The Podcasters: Meet the Characters of Magnolia Bluff

No longer are their gossip, and rumors, passed among themselves over morning coffee at the Real Good Wood-Fired Coffee Shop. Now they are on the air.

They are the gossips of Magnolia Bluff.

They feel they have two missions in life.

Keep their little country town clean of smut.

If they hear a rumor, they are not afraid to pass it on.

And Lord help you if you are on the wrong side of the rumor.

In The Flower Enigma, Book 5 of the Magnolia Bluff Crime Chronicles, the ladies have decided to join the twenty-first century.

The technology is there.

It’s up for them to use it.

They are launching a Podcast.

And the whole town has gathered at the Flower B & B to hear what they have to say.

No longer are their secrets, gossip, rumors, and opinions passed among themselves over morning coffee at the Real Good Wood-Fired Coffee Shop.

Now they have gone city-wide.

Now they are on the air.

God help Magnolia Bluff.

Charles Breakfield and Rox Burkey, authors of The Flower Enigma

As the former leader of the Crimson Hat Society, now head of the community podcasters, Mary Lou sat perfectly still with shoulders back, chest up. She patted her styled, grayish hair gently, knowing nothing was amiss, and smiled as she fired orders to her team. “Valerie, you’re in this segment with me, so git over here and sit. LouEllen, move that light up a little but make certain not to add wrinkle shadows. We’re live in four minutes. Caroline, you’re doing the live questions if they call in on the meeting line. Lily, let the watch-party know. Remind them no shout-outs unless I say so.”

Lily scampered to the front door, opened it, and delivered her message. She returned to her catbird seat and saw the signal from Mary Lou. She sat at the operations set-up and cued the introduction video. She murmured, “I’m so glad I asked Father Gorman to do the voice-over for our intro. His voice is like fine whiskey—smooth and warm. He’s the reason more folks attended Christ of the King on Sundays.”

The music dissolved into the background, and the collective sigh from the ladies punctuated the warm baritone voice of Lee Gorman. “Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for joining the podcast. During today’s discussion, Mary Lou may open it up for questions and comments. Our sponsor of this show is Lily Greenly, owner of Flower Bed and Breakfast. Lily is offering a special this week: buy two breakfasts and get a free lunch any time this month, during work hours, of course. Now here’s What’s Happening in Magnolia Bluff.”

Mary Lou regained control. “Ladies, y’all know that in this country, folks have a right to their privacy even if it does rankle us. Codswallop. We’ll open a Freedom of Information request and demand answers for strange goings on. We might try the same with old Wiley E. Purloin. He needs to respond. Our community has a right to know the type of neighbors buying property. Y’all remember that developer from last year. He tried to sweet talk the mayor and city council into letting him build a bunch of low rent, substandard, apartment complexes so they could house a bunch of Syrian refugees. Then the braggart claimed the government was going to subsidize the whole project. Remember how that turned out?”

Lily felt more confident hearing Mary Lou state this.

Valerie shuddered. “Eww. He didn’t have a line on any homeless refugees. He planned to lease it to the state corrections agency to store their inmate overflow. Just the sex offenders and underage narcotic traffickers. A half-way house for the criminally insane. Ugh!”

LouEllen’s face cringed, and her lips puckered. “Yeah, that was pretty creepy and a real close call.”

Agitated, Mary Lou waved her hands in the air. “Vigilance is required to protect our citizens from this kind of trailer trash infesting our community. Has everyone forgotten how long it took us to get rid of that shabby trailer park south of the city near the reservoir? My in-laws joked saying it looked like the county garbage dump with all those old tires on each trailer to hold ’em down in high winds. Nothing we did improved the situation until that tornado ripped through Jarrell and plowed right down the middle. I felt sorry for them folks. But God said it was time to clear the path.”

“You’re not suggesting it was divine intervention that leveled that trailer park, are you?” Valerie asked.

Mary Lou shrugged and looked up, conveying as much innocence as was possible for her age.

Valerie snorted and insisted, “Society is based on laws and fair rulings. We must use the legal infrastructure to get at the truth of what’s going on, then challenge where it’s outside of the regulations. We’ve gone to Chief Jager and even Sheriff Blanton. They don’t want any part of this.”

Mary Lou’s face contorted into an angry sneer the shade of a chili pepper. “That’s right. Law enforcement around here thinks if you haven’t broken any laws, you can get away with anything!”

“Imagine,” LouEllen sarcastically placated. “You’ve got to break the law before anyone will help. What a world we live in.”

Please click HERE to find The Flower Enigma on Amazon.

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