2013 A-Z Challenge: J is for
Josephine: Red Dirt & Whiskey,
written by Melinda McGuire

Josephine is eighteen years old and living in the Great Depression when she marries Samuel, a guy who is ... there. Not exciting or over the top in any way other than being almost boring, he does at least treat his wife kindly.

The young couple share a home but not much else, other than the regular chit-chat. Samuel may not glow with a personality, but he makes up for it with the ability to save back pennies until Abe Lincoln views life through squinty eyes.

All this penny-saving behind Josephine's back doesn't make for much fun during their marriage, but when Samuel dies nearly a year into the marriage, Josephine learns of the safety deposit box down at the bank.

Nineteen years old and a widow living in the Depression with enough cash to keep her happy for the rest of her life, Josephine's thoughts turn to her church and her preacher, who warns his congregation about the evils of life (drinking, smoking, cussing and fornication); she wonders what the congregation would think if they knew that she'd found the past time of tobacco since her late husband's demise. Funny thing, though: she knew for a fact that the men folk stood out on her front porch, passing around a flask while the women-folk were inside the house consoling the young widow on the day they laid Samuel to rest.

What happens to Josephine next will be up to you to discover ... although I will tell you this much: you'll want to read not only this story - but Melinda's other books, too!

Why is that?

Melinda has very cleverly begun to weave all the residents of her fictional town of Hefner Falls into intricately told individual stories that may easily be read as stand-alone books. But if you're like me, you'll want to get to know all the residents of this small southern community.

Personally, I haven't gotten enough of Josephine; I'm hoping Melinda will expand on her life - but in the meantime, I'm also excited to read more about that nosey Marvey Peters; it wouldn't surprise me if she and Brother Richard had a few secrets they've been trying to keep just between the two of them!