My name is Mavis Loomis, and I’m the owner of The Bottom Dollar Emporium which is an old- fashioned general store in Cayboo Creek, South Carolina that stocks everything from ribbon candy to courting candles to long underwear. It has a soda fountain, manned by my best friend Attalee Gaines.
I’m a widow. My husband Arnold died about ten years ago and since then my love life has been about as sparky as a wet firecracker. For years I didn’t mind being a single woman. I have my girlfriends (known collectively as the Bottom Dollar Girls because we like to gather at the store for coffee and gossip) and my work. In fact I was as content as a clam at high tide until my dearest friends started falling in love.
It began improbably enough with Attalee, who’s on the downhill side of eighty. She got engaged to Dooley Pritchard , the owner of a flea market, and ever since then she’s been acting like a teenager hopped up on hormones. Those two are constantly kissing. (They sound like suction cups of a rubber mat being pried from a tub.)
After Attalee fell in love, my other bosom buddy, Gracie Tobias, the doyenne of Cayboo Creek, started keeping company with Rusty Williams. She was told he was a doctor, which impressed her. (Gracie can be a little uppity.) Then it turned out he was a duct doctor, meaning he cleans out dirty ducts.
Too late. She was already smitten and now she’s off doing all of kind of crazy things with him like playing pool and going laser bowling. It’s hard to imagine a fussy fashion plate like Gracie wearing a pair of used bowling shoes, but I guess love makes people do strange things.
When an old high school classmate named Brewster Clark breezed into town I thought it might finally be my turn to fall in love. I bought a new aqua bra and whipped up some chicken divan to take over to him. Wouldn’t you know it that my friend Birdie was already there, plying him with peach cobbler? Honestly I saw him first (he came into the Bottom Dollar Emporium looking for overalls) but Birdie seems determined to win his affections.
If Birdie’s not going to play fair neither am I. That aqua bra of mine has three levels of uplifts and the next time I see Brewster I just might jack it up to highest level. Maybe that’ll make him forgot about Birdie’s peach cobbler.
In the mean time, the Bottom Dollar Girls are busy planning Attalee’s wedding. If you think she has in mind a sedate, tasteful affair, think again. She wants to kick things off with a bachelorette party (complete with limo, and a trip to see those nekkid male dancers the Chip and Dales.) And then she wants an elaborate wedding with all us Bottom Dollar girls garbed in purple bride maid dresses that’ll make us look like oversized eggplants. Finally she wants her honeymoon to take place at South of the Border in one of their “heir-conditioned” suites.
Cupid is definitely prowling around Cayboo Creek, and I really don’t know how it’s going to wash out. Will my friendship with Birdie survive the Brewster Clark debacle? What’s going to happen with Gracie and Rusty? Will their love cancel out their class differences?
Goodness gracious! I almost forgot to mention Elizabeth, our youngest Bottom Dollar girl. She’s a new mother and is getting stir-crazy, wanting to go back to work. Her husband, on the other hand, insists she stay home, and it’s causing trouble in paradise. Will a road trip to Myrtle Beach help them work out their differences?
I guess it’s up to the fates to decide, but in the meantime, pull up a chair, relax with a cup of Joe and see what’s going to unfold in the lives of the Bottom Dollar Girls.
You can read more about Mavis in Dollar Daze, the third book in the “Bottom Dollar” mystery series, published by Publisher. The first two books in the series are Bet Your Bottom Dollar and A Dollar Short.
About the author
Karin Gillespie is a national bestselling novelist and a Midwestern girl who, after forty years in Georgia, is still trying to get the hang of being Southern. Visit her at www.karingillespie.net