SouthernBelleView Monday

LightWe’re moving Southern Belle View from the blog to our Facebook page so today is my last SBV blog post. Come on over and check out my thoughts as we start the holiday season with Advent.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Wishing You a Blessed Thanksgiving

ThanksThis is the text of the first United States Thanksgiving proclamation. Just a reminder of whom we have to thank.

WHEREAS it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favour; and Whereas both Houfes of Congress have, by their joint committee, requefted me “to recommend to the people of the United States a DAY OF PUBLICK THANSGIVING and PRAYER, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to eftablifh a form of government for their safety and happiness:”

NOW THEREFORE, I do recommend and affign THURSDAY, the TWENTY-SIXTH DAY of NOVEMBER next, to be devoted by the people of thefe States to the fervice of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our fincere and humble thanksfor His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the fignal and manifold mercies and the favorable interpofitions of His providence in the courfe and conclufion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty which we have fince enjoyed;– for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enable to eftablish Conftitutions of government for our fafety and happinefs, and particularly the national one now lately instituted;– for the civil and religious liberty with which we are bleffed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffufing useful knowledge;– and, in general, for all the great and various favours which He has been pleafed to confer upon us.

And also, that we may then unite in moft humbly offering our prayers and fupplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and befeech Him to pardon our national and other tranfgreffions;– to enable us all, whether in publick or private ftations, to perform our feveral and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a bleffing to all the people by conftantly being a Government of wife, juft, and conftitutional laws, difcreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all fovereigns and nations (especially fuch as have shewn kindnefs unto us); and to blefs them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increafe of fcience among them and us; and, generally to grant unto all mankind fuch a degree of temporal profperity as he alone knows to be beft.

GIVEN under my hand, at the city of New-York, the third day of October, in the year of our Lord, one thousand feven hundred and eighty-nine.

(signed) G. Washington

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Great Flood of 1999


Nicole Seitz and I signing books at Fiction Addiction in Greenville, SC.

I recently contributed to an anthology–When You Pass Through Waters–compiled by novelist and artisit Nicole Seitz. Here’s the scoop:

In response to the “thousand year flood” of 2015 in South Carolina, eighteen beloved and bestselling authors graciously contributed a water-themed story, essay, novel excerpt, or poem to this heart-warming and thought-provoking anthology. Like a winding river, their words meander through memories and nostalgia or swell in a fit of faith, fear, or questioning. Some offer lessons learned by the water or new beginnings because of it. There are even works of fiction—it often speaks the clearest truth.  This is a timeless book for water-lovers and storm survivors. Proceeds support water-disaster relief efforts.

I was delighted to contribute since my husband and I lost our home in the flooding following Hurricane Floyd in 1999. We lived on the Waccamaw River in those days, in a house with sliding glass doors opening onto a deck overlooking the river. It was lovely.

Until Floyd put water up to the light switches.

My essay is titled, “The Best Natural Disaster Ever,” because, well, that’s how it turned out for us. We’re living in my beloved Appalachian mountains because a hurricane floated us right on out of the Lowcountry.

I’d love for you to order a copy knowing that all proceeds go to support flood relief. The pieces inside celebrate tenacity, courage, and–well-water. Stick in a toe–I think you’ll discover that the water’s just fine.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Appalachian Thursday–Ancestors

Horace & SusanHow cool is this?!?

A photograph of my great, great, great grandparents Horace and Susan Phillips. The little tyke in the middle is my great, great grandfather David Phillips. That would be Grandma Jane’s dad. I knew my great-grandmother and was a teensy bit afraid of her with her stoicism and perfect braids coiled around her head.

Grandmas and me

That’s my great-grandmother with the lovely braids and me on my grandmother’s lap.

I sometimes wish I could go back in time and pay more attention to what Grandma had to say. Maybe ask her some really good questions about her life and her family.

But I can’t. So I listen to my dad, think back to what the old folks used to say. Ask for the same stories over and over again . . . and make things up.

My Appalachian Blessings series doesn’t feature any characters based on actual family members. But I did use the Phillips family name. And here they are. The REAL deal.

How about you–what do you think the story is behind Susan Phillips electric eyes and Horace’s solemn expression? I’m betting it’s good, whatever it is.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

SouthernBelleView Monday – In Between Time

porchI’m over at today writing about how there are lulls in the publishing world when it feels like not much is happening. Come on over and see how I deal with those funny, in-between times.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Appalachian Thursday–WV’s Most Important Holiday

Going HuntingIt’s almost holiday time in West Virginia. Oh, sure, there’s Thanksgiving and Christmas, but the REAL festivities begin on the Monday before Thanksgiving. The first day of deer season.

Many schools are out all week because, well, no one would come if they were open. Teachers, students, staff–they’re all out “celebrating” deer season.

So how does one celebrate? If you’re a hunter, it’s obvious. You go hunting. But what about non-hunters? That was always me. I know plenty of women who enjoy hunting, but I don’t happen to be one.

Even so, the week was a fun time for me growing up. First, we were out of school. Second, there was plenty of company. Friends and family would come to the farm to hunt, eat, nap, and tell tall tales (those seemed to be the primary activities). Which meant we got to indulge in junk food, questionable conversation, and interesting schedules.

One friend worked for Lays and would bring us a case of potato chips. We NEVER got potato chips. Hunters eat packaged cookies, processed lunch meats, soda–it’s kid heaven. There’d be a fire in the fireplace, funny stories we didn’t always understand, early mornings, and as soon as someone got a deer–venison tenderloin seared in butter.

Here’s one of my favorite deer season recipes. My dad is the master of this one. Mmmm, I could eat a plate full right now!

1 smallish venison roast
salt and pepper to taste

Partially freeze the venison roast (or, if it’s already frozen, partially thaw it).  Melt a knob of butter in a skillet. Shave off pieces of venison until you have enough for however many are hungry and fry in the butter. As soon as the meat begins to brown add almost as much flour as you did butter and cook for a few minutes to get rid of the flour taste. Splash in some milk and stir, stir, stir until that begins to thicken. Alternately add water and milk until your gravy is bubbling and the thickness you like. Salt and pepper to taste (lots of pepper really is in order here). Serve spooned generously over hot biscuits (not from a can–please, not from a can).

Posted in Appalachian, Family, Food, Friends, Nature | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Book Events–Hoping to See You Soon!


The only thing better than holding one of my very own books in my hands is meeting someone who actually took the time to READ one of those books.

I mean, that’s kind of the whole reason I write them. So people can read them and hopefully be touched by my stories. I do run into people like this in daily life on occasion. Friends at church have read my books. Some co-workers have. Once in a while I’ll meet someone at a conference who’s read something I wrote. And readers get in touch with me via Facebook.

But the BEST place to meet readers is at book events. If they haven’t already read my books, they at least have some notion they want to. Never ceases to amaze me.

So in December, I’m heading out to do several events and if you’re not too far away, I’d LOVE to see you there. Here’s the itinerary:

Thursday, December 3 – Meet the Author at the Durham South Regional Library – 6:30-8 p.m., Durham, NC – I can’t tell you how excited I am to be speaking at a LIBRARY! One of my favorite places to be. As for the presentation, remember those Choose-Your-Own-Adventure stories? My talk will flow along those lines letting the audience choose which direction the conversation heads.

Friday, December 4 – Talk & Signing at Page 158 Books – 6-8 p.m., Wake Forest, NC – I had a chance to meet store owners Dave & Sue not long ago and when I mentioned I’d be in their neck of the woods in December, they kindly invited me to come by. Now I’m doing the same and inviting YOU to come by! (There’ll be snacks.)

Saturday, December 5 – Book Club at Reynolda Branch Library – 10-11:30 a.m., Winston-Salem, NC – Ahhh. Readers who get together and talk about books. THESE are my tribe. I’ll be discussing genre and promotion, leaving plenty of time for discussion because the only thing I like better than talking is talking WITH new friends!

Posted in Appalachian, Reading, Speaking, Writing | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments