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Southern born, Southern reared. It's a quirky place and we are unique folk... These are my people and these are my stories.

Monday, April 28, 2014

The "REAL" Road to Testament

In my book, The Road to Testament, the make-believe town of Testament, North Carolina becomes a character in and of itself, full of Southern-style streets, shops, and people.

Spindazzle and The Spinning Bean, Spindale, NC

"Testament" is a composite of Rutherfordton, Spindale, Forest City, and Tryon, North Carolina.

Over the next few days, I'd like to share with you some of the real places that, and people who inspired the book.

Spindazzle is a fun shop full of goodies in Spindale, North Carolina. Right next door is the Spindale Drug Company, and next door to that,  is The Spinning Bean, where you can get great food and the most delicious cup of coffee! During one trip to research and write the book, I became downright addicted to one of their flavored coffees! If you go there, I bet you will too!


When Ashlynne first comes to "Testament" she notes the charming look of the small Southern town from the driver's seat of her Jag (This is also the first time she sees William Decker). Here's what she observes: 


Brick storefront facades ran tall and short on both sides of the road, offering old-world appeal. Many of the stores had been renovated, converted to shops and restaurants. Wrought iron and wood benches separated by large pots of multihued flowers stretched between the doorways. The few people who meandered the sidewalks wore walking shorts, tee shirts and colorful flip flops. They tended to stay close to the shade afforded by scalloped awnings. Two children, who walked ahead of adults I assumed to be their parents, wrapped their cherub lips around ice cream stacked high in sugar cones. I ran my tongue over my bottom lip, wondering where they had purchased such delight. I contemplated rolling down the window and asking.
A glance at the traffic signal showed the light had yet to turn green. I lowered my window to see if I might find an ice cream shop. Just as I did, the driver’s door of a parked and battered pickup flew open. I cocked a brow at the cowboy-wannabe who jumped out, scuffed boots landing firmly on the asphalt. In spite of the heat, he wore jeans I’d bet hadn’t seen the inside of a washing machine in weeks, a crisp short-sleeved denim shirt, and—I’m not kidding—a cowboy hat wrapped with a sweat ring. He caught me staring—or perhaps it was the other way around. His eyes pierced through to mine—screaming as if he knew I were some intruder stepping on his hallowed ground.
Or as if he knew me … and we were arch enemies.
I powered my window up. The light turned green. Feeling awkward for reasons I couldn’t understand, I pushed the gas a little too hard. My car jerked but I managed to gain control before I’d caused an accident. A peek at my side mirror confirmed my fear; Mr. Cowboy had taken it all in. He pulled on the rim of his hat and turned away.

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