Monday, March 21, 2011

Memphis, Barbecue And Blues, Beale Street And Walk-Me Downs And Cara Riley and Will Brennan

As many people now know, Memphis is the primary setting for my just released paranormal romance novel, LOVE TATTOO from Evernight Publishing.   I happen to be quite fond of Memphis, a very energetic and trippy city on the banks of the mighty Mississippi River.   I like rivers too having grown up in a city along the banks of the Missouri River.

From LOVE TATTOO, an excerpt about Memphis and the flavor of the city:

Memphis, tucked behind the wide waters of the mighty

Mississippi River, waited for me with promise. Driving into the

rising morning sun, I could barely see as I steered across the bridges

and took an exit ramp down into real Memphis, into the old district

beside the river. The old warehouse district looked as if it had taken

another step downward since my last visit through but I really wasn’t

much into scenery. Will Brennan filled my mind, larger than reality,

in scenes so strange that I would have thought I must have dreamed

them all. My lips felt bruised and tender to the touch. All I had to do

was remember that kiss, the power and hunger and fire, and my skin

tingled. Heat crept across my face when I thought about it until I felt

like I must be sunburned. If I looked into the visor mirror, I wouldn’t

be surprised if my skin looked pink.

When I had to decide if I wanted to turn north toward Beale

Street or south toward Graceland, I headed south because after driving

all night, I felt exhausted. Thinking about Beale Street, though, put a

thought in my head that I could not quite believe that I didn’t have

before – that I could pursue my singing career here instead of

Nashville. My singing style wasn’t really old school blues, but it

wasn’t traditional country either and if I wanted to stand behind a

microphone in a club, I could do that here, too. The idea had

possibilities, major ones because I liked Memphis better than

Nashville anyway and always had.

Cities have their own flavor and style, every one of them.

Nashville is more shit-kicking boots, ten-gallon hats, and nervous

music producers, with a dash of faux antebellum South thrown in for

good measure. Nashville offers the flavor of cheap beer, fried

chicken, and apple fritters, all Paula Deen style heavy food loaded

down with butter, grease, and salt, enough to give anybody a longlasting

bellyache any day of the week. Nashville style eats make you

fat, too, in a hurry if you don’t watch what goes down your throat.

Even the music scene there in Music City USA is tense, a real dog eat

dog and spit out the tail atmosphere. No one really likes anyone else

but the insiders, the old school folks and their handpicked heirs, look

down on the rest of the singers, no matter how talented. Even that

leaves a bitter taste, enough to give this girl indigestion.

Memphis, however, is the succulent taste of tender barbecue,

lean meats smoked to damn near perfect and served with cool slaw to

take some of the heat out of the spicy sauces. Sip a Walk Me Down

cocktail on the side and it is heaven on the tongue, no trouble for the

tummy. If Memphis shows personality, it’s zany and a little crazy but

solid underneath like a good friend, someone who can party with you

but is there when you need support or a good word. Memphis is

more like that eccentric aunt that you love to see at Christmas, the one

who slipped some vodka into your Coca-Cola when you were too

young to drink and gave you Shalimar perfume instead of Avon’s

Sweet Honesty.

If you like what you read and want more, buy the novel here:
It is also available through Evernight and on just about every site offering romance novels online.
And be sure to come back and tell me what you think!

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