Welcome to Ask Mama, for all the answers . . .

Rosalee Provenza, Mama in my mystery series, thinks she's the whole reason for Mama Does Time (Midnight Ink, 2008), and Mama Rides Shotgun (2009). She was sure her star couldn't shoot any higher after Mama Gets Hitched came out in 2010. But, sure enough, her head swelled to Hollywood diva size after 2011's Mama Sees Stars debuted with a red carpet party, complete with paparazzi. Now she's mixing it up with Mama Gets Trashed (September 2013). Don't tell Mama you read this note from me. In her mind, she sprung to life all on her own.
Author Deborah Sharp
PS: Mama has a way of taking over; but you'll find my own website nearly Rosalee-free.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Hallelujah! She Finally Puts on Make-up!

Well, I'm the first one to admit when I'm wrong (though my middle daughter Mace might quibble a bit with that). And I am here to tell y'all I had that snippy, back-to-nature author all wrong.

Did you see that gal on the Today Show this week? She went all the way up to New York City to talk about my story, which she calls ''Mama Does Time,'' though I can't say I care for the title much myself. It makes me sound like a convict when all that about the murder was really just a misunderstanding ...

Anyhoo, my point is this: Somebody talked her into making up her face for the TV show, and when I got a gander at her on my TV, all I could think was Thank Goodness! I am not kidding you. Little Ms. Natural was wearing lipstick, blush-on, eyeliner, mascara, eyebrow pencil, and foundation (my Lord, they must have slathered it on on with a trowel. You could hardly see her wrinkles and those awful age spots at all!) I've put her foto up there for you to judge for yourself. Now, if you don't think she looks that good, that's because you've never seen her au naturel!

So, I hope this means she's a convert now. We've just been itching to do a makeover for her at Hair Today, Dyed Tomorrow beauty salon. And we want to take her on a shopping spree to Fran's Frocks and Fancy Duds. When you're 20 you can get away with thrift store clothes, but honey, at 50-plus, you just start looking like a crazy bag lady, wearing somebody else's old hand-me-downs.

That's all for now, from Himmarshee, Fla ... Love, Mama

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Nightstand Naughtiness

Dear Mama,

I hear you've been married four times, so I bet you know something about mother-in-laws. Maybe you can help me, before I'm hauled off to the hoosegow over this latest to-do with my husband's mama.

Here's the deal: When she comes to visit, she likes to rearrange all the cabinets and drawers so they're more to her liking. This didn't bother me so much in the kitchen ... because, frankly, I'm not exactly Suzy Homemaker, and that rat's nest in the kitchen sure needed some attention.

But I had to put my foot down when I came home and found her pulling out and straightening up all the items in our bedroom nightstand. Now, I don't know about you, Mama, but the drawers right beside our bed can hide a few marital secrets, if you know what I mean. I've got two questions for you: How do I discourage his mama from poking her nose where it doesn't belong, and am I within my rights to conk her on the noggin if she won't keep her paws out of our bedroom business?


Fed up and Flustered

Dear Flustered,

I am with you 100 percent. For me, Husband Number Three's mama was the worst. She always complained about the way I cooked, except when her mouth was full of my dinner. And she never once said thank-you when I gave her a complete make-over at Hair Today, Dyed Tomorrow. Of course, there was that incident with the hair dryer and third-degree burns, but the short in the electrical wiring wasn't my fault.

As for your mother-in-law, I suggest you put something truly shocking in that nightstand. You can go on the Wide World of the Web, and those folks will mail you something sexy in a plain brown paper wrapper. Now, I don't know about this first-hand, but so I've been told.

Anyway, let her find it and stew over whether to bring it up. If she's got the nerve, I say conk away . . . maybe you can use that whatchamacalit you ordered from the Wide Web World as a weapon.


Saturday, August 30, 2008

Of Eyeliner and Kitty Litter

Dear Mama,
I'm 15 and am scheduled to have surgery in a couple of weeks. And, boy, is my surgeon a QT! Even if he is older than my mother. I don't want Dr. Hot to see me wearing a tacky hospital gown with those horrid light brown socks with the white treads on the top and bottom of them. Plus, I won't be able to wear my makeup! What am I going to do??

I thought about sneaking out and getting the eyeliner permanently tattooed on, but I don't have any money (I only get paid $5.50 a week for cleaning five cat litter boxes a day) Help!!
Naked Without Makeup

Dear Naked,
Well, honey ... first let me say good luck on your surgery.
We'll add a little prayer for you down at the Abundant Faith and Forgiveness Chapel. And I just know things are going to be okay.

Second, you do not want your surgeon distracted one bit while he's operating, so this isn't the time to worry about looking like a beauty queen. And I can say so, 'cause I WAS a beauty queen: Swamp Cabbage Festival Queen in LaBelle, Fla., in . . . well, we won't say exactly what year that was in.

Anyhoo, I know how you feel about those awful gowns (tacky, not to mention breezy!). And I agree with you about make-up, except in surgery. I'd say just a touch of lipstick once you're in the recovery room. Maybe some blush, too. Oh, and bring a colorful scarf -- maybe a lemon yellow? -- to jazz up that hideous brown.

Now, about those tattooed eyelids ... do not go there, darlin'. I know perfectly nice gals have them, but I advise against anything that permanent anywhere. You never know how fashion might change. Nothing says forever like a tattoo. Just ask Angelina Jolie.

Finally, I know you're only 15, but you are getting ROBBED on that litter-box job of yours. I'm more of a dog person (Maybe you've read about my pet Pomeranian, Teensy?), but I understand those cats can be demanding little divas. And stinky litter boxes, too? Honey, you should be bringing in at least 10 bucks a week for your trouble.



Monday, August 18, 2008

Fashion Emergency

Dear Mama,

I saw that gal who's been writing up your stories, and I think you've been falling down on the job.
Folks look to you to know what looks good (I loved that boysenberry pantsuit you wore to the Livestock Auction in Himmarshee . . . and you found earrings, a scarf, and those little strappy sandals to match that unusual shade of purple. I sure hope you didn't step in anything in those shoes on the way out of the cattle ring . . . )

Anyways, that poor author gal could sure use a make-over. She's talked about trying to update her look, but I know for a fact she's had the identical hairstyle since 1979.

Can't you drag her down to Hair Today Dyed Tomorrow? Or take her in for a clothing consult at Home on the Range Feed Store and Fashion Emporium?
I mean, really, anything would be an improvement.

I'm not kiddin,' Mama. You've got to step in. She's thinking about going out on
YOUR book tour in Birkenstocks. I just pray she doesn't wear them with socks.

Fashion Conscious

Dear Fashion Conscious,

Honey, you are preaching to the choir. I've talked to that poor gal 'til I'm blue in the face. I can't get her to understand the first thing about fashion.

Those Birkenstock shoes aren't the worst of it. Did you happen to see her at Gladys' restaurant when she visited Himmarshee the other day? Not a stitch of make-up, not even lipstick. And the poor thing has spent her life in the Florida sun. I offered to show her how to fill in some of those creases and wrinkles with a good foundation.

And don't get me started on those drab clothes. Nobody looks good in beige.

So, I appreciate what you're saying, but believe me, I've tried. She reminds me of my middle daughter, Mace. The both of them are stubborn as mules about taking my advice.



Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Too Big for her Britches

Dear Mama:
What would you do if you had to work with a woman whose head is too big for her britches? She struts around all day like a cock rooster just gobblin' and preenin'--not really doing anything at all.

I want to feed her to the alligators but I've been told that is not the Christian way.

Signed, Sick of Miss Somethin'

Dear ''Sick,''

Now, honey, I know you're upset and I don't want to pick ... but you know that gal's HEAD can't be too big for her britches, right? Irregardless, I know what you're trying to get at here.

We've all of us had to put up with somebody not pulling their weight at work. It's worse when they act like their stuff don't stink, if you get my drift.

You're right: It's flat-out wrong to feed her to the alligators. Plus, you've already talked about it now on the Wide World of the Web, and the police have ways of getting into your Internet if Miss Somethin' happens to turn up the victim of a gator attack. That's called premeditation, honey.

That's not to say you can't take her out birdwatching or looking for swamp orchids in Starvation Slough. Let's say y'all happen to get separated, way, way out in the gator-infested swamp. Nature takes its course. Problem solved.


Friday, July 4, 2008

Ka-Boom, it's my birthday!

Howdy, y'all!

People always ask me how I like sharing a birthday with our nation. Well, I like it fine. I was 10 years old before I realized all the fireworks and whoop-dee-doo every Fourth of July wasn't specifically on account of me.

My middle daughter, Mace, always says that explains a lot.

Well, I'm not going to take too long on the computer and the Wide World of the Web today. We're having a picnic at Himmarshee Park -- BBQ ribs, baked beans and corn-on-the-cob. And, of course, my favorite dessert, butterscotch pie.

I told Ida not to bother making her potato salad this year, but I know she'll bring it anyway. Last year, my fiance Sal was the only one who'd eat it. It went through him like green grass through a goose, if you get my meaning.

Anyway, just wanted to say Happy Birthday to ME (and also to the US of A.)

Love, Mama

Sunday, June 22, 2008

My Best Friend's a Judas

Dear Mama,

I am so mad at my former best friend I'm fixin' to knock her teeth down her throat just so I can watch her spit 'em out single-file.
She betrayed me with my no-account boyfriend, Darryl! They did the deed in the king-sized bed I'm still paying off on my credit card. Even worse, I just found out she's pregnant.
I lost my best friend and my boyfriend (though, honestly, Darryl is no loss.)
Here's my question: I've been invited to the baby shower. Do I have to bring a gift?
Done Wrong

Dear Done,

Honey, the only thing worse than a cheating man is a Judas best friend. And believe me, I've known my share of both. If she wasn't in the family way, I'd declare open season on those teeth of hers and tell you to start knockin'.
But there's a way to get her back so you won't get hauled in for assault.
Go to that baby shower looking like a million bucks. Her ankles are likely all swollen and she feels big as a house, so she'll see the contrast right off. Talk about how getting rid of Darryl is the best thing that ever happened to you. You know she already regrets hooking up, so this'll remind her what a loser he is. And, finally, bring the nicest gift you can afford. You'll look like the better woman, and Lord knows that poor child deserves something special considering the no-class parents he's got.

Love, Mama

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Who'd Make the Best President?

Dear Mama,

I'm curious about how Himmarshee (and you!) will vote in the presidential election? You've helped so many people with love and fashion tips, I thought you might have something to say about politics, too.

Are you Red or Blue?

Dear Red or Blue,

Well, honey, I'm a Summer, so neither of those colors is right for me. I favor pastels. Primary colors look best on gals with Winter complexions and coloring. Stop by and see me sometime at Hair Today Dyed Tomorrow beauty parlor, and I'll give you a free sample of your own seasonal color chart.

As for your other question, politics was something my mama always told us to steer clear of in polite company. I found out why during my marriage to Husband No. 3. He was a nice man otherwise, but he could talk the hind leg off a dog when it came to politics. He had some real strong opinions, too. Plus, he'd argue them louder and louder, just like those folks on cable TV.

Once, at Thanksgiving, No. 3 lit into my nephew, who's a bit of a liberal, if you get my drift. Kenny took it as long as he could, until he finally ended up dumping a nearly full serving dish of Ida's green bean casserole right over my ex's head. I was mad about my tablecloth, but it gave me a secret thrill to see my sister-in-law's awful cream of mushroom soup and canned onion ring concoction dripping down No. 3's brow.

Two birds with one stone.

Anyway, trying to persuade someone to your political views is like getting into a pissing match with a polecat. One of you is sure to end up stinking.


Wednesday, April 30, 2008

I'm Famous, Y'all!

Take a gander at the book cover on your right. Have you ever seen anything so exciting?
Of course, it wasn't exciting for the poor soul I found stuffed into my trunk like a piece of Samsonite luggage, may he rest in peace.
But for me it was a thrill to see the cover. It's a Coming Attraction for one of my stories, which will be on all the bookshelves Oct. 1, 2008.
You might remember me telling you about that snooty author, the one who's been running around taking the credit for writing Mama Does Time. So she wrote it down, big deal. I'm the one who lived it.
And Miss Smarty Pants Sharp better not forget that.

Anyhoo, I hope you like the cover. And, by the way, that poor soul in the trunk actually deserved what he got ... but you can read all about it in Mama Does Time.
PS: In case you forgot, I'm Mama.
PSS: You better hurry and write Ask Mama if you need some advice. Once my fancy book tour starts, I won't have as much time to pass out my pearls of wisdom.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Gridiron Griping

Dear Mama,

I was hoping you could help me with my man. Problem is the Falcons. We married on a good year when they only lost a few games. Life was good then, but all that's changed.
Maybe you saw them play last season? They stunk up the stadium, that's for sure.
When the Falcons loose, Earl don't even talk at all until Wednesday or Thursday. He mopes around the house, kickin' at the dog and mumblin' about yards gained and sacks. By Friday he's bitchin' about next weeks game.
I can't stand it!
I tried callin' the coach and askin' for a better Fall, but he just laughed. I don't think I can take another year of Earl tossin' beer cans at the TV.
Fourth Down and Out

Dear Fourth Down,

I sympathize with you, honey. Husband No. 3 was a nut for NASCAR. Back then, the late, great Dale Earnhardt was dominating the track. But on those rare days ol' Dale didn't win .... whoo-eee, Watch Out! I'd have to tip-toe around the house like I did when No. 2 was hung-over. And that was a lot of walking on my toes, I'll tell you that.
Short of you solving the Falcons' quarterback problems yourself, I think you'd better prepare for another losing season.
But you're missing an opportunity to bond with your man. You can sit down and watch the game with him, and both of you can toss beer cans at the TV. Nothing like cursing pitiful coaching together to build your relationship. When he bitches about the defense, you bitch about it, too.
But for heaven's sake, put the poor dog outside. It's enough the Falcons' fans suffer; the dog shouldn't have to, too.


Saturday, March 1, 2008

Never too much Leopard!

Dear Mama,

I've seen you around town at the Speckled Perch and whatnot and I think you have the best fashion sense of any woman in Himmarshee, a lot better than those Yankees on TV.

I can see you like to match and I do, too. My question is this. My no good sister is marrying my ex boyfriend next month. She did not ask me to be a bridesmaid so I'm planning to wear a leopard dress just to show her up. My question is this: is it too much to have shoes to match? My girlfriends are divided on this.

Signed, Bitter and Proud of it

Dear Bitter,

I always say when it comes to animal prints, a little bit is never enough. (Of course, I say that about a lot of things .... including marriages.)

Your girlfriends are wrong, honey. Go whole hog: not just the shoes in matching leopard, but a purse and a scarf, too. Maybe you can even have the manicure gal at Hair Today, Dyed Tomorrow do your nails in black-and-gold spots. You'll outshine that slutty sister like a jungle cat trumps a tabby.

Be careful with those fake nails, though. I predict a catfight before the cake's cut, and nobody wants to find a pinky nail in their chicken pasta.

Love, Mama

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Red Flannel and Elvis

Dear Mama,

I'm a newlywed, and I want to make sure I have proper eteekit to fit in with my new husband's family. I have a few questions, and I'd really aprechiate your help.
Will my food stamps buy beer at the Red Neck Alley Inn?
My husband, DeWayne, looks so cute in that red flannel union suit so I don't mind none that he wears it everyday. Even in the summer. But I say we need to bring it down to the laundromat every Sunday, right after church. DeWayne says it can wait 2 sermons. Mama, how often do you think his union suit should be washed?
I'm an Elvis fan. Don't get me wrong. But that life-size cut-out DeWayne moves around our trailer creeps me out sometimes. I don't mind him at the dinner table much. But when Elvis lays in bed with us, well, like I said, Elvis is the king. But am I wrong to think he shouldn't be between us when we sleep?
I'm shure I'll have more questins for ya', Mama. Thanks for yer help.
Love and Nascar, Molly Sue Ann Bob Billy JoJo Walker

Dear Molly Sue Ann etc. etc. etc.,

Honey, I wouldn't worry a bit about fitting in. If you've already scoped out the beer and bowling at the Red Neck Alley, you sound like the perfect match for your new man and his family.
As I see it, you've got yourself a husband, nearby bowling, AND Elvis. Count your blessings, gal! You could have a Rottweiler named Cujo in bed with you, like another one of my advice-seekers who wrote in. At least Elvis don't bite!
As for buying the beer, the way you handle that is to sell some of your food stamps first for cash. But I'd save the booze for nights DeWayne refuses to wash that red flannel, and I'd opt for something a little stronger than beer.
As for me personally, I can't abide the smell of liquor or an unwashed man after Husband No. 2. But you've got plenty of time to find out how much you're willing to take in the name of matrimony.


Monday, February 4, 2008

Well, I Never!

Did you see what that smart-aleck author did now? I don't think it's one bit funny that she stuck that picture of a mule up there where my blogger photo should be!
Now, I'll admit I can be a little bit stubborn at times ... and I have been known to tie on the feedbag a fair bit, especially when it comes to barbecue or butterscotch pie.
But, really, a mule?
That Deborah Sharp is about to pluck my last nerve. Mercy me, that gal could make a preacher cuss!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Did That Snippy Writer Scare Y'all Off?

I've been wondering why I wasn't getting too many letters here in the Wide World of the Web, and then I saw that high-falutin' Note to Readers from that smarty-pants writer, Deborah Sharp.
Well, let me just tell you . . . y'all shouldn't be afraid to ask for my advice. I tell it like it is, but I'm never mean (which is more than I can say for Little Miss Too-Big-For-Her-Britches Sharp.)
I DO NOT crave attention, I've never run a "scheme,'' and as for me thinking I sprung to life on my own .... well, shouldn't that be "sprang,'' Miss Know-it-All English Major?
So, anyways, send in those Eeee mails. Honey, I've been through it all: bad love affairs, awful hair, a little misunderstanding that landed me in jail for a murder I didn't commit.

You can't surprise me, and I might surprise you. So sharpen your pencils and drop me a line.

Rosalee Deveraux
(AKA: "Mama" )

PS: I learned all about AKA in jail: it means Also Known As, which is another way of saying it's my alias. Look it up, Miss Fancy Author.

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