Book Tour 101

Hi Girlfriends!!! MUSICA   . . . Here we are, in Cincinnati, Ohio, going soon to our Saturday book signing at Joseph-Beth at 2 pm . . . I had a few hours this morning so I thought I’d update you on this lovely trip across country . . . where everything is blossoming and it’s . . .spring!


You should see the wild dogwoods, both pink and white, all through Pennsylvania and here in Ohio . . . they grow wild, and in the Allegheny mountains, they were so thick they almost looked like snow!


Most trees are leafing out now . . .


And so far, our welcoming committees have been outstanding! This almost required a dog-napping . . .

IMG_7356 get-attachment.aspx


Where are we? I don’t know. But, thank goodness, because . . .


None of this would be possible without my map-man, pathfinder, van organizer, sidekick and love of my life. 

23 city booktour

Here we are, just pulling out of our driveway on the Island, heading for the ferry in the Fine Romance van, all packed and “ready” as we’ll ever be, because this is it! here we go!IMG_7234

Kisses goodbye . . . 💋


And so it begins . . . SO EXCITING . . . For a little San Fernando Valley Girl, this is beyond wonderful . . .

IMG_7650 normalMeeting all our wonderful Girlfriends, Blog Girls, FOSB’s, and Tweetettes . . . do you see yourself here?IMG_7535


Oh, yes we can!


Sometimes I read from one of the books . . . and I always answer questions . . .


Here I am, ear scratching while talking to our Twitter Girlfriend Georgie @FarmGirlGeorgie (she’s wearing a scarf she just made from her new Spoonflower fabric) and we are speaking . . .



This is Liz, the event coordinator at R.J. Julia’s in Connecticut, introducing me . . .


We’ve been having fun wherever we go . . .


We love our little Independent Bookstores . . .


The Learned Owl is a family affair, that’s Kate Schlademan (who owns the store) in the green, with her mom and dad, Lois and Jim . . .


These bookstores add so much character to their towns, towns that make for a wonderful livable, homey America . . . we celebrate them!birdandsign

Out of the 23 book signings we’ve scheduled, today in Cincinnati will be our fifth . . . we still have 18 to go . . . Come see us! ← Click there for our itinerary.ThreeBooks

But if you can’t make it, we’ve left signed copies of all the books at each of the stores we’ve visited . . . (even a few Autumn books) ~ you’ll find phone numbers for these stores in our itinerary . . .

Off she goes!


I’d love for you to meet some of our friends . . . like Barbara and her husband . . .


Yes! Our Fairy Tale Guys have been there too!


And so many Girlfriends!friendsIMG_7696







And twin sisters too . . .FG230

All with so much in common . . .

And perfect timing for Mother’s Day . . . so many Moms and Daughters . . .




family love






Hearts can Inspire




The “road” has been fun, as it always is . . . so much to see. This little car parked next to us at one of our hotels . . . we thought, “How green! Only a rubber band to keep this one going!”


I waited until the cart was half empty before I took the photo, to make us look at least a little bit civilized . . . so you didn’t get to see that we really did bring the kitchen sink.


I’m always trying to catch good photos out our car windows . . . Pennsylvania has the most beautiful old stone houses and barns . . .


Not a lot of traffic if you keep off the main highways! Here we are on our way to a tiny town in Ohio called, of all things, and most appropriately, “Willard.”

photo 1

We wanted to stop there to visit with our printer . . . the ones who make it possible for us to put “made in America” on all of our books . . .

photo 2

Here we are in the waiting room, looking out the window toward the parking lot on a perfectly gorgeous spring day!


The printing plant was huge, covering over 30 acres, there were even railroad cars parked inside, being filled . . . and SO interesting, a place filled to the brim with books ~ and with them, the hopes and dreams of authors and publishers, that they may have created something to help make the world a better place.

antique books

Go Little Book!

. . . I’m sorry, they wouldn’t let us take photos inside, so I can’t show you. We had to walk down little yellow painted walkways (for safety sake) and wear earplugs! HUGE MACHINES . . . and all those trade secrets had to be protected. But they showed us how HEART OF THE HOME was coming along, and gave us the components of the book, pages, ribbon, cover . . . to take with us.


The pages aren’t bound yet, but they’ve been sewn together . . . I’m wild about the color, love the paper, really happy about the new recipes and the new art . . . my baby has a whole new set of clothes! 


It was a treat to meet the people responsible and see pages so very hot off the press!♨️

Pie tops for Heart of the Home

Seems like just yesterday I was doing this . . .🎨


So, let’s see, what other fun things have we seen? Oh yes, we love to visit supermarkets in other parts of the country . . . This is Hienen’s in Hudson, Ohio ~ a perfectly wonderful place, GO there if you can… you will love it . . . It’s Trader Joe’s, times ten, every kind of flower, a real butcher cutting meat, huge salad bar, beautiful already-made salads, gorgeous breads, and then of course, the dessert section! No, we did not JUST take pictures!a picture


Loved the architecture there too . . . and these charming spring wreaths . . .


And the tree lined streets . . .


And the signs of spring everywhere we looked . . . I had to take pictures for you, flowers to  wish you the very happiest . . .

Mothers dayTo all you wonderful mothers and nurturers everywhere. While we’ve been on the road, we’ve had Teacher’s Day and Nurse’s Day too, nurturers all! Be sure to reward yourselves . . .Make that milk cake you see on your May calendar page, or go HERE for the recipe . . . And then . . . do this . . .

Spring has sprung

B e c a u s e . . . .fun is goodAnd you deserve it!  Okay, off I go to the exercise room to ride that bike and read my new book . . . We’ll keep in touch . . . thank you for coming along. Hope we get to see some of you along the way! Thank you for your wonderful, tear-inducing,  comments about the new book ~ and, well, for everything! XOXO

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503 Responses to Book Tour 101

  1. Anne Rowe says:

    So enjoying your journey cross country. Amazing isn’t it how similar book readers are…wherever they live. America is still the most generous, wonderful country on earth! The mixtures of peoples and cultures enrich us all. How great that you and Joe get to experience these things…and vicariously…so do we reading your blogs and seeing your pictures. Thank you for sharing with us. I am reading your latest book a few pages a night…love the yard sale…and oh…that stove! Safe journey. Still waiting for Spring in NH!

  2. Gayle Watkins says:

    I’m basically a new girlfriend, as is my friend (since kindergarten!), Helen! We love your blog and are looking forward to seeing you in Danville, CA! Your drawings and reflections about life just make us HAPPY!

  3. Shirley Duncan says:

    Hi Susan and Joe! It was a delightful afternoon meeting you in Ohio!!!! Meeting you in person gave your books a whole new meaning! I am the mother with the daughter that gave you the soap she had made. Please come back someday!!!
    May you have safe traveling!
    Shirley Duncan

  4. Steph D says:

    Oof the new book is SO GOOD! I have just finished reading it and cannot wait to do it all again starting at square one (aka Heart of the Home, gifted by my own sweet mother EsSuzy!). Can’t wait to see you in GA!

  5. Tracy K says:

    Love traveling along with you, it’s a good thing we have Joe to keep us on the right road. Hoping to see you in Denver!

  6. Kathy says:

    Loved meeting you Susan in New Hope and sharing a parking lot next to you for two nights! Thanks to Joe for mailing my Mother’s Day cards along with yours! Also was able to reconnect with my second cousin Betsy at your book signing at Holly Hedge! You have a special gift of making each and every one of your “girlfriends”feel special. Save journey!

  7. Linda smith says:

    You are just so awesome!! What a blessing you are to me…

  8. Kellie Badger says:

    Safe travels! Love all the pics of the towns you go through!

  9. Mary Kremer says:

    I was so thrilled to meet you and Joe today at Joseph Beth. You were both so wonderful and friendly.It was a”Best Day Ever” time for me.. I met new friends, and ran into someone I have not seen in over a year.I tried to soak in every word you said to commit it to memory. I think everyone really enjoyed your visit. The wisteria seeds were a hit too.
    I hope you had a little time to see a bit more of the area, it really is pretty here in the spring,and there are some grand old homes too.
    I hope you had a chance to listen a bit to WMKV radio station I mentioned too,I listened all day just to hear more of the “Musica” you treat us to on your blog.
    Safe travels dear Susan and Joe.

  10. bobbie Calgaro says:

    Wonderful travels! It’s nice that you keep us abreast and let us see what you see. Hope that your travels are pleasant the whole trip.

  11. C.Mary says:

    Susan,Thank you for sharing your road-trip photos with us! I’m enjoying the new book immensely! ~~Have fun & safe travels!

  12. Marilyn Young says:

    Love all the PA and OH pictures, just gorgeous countryside. I can’t wait to get hold of the next book and continue reading and enjoying your adventures. See you in Morro Bay, CA

  13. Fan in California says:

    Unfortunately, I won’t be able to see you when you get to our neck of the woods due to scheduling conflicts. So thanks for allowing me to live vicariously through your blog!! Love all the photos. THANKS!!

  14. Marie Fell says:

    Hi, Susan! I can’t believe you’ve already posted pictures and comments! My retired teacher friends and I just saw you at The Learned Owl in Hudson, Ohio on Thursday! We were so thrilled when your “Fine Romance” van pulled up, and just like that, as if by magic, a parking spot opened up and Joe eased the van in place. Wasn’t that a nice welcoming committee of beloved admirers standing there to great you? I must say, you have quite the following, Susan. Everyone was so friendly. Just like you. We all wanted to thank you for taking the time to allow us to take pictures with you and chat a bit! You were so kind to do that. You must have been exhausted by the end of that book signing! And finally, I must add that I just finished “Isle of Dreams” and loved the ending, which of course, was really the beginning, right? All three books were such a treasure to read! Looking forward to receiving your next book, and thanks, again, for being so gracious! You and Joe were just as you described in your books! I wish you both a safe trip with lovely weather, Marie Fell, Avon Lake, OH

  15. Nikki. says:

    I’m so excited to finally meet you next Friday in Iowa!! My mom, sister and I are taking a mini road trip from Minnesota and we cannot wait!! 🙂 Have a wonderful time this week! Xoxo

  16. Vienna Vance says:

    Thanks for this beautiful post! It was a good distraction from my AP testing — being a junior in high school is rough. Wishing I could go to the east coast right now to enjoy spring (it doesn’t really happen here in San Diego)

  17. Ann says:

    Hi Susan and Joe, what a fabulous blog post to wake up to. So many happy Girlfriends and Springtime in America looks gorgeous, what a wonderful time of the year to be on the road. Thank you for up-dating us on your book tour, it’s a joy to keep up with your news. Happy Mother’s Day to all Moms on the other side of the pond.
    With love from Ann in Chester xxxx

  18. Jeanners says:

    Thx for sharing! Travel safe 💚

  19. Linda Hill says:

    Oh what glorious fun you all seem to be having! I am so envious of all the girlfriends!! It is so sad that so many of the small shops in America don’t survive anymore as the big giant stores take over. Bless you for recognizing them in your blog–publicity they can’t afford to buy!!
    Happy Mothers Day to the special Mom of Girl Kitty and Jack!! I am sure they are missing you so much!!
    Linda from Idaho were thunder is booming and lightening is striking!!!

  20. Martha Rodik says:

    You’re in my territory! Loved the pictures of Spring in Pennsylvania & my state, Ohio. Thanks for sharing your tour with us. I looked to see if Joe’s sailor friend came along & I see he did! Have a safe and happy trip!

  21. Kathy Pink says:

    Hi Susan!

    It seems as though you’re having as much fun as all the lovely people you’re meeting, and you so deserve it for all the happiness you give to us, your lucky readers, with all your hard work. I’m on my second read of your “trilogy” and loving them as much as the first time. Thank you for sharing your life, and your wonderful talents with us.

  22. Sharon at The Farm in South Carolina says:

    I enjoyed your trip so far, especially the triplet dogs (I would have wanted to nab them too). It’s so nice to see all the smiling faces of girlfriends and your baby with a new set of clothes. My oldest maternal aunt, Betty, passed away since your last blog. She was like another mother to me and really, to 100s of people in our small town. She kept the nursery in our church for over 45 years and worked in the local bank for 48 years. She was an angel on earth, so Mother’s Day today will be difficult for all of us, especially her daughter and son and two grandchildren. Today we are going to my sister’s to gather and comfort each other. Happy Mother’s Day to you Susan, and to your mother and sisters and to all the girlfriends. I hope you all have a beautiful day!

    • sbranch says:

      Very sorry for you and for the world, she sounds like she was a bright light. We need to keep that kind with us. I’m so sorry . . . Love to you and your family. XOXO

    • Charissa says:

      Hugs to you, Sharon!!!

  23. Donna Kelly says:

    Hi Susan…..I was the lady who met you in Hudson, Ohio, at the Learned Owl and talked about visiting Pismo Beach and The Spyglass Inn restaurant. I want to thank you AND Joe for making the trip and touring and being so personable with each and every person!!!!! Joe was outside and posing for pictures , while you were signing away!!!! What a man, but you already know all this!!!! Enjoy the rest of your trip and safe travels. I loved every second of the whole night. Thank you for the memory!!!!

  24. Ginette Wheeler says:

    Wow what a great post! I’m so happy you’re having such a wonderful time on your tour, just LOVE all the pictures and comments, what a beautiful time of year to be seeing the country side! Keep safe, I can’t wait to see what you two are up to next. Much love, XOXO

  25. Hi Susan!!! It was so much fun and absolutely wonderful getting to meet you on May 3rd! What an exciting experience. You and Joe are 2 of the nicest people we have ever met! Thank you for signing our books, too. (And our third twin sister, Cindy still wants to meet Frank R.!!! LOL!)

  26. Ann Keehner says:

    Looking forward to finally meeting you in Cedar Rapids!!

  27. Pat Rossiter says:

    Hi Sue, I so enjoyed your travel blog! Great photos!! Looking forward to meeting you in St. Charles, Mo. Only a week away..YAY!! xoxoxo Travel safely!

  28. Pam says:

    Glad you’re having such fun. The countryside looks gorgeous – and so does the new edition of the book. x

  29. Julie Wagner says:

    So sad that you first stop was sold out while we were on the Cape last week, but I did pick up a signed copy of your new book at Titicombs books in East Sandwich and devoured it the first part of the week! What better place to read it than Cape Cod! I have all of your books Susan and thank you for sharing you story. I hope to meet you at one of your signings one day. Do you plan on visiting Canada at all? Have a safe trip cross country! xx

  30. Stephanie C. says:

    Good Morning! Happy Mother’s Day to a Mom of 2 kitties:) What a great start to my Mother’s Day morning. Sun is shining, coffee is piping hot and I have a new blog post to read about your traveling adventures! Thank you for always sharing life with us. You are a very special, sweet and thoughtful soul. I am currently savoring your new book, MVIOD. My Mom left it under my pillow as a surprise! I love it and you too Susan. Can’t wait for the revised edition of Heart of the Home!!! Enjoy your day. Love and Hugs…


  31. Debbie Butler says:

    Happy Mother’s Day!
    I’m so excited about your “baby and her whole new set of clothes”. She’s beautiful! Looks like RR Donnelley is taking good care of her.
    Last night I finished reading Martha’s Vineyard Isle of Dreams. What a treasure! I loved every page of this glorious book. Well done, Susan!
    Deb in Southwest Missouri

  32. Charly Fowler says:

    Good Morning, Susan and Joe. You’re probably getting ready to pull out of Ohio today heading for the next big adventure. So glad you had a wonderful time in our super state. It is in it’s glory right now. Spring has sprung! Just for the two of you! One of my dear friends is named Willard and he was from Willard…only in Colorado! Guess there are Wonderful Willies everywhere!
    Safe travels.

  33. Janet in Pittsburgh, PA says:

    This is such a wonderful blog post. We had so much fun meeting you and Joe again at the Learned Owl in Hudson. It was the highlight of my year! Safe travels to you both.

  34. Nancy Kelley says:

    What fun it was to see pictures from your book signing at The Learned Owl! It was such a pleasure to meet you there, Susan! You truly are just as warm and welcoming in person as in your books and blog. It was worth the two hour wait! Safe travels as you journey west!

  35. Kathie Ferko says:

    Good Morning,

    My insides are still doing jumping jacks since meeting you and yours in New Hope, Pa.
    My BFF and I got a front row seat …smack in front of your table….it was so exciting. I loved hearing you read from your diary and books…what a treat! I was wondering if the choice of Holly Hedge Estate had something to do with the name of your little cottage on the Vineyard….if not was a nice coincidence……when was your move to the beautiful house you are living in now?
    Hope you liked the beautiful Bucks Co. scenery. The fall is amazing too…..pumpkins and mums are everywhere……Did you get into the town of New Hope or over the bridge to Lambertville, NJ? Upper NJ is so quaint and beautiful…so many antique stores to explore.

    My friend and I have our picture on the Blog….never looked too good on pictures…that is why I never get it taken with anyone….I just take pictures of others! LOL

    Thanks again for signing all my books…now they are more treasured than they were before….hardly seems possible!!!!

    Joe was a treat! Saw the van on my way out of the property….more pictures….I love it….who painted it for you….was it a SB project?

    Happy traveling…..Kathie from Limerick

    • sbranch says:

      Yes, we stayed in New Hope, and saw lots of the beautiful countryside. Yes, the van was one of my projects . . . I think I’ll do a post about it! Loved meeting you Kathie! Thank you for coming!

  36. Kathie Ferko says:

    PS……re-re-reading a Fine Romance….seems I find something new each time….Hope you write a book about your Scotland travels…I will re-live my trip there through you !

    Kathie from Limerick

  37. JudyCInNC says:

    I always enjoy traveling through you because your view of the world is so interesting and beautiful. So glad your book tour has been good and so full of smiles. We would love to see you come “down south” with your tours. We are VERY friendly here in NC. Drive safely and keep on blogging. JC

    • sbranch says:

      We’ll be in Asheville June 27th! Check out the EVENTS in the right hand column on the Blog for more info.

  38. Kathleen McLaughlin says:

    I got a copy of A fine Romance from the library last Wednesday at 2 pm. The rest of my day was lost in your wonderful dream world. Thank you so much for a charming and lovely experience. Your book has been added to my wish list for my next birthday(70, How did that happen?). Thanks so much for reminding us of the joy and beauty to be had in this world.

    Hope both of you continue to have a great road trip. Happy Mother’s Day.

  39. kathleen says:

    Happy Mother’s Day to you! You nurture all of us. With both my parents deceased, you make me feel that I still have a home. Bless you!

  40. Sharon Elaine says:

    How cool – I met you in Hudson and I’m pictured on your blog (the lime green girl – my granddaughter is Agnes). You are genuine – in person, on your blog and in your books. How do you make each of us feel we are your BFF? You remind us of the simple beauty in this world, the importance of staying connected to each other and believing fairy tales can come true . Kinda like your life. Thank you Susan.
    Sending this again – not sure why it says still awaiting moderation.

  41. Jeanette St. George says:

    I enjoy seeing the different towns that you visit, America the Beautiful!
    This is so good of you and Joe to travel across the U.S to meet with us, thank you. We love you so.

  42. Candice Black says:

    Susan and Joe,
    So pleased that you have made it back to Ohio! It is lovely here in the Spring time with all the blooming trees! I would have loved to have been able to attend another of your book signings, but our daughter, Madelyn Rose, graduated yesterday from Northwest State Community College in Archbold Ohio earning her associates degree in LPN in Nursing! It rained on the drive there, but once we arrived the rains stopped, sun came out and it was a glorious day, because the ceremony was held outdoors! We are so proud of her! Her goal is to continue her education and earn a bachelors degree for an RN. I could not ask for a better Mother’s Day gift and today is my hubby’s 61st birthday, he is another wonderful gift, been married 40 years on the 15th next Sunday! He was actually born on Mother’s Day, which his birthday doesn’t fall very often on the same day.
    Happy Mother’s Day to you! We are all nurturers, inspiring, caring, thoughtful and loving no matter if we have children that were born to us or have fur or feather babies, friends, husbands, it is what we do! We all should be honored on this special day!
    Both of you enjoy your trip and travel safe!
    Love and Hugs,

  43. Trudy says:

    Strange that my comment is still –awaiting moderation —
    Is this because I’m living outside America?
    Enjoy your trip and see your further stories at facebook.
    greetings, Trudy from Holland

    • sbranch says:

      It’s because I haven’t been able to do the moderating . . . we’ve been on the road most of the day! Am going to try and rush through now . . . 283 waiting moderation! Yikes! THANK EVERYONE FOR WRITING!!!

  44. Thank You for keeping Us fans in touch.So nice.Still hoping to see You in Pasadena but when I found out it was in the evening, We would have to make it an overnighter for sure so I’m not positive now but thinking of You.

  45. Jana says:

    Okay – somehow I missed the beautiful synchronicity of your USA publisher being in the town of Willard. That is so awesome! No clearer sign needed to sign that contract.

    Safe travels, good service, kind words wished for you and Joe (who KNOWS) every mile of your happy journey!

  46. Carol B. Yannone says:

    Susan, can’t believe it was a week ago on May 1st that fellow FOGT member Karen and I met you again at R.J. Julia’s in Madison, CT. Isn’t it a great bookstore? It was so great to see you and Joe again and get your newest book,
    Martha’s Vineyard -Isle of Dreams. ( bought an extra copy and mailed it off to Susan T. for a gift and I know she will enjoy it.) Our kids gave us a cruise of New England Harbors for our 40th wedding anniversary 13 years ago and we loved the Island and hope to find some time to go back there one of these days. In the meantime, I can enjoy the memories while reading your book. I’m treating myself to some time off today and starting to read it this afternoon. Hope you continue to have a wonderful book signing tour in all the places you have scheduled.

  47. Janet O'Connor says:

    I hope you have sunny, safe travels! <3

  48. Mary Lou Arning says:

    Can’t wait for the cookbook

  49. Kathi Sanoba says:

    Hi Susan, Enjoyed this blog episode and happy that you enjoyed your return trip to Hudson! I was going to be there but our Lake Erie Monsters hockey team had a playoff game that night. So, since I’ve had the pleasure of meeting you twice already – once at FOGT – I had to forego another meeting to see Cleveland playoff hockey (they won that night!). Nice to see you enjoyed going to Heinen’s. It’s a treasure of a local grocery chain. Enjoy the rest of your journey! Love to see your travels in the blog and really enjoyed Isle of Dreams…Thank you for being you!

  50. Ro'se from her Cottage in New Jersey says:

    It is so much fun, ‘tagging along’ with you and Joe on your cross country trip! AND it was wonderful hearing your voice at Holly Hedge in New Hope PA., when you read from your book. You sound just like I thought you would! WONDERFUL! Happy Mother’s Day to you because you have the best ‘fur kids’ ever! I now have 2 outside strays that have ‘adopted’ me. I feed them each day, but they still do not let me close enough to pet. Safe Travels!

  51. Barb U from Ohio says:

    Hi Susan, I put a comment on here earlier but think it might be lost in cyberspace so will comment again. It was a lot of fun Thursday evening meeting you again at the Learned Owl. All the ladies in line were nice and friendly and we had great conversation as we moved our way along to you, and the time went so fast! You were so gracious and sweet, even though by the time I got there, you had been signing books for quite a while. Hope you didn’t miss your bedtime by too much, but I know there were still others behind me. Glad to see you enjoyed traveling through Northeast Ohio and the Cincinnati area too, spring is such a pretty time here.
    Thanks for keeping us updated with pictures from your book signings and travels ’cause we love to see em! I know you are probably missing your kitty children today, but I’ll wish you a happy Mother’s day anyway! My daughter surprised me with two of your books I didn’t have, the Summer cookbook and Home Cooking Holiday Recipes. I love that we can write in our own family recipes, and it will be wonderful for me to pass down to her.
    Hope you have a wonderful week of travel and book signing, fair weather all the way. I added the U to my name because I discovered there was another Barb from Ohio on here, who coincidentally was in Hudson too the other day! Wish I could have met her, I think she was there with her husband.

    • sbranch says:

      How funny, so now I can tell . . . you are Barb U! Thank you for being there Barb!

      • Barb U from Ohio says:

        Oh, and my entry will have the picture, it’s of my daughter(with purple hair!) and me on the boat to Grand Floridian for tea in Disney World from our trip last Jan.

  52. Peggy Nuske says:

    I got the best gift for Mother’s Day. My daughter got me the Autumn book. I am so thrilled. I am a new girlfriend having recently discovered your beautiful blog. I just finished your book “A Fine Romance.” We have a lot in common from old movies, music and authors.

  53. Suzanne from Canada says:

    Wonderful update of your travels! Just wanted to say “Thank You” for having your latest book printed in the USA. More companies and consumers need to support the economy in this way. Likewise your support of independent booksellers. Cheers!

  54. Tisa says:

    Thanks for taking us all along for the ride, to put faces on our ‘girlfriends’ and admire the cute clothes they put on just to meet you! (well, I would too, if you were coming to Seattle, The Emerald City). Just got Isle of Dreams and am devouring it as if it were your Grandma’s pie….trying to take tiny bites to make it last, but loving it so much that I keep gulping it down, then putting down my fork and pushing it away from me at the table,saying ‘slow down! make it last!’ but now as I am nearing the end….well, let’s just say your clarity & bravery in the face of something your heart once desired very much was AWE-SOME!! You actually SAID the very thing you wanted to say at the RIGHT TIME!! I am just so proud of that Sue who I saw grow up before my very eyes. Can’t wait for the movie,right?! I’m thinking Elizabeth Olsen to play you….and maybe…..hmmmm…who’s a modern day Jeff Bridges to play Cliff?

  55. Ellen says:

    Such lovely photos of so many of the people you are meeting! Looks like spring is farther along in Ohio than it is here in NH. I can’t wait until the leaves pop!!! It seems like it has been such a long time coming. Happy to follow you on your travels. Keep us posted.

  56. Kiki Nakita says:

    Dear Susan,

    Looks like you have a spring in your step, as you start your journey. See you in Asheville.


  57. Tammy in Colorado says:

    Gladys Taber would be so proud! She said she wished she could paint and I believe she did this wonderfully with her words. You are following in her footsteps in so many wonderful and beautiful ways. It’s no coincidence you share the same birthday. Happy belated, our beautiful friend. You make the world a better place. Love the picture of you and Joe getting ready to leave. Have you ever thought of getting a motor home for your next travels. Less loading and unloading. 😊

  58. Mary Fasold says:

    Greetings from soggy Connecticut!!! We’re just pulling out of the stretch of rainy days that began the day you and Joe visited Madison…and R.J Julia’s Bookstore for your signing. Many thanks to both you and the wonderful folks at the store who welcomed us in early and gave us the delightful opportunity to hear you speak ! You all turned a “glum” day into a “sunny “one by your generosity and thoughtfulness. It was a pleasure meeting you ! Please know that our fur-person,Polly Esther, was thrilled that you included her in the book inscription ! She’s been walking around with a BIG head ever since!!!! Wishing you a continued magical excursion…Mary & Polly Esther

    • sbranch says:

      Thank you Mary, and just so you know, we’ve been pulling that rain cloud behind the band ever since! Nice though. No 90 degree days!

  59. Janet B from PA and MA says:

    Hi Susan! Thank you for coming to New Hope in beautiful Bucks County, PA! It was great to see you there and I was thrilled when you said, “Have I met you before?” when I stepped up to the table (I’d met you at Titcombs in December 2013)! Your work has inspired and cheered me for years, ever since I bought that first matted print in Florida in the early 90’s (that you signed for me the other day). I also had a very nice chat with Joe and look forward to seeing both of you again on the Cape in July for the Beatrix Potter event. Thanks so much for all that you do for all of us Girlfriends! Enjoy your travels and get home safely!

  60. Susan Morgon ( Ohio gal from SoCal ) says:

    Susan, it was such a pleasure to meet you at The Learned Owl in Hudson! I was just so tickled that we made it back to Ohio in time for me to come. For a long time, it looked as if it would be out of the question. The house sold and closed in the nick of time, and then we got hung up in the Rockies during a winter storm and had to stay an extra day. My husband made every effort to be sure I could be there – he’s such a dear. I couldn’t believe how crazy the traffic was in Hudson – I sure don’t remember it being so bad , but it’s been a few years. I can’t wait to read the new book, but I think I will reread The Fairy Tale Girl first. It might sound silly, but I want to read the new book when we move into our new home – I have a sun porch! I’m missing CA a bit, I have to say. Six years there was enough time to put down roots and see three grandchildren born. ( Up until then, I had lived my whole life in OH ) One fun thing about being in CA is that I can recognize so many of the places you talk about in FTG. You mentioned that your Mom lives in Seal Beach. We made a special visit there before we left. It’s such a neat walk out onto the pier! It’s so pretty there when the moon is coming up as the sun is going down. I wanted to say that I think you look so much like your mother in the picture you posted in the last blog. Anyway, I’ll close and say thank you for the joy you bring into our lives. Hugs from Ohio!

    • sbranch says:

      My mom and I have walked on that pier hundreds of times, almost every time I come. Welcome home Susan! So happy you made it! xoxo

      • Susan Morgon ( Ohio gal from SoCal ) says:

        I was going to drop ‘in SoCal’ from my name, but I decided to tweak it just a little and change it to ‘from.’ I’m still attached to my life there and hate to let go!

  61. Ruth says:

    Dear Susan,
    I so enjoyed meeting you in Hudson on Thursday evening in Hudson, Ohio. I echo the comments about how sincere you are in person and in your books. Our little writers’ group, The Inklings, are inspired by your writing and the beautiful artwork that you include in your books and so much more.
    I find it interesting that you include so many quotes in your books. I keep a quote file and add to it on 3×5 notecards as I discover inspiring quotes while reading.
    Thank you for venturing out and meeting your beloved fans!
    Looking forward to hearing about your future book signing stops and your tour to England,

    • sbranch says:

      All that genius, just there waiting, to show us the way . . . we’re so lucky! Thank you and the Inklings for coming. I love your name! xoxo

  62. Rae Ann R. says:

    Hi Susan~We just realized that my mother Pearl~who went to heaven a year ago~photo bombed you and my daughter at Joseph Beth yesterday! There is a book titled “Pearl” on the bookshelf behind where you were signing books…Pearl, my daughter Sarah’s grandmother, seems to follow Sarah around always leaving her a little “sign” to let Sarah know she is checking up on her! How appropriate we would realize this on Mother’s Day…because like you say in your books~there are no coincidences…

  63. Candy Abel says:

    Good travels to both of you! Love reading your blogs. Hope to see you soon! Take care!

  64. Jody says:

    Oh what fun and what sights! Thank you for taking us along with you.

  65. Catherine Gessner says:

    Such a nice surprise to see Willard and RR Donnelley pop up here. I was a production manager for several large educational publishers and spent many days in Willard press proofing color. It is an amazing plant and one of my favorites.

    • sbranch says:

      Maybe you met Michael McLendon? He’s our customer service rep. It was fascinating to see it . . . that area where they store books? I almost got dizzy looking up so high!

  66. Jennie Ambrosio says:

    Susan, I am still reading, ever so lovingly, thru Isle of Dreams 🙂 I am rooting for you every step of the way, and now will have to get Heart of the Home to see where it all started. Enchanting! 😉

    I am enjoying, vicariously, you and Joe’s trip thru the country. Wish I could see you, but it’s nice to see pictures! Also, I wanted to ask you, where do you find these fabulous shawls?

    Thanks! Jennie

    • sbranch says:

      Everywhere! I have a very thin green plaid wool one that I got a jillion years ago and have loved it so much, I always keep my eye open for them when I’m shopping. A new shawl is one of the MAIN reasons we’re going to Scotland! 🙂

  67. Diana H. says:

    Can’t wait for Wilmette, IL and our tea and talk!!!! Leaving tomorrow for a nice leisurely drive to the area and safe travels to you and Joe and all those coming from far and wide! Lovely pictures!!!

    • sbranch says:

      We’re stopped in Crawfordsville, Ohio this morning, going to visit the OTHER R.R. Donnelly plant (say thank you) before we head north. See you tomorrow Diana!

  68. Pat Mofjeld says:

    It is so much fun seeing the photos of your journey across the country and the happy faces of girlfriends at the book signings. 🙂

  69. What fun to see all of the smiles and feel the joy at each of your book signings, Susan! It’s so wonderful that you and Joe were able to visit R.R. Donnelley. What a thrill to see ‘our’ newest book during the printing process!! 🙂 It must have been a real treat for everyone there to have an author come visit.

    We are all counting the miles until our Afternoon Tea on Tuesday!! What a Red Letter Day it will be to see you again! Although it may be a rainy day outside, there will be so much sunshine inside as we all celebrate together! 🙂
    Bringing big hugs!!
    Dawn (in Illinois)

    • sbranch says:

      I know, it’s tomorrow! I just told Joe, I have to iron something! Can’t wait, seeing you will be like old home week Dawn!

      • 🙂 🙂 🙂 It will be our third time together!! I was newly retired from teaching on your last visit. So, I saw you twice in one week. Feeling so very blessed… and just thrilled!! There will be so many familiar faces as we enjoy Afternoon Tea. I think it will really feel like a Girlfriend Reunion! (I have to iron something, too! 🙂 ) Hugs! ♡♡

        • sbranch says:

          I think you’re right Dawn . . . how ’bout this rain! We are going in drippy I think!

  70. LadyRose says:

    Thank you for such beautiful photos….your work is amazing…….
    Kisses From France

  71. I am enjoying this trip with you across the country to your book signings. Thank you so much for taking the time to share it with us! Its lovely to see the faces of other gal-friend-reader-fellow susanettes! Its just great! I am not surprised to see some men amongst the faces. My Todd loves your books too! I am enjoying seeing some of America in the Spring. It makes the North American in me feel very nostalgic for home. xoxo

    • sbranch says:

      It’s fun to see isn’t it Marie . . . there are so many charming homes in the Indianapolis area!

  72. Diane Cassano says:

    You and Joe are the cutest and most delightfully happy looking couple ever !

    • sbranch says:

      We’re good on the road! Loving it out here! Slept 9 delicious hours last night! Unheard of in real life.

  73. Mary from PA. says:

    Oh, Susan, What a grand time we had with everyone in Hudson, Everyone was so kind, I cannot say enough. We stayed at a Bed and Breakfast right up the street, and Susan we met a mother and daughter that lives about 30 miles from us at home, and they were there to meet You and Joe also. It’s a small world. My feet are still jumping with joy.. Thank you so much, and please send my thanks to Joe for his kindness.
    Have safe travels.

    • sbranch says:

      My feet are still doing that too! What fun we all had. Thank you for being there Mary! xoxo

  74. Freda says:

    Dear Susan , You were right down the road from me Saturday and I wish I could have seen you but guess what I was doing,reading Fairy Tale Girl (mothers day gift) and I loved it.Gave me an understanding of where you got all your knowledge about music. So many thoughts and comments but not enough room here. Just happy for you and Joe to have each other.can’t wait to read next book. Love to you both and I hope you enjoyed Cincinnati.

  75. Brenda Wagner says:

    So happy to have met you in Hudson Ohio. Just wish I had brought along my Fine Romance book to get it signed. Well, NEXT TIME!!
    After my friend and I left you we went antiquing in Ohio on our way home to Pittsburgh. We came home much poorer but rich with “junk” and MEMORIES. You would love her garden.
    Until next time – safe travels!

    • sbranch says:

      Us too, we stopped at a great antique mall yesterday in Indiana, and found lots of fun goodies! Happy you could make it Brenda!

  76. Thank you so much for the pictures of lovely books, resplendent flowers and magnificent kindred spirits. Thanks for sharing your journey. It’s a nice escape in my day.

  77. Karen D says:

    After spending Saturday at my Mom’s creating a beautiful perennial bed as my gift to her, and me because I love being in the dirt!! I came home to a clean house,dinner made by my beautiful daughter,a Hydrangea plant and A FINE ROMANCE! What a great day. Your book was the icing on the cake.

  78. Kathy (Branch) Spicer says:

    So happy you are having a wonderful trip. I was so disappointed that I was not able to gain entrance at The Learned Owl! I had checked their website early on when you announced the date of your visit there, but after the initial check I never revisited the website as I knew where, when and what time! Sadly, at some point they posted that reservations were required, so when I arrived with my Fairy Tale Girl name tag, I was turned away. I had looked forward to this for months, and after months of a very stressful time at work, I had blocked my calendar for the afternoon to actually escape work to do something for ME! I almost cried! It just wasn’t meant to be . . .

    • sbranch says:

      I don’t know what happened either Kathy. I didn’t know they were taking reservations, but Joe told me there were about ten or twelve people who had your same problem! They were allowed to wait out front until the end, and I signed their books. I don’t know why anyone would have turned you away, makes me sad to hear it. xoxo So sorry.

  79. Shannon (Pennsylvania) says:

    Hi Susan! Hubby (now known as FTG…Fairy Tale Guy…because he wore an edited name tag in New Hope) has been monerting weather forecasts for your cross country travels😊! We took pictures beside your van in New Hope and he is totally on board with the whole tour. I love his enthuseasium! Traveling blessings to you and Joe and all who attend your signings. Hugs❤️!

  80. Susan says:

    Can’t wait to see you tomorrow!

  81. LINDA JUNE says:

    Thank you for taking us along on your westward spring journey–love the ride!

  82. Tina Mandeville says:

    I just love the warm-fuzzy I get whenever I enter the world of Susan Branch! With every mile, you leave a smile…..yours are always good ideas! xo

  83. Cheryl says:

    I am so excited for you to be at The King’s English! I will be there with my mom and my 6 year old daughter. She wants to be an artist and loves looking through your books with me.
    I just finished the book last week and loved every second of it as usual. Also, when I was a teenager I had a recipe box that I decorated full of quotes. I would write down each one that I liked in colored ink and then decorate the index card with stickers. I called it my “thought box”. I do not remember what I did with it, only that the last time I remember using it was probably twenty years ago. Your book really made me wish I still had it and has inspired me to start a new one!

    • sbranch says:

      It sounds like your daughter is taking after her mother! I know how you feel, I kept a diary while I was in high school that I wrote in code and filled with all kinds of taped-on memorabilia, totally lost in the flotsam and jetsam of growing up. Yes, never too late to have those childhood dreams! xoxoxo

  84. Catie says:

    LOVE this post! Please keep posting your “happenings” and photos! They are making my day! I wish I could travel to one of your book signings but, alas, we are too, too, too far away…way up in the Northwoods of Wisconsin…close enough to frolic in Lake Superior! But maybe someday! Life is full of surprises, as you are always kind enough to remind us! Enjoy your travels and STAY SAFE!! xoxo

    • sbranch says:

      Thank you Catie! We are down the road in Chicago today, and it is POURING rain. Which I’m not complaining about when I think it could be 90 degrees. I’ll take this any day! Have a wonderful day in the Northwoods, it sounds wonderful!

  85. I have decided that reading the new book is going to be my reward for finishing my first year of teaching high school. It’s sitting on my shelf, making me happy just by being there, but I CANNOT wait until June 16th. I can’t think of a better treat to look forward to. 🙂

  86. Amy Collett says:

    Dear. Ms. Branch,

    Thank you for sharing your journey! One day I will come to a book signing with my MIL and SIL (both family AND girlfriends) who introduced me to you nearly 20 years ago.

    Looking forward to hearing more of your adventures whilst on your book tour.

    Amy from Alberta, Canada. :o)

  87. Kathy Prell says:

    Dear Susan,
    I have been a admirer/fan for many years. I feel like we are kindred spirits. I too, love Tasha and Gladys, and so many other things you love and talk about. When I read your beautiful books, of which I have every one, I laugh, I cry, I remember things long forgotten. I very much hope to meet you some day.

  88. Rochelle says:

    My wonderful husband have me your new books for Mother’s Day. Thankful you were so resilient and make a happy difference to those of us who serve our families. Love being a homemaker, too. What a crooked path we walk to find Earthly bliss!

    • sbranch says:

      Like the quote I was just talking about, “Seek not outside yourself, heaven is within.” ~ all the joy is made within, by US. All so much simpler than it looks! xoxo

  89. Pat R. says:

    Hi Susan,
    I am feeling sorry for myself that I was not able to be at the bookstore in Cincinnati to meet you (at a Derby party in Lexington, Kentucky). I follow your blog and I could not put Isles of Dreams down until I read it through. Maybe you will be back this way again. Be safe and much success.

    • sbranch says:

      I knew it was Derby Day . . . if we were home we would have been having our own Derby party! Thank you Pat!

  90. Heidi says:

    Hi Susan (and Joe),

    My mom and I were lucky enough to see you in Cincinnati on Saturday. One of the girlfriends asked what your favorite quotation/quote was. Would you please repeat it here? What a lovely, fun time. We met a mom and her six year old daughter that drove from Indianapolis to see you. You are comfort and joy to us all. Thank you!

    • sbranch says:

      Thank you Heidi . . . the quote was “Seek not outside yourself, Heaven is within.” by Mary Lou Cook. I wrote about that quote and others like it in Isle of Dreams . . . it was a little key to a big door for me.

      Thanks for coming to Cincinnati . . . so many lovely people! xoxo

  91. Ann says:

    I am reading your newest book about Martha’s Vineyard
    What an adventure

  92. Janie Phillips says:

    If it’s not one thing, it’s another and here I am WEEKS late wishing you a Happy Book Tour! It looks like it’s going wonderfully, as of course it would with you and all the wonderful girlfriends. I wish so much that I could make it to one of the signings, but it’s fun to follow along here too. I loved the pictures of you and Georgie in her MV scarf 🙂 The last couple of months have been crazy, but good crazy. Lots of grandmother duty; we’re just back from attending our youngest granddaughter’s first communion in Atlanta (I was hoping we’d be there when you were!). I spent weeks making her communion banner; think large, felt, millions of tiny stitches … and I’m not even the Catholic grandma (I suspect she knew better than to volunteer ;). So I’ve had Isle of Dreams for ages and I haven’t even let myself open it, because when I do I want to be able to put everything else on hold and just enjoy it. I’m starting to see a light at the end of the tunnel. I finished a banner order for Sheri today (so glad no stitching was involved!), and now a quick run through my house with a bulldozer, and then, hopefully, I can finally sit down with Isle of Dreams and a cup of tea. I’ll also be following your progress reports, sending lots of good wishes your way, and hoping you and Joe are having a wonderful time wending your way across the country.
    Much Love,
    Janie xoxo

    • sbranch says:

      Love to hear from you Janie! Love the bulldozer in the house, why didn’t I think of that! When I get home! You’re a sweetheart to write with so much going on . . . I always know you’re there. Congratulations on your granddaughter! Must have been wonderful. Enjoy tea and book, you deserve it! XOXO

  93. Kate says:

    Saw you in Cincinnati and you and Joe are just as cute in person. Thank you for visiting us. Have a safe and fun trip.

  94. Diane Harris says:

    Lynn and I are still reeling over our brief but wonderful visit with you and Joe in that darling town of Hudson, Ohio! Thank you so very much for including our photo in your blog! We squealed like teenage girls when we saw it! We feel almost famous but more thrilled that we’re girlfriends of wonderful you! Hope you’re not pestering the driver too much and getting your rest; this is a big, long trip, so take very good care of each other! Thank you again for writing this amazing book! XXOO <3

    Diane Marie

    • sbranch says:

      Joe got us through Chicago last night at rush hour! That is saying something . . . you probably saw the photos on Twitter! Death defying. But the radio played the MOST wonderful music while it was happening, soothing the savage beast (which would be me), and this morning we’re waking up in a cozy place up by Northwestern University . . . so all is well. I know, my visits with everyone are much to short . . . it all ends up feeling like a dream. Thank you for coming, it was wonderful to put a face with your name! xoxo

      • Diane Harris says:

        Northwestern is a beautiful campus; right on the lake! Which is a balm after that horrendous traffic and it’s always that bad! It’s great to put your voice with your face and give you a little hug and drink in your wonderful aura. What is that perfume? It was so familiar! Keep dreaming! XXOO

        • sbranch says:

          We went walking around there yesterday . . . those old HOUSES were wonderful! Sending love, Diane!

      • Pat Mofjeld says:

        I had to laugh. Norm got us through Chicago years ago but we both said “Never Again!”. I had my eyes closed, head back acting like I was napping, praying the whole way! 🙂

        • sbranch says:

          They have this great radio station, that I could not HELP but sing along to, even while being crushed between two trucks. That was a big help!

  95. Love your posts, as always, and am really looking forward to getting to meet you in person when you come to Georgia! I hope I don’t embarrass myself with too much celebrity awe!

    You will probably be sick of traveling by the time you get here and anxious to be back in your own bed snuggling your kitties! I know I would be! So I really appreciate the fact that you do these trips for your fans! I’m sure it’s a big sacrifice of comfort (I bring everything and the kitchen sink when I travel, too! So many “necessities”!!). Thanks for giving so much of yourself to your girlfriends! It is SO appreciated!

    • sbranch says:

      Oh yes, who doesn’t travel with their Petey doll and a little jar of water so there can be flowers in the car? But 2 months is a long time, and those little joys are worth it! I look forward to seeing you in Georgia, Kimberly!

  96. Jo says:

    Glad you are having such a delightful and beautiful (Spring everywhere) trip. Glad to be going along with you and Joe. Hope you find more time to keep us appraised of it all.

  97. Maureen says:

    I am not on twitter but I see that you are experiencing the lovely issue known as the traffic of Chicago. UGH. I appreciate your going thru that mess so that events like what you have been having can happen.

    • sbranch says:

      It’s okay, we’ve arrived save and sound ~ it was touch and go for a while but all is well! HAPPY to be here! xoxo Thank you Maureen!

  98. Linda Hurst says:

    Love traveling with you! Thank you for all the photos, cute quotes and pictures of other SusanBranchaloonies!

  99. PaulaJ says:

    I am so happy that you and Joe are taking this delightful trip. and I am excited with all of the girlfriends and their husbands and daughters who are able to meet you in person! When you come out to the Wild Wild West I will try to make one of your book signings. 🙂

    Thank you for sharing spring through your words and your camera lens and for letting us experience, vicariously, the local bookstores and their owners. It all looks so lovely.

    Happy trails to you!

    • sbranch says:

      It’s a big country to cross, but small in a way too . . . when you take it in increments of bookstores and Girlfriends. Hope to see you Paula!

  100. Laura Smith says:

    Good morning! I am still on a high after meeting you and your wonderful Joe at the book signing at RJ Julia over a week ago! Fortunately, I had my wonderful Tom there to wait for me and get a picture (I was one of the ones at the end!) and allow me to get the best Mother’s Day gift…..! Now I am savoring your book, a little at at time. I don’t want it to end! And I can’t wait to see the new revised book. Thank you so much for your inspiration– and for sharing your talent and YOU! Safe travels—can’t wait to read more as you make your way….. xo

    • sbranch says:

      Thank you for coming Laura . . . I remember you and Tom! So glad you’re enjoying the book! xoxo

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