Sometimes a little white lie is just the kindest thing. I mean, what in the world was I supposed to tell Riley, my agitating next-door neighbor, when he rang my doorbell one October morning and asked if he could work at my brand-new restaurant as Peter’s sous chef? My mind raced in a thousand directions and my initial thought was to say, “That is so nice, Riley. I tell you what, though, I’ll need to talk to Peter about this and get back with you.” At the very least, it would have taken the onus off me. But just as I was about to open my mouth, my peripheral vision caught a glimpse of Kissie standing in the doorway leading from the dining room to the kitchen with hands firmly planted on her hips, mouth drawn tightly, and her head shaking from side to side. That was her not-so-subtle way of telling me that what I was about to do was a big fat no-no. She knew me all too well.
I knew she was right, but it’s hard for me to be brutally honest with people, especially guys like Riley. I feel sorry for him, bless his heart. He’s … well, he’s pitiful really, and he can’t help it. He speaks with a soft r,
so when you first meet him you think his name is Wiley. Wiley Bwadshaw. Kissie, on the other hand, doesn’t feel in the least bit sorry for him. She says he’s just plain annoying and that his speech impediment has nothing to do with it. She says there’s no reason to feel bad for him. “He gotta plenty money, a full head a hair, nice stature, and two strong legs to find honest work. There ain’t no reason in the world to feel sorry for that man.”
As he stood on my front stoop wearing a white apron and a chef’s hat with RILEY embroidered in black, he tried selling himself. “Working as a Pampa’ed Chef Consultant qualifies me as a pewfect candidate for the sous chef position.”
“I thought you gave up Pampered Chef for Amway,” I told him, still not having invited him in. Kissie would rather spend an entire afternoon behind a shopping cart with a bad wheel than five minutes face-to-face with Riley.
“Actually, I did, but I’ve weconsidered my decision and I’m back in business. Anyway, these days,” he went on, “PCCs have to do cooking shows as part of the job.” Riley adjusted the tie around his waist and it was then that I noticed the lettering on the front of his apron: THE PAMPERED CHEF® DISCOVER THE CHEF IN YOU. “I’ve alweady hosted close to seven cooking demonstwations featuring the Pampa’ed Chef’s best thirty-minute wecipes.”
I stood silently in my doorway trying my best to be polite, bobbing my head with a kind note of approval. Quite honestly, at this point, my neck was beginning to hurt.
He went on. “That alone is another benefit, as I could make a huge diffewence in the efficiency of your westauwant opewation.” An ear-to-ear smile spread across his face as he popped his index finger in my direction. “And here’s the best part, you could stock your kitchen exclusively with all Pampa’ed Chef pwoducts, declaring the Peach Blossom Inn the first all-PC westauwant in Tennessee. Hey, you could even put a PC lo
Praise for Southern as a Second Language:
“Reading Southern as a Second Language
is like sitting with a keen-eyed, witty best friend while she whispers her secrets that seem meant only for you. Lisa Patton writes with profound intimacy as she reveals the wonder of love and acceptance and its transcendent power to change a life.”
—Patti Callahan Henry, New York Times
bestselling author of And Then I Found You
“Patton’s third novel featuring Southern belle Leelee Satterfield (Yankee Doodle Dixie, 2011, etc.) is rich on atmosphere and charm. . .” —Kirkus Reviews
“Like some of her favorite Southern writers such as Fannie Flagg and Harper Lee, Patton chronicles the uniquely Southern, from the Delta sorority girls to the humble hired women who act as second mothers.” –Desoto Magazine
Praise for Whistlin' Dixie in a Nor'easter:
"Funny, heartfelt and loaded with southern charm...You'll be whistlin' "more, more!" by novel's end. I promise." —Adriana Trigiani, bestselling author of the Big Stone Gap series
“Peachy-keen . . . Dixie chicks and damn Yankees alike will enjoy seeing the world through Leelee’s eyes.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Just when you think there's nothing new under the sun, here it comes. I absolutely devoured this yummy novel, all at one sitting. Lisa Patton serves up genuine romance, wisdom, and humor at this B&B---with plenty of smart social observation on the side. Sweet, sassy, and very entertaining!” —Lee Smith, author of The Last Girls
"Whistlin' Dixie in a Nor'easter gives you a heroine to root for and a book that keeps you turning pages. A delightful read." —Linda Francis Lee, bestselling author of Emily & Einstein
"Lisa Patton knows her way around "Southern Belles" and "Vermonsters" alike-and spares neither with her humor and wit in this fun romp....a promising debut for comic fiction." —Tracy McArdle, author of Real Women Eat Beef
“An amusing, touching novel about a steel magnolia who faces an extreme culture clash and must decide if she wants to set down roots in red clay or snow...a fabulous, feel-good read.” —Karin Gillespie, author of Dollar Daze
“Lisa Patton draws you into each moment of this wonderfully heartbreaking yet hilarious journey of self-enlightenment. Whistlin’ Dixie is truly a page-turner from beginning to end." —Jeff Bridges
“Plucky debut… [readers] will inevitably adore Leelee as she weathers each storm, gaining backbone while simultaneously shedding the helpless princess persona. Her transformation is (of course) accomplished with the aid of boisterous best friends, unlikely new allies and a heaping helping of girl power… Patton’s novel delivers on its feel-good moments and inspiring fantasies of finally making it on your own.” —Publishers Weekly
"Lisa Patton brings Northerners and Southerners together in this heartwarming and funny tale."—T. Lynn Ocean, author of the Jersey Barnes series
"In her debut novel Lisa Patton paints a beautiful portrait of friendship, and one woman's journey finding herself, with tears and laughter along the way. I loved it."
—Christopher Cross, Grammy Award-winning Singer-songwriter
"Funny, somewhat silly, often perceptive, Whistlin’ Dixie in a Nor’easter is a cozy read to curl up with during the fall." —Bookpage
Praise for Yankee Doodle Dixie:
“Southern to the core . . . funny to the bone . . . she pro