Friday, August 8, 2014

Straight Browsing From the Library: Smart Blondes by Sonia Koso

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“It takes real friends to get you through a hair-color disaster and a cheating husband…”

Austin socialite Carrie Pryce has no idea that her charming, sexy husband is carrying on with another woman…until she returns home unexpectedly, mistakes the sounds of passion for a home-invasion robbery, and accidently shoots him in one of his well-toned buttocks. Shocked and crushed, Carrie drives all night to her quirky hometown and collapses in a near-catatonic state.

A crew of ladies spanning three generations realize it’s up to them to help Carrie get her life out of the ditch. Known as the “Presbyterian Mafia,” these are not sweet old gals. They have a book club that never reads, a garden club that doesn’t garden, and a bible study class that gossips about the Methodists. They’re known around town for antics including catfights, car chases and Voodoo rituals. The women enlist Carrie’s former childhood best friend Portia (now a lawyer) and her flamboyant cousin Eric (recently returned from New York) in their effort.

While navigating the shark-infested waters of reconciliation or divorce and managing a hair-color disaster, Carrie meets Rhett Richards. He’s a handsome, salt-of-the-earth guy who works in the oil fields and can make women think un-Christian thoughts just by wearing a pair of wranglers. The mutual attraction quickly becomes hotter than the handles on the gates of hell. When a long-forgotten prenuptial agreement surfaces, it appears that Carrie will walk away from her marriage with next to nothing. Carrie’s friends, family, and Rhett soon help her realize that living and loving well may be the best revenge.


An interesting family

The clipping was from the New Orleans Times-Picayune dated 1935. Carrie scanned it and looked at Eric in disbelief.

“A Glapion went to prison?” She asked. Glapion was their grandmother’s maiden name.

“It appears so.”

“Do you think Mom knows?”

“I doubt it,” Eric responded. “I never heard Dad, Grandma or Grand Aunt Claire speak of a Marnie.” Eric pulled out another clipping. “She looks just like Gran.”

“Holy smokes,” Carrie said, looking at the image of a young woman leaving a courthouse in handcuffs. “Marnie Glapion.”

“At first, I wondered if it was a cousin or distant relation but if you look in the upper corner of that picture,” Eric explained, pointing out two faces in the crowd. “I think that’s Solange and Claire. They had to be related.”

“They look horrified,” Carrie said. “But why? What did she do?”

“That’s the most interesting part. She was a bank robber.”


“She knocked over a few banks in Louisiana,” Eric said. “She and two others.” Carrie stared at him, disbelieving. “Marnie got caught when a robbery went bad and a guard tackled her. She shot him in the leg but he survived. The others got away. They were never caught and Marnie never ratted them out.”

“How bizarre.”

“She was sentenced to twenty years. I found another clipping that said she died in the women’s prison in 1947.”

“Do you think Grandpa Arlen knew?”

“The bigger question is what Grandma Solange knew. She was only a few years younger than Marnie,” Eric raised a brow. “And the clippings describe three robbers but goes on to say they wore coveralls, bandannas on their faces, and hats.”

“So you think Grandma Solange might have been a bank robber?’

“In our gene pool, it’s not out of the realm of possibility.” 


Sonia Koso grew up in the eccentricity-filled piney woods of North East Texas. She has been writing since an early age and considers it her first love. After receiving a B.A. in English Writing, her life took a drastic turn and she went to law school. Sonia practiced law for over a decade but was drawn back to writing in 2012. Sonia's stories feature strong women, good-looking guys, legal dilemmas and a dose of humor. Smart Blondes borrows many characters from her childhood as well as her legal career.

Sonia does most of her writing at her condo in Austin’s hip SOCO district. It’s in walking distance from landmarks including Lady Bird Lake, the Continental Club, and the Congress Avenue Bat Bridge. When not writing, Sonia divides her time between the live music of Austin and the sunshine of Boca Raton. She loves Tex-Mex food, blue water, cocktails and good friends. Sonia often dreams of a man who can do his own laundry and a walk-in closet with a chandelier…but not necessarily in that order.


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