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GDP's Townsend releases second book

LAWRENCEVILLE -- After releasing "Southern Fried White Trash" last October, Carole Townsend is ready for her new book "Red Lipstick and Clean Underwear" to hit the shelves on Wednesday.

Her first book was about Southern antics. This one is about the odd-ball advice women receive from their mothers while growing up, like "if you don't feel well, vacuum" or "wear earrings to keep from catching a cold."

"This one is not similar from the first," Townsend said. "I mean, the first one was not 'War and Peace.' It was silly and goofy, not to be taken seriously. This one started out to be a funny, light-hearted laugh about the advice that our mothers gave us and did it apply, how did it apply to life, the life that the women lives."

Townsend's mother passed away when she was a teenager, but she remembers a lot of the advice she gave over the years.

"The bulk of my mother's advice was grooming, catching a man and doing enough professionally to get by until you got married and someone else could take care of you," she said with a laugh. "You know what life is -- it's careers, blends of family, divorce, (having a) baby again and trying to juggle all those elements. Women were given a pretty slim tool box. We lead incredibly complicated lives."

For her research, Townsend interviewed women from ages 30 to 88 from all over the country and a few ladies from Canada and Europe.

"A lot of this (advice) is regional, but so much of it is universal. ... The premise is the same: grooming, catching a man, being attractive, not rocking the boat," she said. "This one I would say is not just a Southern book."

At the end of the day, the "Red Lipstick" is about women as a whole, because the group goes through the same ups and downs in life.

"The thing that I witnessed myself during these interviews, once women got comfortable, they talked about anything and then you could look around at the other women's faces and they would say, 'I thought I was the only one.' We handle and do things in silence," Townsend said. "There is something calming and reassuring about sisterhood -- whether you've got one girlfriend or you're sitting with 20. It's just very reassuring."

The book isn't all jokes and stories though, because "life isn't always funny," according to Townsend.

"There are some parts of the book that are very funny, there are parts that are sobering and make you think, and there are parts that make you cry because of some of the stories these women told me. It was a blessing for me to write it," she said. "It started to be funny and light-hearted, but it's turned out to be a celebration of women. I'm very proud of it."

After "Red Lipstick" officially releases, the local writer plans to put pen to paper again.

"When this initial whirl wind calms down, I'll start thinking about book No. 3," she said.

Townsend will be at the Snellville Fall Festival Oct. 20 to sell and sign books.