Sisters, Sisters, There Were Never Such Devoted Sisters

 The song ‘Sisters’ in White Christmas (one of my all-time favorite movies) makes me smile and think of my own younger sister every time I hear it. On my 10-day trip to Texas to promote THE LAST SUPPERS, Tessa was my chauffeur, friend and cheerleader every step (mile) of the way. She’s the one person who can make me laugh so hard I can’t regain my composure. This has proved extremely embarrassing in restaurants and at fast food drive-thru speakers. I was a tad bit afraid that she’d make me laugh during my book talks, but I think we were both...
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Dallas Didn’t Disappoint

I’ve dubbed my 10-day trip to Texas the Great Texas Book Tour of 2018. It was an exhausting, exhilarating blur. The final official stop was Interabang Books in Dallas on Thursday, January 25. It’s one of the coolest book stores I’ve ever been in. There were 22 people at the reading/signing including two book clubs. One club (pictured) drove in all the way from Cleburne, TX. My sister, Tessa (in the maroon top), and I drove in from Glen Rose, where she lives. It was 90 miles we expected to be much more harrowing. (Thank goodness, navigating Dallas traffic proved to be...
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The Power of the Aggie Network

Back in October 2017, when I learned I’d be speaking in Austin in late January, I contacted my friend Lisa Whittlesey. She and I were on the Texas 4-H Council back in the 1980s. We were both Aggies. And I knew she lived and worked in College Station. Since I’d already be in Austin, I asked her to recommend a book store that might host an author talk and signing. Lisa took the ball and ran with it. By the time it was all over, she had orchestrated a private dessert reception for a large group of friends at an ultra hip boutique hotel (The...
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A Texas-sized Welcome from Austin

When I learned I’d be speaking and signing at BookPeople in Austin, TX, on Saturday, January 20, I knew it’d feel like coming home. And the day didn’t disappoint. BookPeople is one of my all-time favorite book stores, which made it all the more significant. But it was the crowd that made this day so memorable: uncle, cousins, siblings (Tessa and Paul), friends, former co-workers, even folks from Granger (a town of 1,200 where I grew up) arrived after seeing me interviewed on KXAN-TV early that morning. My sister-in-law, Camm, and her friend drove all the away from Corpus Christi. One of my...
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Thank you, Durango!

I couldn’t have asked for a better launch event than the one that took place at Maria’s Bookshop in my current hometown of Durango, CO, on January 17. More than 50 packed into the venue, crowding the aisles. Nerves rattled my insides but friends said it didn’t show. The night was a bit of a blur but perhaps these photographs will help me remember this special night once my memory starts to go. (I baked the treats for the evening: gingersnaps, salted graham crackers, Oreo truffles and Mexican chocolate shortbread.)0

A Long Time Coming in the Blink of an Eye

It’s less than two weeks to the release of THE LAST SUPPERS on December 26. That’s 12 days, 12 hours and change. The whole journey to publication has been mind-boggling – and lengthy. Which makes 12 days seem like a blink of the eye. I started writing the book in September 2013. I just looked back at one of the first Word files I saved. The first page of chapter one is almost word for word what the printed book features, except that the draft was in first person and the finished product is in third person. (Many thanks to my nephew, Hunter...
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‘YAY’ is the Word of the Day EVERY DAY

My fabulous agent, JL Stermer, emailed me the photo of the YAY cats after some particularly great book news. The image made me laugh out loud. With the release date only 22 days away, there’s been a lot of promotion by my publisher, but the book is getting buzz all over. Library Journal gave it a starred review. Barnes & Noble noted it as Best  New Fiction in December 2017. listed it among 10 Highly Anticipated Books Coming Out This Winter. But there is more quiet publishing news that makes me (and my husband) yell “Yay!” almost every single day. All...
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Savory or Sweet: Spoonbread is Southern Love

In a recent interview, I was asked about the recipe appendix in my upcoming novel, THE LAST SUPPERS. Most of the recipes come from two cookbooks published in the 1930s. What rich source material! (Thanks to my cousin Kathy who found them at estate sales in Virginia.) The interviewer asked if I’d made all the recipes myself. I plan to, but so far, I’ve made three. One of those recipes — for spoonbread — is one I’ve had in my own recipe box for years. It’s one of my all-time favorite comfort foods and something I make quite often. This custard-like version of cornbread makes...
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