Thursday, October 11, 2012

Author Duffy Brown: Are You A Deb Or A Belle?

It’s always fun when I find a ‘new-to-me’ author that has a bit of Southern flare to her and author Duffy Brown is just such a lady. 

Duffy’s latest release is ICED CHIFFON, the first installment in her new Consignment Shop Mystery series set in Savannah, GA. Her protagonist is Reagan Summerside, owner and founder of The Prissy Fox consignment shop.

Duffy joins us today to ask a number questions, make some comparisons and giveaway a few prizes. Here’s Duffy.

Southern Belle or Northern Deb? Which are you?

Granola or Grits…Big hair or Flat…Pearls or Beads

One of the reasons I wrote ICED CHIFFON was that I wanted to set a book in the South, the real South as it really is. But the problem is I live in Cincinnati, right on the border of granola and grits. The Ohio River is not very wide, I mean people swim across the thing. Yet on the south side sushi is and always will be bait and granola is squirrel food. I don’t have big hair but I use hairspray, I love sweet tea and pork is the food of the gods but it has to be free-range pork where they treat the piggies nice. 

So, am I North or South? What part goes into ICED CHIFFON and what gets ditched? I made a check list to find out want part of me was Belle and what part was Deb.

So my question today is... Who are you? Are you a Deb or a Belle?

* Do you never wear white after Labor Day or before Easter or do you go by the weather?
* Do you own a strand of real pearls and wear them with pride or are you into beads?
* Do you drink sweet tea and love it when they have it on the menu or do order Coke Zero?
* A part of you truly believes in damn Yankees or are the Yankees the baseball team in NYC?
* Civil War? What Civil War? That there was the Northern Aggression!
* Do you have Lee as part of your name or your children’s name or is it Kaitlin?
* Is GWTW and Steel Magnolias and Fried Green Tomatoes, Something to Talk About your favorite movies and you recognizecover all the places or are you a Sex and the City girl and watch The Wire?
* Do you have a tiara hidden in your panty drawer and know how to twirl a baton or do you have a hockey stick in the closet beside your down coat?
* Do you have a dad or a daddy?
* Do you have an umbrella that looks a bit like a parasol or a North Face rain jacket?
* Does the term red-eye go with gravy or taking a picture?
* Biscuits from the bakery or from you grandma’s cookbook?
* Prime real estate is NYC or the mall, country club and the beauty salon?
* White gloves or black leather?
* Southern Living or Martha Stewart?
* Shorts or sundresses?
* Pineapple doorknocker or lion’s head?
* Mind your business or mind your manner?
* Follow NFL or NASCR?
* Drives a hard bargain, drives an SUV?

So, how do you measure up? Is a part of you a Southern Belle? Part of you Northern Deb? All of one or the other? Do you know someone who is? 

I am definitely a closet Southern Belle! I do make fried chicken and bathtub gravy. That’s what my kids call my cream gravy because they could eat a bathtub full of it. I do make my own pies, have white gloves, crab at my kids if they don’t mind their manners, buy extra-hold hair spray, subscribe to Southern Living, have a fancy umbrella that I’ve been known to twirl from time to time and I do know how to twirl a baton for real. I even took lessons and still have the baton!

On the Southern Belle scale I’m about a 7. Well, maybe an 8. Guess that’s why I wanted to write ICED CHIFFON and set it in Savannah. What is your Southern Belle Score? Your Deb score? 

I’ll give away three ICED CHIFFON totes from the replies. 

Ya’ll have a good day now, ya’ hear. Hugs, Duffy.

Oh Duffy, thanks so much for visiting today and giving us a look at the difference between a Belle and a Deb. I’m a Belle all the way with a couple of Deb tendencies. Always happy to meet another Belle. 

Just so you know though Duffy also goes by Dianne Castell, where as a USA Today bestselling author, she wrote for Kensington and Harlequin, won Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Award, HOLT-Medallion Award, been on the cover of Romantic Times Magazine and included in Rhapsody Book Club, Doubleday Book Club and made the Waldenbooks Bestseller list.

For more on Duffy and her writing, check out her website at

ICED CHIFFON is set in Savannah, GA, where the gossip if plentiful and Reagan Summerside finds herself in the middle of. But with the help of her high-spirited Auntie Kiki, she can muddle through it.

Left high and dry after a messy divorce, Reagan decides to put what she has left to use - a Victorian and more designer clothes than one person needs. She turns the first floor of the run-down home into a consignment shop filling it with remnants of her former life.

Then Janelle Claiborne, better known as the blond cupcake, is found dead in the trunk of her ex’s Lexus. While Reagan is still fuming over Hollis Beaumont’s mid-life crisis and their divorce, she knows he’s not the killer. She sets out to prove his innocence and one-up his cunning lawyer, Walker Boone, who does have his own charming ways.

Brown has created a group of characters that are zany, charming and ever-so realistic. They could be neighbors, people you know, family or friends you wish you had, especially if you live in the South. She has given her protagonist strengths, but also flaws that are worrisome to a lot of people. And who wouldn’t want an aunt like Kiki?

The story flows smoothly and at a steady pace. There are twists, turns and red herrings along the way to keep you guessing till the end. Brown sets the stage for a delightful cozy murder mystery by her beautiful descriptions of Savannah and her tantalizing dialog. There is mystery, murder, intrigue, a touch of romance and laughter throughout the story.

ICED CHIFFON is a wonderful introduction to a group of new characters that will be fun to visit again and again. You may never look at a consignment shop quite the same again. I’m looking forward to KILLER IN CRINOLINES, the next installment in the series, coming in May 2013.

Iced Chiffon by Duffy Brown, A Consignment Shop Mystery, Berkley Prime Crime, @2012, ISBN: 978-0425251607, Paperback, 304 Pages 

FTC Full Disclosure - This book was sent to me by the publisher in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review.
Thanks so much for stopping by today. Now are you a Belle or a Deb, or maybe a little of both?


  1. I've adopted Texas in the last decade as my home so I guess I'm a Belle? I don't know if anyone else would describe me as one, though!


  2. Apparently I am a Deb...leather and The Wire. Fun post!

  3. Duffy, thanks again for visiting. I enjoyed your take on Belles and Debs. Wishing you much success.

    Jai and Raquel, thanks for stopping by.

  4. Wonderful being at Thoughts in Progress. Thanks for having me, Mason. It was fun writing Iced Chiffon but I had to learn a whole new way of talking. LOL
    The best part of setting a book in Savannah was I felt as if I vacationed there all winter. A cheap vacation...but with dead bodies.
    Hugs, Duffy

  5. A Tiara in your oanty! Every woman should have one! Sounds like a great book!


  6. What a wonderful book. Enjoyed learning about this series. I am a belle. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

  7. Your guest author is talented and this book is unique and special. I must be a belle. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

  8. Y'all know ahm a Southern Belle. Where ah come from in Louisiana, we call Shreveport the North! It is warm here, but luckily we don't perspire, we glisten. And the food is the best anywhere: pecan pie, gumbo, cornbread, mmmmmm. It really is so good it makes you wanna slap your mama.(But ah would never!) And I'll have you know NO self-respecting belle would bury her tiarra in a drawer. Mine sparkles proudly on a shelf in the den, thank you very much. Truly, it's been a pleasure having (iced) tea with you today.

  9. Just took my tiara out of my drawer and put it next to my computer, LSU, like you suggested. And you are belongs there,

    Petite, so glad to meet another belier and Margaret thanks for the kudos on Iced Chiffon.

    After chatting with you all I fee more Southern than ever and making cornbread for dinner. Yummmm.

  10. That was fun! I don't even know what the connection between red eye & gravy is!! Definitely not a lot of Southern in me - farthest south I've been is Detroit! :)

  11. Red eye gravy. Here you go:Fry the ham in its own fat until nicely browned on both sides. When it is cooked, transfer the ham to a warm platter and add boiling black coffee to the skillet, scraping to dissolve the particles that cling to the bottom and sides.

    If made right it's incredible!

    Thanks for playing along, Jemi.

  12. One thing I hear a lot around Southern towns is the sweet tea! Stories from the South are really fun to read especially learning about the food and families.


  13. A whole different world once you cross the Ohio River...and I love it. Half the fun of writing this series was getting to know southern food, manners, way of talking. And of course I had to go there to make sure I got it right.


I'd love to hear your thoughts on today's post. Thanks for dropping by.