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Love, betrayal and false accusation in the sultry South.

477 Views 3 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  Connie Chastain

I'd like to tell you about my novel, Southern Man.

In 1983, in moss-hung Verona, Georgia, the tender and tenacious love between a hardworking man and his adoring wife is tested by sudden adversity.

Corporate executive Troy Stevenson must confront his nasent alcohol abuse or he risks losing the wife, daughter and son he deeply loves. When his latent destructiveness impacts his family, he moves to their weekend cottage to come to grips with his personal weaknesses.

But busybodies at his company assume he left home because his marriage is in trouble. Encouraged by the assumption, co-worker Brooke Emerson, an amoral, 1980s material girl romantically obsessed with Troy, attempts to seduce him, setting in motion a chain of events with harrowing consequences for him and his family.

Southern Man takes readers from the hills of Appalachia to the University of Alabama during the Paul "Bear" Bryant era; from staid New England to drug-drenched and sex-saturated Haight-Ashbury in the Summer of Love; from the glittering skyline of Atlanta to moss-hung south Georgia, to chronicle the pernicious fallout of the sexual revolution, expose the dark underbelly of radical feminism, and reveal what can happen when a good man becomes the object of lust and the target of vengeance.


~Product Information~
Language: English
Related Categories: Fiction / Contemporary Romance, Southern Fiction
Publisher: Brasstown Books (June 20, 2009)
--Format: Kindle Edition
File Size: 411 KB
Price: $2.99
--Format: Print
Page Count: 334
Price: $14.95
Binding Type: US Trade Paper
Trim Size: 6" x 9"

Published under my imprint, Brasstown Books, Southern Man is available in both print and Kindle versions from
Author's website & blog:
Publisher site:

~Reviews~ absorbing story of marriage vows under stress and of politically targeted individuals facing social and career extinction....refreshingly written from the viewpoint of the traditional family values that made our culture the world's envy....a novel with political bite....grippingly exposes the underside of corporate harassment policies that have inadvertently brought misery to many innocent employees....a well written story, with prose that's concise and silky to read..... sparks with rising excitement as it gathers momentum...the harrowing rush to the book's conclusion is a riveting reading experience....a love story of refined elegance. J. Thomas, Long and Short Romance Reviews

Highly recommend with a pitcher of sweet tea and a place to perch your feet. Emily H., Single Titles Reviews

Connie Chastain has written a sensitive, though provoking, emotional, Christian love story. She was able to write sexy love scenes between Troy and Patty without being a prude but without being graphic as well. Shawn Weisser, You Gotta Read Reviews

In this book, I'm glad women who chose not to go the corporate route are givien some attention. I think this book ... seems more about women than Southern Men. I enjoyed it because it needed telling and thank God someone has now said it. Amazon Reviewer

There's a large cast of characters in this novel, three families and their children, as well as the executives and employees of a small company, yet each character is distinct and well-drawn, not one cardboard cutout in the whole bunch. They each have distinct and understandable desires, motivations and actions. And where those motivations clash, the conflict keeps the reader turning pages. So, kudos! Great first novel! Tommie Lyn, Author, High On a Mountain

This is a sweet, sweet story. I love the innocence and purity of it. Valerie Mann, Author

It grabbed me, pulled me in, and made me want to know what's going to happen. Thomas Moore, Author, The Hunt for Confederate Gold


Thanks for the opportunity to promote my Kindle novel!

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Southern Man -- Excerpt​

Late Wednesday afternoon there was a rally at Verona State in support of Shearwater-Ingram's "anonymous sexual harassment victim." Sponsored by the Women's Assistance Group and held on The Commons, it was a small gathering, no more than twenty people, but nevertheless a vocal, loud and angry event.

It had been hastily organized at noon, and the Stevensons didn't find out until someone at church told them. They saw the probable fallout from it as soon as they got home.

Troy had steered the station wagon into the garage and the family had emerged just as several cars rolled down Live Oak Street, slowing dramatically as they reached the red brick rambler. Slurs shouted in both male and female voices echoed through the night-Patty easily made out "Sick bastard!" and "Sex predator!"-and she looked at her husband in alarm.

"Take them and get in the house," he ordered, walking toward the driveway.

"Where're you going?" she said shrilly.

In the faint orange glow of the street lamp, he turned a face like thunder toward her and barked, "I'm gonna shut the g'rage door, now do what I tell ye, git'n the house!"

Patty herded the children indoors. Two steps into the kitchen, she heard the rumble of the garage door closing followed by several loud, sharp pops that cracked the night and tore into her soul. Terror such as she'd never known ripped through her and she screamed, "TROEEEE!"

She streaked back into the now darkened garage. By the light of the kitchen slanting into the shadows, she saw him walking to her.

"Oh!" She ran to him and slammed herself against him, flinging her arms around him, burying her face against him and crying hysterically in great, gulping sobs. "I thought ... you'd been ... shot!"

His arms went around her and held her as tightly as she held him. He was trembling violently, whether from fright or rage, Patty couldn't tell. Perhaps both.

"Hey, now, I'm all right. Calm down. Bastards threw firecrackers in the driveway." He shushed her and kissed her forehead. "Let's get inside."

The terrified children were huddled together in the kitchen when their parents stepped through the back door. They ran to their father wailing, "Daddy!" and he knelt down to hold them a moment, murmuring words of comfort. "I'm okay. Don't worry."

He stood, nodded toward the family room and told Patty grimly, "Take them in there and stay with them."

He went through the house turning off lights except the night lights in the kitchen and hallway, then disappeared into the shadows of the hall and emerged moments later carrying a box. He sat on the coffee table, put the box beside him and looked at his children through the dimness.

"You know what's in here?" He tapped the box.

Their heads bobbed and Randy said, "A gun."

"That's right." He gazed at them with such intensity his eyes seemed to burn. "I can't lock it back up. I've got to get to it quick if I need to, so I've got to leave it out. Now listen to me. I've never hit either one of you." He focused on Randy and a flash of pain and regret crossed his face. "Not on purpose. But if I ever see you even touch this gun, I will wear you out. Do you understand me? I will wear ... you ... out."

Round-eyed and open-mouthed, they whispered, "Yes, sir."

"I bought your mama a gun, taught her to shoot for self-defense and I'll teach you when the time comes. But right now this is dangerous for you. It could kill you. And if that happened, your mama and I might as well die, too."

In the silence that followed Troy's admonition, the faint sound of a car engine revving up and yelling voices came to them, though they couldn't make out the words.

"Should we call the police?" Inspired by the calm and courage that had settled over Troy after his initial fright, Patty tried hard to control her alarm, but she was still caught in the trauma of terror and it came through in her trembling voice.

"If it don't stop soon, or if any cars pull up in the driveway or people we don't know come up in the yard, we'll call."

He left them, walked through the darkness to the foyer and flipped light switches beside the intercom. The front porch light came on, along with rarely used corner floodlights that bathed the driveway and front lawn with light. He opened the front door and stood quietly in the shadows of the darkened foyer, scanning the yard and street.

After ten minutes passed with no further disturbances, he closed the door, set the alarm and secured the house for the night. Returning to the family room, he snapped on a table lamp.

"Guess they got it out of their system. You young'uns go on and get ready for bed."

* * *​
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Thanks, Betsy and Ann.  Bookmarked!
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