December 27, 2016

Annual Holiday Letter

It is time again to acquaint you all with the frolicking fancies which swirled around our Amelia Island family over the last twelve months.  If you are a regular visitor to this blog, you have come to expect the exciting,  grandiose and spectacular in these annual letters.  If not, may we suggest you sit down, lest you are overcome by the thrills our loved ones have experienced.  Steady yourself.  Here goes:
 
The cupboard door was left open.
 
Father won a trip for one to the North Pole.  The accommodations weren’t bad since the polar bear had just been fed.
 
A glop of something fell from the yellow pitcher into the glass of orange juice. 

The rats have moved out.  
 
In order to help with cleanup after a family dinner, Mother asked Son-in-Law where the dish cloth was.  “We use a sponge, but it smells funny,” he replied.  “You can use the pink one in the bathroom, on the floor by the toilet brush.”  Mother remembered Son-in-Law was a boy scout, so he’s always prepared.  
 
Sunday, there was no mail.
 
Daughter counted 37 glass ornaments on the Christmas tree and 18 gold plastic ice cycles.  With such acuity, she will either go into accounting or fishing line untangling.
 
The grass grew and tickled the dog’s bottom.
 
The new neighbors eat dinner.
 
The waves are wet.
 
The rug has a dark spot to the left of the  green-leafed easy chair .  Interrogations are on-going.
 
The streetlight burned out.
 
The family is changing Uncle Knuckle's nickname.  Since he shaved his back and now wears clothes, he doesn't look so much like a chimp. 

There are feathers in the blue pillow.

And so you have the details of another stupendous year in our lives.  May your future be filled with peace, harmony and issues not nearly as challenging as ours!  And please don't eat any more lint. Auntie Wanna's tongue is still stuck to her teeth because her mouth is so dry.
 
Happy New Year Everyone!!!

P.S.  Here are just a few of our Annual Letter reviews we have received over the years from fans.  We are especially proud of all the exclamation points folks have used to show their sincerity. Thank you all:

-What is the matter with you?  This is the dumbest &*^% I have ever read!!!
-Every body is royalty in some way.  You're the Queen of Stupid!
-You have wasted 30 seconds of my life!!!!!!!!

December 19, 2016

Amelia Island's Velvet Undertow Excerpt - Grey and Carolena

     You won't like Carolena Dunnigan, featured
female in Amelia Island's Velvet Undertow. A quick temper, a bossy manner and stubborn ways, you'll quickly understand why I say this as you read her less than charming exchange with Chief Engineer Grey McKenna, set in 1889 on Amelia Island, Florida.
E-books and Paperbacks HERE

     “Where have you been?” Carolena shouted. “All I can say is thank you ever so much for leaving me out in the dark and the cold and damp. I may have caught my death for all you care. And have you gotten me a cabin? Or did it slip your mind that my tail, as you so coarsely put it, was even on board? I’ve been everywhere looking for you so I could give you a good-sized piece of my mind.”
    Grey was shocked by Carolena’s shrewish tone, and she was surprised when he lifted her to her toes by her upper arm and rushed her away from the door and into the passageway.
     “Let me go! Just because you wrassle equipment and engines and things on
this ship, gives you no leave to bully me!”
     He released her once they were a distance from any ship’s activity. The smile on his face was gone. “I don’t give a damn if your daddy and
brother-in-law own this ship, missy, I won’t tolerate you talking to me like that.” His head cocked as if at the point of discovery. "Fascinating, if you don’t sound exactly like that Aunt Noreen of yours. Pity the poor fool who finally marries you.” His searing look intensified. “It’s a lucky thing you’re a woman. If you were a man, I’d pound you flat!”

     "How dare you?” she responded. “Handle me  again, and I’ll have your job!” She was upset. She was so mad, she could spit mud. Grey’s eyes narrowed, and what Carolena witnessed in him frightened her. Her temper disappeared, replaced by bewilderment. Was she afraid of him?
     Speaking softly and slowly, “No one, not man nor woman, threatens my job.” He leaned in closely. “You want to run things, do you? Well here, my dear, I give you full dominion of my responsibilities on the Coral Crown,” adding,
“with my compliments.” Grey pulled away. He ripped the golden crossed anchors from the collar
of his uniform, seized her wrist, and slapped them onto her upturned palm. A casual about face and he walked away, leaving her alone in the corridor.
     She stood trembling, unsure of what to do. In all her ups and downs, she’d never before felt faint. At this moment, she was quite certain she was near to it. It was clutching at her, pinching off the breath to her brain. She leaned against the
wall to recover. She straitened her sleeve where he’d twisted it on her arm and righted herself.  In the event anyone witnessed the spectacle, she spoke aloud, “If that insolent oaf wants to quit and leave hundreds of passengers stranded in the event the ship breaks down, then he’s simply showing his true colors. No loyal crewman would abandon his obligations if his feelings got bruised.” How I’ve misjudged him, she thought. He’s neither the kind man nor true friend he
purports himself to be. He’s an animal!
     Calm down, Carolena, she ordered herself. Just put Second Engineer Casey in charge, and that’s that! Then it came to her. Who was she to be
putting anyone in charge? Yes, she knew about the ship, but all she knew was its interior design. Of its basic construction, she understood only that burning coal in the fire room produced steam, which pushed piston-things, and they turned
engines. Her tongue had gotten away from her, and her interference had caused Grey to quit his post.
     Would Casey take over without talking to Grey? She doubted it because the chain of command was inbred in him the same as in any faithful sailor. When he and the captain learned the reason for the resignation, oh God. What if word gets out among the passengers and back in Fernandina? I can only imagine the rumors. And when it gets back to Waite and Bree and Daddy, I’ll be so ashamed, they’ll probably ask me to leave the business, and rightfully so. When I was a
little girl, I remember Daddy telling me respect can only be given. It can’t be demanded.
     What have I done to myself, my family, and the reputation of the Aqua Verde Passenger Line?  Animal or not, I need Grey.

December 13, 2016

Dickens on Centre 2016

Jane Marie with Bonnie Johnson,
owner of Southern Touch

      Amelia Island, Florida's second annual Dickens on Centre Festival was pure fun in so many ways, but for me, it was extraordinary.  Why?  Because my historical Goodbye Lie 
novels are set in the 1880s and 90s, not too far from the time of Charles Dickens, who died in 1870.  As I, in period costume on a very chilly Saturday afternoon, greeted visitors and locals in front of Sea Jade, an old-Florida type souvenir shop on Centre Street, the main drag in our historic district, we chatted about the characters in my books.  Here I was wearing the garb of my fictional Dunnigan family, watching other costumed town folk walk past, with the same buildings surrounding us, the same Amelia River to the west and the same Atlantic Ocean to the east, as are in my stories. Inspired, my imagination was and is alive and racing with more adventures to come for Breelan and Carolena, Jack Patrick and Miss Ella, and Peeper and Aunt Noreen and all the rest of our favorite characters.

Jane Mare "then"
outside Sea Jade Souvenirs
     The Friday evening before, I signed books inside Southern Touch, also on Centre Street,  with its beautifully old original pressed tin ceiling and walls above and around me and creaking wooden floor boards beneath me. Time stood still, as shop owner Bonnie Johnson, in cut lace apron behind the counter, welcomed her customers in warm holiday fashion. 
     I am already thinking about what to wear next December for the 3rd  Dickens on Centre event. Consider attending the celebration yourself.  I'll see you there!
     For more info, click on: Dickens on Centre

December 5, 2016

Fun Holiday Ofice Idea, Goodbye Lie Diaries w Aunt Noreen and Peeper

     Kids have Elf on the Shelf. That's the stuffed toy, which mysteriously is moved around the house during the Christmas season, and made to do harmless and funny antics to bring laughter to children anticipating the arrival of Santa.
     It came to me that adults working in an office building could have their version of Hide the Stuffie.  All you need is some smallish form of stuffed Santa, elf, reindeer, teddy, etc., that you have tucked away with the Christmas decorations or in the corner of your child's room.  Just don't borrow the child's favorite toy lest you spoil his or her chances with Santa because they are unwilling to share and throw a tantrum.
     Add a copy of my letter below, filling in the blanks to personalize it for your particular office.  Email the letter to everybody in the place and see how they respond. With delight, I hope. The idea is to get all your coworkers in the holiday mood!


TO:  Our Team of (add silly adjective here)  Employees
 
It has come to our attention that a male has been spotted hiding in various areas of our ____________ building!!! 
 
DESCRIPTION:   (example) 12 inches tall, wearing a red suit and hat, with a full tummy, black boots and a felt beard
 
Should you discover this character in your office, please email all  staff so they know his where-abouts.  Then pass him along, IN SECRET, to some other unsuspecting person’s desk drawer, closet, file cabinet, etc.,  to be found.  We have heard this little fella is one of Santa’s helpers and his job is to completely make it around our building and report who is naughty and nice to the Big Guy!  Just to be clear, everybody be on your best behavior or he’ll rat you out! 

 
MERRY CHRISTMAS!


     By the way, this idea could be for just about any holiday as long as the stuffed item or any item you decide to hide is in keeping with your particular occasion.  Enjoy!

*****  The Goodbye Lie Diaries *****
Late 1800s
City of Fernandina on Amelia Island, Florida
Aunt Noreen writes:  You mean to tell me you would enter someone's office, uninvited?  I have never heard of such poor manners.  Why, a person might be tempted to snoop and that would be most unseemly!

Peeper writes:  Noreena, only you kin turn a good-intentioned game like Jane Marie's atalkin'  'bout, into some kinda nosy-poke bad thing, faster than a goose can empty its bee-hind.  I think it's a fine i-dee and I'll be tellin' Miss Ella real quick  ta do it in her Aqua Verde office.  Hey, she can maybe start the game off by hidin' one a yur handkerchiefs ya keep aleavin' behind, just sos ya have ta come back over ta Dunnigan Manor ta sample my sugar tarts.  No.  We will find somethin' more fittin'  'cause yur handkerchiefs is too heavy-laid with perfume. Tell the truth, Noreena.  Do ya wear so much scent ta cover yur natural body odor, being too lazy ta take a bath like us cleanliness is next to Godliness kind of folks? My, oh my, how I like ta insult ya. Makes my day every time! 

*******************
Grandmother Peeper and Aunt Noreen are fussing next door neighbors who never quit squabbling.  They are both beloved favorites of readers in The Goodbye Lie series.