Jean says, “Well, I thought John and I had it rough the last few weeks, what with Hurricane Irma and all, and we kind of did. We even, at the request of our family, evacuated to
keeps. But the terror while the storm lasted, and afterward the lack of power,
the closed grocery stores, the downed trees, the long, long lines for gasoline
were nothing in comparison to what Honey Ingersoll has been through most of her
life. She’s a girl who’s had a rocky beginning, but you know what? She’s
determined to remake herself. I’d love to tell you all about it, but Honey’s
here and dying to tell her own story, so I’ll turn the mic over to her.” Ohio
“As Jean mentioned, my name is Honey Ingersoll, and my story's right here in these pages:
Anyway, I was born and bred in
which accounts for my southern drawl. As for my blond hair, that’s from Daddy.
My smile, so I’ve been told, is from Momma. I surely didn’t get that from
Daddy. He never smiled. Not once while I was growing up. Which is one reason
why when Momma died I left the family trailer—a double wide—right after high
I never regretted escaping from Daddy, but I sure did regret hooking up with Billy Tubbs. We weren’t together long, though. I moved out the day he gave me a black eye for no reason except he felt like it. A week later, while waitressing at Josie’s Diner, I met Saxby Winthrop. I was pouring him a cup of Josie’s left-over coffee when he asked if I’d like to work in his real estate office.
“That would be wonderful, Mr. Winthrop, I said, as he stared into my eyes, “but I don’t know a blessed thing about real estate.”
“Not a problem, Honey.” He smiled and took my free hand, the one not holding the carafe. “I’ll teach you everything I know.”
And so he did. At the time I didn’t expect his lessons would include an insider’s knowledge of the realty business, but I learned about that too. Actually I learned a lot under Saxby—mortgage rates, contract terms, liens, blind trusts, short sales, foreclosures and, most import of all, how to close a sale, Saxby style.
No surprise there. Saxby was one of the two most successful real estate brokers in
owned a block of office buildings, half of Eureka
Falls, Arkansas Main Street, and an antebellum mansion on
the edge of town he never once invited me to step foot in. When I found out he
didn’t want his momma, Miss Eloise, to know about me, I realized I had to
change into the kind of girl a man didn’t hide behind the barn like a pile of
Out went my big hair, platform stilettos and cherry-flavored chewing gum. I used fewer “y’alls” and more “how are yous?” I even stopped having Cindy Mae color-streak my hair and tossed all my tube tops. Didn’t buy another one, not even when Belinda’s Boutique put them on sale. Instead I bought a navy blue suit, the kind where the skirt matches the jacket, and a white cotton shirt I kept buttoned at all times.
None of this was exactly a college education, like going to Emory or anything, but it helped. And when I left Saxby to run the real estate office of his arch rival, Sam Ridley, I was twenty-two and ready to take on the world. Or so I thought. But I hadn’t planned on finding a dead body in the first house I had up for sale. That’s another story, though, so if y’all don’t mind, I’ll give the mic back to Jean.”
“Thank you, Honey. You know folks, Honey’s complete story—the tale of what happens when a hot property meets a cold corpse—which she’s too modest to relate here, is available in e-book and trade paperback at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and wherever books are sold.
Thanks for listening. Enjoy!”