April 27, 2013

Goodbye Lie Trivia

What stuffed critter makes a cameo appearance in each of the Goodbye Lie series books? You guessed it.  It's Martha Bear!

Read Martha Bear's free family-friendly short stories at www.MarthaBear.com and watch our Captain Fancy Patch read a bedtime story at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=owujwL7dEng.

Martha Bear in her courtyard flower garden at Stately Martha Manor
 with Airborne, her grasshopper companion, on her shoulder

PS- Notice Martha Bear has no eyes.  That's okay because she "sees with her heart!"  Ahhhh...

April 24, 2013

Penny's Pineapple Bake

A friend from Bunko gave me this recipe. The sweet pineapple and  cheddar cheese make for a great side dish.  Thank you, Penny.  Enjoy!
Penny's Pineapple Bake
You'll need:
2 cups pineapple chunks (reserve juice)
2 cups grated cheddar cheese (2% sharp lite optional)
6 Tbsp. pineapple juice
5 Tbsp. all purpose flour
1 cup sugar
Mix together all of the above in a 9" by 13" baking dish.
1/2 cup melted butter
1 sleeve of Ritz crackers (crushed)
Sprinkle topping mix over mixture
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
Serve warm.

April 22, 2013

Goodbye Lie Diaries - Peeper vs Aunt Noreen

Fernandina on Amelia Island, Florida

Grandmother Peeper
Peeper writes:  Do ya  got a problem with them pesky crickets a chirpin' and keepin' ya up most a the night?  Take a banana peel or two, chop  'um up and scatter 'um outside near the doors and winders. Don't know if them crickets is quiet cause they're eatin' the peels or cause they don't like the smell.  Now, I ain't never tried this myself.   Ifn it don't work, blame Aunt Noreen!

Aunt Noreen
Aunt Noreen writes:  Peeper Clegg!  How dare you go telling Jane Marie's friends I peel bananas to feed crickets! You have your stories mixed up, again.  Mrs. Ickles  is the one who feeds the crickets. Everybody knows I can't endure the feel of banana peels on my fingers.  My Clabe peels and slices my bananas for me to eat only, because he adores me so.  Besides, cotton in my ears works just as well at blocking out pesky cricket noises and bothersome old pickle-plumpers like you!  Don't be using my name again unless it is in an honorable way.  

Peeper writes:  All I know is that you're the craziest old chicken I ever seen.  I cain't understand how you're aunt to my Breelan and Carolena and Marie and Jack Patrick. Theys all got sense.  Somebody must a banged your head on the door jam when you was a baby, is what I say.

***Peeper and Aunt Noreen and all mentioned in the above diary entry are neighbors in Jane Marie Malcolm's The Goodbye Lie historical suspense novels set on Amelia Island. 

April 14, 2013

Save That Receipt!

My husband, Bruce (B) recently returned—No wait, recently TRIED to return a pair of slippers that didn't fit him.  The conversation with the store clerk (C) follows:

B- "I'd like to return this pair of slippers I paid $24.95 for."
C- "Certainly, sir.  Have you worn them?"

B- "No.  Well, only so much as to walk from the back of our house to the front.  We have a very small house."

C- "Do you have the receipt?"

B- "No, ma'am. I never expected them to be uncomfortable so I don't know what I did with it."

C- "Do you have the box they came in?"

B- "No, again. Same answer.  I didn't think I would need it."

C- "Well, I don't recognize that plaid insole, so are you sure you got them here?"

B- "Yes, I'm sure.  Is there anywhere else in town that sells this brand?" (Remember we live on a tiny island with few stores.)

C- "No, I believe we're the only place."

B- He looked at her.

C- "Let me see if I can find a stock number on them somewhere." (She did.)  "Okay. Do you have your credit card which you charged them on?"

B- "Here you go."
C- After running it through the cash register/computer,  "I'm afraid I don't see a charge for  them on your card."

B- Knowing that particular credit card had to be the one he used since that is the only one he carries, he asked, "So now what?"

C- "Well, let me see."  She pushed buttons and more buttons, saying between button pushing, "Since there is no receipt and no box, we will have to charge you for the missing box."  After still more button pushing, "Yes.  I can give you a refund of 85 cents."

B- "85 cents?"

C- "Yes, sir."
B-"Give them back to me.  I'll run over them with the lawn mower.  The entertainment factor is worth more than 85 cents."

C- Unsmiling, "Very well, sir."
B- As he went to leave, he said, "Hey, if you've got anymore of those 85 cent slippers around, I want 'um all.  I'll sell them on the street corner and make a killing!"

April 7, 2013

Interviewed by Janet Smith

Janet Smith is working on a degree in nursing  and asked to interview me for an English class. I was flattered and, with her permission, I printed her piece which got her an A!
Gracious Jane Marie 
         I was standing in a driveway in Fernandina Beach, Florida.  In front of me was a quaint yellow single-story cottage.  The author of the historical Amelia Island’s Goodbye Lie Trilogy, Jane Marie Malcolm, resides here.  If I had any questions about being at the right place, the sign on the house, Stately Malcolm Manor, answered them for me.  I was reminded of the old southern mansions that had names attached to them like Twelve Oaks from Gone With the Wind.

          White flowering bushes greeted me on the right.  The scent of those blossoms made me want to stop and smell them, but I continued to the front door, which was opened  and seemed to be saying, “Welcome.  Come inside.” 

          Jane Marie greeted me with a smile and, with genuine hospitality, showed me to my chair in the dining room.  While she got our cold beverages, I took the time to appreciate the beautiful décor of her home.  It is said your residence is a reflection of you, and I would say Jane Marie’s house certainly represents her personality.  I felt as if I had been transported back in time, to an era of romance and grace.  Throughout the house, I could see items that showcased her artistic abilities.  On the dining table was an ordinary red brick, and on top of it stood a clay high heeled shoe covered in green vines and leaves.  A whimsical head with leaf-like wings adorned the apex of the heel.  “What do you think?”  Jane Marie asked.

          “I love it!”  I replied.  “It’s like angels are walking with us.”  Jane Marie said she wanted to use my words as a title for her piece.  I felt honored.

          Jane Marie or "Gracious Jane Marie," as her fans call her, is the very essence of grace mixed with wit and a sunny disposition.  She is soft spoken as a real genteel woman would be.  Her long hair gives her the appearance of someone who belongs back in the time of her writings.  She makes you feel what you have to say is important, and when she laughs, it is contagious.  You can’t help but laugh, too.

          When I asked her the date of her birth, she giggled and said, “In the twentieth century.”  Even though she refused to tell me, Jane Marie pointed out her framed birth certificate hanging in the kitchen.  On the aging paper was the month, day and year.  I decided to keep her secret to myself.  Like the mother from Pennsylvania in her first novel, The Goodbye Lie, Jane Marie was born in Erie.  This is just one of the ways Jane Marie mirrors her life with her stories.

          Jane Marie is married to Bruce Malcolm, former mayor of Fernandina Beach.  She spoke of the interesting and funny things he has said, and has created a journal that includes many of his best gems.  She calls it The Wit and Hillbilly Wisdom of Bruce Malcolm.  It shows that Jane Marie is deeply in love with her husband.    “I believe in love at first sight,” Jane Marie said, “because it happened to me.” 

          Jane Marie didn’t become a writer until the age of forty.  It all started when her family was getting ready to move away from Fernandina Beach.  She wanted to remember the little town she loved and combine the history of Fernandina Beach with her love of romance.  Just before they left, Jane was working in a quiet shop in Victorian downtown Fernandina.  With no one in the store, she was about to “put pencil to paper” and begin her first book.  Just then, a man in his forties, who looked to be in his seventies because of his weathered face, walked through the door.  He wore a yellow rain slicker and had curly auburn hair that women would kill for.  He was a shrimper just off his boat, selling his wares.  He became her first character and she named him Catfish.

          Her original idea was to give The Goodbye Lie to her daughter for her hope chest and, thereby, pass it along to her grandchildren.  Needing to find out what happened to the other characters in the novel, Jane Marie continued her work in three more books.   

          As the interview continued, an old grandfather clock chimed the eighth hour in the background, and once again I was taken back in time.  Jane Marie’s favorite era is the 1880s.  She used this period in history as the setting for her books.  Her characters are created, in part, from people she knows, plus colorful life experiences and surroundings.  She used her own family structure as a model for her books.  She incorporates items that show her artistic abilities into her writings, such as her Secret Pebbles©.  These are hand painted glass stones, decorated with roses, hearts, crosses and/or Christmas trees and come with special verses for different occasions.

          If Jane Marie couldn’t write for a living, her choice of job would be costume designer.  Again, the 1800s would be her preference because the women’s clothing, in her words, “Had a lot of frou-frou.  The more the better!”  I could picture her dressing that way today if she could get away with it.

          On the back of her second book, Amelia Island’s Velvet Undertow, there is a comment by a fan who says, “Where Little House on the Prairie meets Gone With The Wind …”  This is a great compliment because Jane Marie loves Gone With The Wind and considers herself a Windy, meaning a big-time fan.  When I asked her who her favorite author was, I was not surprised to hear her say Margaret Mitchell, the author of Gone With The Wind.

           Jane Marie is known for coming up with her own words, and her favorite right now is "rutstucker."  I was laughing at this strange word when she said, “Make sure you write the meaning down so you won’t forget.”  A rutstucker is someone who is stuck in a rut.  I hope Jane comes out with her own dictionary soon.

          You can get to know more about Jane Marie Malcolm by visiting her website and blog at www.GraciousJaneMarie.com.   Here, she writes about the heart, home, roses, recipes and romance.  Her second website, www.MarthaBear.com, features her free and silly online children’s stories meant to encourage family reading.

           Jane Marie’s books are comprised of romance, family and history.  Getting a glimpse into her home and personality, I can see how much her real life and published life are intertwined.  She breathes and lives romance. 

          The chapter of my time with Jane Marie was over, so we walked outside together and said our goodbyes.  Before I entered my modern carriage, I could hear the ocean behind me.  Glancing back at Stately Malcolm Manor, I remembered what Jane Marie said when I asked her for one last thought.  “I believe in happy endings.”  That said it all.

April 3, 2013

Naturally Amelia

Contributing photographer, Kirby Hobby, shot this photo on Amelia Island.
The little fella in the water oak below scored in the house department. Great picture!
Thank you, Kirby. 

April 1, 2013

Year of Lving Graciously - April

Face Fancy - If you've misplaced your eye liner, carefully line under lower lashes with tip of mascara wand.  It works.