April 28, 2017

New Friends

Meet my new friend, Samiksha Bose from St. Augstine, Florida.  She is originally from India and we got to chatting, along with her lovely daughter.  If you know me, I'm the Question Meister. So, I asked all about her native land and customs.

After we parted,  I wondered why she would have an interest in my Goodbye Lie series.  Then, I realized how she very well could be curious about the late 1800s on Amelia Island, Florida, the same way I am curious about her world.  Good thing my stories are historically correct, to the best of my  research, particularly at our Amelia Island Museum of History. 

P.S. Don't take my glum expression in the photo above at face value. Clearly, I am thinking very heavy-duty thoughts.

#deepthoughts, #India, #custom, #novels, #drama, #AmeliaIsland, #tasteful, #friend

April 25, 2017

Grilled Cheese Pizza

I first saw Grilled Cheese Pizza on Pinterest.  The photo looked good so I tried it.*  It's easy and fun and a good Friday or Saturday night meal or anytime you don't want anything fancy or time consuming to prepare.  

You'll need:

Bread- 2 slices per serving
Butter or whatever you use to crisp up the outside
Pizza sauce or add oregano and/or basil to spaghetti/tomato sauce
Provolone or Mozzarella cheese slices
Pepperoni-original (microwaved for a few seconds on paper towels to remove excess grease) or turkey (much less grease)
Mushrooms, etc., and favorite pizza toppings

Butter the exterior of both slices of bread. Place a slice of cheese on the unbuttered side of a slice of bread.  Add some pizza sauce.  Not too much or it can make the bread soggy.  Spread evenly.  Add slices of pepperoni and other toppings, if any. Add a second slice of cheese. Top with second piece of bread, unbuttered side atop the cheese.  Grill in frying pan or I used a George Foreman grill until golden brown and the cheese is melted.


P.S.  As I type this, I'm thinking you could make a Mexican version and use Cheddar, Colby or Mexican type cheese, salsa, refried beans (no-fat), green chillers and green onions, etc!

* I don't know who put Grilled Cheese Pizza on Pinterest. If you are the person, please contact me at graciousjanemarie@yahoo.com and I will credit you, of course.

#Pinterest, #GeorgeForeman, #grill, #Pizza, #Mexican, #green chiles, #GrilledPizza, #appetizer, #snack, #cheese, #Provolone, #Mozzarella

April 21, 2017

Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow- Goodbye Lie Diaries

Late 1800s
Fernandina on Amelia Island, Florida

Miss Ella writes:
     It was lovely chatting with you the other day, Jane Marie. How wonderful it is that you are able to show a photograph of what could be my very own Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow bush.  Mine is planted at the base of my white rose climber.  You recall my rose garden is beside and slightly behind Dunnigan Manor, but still visible as you come up the front drive. The white in the roses brings out the contracting shades of purple, lavender and white on the bush.
Miss Ella
     I grew mine from cuttings given to me by Mrs. Ickles.  I planted two sprigs in Aunt Noreen's front flower bed.  I think, perhaps, she was too attentive and a bit heavy-handed with the water. They do not like their feet wet, so it did not survive.  Gardening is not one of her prime interests, especially if it is hot enough to make Auntie glow and glisten, if you understand my meaning.  

Modern times
Fernandina Beach on Amelia Island, Florida

 Jane Marie writes:    Since your Dunnigan Manor is only a few blocks from our house, Miss Ella, the growing conditions are the same, and my YTT bush is, indeed, doing well, as you can see. 
     I did a little research to tell our readers a bit about this plant. The official name is brunfelsia. As a shrub, it likes warm climates and blooms in the spring and summer.  In the colder areas, it will grow in a pot.  My plant is in the full sun. However, it will also grow well if there is a little shade.  Just make sure it has more sun than shade. Yes, the soil needs to be well drained.  I found out, too, that the seeds are poison to children and animals!

#YesterdayTodayandTomorrow, #plant, #fullsun, #blooms, #GoodbyeLie, GoodbyeLieDiaries

April 10, 2017

Proud Post Office

My husband, former mayor of Fernandina Beach on Amelia Island, Florida, Bruce Malcolm, and I were pleased to attend the recent historical marker dedication of the 1912 Post Office-Customs House-Courthouse in our city.  This important event was sponsored by the Princess Amelia Chapter, Colonial Dames XVII Century.  After being on the Fernandina Historical District
FL State Senator Aaron Bean speaking
Council for over ten years,  saving the beautiful building was one of Bruce’s goals.  Finally, we were both thrilled to see the workman resurface the exterior with all its detail.   So here is a huge thank you to each person who contributed to this worthwhile project in  any fashion.  The post office is one of the anchor buildings on our Centre Street and so important to our city’s heritage. 
Read the inscription on the marker below:
The Old Post Office 1912
U.S. Post Office-Customs House-Courthouse.  Dedicated in 1912, this Italian Renaissance Revival building was designed under the direction of Treasury Department architect James Knox Taylor.  The interior was custom build to accommodate the building’s three original function as a U.S. Customs House, Courthouse, and Post Office.  The building features a symmetrical facade, uniformly-arched windows and doors with terra cotta accents, second floor windows with gabled pediments, decorative balustrades, and small square windows on the top floor.  Brick walls faced with stucco rise from a granite base three stories to a tiled,, hipped roof with widely extending eaves supported by decorative brackets.  The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida met here until the creation of the Middle District in 1962.  The building was then used by the Middle District until divisional judicial functions were consolidated in Jacksonville.  The building is a notable feature of the city’s urban landscape and it the second tallest structure exceeded only by the Nassau County Courthouse’s clock tower.  In 1973, the building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places as a contributing resource in the Fernandina Beach Historic District. 
A Florida Heritage Site sponsored by the Princess Amelia Chapter National Society Colonial Dames XVII Century and the Florida Department of State.

April 4, 2017

Free and Fun

Jane Marie's
toilet paper tube flower
I discovered snowflakes made of toilet paper tubes while I was scrolling through wonderful #Pinterest. Here is my version of what I think are the basics in making TP  #ornaments: Flatten a toilet paper tube  in half lengthwise and then cut it into 1/4 inch pieces. Make your style of a snowflake pattern with the pieces and glue them together. Once dry, apply spray paint and toss on some glitter while that paint is still wet.  Add a simple ribbon and hang them anywhere.

Because I am scientifically inclined, everybody knows that about me,  I personally had to check out the dynamics of flattening a toilet paper tube in half and cutting it into strips.  Ah, but my end game was not to make ornaments.  No,  I left the strips loose in order for people to make their own designs atop a colored sheet of paper.  It's fun to watch folks, young and old, either mindlessly or with purpose #create designs.  One man added a few coins for the centers of flowers while another stripped a few leaves from  nearby plant to add color.

With an endless supply of toilet paper tubes, who knows what beautiful art will be crafted.  I have discovered that different brands of TP have different colors/shades of rolls inside the paper.  There is another exciting bonus for you! 

P.S.  Don't use paper towel tubes because they are generally thicker and harder to smash in half plus some may be difficult to cut through.

March 30, 2017

Meet Leona Visper- Goodbye Lie Player

Set in 1882 in the city of Fernandina, Amelia Island, Florida

Leona Visper
Leona Visper - Now she is somebody everyone wants to meet. Why?  Because she is known worldwide as The Songbird of the North.  With her blond hair piled high, glistening eyes  and a figure she is not ashamed to show off, Miss Visper has a voice of silk, which can lure men into her devilment.  However, she wants no ordinary men for they do not satisfy her.  Her men must have mountains more money than that in her own swollen bank account plus they must be highly regarded in society.  
     Additionally,  Leona doesn't much like being compared to other women, especially if they are younger. Because of this, she has few female friends. 
     Her master plan is to permanently land the richest male she can. She prefers him unmarried, but only because there are less tedious complications with a bachelor.  If he is handsome, all the better.  And she doesn't care what she has to do to complete her mission ... 

#GoodbyeLie, #AmeliaIslandRomance, #AmeliaIslanddrama, #Irishfamily, #GoneWithTheWind, #LittleHouseonthePrarie, #AmeliaIslandtrilogy, #smalltown, #Victorian, #Centre

March 25, 2017

Family Affair

#The Goodbye Lie series
     I am quick to acknowledge I have many blessings in my life.  One is the support I receive from my family with regard to my writing. They read my rough drafts, manuscripts and finished stories, all the while making suggestions and asking questions. They tease me. They laugh and cry where I mean them to as they turn the pages. They tell their friends about the wonder of me, their oft times wacky relative who lives on Amelia Island in Florida. 
     A most meaningful gesture to me came from my little granddaughter, Ava.  One wonderful summer day at the beach, she told me to close my eyes.  I heard her playing in the sand and expected to spy a fine sandcastle.  Instead, when I was given permission to look, I discovered she had written out the title of my series for passersby to find until the tide washed it away. (See the photo above.) When it comes to toughing hearts, Ava is at the top of her game.              
                                                 - Jane Marie  

March 23, 2017

Grandmother Peeper's Wisdom-Goodbye Lie Diaries

Fernandina on Amelia Island, Florida
late 1800s

"My ma always told me, if'n ya act like a skunk, the folks about town will smell yur stinky feet acomin' before they see ya." - Peeper, grandmother to the Dunnigan family, 
The Goodbye Lie series


P.S.  Just so we're clear, Peeper prefers being called Peeper versus Grandmother Peeper.  It's not because she's embarrassed by her advanced age, but because that is the nickname the Dunnigan children gave her when they were little.  However, I explained that the internet knows her as Grandmother Peeper, and suggested we may have to use the title occasionally.  With a sigh of understanding, she told me, "The more folks that find out about me and my ways 'round the world, the wiser the world will be."  Thank you, Peeper.                                         - Jane Marie

March 10, 2017

An Irish Welcoming-Excerpt from Amelia Island's Mark of a Man

Every day is St. Paddy's Day for the Irish  Dunnigan family from The Goodbye Lie series. Read an excerpt below from my novel, Amelia Island's Mark of a Man, for a taste of their kind of family chatter. 

Fernandina on Amelia Island, Florida:

Amelia Island's Mark of a Man HERE
    Peeking around the corner was a short woman somewhat smaller in circumference than Aunt Noreen. White curls escaped from the bun at the back of her head. The severe hairstyle couldn't conceal the glow of kindness in her eyes. "Is there someone here who might be rememberin' me?"

   "My stars! Is it Kathleen?"

   "No other. And 'tis himself, Michael Dunnigan! It's been eons since last I've laid me eyes on ya."

   Her rich Irish brogue hearkened back to the sweet sound of their mother's voice. As if propelled by dynamite, he sprang forth to hug her. Tears trickled down his face as his wife and family watched the loving exchange.

   "There now, Michaeleen, don't be slobberin' all over me new travelin' costume. Salty streaks will never do for the sister of Fernandina's greatest city father ever ta draw a breathin' breath."  She held him at arm's length to take him in. "Ah, you're lookin' fine. Real fine. And you'll be recallin' me husband, Lawrence?"
     The men shook hands and embraced as well. "What?  Where?  What?" Michael stammered.

   "Michael, darling," Miss Ella helped, "may we share some of that sugar?"

   "Ella! You're as pretty as the day you was weddin' our Michael."

   After identifying each in the gathering, Kathleen said, "We might be arrivin' a bit late, but when we got the invitation from Winnie, we decided to be surprisin' ya.  It appears we've done just that."

   "We all love surprises, Katie," said Peeper. "Specially me!"

   "Would you like to freshen up?" asked Miss Ella.

   "We're good, thank you. Took care of all that business afore we come upstairs."

   "Can we be gettin' ya somethin' ta eat and drink?" Michael asked, lapsing in and out of his own brogue. "Would ya like to rest or visit in the parlor?" His energy renewed at the unexpected sight of his sister, "Whatever ya need.  Our place has taken a hit, but the love in the house goes on strong as ever."

   "We can feel it," said Lawrence. "It was getting late so we ate at that Florida House hotel near the docks. Several locals recommended it.  I'm thirsty for some tea now, though.  How about you, Kate?"

   "That sounds refreshin', it does."

   "Sweet tea, ma'am?" asked a timid Angelique.

   "That would be lovely, missy," and Angelique was gone to get the refreshments. "But if you won't be mindin' any, we'd like to do our visitin' up here with young Jack Patrick. A-course, he's nary so young these days. I remember—"

   "Excuse me, ma'am," Clover said, fitting two more chairs for them in the room.

   A winded Aunt Noreen burst through the door, pushing aside those in her way.  "Land's sake, I wish you people would be more thoughtful and hold court downstairs in the parlor.  It's bad enough I have to trek all the way over here every time I'm needed, but then to climb those steep stairs, again and again, and under threat of rain, too.  It's a wonder my heart doesn't explode from the exertion." After one lengthy sigh, "If it isn't old Kate!  I just heard you were here. That you came clear from Washington, D.C., just to see me?—You have touched my heart."

   "That ain't all that's touched in ya," Peeper added, sincere in her ill will.

   "You sure the floor up here will hold so many people?" Noreen asked her brother, the architect.

   Thinking now was not the time to let Noreen's insults spoil the happy mood, Michael's reply was minimal. "I'm sure."    After they'd hugged, "You're the very same, Noreen," noted Kathleen.

   "Thank you, Kate, but you certainly have changed. Your hair's gone white."

And so it goes in the sometimes squabbling and always blabbering, loving and devoted Dunnigan family.  -Just the same as yours.

March 6, 2017

New Friend plus #Goodbye Diaries - Aunt Noreen

Say hi to Dawn from Georgia, a lovely lady I recently met on a sun-filled day here in Fernandina Beach on Amelia Island, Florida.  You know how much I love to introduce my new friends to our old friends, Breelan and Carolena and Pat and Peeper and Aunt Noreen.  My hope is for them to get aquainted and love my Goodbye Lie family and folks of Fernandina from the late 1800s, the same as so many others across the world have.  Welcome Dawn! I now pronounce you a Goodbye LieR!

The Goodbye Lie Diaries:

Late 1880s
Fernandina on Amelia Island

Aunt Noreen writes: Most of the lovely people
Aunt Noreen
reading what Jane Marie calls her blog are well aware of the abuse I receive from my Dunnigan family. Nevertheless, I adore them all.  Well, mostly all.  That Peeper is a pip.  Excuse my harsh criticism of the woman.  She is not blood kin and, therefore, I reject her and her insults toward me. 

     However, this diary entry is not about Peeper.  Rather, I have a bone to pick with Jane Marie, herself.  It is never proper to refer to a lady's age, young or old. It is not ever the thing to do.  So, I officially declare that I resent, with the greatest of emphasis, her statement above where she includes me as one of her old friends. While I shan't ever speak of my age, I will readily admit, my appearance is that of a much younger creature.  With no boasting intended, men still find me alluring. In any case, Jane Marie, I demand you never again refer to me as old!  Peeper, on the other hand, is a completely different matter.  Feel unencumbered to tell the world about that nasty heifer.

Present day
Fernandina Beach

Jane Marie responds: 

Dear, dear Aunt Noreen,
   You have the skill of a master wood carver when it comes to finding offense where none is meant. The old was not directed toward your age or the age of any one else.  I was referring to the fact that you and I have known each other for many years. Hence, you are an old friend. 
     My how I do love you, Auntie.  You are so complicated, yet so entertaining.  Although Peeper and half the town in your time would probably not agree with me, however, I am compelled to say, "Never change." 

March 2, 2017

My Latest Vice #chocolatelover

This is the ditty swirling about in my head.  I invite you to sing along to the tune of The Farmer in the Dell.

I have a brand new vice.
I think it's very nice.
Although it's not too good for me,
I want to do it twice.

Now picture me with it.
A lot or just a bit.
I can pig out, without a doubt.
I'll not get sick a whit!

It's chocolate, so you see,
This is my fervent plea.
I'll give to you the recipe,
But drop down on one knee. 

Chocolate Vice Recipe:

One box of #brownie mix on sale (BOGO is best.)
Water to taste
One Fork

In a small glass of your choosing, keeping in mind a fancy champagne or wine goblet will make the tasting even more festive, pour at least a 1/4 cup of dry brownie mix into the glass.  Dribble a slight amount of water on top and stir with the fork.  Repeat and repeat and repeat ...

Oh, I just realized I'm saving money, too, by making this chocolate recipe!  To that end, here are some new lyrics to my ditty:

I have a brand new tip.
You'll thank me quite a bit.
No oven heat or eggs or oil,
Just happiness to the lip! 

See, I told you it's fun in my world.

                                                   -Jane Marie

February 23, 2017

Abraham Lincoln Said ...

The mystic chords of memory ... will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched ... by the better angels of our nature.
            - #President Lincoln, 1st Inaugural Address

February 19, 2017

2017 Amelia Island Book Festival

Jane Marie
    The last page has been turned and the cover closed over this year's wonderful Amelia Island Book Festival.  With one hundred-plus authors attending, I am happy to report that we have many new #Goodbye LieRs joining our fictional Dunnigan family world on #Amelia Island in the late 1800s. I received the ultimate compliment by way of several readers kindly seeking me out to get a second or third novel in the series. It is so gratifying to know readers can relate to #Breelan and Waite from #The Goodbye Lie.  Another woman told me how much she enjoyed reading about the social customs of the time. Another had gone so far as to make Miss Ella's Brunswick Stew and Sugar and Spice Nuts served at the Fort Clinch Christmas dance from the first novel! Still others found me because of this blog.
     Thank you to all the people who organized and volunteered. They even had high school kids help carry writers' books into the venue for set up.  It was an all day affair and so much appreciated by everyone in attendance behind as well as in front of the tables.
  See you next year!

February 7, 2017

Your Favorite Romantic Couple

Readers often ask me which couple in my Amelia Island's      
Goodbye Lie series is my favorite.  Since I gave birth to each of these characters, that is like asking me who my favorite child is.  I love them all because each one touches me in a different way.  I won't single out any specific player or give any hints whatsoever lest I hurt someone's feelings. Should that happen, they will let me hear about it in their Goodbye Lie Diaries

But I will ask you.  Who is your favorite couple?  (This is not one of my unscientific surveys.)  For those who have read all three books in the series, I would be surprised if you didn't find one of the three pairs more likeable or romantic or devoted than another.  And for those who have yet to read all three, I invite you to delve into their love stories. Why?  Because everybody loves a lover ...

the LURE, the LOVE, the LEGEND
 Waite and Breelan in          


his WANT, his WILL, his WAY

 Carolena and Grey in

Amelia Island's Velvet Undertow E-book ($3.99) and Paperback Available Here


the RAINS, the RAGE, the ROMANCE
of Amelia Island's Mark of a Man


January 31, 2017

Learn the Language of Flowers for Valentine's Day

Most people know the red rose speaks the  words of love. Few know this has been so for over 5000 years since they were first cultivated in Asia. But have you ever heard that a yellow rose signifies elation, while white represents sophistication, pink is gentility and style, coral is yearning, and a red and white combination means harmony, dating back to the conclusion of the War of the Roses in England?

White rose buds, on the other hand, are a warning that you are far too young for real romance

Although the rose is oft times called the "Queen of the Garden” for her beauty, scent and abundance, there are many more flowers that speak.  And they are as deafening with their loveliness.      

#Floral communications are referred to as "the language of flowers.”  This form of conversation became prevalent in the middle and latter part of the 1800s, both in North America and Europe

The following is a list of the more commonly recognized flowers with their mostly optimistic meanings:              

Alyssum (sweet) — priceless
Amaryllis conceit
Aster diversity
Azalea self-control
Bachelor's Buttons abstinence
Buttercup immaturity
Butterfly Weed freedom
Cactus heat
Carnation, striped rejection
Chrysanthemum, red adoration
Chrysanthemum, white fact
Chrysanthemum, yellow snubbed affection
Clematis psychological attractiveness
Columbine foolishness
Daffodil gaze at
Daisy purity
Fern allure
Forget Me Not my one and only
Foxglove disingenuousness
Geranium, Scarlet consoling
Hibiscus fragile
Hollyhock aspiration
Honeysuckle dedicated
Hydrangea a braggart
Ivy faithful in marriage
Jasmine friendly
Lavender suspicion
Lilac, Purple early stirrings of love
Lily, Day teasing
Lily of the Valley cheer revisited
Magnolia fondness for the natural world
Marigold covetous
Morning Glory quirky
Moss a mother's affection
Nasturtium self-involvement
Pansy imaginings
Passion Flower spirituality
Peony shyness
Periwinkle, Blue blossoming affection
Pink carnation feminine caring
Ragged Robin humor
Shamrock breeziness
Snapdragon conjecture
Tulip renown
Violet, Blue faithfulness
White Lily spotlessness
Wisteria salutations
Zinnia missing you

Unfortunately, not all floral language is meant to be positive.  Should you receive narcissus, your vanity is being ridiculed.  A passel of petunias, no matter the color, expresses resentment.  The sunflower represents arrogance - receiving several would be dreadful!  A dahlia denotes instability, the marigold grief, witch hazel a spell, and lobelia exemplifies malevolence. 

The worst to receive of all is basil, which stands for hatred!  To me, basil is more a spice than a flower.  So let the spices, trees, fruit, and vegetables join the discussion with their own messages.
Allspice — empathy

American Elm — nationalism

Apple — inducement

Ash Tree — sadness

Bay Leaf forever

Beech Tree — opulence

Chamomile — misfortune brings strength

Cedar — might

Cherry tree — well schooled

Clematis — pure thoughts

Cloves — poise

Cranberry — aid for pain

Cocoa Plant — fervor

Dogwood — stability

Elm — self-respect

Endive — thriftiness

Grape — a helping hand

Hawthorn — expectations

Live Oak — emancipation

Maple — stash away

Marjoram — embarrassment

Mint — high merit

Mistletoe — triumphant

Oak Tree — welcoming

Orange Tree — giving

Palm — winning

Pea — pleasant goodbye

Pear — caring
Peppermint — good emotions

Pineapple — ideal, welcome           

Pine, Spruce — positive outlook

Plum — liberty

Potato — compassion

Raspberry — repentance

Rhubarb — guidance

Rosemary — tribute

Sage — family values

St. John's Wort — disingenuous

Spearmint — moving

Strawberry Tree — esteem

Thyme — goings-on

Truffle — revelation

White Oak—sovereignty
May you understand what you have given and received in the past and, perhaps, choose differently what to offer/send/appreciate in the future.
This is a reprint of an article I wrote for our original GraciousJaneMarie.com website.
                                                                             - Jane Marie