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ISBN: 978-1-68313-071-0
208 pages

$14.97 in softcover
$4.97 in ebooks

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Nancy Hartney

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If the Creek Don't Rise

Tales from the South

by Nancy Hartney

A Creole beauty. Eccentric sisters and a black rose. One granny woman and a red button. Church suppers and bingo nights. A poet out of his element. Dreams of Mexico. The shadowy world of thoroughbred horse racing. If the Creek Don't Rise is a collection of hard-used characters, tangled relationships, family angst, and fortitude. Step into the Deep South and experience the lives and hardships, hopes and dreams, of folk who have nothing except grit—and sometimes love—as their currency.
      Eighteen tales and six postcard vignettes, highlighted with artwork by Susan Raymond, make this collection a skillful and moving exploration of the commonplace, the hidden, and the unforgettable.

Praise for If the Creek Don't Rise:

If the Creek Don't Rise: Tales from the South features stories of unvarnished folks, unapologetic about their rough edges—working-class people who speak in vernacular. The book's slice-of-life pieces, set in the American South, take place in cafes, feed stores, and horse racing tracks and tell tales of solitude, grit, and struggle, populated by images of midnight freight trains, hay stacks, beans and cornbread, and collard greens.
      This eclectic collection of sometimes dark, sometimes heartbreaking, yet hopeful stories is populated by hard-edged characters not easily forgotten—a racetrack worker, an abusive husband, a homeless poet, a woodcarver—and is written in concise, sparse language. Their worlds are fishing boats and small towns, bayous and waterside places.
      There is a stark realism to the stories in this regional collection. Many of the characters have an unapologetic, fatalistic view of life, yet try to exert some control over their destinies.
      The book includes several postcards and black and white illustrations that evoke quiet, slow-paced rural life. This is a book to read piece by piece, not all in one sitting, savoring each of its 18 stories at a leisurely pace.
~ Debbie Miller, freelance New York journalist, author, winner of 2017 Mona Schreiber Prize for Humorous Fiction and Nonfiction

Hurricanes, chicken-leg stilt houses, spotted hounds, cornbread, coyotes, Luzianne coffee, poets, drifters, whiskey drinking men and tenderhearted hookers color these deeply felt tales of the South.
~ Molly Giles, award winning author of Rough Translations, Creek Walk, Bothered, Iron Shoes, and All the Wrong Places

I just finished your southern tales in If the Creek Don't Rise. I especially enjoyed the lush description which provided a strong sense of place for the gritty characters and plots. The Angie postcard interludes were an ingenious way to knit the stories together; they provided the contrasting sunny voice of an outside observer to the same dark "doings" locales. Also, Susan's delightful illustrations, and even the chapter typeface, added to the ambiance of the South. I look forward to sending your books to my sister and friend for them to enjoy in the New Year.
~ SHZimmer, poet and author

An Excellent Read
This book contains a collection of wonderful stories that are Southern based of both settings and characters. The author has deep southern roots that gave her the perfect voice to weave these interesting tales.
      These stories capture the reader's imagination for a journey into a world that is sometimes raw and unfair. Those of us who grew up in the South have met or seen people like some of these characters. But one does not need to have a Southern heritage to enjoy these stories. Each story is told through the character's sights, smells, sounds, touch, and various emotions felt while coping with what life has dealt them. So well written, I felt like I was there with the characters. The dialogue is so honest and real I was transported back to my youthful days hanging out in front of the country store on a Saturday morning drinking a Pop Cola listening to the various conversations that took place.
      I enjoyed each and every story. One Dollar and a Red Button was one of my favorites. I highly recommend this book of excellent quality and value.
~ J.M. Davis on Goodreads

Nancy Hartney writes about the Deep South of today wrapped in yesterday's clothes. Her roots dig into the piney woods that she rode through on horseback, into the sweat-soaked hardscrabble farms, and into humid passionate nights. Her slice-of-life tales chronicle a time past that is poignant, vivid and sometimes brutal. The reader stares into the eyes of people struggling with living, grasping for understanding, doing the best they know how.
      Nancy makes her home in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Washed in the Water: Tales from the South is her debut short story collection. Her website is http://nancyhartney.com.

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