Review Opportunity: Alligator Stew by C.D. Mitchell

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Title: Alligator Stew
Author: C.D. Mitchell
Age Range: Adult
Genre: Literary Fiction
Publisher: Southern Yellow Pine Publishing
Release Date: January 30, 2014
Goodreads Link:

Every year it seems another apocalypse is predicted. Every day we hear of the pending global warming disaster. There was Y2K. The next one was the Mayan 2012. Every preacher on television rants and raves about the end of time and the apocalypse and the second coming of Christ. Preacher Harold Camping went so far as to predict the exact day. After that day came and went, he claimed he had made a mistake and made another prediction. Then he finally admitted he had no clue. No one cared after he missed the second time.

During the summer of 1990, Iben Browning predicted an apocalyptic earthquake would strike the New Madrid Fault on December 3rd, 1990, devastating the heartland from St. Louis to Memphis.

In Delbert, Arkansas, a fictional town along the New Madrid Fault, the people felt other things were more important than an impending apocalypse--like Wink Gaskill's beer permit application for a new local convenience store he was building.

Faydeane Gossett stated the community concerns clearly: "If we allow him to sell beer, next thing you know we'll have crack houses, whorehouses and casinos on every street corner."

In this story collection, the townspeople barrel towards their date with destiny while dealing with infidelity, lust, sexual and domestic abuse, drug addiction, cancer, family histories, bigotry, murder, ambition, sexual preferences, mental illness, loss, failure, religion, mistakes, local gossip, elections and professional wrestling.

Despite Iben Browning's prediction of an apocalyptic earthquake, December 3rd, 1990 came and went without so much as a tremor, and as with all predictions of apocalypse, the town folks breathed a collective sigh of relief and went about returning their generators to Sears for a refund, pouring their cache of gasoline into their trucks and ATV's, eating their Vienna Sausages, Velveeta loaves, and Spam sandwiches, and dumping stored gallons of water on their front yards and winter greens.

They went back to dealing with the every day problems that make a predicted apocalypse seem small in comparison.

Facing a once in a lifetime catastrophic event, the residents of Delbert, Arkansas, prove that the truly apocalyptic events are the ones they face every day.

C.D. Mitchell is the author of "Alligator Stew," recently released by Southern Yellow Pine Publishing of Tallahassee, and "God's Naked Will" from Burnt Bridge Press. He was born in Paragould, Arkansas, the oldest of 6 children and raised on a 12 acre chicken farm a stone's throw from where his parents now live on Rockingchair Road. While living on the farm he experienced milking cows, making butter, butchering and sugar curing pork, pickling cucumbers and cooking poke salad, raising a garden and canning jams and jellies, tomatoes and relish. After living a short while in Michigan and Illinois, his family returned to Arkansas where he completed high school and then attended the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville. He obtained a BSBA in finance and banking, then went on to attend the University of Arkansas School of Law, completing requirements for his Juris Doctorate in December, 1987. In 2002 he decided to return to graduate school to follow his dream of becoming a writer. His second year at McNeese State University was interrupted when his son began treatment for leukemia at ST. Jude's Medical Center in Memphis. CD transferred to the University of Memphis and completed his MFA with concentrations in fiction and creative nonfiction. While at Memphis CD served as the managing editor for "The Pinch," the literary journal published by the MFA program. Clayton, his youngest son, has been in remission 10 years. He has another son, Clinton, and a daughter, Candice.

After a short legal career where he experienced the courtroom as a prosecutor, a defense attorney, and a special judge, CD Mitchell began his own construction business. He has worked with the Union Pacific and Southern Pacific Railroads as a tracklayer and bridge-man, owned his own BBQ stand and competed in Memphis in May preliminary competitions, raised quarter horses and coonhounds, canned homegrown pickles and tomatoes, and finished with a professional boxing record of 45-5 with 38 knockouts. Tommy Morrison, the former World Heavyweight Champion, claimed one of his first Toughman championships in fights promoted by CD in Springdale, Arkansas. CD also worked on the locks and dams of the Arkansas River from Toad Suck to Ozark. He has been a pallbearer and a groom four times, but has never been a best-man, and that in itself is a story waiting to be written.

Proud to be called a southern writer, CD takes great pleasure in writing about his home state of Arkansas, the south, and the wonderful people who live there. He also takes great pleasure in revealing their wonderful character-- as well as their many faults. His stories and essays have been published in several nationally and internationally recognized print and online journals that include The Appalachee Review, The Southeast Review, Natural Bridge, The Evansville Review, Story South, Real South, The Arkansas Review, and others. His work has been included in several anthologies, with his story "The Execution" included in a crime anthology titled "Crime After Crime" published in the United Kingdom.

He is currently working on a novel and revising his memoir titled "This, Too, is Vanity." The readers of "Alligator Stew" and "God's Naked Will" will be given an opportunity to select a character from the stories for CD's next novel.

A strong belief that we all owe much to our communities has kept CD Mitchell busy over the years. He has served as a juror for the Arkansas State Arts Council in Little Rock awarding over $25,000 in Novelists grants to selected applicants. In Alabama he served as the Visiting Writer at the Mt. Meigs Juvenile Detention Facility as part of the Writing Our Stories Program for the Alabama Writers Forum. He has taught at, participated in, and hosted panels at the Sanibel Island Writer's Conference, The Gulf Coast Association for Creative Writing Teachers, The Other Words Conference, South Central MLA, Alabama Scholastic Press Association, The Delta Blues Symposium, Lausanne Collegiate School, and the Hemingway Pfieffer Museum and Educational Center.

Links: Website + Goodreads + Twitter + Amazon

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