Whistlin' Dixie in a Nor'easter: A Novel (Dixie Series)

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9780312658892: Whistlin' Dixie in a Nor'easter: A Novel (Dixie Series)
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Whistlin' Dixie in a Nor'Easter is the story of a sweet Southern belle who leaves her beloved Memphis, Tennessee to follow her husband's dream of becoming the proprietor of a quaint Vermont inn.

Leelee Satterfield seemed to have it all: a gorgeous husband, two adorable daughters, and roots in the sunny city of Memphis, Tennessee. So when her husband gets the idea to uproot the family to run a quaint Vermont inn, Leelee is devastated...and her three best friends are outraged. But she's loved Baker Satterfield since the tenth grade, how can she not indulge his dream? Plus, the glossy photos of bright autumn trees and smiling children in ski suits push her over the edge...after all, how much trouble can it really be?

But Leelee discovers pretty fast that there's a truckload of things nobody tells you about Vermont until you live there: such as mud season, vampire flies, and the danger of ice sheets careening off roofs. Not to mention when her beloved Yorkie decides to pick New Year's Eve to go to doggie heaven-she encounters one more New England oddity: frozen ground means you can't bury your dead in the winter. And that Yankee idiosyncrasy just won't do.

The inn they've bought also has its host of problems: an odor that no amount of potpourri can erase, tacky décor, and a staff of peculiar Vermonters whose personalities are as unique as the hippopotamus collection gracing the fireplace mantle. The whole operation is managed by Helga, a stern German woman who takes special delight in bullying Leelee for her southern gentility. Needless to say, it doesn't take long for Leelee to start wondering when to drag out the moving boxes again.

But when an unexpected hardship takes Leelee by surprise, she finds herself left alone with an inn to run, a mortgage to pay, and two daughters to raise. But this Southern belle won't be run out of town so easily. Drawing on the Southern grit and inner strength she didn't know she had, Leelee decides to turn around the Inn, her attitude and her life. In doing so, she makes friends with her neighbors, finds a little romance, and realizes there's a lot more in common with Vermont than she first thought.

In this moving and comedic debut, Lisa Patton paints a hilarious portrait of life in Vermont as seen through the eyes of a southern belle readers won't soon forget. A charming fish-out-of-water tale of one woman who learns to stand up for herself-in sandals and snow boots-against the odds.

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About the Author:

Lisa Patton is a Memphis, Tennessee native who spent four years as a Vermont innkeeper―until three sub-zero winters forced her back to the South. She has over 20 years' experience working in the music and entertainment business, and is a graduate of the University of Alabama, Kappa Delta sorority and the Memphis Junior League. She is currently a special events director for Historic Carnton Plantation in Franklin, Tennessee, where she lives with her two sons. She is donating a portion of the proceeds from her novel to an organization in support of single mothers.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

A Miserable Freezing Cold New Year’s Day – Willingham, Vermont      No one ever told me you can’t bury somebody up North in the wintertime. 
     So when my little fifteen-year-old Yorkie, Princess Grace Kelly, decided to pick New Year’s Eve to go to doggie heaven, we had a problem.  My handyman Jeb had the nerve to tell me that Gracie would have to wait in a shoebox on a garden-shed shelf until spring, or “The Thaw” as the Vermonters call it.  I told him, in no uncertain terms, that I could never make Gracie do that and his solution was simply not an option.  I mean the least I could do was give her a proper burial with a funeral and all, after dragging her 1,473 miles away from home, in her golden years no less, to a place where tee-teeing outside for her was not an option.  The first time I ever set her down to go on top of the four-foot snowdrift outside our door at the Inn, she was nearly buried alive.
     The first thing you need to know about me is that I am not a pushover.  I’ll admit to being a little naïve, maybe, but I am no doormat.  My girlfriends thought I was a huge doormat, but moving all the way to Vermont changed that forever.
     Anyway, here I was living in sub-zero Vermont, but bound and determined to get Gracie into that ground.  My nose was completely stopped up from crying when I called my best friend Virginia to give her the news.
     “Gracie’s gone,” I wailed into the phone as soon as she answered.
     “What’d you say?  I can barely understand you.”
     “PRINCESS - GRACE - KELLY - IS – DEAD.”  I screamed.
     “Gosh Leelee, you scared me.  I thought something catastrophic had happened.” 
     “This is catastrophic.”
     “I know, I know.  I’m sorry.  When did it happen?”
     “She took her last breath in the middle of New Year’s Eve dinner at the Inn.  The busiest night of the whole year.  It’s all my fault!” I sobbed.
     “It’s all what?  You’re gonna have to blow your nose.”
     I reached over for another Kleenex and honked into the phone.  “I said . . . it’s all my fault!”
     “What do you mean?  Gracie was old, Leelee.  It was her time.”
     My bottom lip started to quiver.  “She hated it here.  And that’s only the beginning.  Not only did Gracie just drop dead out of nowhere but four of my guests at the Inn caused a blackout in the middle of dinner.”
     “You’re kidding!” 
     “I wish I was.”  I sniffed a few times more.  “Then - to top it all off - this couple showed up just before midnight to check into their room.  I didn’t have a room for them, Virginia.  I overbooked the Inn by mistake and there wasn’t a room to be had in all of Southern Vermont.” 
     “Wha’d you do then?” Virginia sounded scared for me.
     “I did the only thing I could do.  I made room for them.” 
     “Oh my gosh, Leelee, this would only happen to you.  Don’t tell me they bunked up with yall.” 
     “It’s a long story.  Have you got an hour?” 
     “I’ve got all the time in the world, but before you get started I wanna know one thing.”
     “Okay, what?” 
     “When are you gonna finally give up this ludicrous notion of being the only Southern Belle innkeeper in the state of Vermont and come home?” 
     “I’m always thinking about home, Virgy. Always.” 
A Wonderful Hot July Evening - Memphis, Tennessee Chapter One      Memphis is my home.  It always will be no matter where I live.  In the South we
have a tendency to be possessive of our hometowns.  A Memphis girl can marry a Birmingham boy, raise her family there and live out the rest of her days in Alabama.  But when her obituary runs in the Birmingham Post-Herald, it will still claim Memphis as her home. 
     The only other place I’d spent anytime at all was Oxford, Mississippi. Going to college at Ole Miss was more like “a four-and-a-half year vacation,” according to Daddy.  But the point is I had no desire to ever leave my home again.  I was perfectly happy.  
     Memphis gives me a peaceful feeling just thinking about it.  Downtown sits way up on a bluff overlooking the Mississippi.  The city itself is as flat as a pancake, which makes it the most beautiful place in the world to watch the sunset. Pinks, reds, yellows and oranges streak the sky and you can watch the entire fireball melt into the cotton fields of Arkansas right across the river.
     When you drive down parts of Poplar Avenue with the windows rolled down and smell barbeque cooking, it’s impossible not to turn in to Corky’s or Little Pig’s for a sandwich.  Daddy would order his “white pig strictly lean.”  I order mine the same way all because of him.
      If you come to Memphis it would be well worth your while to visit in the springtime. Azaleas and dogwoods color the town white, pink and red as far as the eye can see.  It’s nice and warm, with the temperature hovering between seventy-five and eighty-five degrees.  I know people say the summer is sweltering, but it never bothers me.
     Probably our biggest brag is Elvis.  Everybody over the age of thirty has some sort of an Elvis story, whether it’s driving by Graceland and seeing him in his front yard or knowing somebody who knows one of his step-brothers personally - or even still, knowing someone who went to his doctor, Dr. Nick.  Elvis drove a truck for Daddy once before he was famous.  That’s our claim to Elvis fame.
     I fell in love with a Memphis boy when I was sixteen-years-old and married him eight years later.  I first had a huge crush on him way back in the tenth grade.  Baker Satterfield hardly knew I was on this earth until my bosoms finally popped out our senior year in high school.  I went from an A-cup to a D-cup in nine months.  No wonder I attracted his attention.
     At our graduation party Baker spent most of the evening trying to flirt with me.  He ignored his date and threw popcorn at me and pinched my butt, very sneakily, every chance he could.  But too bad for him.  I had a date with one of his best friends, Jimmy Hudson.  Jimmy Hudson didn’t ignore me and I certainly didn’t ignore him.  When we weren’t talking or slow dancing . . . we were making out.  I’d have one eye shut and the other slightly open trying to see if Baker was watching us.  Without fail, he’d be boring a hole right in our direction.  So I’d lay it on extra thick.  I’d start giggling at whatever Jimmy said and run my hands though his hair or kiss him playfully on the neck.
     You should have seen the way I gloated when I got home that night, just thinking about finally having one up on Baker Satterfield.  It served him right for overlooking me just because my chest was flat.  Baker told me later that he spent four frustrating years at UT dreaming about my newly blossomed bosoms.  
     We met up again after college graduation and two years later his dreams were nestled right next to him every night in Memphis.  As far as I was concerned they could stay nestled that way forever.  But when Baker decided to chase another dream, my life was transformed from an unswerving line onto a collision course at the Indy 500 almost overnight.
     The evening Baker shared his new dream with me occupies a permanent place in my memory.  He was in a terrific mood, like he’d just hit a hole-in-one on the back nine at the country club with all his buddies watching.  He was whistling and snapping his fingers, and sliding his loafers across the kitchen floor as he helped me clear the dinner table.  Normally he would have had the remote control in his hand by this time, flipping through the channels for any show remotely connected to sports.  He never actually sat down to watch until the kitchen was clean.  He’d stand in front of the TV like he was pausing just to get the score.  “I’ll be right there, honey.  Hold on.  Scores up next,” he’d shout from the den.  But I always knew what he was doing. 
     I was an all-sports widow.  What really gets me is there is never a break from sports.  In the summer it’s baseball, which slides into fall, overlapped by football, which passes into basketball before anyone has a chance to breathe.  Football and basketball run side by side for a while, and as if that’s not enough, golf has to iron its way in between the two every Saturday and Sunday afternoon. 
&#...

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Book Description St. Martin s Griffin, United States, 2010. Paperback. Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book. Whistlin Dixie in a Nor Easter is the story of a sweet Southern belle who leaves her beloved Memphis, Tennessee to follow her husband s dream of becoming the proprietor of a quaint Vermont inn. Leelee Satterfield seemed to have it all: a gorgeous husband, two adorable daughters, and roots in the sunny city of Memphis, Tennessee. So when her husband gets the idea to uproot the family to run a quaint Vermont inn, Leelee is devastated.and her three best friends are outraged. But she s loved Baker Satterfield since the tenth grade, how can she not indulge his dream? Plus, the glossy photos of bright autumn trees and smiling children in ski suits push her over the edge.after all, how much trouble can it really be? But Leelee discovers pretty fast that there s a truckload of things nobody tells you about Vermont until you live there: such as mud season, vampire flies, and the danger of ice sheets careening off roofs. Not to mention when her beloved Yorkie decides to pick New Year s Eve to go to doggie heaven-she encounters one more New England oddity: frozen ground means you can t bury your dead in the winter. And that Yankee idiosyncrasy just won t do. The inn they ve bought also has its host of problems: an odor that no amount of potpourri can erase, tacky decor, and a staff of peculiar Vermonters whose personalities are as unique as the hippopotamus collection gracing the fireplace mantle. The whole operation is managed by Helga, a stern German woman who takes special delight in bullying Leelee for her southern gentility. Needless to say, it doesn t take long for Leelee to start wondering when to drag out the moving boxes again. But when an unexpected hardship takes Leelee by surprise, she finds herself left alone with an inn to run, a mortgage to pay, and two daughters to raise. But this Southern belle won t be run out of town so easily. Drawing on the Southern grit and inner strength she didn t know she had, Leelee decides to turn around the Inn, her attitude and her life. In doing so, she makes friends with her neighbors, finds a little romance, and realizes there s a lot more in common with Vermont than she first thought. In this moving and comedic debut, Lisa Patton paints a hilarious portrait of life in Vermont as seen through the eyes of a southern belle readers won t soon forget. A charming fish-out-of-water tale of one woman who learns to stand up for herself-in sandals and snow boots-against the odds. Seller Inventory # AAS9780312658892

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