Please welcome Stacie Giles, to talk about the new anthology, Deadly Southern Charm:

Deadly Southern Charm is a celebration of Southern women and a labor of love. Proceeds from this collection of 18 mystery short stories, mostly by fledgling authors (like me!), go to the Sisters in Crime chapter here in Central Virginia (SinC-CVa). Stories are under a 4000 word limit, are set in the South, and a woman is the main character. The stories range from real estate troubles in the Outer Banks to feuds in the hills; from spooky swamp stories to winery shenanigans. All are engaging and clever, with varying levels of whimsy and twistiness, but amazingly different. My story is historical, and the crime isn’t even murder – lots of crimes out there threaten women!

Mary Burton and Mary Miley, both prolific authors with many publications and awards as well as past presidents of SinC-CVa, donated their time, their reputations, and their expertise to promote more junior authors and the chapter. The editors selected 14 stories out of submissions nearly double that number. They served as editors and liaised with the publisher, Wildside Press, and also invited 4 well-known authors to join the effort. Mollie Cox Bryan, Lynn Cahoon, Barb Goffman, and Sherry Harris contributed great stories. The remaining 14 authors not only had the benefit of the editors’ helpful comments on their writing, they have also been coached on the business side of writing, everything from social media marketing to tax law. Authors like Hank Phillippi Ryan – who called the volume “deliciously devious” – and Ellery Adams – who said it is “a keep-you-up-all-night collection”– graciously praised the book with their comments.

My story, “Southern Sisters Stick Together,” is set in a tea shop in Memphis in 1920. That was a time of rapid social change — Tennessee ratified the 19th Amendment in August 1920, finally giving women the right to vote – and I use the culture, society, and crime of that time to consider how a young woman fresh from the farm can protect herself and her friends against big city slickers. My heroine faces questions of submission versus defiance, proof versus suspicion, and keeping her job versus exposing a villain preying on women.

There are times when you need a woman to get justice. Now THAT is a theme that comes up over and over in this collection.

Stacie Giles: after a career as a political scientist, linguist, and CIA analyst, is now writing historical cozies with a twist. Her first short story is in honor of her grandfather who was a policeman in Memphis in the 1920s.