306469_241475839244581_1787699928_n-1Today we have a super special guest blogger. She’s a debut author and her first book just came out last month. But the coolest part is that she’s my mom! Being a writer and having a mom who is also a writer is pretty stinking cool. It’s an excellent thing to have in common with my mom and also she’s just a pretty cool gal. So without further ado, I give you Hattie Mae.

Thank you for having me. When Robyn asked if I would blog with you, I wondered what would I talk about. What’s has been on my mind is about my first book that came out in July, Under The Sassafras. I have been so excited and, I must say, proud of myself. Yet at the same time, it’s left me wondering, how? How could I put myself out there at my age? Thus my blog.

I would like to ask you what woman or women influenced you through life? Now I’m not trying to leave out the men. I myself have had strong men in my life who have helped make me who I am. My husband of 52 years for one, he’s currently sitting and reading my second book. But my mind kept going back to three women in my past that I really credit to who all played significant roles in the Hattie Mae who is here today.

under-the-sassafras-2502My Mom would have to be the first. She married young and had me in her teens. You can say we grew up together. We were best friends that laughed, and cried together. She was a tiny woman full of sass and vinegar. She had dancing feet, a sharp tongue and laughter came easy to her. I think of her and miss her daily.

Lesson: She taught me that something worth doing is worth doing right. So I wrote a book. And then I wrote three more.

The next would be, her mother, my grandmother. She broke her wrist at the age of 70. She was riding a horse and bent over to pick up her beloved pipe that she’d dropped.

Lesson: She taught me that you are never too old to do what you love. So at the age of 70 my first book was published.

My other grandmother, she was a little Cajun woman who could hardly speak English–Cajun French was her first language. She knew her numbers but could not read or write. But she had tenacity. She made her own phone book with pictures she drew that represented the person with their phone number on the same line. She traveled across country by bus—changing in cities she didn’t know, to be at her ailing son’s bedside. When asked how she knew which bus to change to get where she was going, she simple replied—“I followed my suitcase.”

Lesson: She taught me that there is no job so hard that you can’t find a way to complete that task. So I simply follow my suitcase and write another book.

I know that I am who I am is not merely the influence of just these three remarkable women, but numerous others. My husband, my daughters, my son, and all six of my grandchildren, real friends, and even strangers I meet along the way.

What about you? Anyone come to mind?


Award-winning author, Hattie Mae was born and bred southern, cutting her teeth on cornbread and greens and running barefoot through the canals of her small Louisiana town. So when it came to writing, there was no question as to where to set her books. She’s now writing her fourth book set in Bon Amie, a busy little town nestled in the heart of Cajun country. She’s also published a short story in The Cup Of Comfort For Teachers. The love of books and writing runs in her family, Hattie’s daughter is award-winning historical romance author, Robyn DeHart.

When not writing you can usually find her playing with her grandchildren or cooking up some healthy versions of tasty southern fare. She lives in central Texas with her husband and one crazy cat. You can find out more about her and her small town romances on her website.

under-the-sassafras-2502Under the Sassafras

Nestled between the Atchafalaya Basin and Sugar Island lies Bon Amie, a friendly, quiet town, where nothing exciting ever happens. Until Joelette Benoit’s two sons find a man washed up in the murky water at the edge of the swamp.

Joelette Benoit, a widowed single mother, has sworn to never believe the promises of another sweet talking man. Fiercely independent and determined, she’s hidden away her heart, while struggling to provide for her two sons and lively mother-in-law. She swears the stranger will stay one night, and one night only, until she discovers he has no memory. Now duty-bound to aid him, Joelette decides to offer him a place to heal in exchange for his labor.

Against the colorful backdrop of life on the bayou, she watches as he immerses himself not only in her family but also in her town. She can do little to prevent her sons from bonding with the only man they’ve come to trust since the death of their father. Though she, too, is drawn to his kindness and vulnerability, she will not risk the heart of her family because without a past, this man cannot promise a future. But when his memory returns and he realizes he has blood on his hands, he knows he has unfinished business to attend to before he can claim the family he has grown to love.

26 thoughts on “Jaunty Guest: Hattie Mae

  1. Welcome Hattie Mae!!! It’s wonderful to have you here. The women who most influenced me are my mom who always made everything seem good even when we had no money and little food. She just knew how to make life fun. She showed me that nothing came of complaining and that I could be happy with a little or a lot. It all just depends on your attitude. 🙂

    1. hatrat33 says:

      Katherine your mom was right about attitude. Thanks for your comment.


  2. Hi, Hattie Mae! So, so nice to have you here! The woman who most influenced me was my grandmother…she was so happy in her life, and like yours, if she was going to do something, she did it right. She enjoyed the small moments in life, too, and she was married very happily for 67 years! Good luck with your book, and congratulations!

    1. hatrat33 says:

      Kristan, Grandmothers are the best. They add so much riches to our lives.

      Thank you for your comment.

      Hattie Mae

  3. Lorelei B. says:

    You see? This is what I love and admire and hope I get to do, too. Learn from those lessons you learned. Not write a book maybe but what ever it is that I can do best and not let obstacles (doubt) get in my way.
    Hi Hattie Mae! I enjoyed very much your blog and like the storyline of your book! My grandmother also is a great influence and I’m so blessed to still have her around at 91. Though her memory is not the same, she still says great words of wisdom now and then. Glad to find you here at JQ!

    1. hatrat33 says:

      Lorelei, you are truly blessed to still have your grandmother. I often have thought how I would love to visit with mine, tell them how one of my daughters has hands like one of my grandmothers and the other daughter is able to work rings around everyone in the family just like my mother.

      Enjoy your relationship with your grandmother.

      Hattie Mae

  4. Kathleen Kathleen says:

    Hi, Hattie Mae! It’s an honor to have you here! Your book sounds like such fun–and so do you! I bet all those strong women in your life would be proud of you.

    My mother is definitely one of the strong women who influenced me. She thought for herself and thought clearly, and she always did work she loved, whether it made a lot of money or not. (Usually not…as creative work is infamous for, right? 😉 )

    1. hatrat33 says:

      Hi Kathleen, I do hope your right, if they are not proud of me I’m sure I’ll hear about it when I meet up with them someday.

      Thank you for dropping by.

      Hattie Mae

  5. Connie Fischer says:

    Welcome, Hattie Mae and congratulations on your debut release. I know it will be a terrific book to read and I’m looking forward to doing so. Wishing you continued success.

    1. hatrat33 says:

      Hi Connie, Thank you for the nice comments about the book, I hope you do get it and enjoy it as much as I did writing it.

      Hattie Mae

  6. Shana Shana says:

    Welcome, Hattie Mae! What does age have to do with it? Talent is ageless. My grandmother still writes poems, and she’s 94.

    1. hatrat33 says:

      Shana, I agree that age has nothing to do with goals one decides on in Life. I’ve been writing for a long time and telling stories longer than that. It just took a little push from my daughter (Robyn DeHart) and her dad to get me to put one out there. But watch out there are more to com. They may be sorry.

      And your grandmother sounds like someone I would love to meet.

      Hattie Mae

  7. Welcome, Hattie Mae! How very cool that both mom and daughter write! As Shana says, talent is ageless–my 92 year old aunt is an accomplished artist and still paints. She also lives alone, does her own cooking and cleaning, and totally has it together. She refuses to have anyone help her because she says once she stops doing, she’ll stop living. A great philosophy, IMO!

    1. hatrat33 says:

      Vanessa, another great story about a grandmother. I hope I’m still writing at 94.

      And she is so right about not stopping what she is doing. My grandmother had a saying “Those who rest, rust.” They sure said a lot with a small amount of words.

      Hattie Mae

  8. Loved hearing about your mother and grandmothers! Now I understand the background of your wonderful first book! I’d have to say my mother-in-law is my inspiration.

    1. hatrat33 says:

      Hi Jane.

      I know you have read the book and I’m sure by now you see where I got the character MaeMae. She is kind of a lot of my favorite women rolled into one.

      Thank you, for the sweet comment.

      Hattie Mae

  9. catslady says:

    I too have to say my mom. She will be 91 in a few weeks and still lives in her own home. My dad passed over 17 yrs. ago so she has been doing things her way for quite a while and with just a bit of help here and there and sometimes only because we insist lol. Her life was not always easy and she is a true lesson in perseverance and in taking one day at a time!

    1. hatrat33 says:


      Wow, 91. You are so lucky to still have your mom with you. I sometimes wonder what made women so strong years ago. They were able to go through life no matter how hard it got they would brush them selves off and keep going.

      True heroines.

      Hattie Mae

  10. Welcome Hattie Mae! Under the Sassafras looks fabulous, and you go, girl, on following that suitcase and meeting your goals!
    I owe a whole lot to a (horseback) riding coach who taught me to ask myself the question: If I give energy/emotion to this situation, will the outcome change? From her, I learned not to over-stress about things that are out of my control, and instead try to focus on improving the things I *can* change 🙂

    1. hatrat33 says:


      How do I wish I could adopt that way of life. I so stress, or the word I use is worry. My son called me one day and said “Mom I heard about a little boy in this town and he’s looking for someone to worry about him, so I thought I would give you a call. All my children know I worry about everyone. My husband’s favorite saying is ‘It is what it is.’

      I’m working on it.

      Hattie Mae

  11. CateS says:

    Waving hello!!! Welcome!! And I can see you share the same beautiful smile with your daughter!

  12. Hi, Hattie Mae! I’m so glad you’ve joined us today. I can’t wait to read your book. My mother passed away when I was in my early 20s. She had a profound effect on my life. She taught me the power of perseverance: that I could do anything as long as I worked hard enough and kept at the dream alive. My mom was my grandma’s only child. So, my grandma and I were exceptionally close. She was probably the kindest, most forgiving person I’ve ever known. She taught me to look for the best in people. I’ve also been very touched by my stepmother, who taught me to keep an open mind; my mother-in-law,who was a living, breathing example of independence and fortitude; and, of course, my sweet daughter, who teaches me daily what it means to love unconditionally. Thanks for this post, Hattie Mae. You’ve reminded me that I am truly blessed.

    1. hatrat33 says:

      Nancy, I agree you are truly blessed to have been surrounded by such loving and wise women. Isn’t it wonderful to have such memories.

      I hope when you read Under The Sassafras you will meet some strong, loving women there.

      Hattie Mae

  13. RobynDeHart RobynDeHart says:

    Go mom! I love this blog. I knew your mom, obviously, but don’t remember meeting either of your grandmothers, but I’ve always loved stories about them.

    And you’re my strongest influence as far as the women in my life. You taught me a love of books, that’s something I can never thank you enough for.

    1. hatrat33 says:

      Robyn, I like to think you have met my grandmothers through those stories. After all you know I tell you often how you have the grandmother with the suitcase’s hands.

      Sometime Jaunty needs to ask you how many books we bought a year from grade school.
      Seems like I remember when the shipment would come in, there would be a box for the class, and a box for Robyn. I never could say no to books. Maybe because as a child I grew up in a house without books.


  14. Brittany Hill says:

    My biggest influence is my parents as of right now. They have taught me to preserve in the hardest of times and that hard work reaps rewards. But one of the influences that had a lasting impression was my grandmother. She has been gone for almost 7 years and she always pushed me to be better because she knew I could do it even thought I got lazy. I miss her so much and sometimes I try to think what would she say or do that could help through the small bumps that I am starting to encounter in life!!

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