XVIII~ December 2008

The beginning of the Christmas season brings back a sweet nostalgia for the days when the air trembled with magic and I really, truly did listen for reindeer on the roof.

I think I was probably five or six and I was at my maternal grandparents' house. It was a few weeks before Christmas and the decorations were up and stockings hung. (Rather spoiled only grandchildren, my brother and I had stockings both at home and at Ba and Hudy's as we called these much-loved grandparents.)

Ba was in the kitchen, making cookies just like a proper grandmother. As I have always remembered it, no one else was in the house that day except for Annie, the taciturn cleaning lady.

I was ‘helping' Ba and lamenting the fact that all her implements and pans were too big for me. “I wish I could have some little cooking things just my size,” I said.

Just then, again, as I remember it, a door slammed somewhere in the house.

“Run see what that was,” said Ba, and off I went to investigate.

And in the living room, on the hearth, right under where my stocking hung, was a set of little pots and pans – just my size.

I ran to show them to Ba, and she only said that Santa must have heard me and made an early delivery.

Years and years later, I asked Ba how she managed this surprise and she claimed not to know what I was talking about.

It's just as well. I like to believe in magic. May there be some in your holiday season!


Books make great gifts!

If you would like free personalized, autographed bookplates for yourself or to accompany an Elizabeth book you are giving someone (and what a nice idea that would be!), send me a self-addressed, stamped envelope with a note as to how you'd like the personalization ( For Tootsie, For Mrs. A.W. Rootbeer, For Marcie . . . .)

Do it quick and I'll get them back to you in time for Christmas mailing.

(Vicki Lane, 590 Wool Branch Road, Marshall, NC 28753)

Check out my blog for other bookplate choices. (There are three.)


( or ‘you uns,' as Miss Birdie would say)

Eleanor W. of St. Pete is “currently re-reading Gaudy Night, first time in many years...boy, the Classism and Sexism of the 30's!  Even Dorothy herself!  Amazing writer tho.”  

Deb Andolino of Aliens and Alibis says: “ I can't remember if it was your newsletter that made me look for books by Celestine Sibley.  I have finished her first series mystery, AH, SWEET MYSTERY and have the second one waiting for me to finish a couple of one week library books.  I thoroughly enjoyed the book and am sad to find out that she died back in 1999.  If you haven't tried her books, do.  I think you would love them.”

From Deana the Queena: “ Our book club, we call ourselves the LBC (Ladies' Book Club) is reading for the month Ron Rash's The World Made Straight, set in Madison (the county I live in that is the prototype of Elizabeth's Marshall County) and references the Shelton Laurel Massacre as part of the plot.  I really liked the book, especially the section that describes going to the county fair.”

Pat in TN “ Just finished reading A COUNTRY CALLED HOME by Kim Barnes.  A good book about a husband and wife settling on an old abandoned farm Idaho and their trials and tribulations.  Now I'm reading AN INNOCENT CLIENT by the Johnson City author I had told you about, Scott Pratt.  Very interesting, and he's going in many directions with many characters, but it's not that complicated that a person gets lost.” Pat also recommends CATALOOCHEE by Wayne Caldwell.

Recent Reads and Re-reads

Books I've enjoyed during the past month

Ron Rash ~ Serena Wow! See my blog for a brief review

Tony Hillerman ~ Skin Walkers, A Thief of Time, Talking God, Listening Woman, Sacred Clowns, Dance Hall of the Dead Sad to think there'll be no more but thank heavens for as many as there are

Minette Walters ~ The Devil's Feather (audio) wonderfully creepy
Barbara Vine ~ The Labyrinth (audio) beautifully Gothic

Vicki's Schedule


Saturday, December 6

        Noon to 3. Appalachian Authors Book Fair. Old Fort Library , Old Fort, NC This small library is located in the community of Old Fort, nine miles west of the Carson House.  It is just off I-40 at Exit 73, and easily accessible for visitors from all around, especially the Black Mountain and Asheville area.

Friday, December 1

            5 -9 Signing at Penland's Department Store in historic Marshall, NC

Saturday, December 13

2-4 Signing at Malaprop's Books, Asheville, NC


Saturday, February 7~ Murder in the Magic City at the Homewood Library in Birmingham, Alabama. More info here .


Sunday, February 8 ~ Murder on the Menu, Wetumka, Alabama. Information coming soon here


Sunday, March 1, 3 pm ~ Vicki is speaking at the Troy, NC Public Library. Sponsored by the Montgomery County Friends of the Library.

Contact: David Atkins, Manager

Montgomery County Public Libraries

215 West Main Street

Troy, NC 27371


Friday and Saturday, May 8-9 -- Blue Ridge Book and Author Showcase. Flat Rock, NC.

I'm really excited about this. Sharyn McCrumb, Kay Byer, Sheila Kay Adams, and Joan Medlicott – all of whom have befriended me and helped me on my journey – will be presenting, as well as many other noted writers – including Robert Morgan.

Billed as "a festival and convocation in celebration of authorship, creative writing and the joy of reading," organizers of the Blue Ridge Book & Author Showcase have launched an ambitious inaugural project. The venue will be the soon-to-be-completed crown jewel of the Blue Ridge Community College campus in Flat Rock, NC--the Technical Education and Development Center. The event is scheduled for May 8-9, 2009. Free and open to the public, it is expected to draw attendance from throughout the state and region.

Vicki will be speaking at 10 AM on Saturday the 9 th and will have a table in the exhibit area where she will be available throughout the day. More info

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