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The Sweet Potato Queens' Book of Love: A Fallen Southern Belle's Look at love, Life, Men, Marriage, and Being Prepared

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Overview

To know the Sweet Potato Queens is to love them, and if you haven't heard about them yet, you will. Since the early 1980s, this group of belles gone bad has been the toast of Jackson, Mississippi, with their glorious annual appearance in the St. Patrick's Day parade. In The Sweet Potato Queens' Book of Love, their royal ringleader, Jill Conner Browne, introduces the Queens to the world with this sly, hilarious manifesto about love, life, men, and the importance of being ...

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Sweet Potato Queens' Book of Love: A Fallen Southern Belle's Look at love, Life, Men, Marriage, and Being Prepared

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Overview

To know the Sweet Potato Queens is to love them, and if you haven't heard about them yet, you will. Since the early 1980s, this group of belles gone bad has been the toast of Jackson, Mississippi, with their glorious annual appearance in the St. Patrick's Day parade. In The Sweet Potato Queens' Book of Love, their royal ringleader, Jill Conner Browne, introduces the Queens to the world with this sly, hilarious manifesto about love, life, men, and the importance of being prepared. Chapters include:
The True Magic Words Guaranteed to Get Any Man to Do Your Bidding
The Five Men You Must Have in Your Life at All Times
Men Who May Need Killing, Quite Frankly
What to Eat When Tragedy Strikes, or Just for Entertainment

And, of course:
The Best Advice Ever Given in the Entire History of the World

From tales of the infamous Sweet Potato Queens' Promise to the joys of Chocolate Stuff and Fat Mama's Knock You Naked Margaritas, this irreverent, shamelessly funny book is the gen-u-wine article.

Visit the Sweet potato Queens Web site at www.sweetpotatoqueens.com

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Editorial Reviews

BUST Magazine
If your inner queen is sleeping, this book will certainly wake her, and have her jonesing for a tiara of her own.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Unlike other beauty queens, the Jackson, Miss., Sweet Potato Queens are self-crowned, rule for life (there's no "former" tag for these gals) and are real women--figure flaws and all. Originally organized in 1982, the Queens are, by their own account, "fallen Southern belles" and "female drag queens"--and as such, they are all about attitude and humor. This buoyantly funny guide to life and love is a hoot from the get-go as ringleader Browne offers queenly observations on life's most pressing issues. Some topics may seem trivial, such as tanning, making the most of big hair and delighting in "big, sturdy, serviceable, substantial Russian immigrant underwear" for pregnant women (it's so "indescribably comfy" that "you may never go back"), but they are expertly mined for laughs. Non-cooks may reconsider when reading the hilariously artery-clogging recipes in the chapter "What to Eat When Tragedy Strikes," highlighting the four main food groups (sweet, salty, fried and au gratin) and suitable for both therapeutic and recreational eating. The life-affirming final chapter reminds readers of life's many options: "Life may indeed be short, but it is, for a fact, wide." If you can't get enough of the Queens, you can visit their Web site (coming in January): www.sweetpotatoqueens.com. (Feb.)
Library Journal
Let me say right up front that I had never heard of the Sweet Potato Queens until their book landed on my front porch. If you too are unenlightened, let me inform you that they are a group of women in green sequined dresses, red wigs, and "enhanced" figures that participate in parades and other events in the South, led by founding Queen (and humor writer) Browne. Their tongue-in-cheek advice includes chapters on maintaining the queenly look, magic words to get any man to do your bidding, and what to eat when tragedy strikes. The book includes recipes ("chocolate stuff" for when you're feeling down) and addresses (where to order fake teeth). But chapters like "The Five Men You Must Have in Your Life at All Times" and "Men Who May Need Killing, Quite Frankly" just weren't all that funny. Some of the stories were touching, and there's more than a little truth to all of them, but most of this book is a bit heavy-handed. Strictly a regional title; not recommended for most libraries.--Kathy Ingels Helmond, Indianapolis-Marion Cty. P.L.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780609804131
  • Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 1/28/1999
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 213
  • Sales rank: 95,542
  • Product dimensions: 5.52 (w) x 7.62 (h) x 0.66 (d)

Meet the Author

Jill Conner Browne

Jill Conner Browne is the author of the bestselling The Sweet Potato Queens' Book of Love. She lives in Jackson, Mississippi with her daughter Bailey.

Biography

Those without a sense of humor need not read any further.

Now that that's out of the way, welcome to the world of Jill Conner Browne, self-proclaimed "Sweet Potato Queen" and internationally-proclaimed fabulously funny writer of romantic advice, tantalizingly tasty recipes, and -- now, for the first time -- rip-roaring fiction! While Browne is no doubt the queen-bee of the Sweet Potato set, apparently there are factions of other such queens all across the nation. You may even have one in your very own neighborhood; they can always be recognized by their flashy sunglasses, even flashier red fright wigs, their sly pseudonyms of "Tammy" (which they acquire to ‘protect their identities'), and the chilly margaritas inevitably clenched in their hands. The illustrious Sweet Potato Queens have all loved and lost, maybe they're approaching middle-age, and they certainly enjoy a bawdy tale as much as a frosty beverage. As their ranks continue to grow, Jill Conner Browne's popularity and success does, as well -- which is quite an improvement over her less than ideal beginnings.

About fifteen years ago, Browne was awash in financial troubles, twice divorced, and responsible for a little girl and a sickly mother. To combat her less-than-glamorous life, she and a clutch of friends took on the absurdly glamorous personas of the Sweet Potato Queens, parading around the streets of Mississippi in a sweet potato farm truck, dolled up in outrageous tiaras and feather boas. Soon enough the Sweet Potato Queens became something of a local phenomenon, which Browne parlayed into hilariously in-your-face columns about love, life, family, and men. The publication of her very first book The Sweet Potato Queens' Book of Love followed. The volume was an all-out explosion of ribald, good-natured advice (ex: "The True Magic Words Guaranteed to Get Any Man to Do Your Bidding") and, of course, a smashing recipe for the perfect margarita. With the massive success of Browne's first book, her life suddenly took a turn for the better and she became one of the hottest writers going. Her uproarious sequel God Save the Sweet Potato Queens solidified Browne's status as a role model for other women looking to break out of their shells. The book offered up more advice ("Dating for the advanced, or advancing"; "The joys of marriage -- if you must"), as well as more lip-smacking recipes.

Such recipes were the chief focus of The Sweet Potato Queens' Big-Ass Cookbook (and Financial Planner) , a carefree compendium of secret recipes ("The Gooiest Cake in the World"; "Bitch Bar Bacon Swimps") and some tongue-in-cheek financial advice ("Hope that Daddy lives forever").

By now, the Sweet Potato Queens had grown into a veritable nationwide army, eager to devour new titles like The Sweet Potato Queens' Field Guide to Men and The Sweet Potato Queens' Wedding Planner/Divorce Guide. With The Sweet Potato Queens' First Big-Ass Novel, Browne's first foray into fiction, the origin of the Queens is finally (and fictionally) revealed. Publishers Weekly for one hopes that Conner's debut as a novelist is just the beginning of her fiction career, declaring it "a GEN-U-WINE page-turner of a novel" and rhapsodizing, "Browne's hilarious and heartwarming debut sets sturdy groundwork for future fictional follies."

Good To Know

Now that Browne has introduced the world to the Sweet Potato Queens via her hilarious books, she is continuing to spread the word in person. She regularly does public appearance tours in which she speaks "about all things Queenly."

Browne is not the only writer in the Conner clan. Her sister Judy is the author of the similarly humorous Southern Fried Divorce.

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Read an Excerpt

BE PREPARED
on Account of You Just Never Know

The first rule of being prepared is, of course, always shave your legs.  In a perfect world, we would not even have to mention armpits, but, sadly, even in the rarefied atmosphere of the Sweet Potato Queens domain, the hairy armpit issue has materialized.  We have one Queen—she's the youngest and she missed the whole hippie thing when it was original and she's being forced to live through it now, when it is so over, since she chose to move to Boulder, Colorado, where it is apparently the height of chic to be an ugly woman. At any rate, she has not grown up and out of it sufficiently yet to begin, or I guess resume would be more accurate, shaving her underarms and so we have to do a pit check on her when she comes back to Jackson every year at parade time.  (It should be duly noted that she's so beautiful and queenly that, even with hairy armpits, she's a knockout and thus has become a tourist attraction in Boulder.)
        
Shave everything that needs it and by all means, always wear pretty underwear, on account of you just never know. A good case can be made for carrying around with you your toothbrush, a change of underwear, a large supply of your chosen method of protection, your favorite pillow, and perhaps even a canned ham. We feel that the last item moves beyond simply being Optimistically Prepared and into the realm of Predatory Anticipation, and thus we must take a stand against it.  After a pretty bad streak of men,  we even considered amending the list to include carrying some sort of weapon, also because you just never know.  If there exists in this universe anything more infuriating and crazy-making than a man, I don't know what it is, thank you, and I don't want to know.  Of course, on a good day, I would also have to say if there is anything in this universe better than a man, I don't know what it is; and I don't think it would even be healthful for me to know at this stage of my life.
        
But, if you've decided to go out on a limb and kill one, for goodness' sake, be prepared.  We all read, with dismay, the sad story of a good woman wronged in south Mississippi who took that option and made a complete mess of the entire thing.  See, first she shot him.  Well, she saw right off the bat that that was a mistake because then she had this enormous dead body to deal with.  He was every bit as much trouble to her dead as he ever had been alive, and was getting more so all the time.  So then, she made another snap decision to cut him up in pieces and dispose of him a hunk at a time.  More poor planning.  First, she didn't have the proper carving utensils on hand and hacking him up proved to be just a major chore, plus it made just this colossal mess on her off-white shag living room carpet. It's getting to be like the Cat in the Hat now, only Thing Two ain't showing up to help with the clean-up.  She finally gets him into portable-size portions, and wouldn't you know it?  Cheap trash bags. Can anything else possible go wrong for this poor woman?  So, the lesson here is obvious—for want of a small chain saw, a roll of Visqueen and some genuine Hefty bags, she is in Parchman Penitentiary today instead of New Orleans, where she'd planned to go with her new boyfriend.  Preparation is everything. However, if you have been particular, you shouldn't need to be prepared to this extreme.  Try to avoid getting involved with somebody who's gonna need killing before it's over.  It may seem to you that that narrows the field somewhat, but be diligent.
        
So moved were the Sweet Potato Queens by this woman's plight that we swore a mighty oath that it would never happen to us, no, not to us nor to any of our people.  Since that time, whenever one of us gets married, which seems to be a pretty regular occurrence for some unfathomable reason, we make sure that all the basics of preparedness are covered at the bridal shower. Chain saws and garbage bags are only the beginning. The centerpiece is traditional:  an extremely large (I'd say about three feet tall, and a foot or so in diameter) inflatable penis.  This lends a festive air to the occasion.  Many Fat Mama's Knock You Naked Margaritas are prepared and cheerfully consumed.  
        
The bride (and whoever else needs one) is presented with the "Good Vibrations" catalog.  This is actually a very educational book and the Queens feel very strongly about education. We pass the catalogs around and everybody gets a chance to pick out the models she finds most intriguing.  There is a lot of reading aloud.  There are a few consistent crowd-pleasers:  the Auto-arouser, which plugs into your car's cigarette lighter and promises to add a whole new dimension to road trips, and the Butterfly, which is apparently a little deal that you can actually wear under your clothes, say, to work, to keep you vibrant during those wretchedly boring staff meetings.  
        
But anyway, we provide the bride with the means for obtaining whatever marital aids she personally feels will aid her the most and we do not force her to share with the group what exactly those might be.  We restrict our gifts to things we know for certain she will need:  the smallest, most beautiful lingerie ever created and high-heeled satin slippers with maribou trim.
        
There will be those days, however, when none of these items of preparedness are sufficient. Not pretty panties or married panties or no panties. Shaved legs won't matter and even butterfly vibrators will do you no good. And even if you have a chainsaw, you won't be able to get to it. Sometimes the only thing that will work is your own ingenuity. And this brings us to the last, and most important rule: Be creative.

Before Xena, There Was Curtisene
        
The very essence of creative preparedness is contained in the person of Curtisene Lloyd, and for this reason she is the unchallenged winner of the Sweet Potato Queens' highest award: The Most Prepared Woman the World Has Ever Known. (Every word of the story I am about to tell you is true. It is authenticated in court documents.) Curtisene Lloyd is a mild-mannered, sweet-voiced little Sunday School teacher of a lady, middle-aged, a nurse. She lives, with her very old, deaf aunt, in a nice house in a little town not far from Jackson, where she works at a large hospital.
        
February, 1990. Late one night, Curtisene awoke to discover a man in her bedroom. And he was definitely not there at her invitation.  This intruder advised her of the various and sundry obscene things he planned to do to her before he made up his mind whether or not he would kill her.  "I might kill you," he said, "but I'm gone git me summa dis fust."  And with that, he removed all of his clothing and climbed up on the bed.  He situated himself on the headboard somehow and began giving Curtisene some rather detailed instructions concerning the performance he expected from her.
        
Now our Curtisene, she was paying real close attention.  She had taken note right off that this guy did not have any sort of weapon with him.  And then she did something that never in his worst nightmares had he dreamed she would do.  She just reached out and took aholt.         She did.  Our Curtisene grabbed a hold and then she commenced to twisting.  She got both hands on his merchandise and she twisted—in opposite directions at the same time with as much force as she could muster.  
        
Apparently it was sufficient.        Her attacker beat her about the head and shoulders and struggled frantically to get free of this death grip, but Curtisene was on him like all those time-honored phrases you've heard all your life—white on rice, duck on a June bug, etc.        
        
So, still holding fast, she drags him, now sniveling and crying, through the house, where her little old deaf aunt was sleeping in peaceful oblivion.  He's begging her to let go:
        
"Let go and call the po-leece!  Just let go!" He's swearing he's dying.  
        
"No, you ain't dying," she says back to him. "I'm trying to kill you, but you won't die."
        
He promises he'll leave if only she will, please God, let him go.
        
"Fine," she says, "Go on then. Leave."  
        
He's crying and saying he cain't and how can he when she won't let him go?  
        
To which our Curtisene casually replies, "You broke in, didn't you, sumbitch?  Break out!"
        
He is wailing to beat the band, and she is dragging him to the front door.  She tells him there are three locks on that door that he'll have to open in order to make good his escape. He is pretty much a lifeless heap by now, except for the bawling.  She hoists him up to open the first lock.  He gets it open and falls back to the floor.  "He was starting to wheeze a little by this time," Curtisene reported.  At this point, she later confessed to the jury—in the shyest little voice you ever heard, like she was letting you in on a little secret, "I kinda worked on him a little bit."  Meaning, if it had been possible to twist his genitalia completely off his body, she would have accomplished that feat at the end of her front porch.  
        
And then she repeated to those assembled her final words to the man: "I'm takin' you to the end of the porch and then I'm gon' go back in the house and get my gun, and I'm gon' blow your m_____f_____g head off, you slimey, stanking, low-down piece of shit, you!"  As she repeated those words, clear as a bell, in open court,  you could feel, in every living soul in that courtroom, an almost overwhelming desire to stand up and cheer.
        
What happened to the rapist wannabee?  Well, he limped off through the bushes, but he wasn't hard for the police to find.  Especially since he departed buck nekkid and left all his clothes in her bedroom—with his full name written on the labels inside.

He was also pretty easy to spot in the line up: he was the one who didn't stand up straight.  He may never stand up straight again, actually.  And don't you just know he was a big man in jail, after the truth came out.  
        
Curtisene Lloyd did not get the standing ovation that her testimony so richly deserved, courtroom decorum and all that, but every single person in the courtroom that day went up to her afterwards and said, "Miss Lloyd, I just want to shake your hand."  
        
Curtisene Lloyd, my hero. I love this woman, the Most Prepared Woman the World Has Ever Known.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 70 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(46)

4 Star

(7)

3 Star

(9)

2 Star

(5)

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(3)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 70 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 11, 2006

    So funny, it hurt!

    This book, and all of Jill Conner Browne's books are delicious. You can be going through the absolute worst time in your life, and still laugh out loud reading this! The humor is so genuine, you feel as though you have been watched, and someone is writing your life story! Hilarious, wonderful, and an absolute must read!!!

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 21, 2005

    LOVED LOVED LOVED IT!!!

    This book was fabulously fun and funny all the way through! I'm buying it for all of my girl friends. I recommend listening to it on tape or CD- It's read by the author and to hear her read some of the passages in with her sweet southern accent makes it even better!

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 29, 2006

    Funny book-loved it

    OK, I rarely laugh out loud while reading a book, but this one served up laughs throughout. I thoroughly enjoyed this book!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 7, 2005

    I laughed out loud all the way thru this book

    I not only laughed out loud but read parts of it to my girlfriend and then, we both laughed. It was a joy to read something so down to earth and funny and honest. I would LOVE to meet Jill and just sit and listen to her and the other Queens - they must make any day not as bad as you thought. I would love to have them as girl friends.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2013

    Tears

    I was sitting on a plane reading this book, laughing out loud with tears running down my face. I actually had people stop me as we deplaned to ask what I was reading so they could get a copy. What a hilarious way to pass a 3.5 hour flight. I've read this book four times and laugh every time.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 2, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Damn it, where’s my ice cream? When I started this book I

    Damn it, where’s my ice cream?

    When I started this book I was ready to have a good time. I was looking for a light, easy read with a high entertainment factor for the weekend, however, it never happened. After a slow start I tried to keep the faith, but by page 65 my faith dwindled down to nothing. This book was always on the verge of being funny, but never crossed the threshold. I thought with chapter titles like: Men Who May Need Killing, Quite Frankly or What to Eat When Tragedy Strikes, I was in for treat, but I never was satisfied. I wanted an ice cream sundae, but all I got was the bowl!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 23, 2007

    Every women should read this book

    You'll laugh so hard you'll cry, but you will never forget the lessons in love and life that you learn from this book! I have never read a book more than once, I've read this book 4 times so far!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 15, 2014

    La

    I am going to read this but i am read it to your siset

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 12, 2014

    So funny with an amazing ending

    I just loved this book. It was so funny. The last chapter was very insightful into life.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 23, 2014

    Good

    I really enjoyed my time with the Sweet Potato Queens. I felt it was a funny,sometimes laughing until tears rolled, positve, life affirming book. I have thought of buying a crown instead of the teeth. Im pretty sure that will serve the purpose for me. One concept I have taken aeay with me is.... Be Prepared!, I recommend this book anytime you need a giggle or two.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 19, 2014

    I too wanted to love it...

    ?....it just isnt funny..I could not finish it and I am not a picky reader.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 16, 2014

    Please indicate length of text by page is this a

    Reader digest special as blurb suggests?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 16, 2012

    Michaela

    Ur my friends

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 16, 2012

    Eric

    I hve a crush on cali....

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 16, 2012

    Thanks guys

    Love cali

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 7, 2012

    wanted to love it :(

    I think the book has some very funny stuff in it, but it also has several remarks that are sadly racist. Not the big over the top racist, but the insidious less obvious kind. example: when describing a difference in language pronunciation, they could have said "depending on your culture" instead they said "depending on your neighborhood" which indicates they couldn't or shouldn't be neighbors!! And that is only one example. Actually having close friends and family of every skin tone and many cultures - tends to make you aware of these examples. And once you are aware - you just can't help but notice and be saddened by it. It just plain killed the funny. oh well, bless their hearts . . .

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 18, 2011

    A must read!!!

    I laughed till my sides hurt! So incredibly funny. And the surprises not seen in other books are drop dead funny. Even my husband liked this book, and he doesn't read very often.(he's more of an ESPN type and we know how they can be!)

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  • Posted June 24, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    it was ok...

    It wasn't quite as funny or hilarious as I thought it would be. Don't get me wrong, there were some funny parts to it, but the way it was raved about to me by someone, I expected much more than what was there. It was an ok read.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 20, 2011

    Who needs a therapist?!

    The Sweet Potato Queens really are the best and only life coaches you will ever need -- and I say this as someone who underwent years of expensive psychotherapy. Not only will the Queens save you a bundle, they'll have you rolling with laughter to boot!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 25, 2010

    The title says it all

    This is a book about a group of women who start a support group and are all about girl power and being a diva. It is a cute, fun and funny book the characters are fun and funny. It took me a little time to get into the book but once I did, I found it cute and fun to read. If you have a book group they will love it. If you have a girlfriend who needs a laugh, recommend this one to her. I love the picture of the girls on the front of the book, so funny!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 70 Customer Reviews

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