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.