by: Jax Frey
Series: The Gumbeaux Sistahs
Genre: Southern Women’s Fiction
Release Date: October 1, 2020
Amazon | Paperback | Goodreads
Women’s Friendships - Humorous & Dramatic Fiction – Southern Small-Town Fiction
Come visit with your new best friends – the Gumbeaux Sistahs!
“There’s no problem that can’t be solved with a little wine, good friends, and my Mama’s gumbo!”
The adventures of the Gumbeaux Sistahs continues. Five, fiery southern women wage wars against their unique problems using their improbable friendships, hilarious evil-genius schemes, strategy sessions with oh-so-many cocktails, and a shared passion for good gumbo.
Single, Southern artist, Judith Lafferty, casually confesses to her Gumbeaux Sistahs that she is occasionally lonely and would like to fall in love again. Seriously - you'd think she would know to keep her mouth shut around these women by now. The sistahs tackle her problem along with their own with their usual unreasonable, extreme plots and schemes, including a kidnapping, a cupid costume, trying out pick-up lines at the cheese counter, and blind dates from hell. In helping out their friend, the sistahs help each other out as well and bring to light the many flavors of love in all of our lives. Be ready for twists, turns, laugh-out-loud times, and heart-wrenching moments. You'll be sure to recognize yourself and your best friends in the unstoppable sistahs.
Here’s the dreaded question, tell me about yourself?
I’m an artist, recently turned writer, who lives in Covington, LA with my unpredictable, almost-nuts pug.
I know we’re here to discuss books, but I would love to talk about art for a little bit. How did you get into painting?
I got into it about fifteen years ago. At the time I was doing a lot of traveling around for business and became increasingly homesick for Louisiana. So I started doodling little icons of New Orleans on the sides of notes, napkins— just everywhere. Eventually, I picked up a paint brush and taught myself to paint those icons. I branched out to other subjects and techniques after a while and thought I’d see if they would sell. Lo and behold — I got lucky!
I may have spent a few minutes, okay more than a few minutes, looking at all of your art. It’s incredible. How did you get into writing, and come up with the idea for the Gumbeaux Sistahs? Also please explain what gumbeaux means.
Years ago I started painting a series called the Gumbeaux Sistahs. They were images of strong, supportive, fierce women having a great time. I painted many versions of the Sistahs over the years. About two years ago I started realizing that the Sistahs had a story to tell – not just visually, but in print, as well. The story haunted me until I just threw in the towel one day and said, “OK, OK! I’ll write it, already!” The spelling of the word ‘gumbeaux’ is just a fun, Cajun French version of the word ‘gumbo’ in homage to the Louisiana setting.
Tell me about the Gumbeaux Sistahs. Who are they and what are they like?
The sistahs are a group of close friends that are actually based on real friends of mine. They are a diverse, loyal, fierce, loving, and hilarious group of friends. They know who they are in the stories and love seeing what they’re up to in each book. Like most Louisiana women, they grew up learning to cook gumbo from their moms. The Sistahs are mildly (read- wildly) competitive over whose mom cooks the best gumbo.
The latest book in the series is Gumbeaux Love. What can you tell me about it?
I wanted to talk about love — the many flavors of it that we can experience it in our lives, from romance and friendship to compassion and spiritual love. The Sistahs approach the topic in their own individual ways, and their intermingled stories are sometimes tragic, and sometimes hilarious, bringing them all to unexpected, heartfelt solutions in the end.
I know you have some fun facts about the story. Can you tell me some of them?
Other than the fact that all the characters are actual people I know (including anonymously – the villainess(!), I have to admit that the pug dog is real too. Her name is Lucy and she lives with me. And everything I wrote about her is true (well almost everything lol). I hope she never learns how to sue me for libel.
Which sistah are you most like and why?
I’m most like Judith, for sure, because I consider her to kind of the narrator of the story, plus she’s an artist.
When a reader finishes the last page of this book, what do you hope is their lasting impression?
Glad you asked because it’s important to me. My intention in writing the Gumbeaux Sistahs novels is to offer a respite to my readers. I wanted them to walk away with joy, peacefulness, hope for humanity and sisterhood, and with tears in their eyes from laughing out loud. I want the Gumbeaux Sistahs to be a wonderful place to visit with best friends.
Are you planning more books for this series?
Oh yes. I’ve started on book three this week, in fact. I have so many ideas for the Sistahs! Don’t be surprised if the series goes on from there – I’m willing!
Jax, thank you so much for taking the time to answer some questions for me.
Thanks for the questions – they were so unique!
“Who in the world at this hour?” she thought, shaking her head and glancing at the clock on the wall. “It’s not even eight o’clock.”
She walked to the front door and started to open it, but before she could swing it open all the way, a hand clutching a paper coffee cup shoved its way inside, barely missing her face.
“What?” she yelped. Then she laughed. “Oh no, are you kidding me?” She opened the door to five Gumbeaux Sistahs, including Bea, Helen, Dawn, Lola, and Trinity who stood on her front stoop holding coffee. It was especially a surprise to see Trinity there since she lived across the lake and had a long way to come. But the most unexpected thing of all was Dawn, who stood there looking embarrassed as all get-out, wearing a big, red Cupid costume.
“Not again!” said Judith, rolling her eyes and remembering that this was exactly the way that the sistahs had originally kidnapped her and become her best friends in the world.
Dawn grimaced and said, “I don’t know why I’m always the one who has to wear a stupid costume.”
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The Gumbeaux Sistahs Series:
Born in New Orleans, Jax came into this world with a sense of celebration of southern culture, food, family and fun. Translating that celebration into her writing and onto canvas is her true calling. Her colorful art depicts everything from her dancing Gumbeaux Sistahs paintings to her popular line of original Mini paintings of southern icons. Because over 25,000 of the mini paintings have been created and sold into art collections worldwide, Jax holds a world’s record for The Most Original Acrylic Paintings on Canvas by One Artist from the World's Record Academy.
Jax is also the co-founder of the Women of Infinite Possibilities, an empowering women’s organization started in Covington, LA, where Jax lives today with her loveable, tornado-of-a-pug named Lucy.
The Gumbeaux Sistahs' series of novels is a work of love for Jax After painting the Sistahs for many years, she finally gives voice to these women characters who have something to say and constantly make Jax laugh when she writes about them.
Places to find Jax Frey:
You can follow the Gumbeaux Love Blog Tour here.
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