BeachBoundBooks is pleased to be coordinating a Blog Tour for the literary fiction novel, Done Growed Up written by Mary Morony. The tour will run from August 1 – August 29, 2016
About the Book
Title: Done Growed Up | Author: Mary Morony | Genre: Literary Fiction | Number of Pages: 266 | Publication Date: June 8, 2016
When we last left the Mackey Family in the late 1950s, their lives were in turmoil. Divorce, alcoholism, racism, death, puberty – what WEREN’T they dealing with? Ethel, a black maid in a racist world – the true heart and soul of the Mackey Family, is the children’s only constant as she fights her own numerous demons. Twelve-year-old Sallee struggles to understand the world with little enlightenment from the adults around her. Her older sister Stuart, a college student New York City, finally escaped the South and drama of her family only to succumb to the terrible temptations of urban life; Gordon, a 14 year old boy feeling anger and hatred as he begins to slowly realize the harsh reality of the people and world around him; while Ginny, newly divorced mother off our, finds that she’s not the spoiled princess she once was. She is overwhelmed with responsibility, feelings of abandonment, and alcoholism. Joe, Ginny’s ex, and the children’s father, revels in new-found wealth and popularity with women, yet yearns for family and simpler times.
Author Mary Morony was born and raised in Charlottesville, Virginia, mainly by her family’s beloved black maid. Her childhood was a time of segregated schools and many places that prohibited black people. Morony’s inspiration for the Apron Strings Trilogy was her strong relationship with her maid and caretaker, who taught her more about life and love than anyone has since. Morony also uses personal life tragedies and triumphs to produce novels with real experiences and true emotion.
On a soft June morning in 1963, ten-year-old Helen lay in bed listening to the birds. She couldn’t remember if their maid Ethel had said pretty-pretty-pretty was a cardinal or a wren’s call. Then she remembered that a Carolina Wren sounded like Ethel’s husband Early’s truck trying to start. Without looking, Helen could identify sweetie-sweetie as a chickadee, jay-jay-jay as a blue jay, and the sad mourning coo coo of the dove. Bobwhites and whip-poor-wills were like jays, easy to remember since they basically told you their names.
Early, Ethel’s husband, said about whip-poor-wills, “They sang it over an’ over an’ over ‘gain jest in case ya missed it the first time.” Then he would laugh a laugh that sounded like the cackle of an old crackle bird. The child wondered for a minute if there was such a thing as a crackle bird. It sounded suspiciously like one Ethel’s reinterpretations like peckerwood for woodpecker. Ethel and Early, Helen thought, knew things she’d never imagined. They never ceased to impress her.
As the birds chirped and twittered, Helen followed her thoughts along until alighting on the question of what to do today. Older sister Sallee was off with their cousin Jilly. Her brother Gordy was – well, it didn’t make any difference where Gordy was. She had vowed after the last time he’d play with her never to do so again. She certainly didn’t want to spend another week slathered in calamine lotion and taking oatmeal baths thanks to his throwing one of her prized Breyer horses in what she later discovered was a patch of poison ivy. He didn’t even get into trouble for it, either. No, forget about Gordy.
She lay on the crisp sheets looking up at the ceiling as she planned her day’s activities. Helen did little without a plan. She would get Honey, her palomino —it was good that Sallee wasn’t here, she always took Honey— Dolly, her draft horse, and Dotty, her Appaloosa, ready to go outside. She wouldn’t take them just yet. She still had to build their paddock. It was a shame that Gordy was such a pain in the neck. Those Lincoln Logs of his sure would make a great barn. But it couldn’t be helped. He was definitely off limits, Lincoln Logs or not.
Should she get dressed first and then load the horses up? Her tummy growled, making the choice obvious: dress, eat, then ready the horses. Plan underway, she jumped out of bed, dressed and was downstairs at the breakfast table before her bed could get cold.
“Hi, there missy,” Ethel greeted smiling. “What you want fo’ breakfast dis beautiful mornin’? Gordy was up an’ out almost before I could get in the do’.”
“Ethel, ken I have a picnic for lunch? No fried chicken or debiled eggs, jest peanut butter an’ bananas with some lemonade.”
“I ‘spect you can. You got big plans, do ya?” She chuckled. “But whatta ‘bout breakfast?”
“I guess, hmm, some berries?”
“That’s all? How ‘bout an egg?”
“Okay. But make it fast, please. I gotta lot o’ work t’ do?”
“What kind o’ work you got?”
“I gotta build a whole farm, fences, an’ everything!” Helen pressed her lips together as she thought about the task ahead. “So if you wouldn’t mind, could ya hurry up? I’d appreciate it.”
Laughing out loud, Ethel said, “you’s a mess girl,” as she placed a bowl of blueberries on the table in front of her.
Helen blasted through her breakfast, had shouted thanks and goodbye and was out the door before the Ethel had the skillet in the sink. Back in her room, she gathered her livestock and a sundry tack into one spot. She told them to wait there; she would return as soon as she had secured safe grazing for them.
Not one to do things by halves, she surveyed the backyard for the perfect spot to lay her stake. Never mind that she had built several farms in the past. True pioneer that she was, to move on to a new homestead was the next great adventure. With the farm site determined, her next order of business was to gather the building materials. Her plan included a paddock ringed by a stone wall topped with a split rail fence like she had seen in a magazine featuring Virginia horse farms. Although she had never seen one in person, she liked the look.
By the time Ethel brought out her picnic, she had finished the wall and was apply herself to building the fence. Things were not going as she had foreseen. When she looked up in greeting her frustration was evident on her sweaty face. Ethel suggested using longer sticks as supports and lumbered off in search of just the thing. “Try these, stick ‘em the ground an’ cross ‘em over thee wall. That’s one nice lookin’ wall you built. How ‘bout you an’ me go on over there in the shade an’ have us a li’l picnic?” She patted the child’s damp curls, “You been workin’ hard. I bet a nice cool glass of lemonade will be jest the thang.”
“I’ve got so much more work to do,” she sighed, “the lemonade does sound good.” Looking back over her shoulder reluctantly, she left the fencing and headed for the shade.
“I tell you what since you is gonna have lunch with me, when we through, I’ll go get yo’ horses. I saw you had ‘em all ready t’ come out here. That way you kin put yo’ finishin’ touches on the farm an’ be ready when they get here. I heard Honey tellin’ Dolly she couldn’t wait to see the new house you was buildin’.”
Helen laughed, “Ethel you’re silly. Everybody knows horses doan’ talk.”
What readers are saying…
“Terrific read! If you haven’t read it’s prequel “Apron Strings,” you will still enjoy…I was intrigued by the depth of soul in Morony’s characters – she writes in a way where you can see what they’re seeing and feel what they’re feeling.” – Amazon Reviewer
“I thought Mary Morony did a wonderful job of capturing what it’s like to be a child going through the turbulent stages of adolescence. Her characters were very real and relatable, which made the book that much better! I highly recommend giving this a read!” – Melinda (Amazon)
“Even though this book is a sequel, it can certainly stand alone. It was a good easy read and I laughed, I cried and I couldn’t wait to see what would happen next.” – Amazon Reviewer
“Mary Morony really makes her characters come alive!” – Max (Amazon)
About the Author
Mary Morony’s rich characters are drawn from her childhood memories and lifelong experiences. Growing up in a household where both of her parents (and their maid!) had issues with alcohol, her parents split up in a time when divorce was a humiliating family secret. Morony had a lot of material to work with, even as a child.
By the time Morony was 35, she had been married four times. Divorced, widowed and the mother of four children, she has experienced more in her life than most people would in five lives. It has been said that “A life of tragedy and pain has bred a writer full of wit and compassion” in Mary Morony. As her characters grow and learn, she teaches lessons learned from her own experiences.
Mary Morony is an author who can write about tragedy from the inside and guides her readers through it to compassion, humor and recovery. She brings Southern charm, irreverence and wit to bear against subjects as vast as racism and as personal as alcoholism, always with a heart and soul that makes her work undeniably appealing.
Blog Tour Giveaway
Prize: One winner will receive a $25 Amazon gift card or $25 PayPal cash prize, winner’s choice
Giveaway ends: August 29, 11:59 pm, 2016
Open to: Internationally
How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below.
Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. A winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by the author, Mary Morony and is hosted and managed by Stacie from BeachBoundBooks. If you have any additional questions feel free to send an email to stacie@BeachBoundBooks.com.