"This book presents a more honest picture of Southern men and women than most 'southern' fiction I've read. The characters remind me of folks I know and love." 
  Reader comment on Southern Man 

          Hello, and welcome. 
I'm glad you stopped by. Come in, sit a spell, have some sweet tea and discover a little about my stories. While you're here, sign up for my monthly newsletter for news about upcoming releases, story and character backgrounds, excerpts and more. Click the "N" button in the lower left corner of this page.

I write Southern fiction with a touch suspense, traces of sci-fi, a whiff of the paranormal, and lots of romance.

Thanks for dropping in. Y'all come back and visit often.

Take THAT, Greg Iles!

Watch this space for

We're looking to launch 
Wesley's Women this 
coming summer, and Neo-Confederate before 
year's end.

My Books
Story backgrounds and where-to-buy info for the novels in the Life and Love in Dixie series with two titles thus far, Storm Surge (can love trump deceit and distrust?) and Love in Smallfoot Alley, (romantic suspense with a touch of mad-scientist sci-fi and a whiff of the paranormal).

Also check out the Legacy of Fortitude, a mainstream Southern fiction series, Southern Man, its sequels, Sweet Southern Boys and Little Sister. The two last titles in the series, Wesley's Women and Neo-Confederate, are tentatively scheduled to release in 2019. (Go to BOOKS PAGE)
My Blog
(where nearly anything goes) -- 
News, essays on writing and read-
ing, behind-the- scenes looks at characters, locations, even the cuisine that show up in my stories. Discussions of historic, contempo- rary and cultural influences that go into writing fiction, and more. Be sure to leave your thoughts in the comments.(Go to MY BLOG)
Background on stories, inspiration, characters...(Go to EXTRAS PAGE).
A little about me and my writing (Go to ABOUT PAGE)

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Chris Dupree never believed in crypto-primates -- until they threatened the woman he loved.

Romantic suspense
with a touch of mad-scientist sci-fi
and a whiff of the paranormal

A blinding rainstorm and terrifying red-eyed creatures threaten her journey to her new job. Is her georgeous but taciturn rescuer a good Samaritan, or another danger? 

Can love transcend her deceit and his distrust?

Contemporary romantic suspense
highlights the trials and rewards
of virtue in an immoral world.

She went undercover to catch a crook -- but how can a criminal be a man of such high principles and virtue? And how can she stop herself from falling in love with him? More to the point -- why should she?


From sultry south Georgia to the Mississippi Coast to bustling Jacksonville, Florida, this series features three Georgia families, the Kincaids, the Jordans and the Stevensons -- 
and one Chicago yankee who makes his own legacy in the South..

Although characteristic of Southerners throughout the region, and for generations, fortitude is particularly characteristic of the largely Scots-Irish denizens of the Southern highlands, where it is also known as pure cussedness. It encompasses more than just mountaineer stubbornness, though. It is the sheer determination to defy defeat, even among the defeated -- or, at least, to refuse the behavior and demeanor of the defeated. 

Life in the wreckage of
the counter culture. 

The tender and tenacious love between a corporate executive and his adoring wife is tested when he becomes the target of an amoral material girl and her uber-feminist mentor -- with harrowing consequences for himself and his family.

Coming of age in the
dawn of modern misandry. 

Best friends since kindergarten, three boys happily grow up together in south Georgia. But as seniors in high school, they are accused of an unspeakable crime.

It isn't always Big Brother who's watching. Sometimes it's Little Sister.

At her boyfriend's urging, a college student applies for a summer internship at a social justice watchdog group where she learns things that could be deadly to herself and her family.

Can the love of one woman save him from destruction by another?

A young man visits his estranged, dying mother and leaves dangerously troubled, the moral and ethical beliefs he had lived by all his life completely shattered. Can his devoted girlfriend help him through the darkness? 

IN 2019

Things aren't always 
as they seem.

A conservative, Christian man active in the Confederate heritage community runs for Congress and is attacked viciously by progressive groups and the media.

IN 2019

        Extras -- Story background, wideo trailers, and more
Visit Verona, Georgia
Verona was inspired by Valdosta, Georgia, and sits in approximately the same location, in extreme south Georgia, just a half-hour north of the Florida line. But the fictional town is not Valdosta with the name changed. There are many similarities, however. Incidentally, I have never been to Valdosta.

In both population and area,Verona is about half the size of Valdosta. The fictional town's population is about 25,000. It is the home of Verona State University. Downtown lies a few miles to the west of Interstate 75. Because of its proximity to I-75's intersection with Interstate 10 in northern Florida, Verona is a manufacturing and warehousing/distribution center.

Valdosta has nearby Moody Air Force Base; Verona has nearby Martin Air Force Base. Valdosta has the Little River; Verona the Oostachula River. And they both have the Okefenokee Swamp not far to the east.Just a little further on, the Atlantic coast with Jacksonville, Brunswick and Savannah lie within easy driving distance.

Chatahoula County, Alabama

The fictional Crow River in fictional Chatahoula County. The Crow is a tributary of the very real Tombigbee River which is part of the Tennesssee-Tombigbee Waterway. The Crow is not commercially navigable, per the hero of Smallfoot Alley, and is used exclusively by recreational craft. 

Pensacola, Florida

Capital of L.A. -- Lower Alabama, a nickname for the Florida panhandle, home of some of Florida's most beautiful beaches. Pensacola sits atop the coast of the Gulf of Mexico -- America's Mediterranean..



Throughout the writing of the early titles, this was simply The Georgia Series. After publication of the second title, Sweet Southern Boys, I chose the new name because I see fortitude as one of the defining traits of the main characters in all five of the stories.

Although characteristic of Southerners* throughout the region, and for generations, fortitude is particularly characteristic of the largely Scots-Irish denizens of the Southern highlands, where it is also known as pure cussedness. It encompasses more than just mountaineer stubbornness, though. It is the sheer determination to defy defeat, even among the defeated -- or, at least, to refuse the behavior and demeanor of the defeated.

Fortitude explains the refusal of Confederate soldiers -- and their families -- to grovel after the Union's brutal victory and even more brutal "re-unification." Popular culture and some scholarly works (J.W. Cash's Mind of the South, for example) portray white Southerners, especially men, who were not of the aristocracy (that is, poor, as in "poor white"), as whining and shiftless and incessently blaming others for his circumstances. While true in some individual instances, it is this stereotype (and others) -- which I consider not merely unrealistic and largely untrue, but malicious -- that I write to counter.

The primary reason it is untrue is because the "lazy Southerner" was actually a condition resulting from widespread poverty after the war. Many Southerner at that time could not afford shoes and they contracted hookworm from walking barefoot in places where the organisms lived. Hookworm infection resulted in catastrophic iron deficiency anemia, rendering the victim basically incapable of doing much of anything physically. 

Based upon my experience and observation growing up in the last half of the 20th Century, in various places in the Deep South, I believe white Southerners have gotten a bum rap for everything from the "civil war" to the civil rights movement, from "slavery and racism" to religious fanaticism. In general, the Southerners I've known are basically hard-working and genial; they possess a healthy balance of contentedness and ambition.  They love to work and they love to play; they are far less judgmental and more tolerant than folks from other regions, and they have remarkably long fuses.

How this fortitude, and other regional characteristics, manifest in individuals -- both men and women, but especially men -- is one of the threads woven throughtout my writing, and particularly in this series. How they respond to sudden adversity is at the heart of the stories in the Legacy of Fortitude series.
*The term Southerners here, and throughout my writing, refers primarily (though not exclusively) to white Southerners, particularly those whose forebears have lived in the South for generations.

Southern Man Videos

Sweet Southern Boys

Love in Smallfoot Alley


About the Author,the stories, the inspiration, and my cat
The South ~ My Writing Inspiration
A Land of Legend, Song, and Hallowed, Heroic Memories

Why Southern fiction? The words of Edward Carmack (1858-1908), Congressman, Senator and prominent  journalist in Tennessee, offer a an insightful place to start a discussion of my motives for writing about the South and its people: 

The South is a land that hs known sorrows. It is a land that has broken the ashen crust and moistened it with tears, a land scarred and riven by the plowhare of war and billowed with the graves of her dead, but a land of legend, a land of song, a land of hallowed and heroic memories. To that land, every drop of my blood, every fibre of my being, every pulsation of my heart is consecrated forever. I was born of her womb, I was nurtured at her breast and when my last hour shall come, I pray that I may lie upon her bosom and be rocked to sleep within her tender and encircling arms.
Southern literature, has long been recognized as a distinctive genre few other regions of the United States can claim, the exception being the Western.  A look at the genre and its writers gives one a clue about the depth, breadth and richness of the vein of storytelling ore that runs through the culture of the South.

South Alabama cotton field

The variety of locatings and settings is equally rich -- from mountains to seashore, great forests to desert to lush farmlands, glittering cities to sleepy small towns to vast rural stretches. 

The South boasts other elements that speak to its uniqueness... its 160 or so spoken dialects and delightful Southernisms...  the cuisine -- sweet tea, tomato sandwiches, cornbread, fried chicken (for that matter, fried anything), succulent seafood and spicy gumbo ... the flora -- live oaks draped with Spanish moss, ubiquitous pines, creamy-blossomed magnolias and yucca, showy azaleas, sweet-smelling honeysuckle... 

Pensacola -- My little sunbaked city by the sea

Then there's the history, the culture -- ten thousand years of Indian civilization, European settlement, antebellum plantation society, the pervasive influence of Christianity and tradition, and postbellum economic oppression that lasted for generations.  Throw in the hunting and fishing, Sunday singings, college football extravaganzas, going to mama'n'them's, the many distinctive music genres, renown hospitality and much, much more, and you begin to see what makes Dixie a fascinating backdrop for the storyteller's art. 


Some of My Other Interests

Mid Century Modern...anything. Art, architecture, furniture, housewares, fashion, you-name-it. Vintage Travel Trailers -- restoration, or building new to look old... Southern History and Heritage. Small craft design

My Writing Background

I'm a former staff writer for The Florida Sun, (now the Pensacola Independent News), which was published, starting in 1999, in Pensacola, Florida by former Congressman Joe Scarborough (now the star of "Morning Joe" on MS- NBC).

"Read Cover to Cover, Never Bound by the Truth" said the little slogan in the top left corner of the cover.  My articles were all nonfiction and ran the gamut from travel to current events and chemtrails to Bigfoot in Dixie.

Pop culture authors 
who inspired me to write

Rex Stout -- author of the Nero Wolf detective series -- the voice of Archie Goodwin, who shares with Scout Finch the honor of being my favorite first-person narrator. I read my first Wolfe Book at age thirteen, Might As Well Be Dead.

Frances Parkinson Keyes -- her sprawling Louisiana novels are a bit dated now and politically incorrect but her settings and characters are highly memorable. (Clyde Batchelor of Steamboat Gothic is the quintessential romance hero!)

Dixie Browning -- Back in the '80s, Dixie was the first to inspire me to try my hand at writing romance. Most Dixie's novels that I read were set in the South, along the Atlantic coast, which was a big attraction for me. It was doubly enjoyable because I could tell Dixie was a Southerner and knew her setting, and Southern people.

Margaret Mitchell -- Need I say more?

My Personal Backstory

I grew up a preacher's kid in Georgia and Alabama. My identity as a Southerner is stronger than my identity as an American simply because it goes back farther.

This sense of identity goes back to at least age three when I was too young to articulate it. We would climb into our pale green Henry J to go to church, to town, or to visit family, and I would stand in the front seat (no wussie car seats or lap belts for us Boomer kids, nosiree), stare out the windows, and feel a sense of belonging to this place...

I first identified the place that evoked this sense of belonging as my hometown, Dalton, Georgia, but as I grew older, the boundaries of my place expanded outward. By the time I reached my teens, it encompassed the entire South.

My sweet boy Flipper

Yeah, I'm a crazy cat lady. So what.


Original Material © Copyright 2019 by Connie Chastain.
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