Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Eleanore Gray by Goldie M. Lucas

Authorial Mom Sarah here, and I'm SO excited! Eleanore Gray is here!

As you may recall from this blog and this one, I've been working on my grandmother Goldie's book, Eleanore Gray. This process took a lot longer than I hoped it would (life happens, you know), but I can now safely say that the book is done!

Here's the back-cover copy:

Eleanore Gray by Goldie M. Lucas
When Dr. Bob Gray drowns, he leaves his young wife, Eleanore, and their three children with a mountain of bills. In 1902, there are few options open to a young widow, so Eleanore takes the scandalous step to relocate her young children to an abandoned farm deep in the Ozark Hills in Missouri. There, nestled in the verdant Hill country, Eleanore transforms from a delicate housewife to a self-reliant farm woman.

Eleanore struggles to understand the backward ways of the Hill people. Her brother-in-law, Will Gray, tries to shield her from the rough ways of her neighbors, but Eleanore is done being shielded. She makes it her Christian mission to save two girls everyone else has written off, and in doing so, finds peace with her woman’s place in the world. But when Will professes his love, Eleanore finds herself struggling not with the question of what she can do for others, but with what she should do for herself.

Goldie was working on this book when she died in 1960. It's taken 61 years, but we've finally been able to publish it. It's an inspirational historical novel. There's a touch of romance (a few kisses), but the true love affair is between Goldie and the Ozark Hills of her childhood. Goldie's lyrical voice shines through each description of the Hill country. 

The book is available online at Amazon here, and at Createspace here. Right now, the print version is the only one available, and it's $15.95. The Kindle version will be available soon (read: when we get the formatting issues figured out.)

The book will also be available at my local independent bookstore, Great Debates. I'm working on getting it into the Crossing churches and see if any place down in the Ozarks will carry it. 

In the coming weeks, I'll be talking a little more about the self-publishing journey I undertook with this book, and comparing it to selling my own book to Harlequin, but for now, I hope you'll order a copy (or three) and leave a review on the Amazon. I put this out there for Goldie's children and grandchildren, the Wrights and the Lucases, but I encourage you to check it out. I've read it about ten times now, and every time, the beauty of her words gets me. It's a good book. You'll enjoy it!

To celebrate this joyous event, I'm giving away one copy! All you have to do is leave a comment below telling me about your grandmother. What legacy did she leave you? How did/do you know her? Even a sweet memory will get you entered into this random drawing. The contest ends on June 19th; the winner will be notified here on June 21st. Good luck!

*Contest open to U.S. residents only. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited. Winner will be randomly chosen by a 6-year-old boy guessing numbers and notified on the Authorial Moms blog on June 21st, 2011.


Genevieve Graham said...

Hmmm. Well, my granny Genevieve - actually, both my grandmas - could play piano by ear. Both of them played for the silent movies! They just sat there and watched the screen, playing whatever came to mind. I have played piano since I was 3, but never could play by ear, much to their disappointment. I still teach, and I love it when I hear one of my students doing it... though I'm envious!

Marilyn Brant said...

What a fascinating story, Sarah. It's wonderful that you were able to help finish your grandmother's book. One of my grandmothers lives nearby and I've been fortunate to spend a lot of time with her. She's an *excellent* cook (far, far better than I am ;), but she's taught me a few recipes, and I've loved learning them from her.

Pamala Knight said...

I have so many wonderful memories of my grandmother that I wouldn't know where to start to pick just one. Since my mother worked and my grandmother took care of me for most of that time, we spent lots of time together.

Our family is very blended (French, Haitian, Dutch, Native American, Irish and English) and my grandmother made sure that we knew about our family and ancestors. She would show me pictures (some that looked like Daguerreotypes, and tell me about the persons in them.

Like many proper Southern ladies,she had her fancy hats for church. I remember two very distinct ones. A beautiful yellow wide-brimmed one with a sapphire broach pin and another seafoam green one that had a multi-colored (emerald, sapphire,diamond, ruby, amethyst and topaz colors) paste broach that was my favorite. My grandmother said it was hers too because even though the sapphire was beautiful in all it's blue purity and authenticity, she thought the paste broach showed the "versatility of God" (her words).

So, my grandmother taught me tolerance, patience and love and for that I'm forever grateful.

Barbara Weitz said...

My grandmothers conjure up so many wonderful memories. I can only hope I will leave the same for mine. Sunday my grandchildren ran through the yard, under the pine trees over the wonderful scent of fallen pine needles, around the purple and yellow iris bed, then shimmied up a smooth barked pine tree. "Hi, grandma," they chimed. I wondered if that moment would form a fond memory for them.

Sarah M. Anderson said...

These are some great memories, ladies! Keep them coming!

Blythe Gifford said...

First, congratulations! So exciting.
I hardly knew my paternal grandmother. She died when I was quite young and she was quite old. I remember being scared of her arthritic hands. But years after she died, I discovered she was a writer. Nothing so long as a novel, but while raising seven (!) children, she managed to pen an occassional piece for her local newspaper. Made me feel connected to her in a way I never did before. Hope she's proud of where her genes went!

Mary Jo Burke said...

Hi Sarah,

My first attempt at writing was a story about my grandmother. She was a widow with three children too. I guess it was good because it made my mom cry. What a great find and idea to continue her work. Good luck. Very interested in the self publishing journey too.

Mary Jo

Anonymous said...

My grandmother recently passed away, at 98 years old. Up until the last year of her life, she was always active. If she wasn't walking a couple of miles to and from the grocery store, she was tending her garden, and still taking in sewing jobs - something she had done her whole life. She taught me the importance of DOING, and not making excuses. She also made one heck of an Italian chicken and potatoes dinner! Oh... the smell of that when I walked n her door - Heaven!

Alice Trego said...

Your new title sounds wonderful, Sarah, and the story behind your book is very intriguing. It's on my TBR list!

My paternal and maternal grandmothers, respectively, died before I was born and when I was a young girl. But, my maternal grandfather remarried so I am proud to say that my step-grandmother was a woman I greatly admired. When she came from Germany in the early 60s, her English needed polishing so she could get her U.S. citizenship papers. Every day after school, I would go to her apartment and help teach her her English lessons.

It was during this time I discovered that she was a marvelous cook, could embroider pillow covers like the ones we see in Ikea nowadays, and she could sew a mean seam. All these I learned from her. To this day I use aluminum foil, shiny side down, rather than parchment paper when I bake cookies :)

Barbara Marshak said...

In a strange way my mom was like my grandma because she had me (baby #7) when she was 49 and already a grandmother to 4 grandkids. Growing up I was the only one still at home,so I was priviledged to hear stories about her life as a young girl, born in 1907.

How inspiring for you to finish your grandmother's book! I'm sure working on the story has already been a wonderful blessing for you.
It looks like a great book!

M. M. Justus said...

My grandmother died when I was fourteen (almost forty years ago). She was born just after the turn of the last century, and a woman well before her time. She owned her own business in the 1920s when my mother was small (some of my mother's first memories were of her mother taking her to work with her), and she and my grandfather were once in Ripley's Believe It or Not because their last name was Barber and they both cut hair for a living [g].

Gayle Gresham said...

Sweet pickles and watermelon rind pickles. My grandmother lived in Virginia and I lived in Colorado, but I loved visiting her and eating her cooking! At her funeral dinner, I picked up some homemade pickles and couldn't believe it when they tasted just like grandmother's. What memories flooded back. The lady who made them was so pleased when I told her that she sent a jar home with me. And she sent a jar out with my parents when they visited me last summer!

Sarah M. Anderson said...

These are such sweet stories! Now I'm getting all mushy remembering things about my other grandmothers!

Vivienne Courtoise said...

What a wonderful tribute to your grandmother who probably did not have the opportunity to publish like you do today. I wish both of you much luck and success with this book. We all need a bit of inspiration in our lives and this a great example of it. I always teased my kids and told them that if I never published during my lifetime to feel free to take my books and try to publish them afterwards.

Eunice Boeve said...

My grandmothers died before I was born, but I had a wonderful aunt who sort of filled that role being 16 years older than my mother. My dad died when I was five, leaving Mom with seven children aged 6 mo to 14 yrs. Our Aunt Teddie (our only relative in Montana and only a mile away, across the creek and through the trees) was such a help to Mom and a wonderful presence in our lives during our growing up years. Your book sounds great. I'm going to Amazon now to read more about it out, but I think I'm already sold.

lucylucia said...

Hey you! My ealriest memories are of walking accross the street in Costa Rica to my granparent's house and sitting in the kitchen drinking coffee with my granma!

Arletta Dawdy said...

The book sounds extraordinary and I look forward to reading it. The cover is beyond beautiful and fitting.
My mother's mother(Margaret) was born on the high seas from Wales in 1875 and died in 1950. She and my grandfather farmed in NY & NJ. I have two pictures I treasure. In the oldest(early 1940's) she is carrying firewood, her hair in a tight bun and she looks careworn and tired. After my gf's death, she moved to CA, went to work for a doctor's family and in a photo of that era, she is dressed to the nines, looks happy and carefree in her new hairstyle, make-up and diamond ring! There is life beyond drudgery and hardship, Grandma's example taught me.

Joelle Charbonneau said...

Congrats to you and to your grandmother on bringing her voice to the world. How amazing that you've been able to help give your family, yourself and everyone else this gift.

Jane Kirkpatrick said...

Congratulations! Love the back cover copy. Makes me want to read it. I wrote about my grandmother as an early photographer in two books. I discovered more about her --she owned her own studio at the age of 20 -- but I also learned new things about myself. It 's just one of the joys of writing and dancing with our grandmothers. Jane