July 3, 2020


Reading whatever we want is just another of 
our many, many freedoms. 

June 19, 2020

The Art of Perfume Plus The Goodbye Lie Excerpt

        As Waite continued to breathe her in, he mindlessly commented, "You should not smell so sweet." 
      Breelan responded with a proud smile. Was her perfume alone enough to drive him mad? What power woman had over man and what a thrill this power gave her. Her fear of him was forgotten, as she understood she had the upper hand.
      "You were never meant to wear such a light scent." His warm breath carried his words to her ear. "That fragrance is for old women and little girls. I have in mind something heavier for you, richer. It will better match the grown woman you are."

The Art of Perfume

   "Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart."  -Proverbs 27:9  

     "The perfume is not goods; its creation is an act of love. It must reflect the heart of the woman who will wear it."  -Robert Ricci 

     People have been wearing perfume for thousands of years.  Perhaps they got the idea from the the fumes of smoke or, maybe, burnt offerings.
     Technically, the first distilled essence or modern perfume was made in the 10th century when the Persian philosopher Avicenna [Abu Ali Sina or Ibn Sina] distilled rose petal oil for use as a medicine.  Everything was natural until 1868 when the first artificial scent was created.  Today, the perfume industry is worth billions.

Strong Scents
     Traditionally, perfume should only be applied strongly enough to be smelled 12 inches away.  But no matter how delicate the application, some people with sensitive allergies would prefer you forgo the use of scent completely when you will be traveling in a closed container such as an airplane.  As with most things, moderation is best.

     Apply your perfume after showering or bathing, but if you have time, wait a few minutes since you've washed away the body oil that helps hold the scent on your skin.
     Don't rub perfume into your skin because it breaks down the scent.  Let it air dry by waving your arms.  You'll be getting very mild exercise to boot.
     Let perfume dry completely so the alcohol in it won't stain your clothes. 
     Wait until your perfume is dry before applying jewelry, including pearls or beads, so it won't discolor them.
     Layering scented lotion with perfume on top will make the scent last much long.

More Tips
     Holding the perfume bottle over your hair, spritz a few times and let the scent waft down upon your locks.
     For an instant, but expensive, air freshener, you can spray a few spritzes just above the floor.  As heat rises, so will the scent.
     Don't mix scents.
     Keep your perfume away from window sills and sunlight, which may degrade it.
     Don't buy large bottles of perfume.  You might tire of the scent.  Instead, purchase several different smaller sized perfumes to go with the different moods you may be feeling.
     Above all, if you have expensive perfume, wear it today.  Who better to enjoy it than you?  

Art of Wearing Perfume is reprinted from the original Gracious Jane Marie Newsletter by Nancy Kamp and Jane Marie Malcolm.  (I give us permission to run this article again.  It's an interesting little piece and I have other stuff to do, like work on my next novel, Amelia Island's Sand and Sin! - jmm)

FYI: Breelan is the scond oldest sister in the family of four Dunnigan siblings in north Florida in 1882.  Life on an island is filled with sun and salty times and she is prime in the mix in the first novel in the series, The Goodbye Lie. Her naivete does not serve her well with regard to matters of the heart. She will learn from her mistakes, but not soon enough ... 

June 7, 2020

Write Wail

Silly things, such as write wail,  just come to me.  

Of course, my first thought is how it describes an author struggling to imagine the  next clever plot twist in his or her story. After long hours having that dreaded writer's block, they let out one heck of a yowl or write wail. Happily, I confess that a lack of mental creativity has never been my concern because my mind is always squirmin' like a toad.* 

Then again, write wail could be a description of a mother or grandmother pleading with her teenager to write a thank you note to Aunt Lulu for that thoughtful dorm room gift of a repurposed upside down plunger turned topiary. (Yes, it has been done, but not by Aunt Lulu ... Just sayin' ...) -jmm

*The great phrase sqirmin' like a toad is from Riders on the Storm by The Doors.  Thank you

May 31, 2020

Novel Socks

I had to share.  My wonderful brother, Bob Harkins, gives wonderful gifts.  He always has.  For my birthday this year, he presented me with two pairs of these great book socks.  How perfect for an author.  I love them and love him!  Thank you, Bobby.  - Jane Marie
Spokes-dog for our blog, Abby, photo bombed this shot and insisted I include her. 

May 25, 2020

Memorial Day

We honor the military personnel who have died while serving in our United States Armed Forces.  

The red paper poppy is worn to memorialize the same.  Poppies were the first flowers grown in the soil over military graves in Flanders, the Dutch speaking area of Belgium. In 1920, the American Legion took the bright red poppy as its official symbol of remembrance.  

May 22, 2020

Ribbon and Lace Curtain and The Goodbye Lie Diaries - Breelan

Where Love and Lace Reign – This phrase is a description of my historical fiction series, The Goodbye Lie, as well as my attitude toward life.  With that in mind, most anything to do with ribbon and lace will catch my eye.  This time it was on Pinterest.  There I spied photos of wall hangings, curtains and valances handcrafted from both.  Immediately, my mind’s eye searched my home as to where I might hang something similar.  I knew well I had decades of lace from attending sales at Cloth World in Jacksonville, Florida where they sold it for a-penny-a-yard.  Yes, a penny-a-yard, limit $1.00! Never mind, that I have used much of it on trim for pillows, christening gowns, quilts, baby blankets, doll dresses, ornaments, wreaths, frames, wedding trim, etc.  And there is still plenty left. If there is a place for lace, I’m in.

I decided the perfect spot in the house for my creation, about the only spot, if truth be told, would be over the sidelight by our front door.  As I pulled forth the glorious trim, memories flowed.  There was the pink embroidered ribbon I used to trim my Barbra’s burgundy vest and skirt giving her that Heidi Swiss look, the different patterned ecru lace I used to trim the Victorian Christmas stockings, the green lace that edged the cross stitched Irish tablecloth – You get the idea.
After two days of knotting together 25 six-foot lengths of mostly soft colors of ribbon to lace, ribbon to ribbon and/or lace to lace, I tied them to the top curtain rod, leaving the tails of the knots as scattered accents. While that would be quite sufficient for most, I just had to add embellishments. A pink bow from the perfume bottle from Bruce, the tiny sand dollar given to me, a miniature bell, a white silk flower from my sister Peggy’s wedding, a mauve leather bow gathered with rhinestones in the center from a beloved pair of uncomfortable yet adorable heels, these are only some of the added treasures. 
The curtain in  the photo above is the result. Bohemian would be the description some might use.  I just call it wonderful!  

If you are inclined to make something similar, and don’t have 150 feet of ribbon and lace laying about, make a much shorter wall hanging, using twine, yarn, shoelaces and just enough ribbon and lace to be the accents.  You can’t go wrong because there is no right way, just a fun way.  Enjoy!   -Jane Marie

The Goodbye Lie Diaries

Late 1800s
Fernandina on Amelia Island, Florida

*Breelan Dunnigan writes:  This is a fine idea, Jane Marie, and I know just the person who will appreciate it.  Grammy!  Since she taught me how to make a braided rug, she will love it and she has that sack of scraps and trim she is forever pulling from to create her treasures.  Mmm, if I make something for Grammy, I had best be making one for Peeper.  And I do not want to leave out my mother. I am sure there will be enough supplies for everyone.  I can look for the perfect dry sticks in the woods from which to hang the lengths.   Those cloth strips meant for Grammy’s rugs will work well.  When she asks where some of her trims have disappeared to, I will tell her I am working on Christmas gifts, so she is not allowed to ask any more questions.  With Jack Patrick around and the way he tears up his shirts and trousers as he does and with Marie forever ending up with only one hair ribbon, Grammy’s supply will replenish itself in short order.  I do hope each of my efforts will be presentable enough to give as gifts.
Breelan Dunnigan


*Breelan is the scond oldest sister in the family of four Dunnigan siblings in north Florida in 1882.  Life on an island is filled with sun and salty times and she is prime in the mix in the first novel in the series, The Goodbye Lie. Her naivete does not serve her well with regard to matters of the heart. She will learn from her mistakes, but not soon enough ... 

May 15, 2020

Another Peeperism


Grandmother Peeper says, 
"If'n ya eat too close ta the rind, 
you'll be a-catchin' a chill." 


Peeper is a most popular player in the historical romance Goodbye Lie series, set in the late 1800s on Amelia Island, Florida. She does not like being called Grandmother.  It's not that she is vain about her age.  No, it's that she doesn't want folks to think she's infirm and offer their assistance at her every movement. 

Just because her feet are swole up like fat little bald men, as she will tell you, she declines most help, being the proudly independent person she is.

May 8, 2020

Honoring ALL Mothers

Happy Mother's Day!
     I got to thinking about my wonderful mother, Marie, and how special she will forever be to all her children.  And there are so many ways by which women are mothers.  One of those includes fictious mothers we may not be able to physically touch, but who are still real and vivid in our emotions.  To that end, I honor Miss Ella Dunnigan from my Goodbye Lie series.  So many
Miss Ella Dunnigan
readers tell me how much 

they admire Miss Ella, matriarch of the Irish-American family in the 1880 and 90s on Amelia Island, Florida. In reading the family's story, we soon realize she is the kind of person who sets the standard for motherhood, what with her gentle and caring ways toward her little ones, kin, friends and strangers.  She has her frustrations and regrets, like we all have,  yet doing what is right, drives her, in most matters ...   
     My sister, Peggy Brown, surprised me with the lovely Mother's Day roses pictured in the photo. Since Miss Ella is renowned for growing her own roses at Dunnigan Manor, I want to share their beauty with her (through the magic of imagination and electronics) and with you.  As human beings, we create memories every moment and those memories of our mothers are forever-cuddles to our hearts. Thank you, Lord, for such a gift.

The Goodbye Lie Series đŸ ˆavailable here

May 2, 2020

Surprise Butterfly Bath

       So there I was, in the garage looking for a small stake of some sort with which to support a wobbly plant in a pot.  Behold, a plunger!  The handle stuck in the dirt held up my freshly planted lantana, which attracts butterflies. Now, those delicate beauties can dip their toes in the water in the rubber bowl, do the back stroke and take a drink. A butterfly haven! Recycle, reuse!  

April 19, 2020


As you can see, I burned one of my gourmet meals, frozen pizza.  Rats!  I could have sworn I set the timer. Perhaps, perhaps not. In any case, we were still able to feast on the semi-charred toppings in the center plus consume the baked to perfection back-up pizza from the freezer.  I was a Girl Scout, so I'm always prepared.  

April 6, 2020

Checkers? Amelia Island's Mark of a Man Excerpt

Families play games and have been forever.  One of these games is checkers and so checkers is a natural choice for the fictional Dunnigan family from the late 1800s in Fernandina on Amelia Island, in north Florida. Through the magic of electronics, we offer a passage from a particular day in the lives of the loving and complicated Irish American Dunnigans.  

Amelia Island's Mark of a Man Excerpt:
Pat Dunnigan
     More hours churned past to solidify into days and no further word of Pat was forthcoming. Peeper was physically and mentally less than chipper. Her right foot, bothering her, with a single length of rope under her arch, she'd fashioned a sling. 

Pulling on both ends of the line to help lift her foot, it took the pressure off her aching hip. Settled in the rocker on the front porch, she cogitated upon her pet, the lad she'd alternately hollered after then rewarded ever since his birth. Until she was able to ply him with her potions and plasters, she would not and could not relax. 
     The white thread with which she sewed a mother-of-pearl button onto Pat's shirt was being difficult. "This danged thread is gonna be the death a me. If'n this string don't stop atwistin' and I git one more knot—" Frustration was all, and she set aside her labors.     
     "Come on, Peep," Nugget whined at her a fourth time. "It won't hurt any to play checkers with me. My Daddy said checker playin' is a good way to pass the time. I like to play Chinese checkers, too, but Blackie White Spots eats too many of the marbles."
     Peeper took a sip of the rose water she'd brewed earlier and concentrated on the cool of it, feeling it slither past her gullet, clear down to her empty belly. She felt only slightly better, but not enough to take away her misery.
     Clover walked past as she reminded, "Clove, put on your list that when it's time ta cut some-a them lavender spikes I been ababyin' all winter's long, you'll need ta spread 'em out on your tack room floor. It takes most a my grownin' powers ta make 'um sprout in pots, 'stead a the ground, but if'n it's the only way ta get that sweet smell fer ya, I'm awillin' ta do it. Now, the more ya walk about on the lavender, the more odiferous it 'ull be."  
     "You're so good to me, Peeper, but how about we bundle the stocks for the girls to hang in their rooms and maybe you can fill some fancy-work little bags with lavender for their drawers, too. The truth of it is the last time, it made my place and 'specially me, smell like a fancy house, for true!"
     "What's a fancy house, Clove?" asked an always-curious Nugget.
     "Ah, it's a—Peep, would you tell Nugget? You might-could describe it better."
     Not missing a beat, she explained straight away, "A fancy house is where men goes ta drink whiskey and dance with girls and it's no place fur ya ta ever set foot in. Remember we was awalkin' downtown Tuesdee last and I went ta coverin' your eyes? That was when we crossed afore one-a them places.  They shoon't allow such sinful spots in our town. You do like I'm atellin' ya now!"
     "Yes'm, Peep," Nugget said, remembering they'd passed the loud banjo music and sour smell of whiskey coming from what he thought might be a fancy house. Uncle Pat liked to drink whiskey. If whiskey was good for Uncle Pat, he would give it a try when he got bigger. Peeper just worried too much.
     Peeper looked to Nugget, the boy in whom she saw the same coloring and sweetness as her Bird of the Earth, Pat. She turned her head away so he would not see her crying. He did. "Git your Peeper a hankie, would ya, lamb. My glass is adrippin' onta my skirt. Then I'll play ya one game and I'll be abeatin' ya in half a dozen moves. I wanna be red.  Red's my faver-rite color." 
     So happy Peeper was willing to play, Nugget was gone in a shot to get her the requested handkerchief. Rushing up the stairs to her room, he wondered why she didn't use the one tucked in her belt or the one stuffed in her sleeve.
     Peeper dried her eyes with the pink edged hankie from her cuff.  In these difficult times, she needed the security of an extra handkerchief. She gathered up her sewing once again and as she struggled to re-thread her needle, her eyesight no longer sharp, she decided she had no business sniveling like Aunt Noreen. "Enough of this here silliness," Peeper scolded herself.  "Don't give up, old gal. Jack Patrick  'ull come home. I know that certain. He just has ta." She squeezed her eyes shut and when she opened them, there stood Nugget, holding out a linen napkin, watching her.
     "Glad you found your sleeve hanky 'cause I couldn’t find your pile in the u  sual spot. I snatched up this thing from the table so I wouldn't be so long."
      "Thank ya, kindly." Setting her sewing back into the pine needle basket on the side table, she said seriously, "If you're afinished lolly-gaggin', I'd like ta win me a game a checkers."
     "Yes, ma'am!" They were still setting up the board, when Nugget announced, "I'm gonna have more king-mees than you, Peep!" His wide grin showed straight baby teeth, a precursor of what would be a beautiful but impish smile.
     She smiled back.  "Just like my Pat."
     From his office window, Michael watched his grandson and Peeper engrossed in activity. Ella, Carolena and Breelan were with him, discussing the drop in passenger revenue, due directly to the Spanish madmen. Although Pat's name was not mentioned, he was uppermost in all thoughts.      


Ebooks and Paperbacks in The Goodbye Lie series available now:

The Goodbye Lie 

Amelia Island's Velvet Undertow

Amelia Island's Mark of a Man

April 5, 2020

Palm Sunday 2020

Since we can't attend church this year 
to wave our palms, 
we display them on our Easter cross for all to see. 

March 25, 2020

A Little More of the Irish with Orchid and Goodbye Lie Diaries - Michael

     I embroidered this Irish Blessing many moons ago. I was given the lovely orchid recently and set it on our antique Victrola (a hand wound record player).  My eye caught the combination of the Irish and the pale yellow flowers and I snapped a photo. Too pretty not to share.  - Jane Marie, present day


The Goodbye Lie Diaries

Late 1880s
Fernandina on Amelia Island

*Michael Dunnigan writes: I highly approve of the blessing and the pretty flowers.  You know, me mother told me they don't know for certain, but some say this prayer was written by St. Patrick, Himself. I like to think so.

*Michael is patriach to the Dunnigans in Fernandina on Amelia Island, Florida. His moments in life run from beloved father and husband to cantankerous and shock-inducing male in The Goodbye Lie series.

February 29, 2020

Imagination Fun Plus The Goodbye Lie Diaries - Pat Dunnigan

     What are the odds I would look down and see a sweet little duck face looking up at me?  Yes, just like that, I spied a leaf in the image of a duck head, complete with eye and orangish colored beak!  So keep your eyes ever-moving. The next time you see one thing that could be interpreted as another, send me an email (graciousjanemarie@yahoo) with the image and I'll credit you and share with the rest of the world. (It will have to meet our family-friendly tasteful test, of course.) Hey, discovery of stuff is fun and that is part of the wonder of living!  
*The Goodbye Lie Diaries

Jack Patrick Dunnigan aka Pat
Fernandina on Amelia Island, Florida
Late 1880s

Pat writes:
     I'm thinking I was about nine years old when I
Pat Dunnigan
found a rock that looked like Mr. Ruddyeater's hairy nose.  It even had moss growing out the noseholes. I lost it back then in a bet with Wally Blackburn, the fella who still lives on the houseboat to the north.  He said he could eat more tar than me.  I tried, but I'm glad he won.

*The Goodbye Lie Diaries Explained:

Herein are the personal words from the players in my historic romance series, The Goodbye Lie, set in the late 1800s on Amelia Island, Florida.  These diaries were created because friends of the novels and E-books often contact me saying they want to catch glimpses of the day-to-day goings-on of their beloved characters, as they read or finish reading the books.

What becomes of Breelan Dunnigan, the innocently inquisitive writer, her parents, spoiling Michael and nearly perfect Miss Ella Dunnigan, Captain Waite Taylor, tortured by honor, Aunt Noreen, everyone's less than favorite relative, Pat Dunnigan, the bad boy with good intentions, sometimes, Grandmother Peeper and her elixer-fixer potions ... ?  

If you've not yet met these most interesting folks, step onto the island called Amelia Island and into the small Victorian seaside town of Fernandina, a world all its own,  Read of their suspense filled adventures and deep and heart-wrenching loves in The Goodbye Lie, Amelia Island's Velvet Undertow and Amelia Island's Mark of a Man.  -jmm

            Get E-books and Paperbacks

February 22, 2020

The Goodbye Lie Diaries - Aunt Noreen

Late 1800s
Aunt Noreen
Fernandina on Amelia Island, Florida

Aunt Noreen writes:
     You know how I dislike complainers, so this is merely an observation. Why is it whenever that brother of mine offers me his homemade blackberry wine, and I ask for a small sipping glass, he gives me a large footed goblet, filled to nearly overflowing? Clabe says Michael is only being generous, but I think he is doing this deliberately. Perhaps he wants folks to think I am either a glutton or an alcoholic.  Well, everyone knows to waste anything is a sin. Therefore, I am forced to drain the glass. At least, the wine is quite tasty.  I dare not tell Michael this for fear he might get the big head. In any event, he was always a bratty brother. Yes, it must be deliberate.
The Goodbye Lie Diaries Explained:

Herein are the personal words from the players in my historic romance series, The Goodbye Lie, set in the late 1800s on Amelia Island, Florida.  These diaries were created because friends of the novels and E-books often contact me saying they want to know more about the day-to-day goings-on of their beloved characters, as they read or finish reading the books.

What becomes of Breelan, the reporter, her parents, Michael and Miss Ella Dunnigan, of Waite, captain of the Gentle Comfort of the Aqua Verdi Passenger Line,  Aunt Noreen, everyone's less than favorite relative and elixir-fixer Grandmother Peeper? 

If you've not yet met these most interesting folks, enter their world to read about their suspenseful adventures and heart-laden loves in The Goodbye Lie, Amelia Island's Velvet Undertow and Amelia Island's Mark of a Man.  -jmm

           Get E-books and Paperbacks

February 12, 2020

Fall in Love, Again and Again and Again


 The best love stories continue long after you've turned the last page ...

- Jane Marie

The Goodbye Lie Series
 The Lure, The Love, The Legend

    Set in north Florida in the Victorian seaside town of Fernandina on Amelia Island in the late 1800s, the Irish-American Dunnigan family has four adult siblings and each is very different from the other. Their individual stories will take you back to a time where honor and treachery face off, where customs and social graces govern. The results will sometimes shock you, sometimes surprise or anger, touch or tickle you. Your roller coaster of emotions, powered by the reading of the novels, may stimulate and exhaust you. But you'll come back for more, once you discover The Goodbye Lie, Amelia Island's Velvet Undertow and Amelia Island's Mark of a Man

Don't say you weren't warned!

 E-books and Paperbacks HERE 
Oh, the LURE, the LOVE, the LEGEND... 

 historical mystery-romance series
 set on Amelia Island, Florida
 in the late 1800s

P.S.  Someone sent me the photo of the lovely rose heart pictured at the beginning of this post.  They didn't know the source, so neither do I.  If anyone can tell me, please email graciousjanemarie@yahoo.com and I will happily and speedily credit that source.  Thank you,  jmm