Ever wonder how you grow dye? Wonder no more, Carolina Ellis is here to give the details!

As most of you know, Carolina Ellis is my next victim…er…I mean heroine to fall in love with a Banks brother. And if you’ve read all of my books from the beginning you’ll know she grew up on a plantation in South Carolina. Today, she has graciously agreed to come tell you all about what they grow on her family’s plantation as well as something else that’s growing…

You must mean the love between me and John!

Indeed. How transparent I have become.

Not at all. *flicks wrist* But if it’s all right with you, I’d much rather talk about me and John than the indigo we harvest.

Of course you would. But you agreed that you’d come tell my readers the details of indigo farming if I’d let you and John–

Very well! *flushes crimson* Before the Revolutionary War most people grew either indigo or rice. *grimaces* I am so glad Eliza Lucas introduced indigo as a viable crop or I fear we shall all have perished from malaria… That or itched to death from those annoying mosquitos that were so common with rice plantations.

Back to the indigo, Carolina. 

Right, there’s really not much to it. We grow the plant, pluck the leaves, soak the leaves, then mix them with lye to make cakes. That’s it. Now, can I go back and–

No. While you gave a very nice summary of how we get the dye, you didn’t really explain it.

*sighs* Must I?


We grow this plant called Indigofera tinctoria then each year, we pluck the leaves that have turned purple and throw them in this giant tub to let them soak in some smelly solution. *wrinkles nose* Then when the leaves have lost all their color and the water is blue, we remove the leaves and mix the blue water with lye and then when they start getting firm, we press them into little cakes and dry them out.

Is that all?

That’s all I know.

Fair enough. I imagine you have very little to do with the process, being the planter’s daughter and all.

*a shadow crosses her eyes* That’s a fair statement. Most plantation owner’s daughters don’t know a lot about the crops or other workings of the plantations.

And would you say you enjoy living on the plantation?

Not especially. It’s rather tedious at times… Or it was. But now that John has come I’ve found plenty to do with my day.

I’m sure you have.


And does John find your new found amusements as enjoyable as you have?

Of course he has!

Uh huh…

He’s just too prideful to admit it. But he’ll come around. Just you wait and see.

Oh, I can hardly wait.

Well, I can! 

22 thoughts on “Ever wonder how you grow dye? Wonder no more, Carolina Ellis is here to give the details!”

  1. As always you have away with words I can’t wait till u have the series complete I have not read the 1st one in the banks brothers yet I want to read all at once but I’m patient perfection takes time. 🙂 cheryl

    1. Yes, perfection does take time. I see you are like me. I’ll wait until the second to the last book of a series has been out and it’s getting somewhat close to the time for the final book before I’ll buy and read a series. I’m weird like that.

      I’m glad you enjoy my way with words!

  2. Oh those “misquotes” are quite annoying aren’t they? I had know idea they had anything to do with rice though or that you could die from them. See, I learn something knew everyday. Yes, you can slap me now. Thanks for the laugh this morning, I am surprised that it was rice and indigo and not tobacco. I thought the Carolinas were known for their tobacco plantations or did that come later?
    I am really looking forward to John and Carolina’s story.

    1. Yes, misquotes ARE very annoying and sometimes hurtful. *grins* I updated my Mac software and with it came this darn auto correct. Needless to say, I have been making 10x the typos I did before. LOL

      Mosquitos, however, are very common on rice plantations and did cause many deaths, almost to epidemic proportions.

      Tobacco was North Carolina and Virginia’s cash crop, not South Carolina–especially this part of South Carolina.

      1. Now I see I wrote “Know” when I should have written “No” oh well.
        But see, I did learn something new. I always thought it was both North and South that did the tobacco. At least I knew it was one of them, right? I think I knew something about the indigo, just not the rice and of course I know that mosquitoes were quite dangerous and apparently still are with all that West Nile stuff. Thankfully we are not overrun with them here where I live and the ones we do have are nothing compared to the dinosaur size ones I have seen in other places, but we did have some fogging going on a few years ago.

  3. I’m really looking forward to this book…I just love her! And haven’t we all known or met a “Carolina” at some point in our lives? I know I have.

    1. You might be the only person (besides me) who loves her. I think she’s often though to be a royal pain in the hiney, I was afraid that even I wouldn’t like her, but the more I wrote about her, the more I started liking her!

      Oh yes, we all know a Carolina. I know more than one, actually.

      1. But I have alsoa been a fanwhile of Liberty too….so I guess I am in a rather small group would you say? Lol

      2. My last post was an utter mess! What I was trying to say was that I have always been a fan of Liberty’s too, so am I in a small manority between loking her and Carolina? One thing I like about Carolina in the other books is that you can see a little bits of her in all 3 of her girls. I think you did an excellent job capturing that.

      3. I understood your first comment and yeah, you’re in a minority. I think people either love or hate Liberty, not much in between and the needle faces decidedly toward hate. At least it used to. In the last few months, I’ve found more people who like her than I did when the book first came out.

        It’s really funny that you mention being able to see a little bit of Carolina in all three girls because as I’ve been working on this one, I’ve been like, “Huh, this is so something Brooke would do…” then a few minutes later, “So this is where Liberty gets it from…” then I’ll be a chapter or so later thinking, “Man, this sounds similar to Madison.”

        However, now that I’ve really gotten to know John, too, I can honestly tell you there are some things those three girls did that I believe they very well could have learned the behavior from HIM and not Carolina like would seem obvious.

      4. While I don’t LOVE Liberty, I did like her. I think she was very misunderstood, which I think I wrote you about when I reread her book. I also never found anything wrong with Carolina like some people did and I look forward to getting to know her better.
        As for the girls having traits of the parents that would be fun to see, especially since you are writing the parents’ book after their girls’ books. I do share a good amount of personality traits with my mom, but if you ask people who know all three of us they would definitely tell you that I am my father’s daughter. Which suits me just fine. I was and always will be a Daddy’s Girl.

      5. Liberty is very misunderstood. But she is who she is and doesn’t have a problem if you misunderstand her. And that is a trait she gets from Carolina.

        The thing about Carolina is…
        Actually there are two, but they’re connected.
        She comes off as a dingbat in book one (and maybe even a little in book two, but certainly in book one) because you only ever see her from Brooke and Andrew’s POV. Kind of like with Gateway being seen as an annoying pain in the arse who only set things up to ruin Brooke because she turned him down. His real motives aren’t clear until his own book. So from Brooke and Andrew’s POV, and then later Liberty’s, Paul’s, Madison’s and Benjamin’s, she does come off as an overzealous Matchmaking Mama who needs to take a prozac But when in HER POV, you understand why she’s so darn hyper. It’s just her. However, in my original version of my first book, which I don’t know how many here read… There actually was a scene in the first book in John’s POV of just him and Carolina where she wasn’t being hyper. It was a very sweet scene that perhaps I should have kept in. But I didn’t and that might be why she’s so often thought to be irritating and without common sense.

  4. I’m not overly patient, so I read your books as soon as they’re available…then have to re-read to remind myself. When is this book due again?

      1. Is that the official date? Can I mark it on my Calendar? With a pen? Is it fair for me to by myself a present for my Twins’ birthday? Well their birthday is the third so it would be an early present. So nice of you to have your books come out for my family’s birthdays. Mine in July, Twins in October and also my baby who will be three towards the end of October but I know won’t have another book out by then. Maybe the next one can be out in time for my anniversary in January (also my husbands Birthday), I don’t think I can wait until the end of March for my other son’s birthday.

      2. You can mark it with Sharpie, if you’d like. Just be sure to have the white out ready! Only kidding. It’ll be done a while before then (thank goodness) but I like to have an extra few days (about a week) for cushion in case something goes awry.

  5. I must also be in the majority because I really like Carolina as well. And I’m looking foward to seeing more of her and more of John. But as you know Rose I also Love Liberty.

    1. Apparently you’re not in the minority around here. Lots of people who commented today seem to like her!

      I *think* more than loving Liberty, I wonder if the recent love for her isn’t actually love for Paul…

      1. Or maybe the recent love for Liberty is that people have had more time to really understand her character. As you know I have never been in the hate Liberty group.

      2. Who knows. I did change her role (marginally) in the first book to make it more obvious that she likes Paul right from the start. I doubt that did anything to help the situation, but maybe.

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