Monday, October 29, 2012

Bring it on, Sandy

The meatloaf is done. 
Roast with vegetables? Done.
Veggie tray, pot of beans, bread, cinnamon rolls, crackers with various cheeses and savory spreads. Ready.
 Cookies? Of course.

It sounds like we're having a big party, huh?
Well, we do have company. 

Hurricane Sandy.

We  have firewood so we can reheat stuff in the fireplace if needed, but I've also tried to prepare food that doesn't taste too bad cold, either. I picked up four bags of ice - enough to keep two coolers full of food. And I've calculated enough food to keep us going for a week if the power goes out.

And I'm predicting the power will go out at, oh...let's say, about 8:00 tonight. It's 3:46 right now.

Looking outside from the picture it just looks like your average, dreary, rainy day, huh? 

But au contraire.

The wind is howling and at different times at least one of these trees looks like it's going to break in two.

Candles and matches are at the helm......

so I can read these.

Poor Violet.

She is now completely blind due to diabetes, and the wind/rain combo has been very traumatic. I decided it would just be easier to put a diaper on her.

Sally, of course loves the cooler weather and doesn't mind the rain,  but since our back yard is flooding (oh joy!) we have to put her leash on and take her out to the front.

My rubber boots are getting a workout.

It's all good today - I kind of enjoy being tucked inside all cozy and comfy. But by Wednesday I am going to have cabin-fever big time. 
Pray for me. Better yet, pray for my family that has to put up with my antsy pants. It ain't pretty.

Til next time - batten down those hatches!
OH! And don't forget to go down to the next post and leave a comment to win my latest book and a visit from me to your book club!



Friday, October 26, 2012


 I promised y'all a follow-up to 'The Hillbilly Debutante Cafe' so by golly, a 'follow-up' ye shall have. But truth be known, I am not all that crazy about writing books. 

Don't get me wrong. I love to 'have written'. Nothing is as much fun nor as exciting as travelling, meeting new people, seeing new parts of the country and personally autographing a novel you've put your heart and soul into. 

But when you're a people person like yours truly it physically hurts to sit at home behind a computer and type. I almost need to be in the midst of chaos to be able to think and create. 

But blogging? Now that's a whole 'nother story. I know, I know. I've been a slacker the past few months, but I am still in love with communicating with you through my blog. Don't ask me why, but it doesn't feel as lonely. I think it's because you can leave comments - and I like comments (hint, hint).

Anyway, while you know 'The Hillbilly Debutante Cafe' is a fictitious story, there are some aspects that are real. I was just thinking that if I show you some pictures and tell you a bit about what's 'real' and what is isn't it might put me back in the mood to start the second in the series. 

So, here goes:

In case you're wondering how I come up with the names of my characters: the name of a street in my neighborhood where I walk.

Below is a (very distant) photo of 'Molly's' house. While Molly is a fictitious character, I instinctively put her in a house that I tried to buy when I thought I'd leave Washington, DC. This house is actually how I came up with the idea for this novel. I was so unhappy about not being able to move back and start a new life that I thought I'd just write about it. Ofentimes, late at night when my head touches the pillow, this is the house I go to in my dreams. 

 Terry McCallister - a character in the book and a character in real life.

He really does own the gun shop/museum in downtown El Dorado Springs, Missouri (Carl's Gun Shop). If you remember, Terry protects Molly and Jennifer from that trouble-maker 'Roy Bob Benson' when he shows up at the cafe three sheets into the wind.

Sally and I on a visit to the museum last winter right before the book was released.

And speaking of Miss Sally, she shows up in the book as one of Molly's two dogs (along with Violet who stayed home this trip). She really wasn't sure what she thought of the stuffed bear in the background.

Aaannnddd (drum roll, please).....

This corner building is 'The Hillbilly Debutante Cafe'. Well, not really. It's actually a store called 'Foundation 81' (1881 is when the town was founded). I tried to talk the proprietor into opening a real, true-blue Hillbilly Debutante Cafe to no avail.

There has, however, been some talk of the Revitalization committee (yes, just like in the book there really is a committee) opening one. I think that would be fabulous! 

Now. Although the story is fictitious there is 'some' truth. For instance, the radio station owner and the newspaper owner really do despise one another and there is an ongoing feud. I got a front-row view of all the action when I worked at the radio station (KESM).

And apparently a few town councilmen were not happy with the story line. The mayor made sure to release an article -on the front page of the newspaper no less - that the town had just passed an audit and was not on it's deathbed.  I did mention the storyline was fictitious, didn't I? Oh well.

Funny thing is, when I go into 'Foundation 81', I don't see racks of clothing or walls with shoe displays. I don't even see the soda bar in the back. Nope. When I walk into that building I see cafe tables, with Jennifer waiting tables. I see 'Big Scott' in his cowboy hat claiming his slice of pie that he won in the cafe naming contest. At the bar I see 'Brother Jeff' and his parishioners laughing and telling jokes and parked out front I 'see' Molly's 1952 red Chevy truck named "Dixie".....

When you read it I hope you 'see' those same things....

So now....let's do something we haven't done for a while. Let's have a giveaway! Leave a comment and your name will be entered in a drawing for your free copy of 'The Hillbilly Debutante Cafe'. If you're the lucky winner I'll also do a phone interview with your book club - my favorite thing to do. Better yet, if you live within an 80 mile radius of me I will show up to your book club - in person!

Good luck!

Til next time,


Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Good Fortune

Yes I am.

As a matter of fact the 'place I'm going in life' now is to the beautiful town of Warrenton, North Carolina for a speaking engagement/book signing.

Funny thing about that? My early ancestors founded this town.

My family was one of the first families in Virginia. They eventually moved further south in what became North Carolina.

My 7th great-grandfather Edward Jones was in the first House of Burgesses. He died on the house floor during session and a vigil was held in his honor the following session.

I'll be sending two days there and will be doing something I've never done before.

I am sssooo psyched about this. 
Promise not to laugh when I tell you what it is?

I'm staying in a bed and breakfast. 
Yes, I know. 
I'm the last remaining American to never have done this. 

I have been in such a 'writing funk' lately.
 Every week I get asked when the follow-up to 'The Hillbilly Debutante Cafe'  is coming out and I'm ashamed to say I haven't even started.

Maybe the Ivy Bed and Breakfast will give me the inspiration I so need right now.

Til next time,


Monday, October 8, 2012

Steven Lagos at Neiman Marcus, and All-Access Fashion Show for Make A Wish Foundation and Ladies Who Lunch

I have been busier than a one-harmed paper hanger.
  Actually I once knew a one-armed paper hanger. 
But anyway....
I have been having way too much fun going here, yonder and everywhere when I should be working on my follow up 'Hillbilly Debutante Cafe' novel. 
Writing is a very lonely job.

So when I got the invitation to attend a breakfast/trunk show with famous jewelry designer Steven Lagos I couldn't get there fast enough! 

I love his look - especially those Steven Stolman-type spectacles. (He has a pair in every color - how cool is that?)

I bought this little guy right here. 

But I'm saving up for this bad boy right here. Gorgeous. I am addicted to anything sparkly, but if you're the more subtle type he has some beautiful pieces you need to check out here:

My beautiful friends

The breakfast and trunk show started at 9:00 am but the early hour didn't deter a one of us from trying on every single piece, oohing and aahing, and burning up the cash register. 

 Steven is such a gentlemen. He spent an equal amount of time with every woman there.   He didn't just try to 'sell' us jewelry. He took an interest in what was going on in our lives, our families. It's so cliche' but he was actually just a really nice guy.

Who just happens to be a magnificent jewelry designer.
My kind of guy.

Hillbilly on the left/Debutante definitely on the right!
Jackie is a supermodel here in DC. She walks almost every single fashion show - and there are plenty.

Do not believe what you read/hear in the press. 

Washington DC women love fashion! 

lunch in Annapolis, Maryland
 Cheryl, 60, on the left, Katharine 85, on the right with the funky, spiky young hair cut. Both are fashion consultants for the Carlyle Collection (both ladies offered their ages - I would never ask!)

I don't want to offend the young women, but I have to tell you that in DC it's the 'over 50' set that have the monopoly on style and elegance. 
 These are women that still dress up just to go to the grocery store.
I love that.

I saw this lady when I sat across the runway from her at the All-Access Fashion Show a few weeks ago. 
That hair!!
I practically chased her down at the reception.
She graciously posed for a picture. Isn't she lovely?

And of course it made me ask the question, "Why do you spend so much money every few weeks to get your roots done"?

 "Forget it sister. You've tried that before and it ain't pretty". 
That's my voice of reason talkin'.
Yes ma'am. Gotta love that 'voice of reason' - which also tells me I can't wear the leopard print leggings I saw on the young models on the catwalk.

Oh well. I bet they can't pull of a pair of cowboy boots like this ol' girl here, either.

Til next time.