Friday, March 25, 2016

Spotlight & Giveaway - Trailer Trash by Marie Sexton

Hello, everybody. I'm Marie Sexton, and I'm thrilled to be here today talking about my New Adult novel, Trailer Trash.
Trailer Trash is the story of two high school seniors – Cody, the poor kid from the wrong side of the tracks, and Nate, the new kid in town. It's set in the fictional town of Warren, Wyoming in the mid-1980s.  

I spent the first eleven years of my life in a small town in Wyoming. Granted, my hometown wasn't anywhere near as small or as isolated as Warren. And to tell you the truth, we didn't move all that far – from Western Wyoming to Fort Collins, Colorado. But it was far enough to encounter a couple of differences that can only be chalked up to regional traditions and idiosyncrasies. 

1.    "Uptown" vs. "Downtown": In my hometown, we went "uptown." Here in Colorado, we go "downtown." I asked a friend from small-town Kansas. He confirmed that they went "uptown" as well. So what determines "uptown" vs. "downtown"? I have no idea. Anybody out there know?

2.    Penny candy: I suppose this probably has more to do with the year than the region, but as a kid, there was a gas station across the street that still had penny candy – an entire case full of all different kinds of candy, all of which were 1¢ each. When my cousin came over, my mom would hand us each a dollar, and we'd cross the County Road unattended (which no parent would allow their child to do in this day and age!) and spend a LONG time picking out exactly one hundred pieces of candy. The Swedish fish were my favorite. It took me years to find them again (although they're everywhere now).  


3.    Squeakies: The men back home always went out "shootin' squeakies" for fun. I mentioned this years later to my friends in Colorado, and they just about fell over dead laughing. "What the hell is a 'squeakie'?" Well, I had no idea. It was a rodent. I knew that much. Presumably, it squeaked, at least on occasion. Why was everybody so determined to kill them? I didn't know that either. I tried Google and got nowhere. The only entry I found was in a self-published autobiography of a man who'd spent a few years in my hometown, but he didn't seem to know what they were either. My stepfather told me squeakies were actually Thompson's ground squirrels, but while a search for the term "thompson's ground squirrel" brings up images, a bit more research leads me to think that this too is only a regional nickname for some other type of rodent. Lists like these ( and fail to mention the Thompson's ground squirrel at all. So, what exactly is a squeakie and why the heck was everybody so gung-ho to shoot them? I'm still not entirely sure.

4.    Ironport: I miss Ironport so much. What is it, you ask? Well, I'll copy/paste from good ol' Wikipedia: "Ironport (sometimes spelled as two words: Iron Port) is an old-fashioned carbonated soft drink from the early part of the 20th century that was served at soda fountains and is still popular in the Intermountain West… The flavor has been described as somewhat of a cross between root beer and Caribbean spices and is very similar to the Cuban soda, Iron Beer." Those of you from certain parts of Utah or Idaho might be familiar with it. They served it in my hometown, once upon a time, but not anymore, and it's never been available here in Colorado. We went to the Idaho panhandle a couple of years ago for my BIL's wedding, and I asked everybody about Ironport, but nobody knew what I was talking about. Darn it, I'll have one again someday, I swear! 

So, how about you? Any strange regional things from your hometown that you can't explain? Anything you miss and can't find? Have thoughts on "uptown" vs. "downtown"?
Please share in the comments. (And if you can send me an Ironport, I'll give you a book for free!)  


About Trailer Trash: 

It’s 1986, and what should have been the greatest summer of Nate Bradford’s life goes sour when his parents suddenly divorce. Now, instead of spending his senior year in his hometown of Austin, Texas, he’s living with his father in Warren, Wyoming, population 2,833 (and Nate thinks that might be a generous estimate). There’s no swimming pool, no tennis team, no mall—not even any MTV. The entire school’s smaller than his graduating class back home, and in a town where the top teen pastimes are sex and drugs, Nate just doesn’t fit in. 

Then Nate meets Cody Lawrence. Cody’s dirt-poor, from a broken family, and definitely lives on the wrong side of the tracks. Nate’s dad says Cody’s bad news. The other kids say he’s trash. But Nate knows Cody’s a good kid who’s been dealt a lousy hand. In fact, he’s beginning to think his feelings for Cody go beyond friendship. 

Admitting he might be gay is hard enough, but between small-town prejudices and the growing AIDS epidemic dominating the headlines, a town like Warren, Wyoming, is no place for two young men to fall in love.


 About Marie Sexton: 

Marie Sexton lives in Colorado. She’s a fan of just about anything that involves muscular young men piling on top of each other. In particular, she loves the Denver Broncos and enjoys going to the games with her husband. Her imaginary friends often tag along.

Marie has one daughter, two cats, and one dog, all of whom seem bent on destroying what remains of her sanity. She loves them anyway.

Connect with Marie: 

·         Website:

·         Twitter: @MarieSexton

·         Facebook:

·         Goodreads:


To celebrate, Marie is giving away a $50 gift card to either Amazon or All Romance Ebooks, winner’s choice.
Leave a comment to enter the contest.
Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on March 26, 2016.
Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. Entries.
Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!




  1. I've never seen IronPort at the (overpriced!) vintage soda specialty shop in my old college town, but apparently you can order it online:

    A 2015 review says they were in the process of switching from high fructose corn syrup back to cane sugar, so maybe they've done that by now. Good luck!

    Trix, vitajex(at)aol(Dot)com

    1. Awesome! Last time I looked, nobody was bottling it -- it was only sold as a syrup for fountain drinks -- but it looks like Bandit bought the rights to bottle it or came up with their own version or... something. At any rate, I may have to order some. Thanks!!

    2. Here's the review that led to the link, if that helps. Bandit seems a little mysterious, but apparently they're the only manufacturer:

  2. And thanks to Booklover Sue for hosting me here today! :-)

  3. I miss the cheap candy. I live downtown. I think it has to do with how far north or south we are from center city or in a small town the middle of the town (so town square?).

    humhumbum AT yahoo DOT com

  4. You know, I think we used uptown and downtown interchangeably in my hometown. LOL There's a lot of candies that I miss that I have a hard time finding now.

  5. I don't remember anything region-specific from when I was growing up, but I did love Swedish fish. We used to get them from the big jars of candy at the candy counter in JC was a square in the middle of the story, but is no longer there.


  6. I've really enjoyed your book tour, Marie. Brought back lots of memories from my younger days. :) Can't wait to start reading Trailer Trash. Thanks for the posts and the giveaway!

  7. Congratulations on the new book, it sounds great!
    annmarief115 at gmail dot com

  8. Great post, Marie! I felt your frustration with things from the past. AND I can feel your pain because there was a particular beef jerky that was sold at the neighborhood store my mom worked at, and I will probably spend the rest of my life longing for just that particular flavor. You're at least up on me because I don't even know the names like you do.

    caroaz [at] ymail [dot] com

    1. OMG, was it by any chance King B? Because that was the BEST beef jerky, and they discontinued most varieties of it ages ago. (You can still sometimes find the "ripples," but they aren't the same at all.)

  9. It sounds like a great read, but I wish Nate could have spent his senior year at his high school. Wouldn't be much of a story then. (

  10. Nothing regional that stands out that's different.


  11. Sounds like an absolute amazing read! Thanks so much for the giveaway. mmalavec(at)med(dot)umich(dot)edu

  12. Sounds like a great read.


  13. We never use the terms "uptown" or "downtown"! We just went 'into town". I love this tour and just all the memories that it brought back. Thank you so much!

    ree.dee.2014 (at) gmail (dot) com

  14. I enjoyed the excerpt. This sounds like an awesome read and I can't wait to read it. Thanks for the great giveaway!

    quiltlady110 at gmail dot com

  15. I enjoyed the excerpt. This sounds like an awesome read and I can't wait to read it. Thanks for the great giveaway!

    quiltlady110 at gmail dot com

  16. This comment has been removed by the author.

  17. I can't think of any specific candy that's only found in Chicago, can anyone else? I enjoyed learning about the book and the author and appreciate the opportunity to win such an awesome prize!

    1. Forgot to leave my email address:

  18. I don't think my hometown of Ormond Beach Florida had anything like this… bike week I guess was a thing but I don't think that really translates!
    Oceanakers @

  19. It was downtown in my little, one stop light town. We used to go to a little store that sold candy too. I don't remember eating the candy, as much as lemons. The grocer would slice them in half, and give us a tiny container of Morton salt.