Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Meet Julie Eberhart Painter & How Her Unique Search Led To Her Book ~ Tangled Web

I am so pleased to bring you Julie Eberhart Painter and her story on how her book came to be.
Please welcome Julie and don't forget the excerpt from Tangled Web on Saturday, Aug. 17th.
Where the idea for Tangle Web was born:
The Great Depression has always fascinated me, not only was I born just before it ended, I was born of it. The protagonist in Tangled Web is my birth mother, whose name I didn't learn until I was sixty-two-years old and had raised three children of my own.

Before knowing about the real Laura Jones, my real birth mother’s real name, I had been informed by the state of Pennsylvania that her name was Catherine Lang, the progenitor on my birth certificate. This had to be an obvious fake and was uncovered, in of all places, the small island of Islay (pronounce eye-la) between Scotland and Wales. Several boozed up Welshmen sampling the Laphroaig scotch were happy to tell me Lang wasn't the proper spelling for Lange. “Lang is Scottish,” they sneered. 

These dismissive remarks reignited my desire to look for my birth family.
I had begun writing my memoir, including my volunteer history, which I separated out for another book, From the Inside Out, available in e-book from Barnes & Noble. While compiling the memoir, my editor suggested I was missing a key focus:  You continually blindside me with your humor and your thoughts about your search through your adoptive life, but what you are not addressing is the adoption itself.” 
She was right and my search began that very week.
From the non-identifying information, the only data allowed in Pennsylvania, I learned some very disturbing facts:
At the time of your birth, your birth mother was 28 years old. Because of her wish for secrecy regarding her pregnancy, as she was not married, she sought adoption planning for you.
Society was not accepting of an unwed mother at that time, and it was quite common to conceal a pregnancy and plan adoption. Her family made every effort to conceal this as well, as they were quite upset.  As a result of this wish for secrecy, your mother registered during her “confinement” at the Florence Critterdon ( Crittendon) maternity home in Wilkes-Barre, under an assumed name.  She also gave you an assumed name and it was these names that were placed on your original birth certificate.
Your birth mother placed you with the United Charities of Wilkes-Barre, with the intention that you would be placed for adoption. You were in a foster home, or boarding home as it was called at that time, under the auspices of United Charities of Wilkes-Barre until 1/6/37.  You were then transferred to a temporary foster home in Philadelphia , through the Children’s Aid Society of PA.  You remained in this home until you went to live with your adoptive family on 4/16.37. 
The social worker from United Charities who saw your mother at the time of adoption planning, felt that she was confused and upset and had difficulty recalling the circumstances surrounding her pregnancy. Your mother told the worker that she was engaged to a rather prominent politician, but did not consider marriage for some time. He was not the birth father however; rather, your mother indicated that the pregnancy, which she was not aware of until her fifth month, was the result of an assault when coming home from a party. She indicated that she did not really know what happened.
After the search, while on the phone with the social worker in Philadelphia who knew more than I ever would, she asked me, “How do you feel about your mother being raped?”
My first thought was, “Sad for her. Her life was ruined.” 
“Maybe not,” the social worker said. “Maybe she made a life for herself after she gave you up.”
And my book was born! What if my mother newly released from her prison of pregnancy took her sister and moved from the judgmental neighbors' eyes to begin a new life. She was 28 when I was born—not the usual age for unwanted pregnancies in the dark and cautious days of the Depression.

Blurb: The community

The cohesive Welsh community was a haven of Protestant values and mutual support. It was also a hornet’s nest of gossip. Neither a canary’s death nor a girl’s fall from grace escaped the community chatter.

Good girls avoided the attention of the grandmothers’ grapevine by behaving--in public--as ladies were expected to behave with good manners and self-control. In private, emotions roiled, passions were explored, appetites satiated, and the end results “talked about.”

Bio: Julie Eberhart Painter, a Pennsylvania transplant now living in Central Florida, is the author of ten books when Morning After Midnight arrives on the scene in January 2014.
Julie's Avatar for Cocktails Magazine

Julie is a regular contributor to and featured writer for, an online slick.
She writes essay/blogs for
Her flash fiction appears under



  1. Thank you for the boost.This is my book of the heart.

  2. If I had not already read this heart-warming and disturbing book, I would buy it today. The premise is so moving and the reality of the book is even better. Once you get to know the family, you can only wish the best for Catherine. It is a book difficult to put down, so be aware before you pick it up.

  3. Julie,
    This story intrigued me when you first presented it to me as an idea for a blog.

    Can't wait to read the entire story.


  4. Fan mail. Hope it really sets you thinking.