Monday, April 27, 2009


I almost feel as if I haven't been out of my car lately. First, there was the drive from Florida to Virginia(in time to sniff my lilacs, in case you were wondering), then the drive to northern Virginia to spend some time with my 96-year-old aunt, and now I'm off on a tour for the Chesapeake Shores books....all within less than two weeks. If any of you reading this happen to live anywhere near my stops, I hope you'll drop by. I'd love to chat with you, assuming I can stay awake.

Today I head for Baltimore, Maryland to set settled in for a round of stock signings at various stores in the area. On Tuesday a.m., I'll be on the air on WBBF-TV,the local Fox station. In the afternoon (April 28, to be precise) I'll be at Greetings and Readings in the Hunt Valley Town Centre from 4 to 6 p.m. You can get more information by going to their website at

On Wednesday, I'll be signing stock at Barnes & Noble and Borders in Annapolis. That means I won't be there long and won't have a specific time, but I'm trying to get to both stores before noon if you want to stop by and try to catch me.

On Thursday, April 30 there will be more stock signings in northern Virginia and Washington, D.C., plus an interview between noon and 1 p.m. on News Channel 8. That evening I'll be signing at 7:30 p.m. at the Borders at Baileys Crossroads, 5871 Crossroads Center door to Le Madeline, which has great pastries, by the way.

There will be more stock signings on Friday, so if you live in the D.C. - northern Virginia area, you may be able to find signed copies of FLOWERS ON MAIN or THE INN AT EAGLE POINT at many Borders (Friendship Heights), Barnes and Noble (Clarendon, Seven Corners, Bethesda) and Books-a-Million (Dupont Circle) locations this weekend.

And if you're in the Fredericksburg area, I'll be at the Borders at Central Park from 1-3 p.m. on Saturday, May 2.

Do stop by. I'll be the one with the pen in hand and the glazed expression on my face!


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Leaving summer, heading for spring

Even if the calendar hadn't told me it was time for my annual trek north, I would have known it was time to go. First, the weather in Miami has been hitting record highs with nasty humidity, two of my least favorite things. And, second, today I wanted to mow down an entire pack of bicyclists who broke at least two traffic laws before dawn as I was heading out for breakfast.

Let's start with my desire to escape the onset of an early summer. My acceptable range of temperatures begins at about 45 degrees and goes to maybe 80, if the humidity is low enough. Miami has been above that for a while now. And on the flip side, Virginia's high by the time I get there at the end of the week, will be a wonderfully cool 65. You have no idea how happy that makes me. Even more important, from all reports, I will get there before the lilacs bloom, which is always my goal. I can practically smell them now.

Let's move on to the attack of the mad bicyclists. As I sat at a red light this morning with another car in the lane next to me, at least 40 frantic cyclists went racing by. . .to my left, to my right, and to the right of the other car. They didn't stop for the light. They were riding five, six, maybe even seven abreast. And when the light changed to green, the other car and I were surrounded by these insane individuals who apparently have absolutely no concept of the law, to say nothing of what could happen if we simply started driving.

This is not my first encounter with these folks. Just about every morning I watch as they speed through red lights, oblivious to traffic that might be approaching from the side streets. Some have lights on their bikes. Others don't. Some wear helmets. Others don't. Almost all of them have a really offensive air of entitlement when it comes to their ownership of the road. Of course, so do I, so maybe we're even on that score.

Why haven't they been arrested, you might ask. Heaven knows, I've asked it enough. Of course, I know why they weren't this morning. Two of the officers on duty were at 7-11 looking at magazines. Literally. I could have stopped, suggested maybe they should be patrolling the streets instead, but why bother? This wasn't an isolated incident. They've just chosen to ignore it. Or maybe they're terrified of these packs, which have actually been known to retailiate against those they don't think yield to them quickly enough. Oh, the tales I hear whenever this topic comes up around here!

At any rate, when I start ranting about the guys -- and some girls -- on their bikes, when other drivers really, really start to tick me off, it's definitely a sign of spring and time for me to head back to my small town in Virginia. Up there, partly in thanks to the heady scent of those lilacs, it will take me weeks at least before other stuff starts to make me nuts.

You'll hear more from me once I'm there. If you have time to check in, let me know what the best part of spring is for you. The flowers? Gardening again? Cutting the grass, which believe it or not, I can hardly wait to do? The warmer temperatures? Whatever it is, enjoy.

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