The first seven pics here were as far as I got in ferry boat to martha's vineyardthe “saying goodbye” department before the ferry boat horn blew and we had to run out the door to make our 8:15 boat yesterday.  But my heart was in the right place. I really tried. Now, I’m in a hotel room, drinking tea and trying to make up for lost time. MUSICA

Backroads of New England

I wanted to show you some of the views we’re aiming for on this trip we’re taking up through Vermont . . . to Lake Champlain.


It’s a little early in the season still . . . most of the leaves here in Massachusetts are only tinged with color . . . nothing like these.  But maybe when we get further north.

New England fence

These pictures were from another trip Joe and I took a couple of years ago . . . Nice fence eh?


West chop lighthouse

Here we were yesterday morning.  I took this picture of the West Chop Lighthouse, not so steadily, through the ferry boat window as we were sailing past, with my iPhone.

Falmouth sky

And this one of the sky over Falmouth, MA through the windshield of the van . . . as you can see, not much color on the trees yet, but oh what a sky! Perfect day to be a travelin’ man and girl.

The Fine Romance Van

The van’s loaded up with Fairy Tale books we’re taking to my book signing at Innisfree Bookshop up in Meredith, New Hampshire on October 3rd.  If you pass this van on the road, honk if you’re happy! Jack and Girl Kitty

Had to leave the kittens behind of course.  My worst thing ever.  Why can’t they stay cats but act just a tiny bit more like dogs, in the coming-with department?  But nooo, they gotta have everything their own way… white blankets and white sofas and all. They have a wonderful kitty sitter living with them, so I know they’re doing just fine! (I already miss them and it’s been one day!!!) 

Kitty Love

Yellow moon

Tonight, the super moon will go incognito with an eclipse that hasn’t happened in this exact way since 1982 — which is the year I moved to Martha’s Vineyard, so I’m HOPING we get to see it.  I don’t know what the sky above us might be up to tonight. We’re meeting up with Lowely and John this evening and spending the night in a B & B that used to be the home of Lowely’s grandparents.  I’ll take pictures!

earth spring from a distance

Hasn’t the Pope been wonderful?  Isn’t it refreshing to hear words of hope and goodness?  Wob him.  

The Fairy Tale Girl

The Fairy Tale Girl books are still going out so if you haven’t gotten yours, it really won’t be long now.  The whole crew worked Saturday and as it looks now, I think every book that’s been ordered should be out by Tuesday afternoon.  Fingers crossed.

Studio Crew

I did allow them time to eat lunch, because I’m just a really great boss that way! 🙂  Aren’t they cute, all around the breakfast bar in the kitchen in the Studio.  Best, nicest, hardest workers in the world! My favorite part is how much they all like each other and get along. They make the Studio a very nice place to be.

I've got my love to keep me warm

The Fairy Tale Girl

All in a day’s work . . .cake love how to be happy

Mailing the Fairy Tale Girl

Bye-bye books.  Spread sunshine please!

fortune cookie

This was my fortune cookie fortune this week.  Good timing!

clockLinda and Kathy in Ohio

You should remember some of these next photos . . . This one is of our Girlfriends in Ohio, Linda and Kathy having an elegant champagne and tea party with A Fine Romance.  When that book first came out, our Girlfriends sent me the most wonderful photos . . .Falling in love

Gilmanton Library

. . . of our traveling book . . . as it went all over the world really . . . to kitchen tables, to libraries (like this one with our Girlfriend Pamela), out camping, to the top of a mountain, in front of Highclere (home of Downton Abbey) . . .

A Fine Romance at Hilltop

Painting BeatrixAnd here she is, with Beatrix Potter’s Hilltop behind her, looking up at Castle Cottage in New Sawrey, in the Lake District in England, soaking up the sun and the magnificent ambience. Our English Girlfriend Eli took her there and sent the photo!

A Fine Romance

And remember her here, lounging in the most adorable bedroom belonging to our Girlfriend, Paula.  (I’d like to see the rest of her house!  The wallpaper sends me to the moon! The blue vase, with the peony?  Killer!)

aint life grandpaul McCartney and A Fine Romance

And who can forget our Girlfriend Cathy Shultz’s contribution, getting Paul to hold up the book!  LoveSo the point is, if you take The Fairy Tale Girl somewhere on vacation, or to a tea party, or to a book club, or to the bus stop, anywhere at all, you can send me pics at ~  Kellee and Sheri and I will choose our favorites and I’ll include them in the next WILLARD which will be coming out the middle of October. Won’t that be fun? 


photo 1-6

I thought I’d show you where Smallville met Plainville yesterday afternoon ~ We stopped especially to visit a wonderful new bookstore we heard about in a town called Plainville here in Massachusetts.

photo 2-5

The store had the perfect name, it’s called An Unlikely Story and books flew overhead ~ see them? I really hope this brand new independent bookstore can survive, because it is very wonderful. Here’s the story of how it came to be . . .Just a guy with a dream! 

photo 3-8

See? Flying books . . . 

They don’t know me in that store, and I’m always too shy to say oh me, here I am, so I didn’t say anything and they don’t have my book yet . . . but you should go LIKE them on Facebook if you feel like it, because they do deserve it for making something so special for humanity.

photo 3-9

The store has deep leather chairs for reading, and a wonderful coffee shop and beautiful everything. If you are ever in the area, be sure to stop in!


Also, Joe and I dropped off a box of books at Titcombs Bookshop yesterday in Sandwich, MA (that picture is from a couple of years ago, nothing has changed in this lovely old bookshop except that sign wasn’t there yesterday), in case you live nearby and want a book (I signed them too).  Not too many bookstores have The Fairy Tale Girl yet . . . Only Titcombs Bookshop and Bunch of Grapes, our wonderful independent bookstore on the Island, have them so far. The rest are being shipped probably by the end of this week. We’re going back to Titcombs on October 17 to meet and greet and to sign books . . . If you can join me, go HERE to read more and print out a Girlfriends name tag which looks like this . . . ♥ FTGNameTagSpeaking of printing out, I hope you’ve seen all the wonderful fall FREE STUFF Kellee has put in our webstore?  If not go HERE and check it out! We have some great stationery, bookmarks and gift tags . . . write your girlfriends a letter and send a bookmark and say Happy Fall!

A Fine Romance Book Mobile! Well, that’s all she wrote . . . I have to say, Later Gaters, talk to you soon, time to pack up and keep moving! Have a WONDERFUL day! XOXO

Traveling book

Okay, just one more . . . 🙂 Love the red roof of this historic inn in New Hampshire . . .♥ I’ll be on the road today, probably won’t get to “moderate” comments until later tonight or tomorrow, but never fear, I love reading what you write!  Byeeee, XOXO

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  1. Pamala B says:

    Dear Susan, I placed an order last Sunday for calendars and Home Cooking book. I asked if it could be autographed as it is a gift. On Tuesday I received a box of goodies. I was so excited. Everything came and the book had an autograph plate inside! Then, two days later, another package came. My fairytale girl book. Wow!! What an exciting week I have had! So much fun. In love with it all. Just thought I would send this note out before I go back to reading. Thank you and please tell your staff how wonderful I think they are. Great trip days ahead. Enjoy!!

  2. Cheryl says:

    I was so delighted to open the mailbox yesterday and see The Fairy Tale Girl had arrived! Can’t wait to begin reading. When my son, who is visiting this weekend, leaves in the morning I’ll be ready to settle down with my book! I’ve already peeked at a few pages and can’t wait to get started.
    Have fun on your book tour! ~Cheryl

  3. Susan Kellam says:

    I was so hoping we would see the van on the highway this week when we were traveling in Massachusetts and Vermont! My sister and I and our husbands flew into Boston from Texas and our main destination was–Tasha Tudor’s home tour. We were lucky enough to get tickets and were so excited! It was wonderful and we stayed in a beautiful B & B in Greenfield, Mass. and also visited Historic Deerfield. I was amazed how quickly you can get to one historic destination to another. In Texas, you would drive for hours and hours! On the way back to the airport today, we drove through Concord, Mass. where we only had time to stop at Orchard House and go in the gift shop, but no time to tour the house. So close, yet so far! Someday!

    I hope you all enjoy your trip. The fall leaves were not yet in all their glory, though we did see some color. And I wish we would have seen your van going down the highway!

  4. Judy in Ohio says:

    Wow, Susan!…Exciting news all around! For you AND us!
    Can’t wait to get MY book in the mail…Sounds like the
    “reviews” are quite positive!! (Like there was ANY doubt!)

    Have a great and wonderful trip!
    (I hope the leaves are PERFECT for you all!!)

    Take care…And enjoy the moments!! 🙂


  5. Linda says:

    A prayer for a safe trip!! I went to the facebook page of the bookstore of Wimpy Kid and did a “like & comment” Said you sent me!!
    Linda from Idaho were the weather is still very warm–high 80’s but wonderful! Had a Falcon on my fence the other morning!!

  6. Hi Susan, it feels so good to have you back on the blog on a regular base. Here in Holland we have to wait to the 30th of october to order your book. Patience!
    Have a wonderful trip and enjoy the beauty outside. Although I am Dutch and we live here, my husband is from the east coast and I LOVE it there this time a year. The pumpkins, the colored leaves, the covered bridges, the wooden houses… love love it…..oké, I know about that green grass…….

    • sbranch says:

      You CAN order it from us, the only thing is that shipping costs a lot, but we will send it if you’d like. Just so you know. I’ll show lots of pictures of fall when I get home Petra — it’s been everything you wrote, covered bridges, old houses, pumpkins and leaves!

  7. Judy Lincicum says:

    Well, as close as I can come, I missed living in San Luis at the same time you were there, by 10 yrs. I graduated from high school in 1964, was born in 1946 and of all the places I have lived, San Luis was my favorite. There was a man named Bill Scofield that was the Chief of Police at the time, my Dad was a Lutenant at the time. Bill’s wife was a Vogue model, her name was Ann. We lived in an old Victorian 3 story on Johnson Ave. and I attended Sinsheimer Elementary School. Any of that sound familiar? We also lived on Sydney St. We left SLO in 1960 and moved to Tulare. Anyway, nuff said about that! Your book was delivered on Saturday and reading all about San Luis brought back sooooo many memories! THE BOOK is terrific and I’ve had such a hard time not devouring it in minutes! My marriage only lasted from 1965 until 1972 and then I had to make some drastic moves of my own and I could so relate to your broken heart. But just couldn’t stay in the same city to run into “them”. Ah, sweet misery! Love you, Judy from AZ

    • sbranch says:

      Sinsheimer School and of course Johnson Ave are both very familiar to me!

    • Vicki says:

      ‘But just couldn’t stay in the same city to run into “them”.’ Man, can I relate to THAT! I decided being brave was just not worth my pain. I’ve been back in the same town now with ‘them’ for 20 years and I actually STILL somewhat tailor my life to avoid ‘them.’ (Town is just too darn small.) Some hurts die harder. And I think some of us are just more sensitive; hearts a little more fragile. Although, I learned over time I was a heckuva lot more resilient than I gave myself credit for…and I’ve forgiven myself for any lack of courage. (I have a friend who would say, back in the day, “Don’t walk away mad; just walk away.” [She was a practical sort of gal!]) I’m happy enough in my own life these days to realize that a lot of it now (that ‘past’) is just nuisance of an ancient history! I say that, having just yesterday evening had the nicest little dinner out with my husband on his birthday, watching him get in the car this morning to go to work with tears in my eyes, thinking, ‘Thank God for this man who came into my life nearly 30 years ago; keep him safe; keep him well.’ There’s nobody else I’d rather spend my time with. We missed the red moon…too much cloud cover…but took a back road home last night to where we could get the best views of the ‘day-after’ moon with no city lights (his idea; he thinks of things like that); and it was so clear, bright as a headlamp and almost too hard on the eyes with its beauty, so low in the sky and HUGE, even as it started to rise. A harvest moon. Love the sound of that. And the sight was even better. For two days now in dead-dry-drought (and hot) Southern California, the late night and early mornings are a teeny bit cooler so maybe we WILL have a Fall here afterall. (I have absolutely been CRAVING anything with pumpkin in it, googling autumn recipes…and I’m watching for those leaves to blow across the road!)

      • sbranch says:

        That “them” thing is very difficult. I always felt lucky in those first years when he and his significant other broke up. Now, I’m just happy he’s happy, because I know I have it all. Happy Fall Vicki!

  8. Terry Jansen says:

    All the best for a most enjoyable trip! I’m so looking forward to my book due course I intend to order another set so my little granddaughters can enjoy and treasure them one day! It’s so nice to hear of a bookshop ‘opening up’ too…good luck to An unlikely story! Thankyou Susan

  9. Gail Golden says:

    I love seeing the fall foilage…we don’t get to see color here in Florida until late November. Even then, it’s not much.

    The book store – I just saw a piece on tv about it. Such a lovely idea. I think I’m going to float some books in my library/office.

    I love Ricky Nelson. Love to hear him sing, and I love to just look at his gorgeous face. Thanks for all of your MUSICA in your posts. I always enjoy that while reading your letters to us.

    Blessings to you and Joe as you travel and promote Fairy Tale Girl. Do you think you might ever come to Central Florida? I would love to meet y’all.


    • sbranch says:

      Great idea to float books! We will try to get down there next spring!

      • Belinda says:

        Oh YES!!!!! I am already talking to Inkwood Books about inviting you to Tampa. I am keeping my fingers and toes crossed! Spring would be a lovely time! SO many girlfriends here!!

  10. Karen S says:

    Dear Susan, Your book came on Friday and I finished it late last night. You are just amazing. I can’t begin to tell you how much I enjoyed every word, photo and beautiful watercolor. You had me knee deep in nostalgia, as I grew up in your same era. I to was blessed with the happy gene and it has kept me a float all these years through thick and thin. Your books, blog and generous heart are such an inspiration to those of us like myself who put “keeping house” and creating the best world possible for our families in our own little “smallvilles” our first priority. Thank you for sharing your wonderful talent.

  11. sondra fox says:

    What a beautiful old hotel! Love it. How I’d love to stay there. Can’t imagine the upkeep it would take to maintain such a place, plus all the staff for it. (Sandy from Chihuahua Flats)

  12. Winnie Nielsen says:

    My book arrived on Saturday and I sat down and read every word. Oh, how your story resonated with me!!!! I am four years younger than you, but the last of seven kids with a very similar childhood. It is true that when we grew up, we had no idea what we were supposed to do aside from finding a husband and repeating just what our mother’s had done. Nary a clue! Plus, I had the example of four older sisters who had all done that so it never occurred to me to be otherwise.

    Except that life didn’t work out like the script said it should for me. Why was I different? I do think it was an era when young women were cutting loose from the traditions without a roadmap, so to speak. It made for some hard tough years and decisions that greatly impacted everything else. Some good. Some not so good. Our parents were confused about it all too and didn’t have much to offer in the form of advice.

    I love that your book is so open about this time when it was hard to understand why the life script felt like it kept hitting a brick wall. Maybe many others will read this book and identify with your experiences like I did.

    Surrounding oneself with the goodness of home, however, does help me calm the moments of doubt and confusion. Your first book attracted me like a magnet all these years ago. Here is a person who knows how to take charge of this crazy thing called growing up, I thought! So, it has been a love affair all these years with your books and art. Your art speaks to me and reassures me that all those simple parts of home and living are indeed the anchor for my life. The security of life felt in the 1950s and early 1960s under the safe roof of Oxford Road can still be preserved and be effective in 2015!

    Thank-you Susan for another beautiful and meaningful book! I can’t wait for the next one about the Vineyard!!

  13. Lacy Joy says:

    I was so overjoyed to find my book waiting for me when I got home from work on Friday! What a delightful surprise! It was a very dreary weekend here in Virginia Beach, with high winds and surf and lots of drizzly rain. The perfect sort of weekend to snuggle up with a Fairy Tale and a cup of tea! The weekend found me often on my couch nestled under a quilt with Fairy Tale Girl in my lap. What a gift! Thank you, Susan!

  14. Paula Arndt says:

    Always a haven of calm and happiness, I just love opening up your blog each week to twittering birds and musica, and then seeing what’s up on your side of the continent!
    Have a wonderful book tour (I am patiently awaiting my book) and I couldn’t agree more – patronize local book stores. I did just that on Saturday and loved every second of it. They even let me sit there with a hot coffee in one hand while I looked through books (it was a bit chilly in Seattle).
    I was also gloriously surprised and delighted to see my bedroom in your post, although now I wish I had made my bed! EEK Although truly, it looks like that all the time so who am I kidding? And I still grab your book “A Fine Romance” to read on weekends when I need a break from my art studio!
    Have a wonderful day!

  15. Jack says:

    Magic ? With “No computer” – how does one tweet on the computer ?

    • sbranch says:

      I can tweet with the phone! Hi Dad! Was just saying, I should call Dad! We’re almost to our destination. Did you see the moon?

      • Jack says:

        Out in Arizona , we call that Texting….

        • sbranch says:

          You have a point, you people in Arizona! 🙂

          • Mary in Phoenix says:

            Wait … What about us people in Arizona??? We’re a good, kind lot … right Blogdaddy? … and from a lot of places! Beauty all around us … doesn’t get much better than AZ … where stunning, sunny winter days await us … and where we would LOVE to have you come for a book signing in May … when wildflowers are abloom and saguaros are topped with big white flowers. Plus you could celebrate your dad’s birthday a little early. He would ♥ it and so would we! Just a thought … a happy thought 🙂

          • sbranch says:

            A very happy thought Mary!

  16. Audrianne Hill says:

    Wishing you safe travels and much adoration by the girlfriends. Thanks for sharing even a tinge of autumn color. It’s happening here in Michigan too but our tinge is more like a tint waiting to grow up a bit.

  17. Lynn M. says:

    Just got back from a great trip to Burlington Vt.! Be sure to travel to Shelbourne and Charlotte. Beautiful towns. Take a drive along the lakeshore back roads. Safe travels.

    • sbranch says:

      We just passed Shelbourne, but we’re going back for the museum in the next couple of days. Right now we just want to get on the island before dark! Thank you Lynn!

  18. Carol says:

    Susan – I just have to leave my first comment even though I have read and loved your blog for some time. I just left Martha’s Vineyard yesterday as well – but on the 9:30 ferry. Wish I was on the 8:15 to see your van (and you!). We loved walking around town and wondered if we walked by your house. Best of all, I bought two copies of The Fairy Tale Girl at Bunch of Grapes bookstore! I was so happy to see it there and be able to purchase it right from the island! Then, I came to visit my daughter on the Cape and we drove right by the Ticombs Bookstore. I love this part of the world and especially how you portray it for all of us who don’t get to live here permanently. Have a wonderful book tour. I am SO anxious to read your beautiful book. xo Carol

    • sbranch says:

      How nice Carol, that you got to Bunch of Grapes, and did the Cape too. What a great trip and the perfect weather to do it! Thank you ! xoxo

  19. Catherine says:

    Have a wonderful trip! Can’t wait to get the book!

  20. Donna C says:

    The Fairy Tale Girl arrived Saturday and I can hardly put it down. You are very brave to share your story and reveal some hurtful memories….BUT, as all fairy tales go, I already know the happy ending and all the more look forward to Isle of Dreams next year. I am six years older than you and my nieces starting arriving when I was five years old in 1946. I loved ready about your family and growing up in the 1950’s and could relate. Hope you and Joe have a wonderful road trip. xo

    • sbranch says:

      It’s been great so far, one red moon, and lots of yellow leaves! xoxo

      • Donna C says:

        Forgot to comment about the ‘bomb shelter’. At least your Dad started with good intentions to build one. I cracked up over having to shoot the neighbors! My Dad wouldn’t build one in our back yard no matter how often I asked about it. I trusted him when he told me there was no need and not to be fearful. After all, he was born in 1897, served in WWI, lived through the depression and WW2 and many other hardships. He was battled worn and assured me we would be just fine and I believed him. Also, your Mom was amazing, just like my Mom was. xo

        • sbranch says:

          He probably was a little older than my dad at the time, and realized the part about shooting the neighbors before he dug the hole!

  21. Kristi says:

    Dear Susan, I wantto tell you that A Fine Romance was the catalyst for three girlfriends and me to take a two week holiday to England and Scotland! We just returned last Wednesday! We did not take your route but we did visit Hill Top farm which, of course, was a highlight of the trip. How sweet her cottage is. I did not want to leave but stay there, have a cup of tea and feel her presence.
    Thank you so much for your blog and books. They are a constant source of inspiration!

  22. Crystal says:

    Dear Susan,
    Right now I am enjoying your snail mail Willard book that I got from you recently. It is wonderful and I have to say that if you decided to print all your Willards in book form I would want to get the whole collection. I enjoy all your writing and artwork some of my best relaxing moments are spent with them, thanks so much.
    Love, Crystal

  23. Monique says:

    Have a wonderful time..our leaves have not turned a lot either..unusual..
    the book looks so good!

  24. Anne in Maine says:

    I just received my copy of Fairy Tale Girl. It’s beautiful Susan! I can’t wait to sit down tonight with a cup of tea and start reading. Anticipation!!!!

  25. Mary Jane Gruber says:

    Just got home from a week’s vacation on our wonderful Lake Erie here in PA. (While there, I found a rare piece of yellow beach glass.) The only down side was that I was missing my 2 kitties. Emily and Eddie are part Maine Coon sibling rescues that I’d had at my barn for 10 years and then brought into the house after my last beloved Yorkshire Terrier passed away last November (I spent one night alone with no animals in the house, went to the barn, got the cats and it’s all been wonderful) I so understand what you will be going through on your travels 🙂 Unbelievably, I found this quote while I was catching up on my reading last night. I know you will get this. “What greater gift than the love of a cat”–Charles Dickens (And boy did I get some love on my return last night!)

  26. Cindy in South Carolina says:

    I’m halfway through your book and can’t read these comments because I don’t want any spoilers so I won’t leave any. We had much needed rain all weekend and I was away from home so I texted my son several times each day to remind him to check the mail so my lovely book wouldn’t be sitting at my doorstep in the rain all weekend. Got home late Sunday evening and read your book until 1 AM even though I had to get up at 6 to get ready for work. Another masterpiece – both in writing and art. Thank you for sharing your gifts with us.

  27. Charissa says:

    This is the week my book will come. I am so excited!!!! It may even come today!!!!!!! THANK YOU TO ALL THE CREW IN CALIFORNIA!!!!!! YOU ALL ARE AWESOME AND I APPRECIATE ALL YOUR HARD WORK!!!!

    Today it is a Lob(wuv Lub Luv) letter from me to you,

    Susan, I can’t thank you enough for all your blog posts and the wonderful magic of YOU. I am so grateful to have you and all the girlfriends that come with you in my life. I feel like you are my sweet friend who makes me a better version of myself by helping me to remember to enjoy the little things and that rivals my love for coziness and who gives me ideas and inspires me and the world with your sweetness. (And since I am dealing with some health problems you are someone who picks me up on the days that I am down and at least gets me out of my head for a while just like a real friend would.) Don’t get me wrong, I am not down on myself. I think I am pretty good.:) You just inspire and add to my life in a way I am obviously not good at putting into words, but I hope you will know what I am trying to say. THANK YOU!!!


    PS I am so thrilled for you and your new book baby. I cant wait to hear about its meteoric rise;) wonderful reviews and awards.

    PPS I wanted to see what amazon was saying about AFR and decided to look at a few reviews. Congratulations on your 5 star rating!!!! That’s awesome!!!! There were just a few people who were obviously unhappy people in their own lives. Bless their hearts. Luckily, you are able to mark those as unhelpful, which I did:)

    • sbranch says:

      I do know what you are saying, Charissa, thank you so much. I feel the same way about all of us together here, and thank you especially for your kind words for my hardworking crew in CA! A Fine Romance has surprised the HECK out of me, and continues to do so, and I’m sure it’s all because of you and all our Girlfriends! XOXOXO

      • Charissa says:

        IT CAAAAAAAAAAME!!!!!!!!! Tonight I am making steak and potatoes so I can have a big glass of red wine at dinner:) Then after dinner I am making hot spiced cider to drink as I read. I bought cozy new modal jammies from the gap (the softest things ever… they feel like a hug) I am going up to our guest room that has an electric fireplace that I can put on without the heat and light a whole bunch of candles and try to read as slow as possible which I already know I won’t be able to do very well. So I will probably read it tonight and read it again tomorrow night just like I did with AFR. I love it already… the weight of it … the smell of it… the look of it… the ribbon!!!! Will write back when I am finished:)

        • sbranch says:

          Okay, I love your jammie, red wine, reading plan, and I’ll love to hear from you Charissa!

          • Charissa says:

            I read the whole thing cover to cover until 1:30 am, even though my eyes were drooping(wine)!!!! I laughed! I cried! I loved Cliff! I wanted to kill Cliff! I relived some of my own life, both good and bad parts, but mostly the good ones (damn boys) (How is it that we can have such similar experiences and yet we are not the same age? I always think we are, but then you put in the dates and I realize it again for the first time again;)) I loved your story!!! You were so adventurous and brave and believing in the good of people. I loved learning a bit more about your life and your way of thinking. What a tribute to your parents and their wonderful spirits!! “Cliff” may be a genius, but he was an idiot too. I am sure he sees that now with age or he is still on of those perpetual bachelors, still trying to get 20 yr olds. Thank goodness for Diana. We all need a good strong friend like that and they are few and far between. And I am so happy to know that you have Joe or I don’t think I could stand the wait for the next book. Hugs to Joe!! Your art, both in pictures and for the book, was beautiful! I am just in awe of that geranium and everything you have have done since. Walter Matthau has your art?!? OMG. It is a beautiful book in art and writing and you should be very very proud. I just adore it.

          • sbranch says:

            I loved Cliff, I wanted to kill Cliff . . . LOL! I know what you mean! He’s all through the second book too, so there is more. (BTW, No one should worry about Joe, he reads what I write, laughs, and in the way only a strong, lion Leo can be, worries not one whit, and neither should he, because he is the love of my life.) Thank you so much for adoring the book Charissa, because I’ve done nothing but worry and now I’m starting to feel much better . . . xoxo

          • Charissa says:

            I was reading other people’s comments and noticed someone said something about SPOILERS! Aack !! Like a complete idiot, I didn’t even think of that because I was like a kid on Christmas morning. If you in any way don’t want to post my previous comment, I will not be upset. I don’t think I said anything too revealing, but if i did just delete it.

          • sbranch says:

            I don’t think so either Charissa!

  28. Barb from Ohio says:

    Yeah!! My copy of “The Fairy Tale Girl” arrived today! I just peeked inside and it looks so good, but I’m waiting until I can give it my full attention before I dig into it. I just had my daughter’s 21st birthday party this past weekend and still recovering from that. Lots of taking down party decor and putting up Fall and Halloween stuff to do. Hope you get to see some leaf color up north, but I wonder if it will be later this year? We have a few trees showing a little tinge of color and I find fallen leaves that are turned already. I was so disappointed not to get to see the Blood Moon last night; clouds started moving in at the beginning of it and we missed the whole thing! Cloudy and drizzling here today, but last week was just gorgeous all week, so I can’t complain. Have safe traveling up here and please keep us updated in pictures because you know we love to see them.

    • sbranch says:

      There is still plenty of color to come, but also there’s enough to make my heart go pitter patter, so I’m happy. I’m taking lots of pictures so I’ll show you soon. We have drizzle here too, which I kind of like right now, it’s very cozy, but we did get to see the moon last night. My pictures came out OK too . . . I’ll put them up soon.

  29. Kathy Hughes says:

    Fairy Tale Girl arrived, and it’s even better than I had hoped it would be!! I’ve wondered about your past and your ex-husband, that up to the publication of this book, you have only alluded to, and now you’ve included even pictures of him. You are so dear to share so much of yourself with us, your followers, your girlfriends. Your book proves to me that my belief is correct: We wonder why we have to go through trials and heartache in life, but those lessons and experiences bring us to exactly where we are supposed to be today. You add sunshine and inspiration to so many lives, and we love you! Your wonderful book can’t help but be a huge success!! My book is already signed, but I hope to meet you at a book signing one day soon. 🙂

  30. GrannyMck says:

    Hi Susan,
    I was in Vermont on Saturday for the house and garden tour of Tasha Tudor’s Corgi Cottage. Have you ever been there? I think you would LOVE it. Can’t wait to get Fairy Tale Girl — it’s an early birthday gift to myself. Thank you.

    • sbranch says:

      I haven’t been there yet. I wish I would have planned it for this trip. I didn’t think!

      • GrannyMck says:

        I should have mentioned that they only do it twice a year — but such a magical experience. Almost like a fairy tale 🙂 My book was in the mailbox when I got home last night and what a treat it is. Safe and happy travels to you and your group.

  31. My copy just came and I’m BEYOND excited to get reading!! Thanks so much for writing and doing artwork that makes me so happy. 🙂

    I can’t wait to dive right in! Blessings for a safe and very fun journey ahead for you and Joe!

  32. Shanna says:

    Thank you, Susan, for taking us on your Autumn adventure. I am patiently awaiting the arrival of your book. I hope to have it before I leave for a trip to Bodega Bay on California’s north coast, so I can spend the day reading it while listening to the ocean…two of my favorite activities. Enjoy your trip.

    • sbranch says:

      My favorite too, right next to reading while hearing lake-lapping noises, which is what I’m about to be doing the next three days! Have fun in beautiful Bodega Bay!

  33. Deborah Winter says:

    Hi Susan,

    I just received my book today and can’t wait to read it–I don’t even want to read any of the comments before this one because I’m afraid something will be given away and I want to enjoy each and every line! The first couple of pages remind me of my baby book and you captured the copy to a T. Best wishes for a wonderful book signing event but you really don’t need them anyway; it is already written in the stars!

    Thank you for the happiness you share; I’m glad I wasn’t born before Susan Branch books!

  34. Kathleen from Philly says:

    Hi Susan,
    THE BOOK arrived on Saturday, just a day after getting the email! I was sitting with my neighbor Carol (who introduced you to me) and there was THE BOOK in the mail! Carol was a little miffed because she ordered her book first and I felt so bad I said I would wait until later to peruse it. I said maybe the books were shipped alphabetically? We were doing a joint yardsale which was a bust for me. I think everyone went to see Pope Francis downtown. I went to the Mass on the Parkway on Sunday with my sister. So I had quite an inspirational weekend, what with THE BOOK and the Pope! Enjoy your road trip! I head up to the Maine coast next week with my sister Sue for our annual
    Girls’ Getaway/Shop & Talk ‘Till You Drop Road Trip. No men allowed! Can’t wait! THE BOOK will come along if I haven’t finished yet. Hugs! Kathleen
    P.S. I’m still looking and hopeful for the 2015 Pocket Calendar…

    • sbranch says:

      Well, give Carol a hug from me and tell her I’m sure it will be there soon! Glad you got yours. Lucky you, hearing the Pope!

  35. Deborah in Odessa, Tx says:

    My book is on its way!!! I can barely wait. Enjoy your trip.

  36. Mary Beth McGrath says:

    Taking a break from painting the diningroom – formerly 50’s knotty pine in an 1830-ish house – it had to go (the knotty pine, not the house!). Have a great time in Burlington, VT – good bookstores there, and loads of good restaurants. Our youngest son went to UVM and has stayed there for 20 years – lucky us, we get to visit him! I am looking forward to reading about your vacation – relax and enjoy!

  37. viv says:

    My book arrived and I can hardly wait to sneak away with it. No spectacular backdrops for a picture here, but imagine me happy.

  38. Mary S. says:

    I received my book today!! YAY!!!! I am sooooo excited!!! Love from Mary S. in Fresno, CA

  39. Troy Louise says:

    I’m anxiously awaiting the arrival of your new book this week! It was fun to see the crew that mailed them all. Hope you and Joe have a wonderful journey. Big Hugs.

  40. Have a wonderful trip as you travel the roads for Willard research. My book arrived Saturday when I wasn’t looking so I was surprised! How quick! I am cherishing it already. Eat some good food, relax with good friends and enjoy your time with that special guy of yours. The kitties will want to hear all about it when you return. Us too. Enjoy!

    • sbranch says:

      Thank you Susie, that’s exactly what’s happening! I’ve taken about a million pictures already! Can’t wait to show you!

  41. KarenP. (Wisconsin) says:

    I just received my wonderful book and can’t put it down! But I must because I have so mych to do today…..struggling…..It is the sweetest beginning ever! Your first diary entry is so adorable! Can’t wait to continue use on, savoring each sweet page. Thank you! Enjoy your time in Vermont! We were there last year at this time and it was very fairytale-like! xo…Karen

  42. O my i missed a post… But here I’Am your off and gone.. I’m so excited I can hardly get the words out want to go run and check the mail for my book… Wish you could come to California, San Francisco. I’d love to meet you. Can’t wait to get my copy. Such excitement upon it being Autumn.. I can’t imagine the excitment you feel. I love your bost with all the little extras like your books. So as I can I will also purchase your other book a Fine Romance. I did not have the pleasure of purchasing it.. Well i hope your book signing goes well. Such a lovely sky photo.. We’ve had some amazing ones. Blessings Susan Happy Autumn with love Janice

  43. Lynn says:

    Got Fairy Tale Girl on Friday! So very happy. I started reading it that night.
    Loved the picture of the bunny on the wall of your house. Did not love why you left CA…:(

    So very glad you bounced back and into our lives!

  44. Rhonda P in Woodson, TX says:

    My “Fairy Tale Girl” arrived today…sooo excited!

  45. What a fun trip and what a great van. I would probably crash into something due to the detraction of trying to see what all is printed on the van! A moving piece of your wonderful art and calligraphy.

  46. Deborah in Odessa, Tx says:

    My book arrived today!!! It is Beeeeauuuutiful!!! Ya done good!!

  47. Joan says:

    HIP-HIP-HOORAY! My book is on it’s way!!!! 🙂

  48. JoAnn Pollick says:

    Wow Susan. Loved “Fairy Tale Girl”, finished it at 1:30 a.m. Sunday.
    Now fast forward Please to April. But in the meantime we have beautiful
    Autumn pictures on your blog and then Christmas and snow. We’ll survive!
    Thank you for inspiration and beauty.

    • sbranch says:

      We just have to pretend the next book is Downton Abbey and thank goodness that unlike Downton, we don’t have to wait a whole year! 🙂

      • Mary in Phoenix says:

        That’s a GREAT way to look at it! Susan Branch’s glass is ALWAYS half full 🙂 And it will be even easier to finish MV Isle of Dreams as the world has validated how much it LOVES your story ♥ xo

        • sbranch says:

          It’s already easier because of these lovely comments ~ the second book is benefiting! Confidence is SUCH a big help to writing! LOL!

  49. Joan says:

    HIP-HIP-HOORAY! My book is on its’ way!!!! 🙂

  50. Lori Metschan says:

    What a lucky day for me!!! A new blog post and I got my copy of Fairy Tale Girl in the mail today!! I love it and you!! xoxoxo!!!

  51. Elaine in Toronto says:

    Hi Susan, just getting ready to have a birthday celebration lunch with friends. That’s the good news. The bad news is that your books and calendars didn’t arrive in time but…that’s actually good news because now we get to have two celebrations! One now for Marie’s birthday and one a little later. Everything shipped yesterday so we can hardly wait. I’m giving my friend a Beatrix Potter “Jeremy Fisher” Schmidt music box. I bought it in a lovely little used book store called “What the Dickens” in a small Ontario town called Acton. The proprietor of the shop buys pre-loved jig saw puzzles and always has one set up in the store for patrons to work on. Once she’s determined all the pieces are there, she sells them and starts on another one. She also has a wonderful collection of book ends (which aren’t for sale) and interspersed with the books are vintage and antique items. It’s a wonderful combination. What would we do without book stores and and wonderful books like yours to populate them? Safe travels. Hugs.

  52. julie borg says:

    Just finished the new book! I could not put it down! I was moved by how deeply personal it was. Feel like I should invite you over for tea! Can’ wait for the next one! Write faster! ❤

  53. Jane says:

    Oh, my darling Susan! – My book arrived — My husband stopped the car to retrieve mail from our locked box. He was being very slow and suddenly gave me a HUGE smile and hustled to the car and I just KNEW IT WAS HERE. Sure enough. I didn’t want to peek too soon as I’d promised myself not to binge read. I thumbed through it and suddenly saw the word “Noxema” and my nose filled with that scent and I could literally taste it and feel it! Remember!? I’m about half way through and am so thrilled to finally know the story of you and Cliff. I know what’s coming and obviously know how this will end with your dear, darling Joe and happiness galore. I don’t want to read of your pain because I love you so and just know, reading of the initial happiness, that your heart will soon be broken. But, I just know that it will be a story of determination and bravery and living happily everafter. Do you think I could star in the movie? We have the same Spode dishes, I have a kitty, I paint with watercolors, and I’m also in happily everafter mode. Now, I’m going to have to be sooo patient for the presequel 2. Thank you for being me and all of your followers such pleasure and joy. You are deserving of much success. My love, Jane

    • sbranch says:

      Thank you Jane! Like the quote says, you can’t appreciate the sunshine unless you get the rain, and that’s kind of the way I see it! Up, down, up and down, life is one heck of a good little ride.

  54. Carilyn Wolski says:

    Hello Susan! Your book arrived on Saturday!!!!!! Oh Susan, it is so beautiful, the cover, the artwork, the words!!!! I barely got it out of the wrapping, and began reading snippets throughout! I was soooooooo excited! Ooooooh!!!! Aaaaaaaaah!!! (I actually hugged it!!!) Then, my husband Ken said aloud to me, “Carilyn, calm down, try to start from the beginning” So, I have it in the center of the cocktail table in the living room, like a center piece, and am taking my time, enjoying each and every word, drawing, and photo!!!! Taking my time because it has to last until Volume Two! It truly is a work of art! As I read your story, it IS a fairy tale, but, I get a heavy heart, because you are such a nice person. When I realize your beginning was the end, but that end was the beginning of the beautiful life you’re now living!!!!!! Truly your life adventure is worth telling! Even though we are all different, heartache is universal to all of us at times, and sometimes it is in different forms of losses that make us ache! But those aches become a part of who we are, but better! How very true the saying that when one door is closed, another one is opened!!! Your strength radiates out like sunshine to all of us Susan!!! You have shown us a true example of the words FAITH, HOPE, and LOVE! No wonder everything “Susan Branch” makes us smile!!!! Have a fun and safe trip! Take care! Most important ENJOY yourself!

    • sbranch says:

      Ohhhh, thank you Carilyn. Joe’s asleep ~ I keep worrying I’ll wake him with these little squeaking noises I make as I read your comments. Just so nice. I think my story is worth telling, because it’s something that does happen to all. No life is perfect, but every life has moments of fairy tale.

  55. Jackie P says:

    Fairy Tale Girl arrived yesterday and I’ve been indulging ever since. Trying to indulge slowly (if that is even possible)!

  56. Linda Kidd says:

    Love seeing all your trip pictures. Can’t wait to read “Fairy Tale Girl.” Absolutely loved “A Fine Romance.” Have fun on your trip.

  57. kay walker says:

    Received your book yesterday. I couldn’t put it down. I can’t wait for Isle of Dreams.
    And I hope you have ideals for more books. You just have to keep writing!!!!!!!!

    • sbranch says:

      I do. More ideas than my fingers will ever have time for. xoxo

      • Mary in Phoenix says:

        Haha … the Tea Book, the Breakfast Book, the Spring and Winter books, just to name a few we are all patiently waiting for. Notice I put Tea Book first 🙂 Just one day at a time and one book at a time. And for now just enjoy the book you are reading and the beautiful lake in front of you. You DESERVE the rest after the coup de gras book you just finished ♥

  58. Ann says:

    I arrived home here in Los Osos, CA to find The Fairy Tale Girl. Unfortunately, I also got the flu from my husband who had just spent 3 weeks in China. I’m patiently waiting to feel better so I can savor every reading minute. Enjoy your road trip!

  59. Janet Hundley - Grafton, WI says:

    My copy of “Fairy Tale Girl” arrived yesterday. I’m debating diving in right away vs. saving it for my day off so I can sit for hours and savor the initial experience. Either way, I know I’m going to LOVE it!
    Thanks, Susan 🙂

  60. Mary in Phoenix says:

    So if you’re driving along and wondering why barns are usually painted red here’s the answer from This Old House … “The short answer: Cost! White paint, which got its tint from white lead, was tougher to come by and more expensive than red paint, which was tinted with the much more plentiful ferrous oxide, or rust. Farmers used a combination of linseed oil and rust to protect their barn wood from decay.” There’s your morning science tidbit for the day 🙂 xo

  61. Debby says:

    Dear Susan, I posted a comment a couple of days ago, wondering why it is still awaiting moderation? Hope it wasn’t offense? My book is on the way!!!! Debby

    • sbranch says:

      I am sure it’s fine, it’s just me, I’m out here at Lake Champlain on vacation and every so often my friends and Joe come in and say, GET OFF THE COMPUTER, and I never get all of my lovely Girlfriends “moderated,” but I’m determined to get there this morning (before they get up!!!).

  62. Donna Klein says:

    I so love the book! I am about half way thru and I so relate to everything you experienced as far as trying to find your place in the 70’s 80’s. Like you I thought I would be a stay at home wife and mom and found myself trying to decide what I was going to be when I grow up in my 30’s. I just turned 60 and I am still not quite sure, ha ha. A work in progress still! Thanks for writing this amazing book and I so admire what it must have taken to relive this part of your life. xxoo

    • sbranch says:

      It’s a learning curve through and through. Who thought we were supposed to know what we wanted when we were in our twenties! Terrible burden for a blank slate! 🙂 Thank you Donna!

  63. Oh boy, oh boy!! I can hardly wait for my copy and I will definitely be taking it along as we travel from central Kentucky to Boston, then to the New York Sheep and Wool Festival in Rhinebeck (you should come on Sunday – you would LOVE it) and on into New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine. Thanks for the recommendation of An Unlikely Story. It’s been added to our trip agenda.

    • sbranch says:

      Oh good! You’ll love it there. If we weren’t already on a “roll” I would love to go to that festival!

  64. RosemaryK says:

    Susan, I just finished your new book. LOVED it. I so enjoying your writing style (I feel like I am right there). Looking forward to the next one. Thanks so much.

  65. After a dismal Monday, it was such a wonderful surprise to come home to find “The Fairy Tale Girl” just waiting for me in my mailbox. I can hardly put it down. Dinner? No. Breakfast? Who needs that? Going to work in a bit? P-shaw.

    It feels like I’m reading my own story as I eagerly flip the pages (minus the time difference and all). It’s so wonderful to feel connected to others who share the same life situations. Loving this book! Thank you for sharing it with us!

    • sbranch says:

      The year was different, but the feelings of being young and not knowing are probably fairly universal. Thank you Tammy!

  66. Cecelia says:

    I’m only on page 50 of Fairy Tale Girl and had to stop to write you. I love it! I am LOLing at your description of Cliff asking you to the “welcome lunch” and can totally relate to the inspiration you got from your landlord.
    I’m looking forward to pre-ordering your continuation book.
    You sure have a knack for writing.
    Are you coming to Cleveland area to sign books. We got our books signed by you last time in Hudson Ohio

  67. Nancy says:

    I just finished reading your book! It was wonderful! Can’t wait until the sequel. Have fun on your trip!

  68. Teresa G., Lafayette, CA. says:

    I don’t know where to begin! I am spell bound reading your new book! Right when I think you couldn’t possibly top yourself, well, you go and do just that. There are so many things I want to say to you. I want to pull up two comfy chairs, it is Tuesday after all, and join the Tuesday Girls and talk about our lives and how they parallel each other’s. I want to whisper dreams and desires and get a boost and give a boost – the kind only girls can give each other. Thank you for opening up your heart and letting us know more about you. You are absolutely adored because I realized that you are every woman! Your kindred spirits (the ones not leaving the house because they know The Fairy Tale Girl is arriving that day) are all laughing, smiling and crying with you. Susan, this book is a masterpiece. So honest and well done. I love the quiet respect that you give to your past, too. I had my heart broken almost 20 years ago in the exact same way so my heart felt exactly what yours did so long ago. And, like you, it recovered (except in my case it was not a 6’2″ Leo. He’s a 6’2″ Cancer). I can only say, again, THANK YOU!! Now to pine for Isle of Dreams. Shhhhh….listen….that’s the sound of a standing ovation all the way from California! XXO

    • sbranch says:

      Ohhhh,Teresa, I hear it in every word you wrote. I’m so happy you liked it and related to it! Thank you so much. xoxo

  69. Rosanne Murphy (Oregon) says:

    Reading The Fairy Tale Girl, and seeing so much of myself there – born in 1947, raised in CA with the same 1950’s influences and the changes that we had to learn to navigate in the ’60’s and ’70’s as we became women. Thank you for sharing your story. It took a degree of courage to put it out there, but then we here are trusted girlfriends with our own pasts filled with all kinds of stuff. 🙂 I’m glad this is a prequel since we know your fairy tale dreams eventually came true. Thank you for your always wonderful books, and for this gem of a blog!
    BTW, Kate Morton has a new book out in October!

  70. Cynde says:

    Susan I hope you make it back to Andeson Book store in IL again for another signing. Confession I’m still reading A Fine Romance…..😳…I started it, then had to put reading time on the back burned for awhile…life just gets too busy at times…but I’m back & decided to start from the beginning again….& now everyday we start our day together over coffee for 1/2 hour & then at night with tea for another 1/2 to a hour. We just got to Bibury as of this morning. 😊 I can’t wait till tonight comes…I had to go out my book in the car because I keep picking it up…instead of doing my fall purging of closets…or looking out the window for the postal truck, because I received a email that The Fairy Tale Girl is on her way….guess I’m not getting too much accomplished today…lol.

  71. I got my “Fair Tale Girl” yesterday in the mail and couldn’t put it down. Susan, you have such a way with words . . . I just finished it and absolutely adored every page! Now I cannot wait to read your next book . . . April cannot arrive to quickly!!! Thank you so much for filling all of our hearts with a feeling that fairy tales really can come true at any age! Hugs!!!

  72. Susan, this post has it all —– even Rick Nelson and his music. (Oh, be still my heart!) Enjoy the day and your success with this book. How wonderful for you!

  73. Donna Bradley says:

    Dearest Susan,
    I can’t even begin to express my gratitude for the wonderful book I received in the mail. I’m still pinching myself that I happen to be one of the lucky winners! You made my year! After reading it, I feel like I really am one of your girlfriends and I was there with you every step of the way in all your highs and lows! Thank you for being willing to share your life, talents, and heart with all of us! Keep writing girlfriend!
    Love from Texas,
    P.S. Have a wonderful autumn trip!

  74. Sylvia in Seattle says:

    LOVE the book. On my second slow-read-through savoring each brush stroke and nuance. Love page 34 due to TULIP border 🙂 and Julia’s book. Silent sobbing just occurred when reading about your friend Diane “saving your life”. Still some residual bits of otherwise inexpressible gunk from my own old tale of woe I guess. Must be the same for many of us who gather at the blog. It’s a sunny crisp clear day here. I’ll go now to the beach and contemplate the gorgeous view, think about you and Joe enjoying your great vacation. Thanks for sharing all and everything. It’s cathartic methinks.

  75. Sylvia in Seattle says:

    One more thing!!! I’m so glad you ripped out the last pages of that book lurking on YOUR bedside table . . . Nice touch.

  76. Toni from Sylvania, OH says:

    Oh…my book just came yesterday and I’ve spent today reading and I
    finished !!!!!!!! WHAT A BOOK…..just awesome:-))) What an experience of your whole life! And there’s MORE to come……hurry up next Mother’s Day:-)))
    What a wonderful job, Susan…all your little arrows and comments soooo sweet and just YOU! Take a breather, Susan and rest awhile…breathe DEEPLY and ENJOY. Thanks from the bottom of my heart.
    love and prayers, Toni

    • sbranch says:

      Thank you Toni!!! I’m having such fun with it … you will love the second book, writing about moving to the Island for the first time has been a true joy. xoxo

  77. Robin from SC says:

    It’s here! My book has arrived! I am soooo happy! Thanks Susan!

  78. Amy in Salem says:

    Dearest Susan,
    My copy has arrived. I did a little peaking but my sister, Susan, arrives early tomorrow from Maui. She too is looking forward to her copy arriving. We leave for Boston in a couple of days and unless here’s arrived in Maui this afternoon we will both have to wait before putting our feet up with a cup of tea and diving in. Just opening the cover brought me back to my own 1948 baby book taped with snips of hair. I can hardly wait to begin your journey.
    Happy Fall,

  79. Joanne Wood says:

    Hi Susan – My comments are still “awaiting moderation” back on the 27th, so I guess you won’t see it. Part of it was – I wanted to say I was glad to hear about the Unlikely Story book store. It’s encouraging to learn the books are not on their way out as rumored, and that book stores are holding their own – selling REAL books.

    • sbranch says:

      I’m so sorry about the comments . . . I keep trying to catch up, but being on vacation means you have to leave the hotel room! 🙂 and I never seem to get to the bottom ~ newest comments are what I see first. Anyway, it’s still dark, so I am determined to get to them all this morning. It’s raining here. Perfect for not going anywhere!

  80. Lisa Jorgensen says:

    I was so excited to receive my book (and one I ordered for my sister) a few days ago. Your magical elves in California are so good at getting packages out quickly. (They pack things so nice also!) From the photo, it looks like they are having fun too. I can’t wait to sit down with a cup of tea and start reading your wonderful book.
    It came just in time for my birthday (October 8th).
    Have a safe, fun trip. It should be beautiful this time of year.
    Happy Autumn!!

  81. Chris Wells From Knickerbocker, W. TX says:

    My book came. I promised myself I would wait until the weekend, but I opened it just to read the jacket and look at the end papers…….oh my…this is what I didn’t want to do…pull an all nighter! Finally the dogs pulled me away at chapter 6. They had to go out before bedtime!
    I LOVE IT!!! I am struck by how many GF’s comment on how your story is similar to their own. I thought it was just me!! My guess is that you have another hit on your hands Susan and we will all be waiting for Isle of Dreams like we wait for the next season of Downton!
    Have a wonderful vacation you certainly deserve it!
    I just love the book!!!!!

    • sbranch says:

      Thank you so much Chris! I’ve said before, even while writing my first book, I always felt like we had so much more in common than not . . . and if I didn’t know it then, I sure do now! XOXO

  82. Shannon(Pennsylvania) says:

    Sending hugs to you on this grey rainy morning! I’m one of those strange birds who actually loves cozy days like this. I truly believe that too much sunshine fries the soul! My book arrived Monday afternoon. I really, really intended to go through it s-l-o-w-l-e-y, to look at all the pictures and art first, and then to go back and begin to read.Well, you had me at the first page of Chapter One and the first little painted broken heart. I’m on page 176 now, reading as slowly as I can. Susan, you have done such a marvelous job with this. It’s a time capsule for those of us who came of age in the mid 60’s to the mid 70’s, and a history lesson for the younger girlfriends. The book itself is just gorgeous, love the creamy paper…it’s the same shade as the background of the Emma Bridgewater mug I’m sipping coffee from this morning! It’s perfect. Have to tell you, I googled PC, wanted a bit of background on him, too. Oh, my. Everything happens for a reason, and “if it doesn’t kill you it makes you stronger”, so the saying goes. You’re proof of that! Enjoy your vacation, have fun at the book signing. SO looking forward to the second book!

    • sbranch says:

      We aren’t done with Cliff quite yet, there’s lots of him in the second book too! Thank you so much Shannon! xoxo

  83. Laura Ann in Vermont says:

    I was hoping the trees would change color before you arrived here in northern Vermont, but, despite my pleading, they are determined to be late this year. And now rain, too! Still, you are in a beautiful place. (I recognize your photos. I’ve sat in one of those little benches on the sandy beach across the road from you.) Have a lovely rest after all your hard work. Can’t wait to dig into your book! (It’s here, I’m just waiting for the time to sit down and really do it justice. But I can say already that the endpapers are GORGEOUS!)

    • sbranch says:

      We’ve seen lots of color so far, not really here, there is only one predominant color here and it is gray and only gray. But that’s only on the outside, in my imagination, it’s beautiful!

  84. Jack says:

    It’s such a pleasure to read all these comments from all the girl friends — with all the superlative associated remarks …. Knowing as I do, that the best is yet to come! As we share in the knowledge that as delightful as The Fairy Tale Girl is, as a true life story —– that Isle of Dreams will reach even greater degrees of reader appreciation! And that as unbelievable as it seems, you outdid yourself, once again. I realize this sounds like a proud parent just mouthing off — and I’m putting my butt out there for downstream criticism, as such, however I have every confidence I will be proven right. Dad, the father!

    • sbranch says:

      Who, in their right mind, would criticize Dad, the father? 🙂 Very sweet Dad, I’m just about to call you, get ready!

      • Mary in Phoenix says:

        Very sweet review from a very proud dad … doesn’t get much better than that! Thanks to yesterday being National Coffee Day I stayed up and finished the book. WOW!!! You really outdid yourself. Beyond anything I could have imagined. Why we all love you so much. Shows your organization and determination, plus the happy gene from your mom that shines through all 🙂 No more worry (I hope) which will make finishing the next book so much easier … and dad the father even prouder ♥ xo

      • Donna Klein says:

        When I read the comments and especially this one from your dad, I find myself wishing there was a “Like” button I could press just like on Facebook 🙂

        • sbranch says:

          I know, there are comments I wish I could do that too!

          • Vicki says:

            Jack’s comment just brought tears to my eyes. A proud parent is a wonderful person.

            Blogdaddy, you’re loved here almost as much as your daughter! I enjoy the verbal repartee between the two of you! Keep those replies coming, and I’ll kinda pretend you’re my daddy, too. (I lost him five years ago and miss his wisdom/observations on a long life well-lived! I was only daughter/eldest and definitely Daddy’s Girl!)

        • Joan Lesmeister says:

          Like! 🙂 xo !!!!

  85. Merci Schon says:

    My dearest Susan,
    OMG, I started to read your book the day I received it and am now going back to re-read it at a much slower pace! As I read each page I made notes comparing our lives – oh, how I believed in fairy tales and do to this day. I can only believe that so many of us girls of that era went through the same issues in life. A happy family, lots of fun and excitement, up and downs. My favorite year was also the sixth grade, my teacher was awesome. I could go on and on (I could probably write you a six page letter). I guess we all need to have a “Cliff” in our lives so we can appreciate our “Joe’s” in our new life! What a horrid period in your life. But then again, the Lord works in mysterious ways and you did find all your hidden talents! It always amazes me that we “don’t see the forest for the trees.” I so look forward to the next chapter in your life. Your life has been blessed as has mine. CONGRATULATIONS! I so look forward to the second chapter in your new and very “Fairy Tale” life! Merci…

  86. Jack says:

    Bienvenidos to her highness, Lowley, and yourself as you bask in your six-inch downpour in the middle of Lake Champlain …. as the ghosts of long forgotten Revolutionaries flit and maunder at your elbows, whilst you sit listening to the eerie lapping of the waves against the tortured shoreline. Beware the Ides of September because they will come to visit you before this month’s ending day! Whoooooie

    • sbranch says:

      The minute you see Halloween on the horizon you start. Wish everyone could hear you tell a ghost story! Frightening man. Loved this Dad, and just so you know, yes, six-inch downpour and plenty of flitting revolutionaries, BUT, we have a wood stove in our room, and a little fire and a good book. It’s heaven listening to the eerie lapping against the “tortured” shoreline! 🙂

  87. I got your book, I’m on page 35…I just had to stop reading and write how much I identified with the part about you going to pay your rent and seeing the beautifully set table and your land lady at the stove…my Mom and Dad used to hold “Gourmet Club” and take turns hosting dinner parties at club member’s homes. I would come home from school on a Friday to find the table beautifully set and delicious things cooking, both Mom and Dad at the stove creating a wonderful fancy dinner for their dinner party turn. All I knew is that someday I would do the same thing in my house when I was grown. Thanks for bringing up that memory for me! Can’t wait to read more. LOVE YOU! xoxo Jacqui G

  88. Jack says:

    I can’t explain why , but Rand Paul makes me think of a reconstituted homeless person when I see him on TV ……

  89. Ginette Wheeler says:

    Greetings from Southwest Florida, last day of September and my day off so I’m spending it nursing a summer cold (summer isn’t officially over here for another couple of months) and watching a favorite movie “Last Weekend” starring Patricia Clarkson. I discovered it earlier this year and have already watched it a dozen times on Netflix. The beginning of the movie when it shows glimpses of the lake house there’s a scene looking out a window and it pans the items on a window sill, the green cookie jar with a squirrel on the lid sealed my fate that moment that I would love this movie forever. I own that cookie jar, my fav sis-in-law Minnie gave it to me as a gift (well, NOT that one, but another one) and I’ve loved it and I love that movie. The lake house, the baskets, the quilts and sunsets. The sounds of the water lapping on the shore, the music, the tone. I pause it constantly just to look at the sun dancing on leaves or stare at a view, it’s suppose to be a ninety-four minute movie, I doubt I’ve made it under an hour and ten! I know how much you love movies so I thought I’d pass on my review. I’m waiting anxiously for my copy of The Fairy Tale Girl to arrive. I don’t dare read a single comment afraid someone might give something away like the time I read on a post that Mr. Darcy died (OH what a shock it was!) So from the sunshine state and a trailof kleenex I wish you a good-bye, can’t wait to see your post on your wonderful get away! Love, Ginette

  90. Gail M. says:

    I finished The Fairy Tale Girl last night, and all I can say is WOW! I absolutely LOVED each and every word. Thank you, Susan for sharing so much of yourself and the journey of life you’ve put out there for all of us to see! Being a Southern California girl I was totally captivated by all the cities and places you mentioned because I have been to many of them and could so easily picture them. Imagine my complete shock when you talked about Minnie Gant School in your letter, because I went there, too! I hope you are having a wonderful time and taking lots of pics to share! Enjoy every minute, and many thanks again for such a delightful book – I simply can’t wait for the sequel!

  91. Diane says:

    Susan, your book came day before yesterday, but I couldn’t touch it until yesterday. Once I started reading, I absolutely couldn’t put it down until I finished the whole book!! My birthday is April 15, 1946, so I well remember so many of the clothes, music, etc. that you talked about. Thank you so very much for sharing your past with us. I was moved to laughter, tears, sadness and joy by your honesty and openness. My ONLY disappointment is that I must wait until 2016 for the next book. Please hurry…I’m having a hard time waiting!!

    Love from Diane in North Carolina

  92. Virginia says:

    Am so excited–went out to the mailbox in all this rain and THERE IT WAS! It looks absolutely beautiful, as fully expected. I started to read people’s posts here but stopped as too many spoilers. Will enjoy reading them when I finish the book. When I finish typing this, I’m sitting down and reading non-stop. Can of soup for dinner tonight, I can see. I may not even take time to heat it up….

  93. Marla says:

    Hello Susan!
    Patiently I waited and waited…..and finally today it happened! The Fairy Tale Girl arrived in my mailbox on a beautiful fall day. I’ve only read the preface so far but I can tell I will love it as much as A Fine Romance. We are kindred spirits with similar baby books down to the lock of hair and list of birthday gifts.
    Good wishes & happy travels to you as I am off to continue reading. Will patiently wait to see more of your beautiful fall photos.

  94. Rosemary says:

    Oh so wish I were in that van traveling through New England. So lovely this time of year…and last year at this time I was in Vermont and then to Maine. Best ever! Have a wonderful trip, spreading your joy everywhere.
    My book came Saturday and it is a treasure! Have not started reading it yet, but have breezed through, looking at some of the beautiful pages. I have sent one to my good friend in NY for her birthday, October 4 and had an email that it has shipped so bet it will be there. Yay! On that note, I made an error of some sort in ordering her book and so emailed the California girls and they fixed it right up and let me know very promptly. Glad you give them LUNCH🍔. They deserve lunch.💞
    I took my FINE ROMANCE with me to England when I went in May and shared it with some of the people on the bus….mainly the recipe for sticky toffee pudding. I heard from them when we got home that they had made it and thought it was fantastic!
    Have a lovely and safe trip.

  95. alice says:

    Dear Susan,
    I just wanted to let you know that I just received my book today. I am so excited to get started reading this beautiful book. I hope you are having fun on your road trip.

    Your friend, Alice

  96. Sheri says:

    Hi Susan! I opened the package with your book in it, sat down immediately to start in on it, and did not get up from the chair until I had finished the whole thing. (Hubby had leftovers for dinner. I read through dinner.) Now I can’t wait for the next installment. I hope it comes on a weekend so I can devour it in just the same way! You’ve also inspired me to be more deliberate in my cooking and table-setting. After working all day, sometimes it’s the last thing I want to do. But it wouldn’t take much extra time for the extra joy it would bring to our nightly table.

  97. Minette says:

    Oh, Susan! Our mailman was late on Monday and did not deliver the post until 6:30pm which included my order of The Fairy Tale Girl so I had to wait until after dinner to begin reading. I could not put the book down and read through the night until I finished. I cannot tell you how much your sharing this part of your life will mean to so many people! As a Baby Boomer growing up in the 50s, I truly understand the world you wrote about and felt so much empathy while reading your experiences. It was a time of confusing, mixed messages where new ideals were expressed and celebrated, but not really executed with any commitment. I think your book will be a great inspiration to many women, both older and younger generations, and will provide many insights into how we all should manage to get through life’s bitter episodes while also being an example of how to make things happen for yourself and enjoy the really good moments. I also think your staying true to who you were and what you wanted out of life is truly admirable. I really cannot wait until the next volume comes out–May is so far away! Thank you for writing such a really wonderful book. What a really great read!

    • sbranch says:

      Thank you so much Minette! I loved reading your thoughts on it. I never realized much of it until I was writing the book, and then I got a brand new view! I think the people doing the executing of the new ideals were as confused about them as we were, being so new and all! We just had to wait until everything shook out and in some cases, we’re still waiting!

  98. Luanne Morgado says:

    My book came today!! YAY!

  99. diana from ancaster says:

    ” The Fairy Tale Girl” arrived in Ancaster!
    Joy Joy Bliss Bliss………..
    skipping to my comfy chair to begin the journey…

    Thank you Susan for letting us in……….

  100. Merci Schon says:

    Too funny! My full name is Mercina, which is Greek; I go by Merci, which is appropriate because I am part French, and I am part Spanish, so muchas gracias also works. And, once again – THANK YOU Susan for such a wonderful and inspiring story!

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