Saturday, March 31, 2012

AND THE WINNER IS......



Good Heavens to Betsy! There were sooooo many entries and I want to say 'thank you' to all of you that left comments, and bought books and other merchandise to qualify for the beautiful red Hillbilly Debutante cowboy boots.

So, without further adieu:

The winner of these lovelies right here


is........


Penny from North Carolina!

Congratulations, Penny. All you need to do now is email me at:


and let me know your boot size.

I will then call PFI Western Wear and Tre will have your red Nocona boots in the mail to you lickety split!

Thank you to everyone - I sure wish I had boots to give away to all of you, but I will have more cool giveaways for you to try to win later several times this year!

In the meantime, if you wanna congratulate Penny go visit her at


Til next time,

Kathie



Wednesday, March 28, 2012

A 'thank you' and a gift to me from YOU WILL NEVER GUESS WHO!!!!

I thought I was dreamin' when I opened up my email and there, plain as day, was a 'thank you' note from Jennifer Zawadinski of Southern Living magazine telling me she loved - yes she used the word 'loved' - my blog and really appreciated my 'Southern Living Dixie Road Trips'.

And if that wasn't enough to make me feel like I'd died and gone to heaven, she wanted my address so she could send me a gift!

Yesterday I opened the mailbox and sure enough, a package from Southern Living....


I LOVE THESE!!

Three beautiful cookbooks.
As you can see, "Desserts", (self-explanatory),  "Off the Eaten Path" details famous eateries in every state throughout the south, and after reading all three (more than once) I have proclaimed "Comfort Food" my favorite.


A very lovely hand-written note by Jennifer herself....

Dear Kathie,

Thank you so much for your support of Southern Living. We love the reports from your road trips. I'm enclosing our book "Off the Eaten Path" to inspire more jaunts!

                                              Happy driving and eating!

                                               Sincerely,

                                               Jennifer Zawadinski

So, I am more than excited to announce that starting immediately, my Southern Living Dixie Road Trips will now extend beyond the magazine, and will include me checking out as many of the spectacular places featured in "Off the Eaten Path" as I possibly can.

Hmm...wonder if I can fit a treadmill in the back of Dixie Red.

And speakin' of red - those red cowboy boots you've been dreamin' about are going to be given away on Sunday, April 1st.
As in this Sunday!

Til Next Time,

Kathie

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Release Date!

Here are a few pictures from 'The Hillbilly Debutante Cafe' release party held at Glory Be in Occoquan, Virginia.

(Me in front of the store)

There was a nice crowd to meet me when I arrived-

Discussing the plot/answering questions

It was such a nice, steady turnout

aaannndddd

a surprise visit from Jennifer Papula, one of the main characters.

Jennifer is from the Bronx. I'm from the country. Can you say 'culture shock'?  And probably just as much for her as it was for me.

I dunno why, but I thought it'd be fun to 'southernize, slow-her-down, and redneck her up' a bit, but still keep that same sassy attitude she's famous for.

I love her character, however please keep in mind that's where the similarity ends. It's important for you to know she is not an adulteress - she wanted me to make sure y'all know that!

(When you read the book you'll understand)
Don't forget to leave a comment to win these here red boots...giveaway is April 1st.

Boy Howdy - I have a million and one exciting things to tell you but it'll have to wait.

I don't like to bore you with big, long, drawn-out posts, so check back often.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Dixie Road Trip

 This Dixie Road Trip found me about 30 miles west of Washington, DC in Aldie -the heart of Virginia Horse Country.

I almost squealed with delight as I turned down this little gravel lane.



Barn Sale


And isn't this the cutest barn you've ever seen?

The wicker furniture looked so inviting, as if it was just waiting for me to sit down and bask in the sunlight.

This sign was conveniently propped to where it was the first thing we saw when we walked in.


Cute, quaint, shabby-chic eye candy no matter where I turned.


Lucinda Michell, propieter and artist, designed the below table by removing the original table top and replacing it with an old clock.

Lovely.



And don't you just love the way they left the loose straw on the floor? 
Very charming.


Lucinda got the idea to hold a Barn Sale when several years ago she helped a friend open a shop in Winchester, Virginia. She loved the thrill of the hunt so much that she started collecting vintage furniture, adding her own personal, unique touch to each piece. The accessories she sells are new but refurbished to make them look old.


L to R:  Lucinda, her sister Melissa (my kindred spirit with the cowboy boots), me and the sisters' friend, Kimberly. Kimberly's husband Bart who was snapping the picture was kept hopping unloading furniture.

It was a wonderful day. Sunny and a mild 75 degrees.

The only painful part? Gas prices. Yikes!



Total gas bill (gulp).


If any of my readers live in the Northern Virginia/DC area and are lookin' to get out to the country for the fresh air and gorgeous views, head straight west on Highway 50. Turn left on New Mountain Road and follow the signs. You'll turn left about 1/2 mile up.

Just 12 days away from the red cowboy boots giveaway.

Til Next Time,

Kathie

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Final word on 'False Victim'

Which is only fitting since I'm getting ready to close this chapter on my life.

But I get this question every day of my life, no matter where I am.

'Whatever happened to the people in your first book,
 'False Victim'
(based on a true story)


I have really mixed emotions about posting this, but as I go across the country I am inundated with questions - even e-mails - wondering if there were any new developments after the book came out and what happened to 'Lynn'.

And because you have ALL been incredibly supportive, awesome and made the book such a hit, I am going to accomodate. 

But after next week....well, I'm not sayin' I'll never talk about it again (never say never, right?), but, I'd really rather not.

I will start with the bit-part players and work my way up. Here goes:

Janie: House was recently raided by DEA, arresting her and her son for drug possesion. She was released and not charged, I'm not sure what has happened to the son. If you go to BarnesandNoble.com you can see the two 1-star reviews she gave me. Oh well.
(Yes, I'm sure it's her. I read her Neighborhood watch newsletter every month for four years. I'd recognize that style anywhere.)

Donna: All really was forgiven. It's hard to 'forget'  someone not coming to your rescue when they really and truly held their life in your hands, but I try to live by what the Bible tells me and that is to forgive. I've seen Donna several times but she doesn't speak. Sadly, I think Donna could never forgive herself. She still lives in the old neighborhood.

Anne:  We never spoke again. Never. Not even in passing. Shortly after we moved her family put their house on the market and they moved to a community called South Riding in Loudon County, VA

Curtis (Lynn's son): Well, after painting the front of my house you'd think he'd be some sort of artist and maybe he is, but first he did a stint in drug rehab.

Hannah (Lynn's daughter): moved to Boston

Rick: still lives in the same house sans Lynn (more on her in a sec). Still in arrears on their HOA dues. I understand from a former HOA president that it is just a matter of time before Rick loses the house.

Lynn: She divorced Rick and moved to Massachusetts.

After 'False Victim' was released I talked with other victims of 'Lynn's'.

One of them was with her when she was in a Saks in Boston and Lynn was taken into custody for shoplifting. She said that Lynn proceeded to go home and tell friends and family that SHE had been shoplifting and that's why they were late for dinner.

Another told of being choked by Lynn and took two/three grown men to pull her off.

When I talked to the lady that lived in my house before me said that she actually saw Lynn pull up the property line stake in the back yard and move it, making Lynn's yard bigger and shaving a good 5 feet off what would soon be our property. She said nothing actually ever happened. She was afraid of Lynn and just stayed in the house and never went outside. FYI- if you'll remember the little girl with 'leukemia' that lived in our house prior to us in the book, in actuality she lived in another house in the neighborhood, and it was a 'heart condition', not cancer. (Confused yet?)

A police dispatcher was one of my real estate clients and she told me that there were times Lynn would call and they wouldn't even bother to come.

Last, but certainly not least, all the folks I've heard from after the book came out have told me that Lynn has done things like this her whole adult life.

I was in no way, shape or form her first victim.

For one of the last book clubs I did, as a surprise, I brought 3 major characters from the book and let my readers ask them anything they wanted. Even I found out some things that had gone on that I didn't know. Mainly about witnessing several times, Lynn following me, or pacing back/forth in front of my house when I was gone or asleep.

So, there you have it. If I've left anything out that you wanted to know and I didn't cover, ask in the comments section and check back later for my answer.

Or just simply leave a comment at all and you'll be added to the red boots giveaway.
(Are you tired of me talking about these boots, yet?)

Now, those of you that haven't read 'False Victim' are goin'
'what the heck is all this about?'

If you really wanna know, you can still get the book at any book store, Amazon, even your Kindle. Or you can order by clicking on 'books' above.

But now, I am really, really looking forward to Tuesday's release of my new novel, 'The Hillbilly Debutante Cafe' which, I promise you is much, much lighter and waaayyy more fun!

Til Next Time,

Kathie





Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Yes, I really do wear cowboy boots the majority of the time..

Even when I wear dresses.
And I almost always wear dresses.


Denim jacket - Gap. Dress, thrift store for $5.00, Red Nocona Boots from PFI Western Store in Springfield, MO


This is an outfit I plan on wearing to the Virginia Gold Cup. The dress is from a vintage store in Georgetown, Cowboy boots from Urban Outfitters, and Hunter boots (in case it's muddy that day)were a STEAL (13.00!) from a thrift store. Hat is from Lord and Taylor

I call this my 'Cowgirl Brooks Brothers' look. Sometimes I think the red boots are a bit too much red, so I'll switch if off with the brown Dan Post's (also from PFI - notice a pattern here?). Big, gigantic pearls are from Banana Republic and I don't wear them too often because they are really heavy.


This is my absolute favorite outfit! LOVE a tulle skirt. 
My Cowgirl Betsy Johnson look.

I would love to tell you this is my 'Cowgirl Lilly Pulitzer' but I don't have any pink boots. So, my goal this summer is to have some specially designed by my buddy Trae at PFI. Maybe they'll have the initials 'HD' stitched on them. Yeah. I like that idea.
Pink Hillbilly Debutante Boots


And while red boots seem to be my signature, these are actually my favorite!

Until Next Time,

Kathie

Monday, March 19, 2012

What Is Your Daily Schedule? (and another boot giveaway)

 I couldn't come up with an edgier, more interesting blog title, which is the first rule of blogging. In case you didn't know, that's how I 'reel' you in, dear reader. But I bet the words 'another boot giveaway' gotcha, didn't it? I'll let you know more about that later.

First things first.  There are three questions that I am constantly barraged with, and as y'all know I am an open book, but I won't answer them all at once - AND I am saving the BEST for last. (A big, giant,  hint at the end of this article) 

But for today, we'll start with question number one:

What is your daily schedule like?

Everyone - especially aspiring writers - always seem to think that I must just sit behind a computer and write every single day for hours on end. Laawww no! I am a writer, blogger, shopkeeper and soon to be producer, but I am wife and mother first.
After all, kids gotta eat, Daddy needs clean underwear.

So here's how it goes:

Monday: deep clean house/do laundry, upload photos of new merchandise onto blog boutique, walk Sally and Violet in between chores and mailing packages at Post Office. Usually no writing on Mondays. I did today because I got my spring cleaning done Saturday - yay!

(Traci -one of my publicists- seriously, I would be nothing without this girl!)

Tuesday:  walk the girls, make bed,  then phone meeting with at least one of my two publicists to work out my book signing and speaking schedule, more phone meetings with vendors and trip to post office to mail books/merchandise, (designated day for lunch with friend if time allows) Write for about an hour or two before bedtime.

Wednesday: walk dogs, make bed, write most of the morning, then take a walk or ride bike to take a break. When I come back I try to spend the rest of the day either reading, or doing marketing/strategy. Go to post office and mail packages. Write from about 7-8.

Thursday: make beds, walk dogs, marketing/strategy. Sophia comes over on Thursdays! When she goes home it's back at it:  Map out plan for upcoming Southern Living Dixie Road Trip, includes making phone calls to let them know when I'll be there, etc. Write for about an hour in the afternoon then head to post office. Marketing/strategy

Friday: walk dogs, make beds, then load up Dixie and go junking/hunting/thrifting. This is usually a very long day because I go wwwaaayyy out in the country to do this. But it's also my favorite day because not only is it leading up to the weekend, the only days I have my family to myself, but's it's also great to be out in the wide, open spaces away from traffic and big buildings, seeing green pastures dotted with livestock. Love it!

Saturday: make beds, take Sally/Violet for a ride than a walk (they love it just as much and it saves me a bit of time to do what I want to do). Maybe I'll write in the afternoon, read, and think of something to do that night. I LOVE going out on Saturday night.

Sunday: church! And then if I'm lucky, granddaughter Sophia will come home with me for a few hours.

So there you have it. That's a 'typical' week. It's not too awfully busy, but keep in mind right now, right before a new book is being released things tend to be helter-skelter around here. Plans for upcoming release parties, tour scheduling, new Hillbilly Debutante merchandising/designing, problem-solving and the list goes on.
And if it's editing for a new book? FORGET ALL THE ABOVE. Nothing gets done, and the family eats pizza.

NOW, the moment you've all been waiting for....the other boot giveaway! My friend "The Farmers Trophy Wife" is having one all this week and giving them away the end of the week. So go! Hurry!


The Farmers Trophy wife and little ones
(I declare! That truly is one lucky farmer, if you ask me!)

I won't tell you tomorrow's question I'll be tackling, but Wednesday? Are y'all ready for this?

Whatever happened to Lynn and the other characters from your book "False Victim"?

Folks, I travel all over this glorious country and that's the question I am asked every day of my life. So, check back Wednesday. And of course if you have a question about 'False Victim' that you're afraid I might not answer then by all means leave it in the comments and that will kill two birds with one stone. You'll get the inside scoop and put in the drawing for the red boots I am giving away on April 1st.

'Cause March 27th is the release date for "The Hillbilly Debutante Cafe" and 'False Victim' will be nothin' but history (thank you, Lord)

My red boots below are the exact replica of what the lucky winner will win here at Hillbilly Debutante, courtesy of PFI Western Wear. Good luck!

Betty Baird and myself at the Madhatter Luncheon at Columbia Country Club in Washington, DC

Til next time,

Kathie

Friday, March 16, 2012

Don't blame ME for not blogging....

You all have kept me so busy going back and forth to the Post Office to mail books, t-shirts and other merchandise that people are startin' to speculate on what exactly is going on between me and the Postmaster. 

I'm working now on a few articles for you, but I wanted to stop in and say 'thank you' so very, very much for all your support.

WAIT A DOG-GONE MINUTE!!! I just thought of something.

 I bet y'all are just doin' all this to win those  red boots, aren't you?
Well, I don't blame you for one minute because they are absolutely worth it!  When will I be giving them away?
 
 
 
 
 
The first of April - no foolin'.
 
Now get outta here and go have yourself a good weekend!
(But not before leaving a comment to put yourself in the runnin' - and yes, every time you comment you're name goes in the hat again!)
 
Til Next Time,
 
Kathie Truitt

Friday, March 9, 2012

Southern Living Dixie Road Trip

For those of y'all new to the 'ranch', every month I pick a place that is featured in Southern Living Magazine and take a Southern Living Dixie (the name of my truck) Road Trip to see for myself what all the fuss is about. And honestly? I can tell you that I have never once been disappointed.

But will today be that exception? 

This trip I only had to roam about 11 miles from my own house to Occoquan, Virginia to Mom's Apple Pie Bakery, named by Southern Living as one of the top ten pie shops in the south (January issue).

I've driven by Mom's at least 100 times in the past 11 years I've lived here, but I've never bothered to stop in because....well, frankly I'm kind of snooty-patooty when it comes to pie. You see, I use my Grandma Drexie's crust/pie recipe and while the end result may be ugly because I can't make a pretty crust if my life depended on it,  I guarant-darn-tee you mine will be the best pie that's ever melted in your mouth. Besides, no respectable, country, southern mama that loves her family would be caught dead bringing a store-bought pie into her house.

But upon reading that Southern Living had named this admittedly, sweet, quaint little shop - (don't you love the old-fashioned front porch?) one of the best pie shops in the south I jealously thought, 'hmmm...I'll be the judge of that'.

I'll give the place extra points for a homey-farm-house feel.


Have I ever mentioned that I love old church pews? Well, I do...but I resisted the urge to sit my lazy carcass down and enjoy the beautiful spring-like day in this lovely little village that seems miles from a big city (it's not).
No time for that. I have a job to do.  I indignantly marched right through the front door only to be hit head-on with the most wonderful, breath-taking aroma of fresh pie coming out of the oven.....
But I refuse to be taken in so quickly. I am no 'pie' fool. Smell doesn't mean  a thing to me....


However, the olfactory senses weren't the only thing in over-drive. Eye candy everywhere! I felt like I'd been transported back in time to a small-town combination bakery/five and dime. There was so much to see I didn't know where to turn when suddenly I focused on these babies....


It just wouldn't be a southern bakery or pie shop without moon pies. Home-made moon pies! Oh my! It was all I could do to resist. But I did! Next time I come to town, though,  I'm stoppin' in for a grape pop and moon pie and chill out on that church pew! But not now. Right now I was on a mission.


And it didn't include cookies, although these are 'bout the cutest ones I've ever seen


These glass containers are filled to the brim with a huge variety of candy, and this vintage cupboard looks just like one you'd see in Grandma's house.


This old wooden Indian reminded of that 1950's Hank Williams song "Kawlijah"



This gorgeous antique fridge does a fine job of keeping it's contents cool - Virginia wine.


This was my favorite of the day, though. I seriously love this piece so much that I wanna marry it! I promise, there will be two things I own before I go to meet my maker - a 1950's Chevy truck - and an old Coca-Cola machine just like this one! Oooohhh yeah.



The crew at Mom's is very proud of their Wall of Fame. Seems this winter's issue wasn't the only time Southern Living had sung their praises and even Country Living thinks 'Mom' is the cat's meow.


These ladies were catching the Amtrak to Florida and decided to stop off and sample the famous pie. Time for me to do the same. Sweet Sharon, above, behind the register, recommended the Blackberry.
(By the way, Mom - yes, there really is a 'Mom' - grows her all the berries on her farm just down the road a bit in Loudon County.)

Later......



 It was time..the moment I'd been waiting for. It's pretty enough - much better-looking than my pie crust, I must admit. But I still feel guilty for bringin' another woman's pie into this house. To me, it's 'bout on the same level as bringing another gal's husband home.
But I remind myself that it's for a good cause. It is, after all a Southern Living Dixie Road Trip and it is my job, after all, to test and report back to you.  Besides, I usually bake apple pie and this is Blackberry. Heck, I don't even have access to Blackberries, so I guess it's not really cheatin', is it?

Anyway, here goes.

Does it or doesn't it pass the 'Hillbilly Debutante' taste test?


Judging by the empty dessert plate, what do you think?


Good choice, Southern Living!

Leave me a comment and tell me what your favorite kind of pie is and you'll be in the drawing for the red boots to be given away in April!


And if you're one of my readers in the Washington, DC area, you definitely need to stop and pick up your favorite sweet at Mom's Apple Pie Bakery in Occoquan, VA or in Leesburg, VA.


Tell 'em the Hillbilly Debutante sent ya!

Til Next Time,

Kathie

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

I have some good news.....and I have some good news,

The first good news I have for you is that I have in my possession the very first ever copies of 'The Hillbilly Debutante Cafe'! You don't have to wait til release date! That's right! As soon as you go to the top of my blog and click 'books' and buy your copy, I will mail out your signed copy to you the very next day!

And the other good news is to inform you on just how you can win your very own pair of red boots like the ones I'm wearin' in the picture below:

(me at the Washington DC Ladies Capital Speakers Club)

Everyone that buys 'The Hillbilly Debutante Cafe' has their name put in the hat twice! Any other item you buy in the Hillbilly Debutante boutique - regardless of what it is - you get your name put in twice. Leave a comment on my blog and your name gets put in once....

BUT....let's say you order a book (your name goes in twice), buy something else whether it be vintage, homegoods, jewelry, etc from the shop your name goes in two more times for EVERY item you buy, AND after all that you leave a comment? Then your name goes in AGAIN!

Now, I've never been too awful good at math, but if I'm not mistaken you're name would be put in....let's see...how many times is that? Oh never mind! You get the idea.

Now, whatcha waitin' for? Get to work and win them boots!


Tuesday, March 6, 2012

A Giveaway that will spoil you from ALL other giveaways!

See those cute little red cowboy boots up there in my logo? Go ahead - take a look. Awesome, huh? Well, you'll have a chance to win some brand spankin' new ones just like 'em - in your size! Yes, I know - I hear you jumpin' up and down squealin' like a tickled pig!

I'm sorry, can you repeat that? Calm down, now...I can't understand a thing you're saying while you're all hyped up like that. Oh, what do you have to do to win them? Well now.....you'll just have to come back tomorrow and find out, won't you?

Friday, March 2, 2012

A Supercool Giveaway!

Throughout the month of March whoever buys a Hillbilly Debutante t-shirt will have their name put in the kitty for a giveaway. Ladies and gentlemen  (sorry guys, this one is just for the girls), this isn't your run-of-the-mill blog giveaway. This is an awesome giveaway. I'm tempted to fire myself so I can have a chance at winning.
(T-shirts are only $15.00)

The attached clothpins are $18.00 and look great on t-shirts, denim jackets, blazers....you get the picture. As a matter of fact, if you wanna buy the clothpin as well, I'll put your name in TWICE!

I'm only doing the two-time entry 'thingy' with my blog readers. Shhh- I won't tell my twitter and facebook followers.

What's the giveaway? Oh, I knew you were gonna ask that. I'm gonna keep that to myself a bit longer. But I'll tell you what it's not! It's not an apron (not that cool), nor jewelry (a bit better, but still not all that cool), and it's not a trip to Hawaii (giveaway definitely not that cool, but almost!).

Next Wednesday (the 7th) will be the big reveal....pictures and all....

Now go on with your bad self and place your order - you know you wanna!

Til Next Time,

Kathie

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Hillbilly Debutante Style


Folks, I am in love with my new look! Whaddya y'all think?  Thanks to Tess Mooney and her trusty sidekick/brother Ty Mooney, "Hillbilly Debutante" is the new hottie in the bloggy world. 

I still can't wrap my head around it. After 5 years in the makin' 'Hillbilly Debutante' is more than just a blog. It's a lifestyle. The dynamic design duo have worked night and day the past few weeks to create a cozy, homey, farm-style atmosphere that's a mighty fine escape from this modern, crazy world.

No siree-Bob,  here at The Hillbilly Debutante, no one gives a hoot about the election primaries or the price of gas. We aren't wonderin' if Snookie (Jersey Shore) really is three months pregnant, or when Angelina and Brad are tyin' the knot. And we certainly aren't wastin' our precious time pontificatin' if that really is Kim Kardashians natural butt-size or just some wierd implant surgery gone awry. Nope. We don't care about any of that. All we care about here is keepin' it country, simple, and fun.


So go on now! Take a look around. Peek into the shop and you'll find vintage clothing, homegoods, accessories, jewelry, Hillbilly Debutante goodies -even a Hillbilly Debutante t-shirt line.  Check back often as I'll be adding to the shop, and eventually will expand to include more shabby-chic furniture and home decorations. 

 You can also pre-order 'The Hillbilly Debutante Cafe'. It's not released 'til March 27th but I should get copies to mail out next week to those who order.


Thanks a million for your patience while we were under construction!  And stay tuned for some more really fun news and happenings in the next few weeks. That's all I'm tellin' you. You'll just have to stay tuned to see what naughtiness I'm up to.

Til next time,

Kathie