Got a buck?
Then head to Cayboo Creek, South Carolina, and see what it can buy at the Bottom Dollar Emporium—before another damn megamonster-mall springs up in an okra patch. And make sure you say howdy to the Bottom Dollar Girls: Mavis, who owns it, and Elizabeth Polk, who works there with Attalee, a dotty, ancient widow who dresses like Shirley Temple even when it isn’t Halloween, her favorite holiday. But judging by the décor at the Bottom Dollar, the last day of October is right around the corner. The paper skeletons and the moaning-and-groaning machine oughta spark the righteous wrath of the Baptists—and if not, the Eyes of Terror gumballs sure as hell will. Elizabeth, the younger, just sighs and gets on with it. Retailing is in her blood: she’s the daughter of Insane Dwayne, whose rent-to-own business featured some of the most obnoxious commercials ever made. But it made him a fortune and snagged him a trailer-park trophy wife named Taffy, who gets on Elizabeth’s last nerve. Or maybe she’s jumpy on account of Clip Jenkins breaking her heart with that Dear Jane letter he wrote on the back of a Hardee’s bag and stuck under her windshield wiper. There’s nary a replacement in sight until Mrs. Tobias, glove-wearing, prissified expert on all things genteel, introduces her to Timothy Hollingsworth, a local boy turned born-again Buddhist who wears a sheet most days and meditates. What’s that? Elizabeth explains that they “like to sit real still and keep their minds blank, like an Etch-A-Sketch after it’s been shook up.” Romantic complications, a family secret or two, and a pitched battle with the corporate-rich Super Saver Store that’s bent on moving into Cayboo Creek and shutting down the Bottom Dollar keep the story chugging along—and there’s more to come in promised sequels featuring the Bottom Dollar Girls.
A winner of a first novel, filled with southern-style zingers and funny folks.