Posted in event, my books, News, poetry, promo, road trip

Over 30 Local Authors with Over 100 Titles

Join Us Sunday, November 20th from 1 to 4 pm at the New Bern Farmers Market

Thanks to the efforts of author Sarah Maury Swan, she has brought together an eclectic group of authors and poets for a one-day only sale at the New Bern Farmers Market, 421 South Front Street, New Bern, NC. Sarah was featured on my Creekside Cafe author interviews.

I met Sarah many years ago at a Pamlico Writers’ Conference and later we attended a Carteret Writers’ Meeting together. Sarah is a vibrant woman with so much passion for life and writing that just being around her is inspiring. While many people would make excuses not to do things, Sarah looks for ways to get them accomplished. If she doesn’t know how, she calls on her friends and she has a lot of them which is evident by the number of people who have signed up for this event.

Bill, or W. C. Furney is one of Sarah’s posse, he might even be the sheriff of this motley crew. It is thanks to his efforts that we have the poster with all of our covers. I have used his work to make a few of my own, thanks Bill for helping to promote this event. I am looking forward to a drink with Bill and a chance to pick his brain.

The list of authors attending the Sunday Author Event is astounding. We have authors who are award winning like Sarah and Eileen Lettick, Leslie Tall Manning and Michelle Garren Flye, we have professors, researchers, therapists, poets, leaders in the local arts, and more. Whether you are looking for non-fiction, poetry or genre fiction, something for yourself, your spouse, grandma or your children, we have something for everyone. Come check out our books and get a signed copy for the holidays. I will even have gift wrapping available.

If you are unable to attend the New Bern Farmers Market Authors’ Event, you can still connect with these authors and buy their books through these links.

1*Hope Andersen

2*Mike Barton Fantasy

3* Nathan Black Poetry

4*Phil Bowie Mystery

5* Rosemary Klim Bricker Non-fiction

6*Chris Brown  Self Help

7 *Paloma Capanna Eclectic  

8*Heather Cobham

9*Karen Dodd Eclectic

10 *Bill Furney

11 *Michelle Garren Flye Poetry &

12*Beth Garver Cozy Mystery/Fantasy The Java Tavern Series


13* Diane Gray Non-Fiction finding her birth

14* Sherri Hollister Cozy Mystery

15* Nicole Kerr NF Self Help

16*Deirdre Kiernan PB 

17*Jo Anna Kloster MG

18*Veronica Krug Fantasy

19* Eileen Lettick Children’s; https//

20* Julie Lombard Eclectic

21*Leslie Tall Manning Eclectic

22*Nina Makhatadze Eclectic

23*Barbara McCreary MG Historical

24 *Murinda MacDonald nonfiction

25 * Sue McIntyre: email: 

26 *Cheryl Meola non-fiction

27*Margaret Pollock MG

28*Timothy Reinhardt Fantasy

29* Robert Reinschild/DeForest Shields Fiction https://

30* Natalie Singletary ? Eclectic

31*Blaine Staat Sci-Fi, Dystopian

32*Cyrus Spears (a.k.a. Sirius) Fantasy

33*Sarah Maury Swan Children’s YA & MG

34 *Sev Tok Spiritual

35* Stanley Trice Eclectic

Children’s Books

Hope Andersen

Deirdre Kiernan PB

Jo Anna Dressler Kloster MG

Eileen Lettick MG & YA

Barbara McCreary MG Historical

Margaret Pollock MG

Sarah Maury Swan MG & YA


Paloma Capanna

Karen Dodd

Michelle Garren Flye

Julie Lombard

Nina Makhatadze

Leslie Tall Manning

Sue McIntyre

Natalie Singletary

Stanley Trice



Mike Barton

Veronica Krug

Timothy Reinhardt

Cyrus Spears a.k.a. Sirius

Blaine Staat Sci-Fi, Dystopian


William Charles Furney

Heather Cobham

Robert Reinschild/DeForest Shields


Phil Bowie

Beth Garver

Sherri Lupton Hollister


Memoir, etc.

Rosemary Klim Bricker

Cheryl Meola

Murinda MacDonald


Diane Gray

Self Help

Hope Andersen

Chris Brown

Nicole Kerr


Sev Tok


Nathan Black

Posted in event, road trip, Thoughts

Confessions of a Nerd

I have a confession. I’m a nerd. I geek out over the strangest things. I love research and learning new things. With the past couple of years’ Covid restrictions I have done most of my research and learning online. As y’all know, I follow several authors online. I love YouTube especially for learning from other authors, but I recently discovered I can find research information like steamships from late 1800s and early 1900s, what life was like in the Victorian era, and assorted household items look like when they explode or catch fire.

I also enjoy taking classes both in person and online on everything from writing craft to research details and even marketing. Okay, maybe I don’t exactly enjoy marketing but as an indie author, marketing is a necessary part of the game. Last Saturday I attended the Heart of Carolina Spring Conference with Molly Maddox and Lucy Lennox. I followed that program with a webinar on Goodreads by Alessandra Torres of Inkers Con. I feel I have been inundated with information, good, much needed information but maybe more than I can process at the moment.  

One thing I learned while raising our sons is that we each absorb information in different ways and regurgitate that information through our own filters. As I review the recordings one more time, I know that I will have to choose one or two things to focus on and do my best to implement those lessons before I can attempt to use any of the other great knowledge. That’s why for me, I don’t mind listening to a lecture more than once, sometimes multiple times. I happily attend classes and programs I’ve attended before or are similar, because review helps renew or remind me of things I might have forgotten or become lax with.

Craftsmen, no matter if they are woodworkers or painters, seamstress or authors, we each continue to learn in order to stay current. When we stop growing and learning, we then begin to die. On that ominous note, I urge each of you and myself to learn something new and find the new nugget in the old.

Of course, I’m a nerd, I love to learn. I geek out over dress fashion changes from the 1800s and inventions of the Victorian era. I get all excited watching glass blowers design a vase or a blacksmith make a knife. I want to know how it’s done.

This week my gal-pals and I will be going to Carteret to listen to mystery author, Tom Kies and while we’re there, I’ll do a little research at the maritime museum. With two books in two different series in different genres and different time periods, this trip is more than just a fun adventure, it’s a necessity. But there will be laughs, good food, fun times and learning all combined. It’s so good to be able to go to in person events again.

I will be learning to Haiku with poet, author and bookstore owner, the Heart of the Pamlico Poet Laureate, Michelle Garner-Flye. Check out

Posted in event, road trip

The Best Laid Plans…

NC Book Festival 2020, Raleigh, North Carolina

“The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.” A quote from “The Mouse” by Robert Burns.

In the fall of 2019, my friend Tammera sent out an email to see who would be interested in joining her at the NC Book Festival 2020 in Raleigh. I’d never heard of it but as an Indie-author I’m always looking for ways to get my name out into the public, so I said yes.

In October, we divided into two groups, Alison Paul Klakowicz author of Mommy’s Big Red Truck and Tammera Cooper author of The Water Street Chronicles, and Adrienne Dunning author of several sweet romances and I would have two tables at the festival. I went to the website and posted and reposted anything I saw to help drive traffic to their website and to the festival. Tammera made us lovely banners to put on our social media. We posted, Tweeted, chatted and blogged about it, and still people did not know about it. From October to February there was very little traffic on their website. I saw no advertising on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram except what I or my friends posted but I hoped since they charge so much for a table, that they had at least put out signs and advertised locally.

Then the snow came. We had had a lovely winter with temperatures averaging in the seventies until the week of the festival, then we get twenty-degree weather and snow. I know, you cannot plan for these things. I was hoping that like the hurricane that came when I went to Murfreesboro for a writer’s retreat that everything would turn out just fine. Well, the weather warmed, the snow and ice melted, and everything went off without a hitch…mostly.

Without proper advertising and publicity, people were unaware that we were even there. My friend was on the same block as the book festival and had no idea it was even going on until she returned home and saw my posts on Facebook.

It wasn’t a total waste of time. I had a nice weekend away with my friend although the weather derailed some of our plans. I met some fantastic people at the festival, promoted the upcoming Pamlico Writers’ Conference and made some connections for future interviews on my website but I only sold two books.

It is difficult to balance the cost of the table, hotel, gas and food, not to mention the books and bling we bought to attract people to our tables with the number of books sold.

While I am trying to remain upbeat and positive, I know that I blew my budget on this weekend and have little to show for it. Will I do it again? Not if I’m paying for it. Do I think it’s a waste of time? Not for a group like the Pamlico Writers who wanted to promote their conference but for an individual author, yeah, it wasn’t worth the cost.

I think the NC Book Festival could be a profitable and fun event. It needs to be in a central location instead of spread out to so many different venues, and it needs more marketing behind it. Every writers’ group or organization, publisher and agent in North Carolina should have been contacted as well as all the libraries and bookstores. There should have been signs up around town and especially at the venue alerting people that something cool was happening. I feel like this was a missed opportunity and for an Indie-author with a small budget, this failure hurts the pocketbook and sets me back.

But I did have a good time. As I was setting up my table the man across the way greeted me and we exchanged information about ourselves and our books. Come to find out, we have a friend in common, my mentor, Marni Graff. Thomas A. Burns, jr. author of Stripper, Revenge and Trafficked also deals with the darker side of life, especially sex trafficking. I am presently reading his first book and Tom and I have plans for an interview. It will be interesting to compare notes.

I also met two lovely ladies sitting behind me, a lady who’d written a biography and has ties to Washington, a lovely British woman a former history professor who is now writing young adult time travel adventure novels. The day was filled with lovely people, authors, publishers, poets and even a handsome economist.

While financially I don’t feel as if I can recommend this event, culturally and for the connections, it was a lovely experience.

Posted in Creekside Cafe, road trip

On the Porch with Ruth Akright

I’m here at my creek side café with the wonderful Ruth Akright. It was wonderful to meet you in person. I enjoyed the writers retreat in Murfreesboro. It was a fantastic reprieve from the hurricane.

Your house, the Murfree-Williams House is such a delight. I love old homes, the history, the stories, the architecture. When did you buy and restore the Murfree-Williams House?

Ruth: We purchased the house in 1985 from the Murfreesbroro Historical Association.

Do you have any before pictures?

Ruth: Here are some of the Murfree-Williams House.

Sherri: How did you get started restoring or resurrecting old houses?

Ruth: I have always been interested in old houses.  Worked with my father who was a painter and carpenter from a very early age.  One of my high school class mates reminded me that I dragged her through every old empty house in the county when we were growing up.

Sherri: You told us about the different parts of the house and where they came from. My bedroom was the old dentist office?

Ruth: The dentist office was constructed around the turn of the 20th century as the dentist office for the town.  We know that it was constructed later than the porch since there is a second slanted floor under the existing floor. While we were working on the house in the early days of purchase, a wonderful elderly Southern gent used to come by on Saturdays.  He was always dressed in his three-piece suit, had on his hat and carried a beautiful cane.  He told us about having his teeth worked on in that room. The dentist had a foot-pedal operated drill.

Sherri: You were telling me about the master bedroom. Refresh my memory about the Indian School/master bedroom. The old Indian School was pulled up behind the house and added onto it?

Ruth: The Indian school operated on this site until 1796 so that portion of the house is 18th century origin. We discovered that the beams inside the walls are about a foot wide and 5 or so inches thick with slots in them.  Perhaps, they came from one of the ships that called into the river port of Murfreesboro.

Sherri: You also have a design background, which is obvious in the charm of the house. Tell us about your education and experience as a designer.

Ruth: I have an associate degree in interior design.  Worked for the premier design firm in Norfolk/Virginia Beach for ten years.  Afterward, I ran my own design studio and still have design clients that I work with. It seemed like every time a client came into the studio that owned an old house, they gravitated to me.  I have worked on historical properties in Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Franklin, Elisabeth City, Smithfield, Edenton, West Point, two houses in Pennsylvania, etc. 

Sherri: You’ve written two books, as well as scripted and filmed a documentary? Tell us the details of these.

Ruth: The documentary was for the town of Ahoskie and is available on YouTube.  I crafted an article that is included in the Local Legends project at the Library of Congress as part of their celebration when they reopened after restoration. One of my books was an Arcadia Images Across America volume on the small town of Eustis, in Florida where I grew up.  The other is a limited-edition biography of Judge Donald J. Drake. Sr. Judge Drake was a long-time friend who had lived an incredible life including being at the Battle of Midway and serving as one of the defense lawyers for the USS Pueblo crew. 

Sherri: Do you have any other creative plans?

Ruth: I am working with a colleague in Titusville, Florida to create a Heritage Village.  It will contain several old houses and commercial buildings that are dismantled and in storage. The plan is to work with the local high school to have them take on the reconstruction of at least one of the buildings as a class project.  There will also be a replica of an early Seminole Indian house. We plan to have this be an immersion experience for visitors where they will come to learn early local crafts such as blacksmithing, hearth or open fire cooking, history of clothing, etc. They will stay in the restored buildings.  The buildings will not have running water, electric, heat or ac.  They will be exactly as they would have been in the 19th century.  I am so excited to be involved in this project.

Sherri: You have some wonder inspirational and motivational ideas that I took to heart. I think our readers will benefit from your words of wisdom.

Ruth: Can’t imagine what you think I said that was inspirational. Give me a clue.

Sherri: You were telling us about your pep talk with yourself and your morning pages. I thought they were inspiring and would be an inspiration to others.

Ruth: Oh, okay, I go on a nice walk early in the mornings in my neighborhood. It is a great time to get my day laid out in my head, listen to the birds, enjoy everyone’s yards and solve the world’s problems. (Okay maybe not but I have some ideas how it could be accomplished.) As I walk, I have a mantra I say to myself—I am a successful published author; I am a successful lecturer and speaker; I am a successful historian and preservationist, and so on. The secret here is the word “successful.”

Sherri: You have to believe in your own success to achieve it.

Ruth: Exactly, you have to believe these things about yourself. I also say to the universe—I am clear, calm, confident, creative, capable, energetic, focused, happy, healthy, grateful, grateful, grateful, strong, successful and talented.

Sherri: And the morning pages?

Ruth: Some mornings, not all of them, I get up and the first thing I do-after feeding the critters of course, is I write what Julia Cameron calls “morning pages.”

I attended a lecture by Julia many years ago and this is the one take away I had from her talk on her book “The Artists Way.” The pages have to be in longhand and three pages. You write whatever comes to mind. It doesn’t have to make sense or be grammatically correct. It’s a way of getting all the junk out of your mind and it clears the way for creativity for the rest of your day.

Sherri: And no one has to see the pages?

Ruth: No, and you never have to look at them. It is a great exercise. You should try it.

Sherri: I’m not a morning person, I’m not sure if I can write anything coherent or not first thing in the morning.

You have some great plans for the Murfree-Williams House. Share your hopes for this property.

Ruth: I included a copy of the flyer I put together, I think that tells the story of what my hopes and dreams are for the house

Sherri: The other ladies and I had such a lovely time at the writers’ retreat. Only four of us stayed the weekend but there is capability for ten and Ruth and I were talking, with some planning, you could probably house a few more. There is also another house just a few miles away that could also be rented and used for larger groups.

The presenters each seemed to enjoy the relaxed atmosphere and what Ruth planned as an hour program turned into two and three-hour discussions.

If you are looking for a nice, quiet place for a residency, retreat or even a vacation, check out the Murfree-Williams House.

Posted in event, inspiration, road trip

An Exotic Retreat in Murfreesboro, North Carolina

Me, after our walking tour, in front of the Murfree-Williams House

Murfree-Williams House

Writers Workshops, Retreats and Residencies

Dorian threatened to keep me from my mini vacation but thankfully, he didn’t do as much damage around my home as he did to others. My heart goes out to those on North Carolina’s Outer Banks, Myrtle Beach and especially the Bahamas.

With only the inconvenience of power outages at home, my husband waved me off and I hurriedly packed my bags for my very first writers retreat in the most exotic– Murfreesboro, North Carolina.

Adrienne Dunning

I met my friend and fellow Pamlico Writer’s Group member, Adrienne Dunning in Greenville and she graciously agreed to drive. I was exceedingly grateful after having traversed the perilous traffic of Greenville after a hurricane when all of Beaufort County is shut down due to the power outages, oh my God, people are crazy! I stopped at Walmart to purchase a bottle of wine and debated opening it in the parking lot. I didn’t think that would go over very well and I still wasn’t sure how to get to Adrienne’s apartment, so I left the wine corked and after looping around several times managed to find her quite easily, right where she said she’d be.

Chowan University

Adrienne, having attended Chowan college (now Chowan University) took me to see the beautiful campus. We arrived at the Murfree-Williams House after a quick view of the town. While not exactly exotic, the small town is a lovely homage to Mayberry with its retro Main Street, brick sidewalks and historic homes.

Ruth Akright

We were greeted by our hostess, Ruth Akright, the owner of the lovely rehabilitated 1801 home. The luxury of being among the first group of writers to enjoy the hospitality of Ruth and the Murfree-Williams house this weekend was a treasure I’m not sure I can put into words.

My pretty bedroom at the front of the house.

Ruth opened her property to a group of writers who wished a venue to write, learn and fellowship with other writers. Quiet by accident, all of the attendees happened to be romance writers. This weekend, our small group, two from the Pamlico Writer’s Group member, Adrienne Dunning and myself, Michelle White from Chesapeake, Virginia and her daughter, Samantha Keel, we were also joined by presenters Sonja McGiboney, a children’s author from Smithfield, Virginia, and Trudy Gibbons, a poet and song writer from Murfreesboro.

Samantha Keel and Michelle White,
daughter and mom, look more like sisters.
Sonja McGiboney

We started Friday evening with a light supper and a talk by Sonja. Sonja started her journey as an author with her camera and her dog. After taking too many pictures of her beloved pit-bull pup, Jazzy, she put together a book for niece and nephew for Christmas. They loved it and wanted more. Enjoying the process, Sonja wrote seven books about Jazzy’s adventures.

Sonja’s experience going into schools and libraries and sharing her stories allowed her to interact with parents and children and she discovered that is what she enjoys. She has plans for a middle grade book and hopes to someday write for Scholastics.

Trudy Gibson

Saturday morning dawned bright and beautiful, a cool breeze, the blessing after the curse of the hurricane. Ruth treated us all to a luscious breakfast of muffins, pecan bread, mixed fruit, juice and coffee. Trudy Gibson joined us after breakfast and treated us to the story of her journey as a poet and song writer. Trudy and Sonja graced with a lovely rendition of the song she wrote, and Sonja’s father-in-law penned the notes for, they brought us all to tears with the beauty. A renowned poet, Trudy’s “Heart and Soul, a collection of short stories, poems and songs,” was a labor of love, compiled and published with the help of 1984 graduating class of Chowan College where Trudy was a secretary in the graphics department.

Needing to stretch our legs, we took off on a walking tour of Murfreesboro’s historical homes. Our residence, the 1801 Murfree-Williams House also had a neighboring law office, known as the Williams-Smith Law Office. Ruth led us down the brick sidewalk to the tiny house print shop. We followed the walk around the oldest commercial building in North Carolina, a lovely little house/tin shop, blacksmith shop, we wandered around to the gingerbread house. We circled around back to our house when the bells on the church start ringing. With a lawnmower going and the trill of the church bells, the lovely and quite innocent looking children’s author, suggested this would be a great time to murder someone, no one would hear them scream. Ya know, just because someone looks sweet and innocent, don’t let down your guard. I think she may have missed her calling.

We made our way up to Main Street to the infamous Walter’s Grill. The grill is full of character and could even be a character itself. A definite greasy spoon, the rich home cooking is a local favorite. Our next presenter, Duane Cotton author of Driven and known for his work on ABC’s Extreme Make Over: Home Edition.

After laughing our way through lunch, we made our way back to the house where we spent the next three hours talking about Duane’s journey to writing and publishing his book, as well as how we could relate his journey to success to our own journey.

Another guest for supper, and an early evening, I retired to my room to write and think about what I’d learned. When you attend a writers’ event, whether it’s a conference or workshop or retreat, it can be a bit overwhelming. Letting the information stew and digest helps to make it more useful.

Sunday morning breakfast brought guest, free-lance illustrator Ron Neale shared his knowledge of being and commercial graphic designer, illustrator and his new job as graphic designer for NASA, talk about the coolest job ever.

Ron, a dear friend of our hostess, Ruth, was the master carpenter who’d helped resurrect the Murfree-Williams House.

Ron shared his marketing and design expertise as discussion across the table escalated. My greatest problem, like many indie authors, is promoting and marketing. Adrienne and Samantha both confronted me with my own words, and what they made me realize, is I’m not a romance author. I am a suspense author with strong romantic elements!

I am a suspense author!

On the way home, Adrienne and I discussed the retreat, and both agreed this was something we would like to do again. Maybe next time, we can host our own writers’ weekend.

If you are interested in renting the Murfree-Williams House for a writers workshop, retreat or residency, or just for a vacation, you can contact Ruth Akright for rates and availability at 757-477-2795 or via email at

Posted in event, News, road trip

Fall Conference October 13th

The Heart of Carolina is preparing for our annual fall conference. This year, two of my favorite people will be giving presentations: Sabrina Jeffries and Sarra Cannon.
I’ve not met Sarra in person but she has been the instructor for several online classes I’ve taken. I follow her on social media, her excitement and experience as an indie author coupled with her husband’s computer technology are an award-winning combination. Sarra’s blog posts for indie authors is an amazing resource for new, as well as experienced, authors. Her presentation, “How to Thrive as an Indie Author” is a must if you are planning to self-publish. I am so excited that Sarra will be one of the presenters at HCRW conference.
Sabrina Jeffries is also a presenter this year. I was a fan of Sabrina’s work long before I met her but I have never forgotten her kindness to a new member of HCRW. I mean, oh my God, she’s Sabrina Jeffries and she talked to me! Her personality and genuine love of writing and people makes her a great presenter. She gave a skype program to our small-town library earning a few more fans among my friends. Sabrina’s presentation, “Writing and Researching a Salable Historical Romance,” may not seem like something a contemporary romantic suspense author would find useful but I have found that there is always something to learn. Besides, it’s Sabrina Jeffries, I’d listen to her recite the phone book.
I’m looking forward to reuniting with many dear friends from Heart of Carolina. Unfortunately, I am unable to attend many of the regular monthly meetings and often feel like a newbie. Kate Parker was great about allowing me to hitch hike with her to meetings whenever I could get time off work. Her friendship and her long-standing with HCRW gave me an added connection. She has moved across country but her friendship and kindness will be a continued legacy.
Attending with two, fairly-new friends, I’m excited to share this experience with them. It’s going to be a girls’ road trip. The three us of are new to publishing, Adrienne Dunning has had the most experience with two full novels and a novella to her name. She’s been a member of HCRW for several years but like me has been unable to attend due to work and distance. I recently published my second novel and I’m still learning. Tammy Cooper is days away from launching her first novel. She recently revealed the cover of her book, Drenched Sunflowers, and it is gorgeous. All three of us write contemporary romance but with different sub-genres and heat levels. It will be fun to talk books and publishing on the trip to Raleigh and discuss the presentations on the ride home. I’m really looking forward to this event and even the ride to and from, though I really hope one of them is willing to drive.
I hope to see you all at the Heart of Carolina Fall Conference, if you haven’t signed up, do so. You don’t have to be a member to attend but if you write romance, why not join? RWA is a great organization and HCRW is a fabulous group.

Posted in event, News, road trip

Tired but Still Standing

It’s been a busy couple of months. I’m tired but happy. I have a new grandson, three weeks old today and very handsome. He was born just before hurricane Florence made her appearance.
We had some worry during the storm. The news kept saying it was going to be a bad one, originally a category 4. My oldest son’s home and family were in the path of the storm, my youngest a member of our local fire and rescue willingly put himself in the path of danger, and my next youngest chose to evacuate having experienced flooding during Irene. With three little girls, my son who evacuated made the right choice. Though not as bad as Irene, Florence flooded many low lying areas, hitting Bay City Road, Royal, parts of Campbell’s Creek, South Creek, Isle View Beach and the older streets of the town of Aurora. While we didn’t have the damage New Bern, Pollocksville, Wilmington, Oriental and others experienced, a week with no electricity took its toll. Most of us lost a few shingles, some food and some tree limbs, the next youngest was displaced after water buckled the floors of his home. I’m thankful all of my children are all safe and their damage fixable.
Our local writers’ group just finished a huge event, the Carnival of Books. It was the first we’ve done―successful but chaotic. Due to damage left by hurricane Florence, the Hands On Arts Festival shared space with us creating good energy, more traffic and a bit of chaos. I didn’t sell any books but I enjoyed meeting the other authors. All in all, I believe it was a success.
To add to the craziness, I just finished the sequel to Chrome Pink, White Gold. I am now working on publicity, arranging book signings and online promotions. It’s also past time to work on the Pamlico Writers’ anthology and start the process for the annual conference.
I’m looking forward to the Heart of Carolina’s annual Fall Conference, Saturday, October 13th. Finally, an event I don’t have to plan, promote and work. The added bonus, two of my favorite people will be giving presentations: Sabrina Jeffries and Sarra Cannon, plus I’ll be attending with two of my writer friends. Writer Girls’ Road Trip!

Posted in Book Review, road trip

Louise Penny

I’m a new fan. As usual I’m late for the dance and I don’t know the latest steps but the music moves me, in this case, the music is the writing of Canadian crime writer Louise Penny. I started with the lovely and lyrical novel, The Beautiful Mystery set in a monastery outside Quebec. With the murder of a monk and the beautiful mystery of the voice of God and Gregorian chant, Louise Penny weaves together religion, modern skepticism, our personal spiritual quests and our own demons for a yin and yang of good versus evil in the most joyously beautiful rendition of a modern crime novel.
My friend, author Marni Graff started me on my quest to read my first Louise Penny novel as we had plans to see her at McIntyre’s Book Store in Fearington Village Pittsboro, NC March 27th and I wanted to have at least a little idea of whom I was riding three hours (one way) to see. Marni raves about her books and about the lady herself, telling us how kind and gracious she is, having met her several times.
After seeing her at Fearington Village I can understand why the lady beside me came all the way from Alabama to see her. She was charming, funny and intelligent. Even with five hundred people crowded together in the barn she made you feel like you were sitting in her living room talking to her. She was down home friendly, a real small town lady with class and style. If I was not a fan before I met her, I would be by the time I left the barn.
She made me believe in the characters in her books because she believes in them. They aren’t just paper and ink they are real flesh and blood people with heart and soul. Armand Gamache is a man who believes what the Surete de Quebec stands for and he lives to serve. He is a man of honor. When she created the character, she said, she chose someone she could live with even if she never sold a book. She did not realize at first, she’d simply recreated many of the things she loved best in her husband in Armand. What a wonderful tribute.
Launching her newest novel The Long Way Home that circles back to her original novel Still Life, celebrates art and the love of art. If you read nothing else this year, check out Louise Penny’s The Long Way Home, it will fill you will joy.

2014 August Adventures 104