Enjoyed signing books in Purdy, Tenn.

I had a great time visiting in Purdy and talking about my books, “Echoes and Footprints” and “Soldiers, Saints & Sinners.” And I always have my older books with me as well — six books now and counting. I’m working on my novel now. Thanks for the invitation. Anytime I can talk about West Tennessee history is a good day!

‘Echoes and Footprints’ up for history award

What a great day for me in Jackson, Tenn.! My latest book, “Echoes and Footprints,” is up for a Regional History award in the Benjamin Franklin Awards contest sponHA-bookcover-0923-2017-LRsored by the Independent Book Publishers Association. My publisher, The HillHelen Group, nominated my book for the contest. More news to come in March!

I loved writing the history of West Tennessee in this book — so many true stories of the war heroes,  the people who changed our lives in good ways, such as Sue Shelton White, suffragist, who led the way in Tennessee to the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment, and the villains, whose criminal actions also changed our part of the state. We have such characters in history whose true stories are intriguing.

If you haven’t purchased the book yet, I have book signings coming up, one in Trenton and one in Humboldt, details to follow on day, time and location.

Speaking of history: Sept. 17, Parkers Crossroads

I’m looking forward to speaking at the free Parker’s Crossroads Battlefield Association Kennerly-Cupples Lectureship at 10 a.m. Sat., Sept. 17. I’ll discuss some of our fascinating West Tennessee characters who’ve created history I’ve described in my newest book, “Soldiers, Saints & Sinners.” And I’ll enjoy listening to any tales of history you’d like to share. I learn something new every time I speak. I’ll also have copies of my other books with me: “Tales of Madison,” “Old Trails and Tales of Tennessee,” and “Autumn Memories.” Afterwards, I understand that Steve McDaniel will guide tours for Tour Stop 6, Red Mound.

Directions: To get there, take I-40 East and exit at Parkers Crossroads. Turn onto Federal Drive next to the Country Store. The event will be in the brown metal activities building, 21040 Highway 22 N Wildersville, Tenn.

For more information about the Kennerly-Cupples Lectureship, contact Deborah Teague, Parkers Crossroads Battlefield President, at (731) 845-3114.

Interested in having me speak to your group? I love to share tales of our history. Please contact my editor and agent, Jacque Hillman, at (731) 394-2894 or email her at jacque@jacquehillman.com.

Stories are everywhere, if we only listen

Meeting and talking with folks is something I really enjoy, and sharing stories from my books goes right along with that. Recently, I spoke to the federal retired employees group and to several other retiree groups, as well as civic organizations.Without fail, someone will tell me a story about Tennessee history that I didn’t know. I’ve always said the stories are there waiting for us to find if we only listen!

When I researched Lucy Petway Holcombe of La Grange, Tennessee, born in June 1832, I found it fascinating that she married Francis Wilkinson Pickens, 27 years older than she was and twice-widowed, when he became Minister to Russia. With her knowledge of French and Russian, she became a court favorite in St. Petersburg of Czar Alexander II and Czarina Maria. In August 1860 Francis Pickens was elected governor of South Carolina, three days before South Carolina seceded from the Union. Lucy_Pickens1

Considered by many to be the most beautiful woman in the Confederacy, Lucy Pickens’ image was placed on three issues of the Confederate $100 bill and on one issue of the $1 bill. She was the only woman whose likeness was ever placed on Confederate currency.

Gov. Pickens died at age 63, but Mrs. Pickens spent the next 30 years managing the family plantations in Edgefield, S.C. It’s rumored some of the jewels she was given in Russia kept the plantations going. Her granddaughters inherited the Edgewood house, but it fell into disrepair.

In 1929, Eulalie Chafee Salley, a prominent Aiken businesswoman and leader of the women’s rights movement. purchased the plantation house, which was in serious disrepair, and moved it to Aiken, S.C. where it was beautifully restored. In 1990, the house was moved to the University of South Carolina campus. You can find photos here: http://www.nationalregister.sc.gov/a…/S10817702016/index.htm

Book signing set for Dec. 19 at Old Country Store

Nothing goes better with ice cream at the Casey Jones Old Country Store Ice Cream Parlor in Jackson, Tennessee than a good story, too! I’ll sign and sell my book, “Soldiers, Saints & Sinners: Stories of Long Ago” fChristmas1945SoldiersSaintsSinners-LRrom 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 19, surrounded by all those treats. Fudge, ice cream, cookies. Take “Soldiers, Saints & Sinners” home for a Christmas gift! One of my stories is about Christmas 1945, when the soldiers came home from the war, and in Jackson, Christmas was Christmas again! One of my favorite book images is of Allison East’s illustration of Santa Claus 1945.

My books are available also at Marilyn Jackson’s Gifts in Jackson, and online at amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, and Books-A-Million. You can also contact me through my website or message me on my Facebook page.

Thank you for enjoying my stories!