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!


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 ...


October 26, 2014

Frank Sinatra's Undertow

UNDERTOW - I am often asked how I come up with the name of my novels.  Amelia Island's Velvet Undertow easily found me.  I wanted a word that meant overwhelming, all consuming, no escaping.  The result was undertow.  While that might have been sufficient, I thought it needed a softening, a sort of beckoning, an allure to it. Velvet was the description of my undertow. One final touch was needed for location, Amelia Island, and there you have it.  Velvet Undertow is the perfect title for this historic romance/suspense book because there are so many types of undertows throughout the pages ...

Here is another use of  undertow.
"All Or Nothing At All"
sung by Frank Sinatra, 1943
with the Harry James Orchestra
music by Arthur Altman

lyrics by Jack Lawrence

This wonderful song is the first professional recording by Frank Sinatra and it could be, in part, one of the theme songs to my book. Take a listen here:   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u7klm1GS3v8 -
Lyrics below:
All or nothing at all,
Half a love never appealed to me.
If your heart never could yield to me,
Then I'd rather, rather have nothin' at all.
All or nothing at all,
If it's love, there is no in-between.
Why begin then cry for something that might have been?
No, I'd rather have nothin' at all.

Oh, please don't bring your lips so close to my cheek.
Don't smile or I'll be lost beyond recall.
The kiss in your eyes, the touch of your hand makes me weak,
And my heart may grow dizzy and fall.

And if I fell under the spell of your call,
I would be caught in the undertow.
And so you see, I've got to say no, no.
All or nothin' at all.


All or nothin' at all!

October 20, 2014

1 2 3 !

My own treasured friends,

These are the things that clog my mind:

As I sit here contemplating the glycemic index of beetroot and kidney beans, it came to me that I had just emailed my daughter telling her to buy fertilizer for her roses with a high number in the middle. I’m talking about the three numbers on the front of fertilizer bags that indicate the strength of the root, flower and leaf boosting power of the product. Then I thought of just how many numbers are involved in our lives. We have numbers for:

Driver’s license
Tag number
Social Security
Credit cards
Bank statements
Check writing
Prices of food, clothing
Mortgage/rent payment
Phone numbers- cell, landline home, work
Regular priced items
Sale items
Temperature, indoors and outdoors
Chill factor
Heat index
Smog level
Percentage chance of rain
Height of the seas
Above sea level
TV stations
Radio stations
Speed limits
Sales Tax
Eye Sight
Blood pressure
Body temperature
Body mass
Tire pressure
Air pressure
Fat content
Zip code
Fractions of cups for recipes
Electricity- 110 or 220
Water temperature for bathing, swimming, clothes washing
PH factor
Physical Weight
Clocks, watches, timers
Word count for term paper, thesis, short story or novel
Number of stanzas in a poem
Number of verses in a song
Number of stars on the USA flag
Number of states in the USA
Rosary bead count
Cost per ounce of food on package
Postal charge per weight
Number of guests at a party/reception
Hotel room number
Depth of water in pool
Inches of rain
Counting music
Counting dance steps
Time of a show or movie
Bus, train, airplane schedule
Addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, geometry, algebra, Calculus
House numbers
Street numbers
Zip codes
Shoe, dress, pants and shirt sizes
Ring, hat, glove sizes
Bust, bra, waist, hip, inseam
Envelope sizes- #10, etc.
Records- old fashioned 45 or 33 for the old timers out there
TV channels
Radio stations
Hymn numbers in the hymnal
How many members on a team for the different sports
Winning/record times or points in sports
Number of presidents in the USA
Number of senators/congressmen
Feet in a mile, inches in a foot, etc.
Cups in a pint, quart, gallon
Ounces in a cup, pint, quart, gallon
Keys on a piano
Days in a month, hours in a day, minutes in an hour, seconds in a minute
Current stamp price
Stock market
401K ups and downs
Price of a gallon of gas
Mileage on a tank of gas
Pages and chapters in a book
Mileage to and from somewhere
Frequent flier miles
Miles per gallon of gas
Cell minutes
Library book due date
Baby’s birth weight and length
Child’s height and weight
Child’s grade in school
Child’s report card/percentile ranking in school
ETC, ETC, ETC (Thank you The King and I)
And I don't do numbers, I do words!

PS  If I repeated any above, it's a test and you passed!

October 15, 2014

Pirate Mysteries from Capt Fancy Patch

Captain Fancy Patch displays his hat and fancy patch

“Avast ye! Tis Captain Fancy Patch of the Rosey Freckle addressin’ all this day.  For ye landlubbers, I will explain a few mysteries about us pirates. Aw, now don’t let me name nor the name of me ship be foolin’ ya.  We are a gentle crew, it’s true, yet powerful mean should we be called upon to defend whatever we decide to defend.  

And why me eye patch?  Many do ask. A fine thing it be, considering the less than happy reason I wear it.  Me best wench, Jane Marie, decorated it special, and it be the prettiest patch on all the high seas.  Now, while many a pirate has lost his eye, there are many more who still have two good orbs, like Keg McBrewster and Darty Hoisterman.  Why would they have need of a patch then?  Aw, to improve their night vision, matey.  Ya see, keepin’ one eye covered in the light of day, makes for better spyin’ when havin’ to enter a dark cave or go below decks on the enemy ship. The eyesight has already adjusted itself to the blackness and, therefore, with your blade ready, no foe can come out of the darkness, unseen.  A cagey pirate is ready at all times!

Pirates and earrings go together. Have ye ever wondered why? The tellin’ of it is fascinatin’ for there be many a reason.  One is that piercing a lobe with a pin makes a man more virile, or so they say.  The Chinese acupuncture point to improve eyesight is in the very same place.

Now a pirate guards his earring with his life because it is made of the finest gold or silver, if he be a pirate of any worth.  His town of origin is oft times engraved on the ring so those buryin’ him know  where to send the body once he's sailed his last.  The earring is sold and the cash used to pay the cost of shipping his carcass and performing a service, should it be his custom.

One more thing I’ll share with ye and that is we pirates can be seen with a wad of wax hanging from our earrings.  The purpose being to plug our ears with the stuff when we fire our big guns aboard ship, so we don’t blow out our hearin' whilst we’re blastin' a hole in our attacker’s aft!       

Until my next communiqué, I’m off for some grog and boiled cackle fruit (eggs, me bukos)!  And remember, if ye done a thing, fess up.  Your friends will admire ye and your enemies will discover they can't use your sins against ye."

Captain Fancy Patch
Amelia Island, Florida, home port

Captain Fancy Patch has a cameo role in Amelia Island's Mark of a Man.  He also reads a bedtime story video called The Great Amelia Island Sniff Off  here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=owujwL7dEng

 Source: Remy Melina, Life's Little Mysteries Staff Writer   |   March 08, 2011

October 11, 2014


While recently visiting a friend on the north Florida mainland, remember, we live on Amelia Island, I spied what looked to be a bunch of bananas.  I moved a little closer for a better look-see. By jingo, that was exactly what they were.  She hadn't noticed her bananas yet because the plant had never produced such before this time.  Well, for  this Yankee from Pennsylvania, it was a very exotic thing to see.  And the huge pink blossom at the top of that plant reminded me a tiny bit of the Bird of Paradise flower.  I wonder how they will taste, once they've ripened.
For more info on growing bananas, check out the two sites below: http://homeguides.sfgate.com/cut-flower-banana-plant-55800.html

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yQuvLrxv65A - Greg the Gardener

October 5, 2014

Origin of The Goodbye Lie Series

I am often asked how the idea of The Goodbye Lie story began.  I answer it this way:

"Island living has given rise to my writing.  The characters in Amelia Island's Goodbye Lie series find me as I walk the same beach as they, starting more than one hundred years earlier. The ocean wind carries their whispers past my ear and, from those whispers, I capture their tales of love and hardship, and hilarity and triumph. A citizen of their same town of Fernandina, I stroll the same roads with still-standing Victorian homes, watch the same waves and endure the same weather as my fictional friends. They have joined my family and, through my novels, they want to be part of your family, too."  - Jane Marie