government revealed the truth and taken action? Her search for the answer will take her farther than she ever imagined. But then again, she never imagined that man’s best friend could become public enemy number one, that men in black might show up in her cozy suburban neighbourhood, that she’d spend her sixteenth birthday as a teenaged runaway, and that her effort to save one dog would become a mission to save them all.

Amanda Sun
Rise (Paper Gods, Novella)
Harlequin Teen (US: 1st May 2015)
Buy (US) Buy (CA)

A long, long time ago, before the world was as we know it, Izanami and Izanagi came into being. Two of the first of the ancient gods of Japan, they crafted the world from ink and their own imaginations. Izanagi wants, more than anything, to be with Izanami – but one moment of pride could tear them apart forever. Yuki and Tanaka have been friends for as long as they can remember, but lately deeper feelings have been bubbling beneath the surface. How do they navigate the transition from friendship to true love without destroying the powerful bond between them? Set a millennia apart, can these two couples, living parallel love stories, find their happily-ever-afters?

May 2015 Releases

Done with April 2015 Releases? Here are May 2015 Releases. For future releases, check Reading Wishlist. NOTE: The book covers may show up overlarge if reading this via a feed-reader, so visit my WordPress to see the proper formatting.

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[COVER REVEAL] Unleashed – Liz Coley

This post is part of the official cover reveal for Liz Coley’s Unleashed. Below you’ll find the author’s links, and information about her books.

Liz Coley
Photo Blog

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13th January 2015 Releases

Happy Release Day to:

Holly Black
The Darkest Part of the Forest
Hachette Little, Brown (US: 13th January 2015)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA) Buy (Worldwide)

Children can have a cruel, absolute sense of justice. Children can kill a monster and feel quite proud of them. A girl can look at her brother and believe they’re destined to be a knight and a bard who battle evil. She can believe she’s found the thing she’s been made for. Hazel lives with her brother, Ben, in the strange town of Fairfold where humans and fae exist side by side. The faeries’ seemingly harmless magic attracts tourists, but Hazel knows how dangerous they can be, and she knows how to stop them. Or she did, once. At the centre of it all, there is a glass coffin in the woods. It rests right on the ground and in it sleeps a boy with horns on his head and ears as pointy as knives. Hazel and Ben were both in love with him as children. The boy has slept there for generations, never waking. Until one day, he does… As the world turns upside down and a hero is needed to save them all, Hazel tries to remember her years spent pretending to be a knight. But swept up in new love, shifting loyalties, and the fresh sting of betrayal, will it be enough?

Jessica Brody
Unleashed (Unremembered, Novella)
Macmillan Farrar, Straus and Giroux (US: 13th January 2015)
Buy (US) Buy (CA)

Seraphina has escaped the compound. The president of Diotech has fallen gravely ill. Now, Dr. Alixter rests his last hope on a genetically enhanced soldier. A boy designed to apprehend her. A boy incapable of failure…

Amy Rose Capetta
Unmade (Entangled, Book 2)
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (US: 13th January 2015)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA) Buy (Worldwide)

Cadence is in a race against time and space to save her family and friends from the Unmakers, who are tracking the last vestiges of humanity across the cosmos. As the epic battle begins, Cade learns that letting people in also means letting them go.

Richelle Mead
Silver Shadows (Bloodlines, Book 5)
Penguin Razorbill (US & CA: 13th January 2015)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA) Buy (Worldwide)

Now in the aftermath of an event that ripped their world apart, Sydney and Adrian struggle to pick up the pieces and find their way back to each other. But first, they have to survive. For Sydney, trapped and surrounded by adversaries, life becomes a daily struggle to hold on to her identity and the memories of those she loves. Meanwhile, Adrian clings to hope in the face of those who tell him Sydney is a lost cause, but the battle proves daunting as old demons and new temptations begin to seize hold of him…

Beth Revis
The Future Collection
Scripturient Books (US: 13th January 2015)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA)

This collection of short stories features science fiction tales about the future. DOCTOR-PATIENT CONFIDENTIALITY: A young woman wakes up in a cryomed ward of a hospital. As she recalls what led to her confinement, she starts to realise just what the consequences of her actions were, and how much time has passed since she was injured. THE MOST PRECIOUS MEMORY: In a world where memories can be bought and sold as highly addictive drugs, one transaction takes an unusual turn. (*Note*: this story was previously published in the Soothe the Savage Beast anthology.) THE GIRL AND THE MACHINE: A man has limited abilities to travel through time, but a cute girl pops up in his life, informing him that her time machine can open the door to far greater powers. But there’s something ominous about it… (*Note*: This story is available as an individual short.) LAG: A reporter had been chasing down a lead…but after a malfunction in the teleporter she used, she’s forgotten what the lead was. Now she’s searching for clues in her own life to discover what it was she’s missing. THE TURING TEST: A college student participates in a turing test to see if she can distinguish which of the two subjects is human and which is an android. (*Note:* A version of this story is a part of the Special Edition of The Body Electric novel and was previously published in Lightspeed Magazine.) AS THEY SLIP AWAY: A group of artists on a generation space ship that reviles art is given a unique assignment, one that draws one young lady far too close to a possessive man protected by the ship’s government. (*Note:* This short story is available free online and is linked to the Across the Universe world.) Also included in this collection are end notes, describing the inspiration behind each short story and hidden clues and allusions to sci fi classics. The collection concludes with two sample chapters from Beth’s latest book, The Body Electric.

January 2015 Releases

Done with December 2014 Releases? Here are January 2015 Releases. For future releases, check Reading Wishlist. NOTE: If reading this in a feed-reader, please go to my WordPress (click this blog post’s title) in order for the formatting to show up correctly.

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Now Available for US Pre-Order

Kelley Armstrong: FORSAKEN: 31st January 2015: Buy (US)
Kelley Armstrong: DECEPTIONS: 18th August 2015: Buy (US)
Jessica Brody: UNLEASHED: 13th January 2015: Buy (US)
Sharon Cameron: ROOK (hardcover): 28th April 2015: Buy (US)
Margaret Fortune: NOVA: 2nd June 2015: Buy (US)
Mira Grant: ROLLING IN THE DEEP: 31st March 2015: Buy (US)
Nancy Holzner: FIRESTORM: 31st March 2015: Buy (US)
Caitlin Kittredge: GRIM TIDINGS: 25th August 2015: Buy (US)
Katie McGarry: NOWHERE BUT HERE: 26th May 2015: Buy (US)
Richelle Mead: THE IMMORTAL CROWN (paperback): 2nd June 2015: Buy (US)
Phoebe North: STARBREAK (paperback): 18th August 2015: Buy (US)
Amanda Panitch: DAMAGE DONE: 21st July 2015: Buy (US)
Cherie Priest: I AM PRINCESS X: 26th May 2015: Buy (US)
Alexandra Sirowy: THE CREEPING (hardcover): 18th August 2015: Buy (US)
J. A. Souders: RISE: 26th October 2014: Buy (US)

12 New Covers (Bick, Brody, Cameron, Hart & Reisz, Helvig, Jones, Kenner, Metcalf, Sheehan, Sirowy, Trout, Zhang)

NOTE: If viewing this in a feed-reader, the covers may show up too large. Click the title to take you to the WordPress page, where everything should be formatted properly.

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My Top 10 Books Published in 2008

Weekly Geeks is doing a thing where everyone compiles their own list of the best books they’ve read that were published in 2008. Admittedly, my list kind of skews to the ones I’ve read more recently, because I remember them better. So hard to pick just 10. But here there are:

Michelle Maddox
Dorchester SHOMI (US: 29th July 2008)

THREE. Kira Jordan wakes up in a pitch-black room handcuffed to a metal wall. She has 60 seconds to escape. Thus begins a vicious game where to lose is to die. TWO. The man she’s been partnered with – her only ally in this nightmare – is a convicted mass murderer. But if he’s so violent, why does he protect her? And stranger still, what is it behind those haunted sea-green eyes that makes her want to protect him? ONE. No one to trust. Nowhere to run. And the only hope of survival is working together to beat the COUNTDOWN.

Mary E. Pearson
The Adoration of Jenna Fox
US: Henry Holt & Co. BYR (29th April 2008); AU: Allen & Unwin Children’s (February 2009)

Who is Jenna Fox? Seventeen-year-old Jenna has been told that is her name. She has just awoken from a coma, they tell her, and she is still recovering from a terrible accident in which she was involved a year ago. But what happened before that? Jenna doesn’t remember her life. Or does she? And are the memories really hers?

Stephenie Meyer
The Host
Hachette (US, UK, AU: 6th May 2008)

Melanie Stryder refuses to fade away. The earth has been invaded by a species that take over the minds of their human hosts while leaving their bodies intact, and most of humanity has succumbed. Wanderer, the invading “soul” who has been given Melanie’s body, knew about the challenges of living inside a human: the overwhelming emotions, the too vivid memories. But there was one difficulty Wanderer didn’t expect: the former tenant of her body refusing to relinquish possession of her mind. Melanie fills Wanderer’s thoughts with visions of the man Melanie loves – Jared, a human who still lives in hiding. Unable to separate herself from her body’s desires, Wanderer yearns for a man she’s never met. As outside forces make Wanderer and Melanie unwilling allies, they set off to search for the man they both love.

Rachel Cohn
You Know Where to Find Me
Simon & Schuster (US: 4th March 2008)

First cousins Laura and Miles grew up like sisters. Miles thought of Laura as the golden one – smart, beautiful, rich, and popular – while Miles considered herself the unwanted one – an unattractive, underachieving outcast. Laura’s suicide shatters Miles and leaves her feeling completely alone, and sets Miles on a dangerous downward spiral. But in the strength Miles finds in herself and in those she didn’t believe cared about her, she is able to rebuild her life in unexpected ways.

Jes Battis
Night Child (OSI, Book 1)
Penguin Ace (US: 27th May 2008)

Tess Corday soon realises that there is not going to be anything ordinary about this case. Not the lab results on the cause of death. Not Mia Polanski, the teenage girl living at the address found in the vamp’s pocket, who may well be in thrall to a demon. And certainly not Lucian Agrado, the necromancer who is liaison to the vampire community. Agrado is supposed to be part of the solution, but Tess suspects he might be part of the problem. Under pressure from her boss, Tess is trying to go by the book on this one. But when Mia reaches out to her, she risks her career to help the girl. And finds herself in the middle of a paranormal conspiracy that will change her life forever. Or possibly end it…

Kristopher Reisz
Simon & Schuster Pulse (US: 19th February 2008; AU: 17th April 2008)

Daniel Morning seems perfect – handsome, charismatic, intelligent. But living up to everyone’s expectations has cost him the right to make his own decisions. The urge to shatter those expectations is beginning to gnaw at his insides. Then Daniel meets Misty. She’s smoky, rebellious, tender…and much more. She decides to let him into her pack of outcasts – and in on their little secret: She and her friends have learned to shape-shift, and have been prowling the night as wolves. Daniel soon falls in love with the primal sensation of shifting, just as he’s falling in love with Misty. The freedom to follow his most basic instincts is like nothing he’s ever felt. But Daniel will slowly come to realise that such freedom comes at a price…

Jeri Smith-Ready
Wicked Game (WVMP Radio, Book 1)
Simon & Schuster Pocket (US: 13th May 2008)

Recovering con artist Ciara Griffin is trying to live the straight life, even if it means finding a (shudder!) real job. She takes an internship at a local radio station, whose late-night time-warp format features 1940s blues, ’60s psychedelia, ’80s Goth, and more, all with an uncannily authentic flair. Ciara soon discovers just how the DJs maintain their cred: they’re vampires, stuck forever in the eras in which they were turned. Ciara’s first instinct, as always, is to cut and run. But communications giant Skywave wants to buy WVMP and turn it into just another hit-playing clone. Without the station – and the link it provides to their original Life Times – the vampires would “fade,” becoming little more than mindless ghosts of the past. Suddenly a routine corporate takeover is a matter of life and un-death. To boost ratings and save the lives of her strange new friends, Ciara re-brands the station as “WVMP, the Lifeblood of Rock ‘n’ Roll.” In the ultimate con, she hides the DJs’ vampire nature in plain sight, disguising the bloody truth as a marketing gimmick. WVMP becomes the hottest thing around – next to Ciara’s complicated affair with grunge vamp Shane McAllister. But the “gimmick” enrages a posse of ancient and powerful vampires who aren’t so eager to be brought into the light. Soon the stakes are higher – and the perils graver – than any con game Ciara’s ever played…

Eve Kenin
Hidden (Northern Waste, Book 2)
Dorchester SHOMI (US: 1st July 2008)

Tatiana has honed her genetic gifts to perfection. She can withstand the subzero temperatures of the Northern Waste, read somebody’s mind with the briefest touch, and slice through bone with her bare hands. Which makes her one bad-ass chick, all right. Nothing gets to her. Until she meets Tristan. Villain or ally, she can’t be sure. But one thing she does know: he has gifts too – including the ability to ramp up her heart rate to dangerous levels. But before they can start some chemistry of their own, they have to survive being trapped in an underground lab, hunted by a madman, and exposed to a plague that could destroy mankind.

Michele Lang
Dorchester SHOMI (US: 26th February 2008)

THERE’S A NEW SHERIFF IN TOWN…And her name is Talia Fortune. Her mission: capture the cyber outlaw, Kovner, a man who knows she is more than just a sheriff – Talia is also a woman, with a woman’s desires. Scion of the Fortune family and primary shareholder of the mega-conglomerate FortuneCorp, she is the Hand of Fate…or at least of the Home Office. With the power to punish, she’s been sent to Fresh Havens – a corporate off-world colony run by her uncle. But the colony is full of hidden danger. Sabotage, deception, destruction…it will take every ounce of Talia’s strength and courage, fighting skills honed in the Amphitheatre and knowledge learned at the Academy, just to survive. Her ability to love and trust will be sorely tested, especially in the clutches of her quarry, the Outlaw of Fresh Havens, her cyber-lover and now her enemy. He and the answers lie in the Gray Forest, in a reality beyond the bubbledome, the Grid, and everything she’s ever known. Her future lies in…NETHERWOOD.

Marta Acosta
The Bride of Casa Dracula
Simon & Schuster Pocket (US: 16th September 2008; AU: 1st October 2008)

Milagro De Los Santos is having serious problems planning her wedding to fabulous Oswald Grant, M.D. Her future in-laws loathe her, her dog just died, and Oswald’s family has a genetic anomaly that makes them crave blood. Then her extravagant best friend hijacks the role of wedding coordinator, and the secretive Vampire Council assigns conniving Cornelia Ducharme to guide the couple through the ancient vampire marriage rituals. To top it all off, Milagro’s career is on the skids. She’s reduced to ghost-writing the memoirs of a loony little man who claims to be a shape-shifter. And why does Cornelia’s decadent, way too attractive brother, Ian, always show up whenever Milagro is away from Oswald? When a series of accidents interferes with wedding plans, Oswald worries that Milagro is cracking under the pressure. Is she just paranoid, or is a hidden enemy trying to make sure Milagro doesn’t wed the un-dead?

Random Stats
Books published by Dorchester SHOMI:
Books published by Simon & Schuster: 4
YA fiction: 3
Futuristic: 5

[GUEST BLOGGER] Kristopher Reisz

(Image from here.)

Last month, Tez pointed me toward a YouTube video. From an episode of Top Gear, the three hosts drive through Alabama – my home state – which they describe to their British audience as a “Bible-bashing [sic], redneck, deeply Christian part of the union.” For no clear reason except it’ll make for good TV, they paint their cars with the slogans, country-western is rubbish, Hillary for president and man-love rules. They drive around for awhile to ominous, Jaws-like music, and eventually, some guys throw rocks at them.

Tez asked if I could write a guest blog, saying, “I got pretty damed freaked out that the South is xenophobic, homophobic, and pro-NASCAR. However, this may be an unfair impression, so please enlighten me about the myths and misunderstandings of life in the South.” But I can’t. I was born in Alabama, and it’s the only home I know. No matter how much I want to defend it, though, every single stereotype about us is horribly true. Here and now, I’m finally forced to admit my deep shame of being from the Deep South.

Because we’re pro-NASCAR…
One of my neighbours painted his riding lawn mower to look like Dale Earnhardt’s race car. He drives around, his beer belly a-quiver, dreaming Talladega dreams. Still, it’s hard to work up a good lather of shame over that. Yeah, he’s obsessed with a sport that mostly involves turning left, but at least he’s got a sense of humour about it. Let’s move on.

Because we’re Bible-thumping and deeply Christian…
[Note to the Top Gear producers: There’s a small difference in the semantics, but a huge difference in meaning, between Bible-bashing and Bible-thumping. Please get your slurs right in the future.]

It’s a mystery how one of the most God-fearing men on Earth, the Red Clay Baptist, wound up in a region where summer itself carries the sultry heat of tangled sheets and every evening is perfumed with honeysuckle, like a mistress just vanished through the back door. But it’s true. Church is the spiritual and social centre of life here. And movies assure us that small-town religion is small-minded religion. They wouldn’t let Kevin Bacon dance in Footloose. They were rude to Johnny Depp in Chocolat. Johnny Depp! At the psych hospital where I work, the Red Clay Baptists run as thick as the break room coffee, including a minister, a deacon, and one girl with an ichthus tattooed on her wrist. And all of them believe in a bearded man who lives in the sky. None of them have ever seen him, but they’re all absolutely certain he’s there because a book written thousands of years ago says he does. So feel free to laugh at them. Feel free to think they’re as crazy as the patients. But be damn careful before stepping up to do their job. Unless you’re absolutely certain of something, this place will break you. The deacon and ichthus-tattoo usually run the adult unit, working with the ravers, the manipulators, and the twitchy-terrified, the catatonics so lost inside themselves they won’t go to the bathroom without help and the schiz-cases who are eating crayons one minute and throwing furniture the next. They take in everybody who comes through the door because the bearded sky-man said, “Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.” The least of these scream and spit. Some of them will hurt you if you turn your back. On the adolescent unit right now, there’s a girl whose stepfather videotaped himself raping her, then made her watch. There’s a boy with Asperger’s who slashed his face bloody with the lid of a tin can. The minister plays cards with them and makes sure they swallow their meds. He doesn’t preach, but he does listen to their stories. For a lot of them, it’s the first time anybody ever has.

So… Nope… Still no shame. Feel free to say no one should believe anything they can’t see with their own two eyes, but I have seen this place, with all its pain and sickness, bring out the best in my co-workers, their humanity, mercy, and fortitude. That just seems more important that any funny ideas they have about when dinosaurs walked the Earth. Also, to the best of my knowledge, none of the Red Clay Baptists I work with has ever been rude to Johnny Depp. I suspect they might keep Kevin Bacon from dancing. Not on religious grounds, though; it’s just really embarrassing.

Because we’re rednecks…
The term “redneck” comes from the sun-burned necks farmers get working in the fields all day. The South has always been a heavy agricultural region, with the highways around my house surrounded by corn and cotton. There’s nothing prettier then watching the wind run its hand across a field of cotton stretching into the hazy distance. I’ve also picked cotton with Jim Greene on his family farm, and the charm wears off quickly. The mechanical cotton harvester can’t get all the cotton, so it was Jim and his brothers’ job to walk every row and pick any remaining cotton lint by hand. The stiff bolls prick your fingers. The mud sucks at your shoes until it feels like you’re carrying twenty extra pounds. Within twenty minutes, you start thinking the sun has a personal vendetta against you.

So yes, there are a lot of rednecks down here. Even in urban centres like Atlanta and Birmingham, a pair of calloused hands hold a certain pride money can’t buy. I’m not sure what’s shameful about hard work. I guess it’s because rednecks are stupid. Strong backs and weak minds and all of that. Except my dad. He grew up on a farm and managed to scrape the manure off his boots long enough to earn a Ph.D. Or my Uncle Jack, the lawyer. Or Uncle Al, who’s a rocket scientist and helped build the Saturn V. Or Uncle George, the head of the department of medicine at UMKC. Or Uncle Bob, the other rocket scientist.

But those are just flukes. It’d be unfair to cherry-pick a few examples. Most farmers are as dumb as the mud they till. I’m sure everybody reading this has a working knowledge of soil science, veterinary medicine, mechanics, meteorology and the futures market. I’m sure any one of you would be willing to gamble your life savings on your expertise in those subjects, plus being your own CPA and handyman, plus working sixteen-hour days. No? Because that’s what every farmer in Alabama does every single year just to stay afloat. So if he wants to wear overalls without a shirt underneath, why don’t you keep your mouth shut about it? Damn it! I almost felt shame there for a moment, but it slipped away. Time to bring out the big guns.

Plus, there’s a lot of homophobia down here…
I know you’re thinking, There’s no way he can laugh his way out of this one. Well, you’re right. Years ago, my friend Wayne wrote and drew a six-page comic book titled Fag-Smasher (a stretched-out pun on the Marvel villain Flag-Smasher.) It was just as vile and imbecilic as you imagine, and we chuckled because we were vile little imbeciles. Then, a couple years after I graduated high school, two men murdered Billy Jack Gaither outside Birmingham. They beat him to death with an axe handle and threw his body on a pile of burning tyres. The jokes didn’t seem funny after that. Yes, I’m finally ashamed, but only of myself.

Billy Jack wasn’t an alien. He’d grown up in Sylacauga, Alabama and worked at a textile mill in Alexander City for more than a decade. People there considered him a friend and one of their own. At his memorial service, they packed the church to capacity and spilled out onto the street. they were all Alabamians too, so how can I blame my own repulsive choices on this state? My sins are mine alone to carry. I won’t fob them off on anybody else. Wayne turned out to have artistic talents besides drawing puerile comics. He’s a huge guy, and his bulk made him perfect for some small part in a Shakespeare play. He got involved in community theatre and liked it. He met actual gay people and liked them.

He’s a youth minister now, and at a dinner not too long ago, his wife started needling Wayne about him getting choked up over Brokeback Mountain. “Didn’t you write a comic book called Fag-Smasher once?” I asked.

“It’s a good movie,” Wayne shrugged.

And how many prayers and long nights of the soul that shrug covered, I don’t know. I do know that down here, we’ve seen hate on the local news leading the sports scores. We’ve seen it in white hoods rallying on the courthouse steps. And a lot of us have seen it in the mirror. Some people decide to change. Some don’t. But nobody gets to look away. Nobody gets to pretend it’s something that happens “over there”. We are the “over there” for everywhere else.

Not to mention xenophobia…
You’ve surely figured out the game by now, so I’ll drop the coyness. Fuck off. You think we’re too suspicious of outsiders? You try being everywhere else’s “over there”. You try having an accent that makes people automatically assume you’re stupid. Would that put a chip on your shoulder? You try watching your neighbours, friends and family reduced to their lowest common denominator again and again. You try having the beauty that’s sustained you, the tragedy and heartbreak that’s made you who you are, the place where you were born and raised and love, love, love turned into a caricature. You try having a bunch of British assholes come down and start poking you like a bear at the circus for some stupid fucking car show. Would you get pissed off? Would you want to throw some rocks?

But come down here and treat us like people, and we’ll be nice. Crazy nice. Women will call you “sugar.” You’ll be offered pie. When your car gets stuck in the mud – it will get stuck in the mud – strangers will show up to help pull it out. Then they’ll offer you vanilla ice cream to go with your pie. You may start to suspect we’re fattening you up to eat you. But we’re not. We’re really just that nice. That’s all the NASCAR fans, rednecks and Red Clay Baptists can ask. Not that you agree with us on everything or forget our past; it should never be forgotten. Just that you treat us like people who struggle with bills and matters of conscience. People with good points, bad points, and a few troublemaker cousins we can’t quite make ourselves give up on. People who are trying to do the best we can.

So that’s it. 2000 words, and I’m still unashamed of the South. I’m a hopeless… Wait! Grits! With the taste and consistency of a sinus infection, grits are the most horrible food ever invented. Everybody down here slurps them up like ambrosia, though. I used to have a history teacher who’d stand in front of class and drink them from a coffee cup. At least! I’m sick with shame. It feels so good.

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