A girl without a past


Welcome to the official website of authors Mary-Helen and Daniel Foxx, and the novel Charlie’s Girl.

Fourteen-year-old Rosalind has always been a foster girl without a past, until she’s sent to live with her estranged grandmother in a house full of memories—and secrets. Soon Rosalind discovers that there’s more to her family history than she ever dreamed. Set in 1960s South Carolina, this unforgettable story of family, friendship, and faith is perfect for readers of all ages.

Find out more…

Help Cast Our (wishful thinking) Movie of CHARLIE’S GIRL

Just for the fun of it, if CHARLIE’S GIRL were being cast as a movie, what actors would you choose to play these characters? Here are some descriptions to help you in your casting:

Rosalind Matthews:  Fourteen years old. Dark hair and brown eyes. Slight figure. At first looks younger than her real age. When we first meet her she is dressed in old hand-me-down clothes. Her Grandmother supervises a transformation with new clothes and a new hair cut. Freshman, same as Emily Watson

Grace Matthews:  Her name is descriptive. Grace is calm, self-possessed. Her hair is light brown and naturally streaked with gray. Wears simple wire framed glasses.

Muriel Dobson:  Life has been hard on her. She is very overweight. Her gray hair is artificially covered by a weekly rinse at Myra’s beauty parlor. She talks too much and has a tendency to ignore the needs of others around her.

Mark William Dobson:   Redheaded, freckle faced. Looks older than his real age of twelve. Irrepressible and developing an attraction to trouble.  Age 16 in sequel.

Sam Matthews:  Grace’s husband and Charlie’s father. Tall, lean, balding gray hair,

Charlie Matthews:  Strikingly good-looking. Blond. Athletic. Fits in wherever he finds himself. Has a deep sense of duty and responsibility.

Nellie Matthews:  Attractive. Artistic. Dark hair. Musically talented.

Myra Pennington:     Red dyed hair. Bright blue eyes. Wears heavy makeup. Chain-smoker.

Phil Watson:   Emily and Hank’s father, tall, jovial.

Patricia Watson:  Phil’s wife and mother of the Watson children. Light hair, medium height.

Hank Watson:   Blond hair, hazel eyes, tall, athletic, tanned, a senior in high school when Emily and Rosalind were freshmen.

Emily Watson:   Age 14, Freshman, same age as Rosalind. Blond. Musically talented, loyal. Outgoing and mature for her age.

Your responses wlll be posted here on our website. (no prizes)









Margaret Mitchell Wrote Memorably

Almost everybody had read “Gone With the Wind” when I was a kid. I finally read it in my teen years, but by then I had seen the movie version several times, so in my memory I still get the movie and the book mixed up. But here’s my point: you interpret literature differently as you age and your life experiences affect your viewpoint.

Here’s an example I’ve thought about over the years. The plot goes something like this: Scarlett O’Hara is possessively in love with Ashley Wilkes who is married to Melanie Hamilton. Now this is beginning to sound like a soap opera, and there is an element of that in this part of the story, but Scarlett goes along leaving broken hearts and dead husbands in her wake, determined that one day she and Ashley, her true love, will end up together.

As I saw the movie at different stages of my life I always saw Scarlett as the villainess. Oh, she was gorgeous, but singleminded in her determination to find a way for her and Ashley to be together. And then there’s Ashley. Obviously he loves Scarlett but is too noble to throw over his loyal wife, Melanie.

Well, guess what? As I grew older and more experienced, my attitude began to change. Finally I saw these two, Scarlett and Ashley, for what they were. Scarlett was immature and easily led. Ashley became the villain because he had led Scarlett on. He was no longer the noble cavalier. Now I saw him as a coward and a weak, selfishly dangerous man who didn’t have the guts to let Scarlett go so she could take a chance at true happiness with Rhett Butler.

Margaret Mitchell wrote a memorable story. That’s what makes great literature: an author who crafts a fine story and a body of readers who interpret it through their own experiences and eyes.

And just so you know, I don’t like either Scarlett or Ashley. But through it all Rhett Butler is my kind of guy.


For more on writing memorably, visit my guest blog as a featured author on Cedar Fort’s website



Background on CHARLIE’S GIRL

I first wrote a story called Charley’s Girl thirty years ago on a typewriter. I handed it off to Dan to add a man’s perspective on the character of “Charley”, a World War II veteran.  He fleshed out the historical background of those times, and polished the writing. One reviewer said it seemed more like the 1950’s than the 1960’s.  That reviewer had obviously never visited a small South Carolina town.

As Dan moved forward with other projects, I Only Laugh When It Hurts, and Nathan Bedford Forrest: In Search of the Enigma, the manuscript sat in the closet gathering dust until last year when we loaned it to close friends Duke and Doni Bennett who loved the story and urged us to try for publication. We submitted it to Cedar Fort, Inc. and were incredulous when they wrote they accepted it.

The next months were spent learning new terminology, technology, and marketing strategy. It was recommended that we change the spelling of the character and thus the title to Charlie’s Girl.  When we saw how the proposed cover had captured the South Carolina locale in a porch swing, we had realized our dream: people would meet “Rosalind Matthews” and her grandmother “Grace,” and all the other lovable (and not so lovable) characters who still urge us to let them live out their futures.

Some have questioned whether Charlie’s Girl is autobiographical and if “Charlie” and his wife “Nellie” are based on Dan and me.  The answer is no. But thanks for asking.