Time for that great detective team Mayson and Dickson! We have an excerpt from Jocie McKade’s latest in the Mayson-Dickson series as well as a highly informative guest post about the history of the Mason Dixon Line. I always thought it had to do with cornbread getting sweeter the further south you go? There is a giveaway for this one and someone who visits this site will win an ebook copy of Southern Charm. Keep an eye out for the prize guy!
The REAL Mason – Dixon Line
A Guest Post by Jocie McKade
When people hear Mason – Dixon and they immediately think of it as a line between the Northern states and the Southern states. While that has become an accepted fact, it is not historically true.
Way back in 1632 when land grants were being given to the American colonies by Britain, that line moved a bit here and there. Of course, it wasn’t yet known as the Mason-Dixon line. When things got testy between the colonies of Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, and Pennsylvania, Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon, were charged with surveying the area and ending the catfight between those states.
There was a political dispute (political disputes go WAY back) and Charles Calvert, 5th Baron Baltimore in an agreement with the heirs of William Penn, said he renounced his claim to land in Delaware. A short time later, he said he didn’t say that. (Sound familiar?)
This lead to a little-known war – Cresap’s War erupted between settlers in the contested areas, complete with property disputes, law enforcement issues, and I’m sure, who paid taxes to what colony. The militia was called in. Things got so bad King George II had to get involved and order a cease-fire to end the bloodshed, because who wants to be in Delaware when you could be living in Maryland. This was when Mason-Dixon were enlisted to survey the line. They surveyed the entire area between 1763 and 1767. There was a lot of area to be surveyed.
However, it wasn’t until 1779 that Pennsylvania and Virginia finally agreed to the line. “To extend Mason’s and Dixon’s line, due west, five degrees of longitude, to be computed from the river Delaware, for the southern boundary of Pennsylvania, and that a meridian, drawn from the western extremity thereof to the northern limit of the said state, be the western boundary of Pennsylvania forever.” And we thought legalese was a new thing!
During the Civil War, the line approximated the separation of slave states and free states, which lead to its popular usage as the most recognizable term for North versus South.
Which leads me to segway into my mystery series, Mayson-Dickson, and the latest book SOUTHERN CHARM.
Mayson & Dickson are back, and they’ve uncovered a dead body. Well, as usual, the dead body found them.
The annual Neptune Festival is in full swing in Virginia Beach, and so is the Sand Art Contest. This year, the beautiful art is covering up a very dead body. Leave it to Emme and Jackie to uncover it. Finding the killer, however, will lead them to places they never imagined, and to a completely unexpected killer.
And, their mysterious past is catching up to them, complicating their lives even more.
Mayson-Dickson – Northern logic, Southern charm, and murder!
About the Book
Southern Charm (Mayson-Dickson Mystery)
3rd in Series
In their latest adventure, in SOUTHERN CHARM, Emme and Jackie are enjoying, well Emme is enjoying a stroll along the Virginia Beach boardwalk when they attend the Neptune Festival and a sand art exhibit. Jackie tags along reluctantly, then a series of events, sends Emme sprawling into a sand sculpture. But it’s no ordinary sand sculpture; it’s hiding a dead body with lots of secrets.
Complicating their lives are cryptic GPS coordinates that lead them to their parent’s mysterious safe house, where they encounter protective drones. I’ll let you find out what happens next.
Mayson & Dickson, when they crossed the line, it was murder.
Read an Excerpt
“You’re heading south.”
“Yes, ma’am.” Emme smiled keeping the window half-way down.
“No. I am not going any farther into Dixieland. Bang-a-u-eey, now.” Jackie snapped her fingers, getting a grunt from her sister. “I mean it. I cannot take more ain’t and y’alls.”
“Look, North Carolina is right down the road,” sliding her sunglasses down her nose she gave Jackie a sarcastic smile. “I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to take a chance on Sydney, Meechum, Zack, or those Eights tracing us. Across state lines might make it harder. You want to know what’s on the flash drives, don’t you?”
“Fine, but we do this quick. No reason to linger, no suh.” Glaring at the half rolled down window and the hot breeze it brought inside the car, she turned two AC vents toward her face. “If I have to go deeper into Bubba-land, you have to roll up that window.”
Emme sighed and relented. Then she began guiding the car with her knee against the steering wheel while putting her hair in a ponytail. It was like riding with a stunt driver in the circus; only there weren’t any safety nets.
Two hours later they were sitting in the restaurant at a stock car race track. What had she done to piss off the universe? Jackie’s mind wandered to Boston, to brick streets, ice cream with Jimmies, walking in the cold air along the harbor, five-star restaurants. Now, she sat in a town whose name wasn’t even pronounced the way it was spelled on their welcome sign. A good old boy announcer was calling a car race, and there was a plate of ribs, biscuits, and something called ‘sopping sauce’ in front of her. One lone ceiling fan was turning slowly in the ceiling doing nothing more than moving the hot air around.
“Why do you look like there is a dead possum on your plate?” Wow, Emme had a way with words.
“I’m afraid it might be.” Jackie took a sip of cold tea…..dear gawd, her taste buds did the hula, her eyes began to water, and the syrupy stuff went down her throat in a slow crawl unleashing a coughing spasm.
“Are you alright?” Emme smacked her hard across the back, making the thick liquid stick in her throat. “Take a breath.”
“C…aaaannnn’t…..goo…..stuck……” the coughing continued.
“Here,” a handsome man, maybe, she couldn’t really tell through her watering eyes, handed her a can of soda. “Drink you some Coke; it’ll cut through anything.”
Jackie wasn’t a fan of Coke, but if it washed that crap down her throat, she’d guzzle it. Whatever was in that can wasn’t Coke, but it did cut the sugar clog, although it did nothing for her dancing taste buds.
“That’s,” she coughed, “not Coca-Cola.” Oh gawd, she sounded like a wounded parrot.
“It’s RC Cola.” He laughed. “Do you feel better?”
Jackie nodded, wishing for all the world she had water with lemon.
“I’m Rex, Rex Hollopeter. I drive number seventeen.” He nodded out the window toward the dust storm they called a race track.
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About the Author
Jocie McKade has worked at several jobs before landing her perfect one as a librarian. With a soft spot for U.S. Veterans, she chaired the Veteran’s Oral History Project and her work with the program lead to her speaking before the Project committee and the U.S. Library of Congress. She has won several awards for her non-fiction writing on a multitude of subjects.
Her fiction writing has received the Author / Ambassador at Library Journal Self-e Authors,
Winner Queen of the West Reader Favorite Award, Amazon Bestseller – Historical,
Double finalist in the Next Generation Indie Book Awards in the Mystery and Humorous Categories, and her novel Baer Truth received 4.5 stars from RT Book Reviews.
Writing mostly romantic comedy and humorous cozy fiction, Jocie can humor in most everything. She lives in the Midwest on Dust Bunny Farm with her family and Diesel the Wonder Dog. When not writing, she grows ArnoldSwartzaWeeds in her garden and camps whenever the opportunity presents itself.
Thank you for the information on “Southern Charm” and for being part of the book tour. I enjoyed reading the guest post by Jocie McKade on The REAL Mason – Dixon Line as well as the excerpt from the book.
I have this book on my TBR list and would love the opportunity to read the book.
2clowns at arkansas dot net
Thank you so much for hosting me!!