A peony in winter …


Earlier this month I was in Atlanta, and among my stops was a visit to the Georgia Center for the Book.  Located within the DeKalb County Public Library, the Georgia Center for the Book is the state affiliate of the Center for the Book at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., and has become the largest non-profit literary presenting organization in the Southeast and one of the largest in the nation.

Following an enjoyable meeting with GCB executive director William Starr and GCB assistant Joesph Davich, II,  I was offered a tour. I’ve always loved librariesitty-bitty ones, old ones, brand new ones, and ones so big that I fear I’ll get lost. To say I was impressed by this library would be an understatement. It’s one of the big ones, and grand it is!

Joe swept me by a graceful staircase on the main floor, and as we headed toward the circulation desk, I stopped. Right there in front of my eyes, artfully arranged on selves and columns, were the most beautiful hand-made tissue peonies I’d ever seen. Peonies are my favorite flowers, and to see them so unexpectedlywell, it just tickled me. And, being the slightly superstitious person I am, I also viewed the peonies as an omen of good luck for the success of my novel.

When I commented about the peonies to Joe, I learned that he had made them with his own talented hands. Joe was kind enough to pluck one of his beautiful blooms from the display and offer it to me. I carried the peony all the way from Georgia to Kentucky, and now it’s sitting on the mantel in my writing den along with a copy of Saving CeeCee Honeycutt.

Thank you Joe, for the peony, for the memory, and for your graciousness. I’ll be looking forward to seeing you and Bill in the near future!




Can you hear it?

Every day something new and exciting happens. With the approach of my novel’s release in January, I wake up each morning with a flutter in my belly.  I swear I hear that metallic chink, chink, chink of a roller-coaster making its way to the top of the first hill. My heart pounds and my mind races with that oh-my-holy-Christmas-what-am-I-doing-here kind of thrill that scares the bejeezus out of most authors. There’s nothing I can do but throw my hands in the air, squeeze my eyes shut, and get ready to scream.


And here’s the thing: as scary as it is, this is one of the finest moments in my life. In nine weeks I’ll arrive at the uppermost point of that first hillmy author tour kick-off begins on January 12th and will continue through May, perhaps longer. For all of you in the book-buying world—domestic and international publishers, book club publishers, librarians, booksellers, avid readers, book bloggers, fellow authors, aspiring authors, and friendsthank you for embracing CeeCee’s story so fully and supporting me with such roaring enthusiasm. All I can say, is WOW!









In Memorium




October 11, 2009

Farewell Tribute to a True American

In loving memory of my dad—a salt of the earth genuine American—a man who fought with courage and dignity in the armed forces to keep our country safe, and to uphold the freedoms that he held so precious. He was a man who loved nature, open spaces, country roads, animals, and the crisp smell of autumn mornings—a man who knew the fatigue of hard manual labor, and the satisfaction of a job well done.



He was a man who filled more bird feeders in his lifetime than perhaps anyone on earth; a man who took stewardship of stray cats and dogs, a man who built a toad house that still sits beneath the downspout. He was a fine marksman with both gun and bow and arrow, and in his day he could swing a golf club with grace and ease.




He loved sugary doughnuts, heavy cream in his coffee,  a cold beer, and watching a well-played game of baseball. He was a meat and potatoes kind of guy who never felt the need to wear a tux or learn how to use a cell phone. He was the kind of man who would stop to help a stranger with a flat tire, and more than once he lifted a dead animal from the side of the road, brought it home, and gave it a dignified burial in a shadowy slope by the woods he loved so much.


He was also a captivating storyteller.


As his days grew shorter and his legs weaker, one of his greatest joys was the simple pleasure and relaxation he received from riding his lawnmower. He loved it so much that it was the last thing he spoke about just hours before he left this earth.


Rest well, Dad … and God speed. I hope there’s a riding lawnmower waiting for you in heaven.


Somehow I believe there is.






Picture 7

Rights Sales

International Flags


~Gathering flags from around the world~



Foreign Rights




Pamela Dorman Books/Viking – Penguin

Audio: Books on Tape

Thorndike Press – large print rights

Bookspan Book Club Selection (English) US territories

(Book-Of-The-Month Club, Literary Guild, Doubleday, Rhapsody, Doubleday Large Print)

Main Selection of the Doubleday Book Club



ITALY (Edizioni Piemme)

NORWAY (Gyldendal Publishing)

GERMANY (Kiepenheuer & Witsch)

NETHERLANDS (Orlando/De Arbeiderspers and AW Bruna)

TURKEY (ABM Yayinevi)

FRANCE (Les Presses de la Cite)

UNITED KINGDOM (Little, Brown Book Group)

ISRAEL (Kinneret-Zmora-Dvir Ltd)

POLAND (Ksiaznica – a division of Publicat Group)

INDONESIA (Bentang Pustaka)

HUNGARY (Alexandra Konyveshaz Kft)

KOREA (Munhakdongne Publishing Corp)

PHILIPPINES (Bookspan Selection) English Language

CANADA (Bookspan Selection) English Language












October 2009



Loud Applause for SIBA 2009!

Though I had no idea what to expect at the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance Conference in Greenville, SC., it’s safe to say that I was, more than once, gobsmacked. The energy crackled as independent booksellers from all over the South gathered together for the genuine love of one thing—the written word.


This event was a smorgasbord of never-ending treats for book lovers, and everyone gorged themselves to capacity.


It was amazing to observe these bright and clearly devoted folks. With palpable enthusiasm they talked about books and authors from morning to late into the night, never seeming to tire. As an author with a book due out in January 2010, I was thrilled (perhaps stunned is more like it) to meet so many booksellers who had already read the pre-pub ARC of my novel. Many of them took the time to seek me out, and I was embraced and showered with wishes for success.


Wanda Jewell, executive director of SIBA, outdid herself, as did all the officers and volunteers. The weekend-long event went off without a hitch, and everyone I spoke with was glad—truly glad—to be a part of this important event. And even though the days were long and many of us had swollen feet, there wasn’t a cranky-pants in the whole bunch.


I met some wonderful people—people I now consider to be friends. I’ll never forget Ruth Breipohl (The Book Seller), and Debbie Smith and Lynn Porter (Etcetera) for their kindness. Emily Bell (Page and Palette) is now a true girlfriend, and Karin Wilson (owner of Page and Palette) was a delight. I’d also like to give a shout-out of thanks Angela Carr (Two Sisters Bookery), Rosemary Hall (Cover To Cover Books & More), Elva Rella (Patrick Paperbacks), Jill Hendrix (Fiction Addiction), Linda Parks (Fireside Books & Gifts), and Myra Meade (Hall Book Exchange)—all were so supportive.


I met some terrific fellow authors too—Drew Perry, Beverly Barton, Janice Hardy, Frank McNair, and Gigi Amateau—just to name a few.


Saturday evening was spent at Soby’s Restaurant, and it was huge fun—I laughed so hard my cheeks hurt! I’d like to thank Dave and Joyce Kliegman, Mike McGroder, Diane Kierpa—all from Viking-Penguin, and Beth & Dave Carpenter (The Country Bookshop), and Mary Jane & Peter Reed (G.J. Ford Bookshop) for such an enjoyable and festive evening. The most special thank you of all goes to my publisher, Pamela Dorman.


As the old song goes, “Thanks for the memories…”