August 2, 2020

Save the Tomatoes

     I have grown two tomato plants from seed.  With Tropical Storm Isaias headed up the east coast of Florida, going past Amelia Island where we are, I am afraid the wind might knock them over. They are staked and tied with two bricks holding down a tomato cage. Still, to be on the safe side, I dragged the trash and recycling cans near them as a barrier. Not pretty, but it can't hurt. Right?  

Be well and safe everyone. -jmm

July 27, 2020

Grammy Camp Coffee Filter Flower Wreath and Goodbye Lie Diaries - Nora

     I don't know how I missed the wonders of coffee filter flowers until now, at Grammy Camp with granddaughter Ava, but I LOVE them. So easy and inexpensive to make, I have already fashioned another 18 for a garland/swag to hang from the mantel.

For one blossum, You'll Need:
6 coffee filters, white or brown
Water based paint or food coloring- diluted with water for shading (optional)
Wire wreath form from Dollar Store
Hot glue
(Wire for stems for vase-style flowers and floral tape to cover the wire)

     It takes 6 coffee filters per about 5-inch blossom. After repeatedly folding 2 sets of 3 filers into small wedges and rounding the corners with scissors, I stacked the filters, staggering the petal scallops. Gathering the petals tips together in one hand, I secured the blossom-bud at the bottom on the outside with one staple.  Then I just crinkled it into a ball and straightened it out again as much or as little as looked good to me. Leave white or brown, depending  upon your filter. For color, dip them into water-downed acrylic paint or food coloring. Squeeze out the excess water, wear gloves if you're smart, let them dry and re-fluff.  I got a wire wreath form from the Dollar Store and hot glued them on, adding a few ready-made rose buds I already had and a multi-colored bow of ribbon and lace.
     THIS IS AN INDOOR WREATH!  I only hung it on our front gate so the colors would photograph true in outdoor light.   Here is a link to instructions.  While I can't find the online site I followed, these will work just fine at  Enjoy!  I know Ava and I certainly did. 


The Goodbye Lie Diaries

Amelia Island, Florida

Late 1880s

Nora Duffy writes: 

Dear Jane Marie,
     I must tell you how the photograph of your coffee filter flower wreath has inspired me to try
*Nora Duffy
my hand at this.  The quilt on my bed has similar soft colors in it and so I think a vase of flowers will look lovely on the bedside table.  I am sure your Aunt Noreen will want me to make some for her as well.  You know my dear mother and how she enjoys getting new things.  Perhaps we might learn this flower skill together.  Oh, and she could ask the ladies in her Linger Longer group to tea so they, too, might make their own.  Why, with a little plain paper and paint, I can image this project “blossoming” all over town!

*Nora Duffy is the first cousin to the Dunnigan sisters, Carolena, Breelan and Marie in The Goodbye Lie historical romance series.  Growing up next door, she spends as much or more time at Dunnigan Manor than at home with her mother, Noreen.  (Grandmother Peeper calls Aunt Noreen, Noreena, just to irritate her. ) Nora is ever-encouraging participation in adventures, often disregarding the potential danger of a situation. Everyone loves her for her kindness, loyalty and exceptional red hair.  

is available in E-books and Paperbacks

July 26, 2020

Grammy Camp - Fairy Jars /Goodbye Lie Diaries -Peeper

      It's Grammy Camp time, again!  Here is one of this year's offerings, Fairy Jars, crafted by granddaughter Ava and myself.  They are easy to make and you can be as creative as you like.  Add an on/off tea light, place by a brightly lit window or in front of a string of twinkle lights.  Here is how we did it:

You'll need:

1 glass side-resting jar with screw lid from the Dollar Store

1 cut-out fairy found on the internet, adjusted and printed to 3 inches to fit the inside of the jar

Mod-Podge clear satin sealer/glue

Acrylic white paint for interior, thinned with water

Old toothbrush to spatter the white paint inside the jar

Embellishments like plastic pine tree, sequins, glitter, 3-D paint, ribbon, tulle, netting, ribbon, lace, glass pebbles, rhinestones, etc.

   Paint clear Mod Podge on round inside of jar and press paper fairy in place at appealing angle.  Once dry, paint fairy with more Mod Podge to seal.  Once dry, thin white paint with water. With toothbrush, run finger over brush, spattering paint inside of the jar. Be sure and cover surface for over-spray. Add embellishments and trim, decorating the exterior of the lid.  Set in front of light and just enjoy or fill with your secret treasures!

 Goodbye Lie Diaries 

Amelia Island, Florida
Late 1800s

Grandmother Peeper writes:  Woo-dandy!  The
little ones and me can make these Fairy Jars for presents.  They's always after me ta come up with ideas and this one is sweet.  Now my jars will not be such as yours.  We will be a workin' with jelly jars I use and I don't know nothin' 'bout no internet to find fairies.  We will be drawing ours with a pencil, but we've plenty of glue and fancies to pretty up each one.  Continue asendin' us your ideas, Jane Marie.  We gotta keep them kiddos outta mischief.  Did I tell ya how Jack Patrick dug up the daffodil bulbs in Aunt Noreen's front flowerbed and give them to his mother fer her birthday?  Let's just say he was doin' lots a standin' fer a few days after that particular antic.   Out of all the folks ta do that to, I'm glad it was done ta Noreena.   It warmed my heart.  Now don't got tellin' on me, will ya?

Peeper Clegg adopted the Dunnigan family and moved right in on them, way back in the 1860s.  Now, she is the beloved grandmother of the lot.   Famous for her elixir fixers and funny fights with neighbor Aunt Noreen, she is a prime character in the The Goodbye Lie historical romance series <---available and="" e-books="" font="" in="" paperbacks.="">

July 12, 2020

To Bill and Coo

    Yes, as you may know, to bill and coo means to 
smooch and speak softly to each other. As the author of The Goodbye Lie  historical romance novels, I thought it best to find out the origin of this idiom. (Don't be too impressed.  I looked it up.)  I guessed the coo represented the sweet sound doves make, doves usually being the birds in love birds.  But billing?  I had no idea.  It seems the origin of billing is from birds affectionately rubbing their bills together. It's as simple as that.  These are the things that clog my mine.  -jmm

                             The Goodbye Lie series  
        in E-books and Paperbacks

The Goodbye Lie series is on Amelia Island in north Florida, circa late 1800s

 - the Lure, the Love, the Legend that is the Dunnigan family saga ...    

July 8, 2020

Great Invention



July 3, 2020

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