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TONI MORGAN

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Paperback: 300 pages
Publisher: Adelaide Books (October 2018)
Language: English
ISBN-13:
ISBN-10:
Product Dimensions:  6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
Price: $22.30

 

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QUEENIE'S PLACE

 

It is 1972. Tom Donovan, helicopter pilot, husband and father of one, has just returned from his second tour in Vietnam with orders to Marine Corps Base Camp Puller, North Carolina, known to most who’ve been there as the armpit of the Marine Corps. They soon leave their long-time home in southern California and head east.

 

klan country



From the moment Doreen sees the “Welcome to Klan Country” sign, North Carolina is one culture shock after another. Then one day BAM, her car tire goes flat right in front of Queenie’s. The place is jumping—there’s music, there’s dancing and the best barbecue in North Carolina. Tom practically has to peel her out of the place. But without warning, Queenie’s place is closed, the women accused of prostitution and bootlegging.

 

burning cross

 

A born crusader (she cut her teeth demonstrating for Cesar Chavez and the grape pickers and against the Vietnam War—yes even with Tom over there) Doreen quickly dons her armor and saddles up, her reluctant son, Billy, at her side. Things soon go from bad to worse: the protest march she organizes turns into a brawl and the women are arrested, a general store is burned down in a nearby black community and the Klan pays a nighttime visit to Queenie’s place. Not only that, the Marine Corps is exerting more pressure on Tom causing unpleasantness at home; Billy is sure his parents are heading for a divorce.

 

road house



My inspiration for writing QUEENIE’S PLACE happened when we were living in North Carolina. My neighbor called me one day—her car had broken down and she needed me to come get her. She gave me directions then whispered “please hurry, this place is strange.” The address she’d given me took me a couple of miles out of town to a small house with marigolds planted in front. Inside were five women--two Asian-Americans and three African-Americans. The women were friendly, though not fully dressed; it was a brothel. My friend and I giggled on the drive home, speculating what our husbands would have to say that evening.

For years, I thought about that place and those women, wondering what they thought of the two white women who’d dropped in on them then promptly left. QUEENIE’S PLACE isn’t a brothel, it’s a roadhouse, but I’d like to think the story could have happened the way I’ve told it. Also, I wish I had been more like Doreen. Unfortunately, I wasn’t.

 

 

 

"…my eyes locked on a sign looming high above yet another field and
visible from a long way off:
WELCOME TO KLAN COUNTRY"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

books

CONTENTS: Two-Hearted Crossing
Home Patrimony
About Echoes from a Falling Bridge
Books Harvest the Wind
Media Lotus Blossom Unfurling
Contact Queenie's Place
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