Books are food for my soul! Pull up a beach chair and stick your toes in the sand as the Jersey surf rolls in and out, now open your book and let your imagination take you away.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Author Guest Post: Lauren Clark, Author of Dancing Naked In Dixie

In association with Virtual Book Tour Cafe, Jersey Girl Book Reviews welcomes back Lauren Clark, author of  Dancing Naked In Dixie!

If you love reading about the Deep South and adore the sweet accents of those charming Southern gentlemen, what exactly would you need to know if you'd like to strike up a conversation, keep him interested, and land yourself a date?

For Julia Sullivan's love interest, Shug Jordan, in Dancing Naked In Dixie, it was all about family, preserving his hometown's historical landmarks, and celebrating the annual Eufaula Pilgrimage.

For anyone who's set her sights on 'catching' her own Southern gentleman, here are the Top Ten Must - Know Topics:

1. Cheerin' - Find out his favorite SEC Football team, that team's biggest rivals, the mascot, and the record from the last ten or twenty seasons.

2. Huntin' - Does he hunt? Deer? Turkey? Does he bow hunt or take his dog? Does he expect you to cook any of it?

3. Fishin' - Saltwater? Fresh water? What's his favorite catch? Bait?

4. Cookin' & Bakin' - The way to any Southern Man's heart is through his stomach! Be sure to get his mama's recipe for fried chicken, banana puddin', and chicken salad! He'll love it!

5. Golfin' - Many Southern men love to get in 18 holes before noon on a Saturday. Read up on the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail and research his favorite places to tee off.

6. Church Goin' - Often takes place Sunday morning, Sunday evening, and Wednesday evening. Wear comfortable shoes!

7. Socializin' - Learn his favorite phrases, which likely include y'all, holler, fixin, ma'am, sir, get up with, and many others.

8. Sunnin' - Bring the sunscreen, plenty of water, and a wide-brimmed hat! The sun is brutal on the Alabama, Mississippi, Florida, Georgia, and Carolina Coasts!

9. Eatin' - Prepare to dine on oysters, shrimp, BBQ, okra, greens, congealed salad, cheese straws, pimento cheese, gumbo, red velvet cake, and banana puddin'.

10. Visitin' - The Deep South is all about family and friends, so put on a big smile, your best dress, and prepare to meet his siblings, parents, cousins, aunts, uncles, and buddies.

Of course, there are many techniques useful in 'catching' a Southern man. Any more you'd like to share? 

About The Author: 

Lauren Clark writes contemporary women's fiction set in the Deep South; stories sprinkled with love, family and friendship, and the challenges that life unexpectedly throws at all of us!

Her characters are real women; smart and sassy, who tackle complicated issues with tenacity and intelligence. Readers will empathize and relate to her flawed yet likable heroines. A former TV anchor and journalist at WWNY and WTVY, Lauren's stories allow us an insight into the excitement, drama and fast-paced world of media.

Laura is a reformed news junkie, a non-reformed coffee drinker, and an official library geek. Her big loves are family, paying it forward, eight hours of sleep a night, and homemade macaroni and cheese. She lives near the Florida Gulf Coast where she is surrounded by family and true-blue friends that inspire her writing and keep her sane.

Stayed Tune is Lauren's debut novel. her second book, Dancing Naked In Dixie was released in May 2012.

Lauren Clark's Dancing Naked In Dixie Virtual Book Tour Page On Virtual Book Tour Cafe

BUY THE BOOK: Dancing Naked In Dixie

Book Description: Dancing Naked In Dixie

Travel writer Julia Sullivan lives life in fast-forward. She jet sets to Europe and the Caribbean with barely a moment to blink or sleep. But too many mishaps and missed deadlines have Julia on the verge of being fired.

With a stern warning, and unemployment looming, she's offered one last chance to rescue her career. Julia embarks on an unlikely journey to the 'Heart of Dixie' - Eufaula, Alabama - home to magnificent mansions, sweet tea, and the annual Pilgrimage.

Julia arrives, soon charmed by the lovely city and her handsome host, but her stay is marred by a shocking discovery. Can Julia's story save her career, Eufaula, and the annual Pilgrimage?

Book Excerpt:

I'm a travel writer at Getaways magazine. Paid for the glorious task of gathering up fascinating snippets of culture and piecing them into quirky little stories. Jet-setting to the Riviera, exploring the Great Barrier Reef, basking on Bermuda beaches. It's as glamorous and exhilarating as I imagined.

Okay, it is a tad lonely, from time to time.

And quite exhausting.

Which is precisely why I have to get organized.


I sink into my chair and try to concentrate. What to tackle first? Think, think.

"Julia Sullivan!" 

Third reminder. Uh-oh.

Marietta rolls her eyes and jerks a thumb toward the inevitable. "Guess you better walk the plank," she teases. "New guy's waiting. Haven't met him yet, but I've heard he's the 'take no prisoners' sort. Hope you come back alive."

 I grope for something witty and casual to say, but all of a sudden, my head feels light and hollow.

I've been dying to find out about the new editor.

Every last gory detail.

Until now.

"I'm still in another time zone," I offer up to Marietta with a weak smile. My insides toss from side to side as I slide out of my chair.

Marietta tosses me a wry look. "Nice try. Get going already, sport."

I tilt my head toward the hallway and pretend to pout. When I look back, Marietta's already disappeared. Smart girl.

"Fine, fine." I tug a piece of rebellious auburn hair into place, smooth my wool suit, and begin to march toward the inevitable.

Our new editor.

My neck prickles.

I'm not going to worry. Not much anyway.

My pulse thuds.

Not going to worry about change. Or re-organization. Or pink slips.

Focus Julia.

Virtual Book Tour Giveaway: Enter to win a grand prize of a signed copy of Stayed Tuned, Lauren's first novel, and two (2) $15 gift cards. Post a comment below with your name and address, and follow the other virtual tour dates to have a chance to win!


  1. What a fun post - the Top Ten. Oysters and okra, yep. I am a Yankee now, but all my family are from down South and boy do I get this list! They had high hopes for me to marry a southern boy, but that didnt work out. I love how the character of this books sounds - sassy! Wishing Lauren success with her book.

    1. oops and forgot me email to win - I hope!

    2. Hi Donna! I loved Lauren's guest post. I was laughing as I formatted it onto the blog, nodding in agreement as my cousins (both Yankees) have married Southern guys. The book was wonderful and Julie was sassy, and the rest of the cast of characters will keep you in stitches. Thanks for stopping by! :)

    3. Donna - Thank you so much! If your family is all from Down South, you must have lots of stories to share! I'll bet your Northern guy was won over by your Southern charm, right? Or maybe your Sassy Girl Raised in the South ways? (Grits)

      Thank you for the good wishes! xx, Lauren

    4. Thank you Kathleen! It was a fun post to write :) Tongue in cheek, sort of, but mostly true! I am so glad that you thought the book was wonderful and appreciate you taking the time to include a guest post!

      All the best, Lauren

    5. Lauren, it was my pleasure to include the author guest post, I'm so glad that you saw my email, I would have been bummed out if I didn't have it to add to go along with my book review.

      GRITS ... too funny ... I read GRITS Guide To Life by Deborah Ford when I spent a summer down in my NC home a few years ago. lol :p