You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:14-16

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Meet Author Elaine Marie Cooper

       It's been my pleasure to become friends with author Elaine Marie Cooper over the past two years. She's a delightful, dear Christian woman and a talented writer. I thought you'd like to get to know her too. Her newest book, Fields of the Fatherless, published by Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas, was released October 22.

Are experiences in your novel based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
        The seeds for Fields of the Fatherless were planted in my mind when I was a young girl. The house up the street from our home was a historical site and my older brother liked to scare me by telling me there was blood on the floor in that old dwelling.
        I never forgot the Jason Russell House but I never actually visited it nor understood the full story until 2012. I was deeply moved by what had happened there during the first day of the American Revolution and the tale beckoned to be told. I feel so privileged to be the storyteller.

Did you have to travel much concerning your books? If so, what’s the most interesting place you traveled?
        I’ve traveled to Massachusetts a few times for book research. Although I grew up there, I now live in the Midwest and there have been many areas in my home state that I’ve not seen. As an author, I feel there is nothing like experiencing the actual settings to inspire me. I’d have to say the most interesting place I visited was the site of my 4th great grandparents cabin in Williamsburg, Massachusetts. It was built in 1782 and there is a large granite stone called the Prince Monument that marks the location. It was very stirring to my heart to be there. You can read about that visit at

Which of your characters is most/least like you, and in what ways?
        I’d say the character of Sarah (Thomsen) Stearns from the Deer Run Saga is the most like me. She is the youngest in her family, fiercely loyal to those she loves, and often puts her foot in her mouth! LOL!

Do you read reviews of your books? If so, do you pay any attention to them, or let them influence your writing?
        I definitely read reviews of my books. I like to know what readers like because they are my audience and I want to please them. Of course, if what they want might be offensive to my Christian beliefs, I do not cater to those whims or wishes. But reviewers definitely help me know what is working and what is not.

What book are you reading now?
        I am currently reading Newspaper Code by Lisa J. Lickel. It is a cozy murder mystery, Book 3 in the Buried Treasure Mystery series. I love these books! It’s like reading an adult Nancy Drew and I feel like taking my flashlight and reading it under my covers at bedtime! Actually, I think I’ve done that, only not with the covers to hide me since I don’t have to worry about Mom telling me to go to sleep. ;-)

What are your current projects?
        My current manuscript that I’m working on is a far cry from my historical fiction. A couple of years ago, I felt the Lord prompting me to write a memoir of my daughter who was diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2002. I resisted even thinking about undertaking such a painful project for several years, but the Lord had other plans for me. I pray that this story of my journey with my daughter will help other families going through a serious illness with a loved one. It is tentatively entitled, Bethany’s Calendar.

If you could have dinner with one of your characters, who would it be and why?
        Wow, I guess I would have to say it would be Daniel Lowe from the Deer Run Saga. What would it be like to be an enemy soldier in a hostile land and how did he adapt to his new home? I would pick his brain for details! Besides, he is so handsome… ;-)

Do you have any upcoming events?
       I am speaking at Johnston Public Library, Johnston, Iowa on October 27th at 3 p.m. at the Barn. I’ll be chatting about events that led to the American Revolution, as well as my new novel, Fields of the Fatherless, which releases five days prior to this event.
        I’m also doing a book signing at Coldwater Creek in the Jordan Creek Mall, West Des Moines, Iowa on October 30 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. I’ll be selling all four of my books there, including Fields of the Fatherless. I’ll be posting other upcoming venues on my website: The longterm plan is to attend Patriot’s Day activities at the Jason Russell House in Arlington, Massachusetts next April.

Can you tell us about some of the milestones you’ve reached as a writer?
        I feel like just becoming a writer at all is a milestone! I honestly never thought I would be an author of historical fiction. You just never know the journeys the Lord will take you on. Getting my latest contract for Fields of the Fatherless from Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas last December was definitely a milestone in my writing journey. Looking back at how it all came about makes me stand in awe of God’s strength, despite my human frailty.

What motivates you to write, and where do you get ideas?
        I always pray that the Lord will be my Motivator in all that I write, so when I feel passionate about a story or a cause, I sense Him moving me towards a blog, an article, or a new book idea. I desire that everything I write will be God-directed.

Do you have a life verse?
        Yes, Proverbs 31:8-9: Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy. Those verses speak to my heart every time I read them. They whisper to me that God cares for the poor and the underdogs in our world. Love them and do not be silent when others demean them.

Who is your greatest encourager?
        Without a doubt, my husband Steve. I also have to say that my three dear friends from my coffee club (Sheila, Kris and Cindy) are my best encouraging friends—always faithful, ever caring and ever praying.

Tell me about one of your personality traits.
        Perhaps you picked up on this from my favorite Bible verse but I am always championing the underdog.

Where can people get a copy of your book?
Fields of the Fatherless is available at Amazon,

Thank you, Susan, for welcoming me to your blog. It has been a pleasure and a blessing!

Novelist Elaine Marie Cooper is the author of The Road to Deer Run, The Promise of Deer Run and The Legacy of Deer Run. Her passions are her family, her faith in Christ and the history of the American Revolution, a frequent subject of her historical fiction. She grew up in Massachusetts, the setting for many of her novels. Fields of the Fatherless will release October 2013. Visit her website at:

Friday, October 18, 2013

Macaronis and Yankee Doodles

A to Z blog hop at Patterings.
This week's A to Z blog hop letter is M.

Yankee Doodle went to town
A-riding on a pony,
Stuck a feather in his cap
And called it macaroni.
        Macaroni was the name given in the 1770s to an extravagantly dressed man, who wore bizarre and over-the-top fashions such as narrow breeches and short, tight waistcoats, usually decorated with large buttons and lace. Macaronis also wore high heeled shoes and small hats. They would often carry a posey of flowers in their hands or pinned to their waistcoats.

Clerical Macaroni
        The name came from people who had been on The Grand Tour of European countries who liked all things foreign, especially food and who referred to something that was Italian in style as very Macaroni. Macaronis, or fops as they came to be known, frequented the fashionable places of London and won and lost vast fortunes gambling.
        The newspapers of the day often made fun of them. For example, The Oxford Magazine published this account: “There is indeed a kind of animal, neither male, nor female, a thing of neuter gender, lately started up among us. It is called a Macaroni. It talks without meaning, it smiles without pleasure, it eats without appetite...”
        The British employed the song as a dig at people from the American colonies who they thought were trying to give themselves airs and graces but looking ridiculous. During the Revolutionary War, the colonists reclaimed the song and made it their own patriotic song.
        Speaking of macaroni as a food, macaroni and cheese was a favorite dish of colonists, especially Thomas Jefferson. In 1787, upon his return to America from his tour as minister to France, Jefferson brought back a pasta machine he had bought in Italy. He improved on the design of the machine and also came up with recipes that included not only American or English cheddar cheese, but also goat cheese and truffle cheese.
Thomas Jefferson's pasta machine design.