McClanahan, Jeffery 1941- (Dixie Cash, a joint pseudonym, Anna Jeffrey)
McClanahan, Jeffery 1941- (Dixie Cash, a joint pseudonym, Anna Jeffrey)
Born November 26, 1941, in Stephenville, TX; daughter of Jeff (in agriculture) and Joan (a homemaker) Nash; married John Minor (deceased); married George McClanahan, October 24, 1981; children: (first marriage) Adrienne Minor Wilkes. Ethnicity: "Caucasian."
Home—Granbury, TX. Agent—Annelise Robey, Jane Rotrosen Agency, 318 E. 51st St., New York, NY 10022.
Writer. Formerly worked in real estate and collectibles retailing.
Romance Writers of America, Western Writers of America, PASIC RWA.
Southwest Writers Conference Award, romance category, 2001, for The Love of a Cowboy.
ROMANCE NOVELS WITH PAMELA CUMBIE, UNDER JOINT PSEUDONYM DIXIE CASH
Since You're Leaving Anyway, Take out the Trash, Avon Books (New York, NY), 2004.
My Heart May Be Broken, but My Hair Still Looks Great, William Morrow (New York, NY), 2005.
I Gave You My Heart, but You Sold It Online, William Morrow (New York, NY), 2006.
Don't Make Me Choose between You and My Shoes, Avon Books (New York, NY), 2008.
ROMANCE NOVELS UNDER PSEUDONYM ANNA JEFFREY
The Love of a Cowboy, New American Library (New York, NY), 2003.
The Love of a Stranger, New American Library (New York, NY), 2004.
The Love of a Lawman, New American Library (New York, NY), 2005.
Sweet Water, Signet Eclipse (New York, NY), 2006.
Salvation, Texas, Signet Eclipse (New York, NY), 2007.
Sweet Return, New American Library (New York, NY), 2007.
Jeffery McClanahan is a fifth-generation Texan who started writing romance novels with varying amounts of mystery and comedy later in life. McClanahan writes under two different pseudonyms. She pairs up with her sister, Pamela Cumbie, to write under the joint pseudonym of Dixie Cash. When writing on her own, however, she publishes under the pseudonym Anna Jeffrey. The Dixie Cash writing team began one year after McClanahan published her first book. According to the Dixie Cash Home Page, Cumbie's "zany sense of humor" and McClanahan's "dry wit" provided the right combination to write books together.
Jill M. Smith, writing on the Romantic Times Online Web site, labeled Cash's writing style as "southern to the bone and lots of fun." This style is found throughout the locations and characters of her first three books. The first book Cash published was Since You're Leaving Anyway, Take out the Trash. The book introduces several characters found throughout Cash's other stories, including Debbie Sue, the owner of a gas station cum hair salon. When the town's wealthiest citizen dies, Debbie Sue works around her ex-husband, the town's sheriff, to solve the crime and win the cash award offered by the family. Reviews were positive for the debut novel of the writing pair. A critic in Publishers Weekly wrote that the "authentic dialogue and a strong Texas flavor nicely complement the slapstick tone of Cash's rollicking debut romance." Several reviewers enjoyed the individual characters. Melissa Parcel, writing on the Curled up with a Good Book Web site, commented that "the unique, quirky characters are all endearing and smart."
My Heart May Be Broken, but My Hair Still Looks Great continues the happenings of the small-town characters of the previous book but focuses more on two newcomers, Paige and Spur. The former, a rich girl forced to be independent of her family's money, and the latter, a veterinarian, are being matched by Debbie Sue as she tries to figure out why horses are disappearing around town. Writing in Booklist, Carol Haggas praised the characters, saying that "Cash's good ol' gals … deliver big laughs." Harriet Klausner's review on the Best Reviews Web site, however, was more critical. While believing fans would ultimately enjoy the book, Klausner felt that "the suspense seems anticlimactic in spite of references alluding to stolen horses throughout the plot." A critic in Kirkus Reviews summed up My Heart May Be Broken, but My Hair Still Looks Great by calling it a "droll romantic comedy with a splash of mystery and lots of Texan sass."
In I Gave You My Heart, but You Sold It Online Debbie Sue and Edwina, the Domestic Equalizers, are entangled in the dilemmas of rodeo cowboy and womanizer Quint Matthews. Quint has had a hard time with women since he broke up with Debbie Sue: an Internet match-up is not who it seems to be, a local date prefers to keep company with Quint's best friend, and another "ex" has stolen his identity and hijacked his credit card account. The latter situation causes him to seek help from his old girlfriend Debbie Sue. Can the Equalizers save the day and save the cowboy's credit rating? Should they even try? When Quint also becomes a suspect in a local murder investigation, the complicated plot thickens, and the Equalizers have an even tougher case to solve.
McClanahan's first book published was The Love of a Cowboy, written under the pseudonym Anna Jeffrey. This romance has Dahlia, a half-Filipina, half-Caucasian Texan, moving to Idaho for work after her husband dies in a car crash while intoxicated. There she meets Luke, a divorcé who has something of a grudge against relationships after his divorce because he still takes care of three kids and an unstable, alcoholic ex-wife. The two struggle to overcome their emotional baggage while deciding whether or not to take their precarious relationship further. Critics gave mostly positive reviews of Jeffrey's debut novel. Kay Mayo reviewed the book on the Romantic Times Online Web site, commenting that "Jeffrey writes a straightforward narrative and moves her plot along nicely." B. Kathy Leitle was moved by the story. In her review on the Romance Reader Web site, she recalled that "there are some very emotional scenes that caused me a few tears…. The love scenes were quite warm. All of these emotions pulled me into the story."
Jeffrey's next book, The Love of a Stranger, revolves around two divorcés from Los Angeles who now live in Callister, Idaho. Alex, a real estate mogul, first meets former Los Angeles police officer Doug when she throws him off her property for trespassing with a local barkeep. The two eventually work together to fight a plan to build a road through Alex's property while taking precautions against those trying to hinder their efforts. Vivian Outen, reviewing the work on the Curledup with a Good Book Web site, wrote that Jeffrey "is superb at creating the different layers of her characters." A critic in Publishers Weekly commented: "Jeffrey's hot-blooded heroine, hot hero, complex story line and polished writing make this a riveting read."
In Sweet Water, the entire town of Agua Dulce, population of ten, has been sold on eBay without any of the residents' knowledge or consent. Marisa, back in town to look after her ill mother and her café, leads the charge against the real estate mogul who has plans to change the town beyond recognition. The two become romantically involved and must find a way to move beyond their uncompromising stances on the future of the town to have their relationship work. Reviewing the book in the Detroit Free Press, Marcia Abramson found that the author has a knack for mixing "just the right amounts of soft, sweet, and funny." Romance Reader at Heart Web site reviewer Kristal Gorman commented that Sweet Water "is exciting and believable with a great plot and secondary characters that will have you laughing out loud."
Sweet Return might seem at first to be a misnomer for a story about a Los Angeles photojournalist named Dalton, who returns to the family cattle ranch to find a disaster in progress. The Texas ranch has been mortgaged, the structures are falling apart, his brother has been injured in an accident, and his mother has lost the ability to cope with the mounting troubles. To top off his irritation, neighbor Joanna Walsh has turned part of his family ranch into an organic chicken egg operation. Joanna is no sophisticated city girl, but she is no pushover, either. She stands her ground against Dalton until, inevitably, they are drawn toward a middle ground where peaceful coexistence might be possible. As in previous Jeffrey novels, reviewers found an authentic Texas voice and what Booklist contributor Lynne Welch called an "engaging story sure to please her loyal readers."
McClanahan told CA: "I write because I love to do it and have wanted to be a novelist for my entire life. I'm influenced by the older authors (that is, Willa Cather, Ernest Hemingway, Sinclair Lewis, William Styron, Harper Lee). Newer authors who influence me are Michael Connelly, Tami Hoag, and Linda Howard. I write about contemporary life in the American West because I love the West, the people, the history, the lifestyle."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Abilene Reporter News, October 1, 2005, Miz Cheevus, "Miz Cheevus Spills Beans about New Romance."
Booklist, September 1, 2005, Carol Haggas, review of My Heart May Be Broken, but My Hair Still Looks Great, p. 58.
Daily Texan (Austin, TX), July 20, 2005, Rachel Bilardi, review of My Heart May Be Broken, but My Hair Still Looks Great; September 1, 2006, Carol Haggas, review of I Gave You My Heart, but You Sold It Online, p. 51; November 15, 2007, Lynne Welch, review of Sweet Return, p. 25.
Detroit Free Press, January 25, 2006, Marcia Abramson, review of Sweet Water.
Kirkus Reviews, July 15, 2005, review of My Heart May Be Broken, but My Hair Still Looks Great, p. 749; August 1, 2006, review of I Gave You My Heart, but You Sold It Online, p. 754.
Library Journal, November 1, 2005, Shelley Mosley, review of My Heart May Be Broken, but My Hair Still Looks Great, p. 63.
Publishers Weekly, March 15, 2004, review of The Love of a Stranger, p. 60; August 30, 2004, review of Since You're Leaving Anyway, Take out the Trash, p. 38; August 29, 2005, review of My Heart May Be Broken, but My Hair Still Looks Great, p. 32; August 21, 2006, review of I Gave You My Heart, but You Sold It Online, p. 47; October 8, 2007, review of Sweet Return, p. 42; January 28, 2008, review of Don't Make Me Choose between You and My Shoes, p. 39.
Star-Telegram (Dallas-Fort Worth, TX), December 1, 2005, Jane Ramos Trimble, "Dixie Cash: Sisters Blend Humor, Mystery, Romance in Popular Books," p. 48.
AllReaders.com,http://www.allreaders.com/ (April 20, 2006), Harriet Klausner and Rina Hall, review of The Love of a Cowboy, Harriet Klausner, review of The Love of a Stranger.
Anna Jeffrey Home Page,http://www.annajeffrey.com (April 20, 2006).
Authors Den,http://authorsden.com/ (April 20, 2006), author profile.
Bella Online,http://www.bellaonline.com/ (April 20, 2006), Elizabeth Darrach, reviews of The Love of a Lawman, Sweet Water; and The Love of a Stranger.
Best Reviews,http://thebestreviews.com/ (August 28, 2004), Lory Martin, review of Since You're Leaving Anyway, Take out the Trash; (October 15, 2005), Harriet Klausner, review of My Heart May Be Broken, but My Hair Still Looks Great.
Curled up with a Good Book,http://www.curledup.com/ (April 20, 2006), Melissa Parcel, review of Since You're Leaving Anyway, Take out the Trash; (April 20, 2006), Vivian Outen, review of The Love of a Stranger.
Dixie Cash Home Page,http://www.dixie-cash.com (April 20, 2006).
Romance Reader,http://www.theromancereader.com/ (April 20, 2006), author interview, Cathy Sova, review of The Love of a Lawman, Shirley Lyons, review of The Love of a Stranger, B. Kathy Leitle, review of The Love of a Cowboy.
Romance Reader at Heart Web site,http://romancereaderatheart.com/ (April 20, 2006), Kristal Gorman, review of Sweet Water.
Romantic Times Online,http://www.romantictimes.com/ (April 20, 2006), Jill M. Smith, review of My Heart May Be Broken, but My Hair Still Looks Great, Jill M. Smith, review of Since You're Leaving Anyway, Take out the Trash, Susan Mobley, review of Sweet Water, Kay Mayo, review of The Love of a Cowboy, Susan Mobley, review of The Love of a Lawman, Jill M. Smith, review of The Love of a Stranger.