Spontaneous Adorableness

Well, Girlfriends, currently we are experiencing what I can only call “spontaneous adorableness,” but what else would we expect considering our source!  I have to show you . . . but first . . .  MUSICA!

You should go get some tea too … 🙂  Guess what?  We now have eighty-three reviews on Amazon!!! Amazing, wonderful, darling, detailed, brilliant, thoughtful reviews!!  Maybe I’m a little biased, but hey! I can’t help it!  Thanks to you, we have gone back for a second printing!!!!!!  Are you kidding???  NO!!!

We are doing our best to make sure the stores where we’re going for book signings are supplied with books, plus we kept a secret stash at our Studio just for our Blog Girlfriends (for as long as they last).  It will be a few weeks before more books arrive (probably by the end of October) and hopefully, by then, supplies will flow steadily through Amazon and other places.

S P O N T A N E O U S   A D O R A B L E N E S S



Look at our traveling book!!  A Fine Romance is having lots of FUN!  When I say, “spontaneous,” it’s because we never thought to ask for photos, but they came anyway ~ through Twitter, Facebook, and via email . . . and look how cute!

This is Samantha who took our book to new heights! All the way to the top of Idaho’s tallest peak, Mt. Borah, at 12,662 feet!  Makes me so proud!

 In this one, our friend Judi is having her Fine Romance under the swaying palm trees in Florida . . .

And here’s our book, luxuriating in the Emma cupboard belonging to our English Girlfriend Chris . . . who lives in

 . . . in this adorable cottage in Buckinghamshire, England!  (BTW, I think there should be a law that one Friday a month certain people (all normal of course) are allowed to go into any house they want.  🙂 )

Imagine how this pine floor smells, how quiet the night is, how bright the stars, under the trees in the mountains at Trillium Lake near Mt. Hood in Oregon with our camper friends Holly and Ron . . .  with our lucky, lucky book!

And if this isn’t romantic I don’t know what is.  Cozy reading for beautiful Kate, who is visiting (from Connecticut) her grandmother (and our Girlfriend) Eileen.

And welcome to the Fine Romance Dinner our girlfriend Valerie made in Sacramento California, complete with Coronation Chicken and Hot Milk Cake, and Beatrix Potter People too!

Here is Sherri’s garden, and her favorite place to read . . .   I’m not sure where she is ~ maybe she’ll leave us a comment to tell us!

And this, this is Julie Marie’s “Princess Tess,” who, Julie says, gave A Fine Romance “Five Licks!” Another great review!

And here, from Karen, via Twitter . . . the biggy and the littley.

Thank you Girlfriends, you add so much to the festivities, and make everything even more fun! 

Mas MUSICA for the rest of the story . . .  And here we go . . .

I’m writing this from a motel on Cape Cod . . . because yesterday we kissed the kitties good bye, and left our house on the island . . . to cross the sound . . .

 I made a big thermos jug full of Gazpacho for the five days we’ll be touring around New England . . .

Joe packed up the van with all the necessities of life on the road, ice chest, electric tea kettle, Tin of tea, British Country Living Magazine, maps, Petey, signing pens, my pillow, my diary, his beret, his GPS, our Emma mugs . . .

And off we go on the boat.  (I just discovered something while writing this.  If a person has her name on the side of her vehicle, and it is parked just outside her motel room, she should probably not “run out to the car” to get cream from the cooler in her jammies with her sweater as a “robe” even on a very beautiful morning.  She might get out there, and realize her neighbors are packing up their cars in front of adjoining motel rooms, and having breakfast at picnic tables, and contrary to popular belief, she is not alone, nor unidentifiable.)

We rolled off the ferry and drove to the town of Sandwich, the oldest village on Cape Cod, settled in 1637.  We kept marveling at how beautiful it was, and how much it reminded us of England, like it had snapped off the edge of England and floated over here.  If you ever have a chance to visit Cape Cod, look for Route 6A, you’ll love it ~ lots of antique stores!  We came around the bend, and suddenly, we saw this sign in front of the Sandwich Town Hall where our event was scheduled!

Oh My,  I thought.  But it looks mighty quiet around here.  Are we sure we’re in the right place?  This is a VERY nice neighborhood.  There was a gorgeous old church with a tall white-painted spire across the street from the Town Hall . . .

. . . and lots of darling houses.  I wish we’d taken a photo of this one at night when we were leaving . . . the ladder was down and it was magical.  But still pretty adorable with the ladder and in the daylight.

And look at this little cottage . . . doesn’t it just say love?  Look at those window boxes!  The blue shutters!  The garden!  Of course, I’m a fool for a picket fence.  Too cute!!!

And here’s the Town Hall ~ which has been continually in use for 175 years.  In 1939 President Roosevelt provided stimulus funds to repair it ~ there have been sing-a-longs, silent movies, balls, town meetings, and fireworks here, it’s a center of Cape Cod culture.  The Titcombs folks saved us a perfect parking place, that’s us on the right.  The Town Hall was so quiet on the outside, except for that “sold out” sign, I thought maybe no one had come, or there had been an emergency and everyone left . . . but then . . .

Oh, yes we can!!!

I talked and then they talked and I answered questions, and afterwards we all talked and I signed books for the nicest people in the world.  They talked to each other while waiting in line . . . the hall was a cacophony of women’s voices meeting and greeting, one of my favorite sounds in the world . . . And there were lots of handsome man friends who were talking too! 

 . . . they exchanged contacts and at least some of them went out to dinner together!  That’s Elizabeth from the bookstore behind me; she was such a doll, helping me and everyone with their books.  PLUS she brought a little show-and-tell for me to see, her first-edition copy of Elizabeth and Her German Garden by Elizabeth von Arnim — she let me hold it:  soft brown worn leather, embossed cover, little frail ribbon bookmark, beautiful paper.  She knew I’d love it, and she was right.

 Titcombs is a very special Independent Bookstore that was started by Vicky’s (in blue) parents (Ralph and Nancy) in 1969.  Vicky’s the oldest of eight children (just like me), so Titcombs has been a family affair from the start; Vicky’s brothers built the building the bookstore is in, their grandmother manned the cash register until she was well into her nineties.  All hard work, love, and the American dream.  For our event, they served everyone Polenta Cake and Lemon Butter Cookies from the recipes in our book, plus my Grandma’s Chocolate Shot Cookies too . . . and iced tea with mint.  After everyone had left we signed extra books so Titcombs will have plenty of them in their store now that we’re gone.  I also want to thank Fran (in the pink) and also Elizabeth (in the flowery dress) for all their kindness and hard work.

And then it was over, and the lights were going out . . . but since we were kind of on cloud nine and feet were not actually touching the ground . . .

We drove under a big moon through the quiet streets for a little dinner at the Bee-Hive Tavern in Sandwich on Rt. 6A ~ it was our first time at this restaurant . . .

. . . but it definitely won’t be our last.  It’s so cozy with wooden booths — Joe had steak and fries and cold slaw, and I had crab cakes ~ yum.

Last night we got a room at the Earl of Sandwich Motel … Family owned, sparkling clean and quiet, a little fridge, wifi (thank goodness), comfy beds ~ but my favorite thing, our room (#2) is right across from their . . .

lovely treed garden where families were having their complimentary breakfasts at picnic tables.  One lady was working on her computer in the sunshine and there were ducks, geese and wild turkeys walking around the lawn.  So civilized!  We heard a train go by and one of our favorite sounds, that long train whistle . . .

 They have a pool here, and a duck pond, and look at those ducks/and/or/geese with the little cotton hairdos!

And that is it.  Joe is tapping his foot and saying, “Hello?” as if we’ve never met.  So I must go.  I will be out of computer reach until The Fine Romance van stops next in New Hampshire (if you’re near there, check EVENTS and come join us at a book signing).  So, that means your comments will have to wait until I get someplace I can read them.  But I didn’t want to leave you out of the action. Have a wonderful day everyone!  Dance by the light of the beautiful full Moon tonight!  xoxo

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567 Responses to Spontaneous Adorableness

  1. Kim says:

    Hi Susan!! I wanted to thank you so much for signing my book and journal yesterday at the Innisfree Bookstore!! My girls, Ashley and Lauren, and I loved meeting you! You and your husband are the sweetest! SO special to see you in person! It was fun!! You were so kind to chat for a bit with us when we gave you the sea glass and tea! I should have brought you some blueberry honey too, sorry! It truly meant a lot! Such nice people in line with us too! It is rare that you can wait in an area where people are actually sweet and watch out for one another! Karen Holly, I saw her name tag;) was one person who we talked with before you got there. When we were leaving, she was waving from her car goodbye like we knew her! I LOVE that!! Hope you got to Moulton Farm! I forgot to tell you that it is a big farm, not the one set up at the gas station next door! I am sure it has great stuff, but the actual store is so fun and quaint! 🙂 Thanks again SO VERY MUCH!! Hugs from Mike, Kim, Ashley, and Lauren!

    • sbranch says:

      I had a cup of your delicious vanilla caramel tea this morning here in our cabin on the lake! We did go to Moulton Farm, and took some photos too. I bought the cutest little tea-sandwich footed plate there! Thank all of you for coming to the book signing … it was such a pleasure meeting you!

      • Margot in Virginia Beach says:

        Where does one get vanilla, caramel tea???

        • sbranch says:

          Someone gives it to one. 🙂

          • Margot in Virginia Beach says:

            Oh 🙁 I will wander through tea stores in search of the vanilla caramel tea…Is it black tea?

          • sbranch says:

            I’m so sorry, I wish I’d saved one of the little envelopes it came in. I don’t even know that. Maybe if you Google vanilla caramel tea…it was definitely some sort of brand.

          • Kim says:

            Hi!! U girls are funny! 🙂 Bigelow makes Vanilla Caramel tea…. It is yummy w/honey in it. I brought it for Susan and Joe at the book signing, so they would feel at home. I have it every afternoon and LOVE it 🙂 If you need me to send some, lem me know 🙂 Well, gotta go, we (my girls), are making gigantic ice-cream sundaes for lunch, as tomorrow is first day of school. They are speaking w/funny, silly accents, wearing aprons! Too cute!
            SUSAN: so happy you went to the farm! 🙂 fun! I wish I was there when you went! 🙂 The little tea sandwich plate sounds perfect! I’ve been crazy for VIETRI little bowls/plates. They are shaped like a fish! Just got some as a gift and found more shopping in Scituate, MA (another town you would LOVE! Feels like the Vineyard!)! They are adorable! Well happy Tuesday!! 🙂 hugs from Kim, Mike, Ashley and Lauren

          • sbranch says:

            Hooray, it’s Kim! The mystery is solved! 🙂 Thank you, hugs back to your darling family!

  2. Michele Perkins says:

    Hello Susan and Joe!

    What a fabulous day yesterday was when I met you and Joe! It was the highlight of my summer and one of the most memorable days of my life! Susan, you are such a lovely and kind person and it was a thrill to be at your book signing event.
    My husband, Gray, thoroughly enjoyed talking with Joe about the good ‘ole days on the Vineyard and also, about Woodstock, Vt. And, he wanted me to let you know that he thinks you are a very delightful person and can understand how captivated I am about all things “Susan Branch.” Lots of times I read him your blog and he looks forward to hearing about everything almost as much as I do!
    Hope the “sheep” were a hit and it was nice to hear that you liked the Rose Chintz expresso cups from a prior comment reply.
    Have a splendid trip across the country this Fall in that adorable van of yours!

    Thanks again for such a wonderful day!!!!
    Michele 🙂

    • sbranch says:

      Oh Michele, that was you. You should have reminded me about the cups! I get so mixed up on names. As for sheep, YUM! Do I detect coconut? Delicious with morning tea! Thank you! I’m so happy that Joe and Gray had a chance to visit. I think Joe’s having more fun than he thought he would! Thank you for bringing him a kindred spirit to talk to! And to both of you for being there… xoxo

      • Michele Perkins says:

        Good Morning Susan,
        You and Joe must be still enjoying Meredith and Lake Winnipesaukee. Isn’t it a beautiful place?! Gray and I had lunch at The Lake House Grill before the book signing and had gorgeous views of the lake. Of course, I was in a “yank” to finish lunch and go to meet you.
        The sheep were both mint chocolate and coconut – I like to mix the doughs and create the black and white design. (Am having a piece of the chocolate one with coffee right now.)
        Sorry about not mentioning the cups to you Weds. but with all the excitement and picture taking, I forgot. Also, I had wanted to show you my Pandora bracelets so you could see how adorable they are and am looking forward to purchasing some beads from you when they are available.
        Have a sun-filled day today and, again, Susan, it was a pleasure to meet you and Joe!
        Michele 🙂

      • Susan, my husband followed along on your English trip and has said he’d be more than happy to keep Joe company during your talk at the Gladys Taber Reunion.

  3. Jan from Northern CA says:

    I sooooo wish I was visiting your area sooner. We would have loved to be at one of the book signings in the Cape Cod area. I am visiting a good friend the third week of September…and we are planning on driving from the Watertown area over to Mass. We are trying to book a room at that lovely hotel in Sandwich. I just have to make sure they don’t mind Sierra, her dog. She’s boxer/bassett…….so cute!! Anyway…..sorry we missed you. I hope that I get to see you when you get to California. Not sure how to get that far south…..since I’m 100 mile north of Sacramento…..but have the date marked for SLO. Safe Travels to you both.
    P.S. Reading “A Fine Romance” the second time. Much slower this time!!
    Jan from Northern CA

    • sbranch says:

      Have a wonderful trip Jan, you chose the perfect time of year for it! Sorry to miss you, but maybe later!

  4. Sandy Richmond says:

    Hi Susan, Another wonderful blog from you. Thanks for sharing this trip. I am enjoying these comments and Twitter as well.. I am off on my own jaunt this Saturday! I am heading to Minnesota to spend a week with family. Sunday I will spend the day with Pat Mofjeld, friends for over 50 years now! I still can’t figure that out… We’re still so young! 🙂 Can you believe it is almost one year ago I had my breasts removed (keeping it real) and now I am off on a fun vacation!

    • sbranch says:

      You did it — went through it and came out the other side. PROUD of you. Have a wonderful trip!!!

    • Deborah Heater (Indiana) says:

      CONGRATS Sandy and hope you are feeling better/stronger with every passing day!! I hope your trip is a great one and you enjoy your family and Pat. Blessings

      • Janet [in Rochester] says:

        Sandy, have a wonderful trip! I’m sure late Summer is a gorgeous time to see Minnesota with all those wonderful lakes and trees everywhere! And of course your dear friend Pat. Have a lovely relaxing, rejuvenating, refreshing visit! :>)

        • Pat Mofjeld from St. Paul, Minnesota says:

          Sandy and I had a good visit. The weather is not cooperating as we’re having unusually hot weather (in high-90’s) the entire week she is here. I’m having a health issue and am scared silly at the moment so I will say it wasn’t one of our more fun visits we’ve had over the years. 🙁

    • So glad to hear you’re doing well Sandy. You and I had serious health issues last summer, but have come through stronger and better than ever! Enjoy your trip and stay happy!

  5. Faith rose says:

    Susan I love your law! And your story about going outside in pj’s made me laugh! You are so great and I am super excited for you! I love to travel ! Have fun on your trip!

  6. Marsha MacLean says:

    Dear Susan,
    Just reading about your visits and seeing pictures of all the girlfriends with their copies… well, how very wonderful it has been! Once again we feel like we are in the suitcase, or in the van, as it were.. 😉

    Samantha, we are ALL proud of you. That mountain climb was an accomplishment!

    Many thanks to you, Susan, and Carmel, who wished all us teachers a great year. My third-graders and I started a little over a week ago. It’s going to be a fabulous school year, I just know it!

    Blessings, Marsha

  7. Pam Myers says:

    Hi Susan
    Can’t wait until you come to Illinois, it is so great that you are stopping by!!
    I was hoping for so long to make it somewhere to see you at a book signing and you are coming to us!! So awesome and sweet of you!!

  8. Hello Susan,
    Have you checked out Amazon lately? Our book is a bestseller in the Pop Culture Art category!!!! I had no idea there was such a category on Amazon, what a thrill for us/you…congratulations! Happy travels and be safe.
    Kathy from New Albany, Ohio

    • sbranch says:

      Pop Culture — who would ever think it? I begin to wonder what it means! 🙂 I thought it was Lady GaGa! Thank you Kathy xo

      • Margot in Virginia Beach says:

        We girlfriends are gaga for YOU Susan!!! 😀

      • I think the key word is ART…everyone loves your beautiful artistic talent. That’s my opinion!

        • sbranch says:

          Thank you Kathy.

          • Janet [in Rochester] says:

            Completely agree! Sue, “Heart of the Home” could have been about wallpaper paste… you still would have had yours truly from the first page. The fact that your “content subjects” are things we Girlfriends love and cherish is Icing on the Proverbial Cake. Proof of point: 1000s of people write cookbooks every year but NO ONE does them as charmingly adorable [just can’t get past that word] as YOU do. Have tons of fun as the AFR Book Tour continues! :>)

          • sbranch says:

            Blowing kisses Janet!!

  9. Margot in Virginia Beach says:

    I have read the blog again, as I was too ti-red to write to you when you posted this. I have been busy with Surfer’s Healing and paddle boarding for three days with special needs children. Then yesterday my Surfrider Chapter set up a booth at the ECSC (East Coast Surfing Championship) to educate folks on keeping our oceans clean.
    I LOVE the civilized homes and girlfriends you posted. We need more of that these days in this world!! I love, LOVE the cottages with pale blue shutters!!! I didn’t realize how that shade of blue would look on the outside as trim.

    • Margot in Virginia Beach says:

      That was 5 days of BEACH!!!!! Follow that with one day of gardening and one day of boat paint chipping. Ah…Sunday. Our day of REST!

  10. judi says:

    Susan, I had to laugh when you said you couldn’t run out to the van cause your name was on it so you could not be incognito. Honey, that is what we LOVE about you. You do not put on “airs” or pretend to be a fashion model, YOU are just a perfect example of spontaneous adorableness!

    Whoa, what a quandary to be in ….. to reschedule some of your signings cause your books flew off the tables. We are all holding your hand and it will all work out in the wash. Is your van full of bric-a-brac yet?? 🙂

  11. I so wish I could travel to one of your signings, but it’s just not going to happen this time around – I’m very glad to see they are packed and successful! I also just wanted to say, I don’t know the history behind why you published your book with a small publisher and are doing all the shipping and promotion for it yourself, but HOORAY for you and your huge success with all of it, and boo hiss to the publisher (who shall remain nameless, ahem…) that let you slip through their fingers, if they did indeed do just that. I hope you go into third and fourth and fifth etc. printings – you deserve it for such a great memoir, made just the way you wanted to make it. All the best on your trip out west. xxoo from Maine.

  12. Carol Maurer ~~ Eureka, CA says:

    Good morning to you Susan and to all the Girlfriends ~~~~ What a wonderful blog I discovered this morning! I’ve been very busy packing so have not had a chance to read this before now, although I knew it was here. Hard not to take the time to read. I love the homes in Sandwich. I’ve heard it’s a great little city!! I want to make a garden with a picket fence and paint it white and have all sorts of flowers flowing over it. Frank wants to make a secret garden of sorts, even though it would have to be very small. It’ll be fun to figure out how to landscape over the winter months and start in the spring.

    Well, the time has come for us to move!!!!! We are sooooo excited!!! The movers will be here tomorrow, Sat., to load us up. Don’t know the exact time yet, but I’ll be ready at the crack of dawn, haha. This has been a long time in coming (year and a half), but things have really fallen into place this time around with the house, etc. Probably won’t be until mid week or so before I get on the computer again. We’re bringing it in the car with us, but will be busy unpacking and just enjoying the warmth of late summer and good friends. We’ve been saying ‘goodbye’ to all our friends here. Will really hit me after we are settle down somewhat that we are truely gone from Eureka and all our friends. But, we will be back yearly for visits.

    One of the first things I will be doing is going to the bookstore to see about you coming for a book signing. I just hope that they do that sort of thing.

    Off to make some lunch and finish packing.
    Next time in Kennewick Wa
    Carol M

    • sbranch says:

      Oh My Carol! You are off on your new adventure! Congratulations, you did it! Here’s to your new home!

      • judi says:

        Happiness ahead to you Carol!

      • Janet [in Rochester] says:

        Carol – so glad to hear you’ve sold your house and are on to greener pastures. I always steal a scene from “It’s a Wonderful Life” when someone I know moves to a new home:

        “BREAD, that this house may never know hunger… SALT, that Life may always have flavor… and WINE that Joy and Prosperity may reign forever….” Happy Moving and God bless!

    • Debs OBrien says:

      Oh My! Carol~~Good Luck with the move and may you find much happiness in your new home. Always pack the tea kettle and tea provisions in a clearly marked box “last in first out!” or take it in the car with you! Blessings for you in your new home! xoxo

  13. Sheri says:

    You’re up to 109 reviews on Amazon and #1 in the ‘pop culture art’ category. You go, girlfriend!

    • sbranch says:

      I know, WE are the pop culture of which, I believe, they are alluding to! 🙂

      • Janet [in Rochester] says:

        Wow! That’s terrific! Whooda thunk it?? The TRAVEL category I could completely understand – no question. But POP CULTURE ART – that seems like an entirely different ball game! “You Go Girl” is SO right! I’m envisioning a 10th printing at least. ONWARDS!! :>)

  14. Vicki S. says:

    Getting ready to jump in the car and head to Milford, NH today to see you at Toadstool books today. Such a thrill!! I’m on my second read of “A Fine Romance” and loving it even more the second time around. Thanks for pulling yourself away from the Vineyard to come out on the road … I’m sure there will be hundreds of us there today to gush over you!

  15. Dinahsoar says:

    Reading your book update: I am now just past half way through and I LOVE LOVE LOVE your book. You picking flowers in Beatrix Potter’s garden, loaded down w/ your rain gear and your book purchases –well, I felt like I was right there w/ you and WISHING that I really was there. The book is wonderful. I will be sad when I’m finished reading it.

    New idea: I’ve already stated that I think the story of how you and Joe came to be, and your story of becoming an artist, moving to the island et al would make a wonderful MOVIE–a “You’ve Got Mail” kind of romantic comedy full of sweetness and nostalgia and location. As well as a movie I think you should at least compile a music playlist for all of us who love your musica. A “Susan Branch Life” CD would be better, but w/ copyright issues it might not be doable. I for one would love such a CD–I always always enjoy/love your musica. When you got into the car after your flower heist-tee hee–and Joe had “Isn’t it a lovely day to be caught in the rain” playing I was reminded how much I love that song. AND how perfect it is for a rainy day. I plan to make a Grooveshark playlist for myself which contains your musica selections. MUSIC CD–would it be possible??

    SO–sorry to be long-winded, which is my nature, but I am giddy w/ joy reading your book and I wanted to let you know….from the hills of TN.

    • sbranch says:

      I’ve always wanted to do that, but I think you’re right, copyright issues. BUT, if there was a movie, the songs could be woven through it, and then, the coup de grace, the SOUNDTRACK!!! 🙂 Might have to go about getting that cd through the back door! 🙂

  16. Wendy Louise says:

    Dear Susan and Joe,
    I had a wonderful, beautiful, whole day meeting you and Joe at the Innisfree bookstore. My girlfriend Cindy and I had so much fun meeting all the other girlfriends, it felt like a family reunion ! It definitely will be remembered for ever. One of those dreams that was fulfilled and will last a life time. I really meant it when I said you were as beautiful in person as one of your enchanting books. You and Joe are so personable, charming, loving, all I wanted to do was to hug you both for being such darling people. Oh if the world was filled with people like you and all the girlfriends and of course your Dad. How charming is that last post he posted, he definitely is your biggest fan and his sense of humor is the tops.
    I wish you safe , sweet travels, spreading your love all around the country. I can’t help to think how cozy you make things where ever you go. The tea kettle whistling in your cabin ! I just love tea kettles that whistle ! Mine is right now for my second cup of tea this morning. Gotta go sweet friend and Thank-you from the Heart and Soul. OXOX Wendy-Louise

  17. Frances Fowler says:

    How I loved ALL of these pictures, but I have to say that Princess Tess simply takes the cake. It seems you have loved every minute of the process involved in “A Fine Romance.” Thank-you for sharing it all so very generously!

  18. Oh! I just visited my other favorite blog just now, Flutterby Patch and saw that “A Fine Romance” is featured and sitting on a stone wall in front of Castle Cottage!!! I see that you have discovered her post already by your comment, but I just want all of the girlfriends to know about it…especially the fellow knitting ones :o) that even someone who lives almost next door to castle cottage has fallen in love with you and your book. She says, “Apart from their supreme talent, Susan and Beatrix have many things in common and I know if Miss Potter happened to see me pop the book on her old stone wall she would have loved to take a peek and be full of admiration for the detailed work she found inside”. Isn’t that a beautiful image? Of Beatrix herself reading your book… ♥ ♥ ♥

  19. Sandie says:

    So so so excited you are coming to my town, Southbury!! No one ever comes here (although it is a lovely and charming town-maybe it’s best we keep it to ourselves!). Gladys Taber is our literally pride and joy, and having you in attendance is such a lovely fit. I am not sure I’ve ever looked forward to something so far in advance, but I am thrilled to know you are coming for a visit (I hope Joe is coming too). <3

  20. Liz from Michigan says:

    So excited! I just opened my brand new copy of Victoria magazine (rhe British issue, of course) and there was the wonderful full page ad for A Fine Romance!! It was a little like opening Country Living and finding your wonderful recipes!! Miss them still!! And, I still think Susan Branch in British Country Living would be absolutely perfect!!!! God Bless your travels across country!!

  21. Pat Stansel says:

    Woweee,wow, wow, I just saw your full page ad in the British Issue of Victoria
    magazine. It made my heart go piddy pat! So impressed!!

  22. Deb E. in PA says:

    Hi Susan,
    I loved your Sandwich installment of your book tour. We went to Sandwich last year for our very first trip to Cape Cod, and stayed at the Earl of Sandwich motel too! We loved it up there so much that we went back again this year in June. I hope you have a wonderful trip and thanks for sharing the pictures with us! (P.S. I got an e-mail the other day to let me know that my copies of your book are on their way to me. Can’t wait!)

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

    I tired, I really did. Although I was among the first to receive our book, I wanted to hold off until we took a little getaway up the coast to Cambria, about 4 1/2 hours from here in Long Beach. Do you know of it? It’s a charming little town full of shops , and where we stay is oceanfront, in a long line of motels, inns, and so on. There’s a boardwalk running the entire length of that area ( oh, it’s pretty close to Hearst Castle, too ) Anyway….. I decided it was the perfect place to read, and I really wanted to save it. I did dip in here and there , especially after reading all the comments from those who have read it. I just finished this morning, and I really felt as if I were there seeing everything with you. The girlfriends have said it all, so to all of their comments, I add a great big “Ditto!”
    Now I need a new book! Oh well. Not a bad problem to have. I wanted to say, for anyone interested,that Elizabeth and Her German Garden is free for Kindle at Amazon. Delightful surprise!

  24. Nettie says:

    what a wonderful blog….I know my dear sister friend was at the Sandwich signing, I am so happy for her that she got to meet you. I was on holiday with my family or just might have tagged along.
    your book is truly lovely, I am so enjoying it…..you are simply one great gal….have a blast touring…

  25. Gail Marie says:

    You are so cute to stand in front of your van for a photo op. !!!!! Thank you for ordering a second printing as I have yet to purchase MINE! Xxoo

  26. Vicky MacDonald says:

    Darling Susan and Friends,
    Susan, your adorable book is a tremendous source of inspiration and joy! I bought three copies straight away ( one for the shelves, one to mess up and one to give away) but its not going to be nearly enough! So I ma so happy about the second printing! And you have convinced me to go to England, really truly, and put an end to a lifetime of mooning around and wishing. And putting an end to the last four years of self imposed “house arrest” while mourning for my husband, with whom I had hoped to be doing all kinds of things. Enough sulking! Just as I decided, for real, I am going to go all by myself no matter what, Beethoven’s “Variations of Rule Britannia” started playing on the music choice channel! Terrific! Thanks and HUGS!

  27. Joy says:

    Hello Susan!

    WE are delighting in your book currently, devouring section by section, and enjoying the trip! I occasionally read a bit aloud to my hubby, we laughed quite
    a lot at your initial drive from the airport…what a hoot!! Just got finished touring Kipling’s house…on to the next! Thank you for sharing this amazing trip…I am already thinking of two people who need to read this book!!

  28. Debs OBrien says:

    Struggling with ancient technology, but finally here~~can’t read the replies 🙁 but just about able to see the photos here, and I want to say Huge Congratulations on “A Fine Romance” and I’m loving every minute of it, trying not to rush, want to savour every delicious morsel. Thank you for sharing it all with us in such a beautiful book. Just when you think Susan Branch can’t possibly get any better, you pull out all the stops! 😀

    Not stopping here now, off to write and try to post my praise of “A Fine Romance” on my blog, *if* the computer will let me, because Amazon won’t let me review it there, I don’t know why, and that is upsetting me because I want to sing it’s praises, shout it from the highest rooftop all across the land. Amazon UK, that is, of course!

    Managing for time being to keep up with your Booksigning Tour on Twitter and FB, so that is something and it is wonderful to see all the happy faces of Girlfriends posting. Soooooooo happy for them all, and for you meeting them! What did we do before computers? We would never have been able to join in with all the fun in the same way, would we? So, even though I am struggling with an ailing computer, it sure is better than no computer!

    Would love to know how many UK fans are here, would love to start a Susan Branch Girlfriends of the UK group here~~~just a little thought~~~

    Greetings from Across The Pond
    Debs in Wales (not quite so wet, but still wonderful and windy!)

    • sbranch says:

      Hope your computer is better soon! I don’t know what we did before computers, but now I love it so much I would truly feel cut off if something happened. Every time I hear about hackers fooling around in “cyberspace” I get a little chill! I’m afraid, even though they could care less about me, I would take it quite personally if they managed to disrupt the Internet!

      Thank you for the lovely review Debs!

  29. Karen Saunders says:

    I was in B&N yesterday looking for your book and couldn’t find it. Is it in there?? Guess I could have asked for help..duuh. I’m not surprised at the success of your book. We pretty much want EVERYTHING you do. (Keep that in mind for the future!) If you’re little publisher was small….it won’t be for long, thanks to you and the girlfriends. We are a ‘force to be rekoned with!!!’ Stay healthy and SAFE!!!

    • sbranch says:

      It probably isn’t there! It’s sold out. The distributors ordered everything we had … I’m not sure where the books went from there, but we think they went to mostly the smaller bookstores, and from what we hear, they are asking for more and are sold out too. We left signed copies with some of the bookstores we just visited — look under EVENTS in the right hand column for phone numbers of stores we visited, if you need one, you may still be able to get one from one of them. Thanks Karen! We will do our best!

      • Margot in Virginia Beach says:

        It isn’t in B&N. They were too afraid of having leftover copies and not being able to return them. They are missing the boat! Or should I say ferry?!? LOL

  30. Marsha MacLean says:

    Loved the full page ad in Victoria magazine! I had to pick one up at the market this time, as my subscription has expired… But after reading what all our girlfriends had to say, ran right out and bought one! Excellent placement, too, I might add. 🙂

  31. Bob P says:

    My wife Cathy gave me your latest book to read. A wonderful adventure, so much so that next month we go on our very first trip to England. Thanks for the Royal Oak tip too. A great resource. You are such a positive person. Thanks. Bob

    • sbranch says:

      How great Bob! I’m so excited for you!!! Come back and tell us how it went. Drive carefully! 🙂

  32. Holly says:

    Hi Susan & Girlfriends! How much fun you must be having Susan! It’s hard to imagine being in your place…. I’d never stop smiling & never get to sleep at night. haha… You give hope to all us dreamers & late bloomers. Enjoy! Oh… I finally finished “our” book. I did my best to make it last, only letting myself read a few sections a day. It’s just sooooo charming, always made me smile, or brought a few tears, I love it.

  33. S,

    Amanda here again.

    I saw that one of the girls took A Fine Romance into my backyard: Idaho’s Mount Borah!

    My smart son, Jaden, who questioned whether or not you were a spy back when I was asking my mother all the questions in your Grandmother journal, has said some more sweet things.

    I informed him that you had commented that he “had your number.” in reference to being a spy.

    Being the literal thinker he said:

    “I do?” (I had to explain the phrase, and he said he thought you’d meant your phone number. oh, my goodness he is cute.)

    More adorable questions came from seeing me read your book, discuss
    your life with my mom, and draw similarities that my sweet son is very empathetic toward. (i.e. journal keeping, writing, blogging, a sad heartbreak and then dreams coming true!)

    Here is how it went:

    “Where is Martha’s Vineyard and why do the presidents go there on vacation?”

    Your cute map of the island from an earlier post helped answer this geographcial question.

    Satisfied with the explanation, he then asked: “Where was Susan born?”

    hmm. I forgot! I said CA. Am I right? (sorry I am a forgetful friend!)

    Then he said this sweet little journal nugget:

    “I didn’t realize you two were friends, mom.”

    I had to chuckle and said: “I didn’t really realize til now, either!”


    (mind you, he has no idea that you refer to your readership/fan base as “girlfriends”. )


  34. Debs OBrien says:

    Despite pre~ordering *well* in advance, Amazon UK really scared me when they knocked back my delivery date to end of Sept, {yikes and 🙁 } but miracles of miracles I got my copy last week, 😀 😀 D a full week ahead of their original delivery date of end August. They are now *Sold Out* and it is available only on pre~order again, I guess for the second copy. Wonder how many copies Amazon UK sold? How many Girlfriends are in the UK? I’m really doing everything I can to promote the Susan Branch brand that I can, purely selfish reasons~~I want your things to be more easily available in the UK 😀

    The arrival is timely, and a perfect way to celebrate the start of Autumn~~which I’m convinced is here 😉 as I’m already in to the mugs of hot chocolate to sip as I read every delicious page ~~ and making sure I wash my fingers after I’ve eaten my Proper Grilled Cheese Sandwiches!

    Cheerio for now from Across The Pond xoxo

    • sbranch says:

      Love it Debs, thank you so much. We have lots of UK Girlfriends, almost 3,000! Someday I hope we can plan a picnic over there!

  35. Wendy Louise says:

    Wendy Louise says:
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    August 24, 2013 at 9:09 am
    Dear Susan and Joe,
    I had a wonderful, beautiful, whole day meeting you and Joe at the Innisfree bookstore. My girlfriend Cindy and I had so much fun meeting all the other girlfriends, it felt like a family reunion ! It definitely will be remembered for ever. One of those dreams that was fulfilled and will last a life time. I really meant it when I said you were as beautiful in person as one of your enchanting books. You and Joe are so personable, charming, loving, all I wanted to do was to hug you both for being such darling people. Oh if the world was filled with people like you and all the girlfriends and of course your Dad. How charming is that last post he posted, he definitely is your biggest fan and his sense of humor is the tops.
    I wish you safe , sweet travels, spreading your love all around the country. I can’t help to think how cozy you make things where ever you go. The tea kettle whistling in your cabin ! I just love tea kettles that whistle ! Mine is right now for my second cup of tea this morning. Gotta go sweet friend and Thank-you from the Heart and Soul. OXOX Wendy-Louise

    • sbranch says:

      It DID feel like a family reunion! We had a wonderful time. Thank you so much for being there Wendy Louise — I wish I could write everyone little handwritten THANK YOU notes — I want to, I think about it, but time is just ticking by so quickly and I know I’m not going to be able to! Everyone has been so wonderful to me, I can’t thank you enough for making our time there so special. xoxo

  36. Janet Tentler says:

    Seems to me that you and Joe are doing the same thing here in the US as you did in England! I am sure you are journaling and seeing some great parts of our countryside! Instead of he QE2, you are in a stylish new van! Least this time you are driving on the right side of the road! I see your next book and next book tour! See you in SLO; safe travels! Love, Janet

  37. Karen P - Wisconsin says:

    Apparently my 12 year old grandson has coined a new name for his Anglophile Grandma….”Britican”….an adopted British/American (in name only and for the love of all things British!) LOL! 🙂

  38. Vicki Panzarino says:

    Hi Susan, We are back to NJ from our annaul vacation at Lake Winnipesaukee in NH. It is such a special place for me and all our family. We have been going there for over 35 years and still feel a serene, magical calmness and warmth each year when we arrive for vacation….so many memories made at that special place…and NOW!!!!! another memory is added…meeting you, Joe and of course, Petey….How very special. You are as charming in person as you are in everything else you do. It impressed me so as you gave each individual in line time and sincere conversation making each of us feel so special. What a beautiful gift you have and share in that way. An added bonus was meeting so many “girlfriends” there! All of them interesting and delightful…but of course they would be if they delight in your “friendship”. As I said to Joe, you are not going to find many mass murderers on line to get a book signed by Susan Branch, only great kindred spirits. Wishing you a safe and wonderful tumble all over the country….you have touched so many people with your sweet ways.

  39. Stephanie says:

    I can’t even stand this blog post – adorable!! Love it! Why can’t we just run the world? Everything would make so much more sense, right?

    Valerie – loved the dinner – just perfection! Kate – you look like a young Kate Middleton (Duchess of Cambridge and George’s mum!) and your reading of this book at such a young age gives me hope for the future! All the pics were just swell.

  40. Diana says:

    Susan — I wonder if you could warn any Canadians that might think of ordering your book that they will be charge $24.00 shipping. I’m not sure where that figure came from but it shouldn’t cost $24.00 to pop a book in a padded envelope and put it in the mail to Canada. Amazon charges around $6.00 which I would have been prepared to pay. I was very disappointed and have had to cancel my order as no matter how good your book is — I’m not paying $50.00 for it!!

    • sbranch says:

      I agree totally Diana … we do tell people how expensive it is sending to other countries. I’m sure it’s cheaper for companies that do it all the time, but we are just small and are charged top rates for shipping. Amazon is working very hard to put small companies out of business and is willing to take a loss to do that. I’m truly sorry it works like this, it’s not the way we would do it if someone would please put us in charge of the world!

      • Elaine in Toronto says:

        Hi Diana and Susan, I’m in Canada too and I ordered four books and a copy of “All Good News” – five items and the shipping came to $45.00 – $9.00 for each item. Because we got a special pre-order price and the book will cost more in Canada once its available and no sales tax I was OK with the $9.00 shipping. Believe me, the book is worth every penny. I’ve given one friend her book and I’m meeting two friends for lunch on Friday
        to give them theirs. I recently ordered four calenders and because I also ordered several other items – pull toy cow, pincushion, Baker’s twine and one more copy of the book the shipping worked out to $6.00 per item. Maybe do some Christmas shopping, Diana or combine an order with friends. Sheri and Kellee are real sweethearts, too.Good luck. I hope you can work something out.

        • Elaine in Toronto says:

          Just a quick update. I received my calendars and the other items I ordered today and had to pay sales tax plus a $9.95 fhandling fee to Canada Post at the door. This was a surprise because I didn’t have to pay sales tax on the books. Maybe a fluke but will investigate further so I know the “rules” for next time. I believe it’s Canada Border Agency that makes the rules. I’m not complaining but wanted Diana to know. So pleased with the calendars, pull toy cow, and sweet vintage pin cushion.

          • sbranch says:

            Humpf — more was added at the door? It’s crazy. I wonder if there are any actual rules, it almost seems like every one of them is different!

        • sbranch says:

          Yes, I’ve been told that when someone orders more, the shipping actually goes down! Good Elaine, that does make me feel a bit better. You’re a doll to let me know! xoxo

      • Diana says:

        The price of $24.00 must have been priority post — I would have been glad to receive the book ‘slow boat to china’ post.
        It usually costs, at most, $2.00 or $3.00 more to mail to Canada. I’ve just ordered something else from the States – a little larger and a little heavier than your book and that cost was $6.97 – that was $1.00 more than the cost of mailing to someone in the States. Just saying!!!!

        • sbranch says:

          We don’t set the cost of shipping, Diana. Just so you know. We just wrap up the packages, and THEY tell us how much. If we only had one package to send, wrapped it up, drove it to the PO, and sent it, I bet it would be a lot cheaper. But we can’t do that with each package, they have to go in bulk, and that’s when we’re told what we have to pay. $24 does seem ridiculous though. I wouldn’t do it either.

      • ann (in UK) says:

        I too was rather taken aback by the postage to UK, as I had already had the cost of the book taken from my bank account some time before postal charge was revealed I didn’t cancel. However the book has arrived and is truly delightful, I was sad at not being able to attend a book signing – then just now, stroking (!!) the title page I realised the signature label is REAL and not printed, after doing the Happy Dance, I want to thank you, it was your on-line diary of your visit to the UK that stirred my interest in the National Trust, Hubs and myself joined the NT and are happy regular visitors as often as possible, of course we have coffee and cake at every visit! I know I will really enjoy reading and admiring your illustrations in my book, many thanks.

        • sbranch says:

          It’s crazy how much it is to ship … from England to us too, when we were over there. I’m so glad the book did not disappoint and a happy dance resulted! Also, the National Trust! What a wonderful thing it is! All those lovely tea shops, gift shops, cottages, castles, and gardens! Lucky you Ann!

    • Debs OBrien says:

      Hi Diana, I live in the UK and I also had to cancel because of the shipping charges international, I got mine from Amazon UK.

      Upside is this~buying in the UK will {hopefully} help get Susan’s work more widely recognised and easier to come by in the UK in the future.

      Downside 🙁 the Amazon book does not come with a signed bookplate. If I’d realised this, I would, for once, have bitten the bullet and paid international shipping. My fault, gotta live with the decision. At least I have the book now and for that I am deeply grateful.

      • sbranch says:

        You actually got the book from Amazon UK? That’s amazing … I didn’t know it had been sent over there yet. I find out everything upside down and backwards! 🙂

        • Carrie says:

          Sent my best friend your book via Amazon UK. She took it to St. Paul’s and took a lovely picture as you know.

          • sbranch says:

            OH, I have that photo, but I thought it was you that took it — what’s her name Carrie, in case I could use that photo on the blog? Interesting on Amazon!

          • Carrie says:

            The photo was taken by one of my best friends, Christine. She said her commute into London and back on the train went by “too quickly” while immersed in AFR. That’s the equivalent to a 5 star review!

        • Deb OBrien says:

          I was able to advance order it. They scared me tho’ because after saying deliver in late August, they then told me it was not available until end Sept. Then it came!!! I got a First Edition copy!!! now they are saying it is not available again, so I guess they are waiting more from the second printing. There are two reviews, but for some reason they won’t let me review it 🙁 but I promise, as soon as they let me do so I will, 5* and as glowing as I can 🙂 That’s why I did a little blog about it. Impatient, couldn’t wait to spread the word! lol

    • Margot in Virginia Beach says:

      Maybe you could sneak into the US and pick it up in NH, unless of course you are on the West end of Canada.

  41. Carrie says:

    Jane Austen’s gift shop – I think you may be breaking some new ground here 🙂 How very apropros. Next call, H.T. Farm, just sayin’. If wishes could make that come true, it would certainly be so from my end. And then hold onto your hat and gird your loins but I do believe it will be the Nat’l Trust next in line.

    Did you see the news about Fergie and Andrew? Proof positive: 1) Hope Springs Eternal in thy Breast and 2) There is always a chance at forgiveness and redemption. Remains to be seen if Prince Phillip will feel that way too. (He’s not Fergie’s biggest supporter) But then again, maybe the children of Lilibet and Phillip have learned it’s better to go with their gut than the ‘establishment’ when making decisions of the heart.

    So you may already know but you are now #1 on Amazon for General Great Britain Travel Guides. Ab fab!

    By the by, should you choose to put out a full line of AFR memorabilia, let’s say around the holidays, a Christmas ornament, pendant for a necklace, earrings, a mug, t-shirt, etc, it surely wouldn’t go amiss. In fact, I’d decorate myself head to toe in all things AFR, just like a Christmas tree, I’m so tickled with this dynamo of a book that I would take to the streets (in the best possible way:) as a walking advert.

  42. N. Jean says:

    I know you are traveling so much right now, but I am missing your blog posts…I feel like I am going through withdrawal! Hope you are having a great time.

  43. Maria in Long Beach, CA says:

    Hi, Susan! Last night I finished A Fine Romance and immediately put my bookmark back to page 1 so I can start all over again. It’s magnificent!! I had planned to loan it to friends, but now I’ve become very protective of it, and I’m not sure I want anybody to touch it. 🙂 Your writing style made me feel like I was right there with you. And all your beautiful artwork, terrific photographs and wonderful quotations made my heart sing! Tickety-boo! My dream vacation has been completely mapped out for me. Yippee! I think a personal visit from HRH is due you, as I’m sure tourism in England is about to increase…thanks to you and Joe.

  44. Bess says:

    Hi Susan! Just popping in to say I finished reading your book last night (I deliberately read slowly and uber-thoroughly). Brava, my dear lady! And thank you! Your art and writing/storytelling are superb! England was blessed to have you visit and share her with all of us. Your book will hold a special place in my home and heart. Bess

    • sbranch says:

      I don’t think I could ever have the words for how wonderful it makes me feel to hear nice reviews from my Girlfriends here! It means the world to me, thank you Bess!

  45. Patsy in Nixa, MO says:

    Just wanted to say “Hi!” and “We miss you” and “Hope you’re having a fun trip” and “Hi to Joe, too”.

    • sbranch says:

      I have TOO much to tell every time I do an update to the blog now. They are 90 miles long. Here comes another one!

  46. Jennifer Behen says:

    SO happy to read your new blog about your awesome travels and book signings. (Loved all the photos of A Fine Romance’s excursions and the cozy towns you’re visiting.) Even HAPPIER now that I know I’ll be one of the lucky girlfriends that will get to meet you (and mark one more thing off my Bucket List 🙂 ); my daughter and I will see you at Rainy Day Books in Fairway, Kansas! WHOOPEE! I know you’ll continue to make wonderful memories as you wend your way across the country. Safe travels.

  47. Romy Silvester says:

    Hi Susan, these are just beautiful pictures. I miss autumn very much. Living in Florida is nice but after so many years, I still miss the change of seasons particularly spring and autumn. Some friends still think of me and send me fall leaves so I put them together and framed them and hang the picture on the wall starting in Sept. Then I put out my hand-made fall wreath on my front door. Oh, on the picture of “pink peach red orange blue yellow lavendar sky” did you notice that on the top that it possibly looks like pinky-peach angel with her wings spread out and her head with her hair flying back? Also, bottom left looks like a little plane. I still look for things in the clouds. Anyway, have a wonderful trip cross country. I wish I could go along. But maybe I can if you send pictures along the way. It’s too bad you can’t take Jack and Girl with you. I don’t know if I could leave my Little Buddy Bear cat for that long. He’s a trip in himself. Have a great time in California. I love it there as well as when I lived on the Cape and Newport. I do want to order your book. I get more and more intrigued by it every time I see it. Thank you for your great blogs. Fondly, Romy S.

  48. Pamala B says:

    Susan, A Fine Romance is the best book EVER!! I just did not want it to end, so I read it again. I am in Texas, and as of yet I am not seeing any scheduled signing. I am so grateful for my Autographed copy, but I would love to meet you and Joe in Person. One can dream, can’t one…. I just love the way I personally feel included in your words. Thank you and enjoy your time with family and friends…I know the kitties will gladly welcome you Home whenever it is you return. God Bless and Safe travels

  49. Marva says:

    Thank you for mentioning in your blog that you will be in Wichita for one of your book signing. The last time I looked at your schedule you didn’t have anything even remotely close to me so I was encouraged because Wichita is about 3 hours away from me and thought there might be a possibility it would work out. When I looked at your schedule again I was so excited to see that you will be coming to Fairway, KS which is only about 20 minutes away from me! I called and got signed up immediately before they sold out. I am really looking forward to seeing you in mid-September in the Midwest!

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