Title: Good Ground
Author: Tracy Winegar
Genre: Historical Romance
Publication Date: July 30, 2013 by Omnific Publishing
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Jim’s faith in God is tested by the death of his cherished wife and child. His life becomes barren, and he loses hope and the ability to continue.
But God plants in his heart the seeds of a new beginning and the will to go on through an orphan child. Jim nurtures this child with the same devotion that he invests in his land. The result is a son of whom any father would be proud. Jim’s gift continues through Ellis.
Ellis in turn cares passionately for his own farm, his friends, and eventually another lost soul. When he finds Clairey in the midst of a blizzard, he rescues her from her desperate life, and she grows into a capable a strong woman under his care. Jim’s legacy comes full circle.
All things grow in love. . .
Good Ground is FREE on Amazon from 9/2 – 9/6.
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Clairey, A Woman We Can All Appreciate
As a woman, I am bombarded by the message, on a daily basis, that I am not enough. It is particularly difficult when my worsts are compared to other women’s bests. We are living in an one up kind of culture, vying for positions, and attention, and recognition, and acceptance in our every day struggle to make a mark upon the world. It seems that no one can be comfortable in their own skin, because that skin doesn’t come with a designer label. And no one is comfortable with other people who are comfortable in their own skin because that makes them feel inferior as well.
We, as women, begin to lose sight of who we are and what our purpose is as a result of these messages we receive. More concerning still, are the trends towards morphing into something we are not in order to satisfy our society’s prerequisites for being desirable. Instead of coming to an understanding of who we are and what we are capable of, instead of finding love and acceptance for our inner voice, we do our best to squash it down, silence it, make it conform.
Worse still are the women who just throw their hands up and do their best to go in the exact opposite direction. They do things for their shock factor, as if to say You can’t make me. I won’t comply. They do more and more to be increasingly salacious and to fight the powers that be until they lose themselves completely and self-destruct. To them rebellion is the answer.
These two extremes are both, in my estimation, very dangerous because they both foster contempt for individuality and integrity. They both take away person identity and the process of understanding one’s self based upon independent thinking and trial and error in order to find out for yourself who you really are. Yes, it is important to follow some of the rules society has established, otherwise we would live in anarchy, but it is just as important to establish a set of person rules based upon the dictates of conscious.
I really believe that the character Clairey is an ideal woman, in fact the most interesting character in the book Good Ground. I base this theory on the fact that you see tremendous growth in her throughout the novel. Here is a woman that has been told her whole life that she is nothing, that she is no body, that she will never be good enough. She is raised in poverty and deprivation, without many of the benefits that we ourselves take for granted. Yet, she had the ability to listen to her inner voice and discover who she is, and what she is capable of as she evolves into a whole person. Clairey is willing to put in the hours and work hard and sacrifice in order to get what she ultimately wants. She has the wisdom to change what needs to be changed and the strength to hold to what she treasures and sees as valuable in herself.
Of course she still has flaws, because that is also what being a woman is about, but she also understands that despite her shortcomings she deserves to be loved and cherished. In her mind there should be no substitutes. Clairey doesn’t need praise - she doesn’t need approval in order to be comfortable with who she is. She doesn’t approval in order to feel worthy. The thing that makes her stand out in a crowd is the fact that she remains true to who she really is. The real her is not flashy, or fantastic, or over the top. She is not great beauty when one looks at her physical appearance. Her beauty comes from a source within. She not only gives herself permission to just be who she is, she offers that same privilege to those around her. She is becoming, a work in progress. She is real. And that to me is one of the most attractive qualities that a person can possess.
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About the Author
“By day, a school librarian. By night, a wife and mother. But in those quiet moments that are only mine, I write…”
Born and raised on the flatlands of Central Indiana, Tracy moved to the highlands of Utah at the age of nineteen. She quickly discovered that her brand new, top-of-the-line hiking boots were a waste of good money because she was never quite able to acclimate to the altitude in the Rockies. Tracy claims to suffer from a type of disorientation she attributes to altitude sickness to this day. It seems to be a permanent affliction. Her husband Benjamin cohabitates in a home with Tracy and the four beautiful but precocious children they lovingly created together. Although to others, their home may seem alarmingly chaotic, it is an insanity of their own making.
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Grandma’s Southern Cooking
Breakfast was my favorite meal when visiting my grandma and grandpa’s farm. When I awoke in the mornings it was to the smell of bacon. Gathering at the table, we were met with quite the spread. She made biscuits and gravy (most of the time from bacon drippings), bacon, eggs, sometimes ham, and freshly sliced tomatoes, and made from scratch oatmeal. When I grow moody and anxious over some new stressor in my life, my husband brings me home biscuits and gravy from Cracker Barrel restaurant because they are the closest thing to hers (although hers were better) and it is comfort food to me.
She was an incredible cook and knew all of her recipes by heart and without the aid of measuring cups or spoons. This was a particularly bad thing for our family, because when we asked her to show us how she made something so that we could duplicate it, there were no recipes to share. Sadly much of her cooking went with her when she passed.
My Aunt Rosemary is quite an accomplished cook too. She has done her best to set a few recipes of Grandma’s to paper. When I undertook writing Good Ground I knew that adding details about the southern cuisine would be an integral part of the book, because it was such an integral part of their way of life. The reason Grandma was so good at cooking is because she was a nurturer and because it was an expression of her love for her husband and family. I wanted Clairey to have that same beautiful trait about her. Some of my foodie friends admitted that they enjoyed the references to her cooking as much as they took pleasure in the love story itself.
The following is a recipe for her corn bread as best my Aunt Rosemary can recall. Hope you enjoy it as I did when I was a child. Share it with someone you love!
1 cup Self rising flour
1 cup white corn meal
¼ cup shortening
Mix flour, meal, and shortening together until it resembles coarse crumbs. Add enough milk to make the batter the consistency of cake batter. Put a tablespoon of oil in bottom of pan and put it in 350 degree oven until pan is hot and oil spreads all over skillet. (Iron skillets are very nice with this recipe.) Remove pan and add batter. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until top is browned.
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