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Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Welcome Margaret Brownley and A Vision of Lucy

Please interact with our guest authors by answering the question they provide. Your response will also enter you in the drawing for a free book.


MARGARET BROWNLEY: Thrills, mystery, suspense, romance: Margaret penned it all. Nothing wrong with this—except Margaret happened to be writing for the church newsletter. After making the church picnic read like a Grisham novel, her former pastor took her aside and said, "Maybe God's calling you to write fiction."

So that’s what Margaret did. She now has more than 25 novels and novellas to her credit and has been published in 15 languages. The first book in her Rocky Creek series A Lady Like Sarah was a 2010 Women of Faith selection, and Romance Writers of American RITA finalist. Her next book A Vision of Lucy released in June.

Happily married to her real life hero, Margaret and her husband live in Southern California, and have three grown children.

by Margaret Brownley
Published by Thomas Nelson


More Love and Laughter in the Old West

From Bestselling Author Margaret Brownley

Trouble may follow Lucy wherever she goes, but with the help of God and the rugged, reclusive David Wolf, she'll never face adversity alone.

Lucy Fairbanks dreams of working as a photographer at the Rocky Creek newspaper. If she can earn money making photographs, then maybe her father will see that what she does is worthy, more than just a distraction. And her deepest hope is that he'll see her as an artist, the way he thought of her deceased mother, a painter. But trouble follows Lucy on every photo shoot: a mess of petticoats and ribbons, an accidental shooting, even a fire.

When Lucy meets David Wolf, a quiet, rustic man who lives on the outskirts of town, she thinks she can catch the attention of the town with his photograph. She doesn't count on her feelings stirring whenever she's near him.

Two things happen next that forever change the course of her life: Lucy meets someone who sees her as no one else has-as the compassionate, creative young woman that God made in His image. And Lucy helps David uncover a secret that forces him to change his perspective on an event that left him deeply-scarred.

God's arms are around this unlikely couple as they discover the truth about long-held assumptions and the importance of forgiveness.

Readers, buy your copy of A Vision of Lucy (A Rocky Creek Romance) today!


Sage Advice for Photographers from A VISION OF LUCY
  • When photographing stampeding cattle, charging bulls or blazing shoot-outs, use a fast shutter speed.
  • Brides, take pity on your photographer. Matthew S. Brady and his helpers were able to record the entire War Between the States with little more than 1100 photographs. Half that number should satisfy most brides.
  • Doctors, do not look at the camera like it’s a patient needing help through death’s door. Such a pose will speak ill of you, and it won’t do much for your practice, either.
  • A man imagines himself more handsome than his photograph; a woman believes herself more homely.
  • While posing for a photograph spinsters should avoid looking desperate or deprived. A serene smile will show that your circumstances are by choice and not for lack of beauty or character.

In 1850, Julia Shannon of San Francisco took the family portrait to new heights when she shockingly advertised herself as a daguerreotypist and midwife. After reading about her I just had to write about a lady photographer. Of course, the heroine of A Vision of Lucy doesn’t deliver babies but she still finds plenty of ways to get into trouble.

I loved writing about old time photography and have nothing but awe for the brave souls who first took camera in hand. Not only did they contend with unwieldy equipment but also dangerous chemicals and exploding labs.

Women had an advantage over male photographers who were often confounded by female dress. This explains why one photographer advertised in 1861 for an assistant, “Who Understands the Hairdressing Business.” Women also had a few tricks up their leg of mutton sleeves—or rather their skirts. Elizabeth Withington invented a “dark thick dress skirt” to use as a developing tent when she traveled.

Those cheerless faces in early photographs were partly due to vices that held heads still for long periods of time. Photographers used all sorts of devices to hold a client’s interest. One even had a trained monkey. Another photographer had a canary that sang on command. Mechanical birds were a favorite gimmick and “Watch the birdie” became a familiar refrain in studios across the country.

Magazines and newspaper ran ample advice for posing. An 1877 edition of The Chicago Inter-Ocean advised women with large mouths to say the word “Flip,” although one photographer preferred the word “Prunes.” If a small mouth was the problem the word “Cabbage” would make it appear larger.

Not everyone was enamored with cameras. One dog owner put up a sign warning “photographers and other tramps to stay away” after his dog had an unfortunate run-in with a tripod.

Did photography have a bearing on the suffragette movement? Indeed, it did, but it appeared to be more of a detriment than a help. The photographs of militant suffragettes or women dressed in bloomers did more harm than good.

If you think America was tough on suffragettes, think again. The women’s rights movement was considered the biggest threat to the British Empire. According to the National Archives the votes-for-women movement became the first "terrorist" organization subjected to secret surveillance photography in the world.

Photography has come a long way since those early daguerreotype days. One can only imagine what the brave souls of yesteryear would think of today’s “aim and click” cameras. Nowadays you can’t even drive down the street without having your picture taken. But as Lucy would say, Never leave the house unless you’re ready for your close up.

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Before I ride off into the sunset I want to tell you that I’m looking for a reader’s dog to feature in one of my upcoming books. The dog will belong to Lucy’s brother Caleb. I liked him so much I decided to give him his very own book. So if you think your dog has what it takes to be a furry sidekick for a doctor in the Old West Go to my website for details:

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Thank you, Margaret, for sharing with us today.

Guest Question: Having your photograph taken in the 19th and early 20th centuries was serious business. A person might have only one photograph taken in a lifetime. How has the ease of taking pictures today changed your view of picture taking? Do you think we place more or less value on photographs today? Was there ever a time that you felt a camera was intrusive?

ENTRY RULES Readers, leave your email address (name at domainname dot com/net) along with your answer to the question for your chance to win a FREE autographed copy of the book above. If you do not answer the question, and your email address isn't provided, you will not be entered.

This week, the contest is open to US/Canada residents only.


Sylvia said...

I love taking digital pictures, but have thought different times that I should get a manual film camera to use. Now days I can immediately view a picture and delete it if I can see that it isn't any good. If I used a manual film camera I would be forced to make sure everything was set up correctly the first time. There wouldn't be much room for mistakes when you know that there are only so many pictures on the roll of film.

Intrusive? Well, I've been to a couple of weddings where the photographer was being intrusive; not necessarily the camera. One wedding the photographer wore flip-flops and kept trucking up and down the aisle making noise. At another wedding the photographer kept standing right up front in the middle aisle getting closeups of the flower girls, etc. She kept bending over and showing her backside to the audience.

I'm a woman so I can say this, but it's the female photgraphers that seem to stand out the most at weddings. The male photographers seem to blend in more.


Anonymous said...

Margaret. Congats on your new book! I am a picture freak. I can snap pictures so fast it would make your head spin. :) The age of digital has allowed us to do this and then pick and choose what we like and instantly share with friends and family. I can't imagine the anticipation and excitment that people had back in the day when pictures were a huge and expensive ordeal. I bet they charished them more than we do now. I love finding old pictures at garage sales/Estate sales. The art of photography has certainly changed over time as well. What used to be a elite group has expanded and I think a little of the joy has been taken out of it.

Vickie McDonough said...

Hey Margaret ! I snap pictures like crazy, especially ones of flowers and butterflies. I love the ease of digital photography. My husband and I were recently on a research trip to Waco, and I was snapping lots of pictures of blooming cacti. After snapping several hundred photos, I asked him, "Aren't you glad we no longer have to buy file for our cameras?"

Yes, some photographers are rude and intrusive. I always ask before taking someone's picture, unless they are far away. I love this age of digital photographer.

Congratulations on your new book, Margaret. It sounds great.

fictionfan1 [at] me [dot] com

Martha W. Rogers said...

I love Margaret's writing and hope to read this book soon as I finish two others on tap for reviews.

Since we have 9 grandchildren and 2 greats, I'm taking pictures like crazy to capture their growth. I love digital because I see the results instantly and I can delete the bad ones right away. The dates on them help since I'm always forgetting to put dates on old photos then wind up wondering when it was taken and who's in it.


I have a lot of old photos from the early 1900's but none before that.

Ann Lee Miller said...

I think most of us still want to look our best in photos. I don't even like to take goofy pictures. :) At least today we get more chances at a flattering photo.

Anonymous said...

My name is Lisa from Oklahoma. (sugarplumtree032000 at yahoo dot com)

Wow I love Margaret Brownley and the subject of her new book is excellent. Because I love photography too. I have inherited my family photos and when looking at them I realize how priceless they are but I don't think just the black and whites are important but all of the photos that captured those people at that time and place and age in their life. You can not go back in time and try as manufactureres do they cant stop the aging process. Photographs capture trends of hairstyles and clothes. I will say I see a difference besides having to sit still and not smile if the clairity. Old photos are just not as clear as today. I first took an interst in cameras when i was 10 and noticed we weren't capturing memories of holidays or unexpected visitors in our life. So my family had an old black and white camera and then my mother wanted a polaroid instant camera but that was a bit expensive so i chose the next camera which was a color Kodak and from there I graduated until I now have a digital like everyone else. However my skills are what counts. I am now confident enough that I take the pictures at all my kids soccer games and I take the team pictures! Well I guess I've done so well that my son is a senior this year and wants me to do his pictures! So I am going to try but if I'm not happy we will seek a professional (my son has more confidence that me,lol) All my pictures are priceless and will last long after I'm gone to record life as we knew it.

Tiffany Amber Stockton said...

Sylvia, I agree. Women photographers in general tend to be more obvious than men. Although I have been to events where women photographers were there yet blended into the background. That woman at the wedding with flip-flops and showing her backside? She just needed a few lessons in professionalism. :)

Tiffany Amber Stockton said...

Salena, you're right. Photographs were once treasured items, especially before the personal camera came into play. I think of the single photographs of my great-grandparents and their parents, and how that was likely the only portrait they had taken. Amazing!

Tiffany Amber Stockton said...

Vickie, I say that to my husband all the time. SO glad we don't have to buy film anymore.

And Martha, I also snap pictures like crazy of my 2 kids. Blows me away how fast they grow! The date thing is awesome too. Automatic time-stamp. I love it.

Ann, I agree. If the picture can't look good, I'd rather not take it.

And Lisa, sounds like you've done quite well in progression. I consider myself an amateur too, but others seem to love the pix I share.

Margaret Brownley said...

Hi Everyone, I'm jumping in late. It was fun reading all your comments. I'm still thinking about the photographer in flip-flops. I hadn't thought about it before but I do believe male photographers blend in better, not just at weddings but at other places, too. Isn't that strange? I wonder why that is? Thank you all for your comments.