Monday, September 15, 2014

Character Blog Hop

I was invited to this "Meet My Character” blog hop by author M. Leigh Marrott. M. Leigh’s Bio: Author M. Leigh Marrott has been coloring the world with her stories since she could talk... just like those pesky aliens used to color her walls at night when she was four. The first poem she actually wrote down was at the age of eleven as she grumbled about cleaning. When she was in high school, her quirky English teacher submitted M. Leigh’s poetry to a local paper and, to the author’s dismay, it was published. In March 2013, she had a collection of haikus published in EFiction Magazine. She is a contributor to The Liahona Project and Just An Average Mormon. M. Leigh is also a contributing author for the new YA Paranormal anthology, “Strange and Lovely” which now available for pre-order at Currently, M. Leigh is working on tidying up her first full-length novel for publication in early 2015. Born and raised in Indiana, as an adult M. Leigh married a military man and has moved 11 times in their nearly fifteen years together. They are the parents of four children, and though their military life is over, they love living in patriotic Texas. M. Leigh has degrees in Criminal Justice, Social Work and Psychology and finds the human condition and relationships fascinating. She also adores baking anything chocolate, taking long road trips in the family Suburban, and having totally geeked out movie marathons. You can read her “Meet My Character” blog post on her blog at Websites: Facebook: Twitter: Goodreads:

My Character Interview What is the name of your character? Clairey Is he/she fictional or a historic person? fictional When and where is the story set? My story takes place in the 1930s in the south. What should we know about him/her? She is fiercely loyal and is constantly evolving. What is the main conflict? Clairey is thrown into a situation that is beyond her control and must make the best of it. What messes up his/her life? Her father. What is the personal goal of the character? To become better that she is. Is there a working title for this novel, and can we read more about it? Good Ground When can we expect the book to be published? This book has already been published.

Monday, September 30, 2013

If I Could Cast Good Ground the Movie

Casting for Good Ground the Movie
It is fun to imagine what my book would be like as a movie. If I had any say in casting a movie based on Good Ground, these are the actors that I would choose for the characters in my book.
      Jim Hooper                                                   Edith Hooper
 Sam Worthington                                               Ellen Page
                Dr. Fielding                                                  Mrs. Fielding
               Dallas Roberts                                             Embeth Davidtz
         Ellis Hooper                                           Clairey Hooper

 Obviously Joseph Gordon-Levitt!!!                   Shailene Woodley 
       Fergus Bayard
     Jay Baruchel or if he were only younger Jeremy Davies
 Elvira Bayard  
  A Camilla Belle look-alike or Lily Collins
Clairey's Mother                                      Joe Davenport    
Beth Grant                                            William Hurt

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

A True Love Story

What constitutes a true love story? In the beginning you meet someone, have an attraction or a common purpose and the relationship grows. While many of us experience that chemical reaction of seeing someone that you are drawn to because of physical appearance, you general move past that into meatier substance when you “fall in love”.
I think of my parents who have been married now for forty-four years. Would my mom say that she thought my dad was dang fine? Sure. My grandparents who spent a life time together had their beginnings in a horseshoe game. My grandmother swore that when she saw the back of my grandpa’s head she knew that was the man she would marry. My own marriage of sixteen years began with a double take when I saw my husband for the first time walk by and I thought, wow he is really good looking.

But then I think of the rest of the story, and I realize that these relationships may be steeped in infatuation but they moved on to bigger and better things. I do not profess to be an expert on love, but I will share with you what I believe love is.

My grandma and grandpa lived in rural Tennessee. Grandma Ruby was the only child of Frank Amonette. Frank was a professed bachelor for a good portion of his life and when he finally settled down and married my great- grandmother he was growing older. When my great-grandma Mary died of breast cancer, his fear then was of being alone. He asked my Grandma Ruby to promise him that she would never marry. She would not agree to it, because even as a young woman she knew that it was a promise she couldn’t keep.

Her father did not approve of my grandpa Douglas, for various reasons (I’m sure some of them good reasons). While my Grandpa Douglas was a good man he was human, had his weaknesses and made his mistakes. But she loved him anyway. Because my great-grandfather Frank would not give his blessing, they decided to elope. At one point, on their journey to exchange vows, grandpa Douglas carried my grandma Ruby through a stream so that she wouldn’t get wet. Doesn’t get much more romantic than that does it?
But here’s the ever after part. They went on to have children, six of them. At one point my grandma Ruby experienced a very traumatic and difficult miscarriage. The two of them struggled to make ends meet on their tobacco farm while raising their family. The work was hard, the days were long. One of their sons as an adult was involved in an accident and consequentially became a quadriplegic. My grandparents lovingly took care of him until they died. They had many ups and downs throughout their fifty-nine years together.

   Similarly, my parents met, fell in love, and were married. Went on to have eight children! During that time my father worked hard to support his family. My mother worked hard to keep the house in order and provide meals for her family and make things stretch as far as they might. They worked together to raise us children and to do the best they could with what they were given.  They lost their first grandson shortly after he was born, a constant heartache, even now after nineteen years, for our family. They had another grandson diagnosed with autism. I have seen firsthand their struggles and the lengths they would go to in order to take care of their own.

My own marriage has not been without its problems. My husband and I now have four children of our own. Our second, a son, was diagnosed with autism at the age of two. Finances and the stresses of work and family have been difficult at times. What is my point in telling you all of this? I guess it is to say that I believe true love happens after the happily ever after. It is grounded in joy and sorrow, in work and play, in pleasure and suffering, in passion and temperance. It is facing hard times and working through them together. We are older and weigh more and are wiser and more experienced. I still think he is sexier than ever and sometimes we still make love like it was the first time. I know him and he knows me, the good, the bad, and the ugly. And yet, despite the imperfection, we are solid. We love each other. We love each other enough to work through the moments that are truly bad, because we know that there is still good somewhere in the future.  This, for me, is a true love story, hanging on and hanging in with the person you have made promises to and choosing to stay in love despite the odds being against you.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Fashions and Hairstyles of the 1930s

Many women of the 1930s did their best to stay in fashion by making over clothing they already had. The depression was a tough time and money was scarce. They might shorten a hemline or change the sleeve to make it more presentable. Of course women of Hollywood played a big role in fashion as they always have. Emphasis was put on the shoulders, with square cuts and broad shoulder pads. Skirts were fitted at the waist with a subtle A line flair.

Clairey Hooper lived in the rural south, where fashion was probably a good decade behind the times. A simple farmer would not have owned an evening gown or anything frivolous or impractical. Her wardrobe would have consisted primarily of house dresses, something practical and easy to work in. Many of the ladies used cottons and calicos with floral or geometrical prints in simply cut patterns for their day dresses. During the depression anything usable was utilized, including fabric from flour sacks, which came in a variety of patterns. Women made good use of these fabrics by making dresses and quilts from them.
A rural farm girl would most likely have made many of her own dresses, although store bought dresses were more the norm everywhere else. Zippers began to be traded out for buttons. An apron was an important part of a housewives wardrobe to protect her dress and make laundry easier to keep up with. The fabric dyes were not the best quality. A woman avoided washing her dress unless it was absolutely necessary because once the dress was washed the dye faded considerable.
The popular hairstyle of the day was the bob with finger waves or curls.  Hats and gloves were a must have staple for accessories.

The following are some examples of dress patterns from the 1930s, which also show lthe trends in hairstyles as well. This would have been the sort of clothing and hair that would have been fashionable in Clairey's time period. 



Tuesday, September 3, 2013

FREE Ebook

Good Ground is free in Ebook form on Amazon September 3-6. Here's the link!

Grandma and Grandpa Shared a Spoon

Thought I would share this video of my grandma and grandpa. They spoke extensively about their courtship, but this little segment is about sharing a spoon. For those of you who have read Good Ground you will understand where I got the inspiration for a certain scene. Enjoy!

Grandma and Grandpa Share A Spoon

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Book Signing Make Over

I recently had a book signing at Barnes and Noble. In order to prepare for it, I got a new sweater and shirt and my friend Elvia Butz did my makeup. One of my dear friends Kathy Summers says that buying a new outfit is like getting a new set of armor. I totally agree with her. There is something about looking good that makes you feel confident. So I am really putting myself out there on this one.
The Before, that's right NO MAKEUP

Elvia took some before and after shots. So, folks, you get to see the real me, the me that looks like a dead corpse before I put my make up on. One of Elvia’s tips was to make sure that you are exfoliated and moisturized before you begin putting makeup on. Elzia is a professional makeup artist who once did Alyssa Milano’s face. She offer’s her services for photographs, weddings, television (she did my makeup for my television appearance on Fresh Living a couple months back), theater, and film. You may contact her through email or by telephone to book your own session with her.
The Afters

The Book Signing

With one of my biggest supporters Linda Sneathen
Book Signing Barnes and Noble August 3rd

Elvia's Contact Info:

Elvia R. Butz Mobile Beauty Services