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 24, 2016

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! 


     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.

November 28, 2016

I Did It !

Avert thine eyes!!!!
           This might seem an odd time to talk diets, being in the middle of the holiday season.  Most reasonable people would wait to discuss such until the new year.  No one has ever accused me of being reasonable. 
     Therefore, it is no secret that I am celebrating my 31st year of dieting. My plan has been to either lose weight, notice how original I am in my efforts, or to keep weight off.  Then there is the goal of lowering cholesterol. That's my recent focus.  In the words of my husband, Bruce, “If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing to excess.”  That must be why we get along. We’re prone to extremes.  
     And so, for the last three months, this particular diet has consisted of fruitsies (as my father called them late in life) and veggies.  We all understand the importance of such. Every day for breakfast:  low sodium V8 juice and nuked instant oatmeal with water and natural plant sweetener.  Then we have what we call phony eggs.  You know, the ones with no fat, no cholesterol, no nothing.  Happily, they make pretty good scrambled eggs.  Add some salsa and yummo!  Slice an apple on the side for dessert, sprinkle on a bit of cinnamon, which is supposed to be good for you, and you have minute touches of a gourmet meal. Perhaps green peepers stuffed with no fat cottage cheese steamed on a bed of marinara sauce on top of the stove or chicken in the slow cooker with a light mushroom soup and drinking sherry gravy- add salt and pepper to taste. How about that delightful treat of an entire bag of frozen broccoli sprinkled with lemon and pepper, thawed and heated through, of course.  (I was using the lemon/pepper you sprinkle on from the little condiment bottle. Even at 60% reduced sodium, we're talking salt bomb!  Then someone suggested I use fresh squeezed lemon juice. Doy!!!!)   
     No eating at restaurants allowed except when a friend arrived from out of town. I couldn't very well expect her to join my diet.  After all, I had a 30 year and 364 day jump start on her. So, we went to a Mexican restaurant.  I had greens, tomatoes and sliced avocado. My taste buds were satisfied, even if the visual of her gobbling away on her triple cheese enchiladas will haunt me till death.
     But the most suffering I have endured was no pasta, no cheese and no chocolate!!!  Ladies and gents, I can proudly say, I did not cave.  Shocker, right?  Yes, to me, too, since the G in Gracious Jane Marie might well strand for gluttony. 
    Someone told me to pop a daily dose of natural olive leaf and chlorella which is supposed to be good for everything from left-handedness to uneven eyebrows. Now Bruce just told me he heard a doctor interviewed on the radio saying that you need cholesterol to hold the body together. Oh, I like that. Still,  I'll try to be good and not eat the entire pan of brownies, again, myself. 
     If this post rambles and I guarantee it does, blame it on calorie deprivation.
     Disclaimer:  I am not a doctor, nurse or orderly.  However, I was once a junior nurse’s aide as a teen. Should you trust my medical interpretation on any matters of health, may I suggest you see a shrink because, how should I say this ... You're nuts.

P.S.  It's probably a better thing that Miss Ella, instead of me, is in charge of the menus for the Dunnigan family's Aqua Verde Passenger Line in The Goodbye Lie series.  She seems somewhat less extreme than I am.  

November 21, 2016

Peeper's Patterns-Goodbye Lie Diaries

Fernandina on Amelia Island, Florida
Late 1800s

Grandmother Peeper writes:  From these here photographs Jane Marie helped put on this blog a hers, you can easy see what I dun. This is how it happened. I was asittin' on the front veranda at Dunnigan Manor.  That's where I live.  So, I saw some leaves blow across the drive and recalled a thing me and my ma dun when I was a wee child.  I dumped my knittin' from the pine needle basket I wove when Marie was a babe, got myself down them steps some how, what with my bad feet hurtin' somethin' fierce this day, gathered all kind a different leaves and began my project ta make a table scarf.
    I found a bit of muslin material I had left from cuttin' a test pattern fur Breelin's garden print dress last season.  I drawed me a rectangle ta fit the table, long-ways, cut it out, hemmed the edges and then headed out ta  Clover's workbench in the barn in the back.  I brushed away the sawdust ta make it nice and clean.  Then I laid out them leaves in  as pretty a pattern as you ever seen.  Very careful like, I laid the material over top, so as not to disturb the pattern with them leaves amovin'.  After that, I took a hammer and pounded the juice outa them leaves.  The leaf juice is what stains
the muslin, like grass stains the children get on them sailor suits they wear.

   Go on now and make yourself a leaf pattern table cloth or use it fur a quilt backin'.   It's very great fun fur adults and little ones.  Just be atakin' care that nobody hits their finger with the hammer.

   P.S.  Even though this is a stained pattern,  it is best ta iron the leaf marks so they don't fade much when ya get ta laundering your beautiful creation.

For Info and Purchase of The Goodbye Lie historical series on Amelia Island, Florida, click this link!

November 15, 2016

New Friend

St. Michael's Craft Fair was well attended and I was one of the vendors there. As usual, I met many new people. One sweet woman stood out.  Meet Emma from Chicago.  I first met Miss Emma and her husband while signing books on Centre Street in our historic downtown Fernandina Beach on the island.  She'd gotten a copy of The Goodbye Lie then. She turned up at the craft show, told me she'd also read Amelia Island's Velvet Undertow and this day took possession of the third novel in the series, Amelia Island's Mark of a Man It is always a treat for me to discover folks who "get" the characters and "get into" the stories.  That is always my hope and Miss Emma is one of those people. 
     I chatted with others, discussing the fact that St. Michael's church is featured in the novels because the fictional Irish Dunnigan family attended there in 1882. It struck me how my characters and I live parallel lives in so many ways.  They go to church and have craft shows and potluck dinners, the same as I do.  The difference is just a few years, 134 is all.

November 11, 2016

A Simple Thank You

Yes, this is a simple thank you to all veterans for a job well done and far beyond the measure of civilians. We are proud to recognize you have keep this country going by offering your life for all of us to be able to live in a still free United States of America. God has blessed us with you.  May He continue to bless our wonderful country each day into the future. 

November 5, 2016

Goodbye Lie Silly Theme Song Video Comments

     Say hello to Pirate Ry with her pet pal, Swiney, both pictured here.  They star in The Goodbye Lie Silly Theme Song video.  Click on the link below to watch the video and read some of the comments about it sent our way.  See if you agree.

Click here:
The Goodbye Lie Silly Theme Song 

Looks like you guys had fun making that video. ha ha ha -Linda in in Alaska

Have you all applied for the Sun Dance Film Festival yet? - LS in Florida

It Was Great!  I passed it along. Lee in Florida

Oh, I opened it and watched as soon as saw the link! VERY funny !! My granddaughter and I both laughed ! Her favorite part is the "piggy". I guffawed at your Bruce holding the paper tube to his eye patch !! LOL !!! Good work, girl! - BS in Missouri

I still get the giggles when I see this !  Annie in California

It was hysterical.  If I hadn't already read it, I would run out and buy your book [Amelia Island's Velvet Undertow]. In fact, I am going to buy one to send my younger sister.  She will love it. - Sally in Florida

It must be wild living in your crazy world! This video is just plain goofy! What with all the wonderful romance in your books, a very disagreeable Aunt Noreen living right next door to your characters to keep things stirred up, your typical family relations like in real life (families are families, no matter what era), your blog which is so diversified (in a very fun way, of course), your recipes, your Goodbye Lie Diaries, your ... Well, you're just too much, Jane Marie. We need more whimsical people like you in the world.   -Lisa G in Utah

Purchase The Goodbye Lie Series here!

November 1, 2016

The Shadow

Just in time for the shadows of Fall, here are some fun pics I snapped of our singing spokes-doggie, Abby, enjoying a bit of modeling in the sun's spotlight! 

right snout

Abby proudly displaying her neck length

October 26, 2016

Amelia Island Jazz Festival - 2016

Les DeMerle, drummer and founder of  Amelia Island's Jazz Festival, gifted bassist Thomas Milovac and
singer Bonnie Eisele

"Les DeMerle is the best all-around drummer I've ever had, and that's saying a lot when you remember that Buddy Rich and Louis Bellson manned that post before him." -Harry James, world famous trumpeter and bandleader

Although I'd heard of Les DeMerle and his wife, singer Bonnie Eisele, I had never seen them perform in person until recently.  Horizon's Restaurant on Amelia Island had turned a back room into a cozy jazz club and Bruce, my husband, and I were privileged to attend their performance. Over lobster bisque, the best I have ever tasted, and a fine dinner, Les proved his reputation as a superlative entertainer and showman. Having played with and for the Harry James Big Band, Wayne Newton, Lou Rawls, Sammy Davis Jr., Mel Torme, Joe Lewis and Frank Sinatra, this deeply passionate musical man kept beat after crazy beat accompanying Bonnie, and tore the house down with his drum solos. Did I mention we had a front row seat? 

He is the founder and artistic director of The Amelia Island Jazz Festival.  This 2016, it was postponed because of Hurricane Matthew.  Scheduled  now for November 2nd-6th, there will be performances called Jump Jive and Wail/Swing Night, Hot Latin Jazz Concert/Concert, Dance, Jazz Legend Houston Person in Concert, Friday Late Nite Jam and Dixie to Swing Jazz Brunch at Amelia Island's Florida House.  (The Florida House is the oldest tourist hotel in Florida and is featured in my Goodbye Lie  historical series. My characters are in good company.)  

As with everything, timing is all important.  So, if you're in the area or want to drive or fly to Amelia Island for this ever-growing wonderful Jazz Festival, here is a link to their site for more info: Amelia Island Jazz Festival - 2016.  Hope we see you there!

October 21, 2016

Uncovered Titles

I was cleaning my office.  No, can't say that.  Cleaning is much too strong a word, as are sorting and rearranging.  It was more like shuffling.  Yes, I was doing the paper shuffle dance.  To my delight, I found a manila envelope with handwritten pages from my original Goodbye Lie manuscript. (Now available in E-book and paperback. haha)  This is pretty exiting stuff for me because it has been many a moon since I last wrote out page after page of  that first book.  As a bonus, I found a list of working titles, some of which could have been on the cover instead of The Goodbye Lie.  I am pleased I settled for The Goodbye Lie.  It tells a story all by itself. 

Here is that list of working titles.  If you've read The Goodbye Lie, decide if I made the right choice.  If you haven't,  they may lead you in the direction of wanting to understand the meaning behind them.

Forever Once
Mended Lace
Amelia Light
Return Tomorrow
Destiny's Choice
Yesterday's Past
Yesterdays Passed

October 14, 2016

Pretty Easy Painted Pumpkin

      I was lost in a strange town.  I love my little Amelia Island, so if I have to cross the bridge and there are more than half-a-dozen signal lights, I know I am in a big city.  And there I was, listening to the female voice with the British accent on my phone, trying to get me to my destination.  Together, we finally reached the craft store we sought, but not before my eyes glanced a front porch pumpkin with what looked to be the letter K painted on it.  Naturally, there was some thoughtless person close to my rear bumper, so I was unable to get details. I could have TRIED to go around the block. I didn't want to take the chance my phone battery would die and I would never see anyone I knew again. You see, I have zero sense of direction. 
      In any case,  this is my version of that painted pumpkin I made for my daughter's front porch.  While it could have been better, most things can always be better if you try again, she said it was good enough to display on her steps!  I am so proud.

Here's how:
-Buy a nice sized pumpkin, if you want it to be seen from the street.
-Pull out your acrylic paints and paint brushes, water-based for easy clean-up.
-Go to the internet and Google alphabet images.  You will find different fonts.  The one I chose  was a flowing script that didn't seem too difficult.
-I used a strong color for the base letter so it shows up against the orange of the pumpkin.  I added white on the right of each main stroke of the letter to appear somewhat like a shadow accent.
-Take the pointy end of the paintbrush to form a dotted sort of oval frame around your letter.  Add leaves or tendrils, whatever you like.  Glitter, too, if you have it handy. 
-By the way, your pumpkin will last much longer, maybe until Thanksgiving in late November, if you don't cut into it. 


October 11, 2016

My PET Peeve

You can get mad at me if you want.  This is still America, after all.  If you are someone doing this, I'm sure your intentions are pure. However, here is my PET Peeve:

Walking your dog on a leash
while riding your bike ... 

It's good exercise for you both, you say? It's good exercise for  the dog, the first minute or two and I'm sure your doggie is excited to go along because dogs love to walk and they love to please.  BUT, they can't tell you when they're winded or tired or have a pricker in their pad.  It's easy for us humans to say, "I rode my bike three miles today."  What about your poor puppy?  And I often see it down here in Florida, when the sidewalk is so hot, you couldn't walk barefoot without getting blisters. How about your precious critter?

If I can bring relief to one dog, at least, with this post, I'm happy.

October 8, 2016

Hurricane Matthew Versus 1898

     I sit here, waiting to get word as to when the authorities will allow us to return to our beloved Amelia Island, Florida since the destruction dealt us by Hurricane Matthew, this October 7, 2016. And as we wait to discover the total damage the storm may have delivered, I thought of the great hurricane that hit Fernandina on Amelia Island, October 2, 1898.  I know much about it because, after intense research, it became an integral part of the plot of my novel, Amelia Island's Mark of a Man. From what I hear from folks who remained on Amelia Island, no matter the mandatory evacuation order, I don't think Matthew, for us, will be as ruinous as that hurricane, some 118 years ago.  I thank God for that.

     The copy below is taken from my author's notes at the end of Mark of a Man:

HURRICANE: Many who presently live on Amelia Island, Florida, think of the October 2, 1898 hurricane/tropical cyclone as ours.  More often, it is called the Georgia Hurricane since it directly hit Cumberland Island, Camden County, Georgia, which is just over the border between the two states. Today it is thought this was a Category 4 hurricane with winds up to 135 mph, and somewhat similar to Hugo, which tore apart South Carolina in 1989.  Florida Mirror, Fernandina's local newspaper of the day, reported a twelve-foot storm surge at the Amelia River docks that destroyed buildings and left boats and ships marooned up into the town as far as Second Street. Estimated damage was some $500,000 or $14,285,000 in 2014 money.  Casualties on Amelia Island were two children, and one mother and her infant. The total recorded souls lost between Florida and Georgia were 179. It is often said that these bad hurricanes in this area occur every hundred years. If that is the case, Fernandina is overdue.

October 2, 2016

The Goodbye Lie Diaries - Breelan's Novel Jewelry

The Goodbye Lie Girls' Novel Jewelry 

     If you have met the women in The Goodbye Lie series, get reacquainted. If you have not yet done so, learn a bit about their personalities, outlooks and one very important matter, their jewelry. 
     Scattered throughout this blog, by way of the magic of the electronic Goodbye Lie Diaries, you will read about and see a necklace, bracelet, or perhaps a pair of earbobs, which will give you a bit more insight into these wonderful, mostly, Goodbye Lie Girls.
     Each piece is created by Nancy Kamp, jewelry designer and instructor of such beautiful things. Gleaning inspiration from the dramatic influence of the series, Nancy has captured the essence of the prime female characters for you to gaze upon and appreciate. Thank you, Nancy.
     We hope you will be tempted to rediscover and wear your own special piece.

Breelan Dunnigan is innocent beauty. She is the featured player in The Goodbye Lie, the first installment in this historical

mystery & romance series set in 1882 on Amelia Island, Florida, in the still standing seaside town called Fernandina.  An eighteen-year-old brunette, she is a cub reporter for the Florida Mirror Newspaper and is weary of having only her silly human interest stories accepted for print. She feels she is quite capable of tackling the heavier news of the day. Her self-recognized ability to embroider the events in her town with theatrically written words fuels her certainty that she can increase the paper's circulation, as well as get her own byline.
     Beyond her writing, Breelan is young and desperately in love. That love gives her this seventeen-inch necklace of shimmering blue/green glass barrel-shaped beads with three smaller matching spacers between each larger barrel. Centered on her throat is one clear crystal stone carved into a circular rosette. The clasp is a brushed antique silver.  Each moment Bree wears this ring of lovely, she remembers the first time her beau stepped up behind her to drape his gift around her bare neck, lingering and breathing against her skin, while taking in her inviting scent of White Embers, a mixture of sandal
wood, tuberose and forest rain.  

September 22, 2016

Festive Flamingos

I think of myself as a rebel. Not just any rebel, but a responsible rebel. By that, I mean I am happily different.  Not so different that they call the round-up squad from the local loony bin, but just enough that I have been known to deliver to folks a chuckle, chortle and, perhaps, the occasional guffaw.
    Yet, sometimes, I strive for something deeper than hilarity because I want to be well rounded. Okay, admittedly, perhaps I am more an oval than a perfect circle.  Whatev.  Keeping in mind, taste is in the mouth as surely as it is in the eye, you decide if my attempt at sprucing up our resident flamingos is a success.  My plastic bird buddies have stood sentry at our mailbox for many years.  With such dedicated service and their fake feather striations of color fading, I figured a few cans of half-empty spray paint from the garage sale down the block was certainly worth my $2 cash investment.  Plus, that investment is tax deductible since I'm sharing their photos on this blog.  Here at Gracious Jane Marie, you now have proof that we are fiscally responsible. Additionally, we forever advance not only the rich romance and mystery that is the Goodbye Lie series of historical novels I write, but we imbue your senses with art. What a deal!   

September 16, 2016

Goodbye Lie Diaries, Pat Dunnigan Quote?

Pat Dunnigan, Amelia Island's Mark of a Man
    It is 1898 in the small seaside town of Fernandina on Amelia Island, Florida. Pat Dunnigan, our hero, (or is he?) is tossing one back at the Strathmore Hotel on the beach.  Watching the Atlantic Ocean's swells beat out their steady tease and retreat, this intense thought might have entered his partially focused brain. Turning to the barkeep whose black head hair and white ear hair bring the face of a panda bear before Pat's eyes, he asks the man with the worn towel in hand, "Hey, Stompie. Do infants enjoy infancy as much as adults enjoy adultery?"
    At the small square table across the tavern, his Aunt Noreen is seated beside her husband, Clabe. "These are the only chairs available to see a view as lovely as this. And here we have to listen to more of your  noxious comments, Jack Patrick Dunnigan."  Notorious for her show of decorum concerning all matters, except those of her own caustic tongue, she is unable to refrain from remarking.  "Yet again, sir, you have shamed and disgraced the good Dunnigan name with your indelicate sentiments. I shall instruct my Warren Lowell to disassociate himself from you completely!"
     Pat laughed aloud, then his gay expression vanished.  "Don't make him choose, Auntie, or you may find yourself without a son."

The quotation in bold lettering above is anonymous to my knowledge. If you know the creator, please alert me and I will credit him or her. But our Pat Dunnigan is just the kind of fellow who would say such, for his own entertainment and those around him, worldly enough, to his mind, to appreciate his quick wit. 
   You can survey Pat's ascension into manhood by reading The Goodbye Lie  series of novels.
Amelia Island's Mark of a Man is part of that series set in the late 1800s and tells Pat's personal story as a wild young man facing many challenges, physical, mental and emotional. It is not a smooth ride for anyone ...

September 8, 2016

A Writer's Tote

     Look what came in the mail from my ever-wonderful brother, Bob.  He saw it and thought of me.  I like the way this guy thinks! 
                                             Thank you, Bobby

September 3, 2016

Hermine Damage on Amelia Island

Some of us had a bit of trouble from Hurricane Hermine this past week.  Our screen door was twisted off its hinges. The blinds in the screened patio were shredded. We have a leak in the ceiling of our front hall and palm fronds and debris were scattered all over our yard. 

I certainly will not complain.  Our friends in Tallahassee, Florida  continue to be without power for another week and the upper Atlantic east coast is bracing for a dangerous water surge. Instead of grousing over some minor repairs and clean up, I am sending up prayers of support and safety for those who have experienced far worse than I and those who are in the path of this storm. Please join me in my prayers.
   - Jane Marie

August 29, 2016

Square Piano?

      Please see our piano pictured here. It is not just any piano. This is a square piano. Well, it's not really square, it's rectangular, but that's what they call this gem and, if I'm honest, we only own one key.  That's not exactly right either.  And so the story goes, many years ago, when we initially joined our local Amelia Island Museum of History, one of the first projects we participated in was that of restoring this square grand piano for the Victorian Room there. Each key was $100, as I recall.  Since middle C was already snagged by someone else, we chose one we would remember from all the others by its placement and that was low A, the first white key on the left side of the keyboard. Because this was a fund raiser and since we donated the money, you can understand we don't really "own" the piano or the key, but we still love her very much.

     I will never forget the
summer Sunday afternoon we spent at the museum in that Victorian Room.  With a candelabra as the only light, a gentleman in tie and tails played while a lovely women in period costume and wig sang music from vintage sheet music. As a matter of fact, this scene returned before my mind's eye and was part of my mental image when I wrote of Maestro Paolo Alontti in Amelia Island's Velvet Undertow.

     Over time, as the exhibits in the museum were changed, we lost track of the piano.  When I asked someone on the museum board about it, they told me it currently sits in the lobby of the local Citizens State Bank in Fernandina Beach on Amelia Island, Florida. That's downtown Centre Street across from St. Peter's Episcopal Church with the red tin roof.  So if you're in the area, stop in to see it. 
Music Stand
     If you want to learn about these antique square pianos, visit the YouTube links below.  You can hear what a similar piano sounds like in Part 2 of The History of Square Pianos, beginning about 5 minutes into it.  Enjoy!
Piano Lyre and Foot Pedals
Decorative Feet

Brief History of the Square Piano Part 1 - narrated by Thomas Strange of Easley, South Carolina

Brief History of the Square Piano Part 2  - also narrated by Mr. Strange

P.S. In my research, I found this exact-looking square grand piano dating from 1865 to 1873 either sold or selling for $30,000.

This piano is currently housed in the lobby of:
Citizens State Bank
715 Centre St, Fernandina Beach, FL 32034
 (904) 261-8233