Recently, I received a most engaging book from FlyBy/Propeller Promotions about a life in small-town Texas to read: When We Last Spoke by Marci Henna. (As well as a DVD with a beautiful trailer for the film version of this book, to go along with it!) Let me share my thoughts about this book with you. And at the end of the post, you can enter to win a copy of the book and DVD for yourself!
Once upon a time, there were two little girls in Texas. Their dad was off flying Hueys in Vietnam. They lived with their mom in Austin.
But Juliet’s and Evangeline’s mother had other plans, plans that included fame and fortune. She wanted to be a star. She could sing and tap-dance. And she had given up acting in New York when she got married. So one day, she packed up the girls and drove them to Fireside, Texas, in her 1960 Corvair. When her mother-in-law Ruby met them at the front door, she told the girls to be good and for Ruby to take care of them; that she’d be in touch.
So began Evangeline’s and Juliet’s new life. Ruby cooked, canned, gardened, and gathered eggs which she and Juliet sold in town every Saturday. Walt took Evangeline along as he took care of the calves and fences. And a beautiful, stable life was created for the girls, even as their hearts always felt the abandonment of their mother (would she have left them if they’d been more well-behaved? was she ever coming back?). Walt and Ruby adored each other and loved the girls deeply, and they settled in to life in small-town Texas, where everybody knew everybody else (AND their business!).
Dr Pepper. Skinned knees and Dippity-Do. Elvis, Thunderbirds, and fiddle music. Drive-in movies and banana pudding. Sibling squabbles and sleepovers. And every now and then, a special box comes from their mother to the girls, with special treats and a note. They always hope that she’s going to come back for them, though. There is intrigue that the little girls notice. There’s the crazy lady who won’t set foot out of her house, that Ruby takes food to. There’s fashionable Selma Davis with her go-go boots and frosted lipstick. There’s Walt’s mean mother, who comes to live with them all. There’s Juliet’s friend Dixie, who’s been spying on Selma and the secret she hasn’t shared with the community. And there’s the sender of the packages, that the little girls don’t know about.
Come to Fireside and meet Juliet, Evangeline, Ruby, and Walt, and all the rest of the residents. Author Marci Henna brings small-town Texas in all its glory to life in When We Last Spoke. The love its residents have for each other, the traditions they uphold, and the vivid pictures of neighborliness and family life, will engage your heart. And the food they eat–it’ll make your mouth water! In fact, it sounded so good to me that I included some recipes!
Do you want to try your hand at Ruby’s Texas goodies?
I delighted in the mentions of Ruby’s culinary goodies from the 1960’s and 1970’s Texas. These aren’t from the author or publisher, but I loved some of them as a little girl myself, and loved the idea of them as Marci wove them into her book. I found these versions of them online, and included them here for you in case you’d like to try your hand at cooking up some Texas edible memorabilia!
Watermelon Rind Pickles (I am a Texas girl born and bred, but I have NEVER had these. But Ruby’s sounded so good, I had to include them!)
Golden Westerner Cake (this is actually a pound cake which you can make in two ways, with white or brown sugar)
Homemade Banana Pudding from Allrecipes
More about Marci Henna:
Marci Henna was born in Austin, Texas and lived as a child in Kenya, East Africa with the Wakamba tribe where her parents managed a medical research station. She later moved to the Hill Country ranch which has been in the family since the 1800’s and currently lives in Austin.
Find Marci Henna on social media:
You can purchase When We Last Spoke at:
Trailer on YouTube (http://bit.ly/WWLS_TRAILER_HD)
And enter to win your own copy here!
Enter to win a copy of When We Last Spoke, and its DVD movie trailer, for yourself. Just click on the pink link to go to the Giveaway Tools page to enter. Giveaway closes at 11:59PM on January 30, 2017. (Also, Marci will be giving away a free ebook version of the book on Amazon from February 20-24. So keep your eyes out for that as well!)
Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post. Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller /FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days on the same blog, you are not eligible to win. Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.