It’s 86’, the era of Pop Rocks, Jelly shoes and big hair bands. Rachael O'Brien's freshman plan seems simple: Attend a southern college, five-hundred miles from her hometown of Canton, Ohio, earn an art history degree, party and lose her virginity—hopefully, not in that order. “Becoming a woman,” somehow turns into a series of life-lessons that she and her journal are lucky to live to tell. Being threatened by a redheaded She-Devil, avoiding the advances of a thirty-something redneck, and discovering an art fraud scheme interfere with her “to do” list. On top of her troubles at school, Rachael finds herself forging a new relationship with her emotionally-distant father after her mother abandons him for a psychic adventure.
Bad decision-making, law-bending behavior, surprising romances and near death experiences can make freshman year challenging in PAISLEY RAY'S, DEEP FRIED AND PICKLED, quick-witted, south-of-the-Mason-Dixon tale of survival.
Katie Lee pushed her plate to the side. “Alright
y’all. First you have to promise that what I’m about to
tell you stays at this table.”
“Promise,” I said.
Katie Lee waited.
Stretching an arm across the back of the booth Patsy
shrugged. “I’m good for it.”
“Nash and I wanted some alone time.”
Patsy rolled her eyes. “Jesus Katie Lee, I don’t want
the play by play. Just tell us what happened.”
“He and I drove the van from Billy Ray’s party to a
piece of deserted land where the Neuse River meets the
Trent. We were fooling around when headlights in the
“A patrol car?” I asked.
Katie Lee shook her head. “That’s what I thought. But
Nash said he recognized the truck and left. I stayed behind
and buttoned my blouse. I figured some of his friends were
“Y’all,” Katie Lee went on to tell us, “I lost sight
of him and watched the truck pull away. I would’ve
followed, but Nash had the keys. I called for him, but the
grass was high and the mosquito’s thick, so I stayed in the
Mid eye roll, Patsy blew bubbles in her sweet tea, and
I wondered if she’d heard a similar story before.
“I was beside myself. It was another twenty minutes
before I spotted him in a side mirror. He hustled toward
the van carrying two plastic suitcases.”
I wished she’d been bullshitting, but that wasn’t
Katie Lee’s style. I drained my sweet tea and sucked air
from the straw. Scooting to the edge of my seat, I chewed
jagged edges in the straw. She wasn’t finished.
About the author:
I grew up in the suburbs of Pittsburgh when the Terrible Towel was introduced to cheer on the Steelers. As a kid, my family spent summers at the Carolina beaches. Hush puppies, sweet tea, and discovering sand dollars in the low-tide turned into intoxicating memories. I fell hard for all things southern. School, work and family keeps luring me back, and I'm still in love. The Rachael O’Brien Chronicles are my southern-soup of life-lessons inspired by the unforgettable people and places I hold dear.
1. What inspired you to write this book?
Connecting with some of my college girlfriends in New York. Reminiscing, we all laughed so hard and I said, “I gotta write a book.” Famous last words, right. Deep Fried and Pickled took me 5 years to complete. Just goes to show, stay at something long enough and you may surprise yourself.
3. What's your favorite book-turned movie?
As if you can’t tell, I love 80’s fiction. Pitch Perfect. It’s so funny and so well done. The cast was fantastic and had such synergy. Fat Amy is a riot. I howled all the way through.
4. If you could be best friends with one of your characters, who would it be?
Ohhh, I like all the girls, mostly. I think Patsy McCoy is high on my favorite list. She’s so ballsy in an unassuming way. She’d be there for you, unless she was busy flirting. And her fashion sense is cutting edge 80’s crazy.
5. Can you tell us about any other books you're writing?
The Rachael O’Brien Chronicles is a series and I’m currently working on book 3, Shelled and Shucked. Rachael and the girls get into lots more southern mishaps. I’ve finished the rough draft and am aiming for a July release. After that, I’ll start book 4, Toad in the Hole. Rachael and her grandmother go to England for the summer and run into a fair amount of Euro drama.
6. What do you do in your spare time?
I run, I cook, I garden and hang out with my husband, daughter and pug.
**Paisley will award a $10 Amazon Gift Card to one randomly drawn commenter.