As We Ring Out the Holidays I Wanted to Share my Civil War Tree

Just before the holidays I finished my third book, a Civil War novel about Caroline Ferriday’s great grandmother Jane Eliza Woolsey and her eight children, three of which were nurses during the war. While I was finishing the book I collected ornaments to decorate my Civil War-era tree, one of the many things I did to get in the mood for the period and help it come alive. Christmas trees were a new thing during that time and blown glass ornaments had not yet caught on widely in this country, so people decorated their tabletop trees with handmade objects and garlands, small gifts and even political badges and flags.

Each year we do a holiday celebration at Caroline’s house, the Bellamy-Ferriday House and Garden, in Bethlehem, Connecticut and we’re talking about a Civil War Christmas next year, in advance of this book. Can’t wait. By then I’ll have collected a whole tree full of ornaments.

 

A Thank You Video to My Incredible Bookclub Readers

Last year I asked my son to put together a video featuring some of the many Lilac Girls bookclubs that helped make the book a success. (The complete photo collection is on my website under bookclubs.) As I get ready to go on tour in March for the Lost Roses paperback (pub date March 3rd) I thought it would be a nice time to share that video. Lost Roses readers have continued the creative bookclub tradition, as you can see below, but I wanted to say thank you to all the bookclubs who so graciously spread the word and put both books on the map. I’m eternally grateful and will share the Lost Roses tour schedule as soon as I have it. Can’t wait to get out and see everyone in March!

The adorable Bookish Bunch Bookclub turned out for Lost Roses en masse in Texas.

So Excited Lost Roses is an Earphones Award winner from Audiofile Magazine

This makes me so happy, given all the hard work on the part of Kelly Gildea of Random House Audio and the incredible voice actors. I love Kathleen Gati and her work on Lilac Girls as Kasia and she is absolutely amazing on this one, playing Russian aristocrat Sofya, along with three incredible¬† voice talents, Tavia Gilbert as Caroline’s mother Eliza, Karissa Vacker as peasant girl Varinka and Catherine Taber as Sofya’s little sister Luba. Brava to all! Here is the link to the article: ¬†https://www.audiofilemagazine.com/reviews/read/156801/lost-roses-by-martha-hall-kelly-read-by-kathleen-gati-catherine-taber/

Lovely Lost Photos of Caroline Ferriday Found

I never tire of finding new photos of Caroline Ferriday, especially those taken in her teens and early twenties as these are. Caroline’s mother Eliza photographed her so much, perhaps because she was an actress and needed professional photos taken for headshots. Perhaps because she was so lovely and photogenic. And let’s face it, an only child seems to just have more photos taken of them. These were taken early in her career as a Broadway actress, with so many adventures ahead of her. Can’t wait to share Lost Roses in just nine days–which shows Caroline’s younger life. She was such an extraordinary adult, but a wonderful young person as well.

Love the New Lost Roses Audio Book That Just Came Knocking

At the risk of being even more tiresomely self-promotional, here is the Lost Roses audio book, just arrived from Random House. I must say I didn’t think anything could have seized my affections like the Lilac Girls audio, but this one did. I love Kathleen Gati and her work on Lilac Girls as Kasia and she is absolutely amazing on this one, playing Russian aristocrat Sofya, along with three incredible¬† voice talents, Tavia Gilbert as Caroline’s mother Eliza, Karissa Vacker as peasant girl Varinka and Catherine Taber as Sofya’s little sister Luba (so far many readers’ favorite character in the book.) I just took a sneak listen, driving around aimlessly listening to these lovely, moving voices, getting pretty teary-eyed just hearing the prologue (my only CD player is in my car) and may need to go out tonight and drive around some more.

I loved adding these to the book shelf in my office, next to my “Somewhere in our hearts we are always twenty” (thank you, Katherine) quote board for good luck.

Cannot wait for everyone to hear how talented these actors are. If you see a woman in a silver car driving around Litchfield County sobbing, feel free to wave. Most likely that’s me.

Kathleen Gati as Sofya