Yellow Skies and Devil’s Oven

Red sky at night, sailor’s delight.

Red sky at morning, sailor’s warning.

At our house, we’ve added a half-serious, half-ridiculous line to the saying: Yellow sky, prepare to die. Pretty extreme, yes. It comes from my growing up in tornado-prone landscapes. The pre-tornado skies usually progressed from rainy, to cloudy and still, to yellow, and then tornadoes. I don’t know if this is true everywhere, and so many tornadoes come at night, who knows what the sky looks like. But the pronouncement is always said at our house with a side eye of fear.

Earlier this week, the sky was very, very yellow. Fortunately, there were no tornadoes anywhere near us. But there was a lovely light. Below, I have photos of our garden, which is mostly zinnias now, because I had many zinnia seeds. (Yes, there’s a story there. Maybe I told it already?)

Also, a little fun news: My favorite among my own novels, the Appalachian Frankenstein tale, Devil’s Oven, is a Kindle Countdown Deal this week. That means it’s .99 today, and will increase $1.00 each day this week until it’s back up to its regular $4.99 price. (It’s also in Kindle Unlimited)

I love this book. It’s the story of a seamstress named Ivy, who lives with her grumpy sister, Thora, at the foot of Devil’s Oven mountain. Ivy frequently hunts mushrooms up on the mountain, and one day finds the body parts of a large, handsome man, buried around the woods. (Yes, I went there!) Because Ivy is a bit strange, she digs him up and, hiding him from Thora in a trailer situated above the house, she sews him back together. I won’t tell you how (no spoilers!), but he comes to life. And that’s not necessarily a good thing. Deadly chaos ensues, and the town is terrorized. There’s salvation, perhaps, in the form of Jolene (thanks, Dolly!), whom I like to describe as a magical stripper, but is better described as a delicate exotic dancer. And that’s all I’ll tell you.

Chances are many of you have read Devil’s Oven because it’s been out for a while. If you haven’t, I hope you will.

Here’s an image you might see on social media. Also, I’ll match all proceeds from this week’s promotion, and donate to the Hindman Settlement School for its flood relief efforts in Eastern Kentucky. They are integral to their small community, and it’s where Pinckney and I met. I hope you’ll check out their needs, too.

book cover of laura benedict's novel devil's oven


Now–all the zinnias!


Zero filter

Floating flower heads lol

The season’s last, glorious gladiola

2 thoughts on “Yellow Skies and Devil’s Oven”

  1. Your flowers are gorgeous! I have seen a sky like that. Just before a hail storm! Glad this one went away.

    1. Laura Benedict says:

      Hail storms are terrifying, too!

      Zinnias are so showy and fun— garden show-offs 💕

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