Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Jaime Jo Wright | The Wildness of a Hero
Author Guest / February 12, 2016

Who doesn’t love a cowboy? I grew up with my very own, and Uncle Dave taught me much about being strong, in-your-face, feisty, and a teensy bit gruff. He was all grizzle and toughness, wrapped with muscle, leathery skin, calloused hands, and legs that bowed. But inside? The man was as mushy as a biscuit left out in the rain. The proverbial cowpoke is often portrayed that way in novels, but in real life, that’s how Uncle Dave was. A cigarette hung from his mouth in a lazy slope, but his grumbling “Hey, Babe” was usually followed with a ruffle of my hair, a squeeze of my hand, or sometimes, I was lucky to get a kiss on the cheek. He’d been bitten by a black widow spider, wrangled tarantulas along with mustangs, branded steers, and shot rattlers. He also read me stories, took me on burro rides, and taught me how to throw a lasso—maybe not successfully, but tossing a rope into the air is darn fun whether you rope a hay bale or a sheep. I like to argue we love our heroes because of the heroes we knew. Maybe from afar, or maybe blessed to curl up…

Celeste Fletcher McHale | Our Love Affair With Hummingbird Cake
Author Guest / February 12, 2016

Let’s face it…Southerners love to eat. And it’s how we “fix” everything. Your football team lost? Here’s some mac and cheese. Your dog died? Awww…here’s some tea cakes. Mama sick? I got some good gumbo! You still mad at me? How ‘bout some fried catfish? Food is our band aid, our olive branch, it’s how we express love and affection and it’s our comfort. And nothing says comfort food like Hummingbird Cake. When I was growing up, anytime any of us came in the kitchen and saw Mama making Hummingbird Cake, one of us would immediately ask “Who died?” We called it the “wake cake.” In small towns, wakes last all night. For lack of a better phrase, we call this “sittin’ up with the dead.” Of course, this requires stamina. You must have a full belly and Community coffee piped in through an IV so you can properly grieve. The fellowship hall in any church in the State of Louisiana is crammed full of any food you can think of….fried chicken, purple hull peas, mustard greens and cornbread, every casserole Betty Crocker ever even thought about and of course….desserts. There may not be a huge variety of sweets, but…