Thursday, June 18, 2015

Writing Out of an Era

with guest Eva Marie Everson.

Even though I am a child of the 1950s, it was my mother who introduced me to the magic of the decade. When I was a child, we snuggled together, watching Debbie Reynolds movies. Or Gene Kelly movies. Or Debbie Reynolds and Gene Kelly movies. As I grew older, we sat near each other, our eyes straight ahead to the black and white films showing on the color television/stereo combo. Sometimes, though, those flicks were colorized--the blues and yellows popping in surreal ways. Even up to the day of her death, Mother and I shared the love of classic films and, while neither of us liked watching war movies, we appreciated those set during WWII and immediately after. One evening, as a movie's credits rolled, Mother shared her own memories of those days. "I stood on the sidewalk in front of our house," she told me, referring to an early-childhood memory. "I was about eight or nine and I stood there waving to the soldiers as they made their way in their caravan, heading toward Fort Stewart." Then she smiled. "They'd call out, 'Hey, Little Sister,' and I'd wave and wave." After a pause she said, "And that was my contribution to WWII."

I've always enjoyed the era, but in all honesty I knew little about it. So, when I heard the true story of Joan Hunt Zimmerman, how she came to this country from England after WWII with only $30 in her pocket, and how she ended up buying a wedding dress with four other women before accepting a job in Nuremberg, Germany in the Palace of Justice working under General Robert Partridge, only to return to the States and then marry a soldier she met halfway around the world (and in the dress), I knew I had my homework cut out for me.

Watching movies is one thing. Immersing oneself in an entire era is another. Where to begin?

I contacted my good friend (and fellow author) Dan Walsh. Dan had several era-laden books that had done well and I hoped he'd be a fount of information. Ironically, his answer was the same as my mother's might have been were she still "with us."

"I watched a lot of movies set in that time period or filmed in that era," Dan told me.

Well, all right then ... I began by watching episodes of Bomb Girls (because of the fierce independence of the female characters, even though the era is about ten years ahead of Five Brides) and Call the Midwife (because the era was right and Joan is British). I listened for words and phrases not common to me, but that would have been common to the time and place. As for movies, I watched Monkey Business (which gave me the reference to Marilyn Monroe's walk you'll have to read the book to understand), How to Marry a Millionaire (single women living independently in the 1050s while looking for/not looking for love), and To Catch a Thief (because, well ... let's face it ... Cary Grant is Cary Grant matter the era!).

Because most folks--and certainly not the young women who lived on Greenleaf in Chicago in the early 1950s--had a television, radio met many of the entertainment needs. I went online and found uploads of classic shows (Our Miss Brooks, Father Knows Best, and The Big Show. I used part of the script of the latter in one of the book's scenes.

Of course fashion was a big issue. I typed "Women's Fashions of the 1950s" into a Google search and had a field day, especially with some of the old McCall's and Simplicity dress patterns for both men and women. I had already noted from the movies that women wore gloves and both men and women wore hats. I also noticed that the way a woman moved in her clothes was different from today. There was a femininity I found myself missing ... mostly that which had could recall from my own mother.

I studied every detail of life. Shoes. Hair. Dining experiences. Cars (oh, boy, did I look at cars!). As I wrote, I listened only to the tunes of the 50s. Everything and anything I thought would draw readers into the 1950s.

Then, it was time to get specific. Chicago, 1952 ... Nuremberg, Germany, 1954 ... Charlotte, North Carolina, 1956 ... and most importantly the iconic Carson, Pirie, Scott and Company. I studied photos I found online, including those of downtown Chicago during a Christmas season and videos taken by young servicemen while stationed in Germany. I read accounts of what life was like during the era, especially when it came to being raised by certain religious standards. I studied Joan's photos, looking deep into the background for any hint of the way things had been.

I'll be honest ... some days I found myself wishing I'd been born 25 years earlier than what I had been and some days I found myself so enraptured by the era, I allowed myself to simply stay there, even after my writing workday had come to a close.

At the end of the near-year it took me to write the book, I felt I knew and understood the world of the real Joan Hunt and her four roommates better than I could have ever done, even if all five of them were alive to tell me every little detail. I also found myself a little bit madly, crazy-in-love with an entire decade.

Joan Hunt Zimmerman and her husband Robert on their wedding day.
I'd love to hear about your favorite decade ... a favorite movie or song from within that era ... or the fashion ... or, share with us a particular experience you had that could have only happened when it did.

Five Brides by Eva Marie Everson

One dress, five women, a lifetime of memories.

Five single, fiercely independent women live together in a Chicago apartment in the early 1950s but rarely see one another. One Saturday afternoon, as they are serendipitously together downtown, they spy a wedding dress in a storefront window at the famous Carson, Pirie, Scott & Co. After trying it on―much to the dismay of the salesclerk and without a single boyfriend or date between the five of them―they decide to pool their money to purchase it. Can one dress forever connect five women who live together only a short time before taking their own journeys to love and whatever comes happily ever after?

Leave a comment today for a chance to win a copy of Five Brides. Winner announced in the Weekend Edition.

Eva Marie Everson is a multiple-award winning author and speaker. She is president of Word Weavers International, director of Florida Christian Writers Conference, and enjoys coaching new authors through her company, Pen in Hand. Eva Marie and her husband are the parents of three fabulous children who have blessed them with the world's greatest grandchildren.Visit her at


  1. I am fascinated by the 1920's. Such a decade of great change especially for women.

  2. Welcome to Seekerville, Eva Marie. I have so many questions for you.

    So you actually met Joan Hunt? The topic of Five Brides is totally fascinating. I'm hooked. Terrific cover too.

    I've been trying to decide what my favorite era is and I think the forties. WWII. Love the fashions, the music and the hairstyles. I think it was a good era for full-figured women as well, lol.

  3. I would have to say my favorite decade would be the 1940's because of WWII. My favorite movie out of that time period is "The Best Years of Our Lives" with Dana Andrews, Myrna Lloyd, Fredric Marsh, Teresa Wright and Virginia Mayo. My favorite books written about the era are the books Sarah Sundin has written. One of my favorite songs is "I'll Be Seeing You".

    Thank you for the great post today!

    Smiles & Blessings,
    Cindy W.

  4. I'm not sure I have a favorite decade, but the dresses of the fifties were beautiful.

    When I married my husband, I had the hardest time finding a wedding gown that fit and was affordable.

    My mom is six inches shorter than me, but she looked at me and suggested we take her dress and have it altered to modernize it and fit me. I was so touched she'd offer to do this. We found a lovely seamstress and my dress turned out beautiful.

    Eva Marie, your book cover is beautiful. It sounds like a great story! Thanks for sharing today.

    1. Oh, Jackie ! I love that you wore your momma's dress!

  5. Eva Marie, you brought back so many wonderful memories of growing up in the '50s. It was an era kids could play outside until dark, watch Rin Tin-Tin on Saturday mornings, and pay a quarter for a double-feature at the movies. I loved western heros even then. Gene Autry, Roy Rogers, John Wayne, Gary Cooper. Your book sounds like such a fun read, and I'm totally impressed with your research!

  6. When I look at old photos of my grandma, I enjoyed her style from the 20s the most.

  7. I enjoy the 1940's all the way through the 1950's. I love the music and love how strong and determined the people who lived in those eras. The people went to war then came home and tried to move on with their lives. It is a great story. One I have an idea for a story of my own. I would love to win a copy of your book.

  8. Eva, what a great concept! I love it!
    I read your "Cedar Key" novels last year and enjoyed them. You did a great job with the 40s, 50s and later 60s ambience of Patsy's life. Patsy was a great character.
    Please enter me in drawing.
    Kathy Bailey

  9. Eva Marie -- your new book sounds fascinating, and I can only imagine the volumes of research you had to do on it. An era I hope one day to write about is that period in American history in the West during the early 1900s where automobiles shared the barely-there roads with wagons drawn by horses. Electricity and telephones were just reaching towns. Women were being granted more freedom. I've always been fascinated by that transitional time period. Arizona didn't even become a state until 1912. Lots of research to do one of these days--but that will be on down the road.

  10. Eva Marie, thanks for a fun, memory jogging post—I may hum fifties tunes all day.:-)

    I'm with Tina on the forties—love the clothes, the shoes, everything! I wear Kathryn Hepburn slacks even today. They look better on a tall person than a shortie like me, but, who cares.

    I like the twenties and the fifties, too!

    Barbara Scott, I remember playing outside until too dark to see. We knew the yard well enough to run and play by feel and memory.

    Pinterest is a good place to find images of another era

  11. Eva Marie, You're new book sounds intriguing and the cover is so gorgeous it just pulls you right in. It's amazing how much research you did to get the right feel for the time period.

    I've read your Things Left Unspoken and your Potlock Club series, so I know your Five Brides will be wonderful, I'm looking forward to reading it.

  12. If I had to pick one decade that fascinates me, I would have to pick the '40s. Although, the '50s would be a close second. I love watching old movies and television shows set in both of those decades.

  13. Cool post. I'm in awe of your research. I'd have to say my favorite decades are 40's and 50's. My dad was a huge Glenn Miller fan and thus, I became one as well. I love the fedoras men wore. As a tomboy, not so much a fan of the dresses, but a big fan of the femininity part (does that make sense?). I love the cars of that era because they were all so unique. One could id them by their silhouettes alone. Can't do that now with all the cookie-cutter cars. *sigh*

    Your book premise is REALLY intriguing. Please put my name in the draw.

    Thanks for sharing everything with Seekerville today!!!!!

  14. I like a lot of the 20th century decades. The turn-of-the-century is probably my favorite era to write about. But I loved the 1950s because they were my childhood years.

    Barbara, I remember the 1950s vividly. They were a great time to grow up!

  15. Good morning, Eva Marie!

    Oh wow, the memories you evoked in this post! I was born in Chicago in the late 50s and my childhood reflected yours. My mom and I would watch every Debbie Reynolds, Cary Grant, Doris Day, etc movie available on our little black and white television. They were great movies that made you feel good when the ending credits rolled.

    I was always fascinated by 19th Century England, stemming from the stories my mom would tell me of her escape across Europe from Lithuania when the country was invaded. She spent a year in England waiting for a sponsorship to the United States. During that time, she ate up all the British customs and protocol.

    Thanks for the invite to stroll down the paths of memory lane!!!

  16. What a fascinating idea! I love the dress sharing!

  17. Barbara Scott, I remember playing in the streets of our neighborhood in Chicago until bedtime and no one worried about kids being stolen or killed. Amazing.

    Though I love the western life and western movies now, they were pretty much taboo in our house while I was growing up. She wanted me to grow up being a lady, not a farmer.

    Today, I cringe at the thought of panty hose and make up, and I love riding tractors.

    Well, just goes to show how the Lord guides our lives...

  18. I'd have to pick the late 1800's and early 1900's when women were gaining respect and power and on the verge of independence...

    I like independence for women!

    But then I'd also pick now.

    I love now. I see all the problems, but women of strength, faith and courage can make a difference now, maybe more than ever.

    Being a champion of integrity, modesty, faith and diligence now is a wonderful thing!

  19. Hey, everyone!
    Thank you for leaving your comments so far ... AND ... if you are interested in seeing what the REAL Joan Hunt Zimmerman is up to these days, go to:

  20. Tina, yes! I met both Joan and her husband, Robert (he's in the last portion of the novel). They are a delightful couple, but Robert has not been well lately. Would you stop right now and offer up a prayer for Joan and Robert ... for peace and health and comfort? I'd appreciate it.

    Joan and Robert are the only surviving couple of the five brides couples. They shared so many stories with me over the course of several days of interviews. Photos. Memories ... what a blessing for me!


  21. Jackie, be sure to go to and share your wedding dress story!

    Eva Marie

  22. Audra,

    I bet YOU remember Carsons! :)

    (It's a Target now ... :( )


  23. I love reading and watching about the 1940s-50s...something about the WWII era and the years of recovery and adjustment following the war is so striking and interesting to me. (Also a fan of the 1910s-20s.)

    Cindy, I love "I'll Be Seeing You" and Sarah Sundin's WWII novels too :)

    Cary Grant and Debbie Reynolds are still fantastic even today! Debbie Reynolds and Gene Kelly in "Singin' in the Rain" has been one of my favorites since childhood...Now I need to go watch some old movies again!

    Please add my name to the drawing, Eva, your new book sounds great!

  24. Thank you Sarah ... I love "I'll Be Seeing You" too ...


  25. Waving my hand as another child of the '50s! You brought back some pleasant memories, EVA MARIE! Thanks for being our guest today.

    I've been writing about the post-WWI era (1919 into the 1930s) for the past few years, and for research I've used many of your techniques--watching old movies, browsing photos from the era, looking at clothing styles. I also read personal accounts found online or in books. It's definitely challenging to venture back in time, and it's a different and deeper kind of learning experience than what we got in history classes!

  26. Oh, how fun to do that research! My parents watch classic movies all the time. So when I'm visiting them, I do as well. I have never thought of that as research, but next time I will! Maybe someday I'll try my hand at something other than contemporary stories.

    Your book sounds so good. I love that you got the idea from a true story! And I LOVE that cover!

  27. Jackie, I love that you wore your mother's dress! I was visiting my parents last week, and I spotted my mother's dress. I was thinking it would be gorgeous for my daughter when she marries someday. :)

  28. Morning Eva Marie and welcome to Seekerville today. What a fun post down memory lane for so many of us. I remember the Simplicity and McCall patterns. I remember having to dress up to go into downtown San Francisco. Women had to wear hats and gloves and nylon stockings. My mother would not allow me to wear jeans as it just wasn't lady like.

    I think that is why my favorite decade is the sixties. It was nice to be free from those rigid standards, however, today, it would be nice to have some of them back. We went tooo far. LOL

    I still love the music of the sixties.

  29. Amy C, my grandmother was born in 1900, so I bet she had some of the same styles as your grandmother. I don't have many old photos of mine, but it was so fun to see the few she had!

  30. Yes, researching an era is great fun. I'm doing that for 15th century Americas. Very interesting to me, but hard to find a lot of stuff. No movies in that day and age. LOL

    But I've traveled a lot in ruins of that era and find them fascinating.

  31. Eva Marie, I love the premise of all the weddings using the same dress. Great idea and sounds like great fun to read.

  32. I love 50's fashion (which I've noticed people tend to mistake for the 40's, since thanks to Grease it is assumed that the 50's are characterized by poodle skirts). I found a horde of early 50's patterns at a garage sale a few summers ago and have made several dresses from them, and people always compliment them. The styles were meant to be classy, flattering, and feminine, and they don't require stretch fabrics to fit beautifully.

  33. Oh, Rachael, I wish I had one of those dresses for a book signing I'm doing in a week or two! :) (And that we wore the same size!) I have gloves, the purse, the hat ... but no dress. Yet! I may have to go shopping...


    1. A booksigning in "era" would be sooo cool!!

  34. Sandra,

    I'm still amazed that this is a true story!


  35. I love that first graphic! SHOES FOR $1.99!!! That's an era I could get in to!

    I really love the 40's because of all of my grandparents' stories. We have such a treasure in grandparents! I wish I had videoed more of their stories.

    Right now I'm fascinated w/the 70's Jesus Movement Hippies because I'm reading "Reborn to be Wild". And the 70's are kinda cool right now. :)

    Someday I want to write about post Civil War Texas. Lots of family & local history there! So many stories!!

    Thank you, Eva Marie! You are a Master of Research- above & beyond Google!
    Please put me in the drawing!!

  36. Eva Marie, welcome to Seekerville! I love the premise of your story. Makes me smile to think of five young women pooling money for a wedding dress when not one of them had a beau.

    I stopped and said a prayer for Joan and her husband Robert. You are surely blessed to know them. For me, personal accounts are the best, but movies come in a close second. My girlfriend and I would watch a lot of old movies on Friday nights before we were dating. But, I often slept through the endings. :-(

    I've set several stories in the late 1800s, early 1900s and love the era. But I also love the 50s. My mom wore picture hats and gloves for church and shopping. I only wore gloves for Easter services. But, dresses and skirts with crinolines, then in the 60s straight skirts were the norm. My aunt got me my first pair of jeans. My mom wasn't too happy about it but I was. :-)


  37. What a fascinating book to research! And what fun! I'm looking forward to reading it :)

    I'm not sure I have a favorite "real" decade, but when I was young, I fell in love with the storybook first decade of the 20th century - and only because of the Disney movies set during that time: Mary Poppins, Pollyanna, So Dear to My Heart. And then there were other favorite stories by authors like Sterling North and Maud Hart Lovelace. I know those stories were all told with the nostalgia of hindsight, looking back at those last few years before World War One. They all had a certain poignancy of innocence lost.

    I'm too young to remember the 1950's clearly, but I remember the '60's. The first years of that decade hold a bit of that same poignancy because so much changed with JFK's assassination.

    And we won't talk about the '70's. I know some people enjoy remembering that decade, but I know what we looked like then, and you won't get me back in those clothes for all the money in the world! LOL!

  38. Just bought the digital version Five Brides. Looking forward to digging in after I finish Mary's latest book Now and Forever.


  39. Glenn Miller!!! Pretty dresses! Dancing and dining out, real dates!

    Oh, wait, that post-war time could become a favorite!!!!

  40. The strangest decade I have lived through? I'm gonna say the '80s. Watching my daughters (and their hairstyles) in junior high and highs school those years was . . . interesting.

  41. Myra, you SO have a point there.

    Not sure who commented on the shoes and the prices, but I have to tell you that I swooned when I saw some of the prices on dresses. Gorgeous dresses for under $10! But, then ... I remembered what Joan said as to how much money she made and what things cost. An entire meal could be purchased for under $1 at the automat. :)

  42. Hi Eva:

    There is a whole subgenre of magical wedding dress romances. I rarely see these any more. Is your wedding dress magical?

    My favorite period is 1919 to 1929 -- the lost generation's young adulthood. Of course, Hemingway and Fitzgerald had a lot to do with this. Hemingway said they were the children of the twentieth century. "Our teens were the century's teens, our twenties were the century's twenties. We grew up together." It was the lost generation. They came of age into WWI and before they could settle down, they stumbled into WWII and the atomic age. Hemingway felt his generation never had the opportunity to get on their feet. Many of the same mistakes America made then, we are making today. My favorite movie is "Midnight in Paris". All my heroes come alive again and they look just like they do in their old photos. The casting is perfect!

    What I like to do to get ready to write a period piece is to look at a list of important world events for each year I'm writing about. I want to know what was going on in my characters' lives at the time.

    I remember reading one book that took place in San Francisco in 1906. As the story moved towards April, I was all excited about how the story would change once the earthquake hit on the morning of April 18th. But there was no earthquake! I threw the book against the wall. So I think it is important to know what was going on in the world and if possible what was going on in the local area.

    Please put me in for a chance on your book. I was there so it is not a history piece for me. It will just be a trip down memory lane.


    P.S. Just a note: I read a 1950's book in which the author named about 20 brand names from the time in the first chapter. It drove me nuts. I got the message after the first two brand names. : )

    P.P.S. You weren't named after Eva Gardner, were you?

  43. Tina:

    The 1950's were not bad for full figured women but the 1490's were fabulous!

  44. Vince,

    No. I was named for my grandmother (Eva Lorine) and my mother (Betty Marie). My grandmother died shortly before I was born and Mother couldn't bear to call me Eva. So, for the first part of my life, I went by "Marie." In the South it's pronounced "Mare-ee." But when I became a young adult and EVERYTHING had to be signed in my legal name, I became Eva Marie. I have discovered, over the years, that I am more comfortable with the names Eva and Eva Marie than "Marie."


  45. Love the 50s photos, EVA MARIE! The dresses remind me of Mamie Eisenhower.

    My uncle was a big band singer(Ronnie Hart), so I grew up with that as my soundtrack. However,I'm an 1840-1890 gal. Love how fashion changed during those years as well as living conditions, transportation, industry, etc. Lots to study and investigate, which is perfect for the historian in me.

    Thanks for the fun post. I went right down memory lane!

  46. Lol, Vince! You are right on that!! And another Midnight in Paris Moment!!!!

  47. I have to admit the wonder years was a wonderful time. We'd ride our bikes from dusk till dawn with no cell phones!!!

  48. What a wonderful glimpse into writing research -- and the book was on my To Buy list already, but now I've nudged it up to the top.

    I've become an ardent fan of Call the Midwife so I think the late 40's early 50's would be my favourite decade. Also discovered a BBC mystery series called Father Brown set in a rural English village just after the war. Loving that too. All the ladies wearing hats to church. And pearls!

    I have a box of 'antique' patterns in my basement. Was thinking about tossing them but you've changed my mind. Though the tissue paper patterns seem quite fragile. They're circa 1950s. Some adorable apron patterns included. Bet I could start a little side business just making those.

  49. Kav! My plan is to do a marathon Call the midwife soon!

  50. Oh goodness, all this talk of old Simplicity and McCall's patterns is bringing back more memories! In high school I used to sew most of my own clothes (people could probably tell!), and I sewed for my daughters until they got old enough that department store labels mattered.

    Anyone remember Stretch'n'Sew?

    KAV, you should definitely start your own apron business--fun!

  51. I want to know how Vince knows about the 1490's.... and those paintings aren't even PRETTY.


    I love Call the Midwife!

    I used that for research for "Red Kettle Christmas".

    Now I'm using Heartland and "When Calls the Heart".

    Honestly, I probably owe the TV a salary, or at least Netflix! I do notice that they're using Johnson Bros. Friendly Village dishes, which weren't around back then... not for 40 years, actually, although Johnson Bros. dishes were being manufactured, so I don't take everything as research 'gospel'.... And in one of them, a young woman refers to "romance novels" several times.... only none existed at that time, did they? Austen wasn't well-read back then, and I don't think the term was even used.

    But I love the cadence and the fashions and the manners, even in a mining town. TV research is very relaxing, LOL!

  52. Rachel, I love vintage dresses. I love a shaped waist and a fitted bodice, and a flared skirt.

    LOVE THEM!!!!!

    There was just something romantic and beautiful about that whole time. A hint of innocence and nothing too flamboyant.

    Why did we invent TV??????

  53. Loved this post Eva Marie. It is fun to think about the different decades. I have such fond memories of being a child in the 60's and running around from morning to night, so different from the way kids are today. I am so glad I got to live in that era. But the 50's have always attracted me. I was born in the late 50's so don't actually remember that decade, but always thought it would be fun to be a teenager then. But the 20's are also a fascinating decade. Vince mentioned Midnight in Paris. I also love that movie. It was so much fun.

    I agree that watching movies set in a time period are useful because you can trust what you see in it. If a movie is written now that is set in an earlier time period, you might not be sure if what you see sometimes was actually correct or put in by mistake. It is also a great way to hear the dialog used at the time.

    Five Brides looks fascinating. I would love to read it. Please put me in the drawing. Thanks for sharing with us today.

  54. Kav,

    My husband and I enjoy a small diner not too far from here where the waitresses wear the cutest aprons. We learned recently that an older woman sews them and then brings them in for the girls to purchase. They are ADORABLE ... with their little pockets ... just too cute. You surely COULD bring back aprons! I wear one myself when I'm in the kitchen (which isn't too often!)


  55. Ruth, why did we invent TV? So we could watch old reruns! :)

    I love Donna Reed and Lucy ... don't you?


  56. Eva, what a lovely step back in time! I'm so there. Love the premise of your book...a must read for sure!

    Bet you got lost in the research at times.

    I'm excited that stories in that era are "coming of age," so to speak. Such a bigger than life time. Romantic too! And it wasn't that long ago.

    You've graced us today with your delightful post! Thank you!

  57. Ruth:

    Romance novels flourished during the time of the Roman Empire. Some still survive. Many are translations from the ancient Greek.

    Here is one of the books that I have of these old romances:

    Collected Ancient Greek Novels Paperback – by B. P. Reardon (Editor)

    Just read this from the University of California:

    "Prose fiction, although not always associated with classical antiquity, did in fact flourish in the early Roman Empire, not only in realistic Latin novels but also and indeed principally in the Greek ideal romance of love and adventure to which they are related."

    The regular people have always loved romances.

    Recap: the 1490's were a very good time for BBW.
    The 190's were excellent for romance fans.

    It's so fun to have studied to be a history teacher. : )


  58. Ruth:

    We invented TV because the radio folks could never get the picture right.

  59. Midwife Fans:

    I'm now reading "The Midwife's Revolt"
    by Jodi Daynard and the midwife is a good friend of Abigail Adams and opens as the Revolutionary War begins. Her husband dies in the first battle of the war. She becomes the key medical person in the whole area. Wonderful history.

  60. I've enjoyed the journey back in time. Along with those things others mentioned from the 50's I'm remembering the typewriter with the return lever on the side and the mimeograph machine that my mother used. I had home economics later in school where I learned to sew on the Singer machine and to make a full course meal in class. Anyone else remember having home economics? And, of course, you must wear a hat and gloves to church or to go shopping in the big city. Remember the Jackie Kennedy pillbox hat? My favorite period for research purposes is the early 20th Century before the outbreak of war and for all the reasons that Ruthy mentioned. I view as many films as I can get on that period, particularly those set in England where the suffragette movement was going strong.
    I love the premise of your novel, Eva. The story is very original and one I'd love to read.

  61. Thank you everyone! What a fun day!

    Eva Marie

  62. I watched so much I Love Lucy, I thought I was part of their family!

  63. But Vince, the term "romance novel" wasn't used, was it? I looked it up and it didn't become something until the 60's under that term.

    That's what stood out to me, that they used that phrase several times.

    But, I love the show, Vince! It's so sweet and nice and romance/small town friendly! And they KILLED HALF THE MEN IN TOWN to start the show! Romance Realism, my friend!!!! :)

  64. Hahahahah! Radio folk! I love to hear some of those old radio shows, and it's kind of fun to listen to new ones. There's a Christian station somewhere near Binghamton that carries radio shows on Saturday mornings. When I'm heading downstate or when the boys were in school in Philly, I was often going through there early on Saturday, and they'd have the radio play! So fun! A walk back in time!

  65. The 50's were before my time but what a wonderful time it looked to be !
    I absolutely loved reading your post. The easier more relaxed time and more trusting, the clothes, the cars, the music, what can I say, it all sounds so fabulous.
    The wedding dress story and the independence, I love it ! Ahhhhh, so romantic !
    I would love to read, Five Brides !
    Deanne Patterson

  66. I grew up loving those movies, too. My parents preferred the classics and so that's what we watched. As a teen, I couldn't tell you what Brad Pit looked like but boy, did I know Bob Hope and Cary Grant, Grace Kelly and Ginger Rogers, and... ;)

  67. Elizabeth Montgomery (Samantha Stevens from "Bewitched"), the Supremes and Audrey Hepburn are my top style icons of the past ... so I'll have to go with 1960s, even though I like a lot of 1950s fashion. =)

    Yay for musicals and those other classics!

    @Sparks of Ember --Amen, girl! =P

  68. Thanks for your wonderful post, Eva - it brought back many wonderful memories. I was in elementary and junior high school in the 50's and it is one of my fave eras, fashion-wise. My grandmother wore 2 piece suits, hats, and nylon gloves to church; tons of crinolines, bobby socks, felt skirts, and saddle shoes were a rage.

    Please enter my name in the drawing for a copy of Five Brides - would love to read it!!


  69. Recently I've been fascinated with the 50s and 60s... My parents are visiting and my dad has been playing the "Jersey Boys" soundtrack (Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons songs) non-stop. I'm sure that has nothing to do with it. ;)

    Thanks for the giveaway!