Shirley Kiger Connolly – Authorview


Nickname or “wannabe” name If you don’t have a nickname, you can choose one you’d like, that tells us a little bit about who you are:
When my sister and I were young we used to trade pretend names: Mergatroyd Glutchensnable and Thusneld Burpsack (can you believe it). I don’t think I’d use one of them these days.
I am (what you do): Often scatterbrained (call those “Shirley-Days”)
My best trait: Hmm, there are so many (hardly)
My bad habit: Scratching
Qualities I admire: Humor over Criticism
What I like to read: Human Interest stories and feature stuff about people
What I write: words mostly
What I watch: Classic Movies and Nicholas Sparks movies. I could watch The Notebook a million times.
My family: My immediate family is very close
My favorite food, snack, or beverage: Mexican food, Good n Plenties, Icewater with lime and sugar (not all at the same time)
What I love to do: buy shoes, decorate, fix big fancy dinners (only occasionally)
What I admire: positive people
What makes me happy: being a Christian and having a family that loves me
What makes me sad: negative family members and people that make fun of the Lord
I believe: the Lord is coming soon for me and those who love Him

Shirley’s Bio:
Shirley Kiger Connolly, daughter of a 1940s mystery writer, enjoys penning historical fiction romances and books filled with lighthearted devotions and reflections. Shirley majored in English and Journalism, later joining the graduates of ICL. Shirley was blessed to discover her first Decisions historical romance, Say Goodbye to Yesterday, won 2ndplace in the RWA Ida Awards contest. Her second Decisions book, That Impossible Dream finaled in the Carolyn Readers Choice contest and was also selected as a RONE nominee. Her third Decisions book, Second Time Promise just recently won Fourth Place in This year’s OKRWA- IDA contest. She and her husband reside and minister together in Central-South Texas. Readers can visit her anytime on her blog, http://apenforyourthoughts.blogspot.com, at her Author Page on Facebook, http://facebook.com/shirleykigerconnollyauthoror over on Twitter http://twitter.com/shirleyhere
Shirley’s latest release:
Not Quite An Angel
Sir Geoffrey Wentworth thought he knew every alluring woman in San Francisco by now, until on the night before his return to England he meets and is mesmerized by the mysterious Lady Delphia, the daughter of a French Marquis. Not only has she appeared out of nowhere, she unwittingly steals his heart.

When Sir Geoffrey tries to learn more about this irresistible lady of the night, the two are caught in the middle of a severe San Francisco earthquake. Sir Geoffrey soon learns this woman of mystery is no daughter of a marquis, at all, but is the younger sister of a simple country parson, and already engaged to be married.

If there is anything the honorable Sir Geoffrey Wentworth, 2nd son to the Viscount of Salisbury cannot abide is being duped by a woman.

Any of Shirley’s books can be purchased at both online and print bookstores here or at her publisher’s website: here. Readers can also find Shirley’s Civil War romance here.

 

A 1920s Traditional Christmas

What did Christmas look like in the 1920’s? It depends on who you were, and where you lived. I guess you could say the same about contemporary Christmas celebrations. When I began this research, I was a little surprised. It didn’t look that different. But I shouldn’t have been surprised. Traditions are kept and passed down from one generation to the next. We love our traditions and Christmas wouldn’t be complete without them.

Christmas trees, wreaths, garlands, lights, candles, goodies, toys, and Santa Claus, stockings, ribbons, bows, nutcrackers, cookies, cakes, pies, nativity sets, train sets, Christmas villages…the list goes on. These are still part of our Christmas celebrations today, as they were almost a hundred years ago.

One of the greatest differences will not surprise you. One memoir-writer said, “We had neither the time nor the wherewithal to decorate our homes…” (earlier than Christmas week). Most waited until Christmas Eve. But when you think about it, with the use of real trees lit by candles, it wasn’t safe to keep one up longer than a few days.

Many families went out and cut their own trees from their property, a family’s farm, or they just went somewhere and found one. In the city of course, they were brought in on wagons and sold on the street. Here’s a link showing several scenes that include well-to-do families with their typical Christmas trees:  http://www.cardboardchristmas.com/papateds/Christmas1920s.html And some less fortunate children here:  http://streeturchins.blogspot.com/2010/12/merry-christmas-little-urchins.html

I was interested to see the train sets and villages set up beneath the trees, a tradition that continues in some families today. The trees were pine or cedar and didn’t always have the lovely traditional shape we go for these days. Some looked reminiscent of Charlie Brown’s tree.

Their traditional tree decorations included stringed popcorn, pine cones, red and green ropes (purchased at the store) or homemade paper chains. Snowflake cutouts and tinsel icicles were also used. And don’t forget the lights. Yes, those who had electricity could string lights on their trees. The lights were made by General Electric’s “Edison Decorative Miniature Lamp Division.” You’ll notice they were weather proof, so yes, our ’20s era counterparts decorated outdoors. But most folks either used candles or no lights at all.

What did the stockings contain? An apple (not the lovely red variety we now have, but a homegrown one), an orange, walnuts, pecans, Brazil nuts, candy canes, chocolate drops, and raisins (dried on stems). Maybe a small toy or two. One lady says, “We didn’t hang our stockings by the fireplace, we needed that for heat. Besides, our stockings were just that. Our stockings. They weren’t decorative.” They’d wake up Christmas morning to find their sock or knee-length stocking filled and lying on a chair, or tied around a bedpost or doorknob.

Most folks didn’t go all out for Christmas. Handmade items like socks, gloves, mittens, and scarves were the most common gifts and may be the only gifts a family received. The most popular gifts: the Raggedy Ann doll and die-cast metal toys. Also, roller skates gained popularity, along with wagons and bicycles. And of course the toy train sets and baby dolls.

A traditional Christmas dinner usually included roast chicken rather than turkey or ham. Cakes, pies, and cookies were included. And Jell-O! Yes! Beautiful Jell-O molds for the holidays. Do you think they made “pink stuff” and “green stuff” back then?

Folks baked extra during the holidays and shared desserts with family and neighbors. The wonderful fruitcakes probably got passed around. Some families are still passing the same ones around, apparently. I grew up eating fruitcake and liking it. During prohibition, I suppose they had to use rum flavoring for their cakes and eggnogs.

Religious celebrations included Christmas Eve services, Christmas morning services, traditional programs at church and school, and wandering carolers who usually waited until Christmas Eve, or sometimes Christmas Night to walk about their neighborhoods. You would recognize many of the songs they sang, because we still sing them today. Here’s a sample of some popular Christmas music of the 1920s: http://yuleplay.com/playlist/?pid=1524&pname=1920s%20Christmas%20Songs

Folks sent Christmas cards. I found some cute samples of Christmas cards from the twenties and they’re posted here on Pinterest, along with a few other goodies I found.

One thing that has never gone out of style is giving. We give gifts. It doesn’t really matter how big or how costly the gifts. Sometimes, it’s just really nice to be remembered.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this look back at an interesting era in our history. What traditions did your family observe (your childhood days or even further back)? What is/was your favorite food served at Christmas Dinner?

Photo from: http://streeturchins.blogspot.com/2010/12/merry-christmas-little-urchins.html

Five Days of Christmas Blog Posts – for extra fun:

FREE Today only: This Dance (ebook)

Julie Arduini: Christmas Music
Fay Lamb: On the Ledge: Miracle at 1782 Ayshire Drive
Tracy Ruckman: Surrender is Key to Writers 
Fay Lamb: On the Ledge: A Special Gathering
Sheryl Holmes: Created to Crave
                      
Fay Lamb, On the Ledge: Ho, Ho, Help          

FREE Today only: This Dance (ebook)

Elizabeth Noyes – Authorview


Betty Noyes

This week’s Authorview guest, Elizabeth Noyes, has been here before. You may recognize her from an earlier post. Her debut novel, Imperfect Wings, is a recent release from Write Integrity Press. She has a wonderful, humorous style, and I hope you enjoy her interview.
Nickname or “wannabe” name:I grew up being called “Betty Ann” by my family and friends (that’s a strong southern emphasis on Ann, two syllables, pronounced “Ayyy’-yun”). My brother dubbed me with my nickname – “Boop” (as in Betty Boop, not that I looked anything like her). Today, people call me Betty.
I am (what you do): For several years, I’ve told people I knew what I wanted to be when I grew up—retired! Last month I did it. Now, I plan to refocus my 40-hour work week on my writing.
My best trait: Perseverance
My bad habit: Self-doubt
Qualities I admire: Confidence, outgoing natures, positive outlooks
What I like to read: Reading is my addiction. I love all genres – suspense, romance, sci-fi, fantasy, historical, biographies, even some horror (if it’s not grisly). No war stuff, though.
What I write: Action/suspense with a dash of romance
What I watch: On television, I watch old movies, baseball, football, and bullriding! But I also like to people-watch at the park, at church or while shopping. You get some crazy ideas for stories that way.
My family: I have a husband (been married for 41 years this Christmas), one son married with a son of his own, and one daughter also married with a daughter and son. There are also assorted grand-dogs at any given time.
My favorite food, snack, or beverage: Ice cream – Chunky Monkey, Pistachio, Butter Pecan – haven’t found a flavor I’d turn down yet.
What I love to do: Read, crochet, read, yoga, read, write, read, bridge, and … did I say read?
What I admire: People who can put themselves out there without fear of rejection.
What makes me happy: Sunshine, blue skies, oceans, cruises, other people’s smiles, children playing, dogs napping, flowers, clean toilets, and that all important first cup of coffee in the morning.
What makes me sad: A friend’s tears, movies that make me cry, the end of a good book series, a wasted day.
I believe: There is a Creator who put order in the universe, one who lets us make mistakes and learn from them, one who created us for a purpose and will gently guide us to the right path if we allow Him.
Elizabeth Noyes–professional writer, aspiring author, dedicated dreamer–lives in Atlanta with her husband and best friend, Paul, who listens tirelessly while she regales him with all the tales in her head of damaged, but very human character clamoring to be heard. Imperfect Wings is the first novel in her romantic suspense Imperfect Series.

Contact Information:

Imperfect Wings by Elizabeth Noyes
Evil stalks TJ McKendrick.
Three years after burying her father, TJ visits Honduras where he died. While there, she witnesses a murder and is forced to flee.

Don Castillo dreams of power. Funnel the drugs into the States and it’s his. First though, he must kill the woman who dared spy on him.

The last thing Garrett Cameron needs is another woman interrupting his life, but when the feisty vixen that put a monkey wrench in his mission two years ago shows up at his ranch running for her life — what’s a man to do?

The attraction between TJ and Garrett bursts into flame in the midst of danger, a fierce desire that neither is prepared for. Her past is filled with betrayal. He’s lived a life of violence, and love isn’t for someone like him. Do they dare let go of past hurts and embrace a future together?

Only faith in God and trust in each other can overcome the deadly odds they face.

Join in the Fun! Our Five Days of Christmas is underway! Check out our other blogposts for more information and more free stuff!

Rare Rabbits in Bolivia  Peggy Cunningham 
Free on Kindle! (3 days only) Really Rare Rabbits Giant Green Ghosts and Secret at Peppermint Pass (Children’s Book)

On the Ledge: Is that All? Fay Lamb

Give Hope: Carry! Sheryl Holmes

Free on Kindle! (3 days only) Charisse by Fay Lamb (Romance)
Cancer Survivor and Mom of Nine Offers Hope All Year Long Sheryl Holmes

Christmas at Rumi Rancho Peggy Cunningham
On the Ledge/Fay Lamb: A Very Special Mom