General Bruce Malcolm and  Jane Marie
December 15, 2014 is the 75th anniversary of the premiere of Gone With The Wind.  My husband, Bruce, and I attended the 50th anniversary costume ball in Atlanta, Georgia.  It was an event of a lifetime.  The book, movie and ball, all, inspired my writing ... Thank you, Margaret Mitchell.

Purchase THE GOODBYE LIE series HERE -

where Little House on the Prairie meets Gone With The Wind ...


 Children are life renewing itself ... 
                 - Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell




 Gone With The Wind Anniversary

Scarlett and Pa on the hill overlooking Tara
Margaret Mitchell’s Gone with the Wind, one of the best-selling novels of all time and the basis for a blockbuster 1939 movie, is published on this day in 1936. (June 30th). This quote  was taken from the following website: http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/gone-with-the-wind-published 

Many years ago, before there was make your own cross stitch pattern complex software like we have today, I somehow created and stitched two Gone With The Wind themed pictures. 
* see info about the above quote
I actually came up with the idea of Gone With The Wind cross stitch kits, complete with cloth, pattern and floss.  My intention was to make my fortune by selling the kits. I was certain there were millions of cross-stitching Windies out there.  So, I sent a sample kit to Ted Turner in Atlanta, Georgia, the owner of Gone With The Wind rights.  Happily, his people loved it.  Unhappily, they required I ship them a particular quantity of kits, oh, something like 10,000, so they might distribute them worldwide.  So much for that particular dream.  

Well, I can still share the results with you.  Sharing is the best part of anything anyway.  
* “There was a land of Cavaliers and Cotton Fields called the Old South. Here in this pretty world, Gallantry took its last bow. Here was the last ever to be seen of Knights and their Ladies Fair, of Master and of Slave. Look for it only in books, for it is no more than a dream remembered, a Civilization gone with the wind...” - written by Ben Hecht.  Mr. Hecht was paid $10,000 by producer David O Selznick for a fast doctoring of the Gone With The Wind (1939) script, for which he received no credit and for which  Sidney Howard won an Oscar, beating out Hecht and MacArthur's Wuthering Heights (1939) script.- http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0372942/bio

I don't know why this photo is cropped.  I have the original where we both have heads.  I'll find it and put it up.  Such fun for us Windies.

Jane Marie and General Bruce Malcolm

 back cover of GWTW costume ball program

 stage at Atlanta, Georgia Gone With The Wind Costume Ball

Jane Marie at Gone With The Wind Costume Ball in Atlanta, Georgia

A Tasteful Treat for Mother

This month, we honor all mothers and women who are like mothers to us.  With that honor comes respect and with respect comes good taste.  In that vein, I proudly declare that my historical Goodbye Lie mystery/romance trilogy has been compared to Little House on the Prairie and Gone With The Wind I deduced my fictional Dunnigan clan is similar in family devotion to the Ingalls family.  The beautifully passionate romance from the thoughts of Margaret Mitchell, author of Gone With The Wind, is similar in style to that of my heroes and heroines, or so I've been told.

I humbly invite you to read a more gracious style of story-telling from the past, a classic style that, for many of us, is lacking in the present time.  Get to know each of the grown Dunnigan children in the series and witness their deeds and misdeeds in the late 1800s in Fernandina on Amelia Island, Florida. May they, and so many of the other characters, become your lifelong friends, the same as they are mine.    

THE GOODBYE LIE - It is 1882. Men will die for Breelan Dunnigan. Her foolish vault into folly alters the lives of many, too many. Honor is relentlessly tempted by jealousy. Will it hold against the attack? The lure, the love, the legend …

Amelia Island's VELVET UNDERTOW - It is 1889.  Carolena Dunnigan is judgmental and dismissive. Lured by a world famous conductor to Charleston, South Carolina, she finds deceit creeping all around, which drives her into the horrific Johnstown, Pennsylvania flood.  His want, his will, his way … 

Amelia Island's MARK OF A MAN - It is 1898.  Amidst the Spanish American War and a great hurricane hitting their enchanting island, hero or heel, Pat Dunnigan lives hard and loves wild.  His sister, Marie, is an innocent magnet for trouble.  Their days and nights are laden with jarring conflicts and assaulted by haunting mysteries. The rains, the rage, the romance …

5.0 out of 5 stars Definitely A Must Read Book ! 
 [The Goodbye Lie] from Blue Sparrow


WOW! I didn't see ANY of that coming! The characters have depth. No one is ALL good or ALL bad. They are likable, lovable, and detestable.
I thought only real life could have so many unexpected twists and turns.
Jane Marie is a master with words. She really brought me into the story and made me feel a part of the action.

The Goodbye Lie Series is available in paperback and eBook at book sources everywhere.

Martha Bear reading Gone With The Wind

St. Mary's, GA

We've lived near St. Mary's, Georgia for many years and until recently, we never spent any longer than an afternoon there. Since it's so close to Amelia Island, Florida, less than an hour north over the state line, we decided to go to a bed and breakfast.  I searched the internet and we found The Goodbread House http://www.goodbreadhouse.com/mainstreet.html, circa 1870.
The Goodbread Inn circa 1870 and decorated for July 4th
 I chose this particular inn because each of the rooms has a different movie theme.  From The Rhett & Scarlett Suite, The Guinevere & Lancelot Suite, The Gabriel & Evangeline Suite to The Gable & Lombard Suite, The Lucy & Ricky Suite and Bogie & Bacall, you can guess which I chose.  Since I'm a Windie (Gone With The Wind fan),  we stayed with Scarlett and Rhett.  The room was lovely and spacious and covered with red (scarlet) roses, magnolias and framed pictures of the Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh and music boxes, books, a doll, figurines, etc. The walls were red in the bedroom and the wallpaper in the bath was a soft green and white floral print, reminiscent of Scarlett's green sprig dress in the opening scene of the movie.  Our walk in shower was curtained with burgundy drapes.  The topper to the decor was a bowl of peaches- Georgia peach/Scarlett- get it?  Very cute!
enter here

 the world of Gone With The Wind

Georgia peaches
A breakfast of fresh pancakes, whipped cream, stewed peaches and a fanned strawberry made for pretty presentation at the antique table the next morning.
note the tea cup table lamp
If  ever you are in the area, stop by for a look-see or overnight stay.  The inn keeper will make you feel most welcolm (my particular spelling of this word for it rhymes with my name Malcolm). 
Welcome ... to Author’s Digest and the ... interview with Jane Marie Malcolm, ... author of the Amelia Island’s Goodbye Lie Trilogy : The Goodbye Lie, Amelia Island’s Velvet Undertow, and Amelia Island’s Mark of a Man. Jane Marie talked about her (rather colorful) life and background. Today, she discusses her literary influences… and introduces us to her trilogy. Jane Marie, were there any books or authors that influenced your style? Jane Marie Malcolm - A I Book Festival Feb 21 20152Little did I realize how watching the movie Gone With The Wind at age nine, and then reading Margaret Mitchell’s novel of the same name as a teen, would influence my future writing of historical romance. The strong hero, Rhett Butler, set the standard (in my mind and millions of others) of what tasteful-yet-thrilling romance should be. As I wrote my historical trilogy, my thoughts stayed within the limits of that kind of good taste. Having dedicated my first novel, The Goodbye Lie, to my father, I often tell readers, “I didn’t want to be embarrassed when Daddy read it,” and they understand what I mean.

Goodbye Lie Fave- Victorian Ball

As I was doing research about Victorian balls for The Goodbye Lie series, I was amazed to discover I had already hosted a ball – we just called it a wedding reception.  The main difference is that the rules for what was proper / improper were much more strict. 
                        - Jane Marie

Jane Marie at
Gone With The Wind
costume ball in Atlanta, GA
Entertainment Tonight is filming.

Rules for a Victorian Ball

Turn back the clock to 1894.  Picture yourself sitting on your joggling board on the front porch.  You are embroidering a pillow square for the parlor when the postman delivers an unexpected invitation to a ball.  You are overjoyed, but you haven't attended such an elegant event since last season, so you decide to reread your book of etiquette to make certain you don’t embarrass yourself or your escort.  You set aside your sewing, go to the library, find your favorite book on the subject and relax in a leather chair.  And so you open Manners, Culture and Dress of the Best American Society (1893) by Richard A. Wells and read:
Inviting over 50 guests makes the party a ball, while entertaining over 100 guests is a grand ball.  (Less than 50 people is a dance.)   Balls should be held in a stately hall of some sort.  The size of the room must be chosen in accordance with the number of guests attending.  Sufficient room for comfortable seating and standing as well as a fair size dance floor must be considered. 
The invitations are to be hand written in the loveliest script possible or professionally printed.  They should include “We request the pleasure of your company,” as well as the date and place of the event.  Mailed or hand delivered, they must arrive at least seven to 10 days prior to the occasion.  A response (R.S.V.P. or r.s.v.p. -  French for répondez s'il vous plaît or please reply) should arrive promptly to give the hostess ample time to complete her preparations.
The guests discern the degree of formality according to the manner of invitation, i.e., handwritten/printed or spoken, the latter being less formal.  The feminine dress for a ball ought to be fashionable without being outlandish.  Moderation with regard to color and fit seems sage advice for most.  More often then not, gowns should be richly ornamented with drapes or sweepers (trains).  When a sleeveless dress with a low neckline is chosen, long gloves are to be worn so as not to needlessly expose the tempting flesh of the arm.  Often, too, ribbons are seen cuffing the wrist over the gloves as well as circling the throat.  For the sake of dancing, the length of the ball gown must be a tad shorter than dresses worn during the day.
White gloves are to be worn by the men so perspiration will not dampen the gowns of their partners. An escort may bestow a tussie mussie or nosegay on his lady so she might carry it during the ball and have a souvenir afterwards.  The particular flower in the small bouquet should be well chosen for each variety of blossom has a particular meaning in the language of flowers.
A cloak station or, if possible, a cloak room in which the domestic staff can tag and hang outerwear, is helpful and lessens confusion at the time of departure.  (The staff may also assist in removing and donning the garment at the ball’s conclusion.)
Making an entrance down a curving staircase is ideal for showing off one’s gown as well as one’s figure.  Additionally, one may be “fashionably late,” as late as 60 minutes.  However, any later would be considered rude without clear explanation to the hostess.  Married women, of course, are to be accompanied by their spouses.  Unmarried women are to be have an approved escort or attend with their mothers or fathers.
It is presumed the host or hostess has invited only persons of character and good reputation as well as social stature.  Therefore, when a woman is asked to dance, she must do so, lest she be considered rude and hurt the feelings of the man asking.  
The host may assign a single gentleman the task of asking for the honor of a dance from any lady who has not danced.  Guests must never perceive that the host may have arranged such an opportunity.  His purpose is to entertain, not embarrass.  This way, the host is praised for his entertaining ways by all his guests, and his goal of a memorable event lasting long in the minds of those in attendance will have been met.  Of course, it is everyone’s duty to introduce gentlemen to non-dancing ladies around the hall, so all can share in the joy of the evening and no one feels left out.  Those ladies dancing most often must be careful not to appear to be bragging about all their activity, particularly in the presence of those who have not been so fortunate.
A slight nod of the head may be given in greeting to an escort.  One should always wear a smile while dancing.  When each dance is completed, the escort accompanies the lady back to her original location, bows and thanks her for the pleasure of her company.  She may bow, curtsey or nod in reply, again with a smile, no matter if her toes are bruised and battered.
Do not dance complicated quadrilles, or even the waltz, if unskilled at such.  If one has already begun to dance and the dance unexpectedly turns difficult, follow the lead of your partner or those around you.  Do not instruct someone as to a particular dance step in public. Control your love of the dance.  Enjoy yourself, but do not make any attention-getting spirals or leaps or you may be considered a show-off, a person to be disdained.
A feminine guest is never to cross the dance floor unaccompanied.  When a married or unmarried lady must excuse herself temporarily from the ball, at least one other married woman or her mother or a female chaperon must always accompany her.
No gentleman is ever to sit next to a lady unless he is known to her and invited to do so.
A lady only accepts the offer of refreshment from a gentleman with whom she is well acquainted.
Ladies must never speak loudly, unless there is a fire, and then with a firm but controlled voice so as not to induce panic.  Whispering should be done only when necessary to avoid rudeness.
Graciousness is most important throughout the evening.  Although some may be strangers, polite acknowledgement of their presence in passing is important.
Should a gentleman escort a lady home after the ball, he is never to enter her home.  He may ask only to see her again.
A thank you visit within a week’s time to the host and hostess is required where joyful highlights of the evening are expressed.  (Be sure and leave your calling card.)  Should any disturbing moments have occurred, they need not be mentioned unless the master or mistress first brings them into the conversation.
Two of the most memorable evenings I've spent were at Gone With The Wind costume balls in Atlanta.  If an opportunity should arise that allows you to attend a ball, wedding reception or large party, I can’t stress enough how wonderful your experience will be.  The scope of the events, including the hall, music, company and the vision you’ll be in your dress will leave you with a lifelong memory.  


Gone With The Wind Red Dress Discovery

Hey to all you Windies out there aka "fan-atics" about Gone With The Wind , like me. That whole romantically themed book is, in part, what inspired me to write historical novels set in the deep South. Well, whether you've seen the movie once or twenty times, I don't know if you've ever seen the back of Scarlett's famous red dress. You know, the one she wears to Ashley's party? When she enters Melanie's front door, the camera shot is only from the front.  I came across this wonderful photo of the back of the dress on Facebook. It comes from the Harry Ransom Center, University of Texas, in Austin Texas.  ( Click here for more on the wonderful costumes in their GWTW exhibition:  Harry Ransom Center As you study the photo on the right, notice the gathered bustle,looks to be velvet, the few scattered crystals, all the feathers and if you click on the link above for more pictures, you'll see it had a train, too!

Did I ever mention that, when I grow up,  I want to be a period costume designer? 

Vivien Leigh, a Star

My sister, Peggy Brown, vacationed in Hollywood.  Knowing I'm a big Windie, meaning Gone With The Wind fan, she searched the Hollywood Walk of Fame and snapped this photo of one of the most delicately beautiful women from the past, Vivien Leigh, star of that film.  How sweet of Peggy.  She knows her sister well.  Thank you, Peggy.

There are over 2,500 stars, all five pointed, on the Walk!

Controversy Over Goodbye Lie Series

By now, you have probably heard that the tag line for my historic suspense/romance series, The Goodbye Lie, is where Little House on the Prairie meets Gone With The Wind...  I have been contacted by several readers who disagree.  They think is should be where The Waltons meet Gone With The Wind. You know, they might be right.  My characters have been known to say goodnight at the end of a day.  Guess they've got me!

Hollywood Bunco

Excerpt from The Goodbye Lie, circa 1882, 
on Amelia Island, Florida

Chapter 11

     The following days aboard ship were full of activity. There were picnics on deck, shuffleboard, fishing tournaments, bingo, bunco, board games and card games from euchre to old sledge to poker. Amusement, proper and improper, was available, with one's degree of pleasure regulated only by one's conscience.  
Yes, folks, bunco (sometimes spelled bunko) has been around since Victorian times.  A roll of the dice, actually many rolls of the dice, is all the effort it takes.  It has turned into such a popular game today, there is an app on phones for said score keeping.

I've been playing bunco with the same group of 12 ladies for just about that many years.  Each month, one of us hosts the shindig in her home.  It includes a full dinner and gifts for every person, bought from the $5.00 fee paid by each player the previous month.  My month is always September and the last several years, I have asked the gals to dress in some sort of easy costume.  This year I suggested we dress up like any Hollywood star from any movie, male or female.

After our cottage was clean for the party, lots of work, but so worth it, the smell of crock pot spaghetti was overpowering the scented plug-ins, the three four-top tables were set for the girls and I was dressed in costume, I realized I had no Hollywood-themed centerpiece!  Yikes!!!  Hmm, thought I.  I went around the room and extracted several Gone With The Wind (GWTW) books, an MGM book, added a few GWTW music boxes, GWTW nail polish and a GWTW bracelet, each decorated with pictures from the famous film,  and you can see the result in the photo above.  It took me all of ten minutes and cost me nothing extra.  (You know, if you step back and look around at the treasures you have in your own house, you would be surprised how easily creative you can be.)

We had one lady show up in jeans, a white blouse, denim jacket and cowboy boots.  Her lovely hair is white.  I couldn't begin to guess who she was supposed to be and was blown away when she told me, "Marilyn Monroe from the Misfits with Clark Gable."  It was the last movie for both of them and I know it well.  Great job, Emmie.  Another, in an wild orange fright wig and big hat, asked me to guess who she was and I said jokingly, "Bozo, the clown."  Yes, I knew she was the Mad Hatter from Alice in Wonderland.  I'm not sure she found my remark funny, but I did.  Then there was a mountain climber from a movie I don't know and another who tried on a wig, but it was too small, so she took it back to the store.  I know you're dying to hear who I dressed as.  I have to confess that the only reason I chose the costume I did was because of the black Snow White wig I got on sale the day after Halloween a few years back.  I removed the red bow, put on a white blouse, black pants, painted my nails a bright red, added red lipstick and lots of blush and eyeliner, borrowed a cigarette to hold from a friend,  and I was, wait for it...Uma Thurman from Pulp Fiction.  I freely admit Pulp Fiction is not my kind of movie at all, but I had the wig, so, it worked. By the way, my husband, Bruce, said he would not have recognized me if he'd passed me on the street in the wig. 

So there you have it.  If you've never buncoed, it's mentally easy to play. Add food and chatter and  prizes and it, too, may become a part of your life as it has so many others. 

PS Just Google bunco for details on how to play the game.

*Margaret Mitchell, the author of Gone With The Wind, was born in Atlanta, Georgia.  Her book was first published in 1936 with the film following in 1939.  The story romanticizes the deep South before and after the American War Between the States.  What many think of the old South is due, in part, to her novel. She showcases the delights of that period and ignores the horrors of slavery.  In these sensitive times, some say the movie should never be shown.  It is a part of literary and film history, being the highest grossing movie ever, when you adjust for inflation.  More importantly, Hattie McDaniel was the first black actress to win an Academy Award, although she was not permitted to attend the premiere in Atlanta, which was segreatated at the time, and  she had to sit off to the side of the hall during the award ceremony in Los Angeles. So much has changed for the better and that’s what we all want. Education is key and a part of education is history and a part history is Gone With The Wind.  

Be aware, be fair and always care. -jmm