Here's Jenny's book:
Roxy Palmer is a walking, breathing cliché. And darned tired of it.
Working as the assistant librarian in her small, Southern home town, Roxy also anonymously pens the local love column, Ask Paula Rockwell— Thorton , Georgia 's answer to Dear Abby.
But when the door leading to Roxy's lifetime dream is slammed in her face by one of the good ol' boys, Roxy brings out the big guns--and turns the genteel town upside down with her racier, feminist, home-wrecking new format.
Paula Rockwell is making Sheriff Noah Kennedy's life crazy. He's got angry husbands lined around the block, demanding the cancellation of the column, fights breaking out and women catching their boyfriends' trucks on fire. If he ever gets his hands on that woman…
But he's got his hands full of Roxy at the moment, and if he ever discovers the truth about Roxy, all hell will break loose.
I am a fifty-one year old housewife. I’ve always felt that raising a family and making a home was what I was put on this earth to do. I’ve always taken pride my duties, even as I see other women my age grabbing life and living it outrageously and to the fullest. Lately, however, I’ve been feeling restless. My children are grown with families of their own. I see my daughter beginning to follow in my footsteps and I am overcome with fear that her life will turn out as thankless as my own. I no longer find joy in any of the things that used to comfort me; not entertaining, not cleaning, not making a home. I feel resentful towards my husband, who expects me to keep on this way for the rest of my life. I feel trapped. Please help me.
Restless in Primrose Valley .
Dear Restless: I have two words for you: Women’s Liberation.
Women were not put upon this earth to play housewife to a man. Raising children and keeping a home is an admirable job that many women commit their lives to. But, how many Southern women actually want this? How many of those women follow blindly on a path chosen for them by someone else? Just who are you living your life for? From what I understand, it certainly isn’t for you. You’ve done your job; you’ve raised good children who have turned into productive adults, provided a clean house and a hot supper every night for a husband who takes you for granted. Is this what you want? Now that the kids are off living their own lives, isn’t it time you began living yours?
Try discussing your concerns with your husband. But, if he is like most men in Thorton, which I suspect he is, he will probably be stunned by such a statement from his meek wife, who he expects to fall into line. And why shouldn’t he? You’ve done it every time before, correct? Well, this time, you are calling the shots! Do you want to spend the rest of your days kow-towing to a man who doesn’t appreciate you? I sure wouldn’t. If you want to go dancing at a honky-tonk on Saturday night—by all means, GO! To hell with what everyone else thinks! If your husband can’t handle it, tell him to go to hell. I’m tired of women in this town putting their own needs on hold just so some man can have his already enormous ego stroked. Ninety-nine percent of the men in Thorton need that kind of reassurance because keeping their women chained to the stove restores confidence in their manhood. And let’s face it, ladies, if they were real men, the need to debase us as women wouldn’t supersede our need to be treated as equals. So, how about it? This is the twenty-first century. I think it’s about time we claimed what’s rightfully ours.
As Roxy and Mary Lou loaded the heavy bags into the back of the Honda, a shout rent the air. Roxy looked up, her eyes tracking the sound. Next door, Merle Granger stood in his Saturday golfing best, hands on his hips while articles of clothing rained down on him and the lawn.
“Now, Charlene, honey, be reasonable.”
“I’ll show you reasonable, you controlling bastard!” From the second-floor window, a golf club went sailing, missing Merle’s head by mere inches.
“Damnation, woman!” Merle shouted. “That’s my best nine iron!”
“You can take your nine-iron and shove it up your ass!”
“Oh, my,” Mary Lou breathed, coming around the back of the Honda. She stood next to Roxy. “Looks like that rumor is true.”
“What rumor?” Roxy asked, mesmerized by the sight of Charlene Granger tossing a stuffed fish out the window. It bounced off the hood of Merle’s brand new Expedition and caused the banker to spew another litany of curses.
“You know,” Mary Lou said, “that Charlene is Restless in Primrose Valley .”
Oh. That rumor.
At the time, Roxy had written it off as grist for the mill. After all of the publicity her article had generated, she figured any married couple within the city limits had the potential to be used as fodder. But, now, as Charlene sent a package of golf balls raining down the street, Roxy wondered if the universe could really be that kind.
“Is this about that silly little column?” Merle shouted to his wife.
This seemed to throw Charlene into a rage, since items began sailing from the window with increasing speed, each punctuated by fierce words from Mrs. Granger.
“That.” A shoe landed out in the street. “Article.” Here came its mate. “Was.” Antlers. Antlers? “Not.” Picture frame. “Silly.” A vase came crashing down, clipping Merle in the shoulder. He howled in pain. “Or.” A dozen roses rained down. “Little!” This last statement was followed by the obvious coup de grace: the mounted head of a buck.
Roxy didn’t know how Charlene managed to wrestle the large animal’s head out of the window, but apparently rage gave people all kinds of strange powers. Roxy slapped a hand over her mouth as the buck landed on the hood of the Expedition with a crash. The windshield buckled inward from the impact.
“I wonder what the insurance company will have to say about that,” Mary Lou commented.
A crowd had gathered across the street to watch the display. Old men stood next to their wives, whispering behind their hands. Kids in the middle of summer play stopped to stare, awestruck by the screaming and destruction.
In the distance, Roxy heard the sharp song of a police siren. “Uh, oh. Here comes the heat.” She hoped Noah wasn’t the one behind the wheel. One altercation with the police a day was enough for her. “Maybe we should go.”
Mary Lou stared at her like she’d gone batty. “Are you nuts? This is like an episode of Cops.”
As the police cruise pulled up—not Noah, thank goodness—Mary Lou started singing, “Bad boys, bad boys; whatcha gonna do? Whatcha gonna do when they come for you…”
“You know what you can do with your fancy dinner parties, Merle?” Charlene shouted. “You can stick ‘em! I am done with you! You hear me? I was not put on this earth to play housewife to some man!”
O-kay. She’d just paraphrased the Paula response. Definitely Restless in Primrose Valley . Roxy eyed the mounted head on the hood of the Expedition and the pile of clothes on the front lawn. Well, she’s not restless anymore.
“I’m calling the shots now!” Charlene leaned out the second-story window and did the unthinkable. Well, the unthinkable for a society wife in Thorton , Georgia , that is. She climbed up on the windowsill and dropped her slacks, baring her behind for the world to see. She twisted her head around and yelled, “You can kiss my ass, Merle Granger!”
Who would have known one little article would incite such bedlam?
Now that you know about her book, here's more about Jenny:
Jenny began writing at the age of twelve, when she realized the voices talking in her head were characters, not a result of pre-teen induced psychosis. She’s been writing on and off for almost twenty years, but actively pursuing publication for the last three. She lives in Oregon with her husband and two children. She is the author of four novels.
Jenny loves to hear from her readers. You can visit her at www.jennygilliam.com
You can purchase Jenny's book in digital format from Wild Rose Press by clicking here. Thanks for visiting, Jenny.