Get Carol's Newsletter
Sign up for exclusive content, updates and more.

First Place Winner of the Dragonfly Book Award 2020 for Novel

First Place Winner of the Dragonfly Book Award 2020 for Novel

Available: June 7, 2019

• Page Count: 292

ISBN: 9780578491158

A New York Yankee on Stinking Creek



Alone, again, after the death of her fiancé, abstract artist Kiara Rafferty finds herself on Stinking Creek, Tennessee. She wants out of this hillbilly backwater, where hicks speak an unknown language masquerading as English.  Isolated, if she doesn’t count the snakes and termites infesting her cabin, only a one-way ticket home to Manhattan would solve her problems.

Alone in a demanding crowd, Delia Mae McGuffrey lives for God, her husband, her family, and the congregation of her husband’s church. Stifled by rules, this pastor’s wife walks a fine line of perfection, trying to please them all. Now an atheist Yankee, who moved in across the road, needs her, too.

Two women. Two problems. Each holds the key to the other’s freedom.


Available from these Retailers
  • "The best contemporary novel I read this year."authorLena Nelson Dooley
  • I love a character-driven plot. The city girl vs the country girl. The sinner vs the saint. The author did a great job showing how at the core of things, we aren't so different. We all need grace and truth. And above all these, of A Heart SurrenderedJoy Massenburge
  • This story made me laugh out loud, made me cry, made me think about my own actions and reactions to others. The characters are a beautiful mix of humor, problems, and insight. It was wonderful to see the interactions unfold as all sides learned about each other and what makes "the other side" tick. Coming to the end of the book was a mix of emotions. While I was excited to see things come together, I didn't want the story to end. Here's hoping there's a sequel!a readerSarah Vozzo
  • "A New York Yankee in Stinking Creek" is a divergent contrast between two women, two distinctive ways of life, and two completely opposing worldviews. The story kept me close to the written page as I grew to love both women. Their dissimilar lifestyles opened my way of thinking and my heart as the author drew me into their lives, allowing me to see the common ground between them. AuthorJune Foster
  • I loved this book. Now my Carol McClain fav. The book runs the gamut of emotion. Carol has a gift for cryptic humor. I love the conflict between the two women and how they are drawn into a friendship that neither of them would have imagined. The book reminds us that when all is said and done, a Christian is merely a sinner saved by grace. We are not exempt from the same struggles common to the human experience. This is a great read ... funny yet of Hosea's HeartLinda Rondeau

First Place Winner of the Dragonfly Book Award 2020 for Novel Excerpt

Like a bomb, Kiara’s world detonated and dumped her back in time to a stinking cabin on Stinking Creek. It might as well have been an explosion rather than a long cab ride that rattled her brain like mortar fire—or a ride on the A train.
Kiara’s eyes strained through the darkness, illuminated only from the taxi’s headlights. A log cabin looking like it was chinked with mud rose before her. Bryce, why did you call this place a haven?
“The far’s one-hundred-twenty.” The cabbie’s gravelly voice jarred her. “We’ll skip the cents seein’ as I ain’t gonna fuss with change at midnight.”
Kiara twisted the ring on her left index finger. One-twenty? I thought Manhattan cabbies gouged.
The driver jumped out of the taxi, popped the trunk, and grabbed her luggage. He plopped her bags on the front porch. The simple wooden structure stood no more than a foot off the ground. The rough planks disappeared into the gloom around the far side of the cabin.
“The far don’t include the tip.” The driver grinned. His face, lit by the taxi’s headlights looked like a kid holding a flashlight to his face to scare his friends around a campfire. Creepy.
She fished through her handbag and pulled out her wallet. Hopefully, the local taxis would be cheaper. A chirruping filled the air interspersed with a loud croaking. Manhattan was noisy, but this?
“What’s making the racket?” She waved her hand—the one grasping the fare.
The cabbie slanted his head and listened. “What? Them insects?”
“They’re bugs?” Visions of cockroaches scurrying across her floor in her Manhattan condo scuttled through her imagination. She wouldn’t survive these hills.
“They’re katydids. ‘Bout ready to die off for the season. The loud croakin’—them’s tree frogs.”
Katydids? Frogs living in trees? Kiara shuddered and handed the cabbie a hundred-dollar bill and a fifty. “Keep the change.” She turned her eyes back to the cabin, and her heart wrung out more misery. “Thank you.”
She fumbled for her key—the one Bryce had made a year ago when they bought this place. The key, splashed in different colors like a Kandinsky painting created while on LSD, swirled in a wild mix of pink and turquoise and yellow creating an abstract design. She had laughed out loud when he presented it to her as though he were giving her the keys to Windsor Castle.
“The cabin’s in your name, alone, my cherry-haired leprechaun.” He bent and kissed the whorls of hair she’d just begun training into dreadlocks. “Amanda won’t be able to lay her hands on it.” His eyes had danced with joy. “When we marry, we’ll have a retreat like Yaddo. A place for all artists—writers and photographers and sculptors—”
“Don’t forget painters,” she interjected.
“Of course, painters.” Bryce had pulled her into his arms and held her close. “Tennessee will get to know the world’s greatest abstract artist. We’re in this together. For the long haul.”
He lied.
Three weeks ago, he died.
The crunch of the cab’s tires faded leaving only the chirruping of the katydids and frogs to torment her. Can any good thing come out of Stinking Creek?
She took one step up onto the porch.
“Ah!” She danced off it, dropped her bags and flailed her arms. Spider webs tangled in her face, wove into her dreadlocks. She spat the fibers from her mouth. As she choked, Kiara felt a fat, pregnant spider, or worse, its silk-wrapped fly, slide down her gullet. She spit. Spit some more like a truck driver gorging on chew.
She unwrapped the narrow scarf binding up her dreads, scrubbed her hair with her hands to make sure Ms. Arachne didn’t take up residence there.
Shivering in the cold evening, she draped the cloth over her face in case another web tangled in the path to the door. No other creepy crawler would slide where only food should reside.
Kiara sank onto the porch’s one step. What else lurked in the dark?