The photo on the left, circa 1919, shows college women in Texas doing what college women have always done: hanging out together, having fun.  Minus the nutcrackers and nightcaps, the image conjures fond memories of my own university experience, six decades later. Readers are often surprised that Leola, the protagonist of my novel, ‘TIL ALL […]

     On Christmas Eve, Leola and Auntie shopped at Laird’s, buying plump oranges and hair ribbons for both girls…Leola also spied a pair of enamel collar buttons that would suit Joe perfectly—except they cost fifty cents and she only had a nickel left of spending money.      “Go on, child.” Auntie pressed the additional coins […]

Leola did a mental inventory of their food supplies—a small side of ham, whatever eggs the chickens might lay, p’rhaps ten jars of vegetables, some cornmeal. Seemed they would go hungry if they weren’t careful—a thought that made her stomach clench like she was starving already. From ‘TIL ALL THESE THINGS BE DONE   ‘Tis […]

Some of my best childhood memories of visiting my Texan grandparents involve food: fried chicken as crispy outside as it was tender inside; black-eyed beans stewed with ham hocks or bacon; iced tea so sweet, it made my teeth ache. But before I began researching this novel, I’d never heard of the mayhaw berry, an […]

  Old Maid’s Conventions were all the rage in America during the early 20th century. These events, usually held as charity fundraisers, invited the public to watch as young women paraded about in spinster attire while a narrator described their marital ineligibility: this one loved picture shows more than men; that one couldn’t cook; another […]