Hi, all, Donnell here! Today it’s my privilege to host my friend and fellow Get Lost in a Story blogger Susan M. Boyer whose book Lowcountry Boil is making people take notice.  One a 2012 Golden Heart finalist and two, first place in MAINSTREAM for the 2012 Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense.  Susan signed with Henery Press and look at what reviewers are saying….

“Plenty of secrets, long-simmering feuds, and greedy ventures make for a captivating read…Boyer’s chick lit PI debut charmingly showcases South Carolina island culture.” — Library Journal

Lowcountry Boil offered an intriguing mystery and a unresolved romance which should keep enthusiasts of both genres happy and eager to read the next book in the series.... The book was a page turner full of southern charm. I gobbled it up quickly and I can’t wait to read the sequel. Five stars out of five.”   Lynn Farris, National Mystery Review Examiner at Examiner.com

“Imaginative, empathetic, genuine, and fun, Lowcountry Boil is a lowcountry delight.”  Carolyn Hart, author of WHAT THE CAT SAW (October 2013)

“I love this book. And you will too. Witty, droll, clever—and just a tad quirky!—this light-hearted and authentically southern mystery is full of heart, insight, and a deep understanding of human nature. Susan M. Boyer is a fresh new voice in crime fiction!” Hank Phillippi Ryan Anthony, Agatha, and Macavity winning author/THE OTHER WOMAN

DONNELL AGAIN.  . .Now for those who know me, I was born in Texas, but transplanted to New Mexico and ended up in Colorado.  So my Texas regionalisms got hopelessly lost in the Four Corners Area.  So when I need someone to talk Southern to me, I know exactly where to go.  I mean, Susan Boyer is Southern down to her shoelaces.  So with that in mind, I thought I’d have a little fun with her today and ask her to explain Southernisms.

TRUE OR FALSE:  It is not a shopping cart, it is a buggy.

SUSAN M. BOYER:  This is true. I’ve called it a buggy my whole life—still do most of the time. This actually has its origins in British English. It derived from horse and buggy. But if someone who is Nouveau Southern refers to it as a shopping cart, we do know what they’re talking about.

TRUE OR FALSE”  "Fixinto" is one word (I'm fixinto go to the store).

SUSAN M. BOYER:  False. This is two words—“fixin’ to,” or as those overly fond of the letter ‘g’ might insist, “fixing to.” This simply means one is preparing to do something, and studying it carefully beforehand as opposed to rushing right on into things.   

TRUE OR FALSE:  Sweet Tea is appropriate for all meals and you start drinking it when you're 2 years old.

SUSAN M. BOYER:  Well now, first off, no one I know calls it Sweet Tea—everyone here knows the tea is sweet unless you ask for unsweetened. As for it being appropriate for all meals, that’s certainly true, but one does have options. I mean, it’s not a requirement or anything. I couldn’t start my day without strong coffee, but my mamma has iced tea every morning. Some folks will give a baby younger than two a bottle with tea, but I personally wouldn’t recommend it.

TRUE OR FALSE:  "Jeet?" is actually a phrase meaning "Did you eat?"

SUSAN M. BOYER:  Yes, this is Southern shorthand, usually followed by “yet,” as in, “Jeet yet?” 

TRUE OR FALSE:  Shut my mouth means to be quiet.

SUSAN BOYER:  No, this is an expression of surprise, indicating that the person is shocked speechless.

TRUE OR FALSE:  Gone back on your raisin’ means to leave the raisins out of your cookie mix.

SUSAN M. BOYER:  Umm…no. False. Saying that someone is “going back on their raisin’ (raising)” simply means that his parents taught him to behave better than his current actions would seem to indicate.

TRUE OR FALSE:  Bless Your Heart is a compliment.

SUSAN M. BOYER:  “Bless your heart” is the most misunderstood Southernism in the whole wide world. The phrase has many meanings, and it’s all about context.

It often is a genuine expression of sympathy, as in “I heard about your mamma. I’m so sorry—bless your heart. I’ll bring a casserole by this afternoon.”

Sometimes “bless your heart” is delivered with a hug to convey empathy, like when a friend’s hair color doesn’t quite turn out.

It can mean a humorous indulgence of an eccentric friend or relative when he does something that clearly illustrates his lack of the sense God granted a Billy goat, but we all still love him anyway. Example: “Poor ole Bubba. Wonder what he expected to happen when he bit the head off that fish, bless his heart.”

On the other hand, it can mean something entirely different. Most Southerners are pathologically polite. When our patience is tested, and we are sorely tempted to say something of which our mammas purely would not approve, we say something else, and tack, “bless her heart” onto the end of it.

This accomplishes two things: we communicate to our friends what we are really thinking, and we feel better having vented the ugly thought without disgracing our mammas by going back on our raisin’. Example: If Mary Beth, a former girlfriend, shows up at a football game with your ex-boyfriend, with whom everyone and their cousin knows you are still in love, you might say to your friends, “That shade of hair surely does match Mary Beth’s lipstick, bless her heart.”

DONNELL:  Oh my gosh, this is hysterical.  Thank you for translating for me, Susan.  I refuse to give up my Texas drawl in total, and I still say ya’ll, but I know I’ve lost the heart and soul of Southernisms so, I deeply appreciate your explanations….

Susan: I have a question for all y’all: Wherever you call home, are there certain regional sayings that newcomers might not immediately understand—things that you only understand if you are “from here?”

Leave your answer as a comment and be sure to include your email address. We’re giving away one copy of Lowcountry Boil in a random drawing from all commenters from yesterday’s Get Lost in a Story post and today’s.

Note: Offer void where prohibited. Prizes will be mailed to North America addresses only unless specifically mentioned in the post. Odds of winning vary due to the number of entrants. Winners of drawings are responsible for checking this site in a timely manner. If prizes are not claimed in a timely manner, the author may not have a prize available. Get Lost In A Story cannot be responsible for an author's failure to mail the listed prize. GLIAS does not automatically pass email addresses to guest authors unless the commenter publicly posts their email address.

Y’all come see me when you can. I hang out in all the usual places on the web:

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  1. Donnell, thanks so much for doing this--it was so much fun! :)

  2. Great interview ladies !!

    Being a true Texan and very southern... I'm glad you finally explained about TEA, Susan. Even though I don't drink it, I was taught to put the sugar in the pitcher, pour in the hot steeping tea, add a tray of ice and fill with cool water. It's just TEA. You know it wasn't until the 21st century that restaurants ASKED you which type you wanted around here, bless their hearts.


  3. Great interview, Susan. Love all the Southernisms. And I'm definitely Mid Western--I've never called a shopping cart a buggy. That was a new one to me. Good luck on Lowcountry Boil--it's a great book!

  4. Angi, thanks for the chuckle and everything. :)

    Terri--thank you so much for everything! :)

  5. My family laughs at me every time I order unsweetened tea up north. And did you know you can order sweet tea north of the Mason-Dixon now? That's newish. They might as well, everyone dumps those pink packets in their tea, anyway.

    Up north the division isn't about tea, though. It's soda or pop. You can determine where you're from whether you say soda or pop. I was raised with pop and switched to soda when I went to college in Missouri. Now that I've lived in Georgia for seventeen years, I just call it coke.

    Congrats on your release! So happy for you! Lowcountry Boil is a wonderful mystery!

  6. Well, you'll have a hard time getting a breaded tenderloin sandwich outside of Indiana...

  7. Larissa, I've notice macaroni and cheese is another difference. In the South it's a side dish, often served with fried chicken, or fried something. Many places north of Virginia, it's a main dish, and has yummy things added to it--like pancetta.

    Girlygirl, that breaded tenderloin sandwich sounds yummy. I'll have to try that next time I'm in Indiana. :)

  8. I enjoyed the interview, thank you.

  9. My family is from New England and I always say its on the sideboard. Everyone here in Florida goes WHAT!!!! And the expression Down the road apiece really throws them!

  10. Thanks, Kit! You are entered!
    Pamela, I love the saying, "Down the road a piece!" That's one I'm very familiar with as well. :)

    Thanks, y'all for stopping by!

  11. I enjoyed the interview. I hear people refer to soda as either soda or pop.


  12. very fun post! I'm "greater New York metro area" and we've got a few things that might confuse people, but the one that seems to trip up the most visitors is the idea of "regular coffee" -- because "regular" is not a size, it's coffee with milk and two sugars. Thus, many a morning I order "large regular coffee" from the deli. mmmmm good stuff!

  13. How fun! Thank you for the translations, Susan. Bless your heart for saving me from ordering tea in the South—I'll be sure to ask for unsweetened.

    I grew up in Milwaukee where we call water fountains "bubblers" and we "go by" a friend's house instead of "go to."

    Best of luck with your book!

  14. I went to high school in Alaska, where the entire lower 48 is known as "Down South." When I was in college in New England, it took me a while to figure out that the guy from Alabama didn't mean the same thing by that phrase.

    I also know someone is a New Yorker when they talk about standing "on line" rather than "in line." And in Boston I really did know someone who said "youse guys."

  15. Larissa, I'm from Texas, where everything is Coke. Doesn't matter what brand. I heard soda maybe a few times growing up, usually in the context of "we have grape or orange soda," but Coke, Dr. Pepper, Pepsi ... all Coke.

    Also, try to get a chicken fried steak north of the Mason-Dixon. The first time I ever went to DC, I was a teenager and asked for one in a restaurant. It wasn't on the menu, but for some reason I REALLY wanted it that day. The waitress took a step back, looked at me, and said "You want me to do what to a chicken?"

  16. Hi all!

    AceMommy (who commented Monday) won the drawing, and she has been contacted via email. Thanks everyone for visiting with Donnell and me on GLIAS!

  17. So much fun. I value the lessons, Susan!