March 31, 2016


Dear Readers, aka Friends,

I've added a new page of photos to my blog called GALLERY. Click on the word GALLERY among all the page tabs, located just above and to the left of the date shown on this post. GALLERY is beside the CONTACT page.  I thought it would be interesting to me, and perhaps you, to see some of the activities writing has brought into my life.  You will find me with many new friends I've made as I've done book signings over time.  You'll also see pictures of my handcrafted wares  available only at craft/art shows, along with my novels.

If you ever wonder why I don't produce more books quickly, you'll see some of what I'm up to when I'm not writing. Please know that besides this blog, a pleasant time-stealer for me, and painting small objects like my Secret Pebbles, among other things, my first love it writing.  Stay tuned for the next book.  I won't say when it will be out.  I will tell you to visit this blog often and look for the latest Goodbye Lie Diary entries by Peeper or Aunt Noreen or Breelan, etc.  Along with their help, we'll keep you up to date ...

Meanwhile, take a look at what goes on this side of the keyboard!

Jane Marie

March 28, 2016

Left Over Chocolate Recipes

My brother, Chief Bob Harkins, retired Navy, sounded in a panic when he called.  "Where are the left over chocolate recipes? There are none on your blog!" he accused.

I paused a moment, thinking it might be an odd question coming from someone else, but not Bobby. Why? Because he is extremely intelligent and thinks heavy-duty thoughts. This trait runs in the family.

Ever calm, I replied, "There are no leftover chocolate recipes because there is never any leftover chocolate."

Weighing the depth of my statement, he hung up, realizing my logic. 

Case in point:  Examine the photo above.  Can you identify the chocolate remains on the plate?  Yes, it is cocoa.  Why not candy bar crumbs or Easter bunny trimmings?  I will tell you why.  My less-than-sainted husband, Bruce, found and ate the one last candy bar I had tucked away for purposes of leaving a mini-scrap of chocolate for this particular blog photo.  With no other chocolate in the house, I was reduced to sprinkle cocoa powder on the plate for the visual effect of there never being any leftover chocolate.  I hope you can forgive him.

March 27, 2016

He Is Risen!

           He is risen, indeed!           

March 22, 2016

#1 Fresh Water Beach in USA - Mark of a Man Excerpt

BUY Amelia Island's Mark of a Man HERE
I live on Amelia Island, Florida.  With such a wonderful view of the Atlantic Ocean, I had to set my Goodbye Lie historical novels on and near the water.  Speaking of wonderful, I just received an email from a follower who shared that Presque Isle State Park in Erie, Pennsylvania, my hometown, has been voted by USA Today/10Best readers as the number one Fresh Water Beach in America!  USA Today-10 Best Fresh Water Beaches.  I knew it was beautiful long before any votes were taken. I spent many a teenage summer on those beaches.  

That, in part, is why I took the fictional Dunnigan family from Amelia Island up to Erie in my Amelia Island's Mark of a Man, to honor the place I lived and still love.  
Amelia Island's Mark of a Man Excerpt
Erie, Pennsylvania - 1898

    No discussion of her lack of culinary skills took place as they rode to the tavern in the small covered buggy with Pat on horseback beside. He answered questions about his new career and the family, filling in all he knew from letters he'd received, including a couple of short uninformative notes from Marie. He was sure their mother had guilted her into writing them. So, except for Uncle John's discourse about a long ago teaching career and cutting and selling ice blocks from Lake Erie in winter, nothing but chatty talk was offered this time or any of the other times Pat had visited. He was curious about Uncle John's first wife, whom he'd never met. All Pat ever heard was that she had died suddenly after birthing the last of four children. One by one, each had become estranged from their father. The reasons varied from his being too tough a taskmaster, to blaming him for their mother's death. Whatever the grounds, Pat felt sorry for his uncle and was glad, after years of solitude, that he’d found a woman to love again. 
   Aunt Jency was a youthful thing, barely older than Pat, himself. In the short while he'd known her, he decided he liked her. She seemed a fine and caring person, even if she wasn't much of cook. From the looks of her husband's belly, he was finding sustenance somewhere. 
    They caught sight of the rough, painted sign spelling out Crusty Anchor Pub in faded red letters. Pat envisioned it rowdy with mariners and didn't want to see Aunt Jency put in an uncomfortable position. To his pleasant surprise, the small place was mostly crowded with families. The chatter was high and the aroma wonderful. 
    They sat at a table in the center of the room with two dozen or so customers enjoying their meals. Twenty feet from the window, they crooked their necks to get a glimpse of the darkening sky and deep gray of Presque Isle Bay.
   "You know, y'all," Pat commented, "the scene outside reminds me of Florida, with the boats, I mean."
   "You'll be having your fill of water by the time your hitch is up in the Navy."
   "I know that's right, Uncle John," Pat agreed, but silently hoped he was wrong, since water was what floated his family's business.  
   "Hear that accent, y'all," mimicked a booming male voice. "Sounds like we got us a dirty Grayback clear up here in Erie."
   Tightly and quickly, Pat blinked, hoping that menacing voice behind him spouted only an empty challenge. Hags-teeth! Brawling got him where he was today. He tossed a glance toward Uncle John who was polishing his utensils on the sleeve of his plaid shirt and seemingly paying no mind. Jency, bending over her child, shielded the baby with her body. Pat stood, spun on his boot, and stepped away from the table, in case there was trouble. He tensed, saying, "The war's long past, man. If you still want to do this, I'll give you one free swing. After that—"
   Fortified by the contents of the stein in his fist and the pretty girl seated beside him, the man with the wild buttery-color beard and no mustache raised his voice further, while all others quieted. "Your kind killed my people at the Battle of Olustee."
   What was Pat to say?  He'd been to that particular battlefield, west of Fernandina, with his father when he was a boy. He'd heard the story of how close to a thousand Rebs and almost two thousand Yankees died, with it ending in a Confederate victory. Hell, Waite, himself, fought in that very skirmish.  
   Then his mother's voice drifted through his head, telling him to soften his tone to defuse a bad situation.  It made the angry person have to listen hard and, in the listening, it sometimes calmed matters. "I'm sorry you lost family. I honestly am. But y'all won the war, didn't you?"
   The bartender called out. "Horace Tagum. The sailor's right about that. If anybody's got a heart full a hate, it should be him.  His side lost. Your kin, whoever they was, done what any able man should and that's fight for his cause, for his country. I'll wager this Rebel will soon be doing that, himself."
   Taking pride in his heritage and grateful for the bartender's help, Pat answered, "Yes, sir. I'll be on my way to Cuba, shortly."
   The girl tugged at Horace, her face pleading for him to sit down. "Hmpf!" he spit, defeat in his tone.
   "How about we give you and Miss Julie some German chocolate cake, on the house," the barkeep offered.  "No hard feelings?"
   Sizing up the seaman, Horace was half-glad for the interference and more than delighted he'd earned himself some free dessert. "I guess we're good," Horace said, as his Julie squeezed his hand. Tonight would be a good night after all. 
   "Thanks," said Pat, nodding his appreciation to the barkeep.
   "You're plenty welcome. A little sugar and flour is cheaper than buying new furniture for my place."
   Pat winked as he returned to his table in time for a beefy waiter to deliver steaming bowls of their ordered stew. Uncle John, giving nary an acknowledgement of the incident, sliced the loaf of accompanying beer bread and slathered each piece with butter before passing the first portion to Jency, who still smiled in relief that there was no altercation. They ended their meal, appreciating their vanilla ice cream drizzled with honey and walnuts.
   Perpetua stirred, fussed, and Jency pulled forth a tea towel wrapped baby bottle. "Good, it's still warm."
   "It had best be," the child's father said. "We don't want our little girl to be unhappy."
   "My daddy always says girls are made for spoilin', Uncle John. I see you both have the same philosophy."
   Their attention turned from one another and back to the baby when she let out a huge wail as the bottle slipped from her mother's hand and pulled from Perpetua's mouth to crash to the floor. Spikes of glass glistened in the light of the oil lamps on the surrounding square tables.
   "Oh dear," Jency murmured, the worry heavy in her tone. "Perpetua may still be hungry. I never imagined this happening. I haven't another bottle with me."  She lifted the baby over her shoulder and patted the child's back. A soft burp erupted and Perpetua calmed down.
   "As we're always saying down home," Pat comforted, "another crisis averted. Just in case, though, shall we get more milk from the kitchen?"
   The man from behind the bar was on his way to their table with a mop and broom. "We got the milk and a place to warm it," he said. "It's the baby bottles we're out of. Sorry."
   "Shall we go before the poor thing realizes she hasn't had a full meal?" Uncle John ordered in the form of a question.  
   The buggy ride jostled Perpetua back to sleep. Pat talked softly so as not to wake her until her mother had prepared more milk. "Thank you both for a wonderful taste of home." The moment he'd said it, he realized the thoughtlessness of his remark. He would never intentionally hurt Jency's feelings about her cooking. "I mean—being with you has reminded me of my family in Fernandina. I miss them a great deal."
   Riding up to their front door, Pat dismounted and helped Jency and the baby down from the buggy. He didn’t go inside, but shook his uncle's hand and kissed the back of his aunt's on their front stoop.
   "Well, son, we'll write to your father and tell him what a fine man he has in you. Be sure and come visit us again when you get leave. Don't be a stranger."
   "I won't, sir." On his horse, "Thanks again, Uncle."
   "Goodbye, Pat." A tender smile lit Jency's face. Perpetua whimpered. "I must see to my little one. Goodbye."
   Riding away, Pat turned his ear in the direction of Uncle John's house.  Curious, he thought, how similar a child's cry was to that of a woman's...   

 So if you're in the deep South, stop by and see the clean, bright sandy beaches, and walk where the Dunnigans walked in the late 1800s. If you're keen of eye, you may spy a shark's tooth, too!  Should you be way up North, say, in Erie, be sure to drive to Presque and imagine some of those same Dunnigans looking for lucky stones, small, white oval rocks on the shore, in the warm spring and summer or even between the dazzling snowflakes!

March 16, 2016

An Irish Blessing

The Secret Pebble™

May your stubbed toe
 never break and
your bank account
 never ache. 

hand painted by
writer & artisan Jane Marie Malcolm

The secret in the Secret Pebble is what you share with the recipient of the hand painted treasure. Perhaps it's friendship, laughter and/or love. In the case of my readers, I hope we share part or all of the above. Add in a mutual enjoyment for tasteful romance and suspense set on an island in the old South and that, in this case, is what a Secret Pebble represents, from me to you.

Stay tuned for more info on how to get your own Secret Pebbles painted with roses, hearts and crosses. Each comes with a verse and organza bag, a complete gift for any and all occasions.

March 6, 2016

Cast Iron and The Goodbye Lie Diaries-Peeper

Fernandina Beach on Amelia Island, Florida
Present time

Jane Marie writes:  My friend, Emmie Noble, had Bunko at her house the other day.  Emmie loves antiques, as do I.  Quick to spot the unusual, I spied this case iron string holder hanging from beneath her kitchen cabinet. 

Fernandina on Amelia Island, Florida

Grandmother Peeper writes:  
I have one a them twine holders ahangin' in my pantry. I use the string ta tie up chicken legs and packages. Miss Ella is forever sendin' gifts and such ta her sister, Aunt Coe.  I have been knowed ta tie a piece a  string about my wrist in order ta remind me not ta fight with Aunt Noreen.  It don't stay on my wrist fur too long 'cause I like ta fight with Noreena. I always win.