December 31, 2014

The Crocked Turkey

Our daughter, Barbra, once said, "Mom, why is it that everything you do has a bit of a nightmare attached to it."  Was I offended?  Heck no.  I thought that crack was hysterical.  She clearly appreciates her mother.  

So for the holidays, I am a traditionalist.  Enter the turkey. I heard somewhere that cooking the turkey in the crock pot won't dry it out.   Since, over the years, I've tried the oven, an externally greased brown paper bag, which surprisingly never caught fire, a rotisserie and the clear cooking bags, why not the crock?

Off to the grocery store I sent my husband, Bruce, with my handwritten list. Because, sadly, they are teaching fewer and fewer lessons on cursive, he was, as is always necessary, forced to ask an elderly stranger, who does know cursive, to decode my scribblings. While he got most everything on the list, he forgot the green beans for the casserole. With no beans, we could have none of that kind of casserole, which, in turn, forced me to eat both cans of French Fried onions, not at the same time, of course.  I was smart and hid the second can from Barbra who, like her mother, would have polished off the sucker with the speed of summer lightning, as they say. I've taught her well.

Back to the turkey.  The recipe said to get a six or seven pound bird and that is what Bruce delivered.  I don't know how big our crock is exactly, so I guessed.  I guess a whole lot when I cook. Forget that this appliance is a couple of decades old and the glass lid is long gone.  It still gets hot and a metal spatterware plate works well as a substitute lid.   So there I was, positioning the bird in the pot or trying to.  Then I remembered reading you should put the whole breast side down when roasting so the juices stay in the meat. And then I thought, too, it might be interesting to have a taste test.  To that end, I turned the breast on it side, covered it with carrots, apples, onions, onion soup mix and a bit of water.  My goal was to determine if the submerged portion was juicer.

But first I had to cover the pot.  I tried.  The blue metal plate would not rest on the crock.  The crock was too full.  What should I do?  Weight.  I need weight, I thought.  And so you have the next photo.  After stacking a red metal frying pan, heavy glass lid and metal bunt pan on top, the blue plate fit snugly.  It was off to bed for me.

We awoke to delightful turkey smells, the result pictured below. 






 In dramatic fashion, note the careful placement of the carrots around the turkey slices.

Oh how tender was the meat, all the meat. Remember I had turned the breast on its side, half in the juice, half out?  Well, so much liquid cooked out of the onions and apples, the turkey was completely covered, so that experiment will have to be repeated.   I was, however, disappointed that there was not as much sliced turkey from the breast as I had expected.   As I picked the turkey,  I turned it over and found that there was another entire half of breast! Remember, I may have mentioned in an earlier blog how when I cut up a whole chicken, we play a game Bruce likes to call Guess the Piece. I never did well in my poultry anatomy class, as you might imagine.

"Where's the trash can?"  Somebody yelled.  "It's on the washer." (We'll save the explanation of the deeper meaning of this paragraph for another blog.  It's a stand alone story...)
 

December 28, 2014

Goodbye Lie Diaries-Amelia Island's Mark of a Man's Pat & Marie Dunnigan

1898
Fernandina, Florida
Marie Dunnigan
Marie Dunnigan writes: Congrat-ulations, Jane Marie, on completing Amelia Island's Mark of a Man, your historical novel all about me!  I've read The Goodbye Lie about my sister, Breelan, and your Amelia Island's Velvet Undertow, about my other sister, Carolena.  I thought I knew those two.  They did some very wild and dangerous things when they were young women. 


I wish Mark of a Man was only about me and that I didn't have to share the story with my brother, Pat.  


That part about the soldier and how--Oh, I had best not reveal what happened, but it certainly was less than ... But did you have to include so many of my private thoughts?  Readers will think I'm spoiled, naive and selfish when I am really only curious, trusting and, well, maybe a tiny bit selfish.  I enjoyed the parts where Peeper and Aunt Noreen fight.  What an explosive combination they make.  


While it is not all flattering, you told the truth of things and that makes for the best stories.  Thank you for including me in your Goodbye Lie series!


***
1898
Fernandina, Florida
Pat Dunnigan


Pat Dunnigan writes: Frankly, Jane Marie, I am torn over reading about myself.  On one hand, it is somewhat interesting, if I might be so bold.  On the other, I, like Marie, don't want the world knowing so much about me and my--what do you call them in your time?  Ah, yes, my issues.  The good Lord knows I have my share of them.  And that includes the war and the women in my life. Since I did not have pre-approval as to what was included in the final version of your book, and since  Amelia Island's Mark of a Man is in bookstores now, or so I read on this blog of yours, I will take the taunts from Mickey and Warren Lowell. Of course, I will tease them right back as you include my buddies in the novel, too.   Well, should my next twenty years be as full as my last twenty, you will have enough material to write a sequel. 
***


Present Time
Fernandina Beach on Amelia Island, Florida


Jane Marie writes:  Hello Miss Marie, Mr. Pat. Perhaps I should have asked your permission before I wrote your stories. I just wanted the world to hear your stories, same as I did Breelan and Carolena.


If you can keep a secret, the next novel I'm working on, Amelia Island's Sand and Sin, takes place in the same town of Fernandina, the same Aqua Verde passenger line family business,  the same Dunnigan Manor,  the same-- but it is set in modern times!  Stay tuned, as we say, for more details as they develop.  Oh, and thank you!

December 22, 2014

2014 Annual Christmas Letter

                       MERRY CHRISTMAS
                                    from 
               AMELIA ISLAND, FLORIDA

Dear Friends,

It is the last month of the year and that means it's time to alert you to some of the more important happenings that occurred in our family in 2014. Here we go!

Mother has legally adopted the metal letter opener she found.  Its tip is crooked, but it will still slice open an envelope. Mother always says no one and nothing should be rejected just because it looks funny.  That’s why she married Father.

Father’s circulation in his feet is poor.  One good thing about it is that he needn’t buy dress socks any more since it looks like he’s always wearing dark blue socks anyway.  With no socks, he has no need for a sock drawer.  Instead, he stores his once-used toothpicks there until he needs them again.

Daughter played the angel in the Christmas pageant. She locked her knees, fell out of the tree and rolled down the hill.  She’s glad she knows what to expect next year.

The wind blew.

Father smells the lunch meat to see if it is still eatable.  They haven’t had to pump his stomach since Tuesday, now that his sinuses have cleared from his head cold.

Mother got one of those new smart phones.  She isn’t impressed.  Each time she asks it to cook dinner, it refuses.  And it won’t even respond when she tells it to sweep the floor.

Cousin Oily learned to play the canjo with his nose.  Because his instrument has only one string and he has ten fingers, he did the math and  reasoned using one nose would be less confusing.   Oh, he has been doing the family taxes for free these last three years, too!  Father will return the call to the IRS once the holidays are over.

Grandbaby Girl can ride a bike now, although she will only ride in the driveway because she’s scared of traffic. She is wearing a groove in the pavement. That’s okay. It makes for better drainage when the hurricanes hit.

Our potatoes have grown eyes.

There are naked footprints on the beach!             

Uncle Monkey doesn’t look like a chimp anymore since they shaved his back and made him wear clothes.

Until next year!

PS    Super Popular Post Santa Paintbrush Ornament http://graciousjanemarie.blogspot.com/2011/12/santa-paintbrush-ornament.html

December 16, 2014

A Review-Amelia Island's MARK OF A MAN

JUST RELEASED:
Intense drama, passion and laughter satisfy every emotion. With an assortment of realistic characters, convincing dialogue and slap-you-silly moments, Mark of a Man will delight and charm. -Kate Brown, author of The Rose Legends

E-book - Click on Amelia Island's MARK OF A MAN cover ------------->>>>>>>>>



paperback  http://www.amazon.com/Amelia-Islands-MARK-Marie-Malcolm/dp/1496944429/



December 15, 2014

Major Announcement

Amelia Island's MARK OF A MAN - e-book
Dear Friends,
     Yes, ma'am.  Yes, sir. I promised and now that promise is reality.  Amelia Island's MARK OF A MAN is written, published and ready for the world to read!  It's the story of Pat and Marie, brother and sister, who are part of what has become the beloved Dunnigan family living on Amelia Island in north Florida.  Set in 1898, Pat has grown into quite the hunk and Marie is quite a handful.  He lives hard and loves wild and she is a beacon for trouble.  Add in the Spanish American war, the worst hurricane on record to hit Amelia Island and the fussing comedy of Grandmother Peeper versus Aunt Noreen to lighten the drama and you have MARK OF A MAN

As the rollout begins, it is available in paperback and e-book on Amazon.com and paperback at Barnes and Noble, with e-book to follow shortly.  I have the first copy in hand and it will soon be in local book stores and available at book sources everywhere. (Just ask and it can be ordered or easily found online.)

I want to thank you all for your patience as I crafted this novel, which is another Fernandina fancy in my GOODBYE LIE series.  By the way, all three books, THE GOODBYE LIE, Amelia Island's VELVET UNDERTOW and Amelia Island's MARK OF A MAN, stand alone and can be read out of order. 

I had my fingers crossed that Amelia Island's MARK OF A MAN would be released before Christmas and I got my wish! May you enjoy it and, once you get to know the characters, may they become a part of your family as have mine. 

Merry Christmas!

Jane Marie

PS  #4 in the series, Amelia Island's Sand and Sin, is written but needs editing. That's my next project.

PPS  And yes, the description still fits MARK Of A MAN "where Little House on the Prairie meets Gone With The Wind ..."

PPS  December 15, 2014 is the 75th anniversary of the premiere of Gone With The Wind.  My husband, Bruce, and I attended the 50th anniversary costume ball in Atlanta, Georgia.  It was an event of a lifetime.  The book, movie and ball, all, inspired my writing ... Thank you, Margaret Mitchell.

Jane Marie and Bruce Malcolm, Gone With The Wind 50th Anniversary Costume Ball, Atlanta, Georgia
 Amazon paperback:  http://www.amazon.com/Amelia-Islands-MARK-Marie-Malcolm/dp/1496944429/

December 10, 2014

Brunswick Stew & Goodbye Lie Diaries

Fernandina Beach on Amelia Island, Florida
Present Day

Jane Marie writes: The folks in Brunswick, Georgia say they invented Brunswick Stew although Brunswick County, Virginia claims it was first served at a political rally held there in 1828.  Whichever is correct, this Southern dish is now made with chicken, beef and/or pork (bacon) in lieu of the traditional squirrel.

Breelan Dunnigan, the heroine in my Victorian romantic novel, The Goodbye Lie, makes her mother’s version of Brunswick Stew as the entrée for her first dinner party.  And what a dinner party it turns out to be.  Her stew is a tad different from Miss Ella's and the comments are … kind, sweet, funny, mean?  Once you discover who attended the dinner party, you'll have a good idea of the general sentiment there.

In the meantime, on those cold, harsh days of winter, make a kettle and enjoy!

Jane Marie 
Brunswick Stew
You’ll need:
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 pound of ham, cut into cubes
3 1/2 quarts of water
1 large or 2 medium yellow or white onions, chopped
4 cups of fresh or canned tomatoes (with the juice)
4 large potatoes, washed, peeled and cubed
2 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels
2 cups lima beans
Salt and pepper to taste
3 tablespoons butter or margarine

Place the chicken, ham and onion in a large stew pot, and cover with the water.  

Add a little salt and pepper. 

Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer on the stove covered for 2 1/2 hours. Stir once in a while to keep ingredients from sticking to the bottom of the pot. 

Add the tomatoes, potatoes, corn and beans, and simmer for another 1½ hours until the beans and potatoes are tender.

Add the butter and serve warm with bread or rolls.

Makes at least 12 servings depending upon the portion size.

*******
Fernandina on Amelia Island, Florida
1880s

Breelan Dunnigan writes:  I often think back to that first night
Breelan
entertaining in my own new home.  I was proud to have done the whole dinner on my own.  The fact that all the food was cooked and put on the table at the proper time was a miracle.  The world is full of miracles if we slow down enough to see them.  I am trying to do that at least once a day.


(Breelan Dunnigan is featured in The Goodbye Lie set on Amelia Island, Florida in 1882. The Goodbye Lie is the first historical novel in the series with the same name, available at Amazon and book sources everywhere as paperback and e-book.)

Brunswick Stew recipe is reprinted from GraciousJaneMarie.com.

December 8, 2014

Jollification of Fort Clinch & Goodbye Lie Excerpt


welcome to Fort Clinch
Fort Clinch, here on Amelia Island, invited the public to their annual Jollification.  What is this you ask?  It is just as it sounds.  A joyous celebration of Christmas inside the fort. My husband, Bruce, and I were lucky enough to help serve hot chocolate and cookies to all the visitors. There seemed to be more guests this year.  Perhaps the full moon, mild weather and clear skies enticed so many to come out.
 
Some years ago, we attended a reenactors' Christmas ball as spectators. The Fort Clinch ball was the background for a scene in my historical novel, The Goodbye Lie.  Here is an excerpt from that scene.  As you look at the photos, you might better imagine the story.


And so The Goodbye Lie goes like this:   
  
      Pulling onto the long path to the fort, they followed the lamps from preceding conveyances through the dark. Nearing their destination, they found the traffic had slowed to creeping as ladies and gentlemen alighted from their transports. 
     Single candles in each brick framed window glittered star-like against the thick, wavy glass. A huge bonfire sent sparks up into the night, swirling wild from the bitter wind off the ocean, until they burned themselves out. Even the shelter of the fortifications did little to alleviate the piercing cold.
 a tin whistle is played & Christmas carols sung as a bonfire warms
     Music was heard, softly, then loudly again at each opening of the door to the second floor common room where the dance was being held. Once inside, Breelan took it all in. The entire length of the banister of the straight wooden staircase was swagged with a pine needle garland and the garland was draped with a red and green paper chain that had been her particular contribution. The smells of gingerbread and apple cider wafted down as they climbed up into the excitement. Add the fires burning in the fireplaces at both ends of the room, their logs strewn with cinnamon sticks and dried orange peel, and Breelan was carried back to earlier, happier Christmases.
note the full moon
     Eager eyes were fixed on the entrance to see who arrived with whom and in what fashionable garb. As Trip removed her black velvet cape with burgundy satin lining, Breelan's friends found her. Tonight, she wore the prettiest dress she'd ever possessed. Her mother and grandmother had created an entire gown of horizontally sewn rows of ivory lace. The drop shoulders were edged with four-inch white fringe, which allowed her upper arms to peek out. Pink and gold silk rosebuds intertwined in a vine of ivy leaves to diagonally cross the bodice. More rosebuds sat atop pale bows scattered over the drape covering an underskirt of ecru satin. An oval coral brooch outlined with tiny seed pearls and pinned to her mother's string of pearls, was positioned at the base of her throat, her earbobs matching. White gloves only long enough to cover her forearms, an amethyst ring on her right hand overtop the glove, and a tussie mussie of small pink poinsettias in a lace cone completed the picture of loveliness that she was. The women touched her gown, admiring its grandeur and the beauty of the woman who wore it.
     Trip enjoyed the envy in every man's eyes as he proclaimed Breelan his possession by staying nearby and playing with her sleeve trim or touching the back of her neck. She wanted to swat him away like some bothersome fly.
     ... The glowing fireplaces kept most of the cold at bay. They blazed high, casting a golden haze on everyone and everything. Passing the door in dance, Breelan felt a rush of raw wind enter the room, along with a late arriving couple. The cape the man wore was not military. She saw the woman next. The blonde hair, piled a little too high on the head, left no doubt that it was Leona Visper, a figure not seen since New York City and more importantly, not missed. Looking again at the silhouette of shoulders, Breelan realized the identity of the singer's escort. It was then that eyes met, expressions hardened and polite nods were exchanged. 
decorated mantle
decorated table
 


                                              
                                         good evening


Bruce, Mr. and Mrs. Father Christmas and Jane Marie
PS - I have to mention how very dim it was inside the candlelit rooms of the fort.  My flash on my camera phone changed the look to bright and cheery. Yes, everything has a golden cast because of the fireplaces and lanterns and candles, but it was very hard to see to read or do any needlework as several ladies in period costume were.  One woman said she had to quit sewing because her eyes were giving out. I never realized before I'd done my research how dark a home would be once the sun went down.  I guess that's why they have candlelight tours of places.  We find it fetching and cozy and intriguing, but only for a special occasion.  Once we've lived with bright electric lights, I expect there would be many a whine heard if we returned to that dark part of times past.  We are spoiled.

Oh, and one more thing.  Candle light changes colors.  Last year I commented upon the pretty purple pattern in the dress worn by a reenactor.  She told me it was green in the light of day!

 

December 3, 2014

Goodbye Lie Archives

I was going through some files and found this prototype on the right.  As you can see, it's a working copy of a possible poster for The Goodbye Lie.  Compare it to the actual cover on the left.  The font for the title and author name is very different from the final version.  And the curvy copy at the top? All I can say is it's interesting.  I'd completely forgotten this was one of several possibilities we rejected.

November 29, 2014

New Holiday Friends

Betsy, Jane Marie and Karen
I often post pictures of some of the new people I meet at book signings.  We have a common interest, historic romance/suspense novels.  After giggling with them and chatting up a storm, the time comes to part and as a remembrance, we take photos to share. 

This was Black Friday in downtown Fernandina on Amelia Island's historic Centre Street.  Since lots of action in my Amelia Island's Goodbye Lie Trilogy takes place on Centre, I love pointing here and teasing them there.  It's exciting for me and seems so for them, too .

From the heavy coats and scarves we're wearing, plus the Santa hat atop my head, you can see the weather fits the season.  Oh, and I'm wearing pajamas since it has become an island tradition on Black Friday that everyone is to come downtown from 8:00 to 11:00 am in their jammies.  If it's silly and fun, you know me, I'm there!

Thank you to Betsy and Karen from The Villages in central Florida.  Hope to hear from you once you've read The Goodbye Lie and Amelia Island's Velvet Undertow.  Stay tuned for Amelia Island's Mark of a Man.  It's right around the corner...



November 24, 2014

Bless This House, a Hymn

Thanksgiving Bouquet by Ava
May we all remember to
 count our blessings
today and every
Thanksgiving Day.
 
Please enjoy
 Bless This House,
sung by Perry Como.
 
Click below to hear the lovely hymn,  first published in 1927:
 
 

November 23, 2014

Honey Walnut Ice Cream- Peeper Writes


Here is an easy dessert is vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt drizzled with honey and sprinkled with walnuts.  This treat is featured in my upcoming novel, Amelia Island's Mark of a Man, set in 1898 and served at the Crusty Anchor Pub.
Excerpt:
Pat winked as he returned to his table in time for a beefy waiter to deliver steaming bowls of their ordered beef stew. Uncle John, giving nary an acknowledgement of the incident, sliced the loaf of accompanying beer bread and slathered each piece with butter before passing the first portion to Jency, who still smiled in relief that there was no altercation. They ended their meal, appreciating their vanilla ice cream drizzled with honey and walnuts.
 


The Goodbye Lie Diaries:

Fernandina, Florida
1898

Grandmother Peeper writes:  Shoot. I betcha they paid a pretty penny fur that goodie.  Come on down ta my house and I won't charge ya nothin'.  Well, I think I'd have ta send Aunt Noreena a bill, just ta be mean.

November 18, 2014

Writing Quote

Story Central, where simple words turn the page ... 
The quotation below was sitting randomly at the bottom of an email I received. As a writer, I think I have to agree with Mr. Hemingway.
 
"Poor Faulkner.  Does he really think big emotions come from big words?"
      - Ernest Hemingway (about William Faulkner)

November 12, 2014

Florida Fall & Goodbye Lie Diaries

Fernandina on Amelia Island
present day
4 o'clocks- A friend gave me the huge bulbs years ago and they smell delightful, too!

Jane Marie writes:
Mama Nature is wonderful in so many way.  One of them is her perennials.  You know, those plants that come up from bulbs or the ones that bloom every year. Yes, fertilizing, dead heading, cutting them back, etc., all the things gardeners should do will make for a bigger display of blossoms. But, for anyone who hasn't the time to bestow much TLC upon these garden gems, well, be grateful they don't need you very much.  The photos are proof of that since I can't be in my cottage garden as often as I'd like to be. 
 
seven  sisters roses

 
white mums from a pot that decorated the altar one
 Easter Sunday morning


yellow mums

Wild red Florida roses-very bug resistant,
and they bloom a couple of times a year.



miniature oleander bush
 

orange tree

pink mums


Gerbera daisy is an annual.  I looked it up,
 but our Florida winter has been mild enough that it survived. 
 I think this plant is at least 4 years old.
******

Fernandina on Amelia Island, Florida
1880's

Aunt Noreen writes:
If you are trying to show off, Jane Marie, you are doing a masterful job of it.  It's not that you don't have some very lovely specimens, but it sounds as though you are neglecting your garden and depending upon the good Lord to make your flowers grow.  I'm sure He would appreciate you lending a hand and spending a few hours a week in your garden.  Don't be so lazy!

Aunt Noreen
The ladies in my orchid society realize how hard I work to produce the show-stoppers I do and so  I am proud to say I won second place for what I call my Emerald Eye.  The only reason I did not win first place was that Mrs. Wiseflicker tripped over a tree root when she was visiting her husband's grave and landed in a patch of poison ivy.  They judges felt sorry for her when she appeared in front of them with her hands, arms, left foot and right ear wrapped in bandages, balancing her orchid pot on her hip. The people who get their way by feigning illness ... I would never think of doing anything like that.  It's not in my nature.


Aunt Noreen is a featured player in Amelia Island's Goodbye Lie series set in the 1880s.  She is less that popular within her family and even less in the small seaside town of Fernandina on Amelia Island, Florida. 

November 9, 2014

A Singing Treasure

American Legion Post 54 float
Anniversaries are most often thought of as happy. Not in this case, for it is the 100th anniversary of the beginning of 
World War I.  That is hard to comprehend. 

In honor of Veteran's Day, Bruce, my husband, and I rode on the American Legion Post 54 float in our local Fernandina parade.  It was so wonderful to hear the crowds cheer and wave, some with their hands over their hearts, some saluting, all shouting  a sincere thank you for your service to the veterans.

After the parade, we went to Post 54.  Bruce is the chaplain there and I am a member of the Auxiliary.  We ate delicious pulled pork sandwiches in the canteen then went into the hall to hear a young man sing patriotic songs.  What a delight ten-year-old Joshua Barber was and is.  He has overcome severe health issues and is a living inspiration.  He touched our hearts with his love for
America. 
 
Joshua, Uncle Sam and Jane Marie
 
Click on the video below to enjoy Joshua singing the Armed Forces Medley, his tribute to our military men and women.  It will leave you proud and smiling!

 


Here's to all veterans and active duty military. 
God is forever with you.

November 6, 2014

Making the Mark- Mark of a Man

working cover of Mark of a Man
I was checking for typos, I'm always checking for typos, this time with regard to you, you are and you're.  Then I thought how the words following you're, scattered throughout Amelia Island's Mark of a Man, my next historical romance novel, might offer a hint about the storyline.  Have a look below and let your imagination go. Then when you read the soon to be released book, see if you came close to the actual plot.  But remember, I like to surprise folks ...
 
you’re going to bed ...
you’re plug ugly ...
you’re a dickens ...
you’re strong enough ...
you’re no threat ...
you’re a good, no …
you’re too …
you’re afraid …
you’re telling the town …
you’re making it sound …
you’re better than …
you’re already halfway to …
you’re a lot crazier …
you’re a nasty boil on …
 

November 1, 2014

The Morning After

We had zero trick-or-treaters last night.  :-(   We  propped open the gate and all the outside lights were on, but still no one.  Could it be the Beware of Dog sign on the gate?  Maybe, but Abby and I took a short walk after dark and there were just no kids on the sidewalk across the street.  So, looks like peanut butter cups for me! The secret is control, of course.  I must look up the definition of control ... once the treats are all gone.  :-)

October 31, 2014

Halloween Happy plus Goodbye Lie Diaries- Peeper

My friend, Shirlene Reeves,  is a wonderful baker and made this Apple Stack Cake for a birthday party.  She found the recipe in Southern Living online.  Six pounds of apples and six layers later, half a wedge of one layer was enough of a taste for me to enjoy this delightfully delicious Halloween creation.  Click on the link below to make your own stack cake. http://www.southernliving.com/food/entertaining/tempting-apple-dessert-recipes/apple-stack-cake
 
 
And we can't leave out Abby, our Gracious Jane Marie mascot, modeling her Halloween pumpkin costume.  She thinks she's the cutest pumpkin in the patch.  I tend to agree with her!
 


*****

1880s
Fernandina, Florida

Grandmother Peeper writes: We're havin' a Halloween party at
Dunnigan Manor this year.  The youngins  is just about finished amakin' their costumes.  Breelan's is a tall pointy hat with a floatie veil pasted ta the top. She'll be a princess.  Carolena  fashioned some pretend wire glasses, will pin up her mess a hair and carry a pile a books.  Likin' ta read, as she does, she will be a librarian.  Miss Ella made little Marie a bunny mask ta wear with her pink apron and Jack Patrick wants ta be a ax murderer.  He asked ta borrow Clover's hatchet and cover the head of it with my strawberry jelly fer blood,
but his father, Michael, says he's not allowed ta waste the jelly. 

Miss Ella sent out invitations asayin' there will be a fortune teller at the party. That will be me.  I'll tell everybody  their future will be bright.  Well, everybody but Aunt Noreena. We always have ta include her since she's right next door and would come over, invitation or not, like she always does. I'll make her fortune sound so awful, she won't sleep for the next month and a half. 

When the people come, we'll have only frightening jack-o-lanterns ta light the way ta the opened front door, leading them into the dark welcome hall.  Michael will be dressed as a ghost, wearing a white sheet.  He'll reach out his hand covered with wet salt. That will give them a start.  Clover is gonna make loud scary sounds from behind the talkin' tree ta get folks in the mood, too.  We'll hang apples from the porch ceiling,  sos they can try and bite them with no hands. Breelan is gonna tell ghost stories after we all eat, we'll play cornhole toss and--Well, I don't want ta give away all our surprises but it will be a night they'll be atalkin' about until next Halloween!  All our Dunnigan parties is like that, ya know.  If it's worth doing, says Michael, it's worth doin' ta excess.   

 Happy Halloween!  
 
 
Grandmother Peeper is a featured character in Amelia Island's Goodbye Lie Trilogy.  Everybody loves her but Aunt Noreen.  That's got to tell you something ...