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Miss Me When I'm Gone by Emily Arsenault

Miss Me When I'm Gone by Emily Arsenault

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Published by WilliamMorrowBooks
Author Gretchen Waters made a name for herself with her bestseller Tammyland—a memoir about her divorce and her admiration for country music icons Tammy Wynette, Loretta Lynn, and Dolly Parton that was praised as a "honky-tonk Eat, Pray, Love." But her writing career is cut abruptly short when she dies from a fall down a set of stone library steps. It is a tragic accident and no one suspects foul play, certainly not Gretchen's best friend from college, Jamie, who's been named the late author's literary executor.

But there's an unfinished manuscript Gretchen left behind that is much darker than Tammyland: a book ostensibly about male country musicians yet centered on a murder in Gretchen's family that haunted her childhood. In its pages, Gretchen seems to be speaking to Jamie from beyond the grave—suggesting her death was no accident . . . and that Jamie must piece together the story someone would kill to keep untold.
Author Gretchen Waters made a name for herself with her bestseller Tammyland—a memoir about her divorce and her admiration for country music icons Tammy Wynette, Loretta Lynn, and Dolly Parton that was praised as a "honky-tonk Eat, Pray, Love." But her writing career is cut abruptly short when she dies from a fall down a set of stone library steps. It is a tragic accident and no one suspects foul play, certainly not Gretchen's best friend from college, Jamie, who's been named the late author's literary executor.

But there's an unfinished manuscript Gretchen left behind that is much darker than Tammyland: a book ostensibly about male country musicians yet centered on a murder in Gretchen's family that haunted her childhood. In its pages, Gretchen seems to be speaking to Jamie from beyond the grave—suggesting her death was no accident . . . and that Jamie must piece together the story someone would kill to keep untold.

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Published by: WilliamMorrowBooks on Jul 17, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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09/29/2013

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Chapter 1
“I Still Believe in Fairy Tales”
Franklin Road Nashville, Tennessee
This gem might be well known among seventies tabloid read-ers and longtime country music ans, but perhaps not to thegeneral reader: Tammy Wynette once saved Burt Reynoldsrom drowning in a bubble bath. It was post–George Jones, aswinging-single period in Tammy’s lie that I wish had lastedlonger. She and Burt apparently had a riends- with-benetsthing going on in 1976.And one night he came over eeling ill. She made himdinner and banana pudding and drew him a nice hot bubblebath. In the tub, he had what was later thought to be a hy-poglycemic episode and lost consciousness. When Tammyknocked and he didn’t answer, she opened the door to nda mountain o bubbles—and no Burt! He had started to sinkinto the Vitabath.Tammy rushed into the oversize bathtub ully clothed,
 
2 Emily Arsenault
struggled or several minutes to keep his head above the water,reach or a nearby phone (she lived pretty extravagantly at thattime, remember—thus a phone in the bathroom within reacho one’s luxury bathtub), call 911, and eventually managed topull him out and tug his jeans on to protect his modesty incase the
National Enquirer 
arrived along with the ambulance.She claimed she was too panicked to think o simply yankingthe stopper out to prevent Burt rom drowning.Besides, i she’d done that, she’d have robbed me o thisprecious mental picture: Tammy diving into the oam in asequined gown, bouant blond wig, alse eyelashes, and ullmakeup—suracing with the naked, excessively hairy-chestedBurt Reynolds, his hair drenched, his thick mustache dotted with delicate bubbles.Surely this is not what it looked like, but I like this pictureo Tammy as a honky-tonk superwoman. Saving the sexy Burtnot just or hersel, per se, but or womankind.Keeping in mind, o course, that taste in men, like cuisines,varies somewhat between the generations. The appeal o BurtReynolds (even young Burt rom lms that predate my birth),like the appeal o a Jell-O mold, conounds me. He has niceeyebrows, I suppose, but I can’t get past the walrus mustache.I can’t speak or Tammy’s taste in men—that’s a problemI can’t solve in a ew pages, or perhaps a whole book. But Ilove the image o her rescuing the seventies’ sex cowboy roma sweetheart bathtub. She probably didn’t think she had it inher, this woman whose lie and music were all about the ro-mance that was supposed to save her rom hersel. But thereshe was, pulling this gritty, hairy man out o a warm, romanticbath o bubbles, back into lie, back into cold, naked reality.I only she could have done the same or hersel.Gretchen Waters,
Tammyland 

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