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To Say Thank You to My Readers

I’d like to thank everyone who purchased and read my books. I’m writing this to let you all know I have a sale on right now for the first in the four book Norma Jean’s Mystery series (more to come) : Herpel Holler Homecoming (ebook format) $1.99 for a limited time. http://www.amazon.com/author/joannsnapp
I want to share one of the stories within the book to give you a flavor for the area and the characters (please read on)
Norma Jean’s First Day Home
There seemed to be something very stable about the land. Not like in the city where you changed jobs or homes or both every few years. And I couldn’t help but think back on my career as chaotic. Even though at the time there seemed to be no other way to go. I had to be there for everything to function. That began to change when Daddy died and my mind began to evaluate what I was really accomplishing with my life.

“Wanna take a walk down to Aunt Ida’s before dark?” Jason questioned.

“That would be nice.” We hoofed it down the road and into what could only be called a country cul-de-sac. The post office and little store used to be located there along with a few houses.

My Great Aunt Ida lived in the same old house she’d been born in above Rocky Bayou creek. She was quite a bit older than Daddy, but how much older she kept hidden with her being so spry.

When we reached the rickety porch, Jason and I found Mr. Landers sitting with Aunt Ida. Mr. Landers served as postmaster in Herpel before all the mail operations moved to Mountain View, and he also ran the small store in the same building, both closed for years now.

“Norma Jean Clark, I do declare.” Mr. Landers, by tradition, called me by my family name, not Evett “Never did see a girl loved Kits candies as much as you. Banana and peanut butter weren’t it?”

“That was it, Mr. Landers.” I came up on the porch and hugged Aunt Ida first then Mr. Landers. I sat down in one of the open chairs. It was always expected in the holler for a person to have more than a few chairs on their porch in case visitors came calling.

“Norma, how long you stayin’ this time, honey?” Aunt Ida didn’t look any older than two years ago at Daddy’s funeral.

“I’m here to stay, Aunt Ida.” I still felt good about saying the words.

“But the land? You got someone wants to buy it.” Mr. Landers’ eyes widened.

“It’s not for sale any longer, so I guess he’ll have to look elsewhere.” I knew there probably wasn’t a person in the holler that didn’t know about the pending sale, and by tomorrow they’d know about the withdrawal.

“I’m mighty glad to hear that, Norma Jean.” Aunt Ida wiped tears from her eyes. “Not much folks left that wants to hold to the land. Most everyone in the east holler has sold out.”

“Can’t make people stay what don’t want to stay.” Mr. Landers sniffed.

“Most of the land ain’t good for nothing but raising cattle, but Norma Jean has a prime piece of land for growin’ crops along with it on her five hundred acres.” Jason sat on the step.

“You and Danny sure made a go of it for a lot of years, that’s a fact.” Aunt Ida nodded to Jason. “Don’t believe my nephew would of sold like some of the old timers, if he was still around.”

“Daddy wouldn’t have survived as long as he did if he’d been off the farm.” I heard my Daddy say that many times, so I knew it to be true.

We chatted for sometime about this and that as twilight set in across the bluffs.
“Is Grandma Grady still living?” She had been the last time I came down. She wasn’t anyone’s granny that we knew, but we all called her Grandma.

“Died this winter.” Mr. Landers bowed his head. “God rest her soul. I won’t be gettin’ her dentures anymore.”

“Her dentures?”

“Yeah. Guess won’t hurt to tell now that Granny and Bart are gone?” Mr. Landers suddenly laughed. “Yeah, it started when I run the store. She’d get that government check and her son would come home just long enough to wipe her out of money, and he’d take off again. Well, she only owned one thing she held as highly valuable and that was her false teeth.”

“Oh my goodness! She sold them to you?” I knew I was back home when the old tales started.

“No, oh no. But I sometimes took things in. Like pawn shops don’t you know.”

Mr. Landers went on. “Well, Grandma Grady would need stuff before her next check and she’d bring her prize possession in and pawn those teeth for money to get by on until she got another check. I didn’t have the heart to tell her I had no use for them teeth, but I give her a few dollars to tide her over. Wouldn’t take any charity don’t you know.”

“How’d she eat till she got em back?” Jason got caught up in the tale.

“Guess she gummed her food but first of the month she always redeemed the teeth, and about the middle of the month I got ‘em back.” Mr. Landers chuckled.

“What a story.” I didn’t know whether to believe Landers or not.

“That’s just the half of it.” Landers sat back in the rocker but didn’t continue.

“What’s the other half?” Jason was hooked.

Mr. Landers leaned forward. He knew he had a captive audience. “Bart found out from someone about the teeth. You remember old Bart? Well the happen stance that brought him and Grandma Grady together was connected. Bart, if you recall, had no teeth. When he found out that I had the pawned ones, he asked to buy ‘em. I of course told him no. I said, Miss Grady will be back to get ‘em at the beginning of every month. Bart insisted he’d bring ‘em back at the first of the month and argued they wasn’t doin’ nobody any good sittin’ around. Grandma Grady didn’t have to know and he’d pay me for the use of ‘em to pay off Miss Grady’s bill.”

“Oh, don’t tell me!” I closed my eyes.

“Well, I did it, and Bart was so appreciative. He could finally eat some of the stuff he’d so longed for, at least for half a month. Then he’d bring ‘em back first of the month all clean and back in the jar.” Mr. Landers ended.

“You’re just makin’ up.” Jason sat back down on the step.

“No, no I’m not.” Mr. Landers was adamant. “Every month just like clockwork until Bart proposed to Granny and the teeth stayed in the family.”

“That’s too crazy to be true, Mr. Landers!” I was laughing my head off.

“True, it’s true.” Mr. Landers looked to Aunt Ida. “Ain’t it true, Ida? After Bart died and I’d closed the store she brung those teeth back to me again, and I just give her a few dollars, held ‘em for her and then redeemed ‘em at first of the month.”

“Aunt Ida?” I was flabbergasted.

“We all knew but weren’t no one goin’ to say anything to embarrass Miss Grady.” Aunt Ida nodded and took my hand. “She was a proud woman and wouldn’t want no one to know she was bartering’ her teeth to make up for a lazy bum of a son.”

“She wasn’t cold before Mel Grady sold off her house and land to some man he met in Missouri.” Jason added to the conversation. “I know that for a fact. Some people built a vacation cabin on the land after they demolished her house.”

“I guess we better get on back to the farm.” I stood up and stretched. After that story I truly knew I was home. I reached and kissed Aunt Ida’s soft cheek. “I’ll be back to see you tomorrow.”
**Hope you get a chance to buy some of my work and that you enjoy!  God Bless you all.