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Bett Norris

BettNorris @ bettnorris . com
(Please delete the spaces in this address before you use it. We're trying to reduce spam! )
Profile created February 6, 2008
Miss Mary McGhee Series
  1. Miss McGhee (2007) -- Nominated 2007 Lambda Literary Award for Lesbian Debut Fiction; Nominated 2007 Lambda Literary Award for Lesbian Fiction; Runner-up for the first annual Bywater Prize for Fiction
    Miss McGhee is a story set in the deep South during the years of the Civil Rights movement.

    This character is a lesbian, and the story begins in 1948, set in a small town in the south. I wanted to write about what it was like for women in that time, isolated, without the support of a larger gay community, when even heterosexual women lived under restrictions that seem impossible to accept.

    What Mary McGhee wants is not to want. She wills herself not to want. Accepting her attraction to women, she tries by strength of will not to act upon it. In her experience, acting on this desire always ends badly, it is despised by most, and so, while being honest enough with herself, she tries not to want what she wants. Mary is rigid and unforgiving. Giving in to her natural instincts is a failure of will in her estimation, and in her mind, it is only her opinion that counts. The censure of the small town, the dictums of society, these are small matters compared to her own judgment of herself.

    Beginning again in a small town where no one knows her seems the perfect solution to Miss McGhee. She will form no friendships, refuse involvements, keep herself apart, as cloistered as a nun. She feels safe, hidden away, and resolved. Soon enough, this resolve is tested, when she falls in love with the wife of her employer, and it seems that her past will repeat itself in another failed relationship.

  2. What's Best for Jane (2008 release)
    Mary McGhee is a legend-heroic to some, hated by others. Her dead lover's inheritance has fueled resentment among a dispossessed family, and in the South, grudges are as hard and immutable as the rocks themselves.

    But there is one member of that family who seems immune to the grievances of the past. Jane Jackson is a lonely child, isolated from her brutal family by her intelligence and her adventurousness. She's drawn to the lonely old woman who owns what her family expected to be theirs and who also carries some of their darkest secrets-secrets of love, hate, and murder. But Jane's devotion brings Mary as many problems as pleasures. Ugly rumors, emotional temptation, and a violent death swirl around, poisoning the innocence of their relationship.

    As Mary struggles with her own mortality, she tries to decide what's best for Jane. But Jane Jackson has a mind of her own. A mind that is going to lead her into some difficult places and hard choices before she finally discovers what's best for herself.

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