December 30, 2010

(Dreaded) Annual Letter Is Back!

Yes, 2010 has been a hot and hootie, rootie tootie kind of year for us.  Here are a few of the details of our year:


  • Father needs thumb surgery. Mother says the arthritis bump on his digit looks like a dog’s nose. Mother sees art in everything because she owns a paintbrush.
  • Mother recently heard about Jane Marie's new 3 Second Memory Club. She desperately wants to join but Father is concerned they might not accept her. He thinks she’s over qualified because she remembered the name of the club.
  • Father revealed his first pick-up line to Mother. “I’m wise beyond my leers.” Uncle Knuckle always did say Mother and Father were meant to be. Knuckles kin are very sensitive to matters of the heart.
  • Daughter would like to be a novelist or composer. She can’t spell or read music but she has the titles for her future projects all ready to go. Her first murder mystery will be about a serial slasher. She’ll call it By the Light of the Slivery Moon. She also wants to do a Broadway musical about the life of Attila the Hun and call it Night and Day, You are the Hun. She’s so excited to get started, she’s already got a pad, a pencil and a kazoo. Talk about ambitious! 
  • Mother entered her framed painted doll faces in the local fair. She didn’t win but the sheriff in town wants to hire her as a sketch artist. He says her dolls look like fugitives. Father is telling his friends they can get  free portraits if they rob banks. Mother is concerned. She’s afraid she’ll get carpal tunnel if she develops a clientele.
  • Spew, our vomiting cat, licks the toilet bowl brush to clean his tongue. Father considered doing this until he realized the brush was too big for his mouth.
  • Son-in-law washed his car.  He also found his phone.
  • Mother massages her feet by rolling them back and forth over marbles in a shoebox. Mother is a health nut, you know.
  • Uncle Knuckle went to the store by himself.
  • Daughter is in training to run her first marathon. Father thinks that’s silly. He can get there faster by car.
  • Father had emergency back surgery. Don’t worry. He is able to walk -- almost. He still needs crutches. Mother has hired a carpenter to secretly shorten each crutch tip an inch per day. Her goal is for him to stop relying on the crutches. Father, however, thinks he’s getting shorter. By next week, he’ll be crawling. He’s fine with it though. He’s sure he’s somehow found the Fountain of Yutes. Oh, Father is also planning his 152th birthday party.
  • It rained.
    Happy New Year from Amelia Island, Florida!

December 13, 2010

Randolph, the Red Nosed Rodent

Meet Randolph, the Red Nosed Rodent and his family of like-looking chocolate cherry rodents. Make your own quick and easy mousies and they will be the hit of any party. Yummo!  Go to ourr  website for the recipe: http://www.greenlightwrite.com/chocolatemice.htm and enjoy!


December 12, 2010

A Frosty of My Own!

We often walk to church. It was cold today and required a jacket.  As we entered the vestibule, an usher said to my husband, "Bruce, in that jacket and scarf, all you need is a top hat and pipe and you'll look like Frosty." And so we did and he does.  Meet my very own Frosty!                   


Former Fernandina Beach Mayor Bruce Malcolm can be seen reading to the children at the local library.  This time, Santa joined the fun!
Merry Christmas!

December 2, 2010

Waste Not That Candle

I love those expensive fragrant candles.  I dislike wasting the last bit of wax left unburned in the bottom.  It's easy to save the last of that wax and recycle/make your own candles that will burn for several more hours.  (To be honest, I haven't yet timed how much longer but we are talking hours.)
Remember, our family motto:  No space unfilled.  No cent unsaved.

For each candle you'll need:
remnants of candle wax in glass jar or jars
a store-bought wick (several feet sold in a package in craft stores) 
1 clean tuna or cat food can per jar candle (take care not to cut yourself on the inside top edge)
scissors
pencil
small sauce pan
tongs
pot holders

Follow the easy steps below:

Over low heat, melt the last of the wax in the original candle jar in a pan of water on the stovetop. 
 
While the wax is melting, cut a 3" to 4" length of wick. 
Wrap one end of the wick around the center of a pencil. Center the pencil with wick on top of the clean can, letting the loose end of the wick touch the bottom of the can.
Using tongs and pot holders to retrieve the hot jar from the water, pour the melted/scented wax into the clean
  cat food or tuna cans.
 
Let the wax cool about an hour. Remove the pencil and your new mini-candles are ready to burn.
You may pain the outside of the cans or decorate them if you wish.

Enjoy,

Jane Marie

November 22, 2010

RomanceatHeart.com Interview Questions #9, #10 and #11

Thank you to Romance at Heart Magazine. http://romanceatheart.com/interview/janemariemalcolm.html  Here are my answers to their next 3 questions about my Goodbye Lie series.


- How much of your personality and life experiences are in your writing?

I will never tell. I will say that some of the goofy scenes MIGHT be patterned after my personal "Lucy moments." I'm always writing about those crazy times in my GraciusJaneMarie.com newsletter (read my Gracious Jane Marie Newsletter archives at http://www.greenlightwrite.com/newsletterarchive.htm ) and now in my new Gracious Jane Marie Blog Blog Blog at http://graciousjanemarie.blogspot.com/ .

- When did you first think about writing?
Here is the quick version. My husband lost his job. We were going to move from our home in Fernandina on Amelia Island, Florida. I was heartsick. I was working at the local Christmas shop in our delightful seaside Victorian historic district. I thought writing a book would be a good way to remember our little town. When completed, I would put it in my daughter’s hope chest for future generations. So, since I love Victoriana and romance and mystery and suspense, I asked myself how hard could it be to write a book? That was 4 books in the series ago. (All 4 are written with Mark of Man and Sand and Sin coming as soon as they are edited.) Before I could begin writing, a man in a yellow slicker raincoat entered the shop selling his catch of the day, fresh shrimp. He had craggy skin, although he was probably only in his 40s, gorgeous blue eyes like those of a husky dog and auburn curls for which any woman would kill. When he left, I said aloud, "Jane Marie, you have your first character, his name will be Catfish, and he's going to be in your book.” And he is, in The Goodbye Lie!  (PS We returned to Fernandina two years later!)


- Generally, how long does it take you to write a book?
Between one and two years what with the inclusion of life, death and politics (my husband was mayor of Fernandina Beach, Florida) plus keeping up our 800 plus page website and newsletter/blog blog blog and making all the tie-in crafts, etc. Rest assured, writing is my first love, after God, my family and my country.

November 14, 2010

Where Do Secret Pebbles™ Go?

Everybody loves Secret Pebbles™ because the secret in the pebble is what the giver and the recipient share.  I got to thinking. Who can say they didn't have Secret Pebbles™ in 1889, the year in which my historic novel Amelia Island's Velvet Undertow is set. So, just before my manuscript went to press, I wove Secret Pebbles™ into the story in four places.  The last place I tied in the pebble in, I was literally typing and crying, I was so moved.


So moved, too, are those who find the same sweetness and "ahhh" factor in Secret Pebbles™ that I do as I hand paint each of them, and we're talking hundreds and hundreds.  I've heard many a loving comment as to where they will end up.  Here are only a few fine examples that touch me:

The customer picks a verse and a pebble
 and it all goes into a clear ziplock bag,
then a white organza drawstring gift pouch.
  • I'm going to have my 50th wedding anniversary.  They are throwing me a party and I want to give a Secret Pebble to both my bridesmaids."
  • "I'd like you to paint 100 Secret Pebbles™ in my daughter's high school colors, green and yellow, for  favors for her Sweet Sixteen Party!"
  • A returning customer said, "A few months ago, I told you my husband and his son weren't speaking. He gave a Secret Pebble™ to his son and now they're talking!"
  • "My neighbor watched my cat for me."
  • "As a thank you, I put a Secret Pebble™ on the pillow of my dinner hostess to find after I leave." What a great idea. I now do this.-jmm
  • "My friend has cancer."
  • "I'd like a cross and angel verse for my sister who is going through a job loss.  She needs to be reminded she's not alone.
  • "My son is depressed because he'll be in boot camp during the holidays and I want him to know he's in our hearts."
  • "I need six for my girlfriends.  We may be in our 50s, but we're having a slumber party.  I want to put one on each of their pillows as a surprise."
  • "My friend is 92 and she lost her son.  I want to give her a pebble that doesn't remind her of her sadness, but that lets her know we all care about her."  The giver settled on the may angels watch over you verse.
  • "My husband is serving in Afghanistan and I want a red, white and blue heart for his pocket."
  • "My friends and I are going to Ireland next year and I've been looking for something to give all of them. A green heart or rose would be perfect."
  • "Can you paint hearts in peach and white for my wedding reception favors?"
As you can see, the reasons for giving Secret Pebbles™ are many and varied.  Those heartfelt reasons only increase my love of the pebbles and make me want to paint more!

To order Secret Pebbles™ for your special occasion, contact me at graciousjanemarie@yahoo.

November 9, 2010

RomanceatHeart.com Interview Questions #6, #7 and #8

Thank you to Romance at Heart Magazine. http://romanceatheart.com/interview/janemariemalcolm.html Here are my answers to their next 3 questions about my Goodbye Lie series.


 -Do your fans' comments and letters influence you in any way?
Certainly they do. I would be foolish not to listen to the fans. Having said that, if they want me to unite say, Carolena with the ax murderer two houses down the street--Well, I might and I might not. No tellin'. Where would the fun be if I didn't give readers lots of surprises? I know I've done my job when I hear a reader say, "I never saw that coming!"


- Do you have a favorite comment or question from a reader?
Folks have been very kind so I have lots of favorites, really. One is because it surprised me. It concerns the race of one of my characters. I wrote it one way and several folks have told me they think she is another race. It is because of her dialect. You will have to guess just who it is ...


- Why did you decide to write romance novels?
Because you are supposed to write what you like to read. I'm a girl and I like romantic things.

November 7, 2010

235th USMC Birthday

My husband, Bruce Malcolm, a former Marine, with friend Cal Atwood, an Iwo Jima Marine,
at the USMC birthday celebration in Fernandina Beach, Florida

Thank you all military men and women. 
We are grateful for your protection.

October 24, 2010

Basketball Boy

Husband, Bruce, and I spotted a basketball hoop and stand at our local Barnabas Goodwill store. We thought it would be good for our grandgirl, Ava.  Forget the fact that Ava is just now able to sort of catch a ball. Her Grammy and Grampy, that's Bruce and me, are always looking for fun physical activities for her to do, be they three years down the road or ten.  That's what her parents have a garage for, right? - to hold all the treasures we find and foist off on them.

So we cart the thing home in my Gracious Mobile, unload it and examine what we bought a bit more closely.  The good news is the plastic square post on which the hoop is attached is adjustable and can be raised from 4 to 5 to 6 feet.  The bad news is that once the hoop is raised, there is no way to lock  the pole and hoop in place.  Some sort of wedge or something is missing.  Whatever shall we do? We'll take every tool out of the garage and fix it!

And that's just what we did.  Let's start with the small square. Bruce, manly-man that he is, determined he should dismantle it in an attempt to line up the holes he would drill through which we would insert the dowel to support the pole from collapsing. After assessing the square was of no use in this particular case, my assignment was to reassemble the square-thingie. All was going swimmingly- I mean I got the metal ruler almost into the bubble-level part and was about to turn the screw to secure it when my fingers slipped and several little pieces-parts flew into the air to then disappear into the sand and leaves on which we stood.  You see, we were balancing the plastic pole with the non-detachable hoop on the cement crib wall that surrounds our outdoor trash can. Why  not in the garage on the saw horses?  Because the saw horses are lower than the cement wall and we both have bad backs and we'd have to bend over and- you get that part. 

There I was, jammed beside the garbage can and the wall unless I was on the other side  reaching across my white climbing rose, dodging its thorns.  Hey, someone had to support that pole and hoop at all times.  Did I mention the gabage crib is surrounded/hiden by miniature orleander bushes.  They are quite lovely and full of blooms right now, all five feet of them.  (That's miniature? Perhaps less fertilizer next season?)  Oh, Bruce is allergic to orleander and as he's searching for the perfect spot to drill the hole in the pole for the dowel, he's scratching his forearms that are becoming speckled with hives.  Hey, don't feel too badly for him. They  weren't bad hives, but hives, none the less.  Don't forget the part about him being a manly man.

Okay.  He, me, we drill one hole on one side of the square pole.  We must naturally drill another hole directly across from  the first hole to keep the dowl straight.  A brainstorm erupts at that moment. It is from me and Bruce, I can proudly declare, is most agreeable to it.  Refer to the first photo below to see the rubber band. That was my suggestion. We slid a rubberband up the pole to where it crossed that first hole in the middle, eyeballed it and drilled on the opposite side. Perfect. We repeated this process until all holes are drilled.  

Next we need to saw the dowel to the proper length. (Oh, I got the dowel for free from our local grocery story. A big cloth banner of a shrimp hung from it and I use that banner to cover my table at book signings in the summer sometimes.)  Good thing the dowel was 4 feet long because after measuring once and cutting wrong twice- we are easily confused.  It should be: measure twice and cut once - Anyway, we got 'er done!  The proof of it is Bruce in the second picture below, dunking the used basketball we gave a dollar for, that holds air for almost 32 minutes!  We do love a deal!  

Note rubber band for leveling, hive-bestowing oleander bushes & thornywhite rose the other side of the trellis.

Note the stripes are worn off the used basketball.  Hurry and dunk it, Bruce.  You only have 13 minutes more of air!

Miss Baby Angel Wins a Ribbon!

I entered my Beautiful Dreamer, Miss Baby Angel, for judging  in the October 2010 Northeast Florida Fair and won a red ribbon and $2 award! - And I don't even know any of the judges!

October 21, 2010

Beautiful Dreamer - meet the girls


Miss Ruby

Gracious Gallery 


Miss Lime


My new online store called Gracious Gallery at http://graciousgallery.efreeme.com/ReportStore?category=all  is here.  Available are my  pencil on cotton framed fabric faces. My  husband, Bruce, named  the first girl Beautiful Dreamer.  I liked it so that's what I call them.  Each is a Miss, too.  Here you can see Miss Ruby, Miss Lime and Miss Coral. Click on the link above and meet the rest of the girls,  Miss Starling,  Miss Lula, Miss Plum and Miss Cotton.  I've kept Miss Felice at our house, Martha Manor.  She sits atop our mantle enjoying the funtastic goings-on in our parlor.  Where will you put your Beautiful Dreamer? Your vanity, the night stand, the guest room, the nursery? So many places, so few girls, so get yours. Extremely limited quantities.  Oh, did I mention, Beautiful Dreamer will be featured in Mark of  Man, the third novel in my Goodbye Lie historic series set on Amelia Island, Florida in 1898? 
 Hugs and blisses,
Jane Marie   


Miss Coral

October 14, 2010

Romance at Heart Interview Questions #3, #4 & #5

Thank you to Romance at Heart Magazine. http://romanceatheart.com/interview/janemariemalcolm.html  Here are my answers to their next 3 questions about my Goodbye Lie series.

- How do we find out about you and your books?
To learn details about The Goodbye Lie series, I invite everyone to visit my 800-plus page website, www.GraciousJaneMarie.com, where we celebrate heart and home with roses, recipes and romance – and have contests, too!!! The site has over 50 tie-in articles, recipes, The Goodbye Lie Jewelry Collection honoring the female characters in the series (http://www.greenlightwrite.com/jewelrygbl.htm ), and crafts to keep The Goodbye Lie experience alive between novels.
For a personalized autographed copy of my books and a free recipe from The Goodbye Lie series –
send an email to graciousjanemarie@yahoo.com.

- How may readers contact you?
My email is graciousjanemarie@yahoo.com. I am also on Facebook  at http://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#!/pages/Jane-Marie/35558229108.

-How many readers/fans contact you?
Never as many as I like. I have heard some say they don’t want to bother a writer. Please do. Writers love to hear from readers. Sure I'm busy. Isn’t everyone? Still, I try to personally reply to all those taking time from their lives to reach out to me. Not to respond would be less than gracious.

-to be continued ...

October 3, 2010

Beautiful Dreamer

I told my grandchild, Ava, I would make her a dolly from all my crafting scraps. She could pick out the material for the dress, the yarn for the hair, etc. We were so busy having fun during her visit, I forgot all about the doll. So did she until she was on her way home. She called from her car seat, "Grammy, we forgot to pick out my dolly dress!"  Oh no!

Well, I asked her what color dress and hair she wanted. Ava told me pink with polka dots and blond. "Okay, baby girl," said I. "Let me see what I have."

30 days later, Ava opened the package I sent her and this is what she pulled out. Her two in one handmade dolly, she came to name Madeline.  (Her hair of sparkling yellow yarn is made curly by wrapping it around a knitting needle then heating it in the oven.) Flip her over for napping and over again to play with in the day. Scroll down to meet Madeline, awake and asleep!
day-time friend
 Love is embroidered on dress


colored pencil drawn face on cotton fabric
40 year old white lace was purchased for a penny-a-yard 35 years ago
short hair

drawn shoes

night-time companion
with drawn stars and moons
white ruffle is from 30 year old pillow

embroidered star burst neckline on nightie
long hair
Madeline since has aquired a ladybug on her day dress and each time we meet, Grammy, that's me, will add another trim.  Ava, Madeline and I like it!
 

September 30, 2010

The Goodbye Lie's Sugar & Spice Nuts

Make your own Sugar and Spice Nuts featured in The Goodbye Lie, set on Amelia Island, Florida in 1882 -where Little House on the Prairie meets Gone With The Wind ...

Sugar and Spice Nuts
Served at the Fort Clinch Dance in the period suspense novel, The Goodbye Lie by Jane Marie, these nuts are a treat for any occasion.

12 ounces whole pecans (almonds or unsalted walnuts will work in a pinch)
2 cups sugar
1 cup water
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg
Grated rind of two oranges
Pinch of cloves

Mix all the ingredients in a heavy skillet. Simmer over medium-high heat. Stir constantly for 5 minutes or until water evaporates. Pour nuts onto 2 cookie sheets sprayed with non-stick spray. Separate them quickly with
fork & let cool. Sugared nuts may be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator or freezer. They may be kept at room temperature about 2 weeks.

The Goodbye Lie recipes, crafts & more available at www.GraciousJaneMarie.com.

September 28, 2010

Romance at Heart Interview Questions #1 & #2

Thank you to Romance at Heart Magazine. http://romanceatheart.com/interview/janemariemalcolm.html They interviewed me so I thought I'd pepper my BLOG BLOG BLOG with questions and answers in order for you to get to know the author behind The Goodbye Lie series.  Here we go.  Question #1 and #2:

- Please tell us about your latest book.
Amelia Island's Velvet Undertow - 1889, Fernandina on Amelia Island, Florida - Carolena Dunnigan is witness to so ghastly a sight, she escapes her home on Amelia Island, Florida, lured to Charleston, South Carolina by a renowned conductor. She combats a repulsive roommate and an attractive bully as decades of lies erupt. Disgust at the knowledge and an astonishing revelation drive Carolena into the horrifying Johnstown, Pennsylvania flood. Amelia Island’s Velvet Undertow (VU) knots beloved characters from The Goodbye Lie (GBL) (Volume 1 in The Goodbye Lie series) and new players into a powerful undertow of shock, sentiment and suspense. (Each novel stands alone.)

- What can we expect from you in the future?

I am in the throws of editing book #3, Mark of a Man, my next novel in The Goodbye Lie series. Set in Fernandina on Amelia Island, Florida, Pat Dunnigan faces the Spanish American War and Mother Nature in this wild 1898 tale teeming with jarring conflict and forbidden love. Book #4 in the series, Sand and Sin, is also written and needs to be edited, but it’s acomin’, too. Oh, Sand and Sin is set in modern times - same town- Fernandina, same family- the Dunnigans, same family business- passenger ships, but …

Read the entire interview at http://romanceatheart.com/interview/janemariemalcolm.html  or wait and watch for more of my answers to their fun questions.  Thank you to Rose, the creator, admin, and guru of Romance at Heart!

September 26, 2010

Join our 3 Second Memory Club!

COME ONE. COME ALL!  JOIN OUR 3 SECOND MEMORY CLUB! Yes folks. It took me a while to remember to start it, but you, too, can be a member of my latest brainstorm if you do ANY of the following:
  • walk in a room and don't remember why you're there
  • reach for the closet light switch on the right that was in your apartment 20 years ago
  • meet someone and, under pain of death, you don't remember their name within the 1st minute
  • can repeat gossip but don't have a clue who told it to you in the first place
  • know the melody but rarely the words
  • know you've heard something about something but what could it be?
  • wonder what that helpful hint was
  • only remember two out of twelve things you need to put on the grocery list 
  • get in the car but can't remember where you're supposed to go for a second or two
  • have an appointment sometime during the month but don't know the date without calling
  • live by jotting down your life on sticky-notes
  • forget to add vanilla to your boiled white icing
  • friends with the same condition commiserate
  • laugh at your goofiness
  • know you've put your glasses, keys, shoes, etc. in a good spot, but where?
  • want to add to this list but can't remember what to contribute
There are no fees, no rules and no meetings, just a kindred of like-minded souls with great long term memories but next to zero short term.  Just know, you are not alone!

Important:  For more information on memory loss, check out this site.  http://familydoctor.org/online/famdocen/home/seniors/common-older/124.html.  If you are seriously concerned, as with all things medical, check with your personal physician.

September 8, 2010

Grandparents' Day - a real holiday!


I got to thinking about Grandparents Day and figured it was a made-up holiday by card companies. Was I ever wrong. It's the real deal, a national occasion in fact!

It all began in West Virginia in 1970 by Marian Lucille Herndon McQuade, a mother of fifteen, grandmother to forty and great grandmother to eight. Mrs. McQuade, and civic, pastoral and political leaders came together to promote the idea of Grandparents Day. After three years, Governor Arch Moore declared Grandparents Day in West Virginia, Mrs. McQuade's home state. That same year, the idea was introduced to the United States Senate. With nationwide support, President Jimmy Cater signed a1978 proclamation making the first Sunday in September after Labor Day National Grandparents Day. This particular month was chosen to coincide with the autumn of the grandparent's life. So mark your calendars every year. This year the date falls on September 12, 2010.

Forget-Me-Not is the official flower of Grandparents Day. They are one of my favorite flowers I used to grow in Pennsylvania. The tiny bright blue flowers have yellow dotted centers. A perennial, they grow well on the edge of the woods in cooler weather and partial shade.

Celebration Suggestions for Grandparents:

Visit- If you can, a personal visit with a grandparent, is the best. The perfect gift is your company. Whether you cook or take them out to a restaurant, sharing a meal will mean so much. If they have dietary restrictions and you want to give them a food gift, check with their doctor or nursing home as to what goodies are acceptable.

Games- Play a board game or put together a pretty, colorful, meaningful puzzle with them if you are together. You can paint the puzzle with puzzle glue and frame it for their wall, too!

Greeting Card- Pull out the craft supplies and have the whole family, children or just yourself, make a card. A store-bought card is fine, too, but the personal touch is always best whenever possible.

Photo Gift– Find old family photos, preferably of yourself and grandparent in the early years. Scan/copy and give it as a framed gift.

Date Photos- Pull out the photo albums and talk about the pictures. On the back, write the date and name of people in the pictures if you can. Grandparents can fill in any forgotten names and probably share stories the photo will conjure up in their minds.

Family Tree- Gather together and work on a family tree. Include the children. They can help since kids know how to work computers and can do research with you. Focus on heritage, religion, occupation, and ethnicity.

Album – Scan/copy lots of current/old photos of family, friends, events, lyrics to songs of their generation, cartoons, children's drawings, a crossword puzzle or two, jokes, etc. Paste them on colored paper. Decorate the pages as you would were you making a scrapbook. However you choose to do it, make it colorful! Put the pages, in plastic sleeves if desired, in random order so they don't know what delight the next page will bring and place all in an album. They will love it. I have personally made two of these for my father with extra pictures of his first great grandchild, Ava. He perused those albums for hours. J

Journal- Give them a notebook of some sort, handmade or store-bought, and ask them the jot down their memories growing up. You might write a few questions at the top of the pages for them to answer, i.e, What was your favorite meal, game, friend, song, place to visit, hobby, etc., growing up?

Learn- If your grandparent plays the musical saw, quilts, braids rugs, makes bread, does a traditional dance, whatever, ask them to give you a lesson. Ask them to share one of their special talents with you.

Listen! – Older people have wisdom and personal histories to impart. If need be, ask questions to get them started, then just sit back and enjoy.

Music – Get them a CD of music or Video/DVD movie from their generation. If you have time- stick around and listen/watch with them. Ask them questions about it. Make sure they have the proper player, i.e., CD or DVD. If not, you might consider giving them a player as a gift, if it's in the budget.

Physical Activity- Ride bikes, go for a walk, swim, play ball if your grandparent is able.

Recorder- Take along an audio and/or video recorder and ask them to tell stories or just record the general conversation. Make a copy and give it to them. They will get a kick out of hear/seeing themselves. Again, be sure they have a corresponding machine so they can play the recording when they’re alone. Very important: Make sure they know which buttons to push for play and stop!!!!

Secret Pebbles™- I created these hand painted pebbles (blatant plug) with hearts and flowers for just such an occasion. Affordable sweetness, the grandparent can carry one in his/her pocket or put it away in their jewelry box or dresser drawer to be reminded of the giver each time they see it. Click here to see samples: http://www.greenlightwrite.com/secretpebbles.htm  

Each comes in a white organza gift bag with a verse and signature line:

Grandmother
It is a special blessing to be loved by you. Love_________

Grandfather
It is a blessing and honor to be born into a family led by you. Love_________


Talent Show- We do this every time our family gets together. A master of ceremonies is chosen if no one volunteers, and singing, dancing, jokes, magic, acting, puppetry, instrument playing, pet tricks, etc., ensue. Take lots of photos!


However you celebrate, small gathering or family reunion, if you are fortunate enough to have a grandparent or even a great grandparent living, please don't forget them on their special day. Your heart and his or hers will be touched with a visit, phone call or gift and that, for everyone, is a better thing!


PS Many of these activities will work for family reunions and shut-ins year round, particularly those with no family. Contact your local community center, church or synagogue for details on volunteering and foster grandparent programs. Go to the official site http://www.grandparents-day.com/  to find more information and contests.

August 29, 2010

Romance at Heart Quiz!!!

Who is Jane Marie Malcolm, the writer? Romanceatheart.com asked the questions and I had a fun time answering. Sample questions below.

Answers are here: http://romanceatheart.com/interview/janemariemalcolm.html

Hi Jane Marie. Thank you for doing this interview. I would like to welcome you to the Romance at Heart Interview and Author Grilling session. *bg* We are interested to find out as much about you as we possibly can, so lets get started...


Do your fans' comments and letters influence you in any way?
Do you have a favorite comment or question from a reader?
How much of your personality and life experiences are in your writing?
Generally, how long does it take you to write a book?
Do you have a set schedule for writing or do you just go with the flow?
Do you feel humour is important in women's fiction and why?
What are your thoughts on love scenes in romance novels, do you find them difficult to write?
What kind of research do you do?
Would you like to write a different genre than you do now, or sub-genre?
Who, if anyone, has influenced your writing?
How long have you been writing - have you always wanted to be a writer?
After you've written your book and it's been published, do you ever buy it and/or read it?
Which comes first, the story, the characters or the setting?
Are you in control of your characters or do they control you?

Thank you, Rose, for asking!

August 24, 2010

Mooers & Shakers- Stand Apart from the Herd!

Is your uncle a mooer?  Is your best friend a shaker? Are YOU both a mooer and a shaker? Fear not, oh strange one.  Here is the perfect logo created just for you by me.  Be it on the cover of a unique journal,  on a tank top, a pair of boxers, etc., be proud. Be very proud! Click here and see more: http://www.cafepress.com/Mooers.28780400

August 19, 2010

Novel Advice for Men

FreshFiction.com has featured my piece, Novel Advice for Men in their Fresh Buzz Blog section.  Thank you, FreshFiction.com! click here:  http://freshfiction.com/page.php?id=2786  for more info and jmm (that's me) links on FreshFiction.com.


Calling all wanna-be studs! Have you overheard your significant other say this? "My man is great, but he would be the whole package if only he were more romantic." What do you do? Hang your head in shame or beat your chest to prove your prowess? Do you buy a bottle of wine and grill her a lean piece of meat? Maybe pick up a bouquet of flowers in the grocery store?


That's all well and good, big spender. But I, Gracious Jane Marie, author of historic romantic suspense, have discovered the perfect game plan for growing your romantic muscles. It requires only a pair of eyes, a sports magazine and a paperback romance novel to tuck inside it!


Romance novels are the encyclopedia of love. Here you will learn what women want and how to give it to them: a tender word when all seems lost, a nuzzle to comfort a broken heart, perhaps a clever line with which to tease and flirt. So long as she hasn't read the same book, you're set.


On the other side of the bed, as it were, if your guy imagines himself too macho to actually go to the store and pick up a romance book or even order one online lest the mail carrier sees a glimpse of the cover through a tear in the wrapper, fear not females. You, lovely lady, will have to be the one to purchase the book. Just think how surprised, okay shocked, he will be when he rips away the football print gift wrap to reveal a man's glove and a woman's glove atop a bed of sparkling sand, surrounded by a meandering red ribbon and tropical flowers. (That just happens to be the cover of my novel, The Goodbye Lie.) If you've circled the "good parts", so much the better. Should the story contain a little murder or at least one good bar fight, he'll be hooked! If he is new to your plan, wink, nod and waggle a bare shoulder his way, saying, "This is the instruction manual to find the key to my heart, honey. Try page 130. It will inspire!" Then, just walk away. Give him a few minutes to decipher your meaning, acclimate to the idea, and read the passages you've bookmarked. Meanwhile, as you await the knock on your private chambers, spritz the pillows with a light spray of new-to-him, never before sniffed perfume, just to add to the adventure. After little is said and all is done, he will thank his beautiful and responsive mate and wonder why his father didn't offer this wisdom to his son.


Jane Marie Malcolm aka Gracious Jane Marie is the author of The Goodbye Lie and Amelia Island’s Velvet Undertow, historic romance on Amelia Island, Florida in the 1880s. Enter her gracious world at www.GraciousJaneMarie.com , an 800 plus page website, to celebrate heart and home with roses, recipes and romance. Contact Jane Marie at graciousjanemarie@yahoo.com to join her ever-gracious gathering.





August 18, 2010

Happy 11th Anniversary to Us!

www.GraciousJaneMarie.com, a division of www.greenlightWRITE.com, our 800 page website, celebrates 11 years of entertaining our diverse legion of  fans.  Thank you to all who support our efforts to entertain and enlighten by way of the mind and heart. Here's to many more years and fabulous adventures together. And to the friends we have yet to meet.  Thank you all!  Nancy Kamp and Jane Marie Malcolm


August 16, 2010

Go ADPI !!

Alpha Delta Pi is the sorority of my daughter, Barbra, and niece, Kate!

Weekend-New Friends & Fun

Another book signing.  Everyone say "hi" to Lucy.  She knows everything there is to know about I Love Lucy except that Ricky used to sit on a pillow on the couch so he was as tall as Lucy! I discovered that from watching every episode myself.

Hubby Bruce and I saw Loretta Swit in Amorous Crossing at the newly renovated Alhambra Dinner Theatre in Jacksonville, Florida.  A good time and Loretta looked great in this cute bedroom comedy.

August 10, 2010

The New TV

Our television in the front parlor died. (I note that reading the words television and parlor in the same sentence might seem a bit odd, but then you don't live at Stately Martha Manor  where the odd is usual and the usual odd...) Bruce, my husband, and I manhandled the ridiculously heavy old TV to the floor from the antique gramophone cabinet on which it sat. No casualties here. We didn't even crack the tile. Being the brainiac I am, I suggested we slide the hand truck beneath it. I'm mechanically inclined, as you can tell. We maneuvered it through, between and around the couch and Queen Ann easy chair, over two thresholds, various fringed throw rugs and the cracks in the driveway, with me following in a crouched position, ready to TRY and catch it should it slide off the dolly. I worried that being bent over like that might leave me in a  permanent crouch, but hey, the things we do so as not to miss an episode of Green Acres (GA) reruns and our fav, Arnold Ziffel, the pig. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=598dqo89yZk&NR=1  


After much research on my part, we got a new bigger, flat screen TV. It only took Bruce one hour and twenty-seven minutes to figure out how to assemble the stand - and that was without reading the directions! It was a proud moment in the Malcolm family. He came away with just one gouged finger from the pointy end of the screwdriver, too. So there we were. Well past midnight, his bleeding stopped, when we guessed we must need a new cable box of some sort to hook up the HD feature because none of the color coded or pronged pluggy-plugs matched up. Next morning, Brucie called the satellite company and, yuppers, they agreed to come out for a fee, naturally. They were kind enough to put us on their schedule some 10 days later, any time between 8 am to 5 pm. That's a long time without our GA fix.

Then I had another brainstorm. We sometimes watch the evening news while dining. (Shh- don't tell anyone that part because being gracious means one should converse over dinner rather than hear the troubles of the day. Such info may interfere with one's digestion.)  I set up our 1950s TV trays in our galley kitchen. Some folks might call it cramped what with Bruce being behind me while I sacrificed myself to the position in front of the hot oven. No worries. "Pepper?" I asked. "Yes, please," he replied. I gingerly reached to the top of the stove without rising and hand it to him. "May I have a spoon?" I inquire of him. "Certainly, my dear," and he opened the silverware drawer, 2 inches from his elbow. The convenience far out-weighed the leg cramps, but we were able to watch the news on the 4 inch screen we have in our kitchen. Occasionally, Bruce would pull out the binoculars, being farthest away, but heck, I was the one sweatin' bullets, wasn’t I.

Mmmmmm. I return to my gracious self once again. All that said, we will attempt the hook-up of our VCR/DVD, yes, I said VCR/DVD player once the satellite guy comes. Remember, baby steps, people, baby steps as we advance in our electronic adventure. What's next? TVs in 3D????

PS This blog entry is pinkish in honor of Arnold. oink oink!  

PPS We think Arnold and our very own Swiney, featured player in our Goodbye Lie Tribute, http://www.greenlightwrite.com/prosebeforeswine.html, may be related, but we're not quite sure.  We're still working on the family tree.

August 3, 2010

What's That Novel in the Window?

Remember that old NOVELTY tune about a doggie in the window?  Here is my reworded version.

 "What is that novel in the window?  The one with the tangling tale. Oh what is that novel in the window?  I do hope that novel's on sale."

Sharon Vernon came all the way from Joplin, MO, just to look in the bookstore window of Books Plus in Fernandina, Florida to see my novels in the The Goodbye Lie series! Did I mention, she also was on vacation with her family, visiting us since she, my husband, Bruce, and her husband, Butch, have been friends since grade school? Some kind of wonderful, huh?

Thank you, Butch and Sharon and Kelli and Wayne. Your vacation became ours as we toured our little town once more. This time from the water!

July 25, 2010

New Friends

   At a recent book signing in Books Plus, a charming shop in our historic district of Fernandina Beach on Amelia Island, Florida, I made new friends. 
  Hi to Charlie and his mother, Suzanne. Mom is readying to teach more 1st graders in the fall term.  Thank you, Suzanne, and to all those early teachers who taught us love for the written word.

Charlie, Suzanne and Jane Marie

***

   Allyssa and Angelica are very sweet sisters.  Allyssa is the reader of the two.  I told Angelica it is likely I will name a main character Angelica Ornez in Mark of a Man, the 3rd book in my Goodbye Lie series set on Amelia Island in 1898.  I think she liked that idea.  Me, too!   
Angelica and Allyssa with Jane Marie


Hugs and Blisses to all!

July 20, 2010

What Is Your Empty Title?

Are you the Wizard of Walnuts or perhaps Chief Baseboard Inspector? Become a follower/fan of this Gracious Jane Marie BLOG BLOG BLOG and/or Jane Marie -author on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Jane-Marie/35558229108?ref=ts and join our Blog Staff.  As a fulfilling reward, you can  name you own empty-title! That way, when you enter discussions and make comments, the whole world will discover your expertise. So long as it's tasteful and particularly silly, you will be an unofficial part of our wacky staff. And boy do we have fun at our staff meetings!

Hugs and Blisses!

July 15, 2010

Kitty Funnel Tunnel

Our whole goal is to make Spew extra happy in his old age. To that end, we have developed the Funnel Tunnel. Let me explain. You see, for some strange reason our cats prefer to drink our master bath tap water as opposed to our double filtered water in the kitchen. This is America, after all, so they can drink anywhere they darn well want. It would be cruel of us to shut them out of the back just to keep their flying fur from our room. Let us just say we have to stand on a fresh towel to put on our dark dresses and slacks lest they become covered in kitty hair.



Therefore, we very cleverly created the Funnel Tunnel. Tunnel because we leave the hall and bathroom doors of the linen closet ajar, thereby keeping them out of our adjoining sleeping chamber. This makes the perfect direct path to their water and keeps their hair out of our room. Since there is a box overflowing with antique dresser scarves on the floor taking up 7/8s of the floor space, hence the funnel part of the name.


Now that we have carefully calculated a way to keep the cats hydrated while maintaining our relatively fur free bedroom, there we are dressing in our American Legion/American Legion Auxiliary garb for an upcoming patriotic event, feeling so smart about the situation. As we glory in our success, still standing on the clean towels to make sure no left behind airborne white fur lands on our navy blue pants, I feel something pressing against my left calf. I look down to see the hairiest critter of all, Spew, rubbing against my leg. We have forgotten to close the bathroom door into our room. So much for all our scheming. Perhaps automatic door closures might be the answer.


In any case, furred or unfurred, the cats have their Funnel Tunnel to run back and forth- and in circles when we forget to close that third door- to for their favorite bathroom sink water. Oh, we put said water in a bowl on the floor for those of you who thought the cats drank from the facet. …We will leave that story for another time and the featured player in the tale will be Button aka Little Naughty ...

July 14, 2010

Home Grown

Nothing beats the satisfaction of fresh sliced tomatoes grown by your own hand, with some major help from Mr. Sunshine, Madam Rain and Mother Earth.  Excuse me while I dine.  I'll be back!

July 9, 2010

News Flash! Featured Deal!

FreshFiction.com has included my Goodbye Lie series on their popular readers' website, http://freshfiction.com/book.php?id=40004! $4.59 gets you Amelia Island's Velvet Undertow in Ebook form! What a bargain! Just click on the Buy From Publisher button on the link above and enjoy. Of course, the paper back versions of my novels are there on the right, too.

Remember, after reading either one, the other, or both, I love to hear from you, get your take on the storyline, the characters... Leave a comment here below or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/help/?ref=drop#!/pages/Jane-Marie/35558229108?ref=sgm.

When I have my contests, I randomly pick the winner from followers on this blog and Facebook. Is this a bribe? No, because I'm sure you'll love the Dunnigan family, players all in this series set on Amelia Island, Florida in the 1880s, in their good times and sad. If you like Little House on the Prairie and love Gone With The Wind, you and I will be instant best friends because my stories are just plain fun. Romance, surprises, mystery, adventure, shock - with all that, how could they not be fun?

I just had a reader, who was part way through Velvet Undertow, contact me. She was so furious with Grey McKenna that she couldn't stand him! Let's just say he softened her up by the end of the story. :-)

Hugs and Blisses,

Jane Marie

June 29, 2010

Beware the Summer Cold

"I won. I won. I won!" No, I'm not doing my impersonation of the father who wins the major award of a leg-shaped lamp in the beloved movie A Christmas Story. I'm talking about keeping my husband Bruce's cold at bay and me not getting it! We all know that living in the same house with a person who has contracted a head cold, most times, means you will be the next victim. Au contraire, mon frère (I always used to say that before an argument when I was a little kid because it rhymed and I thought I was so smart to be able to speak a second language.) You see, I have my ways to control those nasty contagious germs of his. Okay. Control is too strong a word. Let's just say I happily dodged the germ-laden bullet this time. Here's how:
  • First and foremost, purchase that liquid hand sanitizer by the gallon. With or without a coupon, it's a must! Then, no matter how rude it may be, appear to be, or actually is, use the stuff. If someone sneezes, coughs, burps, or otherwise makes a noise of any sort, including talking and singing, instruct them to hold out a hand and spritz a generous sized blob into it.
  • Fill the air with the spray that kills 99.9% of germs. Don't be stingy about it. At the risk of succumbing to "Lysol" poisoning, take the chance. DO IT!
  • Wipe down all surfaces with those disinfectant wipes. Not only clean the table, but the kitchen counters, door knobs, toilet seat, jars, cans, mouse, steering wheel, whatever your loved one may have touched or is possibly thinking about touching.
  • Use all things disposable, where and whenever you can. In the kitchen, use paper towels. Generously making allowances for his fevered stupor, realize his better judgment will lapse. He won't remember your instruction about the paper towels. He will transgress and likely revert to his years-old habit of drying his hands on the kitchen tea towel. This is where your conviction to survive this insidious beast called cold will be tested. Dismiss your terry towel use. Whatever you do, don't touch that cloth! Don't allow anyone else to use it either as it is blanketed with the gnats of disease that lay in wait to swarm all over you as they have your loved one.
  • Don't shake hands or in any conceivable way touch the isolate, who by now, I hope you have corralled across the room, against the farthest wall. While this may sound callus, it is still permissible to speak to your bug-crawling mate, so long as he is at least, at least, 12 feet away, preferably more. Should you happen to live in a house with a west and/or east wing, keep him at the far end, with communication either by intercom or cell phone only.
  • Likewise, don't touch his clothes. Don't wear them. Nor his dishes, don't eat from them. Buy new ones. His books, don't read them or his CDs. Don't even listen to them since you don't know when last he listened, thereby, infecting the very case in which they come. Beware of his phone, the family phone, and most of all the TV remote. These are all harbingers. Harbingers, I tell you!
  • As for feeding him, well okay, you just sort of have to. With your added safety features of disposable gloves and a surgical mask, he can enjoy the same foods as do you, just not anywhere near you. If you're close enough to see him fill his face with food without the aid of binoculars then you are way too close! Back away from the scene! Do it immediately.
  • Lest you think I am hateful, may I defend myself by saying, what good will it do for me to sacrifice myself to the cold gods? Isn't it enough that I drop, by way of the leaf rake, his dirty sheets, towels, pants, socks and shirts into the hot bleach water to be washed on the heavy-soil cycle? Isn't it enough that I cook his meals to the point of volcanic bubbling, chancing a nasty burn to my person, just to make certain to kill any latent crawlies?
  • Further, isn't it enough I sleep in another room, in this case, the cramped office of Story Central on an aluminum cot whose legs collapse with the regularity of a swinging door in a prison escape? Do I complain when I am awaken as my forehead bangs against Bruce's wooden desk chair on one side of me or my hair tangles in the wheels of my computer chair on the other side? Certainly not. Sacrifices are necessary from everyone when a cold threatens.
Why do I do all this? Because I promised that "in sickness and in health" part of the marriage vow. When he's sick, I’m in health. Works for me.


And for those of you saying, "You're killing all the "good germs" and "what about building your immunity?" As Scarlett O'Hara says in Gone With The Wind, "I'll think about that tomorrow." All I know is that I don't feel punk and, darn it all, that's a better thing! Bruce doesn't call me Flo, short for Florence Nightingale, for nothing!


Gotta run. Time to wipe down Mr. Buzzbee, the cat, with a disinfectant sheet. I caught Bruce petting him with my spyglass.

Hugs and blisses,

Jane Marie