When I was a little girl, I spent my summers in the midlands
of South Carolina about as far away from civilization as you
could get. We didn't get any television, and I remember my
aunt had one black rotary telephone on a party line.
We had to find fun for ourselves. This often involved
sneaking into the big ol' watermelon field across the street
from my aunt’s house where we’d snitch a watermelon. We had
no intention of eating this watermelon. Watermelon carnage
was more like it. My big brother would carve a hole in the
end of the melon and stick in a bunch of cherry bombs. And
then he’d light the fuse.
I gotta tell you blowing up a watermelon is fun! Dangerous,
Watermelons were an everyday part of our summertime. My
uncle worked as a boss for a watermelon picking crew, and we
had dozens of watermelons lined up in the shade behind my
aunt’s house. Every day at 4:00 pm we’d have a watermelon
break the way some folks have tea.
And then there was the Hampton County watermelon festival,
which was about as much fun as a kid could have.
So it’s no surprise that I've given my fictitious South
Carolina town a watermelon festival. I first introduced my
readers to this event in the book LAST CHANCE
BEAUTY QUEEN, which follows the travails of a former
watermelon queen as she tries to live down the experience.
In August, I’ll have a short story out in e-format, LAST CHANCE
SUMMER that features a whole day at the Allenberg County
Watermelon Festival. So keep an eye out for that.
But for now, I’m celebrating July, which is prime time for
watermelon, with a watermelon tote giveaway along with an
autographed copy of LAST CHANCE
BEAUTY QUEEN. For the record I made the watermelon tote
I hope y’all are having a fun summer filled with watermelon
breaks. Because there just isn’t anything more refreshing
on a hot summer day than a slice of melon.