Red-Letter Day!

Good Morning!  How’s everyone this red-letter day?  JoEllen, one of our Twitter/Blog Girlfriends contributed the perfect MUSICA this auspicious morning!  Enjoy!  At four this afternoon I’m having my first book signing for our book at Bunch of Grapes Bookstore here on the island.  Nervous, yes!  Happy?  Thrilled!  And I thought I’d share a few of the wonderful photos I’ve been getting from YOU.   This first one is from our girlfriend AngieTink who just received the books she ordered . . .

Apparently, Angie’s planning to spread her fairy dust throughout the western world!  Thank you Angie! 

This is Cadie.  She’s the daughter of our Girlfriend Joann from Colorado (thank you Joann!).  She’s reading the first chapter of A FINE ROMANCE to her mom.  She’s a Romance expert right now  . . .  she’s going to be a very beautiful bride in a few weeks.

And, speaking of gardens, look at these cute girls!  That’s Linda on the left and Kathy on the right.  Do they know how to do it up right?  Oh yes they do!  Roses on the tablecloth, silver tea set, crustless cucumber sandwiches, strawberries floating in sparkling-something in thin tulip glasses, scones, flowers, all in a gorgeous garden — a perfect setting to take your book for a wonderful afternoon read with your best friend.  I was honored to come along (even in book form)!

But what else would we expect from Kathy?  This is a photo she sent me a few years back.  She has been writing the story of her life, year after year, keeping her journal in my Book of Days . . . Counting her Blessings galore.  Thank you Kathy who understands, just like you, the importance of the

This photo came from our Girlfriend Dawn in Elmhurst . . . she’s serving her book along with heart-shaped gingerbread scones!  Our book is everywhere!  Thank you Dawn!

And out to the gorgeous Missouri Prairie we go — this photo sent by Patricia Kelley via Twitter!  Love those cows!  Love our book among the cows!  Thank you Patricia!

In these photos, our Girlfriend Georgie (and her very own JOE) are packing their car for the trip from New Jersey to Martha’s Vineyard for the signing on the island tonight.  They went to Illumination Night last night.  How is that for perfect timing? And the Fireworks are on Friday!  It’s perfect weather for our Girlfriend and her Guy!

These are the photos Georgie sent from the boat.  Thank you Joe and Georgie!

Well, this is all I have time for today!  I have so much to do!  I have to figure out what to wear tonight, get Jack’s cat hair off Petey’s sailor outfit, gather up the painted bookmarks,

and think about what I might say before the signing.  This is always the scary part.  Fun, but scary.  But I didn’t want to let today go by without saying hello!  And Girlfriends, a second printing of the book was just ordered!  Yes!  Now all of you have signed First Printings!  It’s all going so well, which I attribute to YOU!  Almost all the books we had have been sent out now . . . but we kept some back for our web store, in case you need one and can’t find one at your local store, we’ll try to have them for you.  The second printing will be here in about two months.  So all I can say is . . . from the bottom of my heart . . .



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532 Responses to Red-Letter Day!

  1. Sharon from Ab, Canada says:

    Hi Susan,

    Was thinking about you this afternoon as you started the book signing adventure. I am sure that the event was a huge success. Remember that so many people love you and are supporting you with good thoughts and prayers as you travel over the next few months.

    I received your/our book this week. Unfortunately, I only have had time to look through it briefly. I am so looking forward to reading it this weekend. “A Fine Romance” is a beautiful, beautiful piece of art. Congratulations!

    Travel safe.

  2. Minette says:

    Best wishes on the book signing festivities! I just wanted to let you know that the feedback from two of the people to whom I already have given copies of your book has been so exuberant and enthusiastic! They absolutely love the book! My future daughter-in-law was thrilled to read about how you met Joe as she and my son met through serendipity as well! She says reading your book is like having a BFF in your head who is just talking to you and telling you about her latest adventure. I knew exactly what she meant! My other friend was also excited to receive the book and said it was exactly what she needed right now in her life—-inspiration and charm. She cannot wait to finish reading all of the book! So, it is not just faithful followers of your blog who recoginze what a fantastic book you have written, it is also those who are just getting exposed to your gifts as a creative writer, artist, and incredibly giving person. I am so happy for your continued success with this book! What a triumph!

  3. Susan, this made me think of you: “Romance is the glamour which turns the dust of everyday life into a golden haze. ” ― Elinor Glyn ;>}

    Ian Adams, a Welsh photographer friend, mentioned to me once as he described how he captures the brilliance in his beautiful landscape portraits; “Look for the Sweet Light; just after dawn and just before dusk.”

    Sue, that’s just what you’ve done with your book! You spread a “Golden Haze” on every page! Here’s to the 2nd printing! Applause-applause-applause!

    Cherrio, Bunny XO

    • sbranch says:

      I love that quote … thank you so much, that was beautifully said. BTW it’s just dawn here, I’m heading down to the harbor to meet a friend for early coffee, the light is beautiful!

  4. Ellen says:

    What a joy and delight to read your book. It was truly one that I did not want to end. Thanks to all of your links and extras, I feel like I can continue the adventure. I guess I wasn’t the only one who thought of photographing the book – I took a picture of myself enjoying a Pimm’s Cup while savoring the last few pages. Just had such fun that I wanted to capture the moment. Best wishes for your signing tonight.

  5. Kathie Ferko says:


    Just a small note…I am so enjoying the book…about half way through it… Everything about it is the best…the pictures, paintings and the writings. I loved the part about how you and Joe met…….. how romantic! You are so lucky to have met…you complement .each other perfectly.

    If the girlfriends want to read another book about Britain , there is an obscure book,,,A READERS GUIDE TO WRITER’S BRITAIN by Sally Varlow…it is travel book through Britain and it’s writers…where they lived and wrote…Some of the same places are visited as in your book. It came out about 15 yrs is a good find.

    Also wanted to know if you are doing any book signings near Philadelphia, Pa?

    Thanks again for the memories from my trip of 10 yrs ago

    As ever,
    Kathie from Limerick

  6. Ann Y. says:

    Have fun tonight….wish I could be there ! Love seeing how everyone is enjoying the wonderful book and sharing ideas. I am finally back on the computer as it just came back from the shop. It was doing crazy things…and it needed a battery. It’s an all in one, not a laptop. Who knew computers even had batteries ? A wonderful, small, LOCAL service came on Monday, figured out what was wrong, took it away, brought it back this afternoon…all at a VERY reasonable price. Don’t you love local, small businesses like that ?

  7. Cyndi in NC says:

    YAY!! How fun to see girlfriends and their books. What fun! A signed first edition???? YAY again!! I knew this would be fun but WOW! Your blog always brings a smile to my day but this has been so much more. Oh and the lambs, thank you so much for the lambs. I miss them and have to look at the videos now and then. *S* But there is so much to love. Thanks again for our book. You did a great job, but what’s new. *S* Hugs.

  8. Rhonda D. says:

    So excited for you Susan. You have such a beautiful heart that I know you will have no problem communicating to all the girlfriends. Only wish I could be there to give you a big hug to wish you well, but alas, I’m too far away. So nice to see the pics of the girlfriends reading your book. It has been a red-letter day for me too. My book arrived, along with the rest of my order. I’ve been reading non-stop, filled out my new address book…I even read my new “Book of Days” from cover to cover. The timing was beautiful…needed to enjoy a restful day. I had a big test yesterday, and the results were fabulous (Dr. very happy indeed). Still a few more tests to go, but I’ll celebrate every good result. God is good! I so wish I could be at one of your book signings. I think my healing process would just go into overdrive from all the good, positive energy there. I’m so happy for all the girlfriends that will get to meet you and enjoy the atmosphere. Sending love and hugs as you start your red-letter days! xo

    • sbranch says:

      “The results were Fabulous!” That’s music to my ears Rhonda!

    • Linda from Lancaster Co. PA says:

      Yay and double yay, for you dear friend Rhonda!! Remember all the prayers for you?? God is answering them! I continue to pray for you as you get better and better! So glad to hear the good news!

    • Elizabeth in Montana says:

      Rhonda, I carried your name in the Survivor’s Lap at Relay for Life here in Billings last month. SO glad to hear the great news!

      • sbranch says:

        How wonderful Elizabeth … xoxo

        • Rhonda D. says:

          Elizabeth, thank you for doing that and remembering me. I’m so pleased. Hope you are keeping well.

          Linda, thank you for the prayers and, yes, sometimes I do have to be reminded of all the prayers being said for me. It’s not an easy journey and easy to lose focus. I have a very big test coming up on Aug. 29th and I need to stay strong.

          Susan, thank you for all you do. Everything about this blog is such a blessing to me (all of us). I will pray you and Joe safely across the country and home again. (Your van is now covered in feathers. Psalm 91 says He will cover us with His feathers…we just may not be able to see them, but then again, sometimes we can). Love you and God bless! xo

          • sbranch says:

            There’s a lamb on the van, I think he looks a little bit feathery! 🙂 Thank you Rhonda, all my best for August 29th ♥

  9. Heartsdesire says:

    I think we should be thanking you for giving us such a wonderful book. I received mine on Friday and tried not to read too fast, but it was so tempting that I finished it on Wednesday, that’s as slow as I could go. I loved everything, you made me feel like I was right there on your trip. The ending was so great, it made me cry. Your story of meeting Joe was heart warming and I wished everyone could have a Joe. No need to worry about your book signing tonight. All the people that will be there love you, and A Fine Romance. Wish you were coming to Vancouver Island, but I know that’s out of the question. Perhaps Seattle? It’s not too far away, just across the water by ferr. I’ll be watching the tour list for dates close by.

  10. Jennie says:

    Have a lovely time signing! Wouldn’t it be too cute to have paw prints from Jack and Girl Kitty, too?

  11. Judy from Maine says:

    I can’t till Wednesday to meet you in NH. I’ve already printed out my special name tag. My friend and are making a day of it, lunch first and then to the signing. See you in NH!
    Have a safe trip.

  12. JoEllen Bendall says:

    So glad you loved Frank this morning! I’m SO honored to have him greet the sisters this morning, of ALL mornings! Thought of you at 4pm and sent love your way. As always. LOVE A Fine Romance and refuse to put it on the shelf with alll the other SB books. I just carry it around and smile. xoxo

  13. Elly says:

    I have been savoring your book with a cuppa tea, a little every evening before I head to bed. It is such a joy to read, and feel like I am there with you. I am SOO excited you will be doing a book signing at a local book store, not more than a quarter mile from my home! I LOVE going to Schuler Books whenever I have time. They have a wonderful cafe to sit and peruse magazines & books over coffee or tea and scones. Just lovely! Have a safe journey across the states! Looking forward to meeting you in person very soon.

  14. Gert~Iowa says:

    Oh Susan…I love this one! Your book in all kinds of settings along with some of your beautiful girlfriends!! sweet… I finally got my new laptop today and was blogging about your new book! I just came over here to find the proper wording on your book signing.. I’m sure your ‘first’ book signing today went amazingly well! Congrats on selling out on your ‘first’ edition!! (I love having one of them!)


  15. Anna Marie says:

    Wonderful news! Love the pics from around the world. I will have to send one too from Ashland, Oregon. Keep those pressing running!

  16. Mary says:

    I can’t put your book down….love, love, love, love, love…..don’t want it to end…..EVER! Lovely….awesome Susan!!!!

  17. Nellie says:

    How I wish I could have been in Vineyard Haven this afternoon! I’m anxious to hear all about it! It would be a tremendous honor to be able to speak with you, however briefly!

    Sending along belated birthday wishes to Joe! He shares a birthday with our granddaughter. She was seven yesterday, and her first day in second grade was TODAY!!

    We’re still making progress with my reading your book to my husband. Of course, I am much further ahead with my OWN reading.:-) I am so happy for you that the sales necessitate ordering a second printing!

    xo Nellie

  18. Rosinda says:

    Ahh…how lovely to see Angie, Georgie and Joann’s daughter, Cadie featured in your post! All girlfriends united, reading YOUR book! I love it. You must be over the moon! Congratulations…you truly deserve it!

    • Karen P. - Wisconsin says:

      Well, technically we don’t see AngieBell! LOL! She remains a mystery…pixie dust magic intact! ♥♡

    • Georgie says:

      Hi Rosinda! You were there too. We felt it. If only my phone wasn’t so low on battery I could have even taken a video. Wouldn’t that have been something. I’m so glad you will be going to a signing too!!!
      XOXO Georgie

  19. Lisa from CT says:

    With tears in my eyes and a smile on my face, I finished our book tonight. Thank you Susan! Your book was wonderful…now to coax my new kitty to bed for the night….Lisa

  20. donna says:

    Hi Susan,
    I just finished A Fine Romance. This book is a treasure! The illustrations are so beautiful and you gave us such a great glimpse into your travels! It was also fun to hear how you and Joe met. Thanks for sharing your trip with all of us!!

  21. Bonny ~* says:

    How exciting and wonderful for you!!! Have a safe and fun meandering book signing trip…wish you were coming to Tennessee! ~*

  22. Marilyn says:

    I took your book with me today to the country for a little teatime. I guess I had better share it soon.

  23. Arlinda says:

    What an exciting day! XOXO

  24. Donna E. says:

    Have I waited too late to order a 1st edition/printing?

    • sbranch says:

      You probably haven’t if you go to the web store today … or if you’re at any of the signings, we are saving books so they will have them.

  25. Joann says:

    Oh my goodness…………Cadie is going to LOVE this!!!!!!!!!!!!! We both love you so much—Cadie recently said to me, ‘Susan could be your sister!’ I agree, but you do have plenty of them already!!!

    Loving the book as we plan for a wedding in less than 2 weeks!!!

    So exciting!!!!!!!

    A vintage garden wedding with a vintage ring and we’re using Wedding Wishes for the guests to sign at the wedding…………

    Just perfect………

    • sbranch says:

      Oh my goodness, two weeks, and you will be dissolving in tears and joy! I’m so happy for you Joann — all of you, it will be so lovely! Love to Cadie!

  26. Kate says:

    Thank you for all the joy you give us. Your book is a treasure and I am so glad I ordered in advance so I could get a first edition with your signature. I read it and am now rereading it. Love each page.

  27. So looking forward to meeting you in Sandwich on Monday and having my book signed. Can’t wait to sink into a comfy chair and enjoy your beautiful book.

  28. Barbara from Wolverine Lake MI says:

    I never thought of sending a photo! Susan!! I was out to lunch with a girlfriend last Saturday – pondering the menu and the “drink menu” and what did I spy??? PEAR CIDER! OMG I nearly died. and yes, of course I ordered some (actually it was blackberry pear cider but I thought – close enough!) I thought of you and Joe with every sip. It was not what I expected – this was a “hard” cider…was it in England? or was it like apple cider? it was delish with my Maurice salad.

    • sbranch says:

      Yes, it was hard cider in England too. But gentle-hard!

      • Kathie Ferko says:

        Had hard cherry cider when I was in the Finger Lakes a few yrs ago…It was delicious ! I think pear would be good too…love anything pear. Cideriers are popping up everywhere, it seems. It is good sipping!

  29. Kim says:

    Hi Susan!! I am in NH on a mini vacation and happened to stop in to the Innisfree Bookstore in Meredith, NH!! They have all your books piled high and I had to ask the nice lady if she was the lucky girl who got to work the day Susan Branch is signing books? She said,”oh, yes, but I don’t know her!” I had to tell her how much I adore you and that she was one lucky girl who will be so happy to be working that day! I told her, “you are in for a real treat!”. I was so jealous!!! I have to leave the area this Saturday, but I will catch you in Sandwich on Monday! I did peek in the book and it is simply beautiful! Like everything you touch, just perfect! I was waiting to buy the book when I see you, but I can’t wait! I have to go back to that adorable little bookstore in Meredith!! Enjoy your signings! I can’t wait to see you! Thank you for letting me end my day with your blog! I LOVE it!! My girls, Ashley and Lauren really enjoy reading it too! Big hugs to you from Kim, Mike, Ashley, and Lauren! ps. Be safe traveling!

    • sbranch says:

      You too Kim, sounds like you’re on a wonderful trip! I’m so excited to get up to Meredith — I hear it’s beautiful and I’ve never been there. See you in Sandwich!

  30. Pat Johnson of Paso Robles says:

    Dear Susan – have an absolutely MARVELOUS time tonight!!! 🙂 I can only imagine the electricity that will be present and the smiles that will brighten the night and the love all around. Isn’t this sooooo exciting????!!!! Walk tall – oh, wait a minute, you will travel on a “cloud.” No need to worry because you are the STAR, my dear…….hugs……XXXOOO Pat from CA

  31. Susan on Bainbridge Island in Wa. state says:

    Look at this: Amazon got more of your books and they were sold out almost immediately…..Can you believe it? I have never seen this happen before…ever.
    This has got to be, beyond your wildest dreams! Happy Dancin’ for you!!!!!
    SO AWESOME……….. 🙂

    • sbranch says:

      I’m shocked to tell you the truth! About it all. Seems to be on some sort of trajectory all its own. And there is no doubt in my mind its because of all my darling blog, FOSB, and Twitter girlfriends who’ve made it happen.

  32. Sreekala says:

    I guess you must be at your book signing right now as I write this… I know you must have sailed through your initial remarks with flying colors with your enraptured audience hanging on to each charming word. Here is me lending my hand’s strength to yours for all the signing you have to do!

  33. No no no, thank you sweet Sue and Joe. I am about half way through our book.
    Savoring each and every word and page.


  34. Nancy B says:

    Can’t wait to hear what you have to say about the first book signing! Hope it went well. Lucky Georgie! Thanks for sharing all the photos. I am so looking forward to November 7th. See you then.

    Happy Travels!
    Nancy (from Bakersfield)

    • sbranch says:

      See you then Nancy!

    • Georgie says:

      Hi Nancy! November 7th will be here in no time! How wonderful your signing will be! Take LOTS of pictures! I’m so glad you were able to see some of my pictures. All I had with me was my iPhone and an app called Smile Box. What fun to learn others were able to get a glimpse into Susan’s first signing via the pictures. ENJOY your signing! Save room for me in your pocket!
      XOXO Georgie

  35. Sandi Skeels says:

    Thinking of you and the ”girlfriends” and your FIRST and the ”girlfriends” first book signing of AFR….what a fantastic memory for all of you ..THRILLED that Joe will be there and ever so excited that Petey’s tagging along as he should~~ LOVED all the pictures the girlfriends have sent you….it’s like ”flat stanley” moments!! Can’t wait to hear all about your signings …and know when you have time you will let us ”live in your moments” …always worth the wait!! I can feel smiles all the way to northern Ohio …

  36. Donna Wilder says:

    Thinking of you on the night of your very first book signing and hoping it was everything brillant that you deserve!!!
    Your book is just EVERYTHING! Everything beautiful, everything magical, everything inspirational! Thank you for reminding me to start dreaming again! Dare I dream of meeting you at a book signing in New York??? “I can dream, can’t I?”I’ll keep checking your events link with fingers crossed. I’d love to thank you in person for just being wonderful YOU and bringing so much joy into my life!

  37. Susan says:

    Just finished reading your book. I feel like I’ve had a wonderful vacation! Charming and personable are two words that describe my feelings! A most unique travel log.
    Now my husband is reading the book… He can’t believe you hand wrote it!:-)
    To sum our feelings up – it was well-worth the wait!! Thank you.

  38. Karen says:

    Dear Susan:

    Congratulations on this red letter day….well deserved. You are such an authentic and genuinely kind and loving person. Banish any more scary thoughts about your “opening comments.” All will be well. Have a lovely time! Best—Karen P.S. I am still hoping that you will swing by the Pacific Northwest on your road trip…..working on a plan to get you here 🙂

  39. Jo Hannan says:

    Now you are at rest (I hope, it’s after 12!) and dreaming of the wonderful day with your many fans. Bet the speech before the signing was grand. Wish I’d been part of the lucky group with you.
    Thanks for it all: the memories, yours and mine; the smiles and the tears; and the inspiration for the future.

  40. Carol Duffey from Sierra Madre, CA says:

    Dear Dear Susan, I only wish that I could express myself half as well and as smartly and as charmingly as you… I have really loved your wonderful book. I still have a few pages to read, not because I haven’t had the time, I just don’t want it to end! I know you’ve heard that many, many times already, but it is so true for me. I’m getting my husband, Michael and BOTH of my college boys to read it! (My sisters and friends too, of course!) I just ordered 3 more copies this evening for my sisters. What great Christmas gifts I get to give this year! You’ve found your newest calling: travel diary/recipe / life musings journal! I can hardly wait for your next one!

    • sbranch says:

      I can hardly wait to start writing it. I almost know it all by heart inside my head! Thank you Carol!

  41. Linda Wattier says:

    Just love your book. I feel like I’m there with you! Going to Colorado this weekend for a family gathering so will take the book with me to read. Good luck!

  42. Linda says:

    After finishing your book this morning out on the patio with my darling doggies on my lap and beside me, I cried. I just could not bear to have the book end and I drug it out for as long as I could……….but they were also tears of happiness at the wonderful life you have…….wish we could all be so lucky as you.I hope you sell enough books to enable you to buy your wee bit of heaven in England that you could go to each year and lease out the rest of the time (maybe the girlfriends could all sign up to lease it for the times when you weren’t there?) I read alot and usually 2 books at a time (one for upstairs & one for downstairs) and this was one of the most endearing books I have EVER read………after being there with you in spirit I felt like I was there again with you in the book. You and Joe seem to know that what makes any journey great is the people you meet. Thank you for this endearing book……….I will treasure it forever. Linda from Idaho who sat outdoors even in 100 + temps to read this book as it seemed only fitting to read it outside!!!

  43. Danella on the west coast says:

    Dear Susan, Thank you for sharing pictures of some of our girlfriends. So sweet to ‘meet’ them. Hope your book signing went well today. I’m sure those that attended loved it. Safe travels across the country. You will be making many people happy when they get to meet you and Joe, not to mention your wonderful book. Hugs to you both.

  44. Lisa Jorgensen says:

    Good luck with your first signing. It will be great, just like your book! By the time you get to California you will be very relaxed with all of it. Have a very safe trip across country and enjoy every minute of it. You deserve it!!
    I LOVE the photo of your book with those darling cows!

  45. Judy in Oregon says:

    Hope you had a wonderful book signing!

  46. Kathleen of Los Osos says:

    We’ll all be there with you in spirit, Susan, cheering you on! We’re all so thrilled to share being girlfriends!

  47. Sandi says:

    Susan, I just love your new book! I stretched out the reading as long as I could by reading the book and then reading the internet portions, reading the book and then the internet and finished it last week. Now I am going to read it again and savor it all over again. Your descriptions of everything was beautiful and I felt like I was on the trip with you. I will probably will never make it to England so this was the next best thing. I didn’t order two of the books like I should have in the beginning several months ago when I placed the pre released order as I decided I needed to get one for my daughter for her birthday in September. I hope I have not waited too long to get a first printing. I jumped on line just now and ordered another one plus some more books. I will keep my fingers crossed and will be watching the mailbox. I had also preordered all the calendars big and small for 2014 for us and have received them. My daughter will be receiving a lot os Susan Branch items for her birthday as I cannot wait for Christmas for them to be stocking stuffers. I will also get her a new Vera Bradley tote and put all your items in it and she will be thrilled as both are her favorites.

    Thanks for all your blogging and books as I have them all now except for some of the little bitty ones as they are too expensive on Amazon. I am now buying a second set of all I can find for my daughter. I will keep you and Joe in my prayers for your safe travels across the country side and will keep hoping that one of your stops will be in the Dallas Texas area and I and my daughter and grand girls could meet you in person. Take care and be safe. Sandi

    • sbranch says:

      We still have a couple hundred of the first printing left, you should have no problem getting them if you just ordered them, and those will come with a signature in them. I hope we see you in Texas!

  48. Victoria says:

    Dear Susan,
    I am so happy for all the Girlfriends that got to attend your book signing today! I was there in my heart and in my head this afternoon with all of you at “The Bunch of Grapes” and could feel the excitment from here! ….but unfortunately it just didn’t work out for us this time. We had planned our trip when I first heard about your book signing. I was so looking forward to finally meeting you in person! All of our reservations were made but we had to cancel Tuesday night because our “Puddytat” had become just too sick to travel…. I am hopeful that I can meet you sometime, maybe in June.

    Your charming book ( not nearly enough adjectives) has been the highlight of my summer!!!!… In so many ways and for so many reasons. It is beautifully written and illustrated with soooo much LOVE that comes right through!… Oh Susan!!! ……….I just can’t find the appropriate words to express my gratitude to you…………sorry!…… z just so much feeling and a loss of words, but I know you’ll get what I am trying to say…’s heart to heart.

    …And to all the wonderfully gifted people that were also touched by your book and could put it into words their thoughts and feelings with their marvelous reviews, I say, Thank you! and Ditto!! “A Fine Romance” is all those things and more!!!

    On the day I opened three packages and to my surprise, the last package I opened, out slid “A fine Romance”.. . I couldn’t believe my eyes! … I was actually holding your book in my hands! I just had to share this special moment…The first thing I did was to interrupt hubby who happened to be in the shower….” Look!” I said.
    The glass shower door opened and out billowed clouds of steam with a faint image of hubby’s head.
    “Look! It’s Susan’s book!”
    He said, “Wow!. You’ve got it! ”
    For a few seconds we both happily leafed through your book with enchanted wonder, then hubby looked at me and said” you’ve got goose bumps! “… “Yea, I do”.., I said. So, I smiled and left before the steam rippled the pages… and that was the beginning of
    “A Fine Romance” here in our household…. And later, of course I couldn’t help but read to hubby in the car as we did our errands. He loves it! I used the ribbon to mark where I left off reading to him, but kept on reading myself.
    I read your book very slowly, savoring every word, like sipping fine wine, looking at all the pictures drawings and your beautiful script. I even read all of your recipes, ticket stubs and everything. Usually, When I read, I underline, highlight and write notes all over the place, but There is no way that I could do that with this very special book. I’ll have to get another for reference for that! I loved reading about you and Joe and laughed out loud as you described everything so perfectly, I was there! I was you! …in that hotel room, frantically calling my girlfriend.. What do I do now??? … And you sweet Mom! …was my Mom! …wondering and worrying and biting her lip! Oh how I could relate to all of it! … And the ship! We were already stowed in your luggage and remember when we all went out of the NY Harbor and went under the V. Bridge late that afternoon. We followed the ship on the internet that night until it became too dark to see anything. … And England! It was so good to relive all of it again with even more details. I still don’t know how Joe drove from the passenger side of the car, in the wrong lane going the opposite direction in all those circles. I love how you said it took an hour sitting in the rental car getting used everything before you pulled away. When I think of the planning and the driving and all it took, just the logistics, it is all quite extraordinary what the two of you did! …And then what it took for yiu to share it with all of us, then and now! thank you! XO!
    You are the perfect couple!
    …Well, when I realized that I had only about 20 pages left to read, I reached a dilemma. I wanted to keep reading, and find out what was next , but At the same time, I didn’t want the book to end!… So I rationed myself only allowing myself to read one page a day. It wasn’t easy, but it was wonderful! I just finished it tonight and cried when I got to the picture of you and Joe.. ” And they lived happily ever after” The End … And thinking of it brings tears to my eyes right now! There is only one thing left to do! Read it again!.. And I’ll live it even more every time I read it, if that’s possible.

    Your new shiny FineRomanceMobile is fantastic and will turn many heads for a second look as you ramble down the highways and back roads from coast to coast.
    I was wondering if you will be stopping in any other places on your way back home? I really think ” A Fine Romance” should be on the NY Tumes best sellers list!…
    In fact it’s getting around quite well already ! Love all the pictures with the Girlfriends! That could be your next book, “Girlfriends Across The Country”.

    Last weekend hubby and I went downtown and took some pictures of A Fine Romance in DC. I would like to send a couple to you but haven’t figured out how to copy them on your blog or is there a special email address to send you pictures ?

    Wishing you and Joe a happy, safe trip! XO!

    • sbranch says:

      Yes Victoria there’s an email address you can send photos to me at [email protected]/~susanbs3/susanbranch/. But what a NICE story you just wove about your reading of the book! xoxo Thank you so much! I hope your kitty is better!

    • Victoria says:

      Dear Susan,
      Thank you for your sweet and thoughtful reply. It means so much to me! I am sad to say that it doesn’t look like Puddytat will recover, as he has steadily been losing weight over the last several months from 16 lbs to now 7. He has been in treatment for a kidney problem but this last week his breathing became a little labored and the vet thought it best not to add the stress of travel. So, for now, Puddytat gets anything he wants. We are also dealing with Fido, our 19+year old Lab (mix) that has difficulty walking. Both travel well, but it was Puddy’s breathing difficulty that gave us concern and kept us from coming.

  49. Laura from England says:

    Hope your book signing was a resounding success. I cannot tell you how thrilled I was when my copy arrived yesterday afternoon. It is absolutely beautiful and to be treasured forever. I’ve read the beginning about your meeting Joe and can’t wait to read about your trip in more detail having followed your blog last year. Much of it holds special significance to me as I live on the Kent/East Sussex border and have been to Sissinghurst, Knole, Batemans, Alfriston and all over the surrounding area. I don’t think I fully appreciated before how lucky I am and you have made me look at it through new eyes. Off to Sissinghurst for the annual Smallholders Fair this Sunday – cannot wait!

    • sbranch says:

      I am happy to hear that, you are a VERY lucky girl to be surrounded with so much beauty and history! Have a great weekend Laura!

  50. sondra fox says:

    Susan, As you’ll recall, my husband passed away two weeks ago. Many girlfriends told me of their sympathy. I do appreciate all of your kind words. Many of my nearby girlfriends have told me they think I’m strong. Funny, but I don’t feel strong, but I’m getting by. Many things to do when a loved one passes. Name changes in accounts were the most difficult, plus looking through clothes & donating them to charities. Your book came in time to bring me out of the doldrums. Just love the unique way you wrote your book. I’ve almost made up my mind to go to England & follow your (& Joe’s) steps. What a marvelous trip. I don’t know if I’d have the nerve to go by myself. I don’t think it would be that much fun going by myself. Have any of you read “Gifts from the Sea,” by Anne Morrow Lindbergh? Anne talks about being alone & how we all need that as part of our lives. I do enjoy my own company, but I don’t know about going on a trip to England by myself. I’ll tell you one thing, you’ve got to muster up lots of courage from way down in your soul to do things alone when your mate dies. I have such great friends. They invite me to go places with them, their husbands included. I’d love to visit your island as well Susan. That Illumination night fascinates me. Will you put any pictures of that particular night into your blog? Bye for now. I’m getting into bed to read my latest novel. Who knows when I’ll go to sleep. I don’t have much of a schedule these days. It’s 2 A.M. here in CA. Our Wire Hair Terrior, Jack, is still mopey, looking around for my husband, sleeping in my husband’s chair, perking up his ears when he hears a little sound by any of the doors, generally sad looking. I give him lots of TLC & special treats.
    (Sandy from Chihuahua Flats)

    • sbranch says:

      Such huge changes all at one time, I can’t even imagine. It makes me more thoughtful about my own life, how I would face such a thing. I guess it would be one day at a time. And really hard. Here’s my post about ILLUMINATION NIGHT, you will love this. Hugs to Jack and you.

    • Karen P. - Wisconsin says:

      Oh Sandy…bless your heart. I think of you and say a prayer for your spirit to be lifted whenever I check Susan’s blog (which is probably 10 times a day! Lol!) If I could, I would go to England with you! I cannot imagine how you must be feeling. Hugs to you and I pray for loving friends and family to rally around you. So wonderful that you and Jack have each other’s companionship. xo

    • Linda from Lancaster Co. PA says:

      Dear Sandy, I can tell that God is giving you the strength you need each day. Take things one step at a time. (Good advice for anyone.) You have wonderful friends with you and you know all of us Girlfriends love you here on Susan’s Blog. My Love and Prayers are with you!!

      • sondra fox says:

        Karen, Yes, Jack is such a wonderful little dog. He knows when I’m wandering about looking for my glasses, knows when I’m washing my face at night that I’m heading to bed, he’s very perceptive. He’s a blessing, just like all of you who have prayed for me. I’m feeling those prayers. xo

      • sondra fox says:

        Thanks Susan for all of your well wishes. I’ve had a lot of friends tell me to take one day at a time, as well as wait a year to make any decisions on how to handle you new life journey. Sandy from Chihuahua Flats.

    • Susan ( an Ohio gal in SoCal ) says:

      Sandy, just a quick note to let you know I’m saying a prayer for you as you are in a new season of life now. I hope you are able to find a traveling partner to make that trip.

    • Marsha MacLean says:

      Dear Sandy,
      I know these days are hard, I have been there myself. I pray you feel God’s love through all your friends and other family. I know that things will get easier for you, and wish you peace. Take time for yourself now, and work on healing.
      Love, your girlfriend, Marsha

    • Lynn McMahon says:

      Dear Sandy~
      I so sorry for your loss~ my dearest friend lost her husband six years ago on the 20th of this month~ she time does help with the healing ~somewhat~ but you never forget~ Lean on your family and girlfriends~ she said that gets her though~ I hope that doesn’t sound condescending ~ this comes right from someone in your shoes~ Take your trip when you feel the time is right ~ you will know~
      ~ Hugs~

    • Margot in Virginia Beach says:

      Hi Sandi,
      I have read Mrs. Lindbergh’s book. Excellent! You should treat yourself to a travel, when you are ready. Have you ever heard of Elder Hostel vacations? I am sure they have one for England. You travel with a group. Safer I think.
      Hang in there!
      Kindest Regards,

  51. GardenGirl (SE Massachusetts) says:

    Good Morning Sue,

    Certainly your “debut” signing went perfectly on the Vineyard. I just love seeing all of the girlfriends enjoying their Fine Romance. Can hardly wait for Monday to see you locally. -Kathy

  52. Ruth Thomas says:

    THANK YOU SUSAN for sharing your experience with us. The book was great – I’m going to read it again because I’m sure I missed something! Good Luck on your book signing for all of those lucky people today. You are indeed a blessing to all of us!

  53. Margot in Virginia Beach says:

    I am so excited for you!!! I wish I could be up there on the Vineyard too. If I only still lived in NH.

    • Margot in Virginia Beach says:

      We all have so many questions and comments, that the public speaking part of this for you will be a breeze. And a sea breeze at that!!!

  54. Debbie Anderson says:

    What a wonderful treat to sit in a comfy chair with a cup of tea and your book. Thanks for sharing your adventure with the world.

  55. Michelene Thomas says:

    I just received my copy of A Fine Romance. Yippeeee! I had hoped to have it before I leave for my vacation in September, but it’s here, now and I don’t think I can wait that long to read it. It is just gorgeous!! I just love, love love all your sweet little paintings spread throughout the pages. Well done. Can’t wait for your next adventure. If you can, please come to the Philadelphia area for a book signing. Have a wonderful trip.

  56. Joan Lesmeister says:

    Such a wonderfully exciting day! So sweet that you took the time to be with us before your 1st signing! Great pictures, enjoyed them & your quotes & paintings, very much! I’ve had a lovely chat with Valerie (another girlfriend!) at Sierra 2 in Sacramento. and am hoping you can make it here for a signing! If not, see you in SLO! I hope you’re still basking in the glory of your day yesterday, and woke up with a smile! Hugs!

  57. Barbara (WA) says:

    It’s a bit before 5 a.m. out here on the West Coast – I couldn’t sleep for the past couple of hours, gave up, got up and logged on to the blog. What a delightful way to begin the day! May your first signing tonight be fabulous and just fill your heart with joy!!

  58. Shannon (Pennsylvania) says:

    Good morning! Georgie, thank you SO much for posting the pics of Susan’s signing on your twitter account. I love them! Susan, you looked adorable…Georgie, I could feel your excitement and joy in being there…and Joe, you’re certainly no slouch, either!! Looks like it was a perfect kick off for the book tour. Hugs!

    • sbranch says:

      Couldn’t have been much better (unless everyone could be there) — and Georgie is just the doll she always sounds like she is!

    • Linda from Lancaster Co. PA says:

      Hey, Shannon Girlfriend,
      I read your comment to me on the last blog from Susan. And, Yes, it would be wonderful if Susan could come to Lititz!! I would be so excited to see you, Shannon. I will literally jump up and down and scream when I spy your name tag. Of course, we will have to take pictures of us together!! Something to look forward to!!

    • Georgie says:

      Hi Shannon! You’re a neighbor in PA! You saw the pictures! I tried so hard to capture the excitement of the event. It was wonderful to hear Susan read her words from her book… a book we all followed from the beginning of her trip. I could really feel all the girlfriends were there. Susan even mentioned The Girlfriends to the group gathered there! In times like these… we are one!

      Thanks again!
      Georgie, NJ

  59. Cheryl Egan says:

    Dearest Susan,
    CONGRATULATIONS! I am so thrilled for you and Joe on your newest success. I cant ‘wait to see you this Monday at Titcombs Bookshop. I have been working hard at not just ordering it from Amazon so I could read it asap, but wanted to see you and have it signed in person. Until then, and always, enjoy the moments…..

  60. Winnie Nielsen says:

    Susan, I love all of the wonderful photos shared by other Girlfriends upon this wonderful launch of your book! Thank-you for allowing all of us to join in the fun that is literally happening on both sides of the pond!

    Your book is quite wonderful! I am reading it carefully each day and taking in all of the beautiful artwork and story. Such a love story! Such a beautiful trip! When I read the credits on your dedication page, it brought tears to my eyes your message to all of us who virtually road along for the trip and your work this past year. To be part of that experience is some small way is a blessing and a once in a lifetime experience for me. There are not many opportunities to be part of an artist’s work, especially so many of us. But you have such a welcoming way with your followers and I can say it has been such an enriching experience to read all of the comments and “talk” with you this past year! My thanks to you, Susan, for being so friendly to all of us and giving us a community of like minded friends to share in good works and fuller lives!

    Best of luck with the upcoming signings@!!

  61. Pam says:

    Hope the book signing went well (I’m sure it did) and you had lots of fun.

    • sbranch says:

      It was fabulous, and I want you all to know, you were well represented. There were even two people visiting from England! Almost half the audience was wearing badges they printed off from the blog! I recognized names, and now have faces to go with them. I had to stop myself from getting teary eyed a couple of times, it was just so wonderful.

      • Gaynor O'Connor says:

        Hi Susan,

        Nina (starstruck!) and Chris (your visitors from England) had a wonderful time! The book signing was amazing and we loved chatting to you and hearing your stories. We are now home in Connecticut (where this Anglophile lives) having a ‘girlfriend’ night at home! They leave on Monday to cross the ocean and say hello to everything I miss – and those things that you may miss too! We have been reading bits of your book out loud and love that you truly ‘get’ the heart of England!


        • sbranch says:

          So wonderful to meet you all Gaynor! Tell the sisters Bon Voyage. I’m so happy they are taking books home to England (back to their roots!). Thank you for being at the signing! It meant so much to me … and having “real” English people was just the frosting on the cake! 🙂

          • Gaynor O'Connor says:

            Hi Susan,

            My English girlfriends Nina and Chris left today taking a little of my heart with them. Every visitor from home brings England right back to me – your lovely book has done the same thing. I’m sad that my friends have left but smiling because we truly had so much fun! Your book signing being at the top of our list, especially Nina’s!

            Thank you for the memories.


          • sbranch says:

            Thank you Gaynor! Please give my best to Nina and Chris — thank goodness for the Internet — they’re gone but really so close because of everything we can do these days!

  62. Absolutely LOVED the book, and must order a couple more for Christmas gift-giving! Wonderful photos of the *Girlfriends* here too. It’s always fun to see any creation travel the world to its new home, and I would imagine even more so for a book – indeed like sprinkling fairy dust, inspiring smiles wherever it’s read. 🙂

    ♥ Carolee

  63. Marianne says:

    Dear Susan,
    Since receiving my copy of your most wonderful book, I start each day with a little trip to the English countryside via your book! With my cup of coffee, my dogs beside me we read together. A great beginning to my busy work day. Thank you. You are an inspiration. I am an artist who worked commercially for thirty years till my eyesight was reduced by a detached retina. I have had three surgeries on my eye and are thankful for the vision I have but it is not good enough to do the fine work I once did. So I enjoy your watercolors so very much. I live vicariously through you! Stay well and keep painting!

  64. Mary-Agnes from Long Island says:

    Hi Susan,

    I’ve been lucky enough to go to England four times and hope to go back again. I was tempted to devour your book in one sitting, but held off because I knew it was going to be one of those books I didn’t want to end. So I left it on my night table and read one section per night. I absolutely loved it! The photographs were great, but as usual, your watercolors were the best, especially the adorable lambs. I ordered three copies as soon as they were available on your website, and I’m glad I did so early. One copy was for me, another is a surprise pre-birthday gift for my sister, and the other one will be my first edition, just for show copy. (My cat Vivian has already tried to nibble the red ribbon on my reading copy!) Thanks again for letting us share your wonderful journey, and I hope your tour gets around to my neck of the woods sometime in the near future!

  65. Cathy from Golden Co says:

    What an exciting time for you! I love your book as I knew I would. You are so talented & inspire all of us! Wishing you a wonderful day & book signing! ENJOY!

  66. Mar Bailey says:

    Dearest Susan…I can’t tell you how much I loved this book. I kept chasing my Donny around to read him passages…while he was in the shower, working on his boat, cleaning the gutters… he finally said ” Let’s wait for a crisp fall night and read it together, in front of the fire!” What a honey hubby! A Fine Romance is just so much wonderfulness that you MUST share.
    Thank you, thank you and I am dreaming of you coming to Denver to The Tattered Cover! Dreams do come true. xxoo

    • sbranch says:

      I don’t think Tattered Cover’s going to be up for it Mar … we are trying for Boulder now, also very wonderful! Hope it’s not too far from you! LOL on chasing Donny around!!

  67. Sherry Palla says:

    God be with you on your journeys! Please keep us posted where you are! What a glorious ADVENTURE! So happy for you Susan and Joe too! God speed! xoxo

  68. I am sure it will go very well! After all, everyone already thinks you’re wonderful. ❤ I saw you once – years ago- in a bookstore in Madison, CT – R.J.Julia’s. I was thrilled to meet you! I wish I could be there today – Martha’s Vineyard is soooo lovely and seeing you there would be like checking off a bucket list item.
    LOL- between your book signing and the President’s vacation, I imagine traffic will be impossible!

    • Janet [in Rochester] says:

      That’s just what I was thinking too! Last night on the news of course they covered the President on MV but I must confess, I was looking in the background for footage of “Bunches of Grapes” or you and/or Joe – or your new tricked-out van – or even Girlfriends with name tags walking the streets!! LOL! Have a super fun and safe trip! :>)

  69. Betsy says:

    To all the lucky girls at the book signing, we will be with you in spirit. What I wouldn’t give to be there. I treasure every page of your book Susan. There is heart and soul in those pages. It makes me happy just to see it sitting on my coffee table……I keep it there like a much cherished family photo. It just warms my heart to pass by it……my own little treasure! Much Love and best wishes. Betsy in Pennsylvania

  70. Idelsy says:

    Best of Luck this afternoon!!! Wish I was able to be there!

  71. Angie(Tink!) says:

    ♥*¨`*.✫Good Morning Sweetest Sue! I Know You are Still Twirling from Your 1st Book Signing! & I Love This Blog & Your Wonderful Words of Love….it Goes Deeper Than That 🙂 Thank You Darling Sue…ok for The Record…in This Magical World of The Internet I Tweet & Re~Tweet Re~Facebook “Like” “Share” & Post Everyone’s Magic! & The Other Day I was Flying Between Twitterville & Facebookland & Magical Lands of The Blog~World & Was Caught up in All The Frenzy of Your 1st Book~Signing & Georgie & Erin’s Trip to Your Magical Island That at One Point as I flew to Facebookland The Amazing Bookshop Titcomb’s Where You Will Be Soon Had Posted That Amazing Photo on My Facebook Page with All Your Books in Hand..& This Quote… “Look what’s arrived (first Shipment) and yes, it’s as Fabulous as We’d Expected” so Then I Posted it on The F.O.S.B. Page Then I Flew Back to Twitterville & Tweeted it There Then I Tweeted it To You! 🙂 When I Read Your Magical Words to Me…. I Cried…Tears of Joy & Excitement But I Tossed & Turned all Night & just Wanted to Tell You This Sweet Sue! I Love You! I Love Your Joy & Magic That You Give to All of Us….& I Love “A Fine Romance in love with the English Countryside” & I Will Shout it from The Highest Roof~Tops…. Your New Book is The Most Enchanting The Most Magical The Most Joyful Book! I Will Spread This Message Through Out The Land The Kingdom The World! I’ve Been So Dizzy Twirling into The Pages of Your Book & No More Champagne for Me…. Well at Least Until The Next Book Signing & Toast! 😉 Cheerio! Love Hugzzz & Always Lots & Lots of Pixie~Dust! xoxo Poof! ♥*¨`*.✫*¨*.¸¸.♥*¨`*.✫*¨♥*¨`*.✫*¨*.¸¸.♥*¨`*.✫*¨*.¸¸.♥

    • sbranch says:

      “Throughout the Kingdom of the World!” Angie Tink you have an indomitable spirit! We need many many more of you in this world!!

    • Georgie says:

      Angie! You sent your pixie dust on ahead for me and Joe! The MAGIC was all around that day! POOF!

      Thank you for the abundant JOY you share with All of Us!
      XOXO Georgie, NJ

  72. Teresa J says:

    I was so excited to receive my copy of “A Fine Romance”!!! I was sitting in the living room with my nose in it (literally) and my daughter, Katie, came down the stairs and said, “Are you smelling that!?” I said, “Yes, it smells wonderful!” She walked over and took a little whiff and said, “Yes, it does.” There is nothing better than the smell of a book hot off the press and lucky for us the words are just as wonderful! Loving it all. Hope to see you in Cali.!

  73. Barbara in Napa, Ca says:

    Dear Susan,
    I contacted a great bookstore in Marin County CA called Book Passage and they are very interested in talking with you or your publicist about a giving a talk and/or a book signing. I don’t know exactly how these things work, but I really wanted to meet you, so I thought maybe I can get you to my area! This is the woman I emailed with should you want to pursue the lead: Alexis Sattler at Book Passage [email protected]
    I hope it works out! Your book is terrific!
    Barbara in Napa

    • sbranch says:

      Joe wrote them this morning… thank you so much for doing this Barbara — we would love to go there! Makes such a huge difference to them hearing it first from you rather than us! I’m so happy you like the book!

      • Barbara in Napa says:

        Dear Susan,
        When this works out (I know it will), I’ll be there in line with my little Girlfriend badge on!

        I just took a trip to London by myself (!) and did a 10 mile hike with a wonderful guide through the Cotswolds. I had been following your blog since spring 2012 and you inspired me to go. It was a very different trip obviously but a journey of the heart none the less. Cheers to a fellow Anglophile!

        I’m also a creative director and illustrator and I know how much work you do to create your wonderful art and writing. BTW You are a really good writer, where will the next trip take you and when can we read about it? Wales? Ireland? Good fodder there!
        Have a lovely afternoon, I’m looking forward to meeting you!

        • sbranch says:

          Well we are crossing the USA very soon and I’ll try to blog lots of it. After that, we don’t really know, but somewhere or something, that’s for sure!

  74. Robin G says:

    You will do great tonight! And having just visited Hill Top House in June, Reading your journey is bringing back some lovely memories. Thank you!

  75. Sharon of Morro Bay, CA says:

    Congrats on the huge success of the book!! Plus, know your signing went splendidly. I ordered my copy plus the 2014 calendar for my birthday gift to myself. Looking forward to. Seeing you in San Luis Obispo.

  76. Trish K says:

    I think I forgot to click the post comment button yesterday. I agree with Asha, the second reading reveals missed things. I’ve seen some pictures of the booksigning and of beautiful Martha’s Vineyard on twitter, and I must say that I’m a little jealous that I didn’t get to meet you and Joe and see the beautiful island. But, I’m so glad you and the girlfriends had a nice time! Congratulations on the second printing!

  77. Rosanne Murphy (Oregon) says:

    How lovely to see the fun the girlfriends are having with A Fine Romance. It’s a love fest! If I sent a photo it would be of me in bed late into the night, cuddled up with my kitty, reading passages over and over, loving the photos, savoring my time in pubs and tea rooms, wonderful gardens and stately homes. The quote from Zelda at the beginning of your book was new to me, and so perfectly expresses what you accomplished with this book. You “broke our hearts” with this beautiful book (in a good way). Yes, I do “live by the philosophies of popular songs” – at least the popular songs written mostly before the 1950’s. My husband and son (who got his whack with much laughter on both sides) keep wondering how I know the words and can sing along to about every song sung by Frank, Dean, Tony and the rest. I will have to read the boys this quote.;) It is easy to imagine the wonderfulness of your first book signing. From the outside of the building I know there was a big rainbow and hearts flying up into the sky.

    • sbranch says:

      I think you are exactly right about the rainbow and hearts. And those are exactly the popular songs I was thinking of … even older ones of Zelda’s time too. Wasn’t that a wonderful thing she was hoping for?

      • Rosanne Murphy (Oregon) says:

        Oh yes, so many wonderful songs written from the 1920’s, and then through the 1930’s and 1940’s. The lyrics go straight to the heart, and are memorable because they feel true. I love Zelda’s quote. It seems to me it’s what you were hoping for with this special book, and guess what, you hit the mark! You broke our hearts in the best possible way. There will be lots of book stores with rainbows and hearts overhead, flying up into the atmosphere. And boy does the world need more of that!!

  78. Just popping in in to say Hi! and that I’m so excited to see you’ve taken your book on the road! Ohhh, I do hope you’ll eventually get up to our upper left corner of the map for a book signing…I would so love to meet you! It would be a huge thrill! Sending you best wishes Susan for safe travels and tons of fun as you meet your adoring fans! 🙂

  79. Debby Mc says:

    Ohhhhhh! I am sooooooo antsy!! My books are waiting for me at home, cleeeeeeear across the country in SoCA…arghhhh! I’m counting the days til I can sit in my comfy chair, feet up, tea and sweet at hand, and delve, delve, delve! So jealous and chomping at the bit here! Congratulations, Susan. Hope (know) the book signing is a huge successful hug!

  80. BJR says:

    A tough physical day has just been made a red letter day! My hubby came in at noon carrying a package that contained MY COPY of A Fine Romance!! 😉 I am lit! 😉 I didn’t realize my copy would be signed!! 😉 I LOVE it…LOVE it!! I will treasure this book!! You have made it a masterpiece of England…thanks so much!!

    • sbranch says:

      My total pleasure BJR!! Thank you!

      • BJR says:

        I have been s-l-o-w-l-y looking through my book, reading here and there, and found (to my DELIGHT) a picture of a row of cottages (in Bibury)…the same one’s that I’d sketched into a sketchbook a couple of years ago from a picture!! (I’m an artist.) I’m going to make this book last as long as I can and then I’ll reread it again! Thanks so much for all the hard work you put into it, to share with all of us! My hubby’s been looking in it, too… 😉

        • sbranch says:

          Those cottages! How could we not try to take them home!

          • BJR says:

            I love ’em!! There’s something about old English houses that says it all! I’m glad you could experience them in real life…and we can through your book. BTW….I’ve been enjoying your book today…!!

  81. Cynthia Rothbard says:

    Dear Susan,
    I just love this book. It is so different than your other books, but I think that you are on to something…, food, art…and quotes! It just takes one away on a mini-vacation. I plan to read and re-read it often.
    Last year, we had the opportunity to visit New Zealand, and your description of driving in England was so much like NZ. I laughed, I cried, I screamed (but not too often….I was the navigator, not the brave driver!!). Your book brought it all back in glorious color. Thanks for the best treat of the summer. Thanks for your glorious optimism. It makes every day shine! (ok…hope you make it to Boulder…have my fingers crossed!).

  82. Kathy Phenix says:

    Lucky day! Yesterday, just as you were readying yourself for your first book signing–I heard from Sheri at your distribution headquarters and she assured me that she would put my copies in the mail late that day. I should receive them on Mon or Tues. She said somehow they missed being shipped with the first mailing. It’s okay, as long as they are on their way now. I wish my mailman would break his schedule and manage to get here before 4:30pm but I guess he won’t understand my impatience.
    I’m still hoping that your road trip will bring you to FL because I would make every effort to get to a signing. Best of luck with your trip. Kathy in Melbourne

    • sbranch says:

      I think we’ll get to Florida next winter (when we will really need it 🙂 ) I’m so glad to hear the book is on the way!! So sorry it’s late!

  83. Ellen says:

    Oh, my earlier comment from yesterday is still “awaiting moderation” – any reason for this?

  84. What an exciting time of your life…and we love sharing it with you! I can’t wait to get one of your books! Everyone loves it and I know I will, too! Enjoy your weekend! Sweet Florida hugs, Diane

  85. Gail H. O. says:

    I just love the book and had saved it to read on a plane trip (which I was dreading) Thought it would be a great distraction and keep me happy. Well as I started reading the part about how you and Joe met, ect. the tears were flowing and I discreetly got a tissue to blot them. Just such a sweet story and definitely made the plane ride go faster! Finished reading it on the way home.
    My daughter was looking over my shoulder at the book, and I explained how special it was that you had handwritten every page and painted the pictures. I am so thrilled to have my signed first edition.

  86. Becky Maggio says:

    Oh NO! My comments from yesterday are still awaiting moderation 🙁 I was already feeling left out of the party and now this!! lol I am just happy to hear that the book signing was successful…but we never doubted it!! I am going to give it my all and get in touch with local bookstores to get you and Joe to come to Bayou country.

    • sbranch says:

      Don’t feel left out … I’m just a bit overwhelmed with comments to moderate, but I’m determined to catch up! Thank you so much Becky!

  87. Susan ( an Ohio gal in SoCal ) says:

    I think one of the most fun things is looking at the pictures of you and the girlfriends AND of those wonderful bookstores I’d love to be able to visit myself. Will each of those bookstores have and set aside copies available for purchase at the signings? I have a friend who is hoping to buy one there if she is able to go. I think she’d be safer getting one now! Susan , how can we thank you enough for this extra-special book? And not only that, for creating a blog where so many kindred spirits enjoy gathering! I think we all feel the connection of being girlfriends when we come here. There is no other place as chummy as this!

    • sbranch says:

      I know, this is quite amazing, and it takes every one of us to make it that way… Thank you so much!

      All the bookstores will have books, but just in case, we have saved boxes of books to put in the van with us so no one runs out. Hopefully, fingers crossed, we’ll have enough.

  88. Paula B. says:

    So much fun to see all those “fan pictures”. Getting geared up for the Sandwich, Mass. event. I’ll be the girl there with my best friend of fifty two years.

  89. Balisha says:

    Just received my copy yesterday. I’ll be doing a blog post about it soon. Good luck at the book signing.

  90. Bonnie L says:

    Dear Susan,
    Thank you sooooo much for this wonderful book!
    Since we are ‘on the road’ the last time we were requesting our mail I phoned first to find out if your book had arrived….and it had!….so I received it while in Cody, WY and began reading it right away….finishing it in Grand Teton Nat’l Park!
    Also, as have many other girlfriends, reading some passages to my husband! Thought of asking him to take a picture of me reading it while surrounded by trees next to a river or sitting on a rock, but it was only a thought! Should a! Oh well!
    I am reading it again and as have the others who are doing the same I am wondering at what I must have missed the first time through!! 🙂 Hope you will be nearby somewhere, somehow! If not this time….then some other time on down the road!! Thank you so much for being you and sharing your wonderful talents with us!

  91. Kathie Ferko says:


    I left a message and it is still in moderation….many letters were written after mine and were reviewed already. What happened? My message was left yesterday….8/15/1

    Kathie from Limerick

    • sbranch says:

      Here’s how it works: Sixty comments come in, I approve thirty, but then I have to go to an appointment or something. By the time I come back, another sixty have come in on top of the thirty I left. On top. So I might get another forty approved, and then more come in, and the earlier ones, whether there are five or forty, get pressed to the bottom. It’s a kookie way of doing it, but it’s the only way I know how — we get a lot of spam here which we really wouldn’t want mixed in with all our lovely comments … and I really do love to read them all. I hope that explains it. I’m determined to get through them this morning, there are 275 comments waiting for “moderation” right now. Here I go, diving into the deep end and loving them all!

      • Kathie Ferko says:

        Thanks…I will be more patient, now that I know my comment is read.

        Just did not want it to get lost!

  92. Yea! You’ve got the very first book signing under your belt! Sounds like it went great! I saw pics on facebook this afternoon! Wish I could be at the one in Sandwich, hope to find out from the local stores in the Asheville area soon! The book is so wonderful! I look at pictures and want to go to the blogs and see the videos again, especially of Joe driving down the narrow left side of the road, yikes!!! And of the sheep waggeling their cute little tails! It is such fun to be a part of all this, thank you dear Susan!
    Carol Jeannie Maroni
    Tweet Tweet!

    • Margot in Virginia Beach says:

      Oh Jeannie, I was wondering where you were in NC. If I can’t get a place for Susan here I would drive to Asheville!

  93. Mary Heiland says:

    I feel very blessed to have been one of the girlfriends at Bunch of Grapes on Thursday. It truly was “Serendipity” as my trip to Boston (and MV) was planned months before you scheduled your book signing! Between seeing Obama and his family riding bikes down the road, hearing you talk about how dreams really do come true and sharing it all with my daughter, it really was a day to remember. You have such a natural way of connecting with people and speaking from your heart. Joy and gratitude exude you. Thank you for sharing yourself and your positivity with the world. XO
    “Kindred spirits are not as scarce as I used to think. It’s splendid to find out there are so many in the world” -L.M. Montgomery / Anne of Green Gables

    • sbranch says:

      Love the quote, there really are! A bookstore full of them the other night! Thank you for being there Mary, and for everything! I’m so glad your trip was a success!

  94. Cindy Maulin says:

    hi susan!!! what an absolutely wonderful idea for a post!! I love being able to put a face to a girlfriends’ name that I see here all of the time… earlier I had left a comment wishing you good luck at you first signing..but I think it got lost in the shuffle….so I will just say that I have seen a few pictures from Bunch of Grapes and it all looked so fantastic!!! Exciting for so many reasons….and…a second printing!!…I know that you…..well all of us…are on cloud nine!! The book continues to inspire, enlighten and entertain…… love it….<3 enjoy!!! love, cindy

  95. Suzanne says:

    Congratulations on the wonderful new book. It is all I was hoping for and more.
    You add so much grace and joy to our lives. May you and Joe enjoy your fall trip. I look forward to going along! Thanks for taking us along.

  96. Dearest Susan.. So happy for all your success. YAY!
    I spend every morning with our book and it’s bringing me back to life somewhere.(You don’t mind if I call it ours do you)? You are getting my dream moe-joe going again..thank you. Have a wonderful day at Edgertown Books…I’ll be with you in spirit…my love…your friend…Sweet P

  97. Tawni urrutia says:

    Darling Susan!
    I’m about 3/4 through your enchanting, funny, gorgeous book! I bought one copy for me and one for my aunt. She isn’t coming until next week…could I wait for her, umm NO!
    A most heart felt congratulations to you on this gem. This book is timeless! And so inspiring.
    I just love all the detail of the gardens and country scape! Thank you a million for all of your hard work and attention to every detail. You have given to much joy and beauty to so many of us.
    I look so forward to seeing you at a book signing in California.
    Tawni Urrutia in Lodi, Ca

    • sbranch says:

      I was so hoping everyone would be able to feel the places I wrote about, thank you so much Tawni!

  98. Chris Wells in Knickerbocker, W TX says:

    Our Dear Susan,
    I haven’t posted lately, I almost hate adding to your work load. But I have to wish you the best on your book signing tour. Wish I could figure out the Twitter thing, I would love to see the photos of the Bunch of Grapes booksigning everyone is talking about. Anyway, have a safe trip across the country, We head out for Ohio next week, picking up our 16 year old granddaughter in Ft Worth. She is coming with us….I am SO THRILLED. It won’t be much longer she will have much better things to do than travel with her Grandparents! Then we head to my son’s house and we will ALL see you in Hudson. This just could not have worked out better!
    Love you and be safe!

    • sbranch says:

      You can do Twitter, Chris. Just move through the instructions they give you and you’ll get there. If we can do it, you can too! See you in Hudson!!

    • Linda from Lancaster Co. PA says:

      Oh, Chris, I wish I could see you in Hudson!!! Oh, well, we will just enjoy each others company here on Susan’s blog.

      • Chris Wells in Knickerbocker, W TX says:

        One day I promise you, we will get together! I looked once to see how far it is from Somerset to Lititz and if memory serves me it was 2-3 hours. And eventually….after retirement….(if you can dream it!) I hope to live in Ohio in the summertime and escape this ungodly Texas heat. So a PA trip is certainly not out of the question. I still have family in PA, an Aunt I am especially fond of lives in Shanksville where Flight 93 when down on 9/11. She took my mom and I to the site, but it was before the memorial was built.
        So someday my dear friend Linda from Lancaster Co. we will have tea together, talk about our families and our lives and our dreams and we will toast our mutual friend Susan Branch!
        See you someday!

    • Deb from Dixie says:

      Hi Chris,
      I am not on Twitter either, but this is how I saw the photos on Twitter.
      Use the link below, it is Georgies Twitter account, she took a whole bunch of photos of Marthas Vineyard and the book signing. or you can Google @farmgirlgeorgie

      Now you will be at Georgies Twitter account.
      On the left side, you will see some photos. Click the first photo, or to see all the photos, click the little arrow > and it will bring up all the photos Georgie took.
      Then you can just scroll down and view them. Click any photo to enlarge.

      You will also see comments Georgie made at the bottom of every photo.

      The other way you can view photos is in Georgies twitter comments, there will be a “View photo” in the comments, where she posted a photo.

      Hope this helps. Maybe you and I should join Twitter, and then we can
      interact with Susan and the girlfriends……( I am not very tech savy…LOL)

  99. Sweet Pea says:

    BTW ..I love the mug “Hooray for George”…would love to know where we can get them. Xox

  100. Suzanne says:

    Hello Susan: I am missing your book signing by a couple of days….do you think they will have any books left?? Congratulations and I am looking forward to reading your new book…

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