The Gin Girl

River Jordan


     A sultry Florida adventure complete with drug dealers, a hurricane, a snake woman selling—and occasionally dispensing—venom, this first novel offers plenty of setting and surprises. Set in northern Florida, which anyone familiar with Florida knows is not of Florida, just as Florida is not of the South, we follow a barmaid returning to her island home after hearing her dead father calling to her in a dream, “It’s time to come home, Mary.” And for her it is time, after several years of wandering the country. But the tranquility of a homecoming and settling down aren’t in the cards, even though she lands a waitress job at the bar her childhood sweetheart used to own. Mary immediately becomes obsessed with learning the “facts,” about her childhood sweetheart’s murder. But facts are slippery, especially when people want to hide them. And when people sorely want to hide facts, searching them out can become dangerous. . . .

ISBN, trade paper: 1931982171, $14.95               Sale $7.50

ISBN, library edition: 978-1931982177, $25.00      Sale $12.50

About the Author: 

 River Jordan is a playwright and an avid promoter of the written word. She lives between swamps and saltwaters of the Gulf Coast for now, though she soon will move to Nashville. River has done a good deal of work for the Florida Network of Children’s Advocacy and for the Northwest Florida Regional Library. This is her first novel. She is presently working on another.

 Excerpt from the Book:

   The night I had the dream, I was in Memphis. It was unbearably hot, made hotter by the fact that there had been no warning of the coming heat. From the comfortable air of a languid southern winter, to a furnace blast like the dog days of August, we were engulfed by humidity. There arose in the city a communal understanding: we were all being assaulted by the same curse. Strangers would look at each other on the streets or in bars and shake their heads as if to say, “Why? What have we done to deserve this?” But there was no answer forthcoming, although I occasionally suspected it was because of something I had left undone. Something of primary importance, overlooked on my part, for which the entire southern region was now having to pay penance.
    To hide from the heat, I sat in front of the air conditioner in my pay-by-the-week motel room, a dingy end-of-the-line where I watched the flowered wallpaper peel while I drank Jack Daniels from a plastic cup. On the weekends I tended bar at a place called Seals. It was easy. I didn’t have to look good. I didn’t have to make small talk. I didn’t even have to smile, and I still got paid enough to get by and drink Black Jack and smoke Marlboros instead of generic. I didn’t think as much as I had the time to.

    The night that changed things had been a regular night. One filled with regular customers at their regular seats crying in their regular drinks. Occasionally, some new face walked in searching for a bar to call home.