From a motel room in Baltimore

The tour for THE FIXER UPPER seems to be going great. I’ve met lots of wonderful readers and awesome booksellers. So, let’s recap the previous week. I got the news that we’d made #13 on the New York Times list while I was at home last Wednesday. Took daughter Katie and son-in-law Mark out to dinner at Feast in Decatur to celebrate. Appropriate, I thought, since that’s where we had the book launch party. Then I flew over to Fairhope and Page and Palette Books where I managed to sneak in a little quality junking time at a couple of this charming town’s many antique stores. I scored a vintage $5 straw boater complete with red hatband, and an adorable old children’s cloth picture book, which I want to have made into pillows with some old ticking I’ve been hoarding. I also found another great black and white beach snapshot from the 1920s. We had a great, standing room only crowd at P&P–distracted only momentarily when a huge thunderstorm blew up in the middle of my talk, sending half a tree crashing down on a car parked on the street below. Among the many friendly faces in the crowd was blogger Layla from The Lettered Cottage, who drove through the gathering storm with her husband and mom. Layla is a talented self-taught decorator, junker and photographer, so check out her blog. The next morning I got up at the butt-crack o’ dawn to hop a plane from Pensacola down to Savannah, where I had an 11 am signing on July 3 at Seaside Sisters. All my Tybee peeps came over to show some major book love–we ran out of books twice and had to send into town for more. Managed to sneak in some R&R over the weekend at The Breeze Inn with Mr. Mary Kay, my sister-in-law Jeanne, and nephew Alex and his girlfriend Mary Beth. We cooked burgers and made trailer trash for dinner guests Polly and Steve. Polly is a stringer for People magazine, so we got to catch up on the antics of Miley Cyrus, who’s shooting a movie on Tybee this summer. We got to watch Tybee’s Friday night beachfront fireworks from the roof-top of friend Sally’s home, which was really cool. On Sunday, I finally got to go out fishing in the boat with MMK–first time this year for me. We anchored off Little Tybee and enjoyed the overcast skies and breeze. I only caught some puny trout and “puppy drum”–redfish too small to keep. But as we were leaving, a mama dolphin and her calf swam up beside the boat and followed us for several yards, begging for scraps, and swimming close enough to the boat that I could have leaned over to scratch her poor lil’ scuffed up snout. (Did not feed scraps as this is illegal). I got to spend two days at home–catching up on laundry, mail and grocery shopping before heading back out on tour. Wednesday night I was in DC, and caught up with another blogger buddy, Sue from Vintage Rescue Squad. Sue loves estate sales as much as I do, and although she has a “big-girl day job” she also has two booths in an antique mall in Leesburg, Va. We had a blast talking junk and books–and she gifted me with a bundle of vintage beach snaps to add to my stash! last night I had a first-time signing at a neat bookstore called A Likely Story Books in Sykesville, which is a Baltimore suburb. Owner Debbie Scheller did a great job The big treat for me was that my friend Laura Lippman, award-winning author of many Baltimore-set mysteries, including the Tess Monaghan series, took me to the signing. Laura, like me, is an ex-newsie (she did time at The Baltimore Sun, I did time at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution) so she had the brilliant idea to interview me for the event. We had a great time, and an even better time afterwards, when fellow mystery writer Marcia Talley, (author of the Hannah Ives series) who’d driven over from Annapolis, joined us at The Wine Market in Baltimore for dinner. Today, I’m headed for the Jersey Shore. First stop is Rehoboth Beach, DE, for a 4pm signing at Browseabout Books. Stay tuned for my Jersey junkin’ journal!

Books. Stay tuned for my Jersey Junkin’ Journal.