Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Sylvia Dickey Smith Writes About Strong Women--Sid Smart Didn't Even Know She Was One of Them!

"He shoved the girls out the door, anticipation running a foot-race in his chest. The other men were such pussies. Not him. He liked the doing. He wondered if God got turned on when He killed people. The Stud sure had. He boosted the girls into the pickup, and then checked the faded green carpet he and his buddies had rolled up and stashed in the truck bed the night before. Satisfied, he secured the can of gasoline and slid behind the wheel. The beat-up Ford truck rumbled down the dusty road jarring his insides like a damn cement mixer. Just watch, one of these days he was gonna be county commissioner and get these shit-ass roads fixed...
~

"Reaching behind the seat, he pulled out a burlap bag and threw it at the girls. “Here,” he yelled. “Get down under this and stay down!” Then, bounding out, he pulled and tugged on the carpet until, finally, he got it on his shoulder. Staggering under the weight, now carried by one instead of three, he grabbed the side of the truck and held on until he got his balance. Slowly, carefully, he freed one hand, collected the gas can...

~

"Emma stood beside the empty gas can, eyes locked on him, red hair sticking out. “Dammit to hell,” he bellowed, “where’s the other one?” There she was, head poked out the passenger window, staring at him, pigtails waving in the breeze. “Damn kids. I told you to stay down. If you don’t, I’m gonna burn you up, just like I did her!”



~~~

Dance on His Grave
By Sylvia Dickey Smith

Here's another author I had not previously read, with a new character and series you're going to love! Sid Smart...I like the name...Her name fits her...now...but it didn't during the years she was married...to a dominating man who was "head of the house" in all ways...  She finally got Smart and began proceedings for a divorce... And became the gossip of the town...

That wasn't bad enough, though, she had recently lost her brother in a car accident. He had left her his business  which she planned on selling. There was no way she could picture herself as a Private Investigator! Her previous experience as a subordinate preacher's wife sure wouldn't help, she knew that!

But she surprised herself after a young girl, who had recently become a client of her brother, came to see her and wanted "her" to continue the case! She even tried to give the case to another PI in town, who immediately talked her into keeping it and coming to work for him, so that she could ultimately get her license...

Get the idea why we might call her a wimp at that point???

I became a Christian in my teens after having been attending church from birth--my mother had 4 kids and they were all there every time the door opened...Church was a wonderful family place when we were growing up...not so much these days...

So I had to laugh when Sid started talking about her husband and how he treated her. In my teens, I had always thought it would be great to marry a preacher--I'd never have to confront the outside world, which, even then, I wasn't too sure about due to familial child abuse... It was only later that I realized that those who had inappropriately touched me were church members...

When Sid finally woke up, I thought, "I know that I'd have never lasted that long!" She had been married for 30? years

Now here she was talking with a young girl who was remembering from her childhood and was fairly certain that her father had murdered a woman and then burned her in a fire!

Sid had no idea how to even begin to look at something like this...it could turn out to be a huge case!

One thing for sure, she certainly wasn’t going back to Kansas. Some Baptist preachers' wives might spend their whole lives totally happy, following along in the tight, narrow shadow of their husbands, but she wasn’t one of them. She’d spent thirty years in the deep, deadening rut of being the perfect, submissive, unambiguous preacher’s wife. Thirty years being pulled, stretched, molded like Play-Dough. Just thinking about it made her ill, literally nauseous. She slumped onto the hearth of a small fireplace and waited for the queasiness to pass, forcing herself to think of something different.
                                                                       ~
But, dear sweet brother, I don’t want to go there, she thought. She’d wither and die in a town like Orange, Texas. Besides, private detective wasn’t a suitable job for an ex-preacher’s wife, at least not one her age. Okay, what should she do? Sell the business? Burn the building to the ground? Or busy your butt learning the detective business! She had no idea where those words came from, but she quickly shoved them out of her brain. That was not an option! 
                                                                      ~
Immobilized, she watched the fire scorch the gilded edges of parchment and dance across the black leather binding. Within seconds, the gold-engraved Mrs. Samuel T. Smart melted into oblivion. Then she laughed. The perfect preacher’s wife who had never made enemies had suddenly joined the ranks of the imperfect, of the wicked. Someone was horribly angry with her. Whoever did this had also destroyed her kitchen, had made the threatening phone call. She headed back inside, collected a pitcher of water and doused the tiny fire.
~~~


I had noticed during my professional career that women have a hard time giving themselves credit...They say they've never had a job, or that they were only a wife... Yet, there are sooooo many skills that women in these roles have! So after Sid Smart accepted she was going to have to work at some thing as a newly divorced woman, she decided that, with the mentoring she had been promised, she'd try to help the two little girls who had seen their father murder a woman. But, she just applied her own logic, her own planning skills from her church activities and immediately began to get results. She was even willing to fly to Trinidad to make sure she interviewed the sister who had also been there that night...

It was funny that the younger girl could remember much more than her older sister. She had been three while her older sister was five when they had ridden with their Dad to burn up a house with a body in it... 

It's really understandable though, at least to me, since the 5-year-old was apparently old enough for her father to start abusing her...and worse... and she had much more trauma to try to live with... Jewell had been the one starting to remember, wanting to learn the truth. Emma had married and fled to Trinidad, afraid to stay in the U.S., where her father was now a town commissioner!

Fortunately the Police Chief and DA were good men and were willing to work with Sid, taking out old files and making contacts when necessary... They were both anxious to solve a cold case, especially when they learned who the girls' father was. They both agreed that they believed he was capable of murder...

But this case got bigger and bigger, and even overlapped into Sid taking on the possible murder of her brother! And she didn't back down with any of them!

Since the name of the book gives away what happens at the end, I hope you don't mind my celebrating with Jewell, Emma, Sid and the others who worked on the case! Too bad he lasted as long as he did!
"If someone today asked Sid what she thought of Roy Manly, she’d have an answer, but until a few months ago she’d never even heard his name. Neither did she know what he’d been doing in the early seventies while she made babies and baked casseroles for potluck dinners at the church. Now, she stood beside his casket. His daughters— Jewell and Emma— stood on either side of her. Rahim and Andrine stood behind them...
"There had been no wake. There had been no viewing. No minister held a Bible or said a prayer or sang a hymn. Sad, Sid thought, then decided the only song appropriate would have been Martina McBride’s “This One’s for the Girls.” [at least the title!] Jewell snatched a clump of the thick wet dirt with one hand, and brushed a tear off her face with the other. Then she stepped forward. Her shoulders shook. The humidity frizzed her naturally curly hair. Her hazel eyes stared straight ahead. Slowly, almost zombie-like, Jewell’s arm rose out over the casket. She held the pose, palm down, for at least thirty seconds. Sid counted. No one moved or said a word. Finally, her fingers opened as if in slow motion, and the clod of dirt plopped heavily on the wooden box. It sounded hollow as it hit. As she stepped back to reform the threesome, Jewell glanced at Sid, then at Emma. Jewell’s lips, turned up at the corners, did not match her empty eyes...
"Sid held her breath. It seemed that the earth waited too. Her eyes burned from too many tears shed in the last few days: tears not for Roy, but for Jewell and Emma, for Nancy and Ethel Elaine, for herself, and for women everywhere who suffered abuse from men. Never again will I be silent. Emma slipped out of her shoes and with Jose Cuervo in hand, crawled and slid her way up to the top of the mounded dirt on the grave. The mud clumped on her feet and squished between her toes. It splashed on her bare legs and the hem of her skirt, but she paid it no mind. Her arms rose out to her sides and her head fell back, skyward. A rhythm must have played deep in her soul because a movement started at her feet. They squished in the mud, faster and faster. Sid saw the clench of her jaw and the tension in her shoulders. For an instant, Sid shut her eyes, and tried to shut out the pain. She felt like an intruder, watching Emma. But not watching made her feel complicit with the demons, so she forced her chin off her chest and dragged her eyelids open. When she did, she saw Emma’s jaw relax as she swayed to music that only Emma could hear. The energy in the air around them shifted. Exhausted, but safe for the first time in her life, Emma tipped the bottle up to her lips and swigged the tequila to the last drop...
~~~

You're going to enjoy this suspense thriller! The bad guy is super bad so it's easy to hate him... The two girls are so sympathetic, but brave as they struggle to bring truth into their lives... And I love Sid Smart who woke up after 30 years and became my kind of female hero! You go girl!

And here's to you as well Sylvia Dickey Smith! Thanks for this wonderful creation of yours! Some of you may think this is a must-read if you care about child sexual abuse. Support this type of writer whenever you can--it's the thing to do to fight the violence in this world...Just my personal opinion, of course!

She's right you know, Sylvia Smith's first novel in this series if fun, sassy, and "damn" good reads...


GABixlerReviews



My name is Sylvia Dickey Smith. I was born in Orange, Texas, and grew up in a colorful Scots-Irish family living in the midst of a Cajun culture. When 34, my curiosity about the world took on a whole new dimension when I moved to the Caribbean island nation of Trinidad & Tobago. Awed by the differences in customs and cultures, particularly as they related to West Indian women, set me on a journey of study and self-discovery.
Back in the U.S. at 40, I started college and didn't stop until I achieved a B.A. in sociology with a concentration in women's studies and a master's in counseling.
An advocate for women, my writing features those who recreate themselves into the people they want to be, strong women who take charge of their lives and get things done. (If you've met Sidra Smart or Bea Meade, you know what I mean.)
The stories dwell on the wondrous twists and turns of human behavior rooted in my background as a counselor before I became a novelist. The tales are fun, sassy, and (according to my fans) darn good reads. I hope you like these kind of books, too! I look forward to adding you as a fan.


Personal Note to "WorsePreacher'sWifeEver...I just had to use your pic for our new Sid...I tried to open/read your blog but couldn't seem to get it cleared to open...But reading the titles, I just knew your wouldn't mind...