News from the Road: Run get a cup of tea ~ because this is a long one! We’ll start here with road-trip MUSICA 🎶, and what I like to call “the aberration” or maybe the “miracle” because it can’t be true and I’m sure it was a typo that will be fixed soon, but while it lasts we must glory in the moment, because it’s the very first time for any of my books. LOOK at THIS!!!!⬇️NY Times Best SellerEven though it’s not really a travel book, but if the New York Times Book List said it was Number 10 in the category of books about ditch digging, I would take it! And I have you to thank for it. 💞 Word of mouth has always been the way my books have found new readers, and word of mouth, in this case, would be YOU. There are 100 reviews for Isle of Dreams on Amazon as of today, and 99 of them are 5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️’s. Amazing! And all because of you! Look what a little Girltalk can do!can-we-talkOh, yes we can!oh happy daySo, THANK YOU!!!! (And you, too, @FarmGirlGeorgie for making the cute NY Times Best Seller thing💝)  love thee like pudding

Right now, I am writing you from my home state of sunny California. Yup, we made it all the way across, from sea to shining sea.  Tonight is our 13th book signing so far, with more Girltalk at Rakestraw Books, here in Danville. We still have ten more signings to go before we get back to Martha’s Vineyard, Jack, Girl Kitty, and Home Sweet Home. (Check HERE and see if we’re coming to a store near you.)  But first, today, I’m having lunch with California girlfriends!happy!


I thought I’d show you a bit of our trip ‘cross country . . . There are so many wide open spaces, you would be shocked unless you were one of the ten people that actually lived in one of them!


Because it’s been gorgeous . . . amazing skies . . . we could see weather coming from forever away  . . .


No snow though, we seem to be past that now . . .


But a few wicked downpours . . .


Then up and over the top of the world . . . (I met a girl working in a gas station in a tiny town in Wyoming, at around 6,000 feet altitude, where the wind rocked our car all the way down the road, and asked her how much snow they got up there, and she said, “It’s hard to tell, the wind blows it all away.” Freezing frozen wind, so much that the MOUNTAINS of snow that MUST be coming down, gets blown away? Eeeek!)


through bucolic farmlands . . .


across the plains . . .


And out to your basic nowhere . . . On our way to one bookstore after another, on our way to meet very gorgeous people.Hello Everyone

elusive poppy

Like this one.  I love her. I love her hands, her headband, her shirt, her shorts, her shoes and the expression on her face. And most of all, I love the stars in her eyes.sweetnessIMG_8905

And no matter what age, all our Girlfriends had those same wonderful star-filled faces . . . 💏

elusive poppy

I don’t think they would be here if they didn’t have a bit of fairy tale girl inside them too. We had such a good time together!


We’d never been to the Tattered Cover Bookstore in Denver . . . it was so wonderful! Built inside an old theater, I can’t say enough nice things about this gorgeous place. With an amazing magazine section too! You can read its history Here! Go there if you can, they have big comfy chairs to sit in plus a coffee shop. You could live there!


That’s Daniel in the yellow shirt. He’s the Events Coordinator, and made it all happen in the smoothest way possible!  We had some fairy tale boys come to the signing too, manning the cameras for their wives . . .


And every signing we’ve been to has been a family affair . . .


Moms and daughters, sisters, Aunts and nieces, best friends for life…See what I mean about the stars in the eyes . . .?


I am grateful every day for the rewarding work I have been blessed with.💞


How could I not be . . . Three generations, grandma, daughter and my newest, just hatched, Girlfriends who don’t even know they are girlfriends yet, and best friends for life . . . twins!

elusive poppy

I always say I would rather be standing in line . . . there is so much laughter and happiness out there, I can hear them from where I’m signing, people meeting people . . .



elusive poppy

These girls had a tea party in a restaurant before they came to the signing!


I feel so honored, truly . . .


This was at Main Street Books in St. Charles, in Missouri.  Poor Missourites, just don’t know how to have fun!


And this darling girl is one of the owners who also manages the store, Emily Hall (she and her family own it, but no discernible relation to Joe).


Joe took lots of great photos!


The store was tiny . . .


But it was such a nice spring day, no one minded being outside . . .


And, sooner or later, I got to meet everyone . . .


And, as you can see, they treated me royally . . .


Here’s picture of the Main Street Books staff with Joe . . . and right behind me are Twitter girlfriends ~ Cindy (@granny2626), and to her right is Alisa (@AlisaMS) who, together, single handedly, made this book signing happen by calling Emily until she could no longer take it!


And while we were at Main Street Books, THIS came by to entertain us all . . . a fife and drum band! Just to give you an idea of how cute St. Charles, Missouri is! In fact, this is where the Lewis & Clark Expedition began their westward Ho!  All of Missouri (that we saw) was wonderful. Hermann MO

We drove the back roads, and made discoveries! Like that ⬆️ If you’re ever near there, try to visit the quaint historical town of Hermann, MO. Worth a trip just to see it . . . SO darling, practically all brick, lots of antique stores, and tiny little free-standing bed and breakfast cottages that ooze so much charm, you just WANT to move into one of them.


We also went to Mark Twain’s House in Hannibal, MO, our second time there, which I will tell you more about someday soon, because he deserves a whole Blog post about him. He grew up in that little white house. And just around the corner, by the way, is the birthplace home of the Unsinkable Molly Brown. Hannibal is a double-whammy town, and filled with historic buildings.)


Look how close Mark Twain’s house is to the Mississippi River . . . what a childhood that river must have provided for an adventurous, brilliant boy like that wonderful Sam Clemens!  Then it was off to Kansas City!


With a little of this . . .


And a little of that . . .


And a lot of this, thrown in for good measure . . .


Because we are the ramblin guys . . .


Here we are at Rainy Day Books in Kansas City . . . these girls brought quilts they’d made from my fabric for me to sign! Are they not cute or what?


It was another wonderful night . . .


of meeting and greeting . . . and smiling for the camera . . .


Jane (from Twitter @artistswriter) brought us this cake!


A beautiful cake, with a fairy and little fairy dust and everything, that she made herself! We have the MOST creative Girlfriends!


Vivien Jennings from Rainy Day Books set us up for local KC television, this was CBS. Do I like to go on TV? Oh no, I do not! I am way too normal for this!


But I did it twice! This was NBC. I smiled and tried to keep all torture expressions off my face. Because A. It’s my job, and B. I sat in my studio for four years writing these books, the least I can do is try and tell people about them. I will be doing it again when we get to Memphis. Luckily that’s a long time from now.😜


Then we went shopping because Vivien knew all the best places! This is a famous Kitchen store in Kansas City called Prydes . . . They have EVERYTHING!!! Need a dishtowel?


This is Prydes, worth a trip all by itself!


Us and Vivien and her partner Roger, wonderful people, with a very famous, very community oriented bookstore.


After the book signing was over, I signed LOTS of books to leave at Rainy Day Books . . . “with love.” In fact, I’ve left signed books at every bookstore I’ve visited. If you need Christmas or Birthday presents, and want to support our wonderful Independent bookstores . . . call one of them, they’ll ship!with-love


Over the Rocky Mountains into Salt Lake City we go! A little bit straight down . . . for several miles  . . . whimpering occurred but I held his hand and told him everything would be okay.👍


And here we are, meeting more starry eyes at the King’s English Bookshop in Salt Lake City.  Joe took the best pictures! He visits with everyone in line while I’m signing books.  And everyone asks him about the incident with the teabag on his glasses . . . and we all still laugh!


Our Girlfriends who come by themselves arrive as strangers but leave with new friends . . .


So many beautiful smiles . . . I could post pictures like these for the rest of the day and still not show them all! If you were at the signings and don’t see your face here, it’s only because I had better get in the shower soon or I won’t make it to the next book signing!


And more fairy tale boys . . . we actually had a lot of them, and they were great guys, every one of them. As you might expect!


See what I mean? More starry eyes!


Doesn’t the line look fun?


I loved every moment of it.


Here’s Rachel, Rob, and Paula . . . our host and hostesses for the evening at The King’s English Bookshop  . . . we are so happy to hear how good the independent bookstores are doing these days . . . seems people really don’t want them to go away!!! New ones are opening every day, in the smallest towns too. Seems people love real books to decorate their houses and smell while reading! We can be proud, they couldn’t do it without us, it’s a triumph of the people over the machine!yay!IMG_9382

 Poor Rachel who works at the store,  no personality, and no way of relating to her customers . . . poor thing, and all this with a box of books under her arm. 👏


And the store itself, how perfect is this for hosting fairy tale girls??? It’s a cottage-shop in a tree-lined neighborhood (previously owned, I think, by Goldilocks and the Three Bears).


Here’s Rob introducing me . . . the talk was held in the art gallery next to the bookshop. You guys ask the best questions!!! I can’t begin to tell you how wonderful these things are. It’s more like a conversation than a talk. I start out scared, but within about 60 seconds, I’m talking to you, you’re talking to me, and I’m just loving it.

So guess who I get to see tomorrow????🎉



Yes, we’ll be at my Studio near San Luis Obispo . . . and (don’t be jealous) we’ll get to SLEEP with our studio kitty, freckle-face Sammy . . .

. . . and our other Studio Kitty, sweetest Sasha!!!

May 09 at Lopez Drive 037

This is our Studio, where the Kitties live, and where Kellee and Sheri and Alfredo work . . .


We designed the garden for this place right after we got back from our first trip to England in 2004 and were SO INSPIRED by what we had seen . . . the house is in an ancient riverbed so there is good dirt, and it’s five miles from the Pacific Ocean, so there is moisture, and there is a year-round flowing stream at the back of the property, so miracle of miracles, in California especially, there is water . . .

July 08 Vineyard 1677

And believe it or not, that little building behind the garden is where we ship everything from ~ your books, the Emma mugs, dream charms, everything! We’re a little company, but we are happy.

Sheri and Kellee

This is Sheri and Kellee just after I got my kitty, Jack!  BTW, I couldn’t do it without these girls!

Jack loves the fire

Here’s Jack. I think you can see why they felt they needed mustaches . . . they sent us mustaches too.


This is inside the house/studio . . . That’s Kellee’s desk in the left corner, usually her dog is asleep under it, and Alfredo’s is on the right, and the kitchen is on the other side of those barstool chairs . . .   Sheri is down the stairs that go off to the left. It’s a mess, because Joe and I are there at the time, and we always bring too much stuff with us!


Soon we’ll be having dinner at our favorite restaurant enjoying one of our favorite views in the world . . .


As you can see by these UN touched photos!!!!

IMG_0158Mine all mine. For the price of a seafood salad and a glass of wine.


GirlfriendsforeverartThat’s where I’ll be, with my BFF Diana . . . 💞 who hasn’t sprawled yet in this photo but will soon! See the painting behind my head?  I took my one and only oil-painting class when I was out there and painted that picture of the garden . . .


Here it is in my studio on Martha’s Vineyard when I need to remember how nice the weather is in California!

Now I’ll leave you with two things . . .


First, this is maybe the sweetest kitty plus reading photo I’ve ever seen.  Look at that cat’s eyes! Is he in heaven, or what?  Thank you to Twitter girlfriend Heather for sending this darling thing . . . (@heatherbyhand)

and this . . .


A note we found under our windshield.  SO sweet. Thank you Texie! We’ll be back! ❌⭕️ And I’ll be back here too . . . for a new installment in the never-ending story. Thank you for sticking with me! Love you all, wishing you a very loverly Memorial Day Weekend from the two road warriors! Hope to see you out and about! Memorial-Day-traditionpink-flowers


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697 Responses to NEWS FROM THE ROAD

  1. Heather L. says:

    I just had to drop by and tell you….. I had a dear friend over for lunch today and we had the most wonderful four hours visiting, eating good holiday food, discussing books, and working on our crochet/quilting. Towards the end of our visit my friend pulled a surprise out of her bag for me. Guess what it was??!!! It was a signed copy of “Isle of Dreams”!!!! My friend, Janet, had been at the Chicago Book Expo earlier in the month and SO sweetly got you to sign the book over to me!!!! YAY!!! That was such a surprise!!! It makes me so happy!!!

  2. Donna Wheeler says:

    Love to read the story about the childrens march to the sea again and again. What a beautiful memory for those tykes. Thanks for your words from the roads.

  3. Gina DaMetz says:

    Hi Susan!! I was lucky enough to see you at the Rainy Day Books signing in Kansas City! My second time to see you…I saw you at Watermark Books in Wichita a couple of years ago after A Fine Romance! I can’t begin to tell you how much I adore you and cherish all of my SB books! They are truly my treasures in life! Someday, they will be handed down to my granddaughter, so she can fall in love with your writings and pictures like I have! Thank you for upholding the art of homemaking through your art and words!

  4. Andrea Ortiz says:

    Can’t wait to see you in a week when you come to California. I will be at Pasadena book signing with my two kiddies. They know how much I adore your stories and books and everything you make! ha ha.


  5. Kirsten in So. Cal says:

    Oh Susan! I don’t know how you do all you do, and seemingly all at once! You are on a book tour (all that traveling!) meeting and greeting (all the girlfriends who know each is your favorite)and still faithfully blogging! You are just an incredible woman, artist, writer, and bff. Thank you to Joe for helping to run the show. He’s so very nice (we’ve met a few times, ok, at book signings) and a real cutie, even if he is covered in fresh laundry And teabags! Now I hope you won’t be too exhausted when I see you next week in Pasadena.

    • Kirsten in So. Cal says:

      Why is my comment still in moderation(since May)? No time? LOL!

    • sbranch says:

      Not as faithfully blogging as I would wish!!! But I’ll try harder. Yes, Joe is heaven, that’s all there is to it! I loved Pasadena, wasn’t it wonderful? So many Girlfriends there to meet and greet, me and each other!

  6. Charissa says:

    This post hit the spot. Congratulations again on the NYTBSL!!! You still deserve all the accolades I mentioned before and more. ( Name in lights, Pulitzer prize, trophies etc. All the darling pictures of the sweet smiling faces and especially that little girl just made my heart so full for you. It was like being there and a balm for the soul. And people are coming in droves. I talked to Book People in Austin They said they expected less than 50 people. I told them they were nuts;) and to look at your other signings or to call you to get a stats. I asked her if she knew what a “Girlfriend” was and she didn’t so I gave her your website and told her I thought there were lots of Texas girlfriends and that I was traveling almost 5 hours to get there. She said, “Wow and she would look into it”, but I don’t know who she was so I hope she does. Just want to make sure they know how popular you are:) I loved seeing all the photos of your lovely studio and garden AND DIANA. She is as cute as ever. Love that sofa too. Sometimes I wonder if your are my twin. I would be your evil twin though because I am plumper and not as darling as you, but we like and have so many of the same things even though we are 25+ years apart. and you are doing all the things I wish I could do like living in MV. I have always known since I was little that I was supposed to live in MV even though I have never been there. I am so thrilled that you are having fun and enjoying such popularity. I think there should be a national holiday in your honor for making all our lives better.

    I also wanted to post these links for the GIRLFRIENDS. Not sure if you already did and I missed it. One is your other TV interview that was not on Facebook. You are so darling!!! Love how she says your handsome husband:) YAY JOE GOT A TV SHOUT OUT;)

    The other is an article I stumbled across

    Thank you for bringing us all along even though you must be terribly busy and always pressed for time.
    Wishing you continued safe travels and counting down the days until Austin. xoxo

  7. Carlie says:

    Thank you for sharing these wonderful locations and all the beautiful people! It really is a blessing to read each and every word. Big, big sharing hugs!!!

  8. charlotte m. says:

    Susan I am so enjoying your trip. I am from Kansas City and loved seeing pictures from there. I have to tell you that when A Fine Romance came out I was not too interested in reading it. When Fairy Tale Girl came out, I had to have it, and of course Martha’s Vineyard so I could hear the rest of the story. I have so come to love your story telling ways through those two books, that I finally bought A Fine Romance and I did love it too. I think I am one of those people who need to read in the order of event happenings. I appreciated A Fine Romance more, because I knew the back story by the time I got to it. Another thing I L-O-V-E about your books is the ribbon. Why don’t all hard backed books come with a ribbon. No bookmark to lose and so pretty and old fashioned. Thank you so much for sharing your life with us. You live the kind of life I would if I could. I love gardens and cooking and I don’t paint, but I sew. I make quilts. I have been quilting for over 25 years and I am now eyeballing your new fabrics at Spoonflower, which is right down the road from me here in Chapel Hill. Durham is about a 20 minute drive, so shipping is fast! Safe travels to you and Joe.

    • sbranch says:

      SO happy to hear that about the books Charlotte! Thank you! And yes, I totally agree, all new books should have ribbons!

  9. Shellie L. says:

    Congratulations, Susan!!!!

    Much love to you and safe travels!

  10. Marianne says:

    Dear Susan and Joe,
    So glad you made it safely to California with all those wonderful girlfriends cheering you on along the way! Met you in New Hope, PA. It was a wonderful tea and book signing and you were so gracious signing every last book. Please come back to PA one day after your next great book. Looking forward to that!

  11. Cheryl says:

    I love following your tour! You have gone to some incredible looking bookstores. It makes me want to do a bookstore road trip!
    It was a fantastic experience going to your event here in Salt Lake City and my little girl is still showing everyone how you signed her artwork.
    Both of my daughters have been perusing all of my books/ cookbooks every day since then!
    Thank you.

    • sbranch says:

      A road trip like that would be fantastic, and there are so many we didn’t get to go to!!! I think you could do them all day long! Hugs to the girls from me please! xoxoxo

  12. Mary from PA. says:

    Safe travels, Susan and Joe. Have fun!

  13. Laurel in VA says:

    I just finished reading your latest book while sitting in my backyard in the dappled sunlight on a beautiful warm day. It seemed so fitting! I loved your book – it was such a delight to read 🙂 Thanks for telling your story and inviting us into your life. Maybe you’ll make a stop in Virginia one of these days!

    • sbranch says:

      I think the closest we’ll get on this trip is Asheville, North Carolina. Thank you so much for your good “review” of the book!!!

  14. Laura says:

    Dear Susan,
    Love you soooooo much❤❤❤
    That about sums it up.

  15. chris consentino says:

    oh, my goodness!!!!! wow!!!!! sooooo beautiful….ALL of it. also, funny….WE are on a ROAD TRIP as well. from Virginia to Wisconsin, to Idaho, so. Dakota, Washington, Oregon, California (which is over 100 degrees, here in yermo…..NOT HAPPY of that)…on to Utah, grand canyon, Bryce, zion….then….HOME!!!!! it is trip re-creating one hubby took with his family 50 yrs ago…..imagine, 5 kids, dog, station-wagon (NO A/C) and pop-up tent camper. eeeek. we have a little camper…complete with a/c and bathrm. mmmmm. well, safe travels to you…and to all who are out here….and there’s LOTS folks …..see ya later. xoxo ps: in our vehicle…’s ME doing the whimpering…..LOTS of it. ooooh. rugged terrain, lots traffic and I do not mix. gorgeous anyway.

    • sbranch says:

      US too, all across southern states, HOT HOT HOT … but air conditioning is on everywhere we go, thank goodness, and the people and scenery have been wonderful!!! We’ve gotten off the main highways as much as possible, have spent much time in traffic-free environments, which has been heavenly, because just like you, me and a ton of traffic don’t like each other. Nice to hear from you Chris. XOXOXO

  16. Sandy Artman says:

    Congratulations, Susan, on your exciting NY Times Best Seller news!
    I was hoping to meet you in person while you are out here in my neck of the woods but it’s great to have a vicarious experience through your wonderful post. I bought Isle of Dreams for my roommate at Christmastime and, fortunately, I had the good sense to get myself a copy. We both loved it and some of the events of your life paralleled ours, and we felt such a kinship. Thank you, girlfriend, for being so completely and lovably you! The wonderful ease of conversation with girlfriends – so marvelous that you can bring that sense to your blog, your books and book signings. What a blessing the good Lord brought this fairy tale girl into our lives! Love and happy ever after…

  17. barbara lassiter says:

    Wow! Susan…just wow for everything!

  18. Hi Susan! Congrats on the success of your new book! YAY! And I loved seeing all of the photos from your road trip! Thank you for sharing them with all of us. Your studio on CA is absolutely amazing, too! And the gorgeous, untouched photos of the views! WOW! Enjoy the rest of your road trip! HUGS!!!

  19. Barb U from Ohio says:

    Hope you are enjoying this beautiful June 1st day! Rabbit, Rabbit as you say! Sunny and hot here in Ohio, but I’m not complaining just enjoying. I love this blog entry with all the pictures of the girlfriends and bookshops you’re visiting, such wonderful people, you can tell. Hope your getting some down time to rest and rejuvenate in that California sunshine between signings. I cannot believe it is June already. Have a great week!

    • sbranch says:

      Thanks so much Barb. We’re here at my Mom’s, and yes, getting some down time. We played cards all afternoon yesterday, probably today too! xoxo

  20. Carol from CT says:

    Sue I just this second found this in one of my computer files.
    Have you been to or plan to visit Appleby Castle in Appleby-in-Westmorland, Cumbria, England.
    “Appleby was the county town of Westmorland and was a Royal borough. It has had many famous residents – the father of George Washington, Augustine Washington grew up in Cumberland and attended Appleby Grammar School with his elder brother John.”
    Click on castle history …

  21. Janie Phillips says:

    Congratulations, Sue! Isle of Dreams doesn’t fit into a category because it’s so much more than any category can hold! I loved it so much. I spent some glorious mornings sitting in the sunshine on my patio, rocking in my rocking chair, listening to the birds sing and reading Isle of Dreams. I wish every day could be as lovely. You’ve turned your heartbreak and your happiness into a gift and sent it out into the world, and we all benefit so much from what you share. Thank you, Sue. I couldn’t love it more and I couldn’t be happier for your success. XOXO

    • sbranch says:

      Thank you Janie, so nice to hear from you. By the way, the banner you made in the little box? I just saw it for the first time when I was at the Studio! You just keep getting better and better . . . it’s adorable. Thank you for your magic, it seems to be endless. XOXO

  22. What are the dark blue flowers in the right foreground next to the pointed top bush of the pic of your California/English garden? Gorgeous!


    • sbranch says:

      A fabulous plant that grows like a weed all around my studio, called Agapanthus. One of the wonderful things about them is that you can roughly divide them, and get unending numbers of free plants. And of course, out there, they bloom almost year-round. Go HERE to read about them.

      • Thanks for the information! Are you able to grow them at all in MV? I did plant this in Virginia, but something happened to it. User error I suspect. 🙁 Now I mark new plantings until they get established.

  23. Monique says:

    Beautiful faces and smiles..and views and must be over the moon elated!

    • sbranch says:

      I went to the New York Times Bestseller List a couple of days ago to see where we were for June . . . of course my heart dropped when I saw we were no longer number ten. Downheartedly, I read the list to see the lucky names of the books who were still there, and lo and behold, we were number three!!!!! Very big rollercoaster in that two-second ride! Thank you Monique!

      • Barbara Irvine (Connecticut) says:

        Number Three on the NY Times Bestseller List !! Woo hoo!! That is so wonderful, Susan — congratulations!! We’re all so proud and happy for you!!

        So glad you’re having a lovely visit with your Mom. Please tell her hello from all of us, and we want to thank her for raising such a special and wonderful daughter.


        • sbranch says:

          I took her all through the Blog yesterday (she’s basically anti-computer) and spent a long time looking at and reading the “My Mom” entry up at the top under ABOUT ME. We both sang the songs and both got tears in our eyes, then we played cards and she beat the pants off us as usual. All is well in Smallville. xoxo Thank you Barbara!

  24. Shirley Duncan says:

    Susan, my daughter and I had a wonderful day at your signing in Cincinnati!! She was the lady who gave you the homemade soap.
    Fairytale Girl and Isle of Dreams were so delightful I didn’t want them to end.
    I wish you had told more about your and Jo’s courtship, wedding, etc.
    Looking forward to you next publication.

    • sbranch says:

      Oh, yes, I remember, your soap is tucked into the back of our van! I’ve thought about writing about the late 80s and 1990s but what stops me is lack of drama, because it’s all a straight line in the realm of happy . . . happy . . . happy … which could be a very boring read! Thank you for coming to see us Shirley! xoxox

  25. Tawni urrutia says:

    Dear Sweet Sue,
    It can be dangerous business meeting someone you’ve held so dear in your heart for nearly three decades. Treasuring your books and falling head first into your blog, I just felt like I “knew” you, and your magic ways of making the whole world brighter.
    But what if in person you were really crabby?! A long line of ladies, you with lips in a line(not the smile I’d always imagined)and Joe barking out “Neeeext!” after you loudly rubber stamped your signature. This is the fear my stinker(but wonderful) husband, Michael had been teasing me about for months!
    Well, I met you at Rakestraw in Danville…and YOU ARE AWESOME!!! And Joe is DELIGHTFUL!! I could tell you were exactly as marvelous as I KNEW you were going to be when you walked the long line of ladies to shake our hands before the signing, wearing the cutest blue shoes and warmest smile. Then you took the hand of a lovely elderly lady and brought her to the front of the line…picture perfect.
    And the bonus was getting to meet Elizabeth, what a doll. We want to stay at her house on the island!
    Blessings to you. Your Isle of Dreams was only the best! You have added so much joy to my life!
    Tawni Urrutia, in Lodi, Ca

    • sbranch says:

      Oh, goodness Tawni, I am so glad you were there, thank you, and Michael too!! My lines go a little slower than most authors (I’m told by bookstore owners), but I tell them that with everyone coming so far, and with me coming so far to see them, I just can’t hurry! It’s been everything I hoped it would be. You’re a doll, thank you so much!!!

  26. Lynn Cunningham says:

    Loved, loved every picture of all of the lovely bookstores, the book sellers and all of the happy faces waiting in line. Congratulations on having a BEST SELLER. That’s huge and deserved. So enjoyed the picture of the girl reading your book with the kitty face on her shoulder. What could be more perfect! Brought tears to my eyes, I’m not sure why. Can’t believe the colors of a Pacific sunset! It’s all just lovely. Enjoy the rest of your trip, and safe journey to both of you!

    • sbranch says:

      That kitty’s deliriously contented face just gets me every time I look at that photo. I think it should win an award or something! Thank you Lynn, have a wonderful day!

  27. Holly says:

    Congratulations! #10!! I’ve been busy for a long time caring for my dad and didn’t buy the book until today. I haven’t been able to put it down…. it’s nearly 4 am now, but wanted to tell you I love it, and it’s exactly what I needed today. My dad has Alzheimer’s, and my sister & I have been caring for him, but yesterday he went into a care home. I’ve been so sad, and really at a loss….. then I started reading. New beginnings come in many forms, you reminded me of this.
    Thank you for writing your story,

    • sbranch says:

      Guess what, now it’s June. I looked at NY Times thinking the aberration would be fixed now . . . yup, we weren’t there anymore . . . wah. I then began reading . . . we’re number three!!!! Big shock! Joe and I doing the happy dance. We don’t know what it means really, but it definitely sounds really good!

  28. Kristen Hawley says:

    Just now had time to read this – it’s been a crazy week. So wanted to see you in Kansas City but couldn’t bring myself to do it. You see, I have always loved your books & I introduced you to my sister many years ago. She discover in March that she has stage four ovarian cancer & is undergoing chemo treatments right now. She is responding very well to the treatments but they leave her exhausted & it takes longer after each treatment to recuperate. I just couldn’t come without her — it would not have been the same. We have both read your books & hope, hope, hope to have time to take a trip to England. Keep writing, Susan, we would love to hear more about your love story with Joe. You inspired me to make quilts for my grandchildren (both biological & “borrowed”) — I have made four with two to go — I have several quilts that my grandma made and two that my husband’s grandma’s made. They are my treasures, along with my doilies that are hand crocheted, embroidered tea towels that my grandma made me when I married (38 years ago), and embroidered pillow cases my grandma crocheted an edge on – she started me embroidering when I was around 8 years old – I learned a lot from her. She was the best grandma & a kindred spirit.

    • sbranch says:

      I’m praying for your sister, I want you to go to England together too! Please give her a BIG hug for me ~ she has you, that’s a pretty wonderful thing. Love the memories of your grandmother . . . and that you’re making your own for your grandchildren! Lovely. xoxo

  29. Robin Benson says:

    Pleeeeaase do a book signing in the DC area! We need a Fairy Tale Girl here.

    • sbranch says:

      We’ll be in Asheville North Carolina, I’m afraid that’s probably the closest . . . we tried for Politics and Prose but they were all booked up, so we’ll try again next time! Thank you Robin!!

  30. So happy that your adventures are magical. I am halfway through your new book and can’t wait to pass it on – having a great time reading it at bedtime for a just a few moments each night before the Sandman visits. Have safe travels and many more magical adventures.

  31. Jan says:

    So glad you are sharing so much from this trip. Sure looks like fun! Am about half way through Isle of Dreams and am really ,truly, enjoying it. I love the little pictures drawn in the middle of sentences and your own handwriting makes it especially special. I was excited to find the carrot cupcake recipe and made it for our Memorial Day picnic. It was a real hit! I even took some over to our elderly neighbors and they really enjoyed them. She said, ” Those are the best! I would like the recipe.” Will be sharing it as you have shared with so many of us. You’re the best! Safe travels to you and Joe on the rest of your trip.

  32. Janette J. says:

    Susan, I forgot to ask…and hope you’ve not already answered this a hundred times. I keep seeing some fabulous blue (?) boots on you. For one, they’re in the KC television shot. Are you able to share your source, brand…maybe? Thanks, I love your relaxed-dressed up style!

    • sbranch says:

      Oh thank you Janette!The shoes are by Cobb Hill for New Balance, and they’re SO comfy . . . you’ll find them HERE . . .

  33. Jennifer Tanner says:

    I am on the countdown to your June 27th visit to malaprops in Asheville NC. I live in Florida and I’m secretly hoping my sweet son will lose his all star baseball game on the 25th ( yes I feel terrible about this, but we have many more years of baseball!)) so we can leave for NC for our vacation the day before your talk. If they win the games continue and we won’t be there in time. My husband (the coach) and son are practicing three hours a day, every day for this game for the next month. Meanwhile I’m calling the book store weekly asking if I can please just get my name on a list to ensure a seat and have been sharing with them how much I enjoy your books. So hope to get to hear you speak and thank you for the gift of beauty, respite and loveliness you provide with your words and drawings.
    Nor would I miss the early darkness & the pleasant firelight tea and my long evening among my books-Elizabeth Von Arnim ( from a fine romance-one of my favorite quotes-thank you!!)

  34. Linda Auwerda says:

    I enjoyed your talk and meeting you and Joe at the King’s English in Salt Lake City. Now that school is out I can relax and start reading your books. All the best on your journey.

  35. Yvonne says:

    Dear Susan
    Your book popped through my letterbox (South Wales UK)this morning at around 11.15am, I read it in one sitting finishing it at 9.55pm .On page 179 you write:

    “I wanted more than anything to be an echo, “…a cheerer of men’s hearts” as Emerson put it.I wanted to lift up in the same way”

    I just wanted you to know that you’ve succeeded.

    All the best to you, Joe and the kitties.

    • sbranch says:

      Oh that is so nice. My dream. Thank you Yvonne!!! XOXO Happy wonderful South Wales day to you!

  36. Ruthie P says:

    CONGRATULATIONS SUSAN on making NY Times best seller list❤️🎉🎈🍰👏🏻 I’m still on cloud nine from seeing you.Looking at all the pictures of girlfriends makes me want to go back and do it all over again.I think I know why they put it on the travel list,because when you read it you are over the moon and stars in love with it.xoxo Ruthie

    • sbranch says:

      Some kind of travel, Ruthie, my very favorite kind!!! You are a darling, thank you so much! xoxo

  37. Jane Alexander says:

    This blog tonight is so lovely, so lovely. As I looked at all the faces with the stars in their eyes, I teared up, as they are all so dear. You, dear Susan, have helped us see women in America. I sort of miss seeing dark brown faces!, but trust your impact on all of us. You validate us in amazing way, our simple homemaking, and reading of romance, and families, and friends, and loving cottages, and flowers, and fabric, and water color, and tea cups, and on and on and one. You validate our hearts with your appreciation of us. Surely you are one of God’s angels sent to bless the women who love your ways. Truly, you walk with the love of God, the love of Jesus and his Spirit. You help us smile, you truly love us, and help us love each other too. And bless Joe, for his love to you and causing your dream to come true. He is joy to all of us.

    • sbranch says:

      I miss them too Jane, we do get all races at the signings, and all ages, but I hope someday for more of everyone! Because that kindred spirit message, maybe not in the rightest of words to reach every heart, but it is for all because that hope of peace and home is in almost everyone, at least for us, the normal ones.💞 Thank you so much for your wonderful thoughts, I am humbled and very grateful.

  38. Good Morning Susan and Joe! :o) I just read this blog and loved the cross country photos! Once my husband and I rented a Mustang convertible and drove the entire length of RT 66 from Chicago to Santa Monica. Your photos brought back soooo many memories! Another memory your photos brought back was the time when I was a little girl and my family went to Hannibal MO. Apparently we went to learn about Mark Twain but all I retained from the visit was the breakfast we had at a local restaurant and the best sticky buns I ever ate! I wish I could visit all of the bookstores you have been to. They look so warm and inviting as does your studio! I never saw an independent bookstore I didn’t love! Speaking of your studio, I loved the gardens. They must be heaven to wander around in. I hope the current wild fires stay far far away from your neck of the woods! My heart goes out to everyone who has been affected by them. Hats off to the fantastic and brave firefighters! Take care! Becki

    • sbranch says:

      Thanks so much Becki! The thing we love most about the independent bookstores is that no two are alike . . . the personality of the owners’ shines through, also their obvious love for books and what they do. All of them, in fact, have been works of love. Yes, those dang fires. They are in the mountains between the San Fernando Valley, where I grew up, and the beach. When we got to my brother’s house at the base of the Sierra’s, he was removing a wood deck from the back of his house too keep the fire danger down. It’s kind of a tinderbox here. You worry that your tires on the road will cause friction sparks! Prayers for this summer. xoxo

      • I am sending prayers out to your brother and everyone around there, as well as the amazingly beautiful flora and fauna! I adore California but I know how fragile it is especially when there is a draught. I never thought about the tires on the road! BTW I loved the photo of you and Diana! Tell Diana “hi” for me! She reminds me of the photos of my mother when I was younger…….much younger. :o)

  39. judy says:

    You’ll travel close to Nashville when you leave Memphis and travel East. Why, oh why didn’t you include a stop in Nashville ? We have the wonderful Parnassus/independent book store and they do book signings, etc. Could you still squeeeeeeeze us in?

    • sbranch says:

      We tried to go to Parnassus ~ from what we hear, it’s a fabulous independent bookstore, and we had lots of requests for it ~ but they said they were remodeling at that time, and couldn’t do it. So we’ll try again next time! Sorry Judy. xoxo

  40. Martha says:

    Wow – it looks like you’re having a wonderful cross-country trip! I dream of driving across the country someday. Congratulations on the success of the beautiful ‘Fairy Tale Girl’!!
    Martha from CT

  41. Susan P. says:

    Susan and Joe…

    I know that road you were traveling the other day. Mark, My husband, and I will always take the coast to SLO and side roads. People laugh at us…when we leave home for a 3 hour trip that takes us 6 or 7 hours to get to SLO…you know how it is…you see a fun/great restaurant…you got stop….you see a free parking space along the shore …you got stop… We have been in Santa Barbara along the coast with the waves crashing up on to the HWY…so glad we were going NORTH not SOUTH…yes there was a little cry and holding his Hand hahahaha. But you just can’t beat the beauty of nature…aaahhhhh
    One small question …on one of your tweets you said you would be in Pasadena on Thurs….I will change my plans if it is Thurs….BUT I THOUGHT IT WAS ON WED THE 8TH….I don’t want to miss you. Looking forward to seeing you again.. Love, Susan P.

    • sbranch says:

      YES, it is, WED the 8th . . . sometimes, especially lately, I don’t know what day it is!!! But you have it exactly right!

  42. Ellen Schultz says:

    Dear Susan,
    I’ve loved your cookbooks and calendars forever and I bought “The Fairy Tale Girl” as a gift to myself for my birthday in April. I devoured it in a matter of days. Now I’m reading “Martha’s Vineyard: Isle of Dreams” and I’m forcing myself to go slowwwly because I’ll be so sad when I’m finished!! So meaningful, engaging, inspiring to me. Thank you 🙂

  43. PAULA says:

    How many weeks have I waited to see you at my old stomping ground, Vroman’s. Now the flu bug may way-lay plans to get to your book-signing. Wanted to see you and tell you in person how much joy you spread around, willy-nilly, as if it isn’t hard work, how much we all appreciate sharing your sparkle and glow. If not in person, ,you know there is one more voice to wish you well. Enjoy your time here, glad you can see some old friends….Love, Polly from Oxnard.

    • sbranch says:

      Oh no, Paula, well, you keep drinking liquids and getting lots of rest . . . I’m sorry you don’t feel well. And sorry to miss you. But I will definitely be back. xoxo

  44. sondra fox says:

    It was worth the wait to see your pictures from the road. My husband & I took three cross country trips (in our motorhome) before he passed away in 2013. Each trip was just so wonderful. I have such great memories, memories that were made to be, so that I’d always remember what a wonderful man I had married. We were together for 57 magnificent years.
    I’ll soon see you at Vroman’s in Pasadena, Susan. Happy Trails Susan & Joe!
    (Sandy from Chihuaha Flats)

    • sbranch says:

      Looking forward to seeing Sondra . . . won’t be long now. Love your sweet memories xoxoxo

  45. Barbara The Stalker says:

    Hi Susan! I met you and Joe at your book signing in Danville CA. What a treat! I’m the woman (stalker) who also said hello at the restaurant. Anyway, enough about me, I just finished your MV Ilse of Dreams and it’s your best book yet! I loved it. I plan to send it to a dear cousin who is struggling with challenges similar to yours. Thank you for sharing your story and your art!
    Barbara the Stalker

    • sbranch says:

      LOL, “Barbara the Stalker” — stop . . . what a riot. And Thank you for the kind words, Love hearing you liked the book! Give your cousin a hug from me to go along with that book! xoxo

  46. Susan Thompson says:

    I cried reading your latest blog. I cried with joy seeing glimpses of peace across our beautiful country. I cried with happiness seeing the happy (lucky!) faces of girlfriends everywhere. And I loved the pictures of your cats and garden in California. Then, the children’s march to the sea just did me in. Thank you for sharing with us/me. YOU enrich my life. Happy, safe travels!

  47. Kathleen from Philly says:

    Hi Susan,
    Still enjoying the memory of your talk at Holly Hedge in PA. I wish we could have a replay of it and all your stops, wouldn’t that make the Girlfriends happy? I loved hearing you read your own words. Just checked the NYT list and happy to note you are #3, can #1 be far behind? I find it hard to believe that (with the publication of MVIOD) this is the first time you have achieved this honor. You have been a well kept secret, I guess. This can only help the chances of a movie, right? Enjoy your well deserved family time. And your vacation is just around the corner! xoxo

    • sbranch says:

      WE are a well-kept secret . . . still are. But you guys have been sharing the secret and that’s what’s making all the difference. Thank you so much Kathleen! It’s been amazing. xoxo

  48. Susan Thompson says:

    I cried reading your latest blog. I cried with joy seeing glimpses of peace
    across our beautiful country. I cried with happiness seeing the happy
    (lucky!) faces of girlfriends everywhere. And I loved the pictures of your
    cats and garden in California. Then, the children’s march to the sea just did
    me in. Thank you for sharing with us/me. YOU enrich my life. Happy, safe travels!

  49. Janette J. says:

    Oh wow! Cutie shoes! Thank you for the link and for taking the time to answer so many comments…I can’t imagine. A true girlfriend. BTW, so I ended up with a 2nd copy of “Isle” from King’s English (to get in). Shouldn’t tell you this…but from the extra copy, I’m cutting out (I know) quotes and beautiful snippets of your writings (wonderful paper) as well as artwork, and taping them around my house as BUOYS. You are to me a beacon of joy and a teacher who’s both done the work and found her work. God bless!
    P.S. You’ve got me meditating again and I’m hooked. Seeing the results. Do you know if the guided meditations you used are recorded anywhere? I recall (?) something like a “love and be loved” part. You may have answered this…just making my way thru the past blog posts now.

    • sbranch says:

      I couldn’t be prouder … secret is, I’ve cut up a couple of books in my time too. The guided meditations I used were from the 80s and not in stores ever, more like homemade tapes. Over the years I’ve come up with my own version that I use on me, and sometimes others, but have never recorded. Maybe I will try to record them, if people think it would help. Couldn’t be happier for you meditating, such a powerful thing!

      • Debbie Powell says:

        I think that would be a great idea. Since reading MVIOD, I have been trying to find something on Mediation to order on Amazon. I saw a segment on the news about a school that had incorporated it into the day for the students and what successes that had been seen from implementing the practice. I am interested in trying it, just don’t know where to start. Need help in finding a plan ; )

        • Debbie Powell says:

          darn spell correct-meditation

        • sbranch says:

          Okay, I’ll write some more about it. I really thing a guided meditation makes it so much easier to begin…rather than just trying to contain brain in total silence . . . so hard to do that. xoxo

      • Diane says:

        Oh, Susan. I would love to have recordings of your meditations in your soothing, calm, quiet voice. I think that would be so helpful. About 4 years ago I had a began a big flare up of some chronic health issues. Luckily I discovered yoga and meditation with a gifted yoga therapist 2 years ago that has made such a difference in the quality of my life. So yes – your recordings of guided meditations would be wonderful!

        • sbranch says:

          Isn’t it just a miracle, how much we can control things in our bodies with just our thoughts? xoxo

      • Oh, yes!! What a wonderful gift it would be, Susan, if you could record some of your favorite guided meditations!!💕 Please think about it…
        Enjoy this amazing outpouring of love and admiration, so richly deserved! Extra-special hugs for your mom and dad from all of us!!💗💗 Wishing you and Joe safe travels on this happy adventure!
        Warm hugs,
        Dawn (in Illinois)

        • sbranch says:

          Hi Sweetie, thank you …. I’m definitely thinking about it. We’re in Georgia now, still heading for home, but soon I’ll get to rest and refill my creative jets and then we’ll see!

      • Anne Miller says:

        Yes, Susan…would love guided meditation by Susan Branch!

  50. Donna Watkinson says:

    Dear Susan,

    Congratulations on Isle of Dreams being included in the NYT Best Seller List! That is such an honor and I’m so happy for you!

    I recently finished reading A Fine Romance and it was just dreamy. With your vivid descriptions, gorgeous photos and illustrations I felt I was there right along with you and Joe!

    My Mom asked what I’ll do now that I’ve finished your trilogy. Order more books I told her of course! Definitely have to order the revised Heart of the Home. Pretty soon I’ll have to add another shelf just for your books. They are treasures and I love them all!

    • sbranch says:

      That’s so nice to hear Donna . . . I’m happy you’ve enjoyed them . . . I just need to write them faster!

  51. Gini Gould says:

    Susan Susan!! I’m finally ready to speak, but first I was so excited seeing you, it took a whole bunch of time to peel myself off the ceiling after your visit to to Salt Lake City!! Being in the same room with you was a highlight in my life, and I know why: I hold the highest regard for you and what you are doing to encourage women of all ages to love and to treasure their homes, to enjoy cooking/baking (it’s therapeutic!), to make handmade….. to love to entertain, and the list is endless. We need your role modeling of putting a highest value on the “home” experience, for in these days, people seem to rush along with the rush. And as you’ve pointed out, Robert Frost said that everybody should be free to go very slow. It’s so true! Eating fast food and using a home as a place to change clothes, sleeping and garbling down a quick breakfast and then rushing out the door, only to repeat the pattern day after day, is not acceptable for women; we deserve more than this!! Susan, I believe it takes all you offer women to make a house a home. Without your teachings, the female gender is lacking something us gals all need as part of who we are. (Proverbs Chapter 31, Verses 10-31)

    Rachael- let’s talk about Rachael. Rachael gave equal time to all of us at the end of the line. Rachael and I solved most of the problems facing our world these days, and even without indulging in a spot of tea! What a privilege to have a picture of Rachael and me on your blog. (I got to visit with a lot of the girlfriends that evening, and I can tell you this- they ALL were your kind of gals!!!) I know why- because we all have YOU in common!!

    I knew you would love The (tiny) King’s English Bookstore, with its tiny rooms. (You told us once upon a time, that you love tiny houses and tiny rooms.)

    I enjoyed chatting with Joe too. He’s a keeper, Susan!! Congratulations on everything that is going forward in your life right now. So exciting!

    • sbranch says:

      Dearest Gini, how wonderful to hear from you! Lovely words, go right to the heart. Thank you so much for coming and being a part of it! XOXOXO

  52. Congratulations on being a best seller! It’s telling that a book like yours should be so successful. We might not often realize it, but so many people are looking for stories like yours and the inspiration they provide. Not to mention the beauty of your art!

    A couple of weeks ago, my wife and daughter and I were sitting in church writing notes to one another and trying not to laugh (isn’t this what everyone does in church?) and my daughter came up with the idea of driving down to your next book-signing. Although it didn’t quite work out, you should know that we at least seriously considered the 12 hour excursion to see you! We were there in spirit.

    Also, such fun to see your pictures from the road. We often forget just how huge America is and how much open space exists! Your photos make me pine for a road trip of my own.

    Finally, you mentioned the fact that you love your work. What a wonderful thing to be able to say. And, what a marvelous thing it is to bring so many people together because of that work! You are helping people to make new friends and get closer to old ones. That’s a pretty valuable day’s work!

    • sbranch says:

      I felt you there Jake, thank you SO much for the thought! 12 hours, maybe NOT!!! 🙂 You are so dear with your kind thoughts, I appreciate it so much. Please give a big hug to your family for me. XOXOXO

  53. Gini Gould says:

    I’m sorry for duplicates. Another gremlin here to blame, for my reply wouldn’t click over to “Your comment is awaiting…” Now I see there are three copies finally appearing. Oh, horrors!!

  54. Mary Ellen Harris says:

    Just finished reading Isle of Dreams and I loved it. I read portions to my husband when we were driving places in the car. I never do that but somehow I knew he would enjoy it. He loved the section about John Madden and others I read to him. He agrees you are very special and gifted. I just ordered A Fine Romance and can’t wait to get it. You touch a special place in my heart! Thank you, Susan!

    Mary Ellen H. in Virginia

  55. charissa says:

    I just finished reading your wonderful book again (3rd time, needed an inspiration boost) and I was wondering… can u remember the name of the book or program you used for meditation? I have been looking for one on amazon. There are so many. None of the ones that I saw seemed like a good fit. I thought yours might be a good fit and others might benefit from knowing too. Thank you and thank you for giving me that extra boost I needed as you have always done for me. I feel so lucky to have you in my life. Xoxo

    • sbranch says:

      You probably already know (I’m so late in replying to this) that I’m thinking about recording a cd meditation tape this Winter, if I can figure out how to have it made. The recording part is easy, the getting it made and into an envelope and onto the website is the hard part!

      • charissa says:

        Oh my gosh. No, I had not heard that. How have I missed it??!! I am so very excited. I will be first in line for it. What wonderful news. Just spreadng your inspiration all over the place. Lucky us. Xoxo

  56. Sara says:

    I finally purchased your book online and am anxiously awaiting it’s arrival!! You are like a fairy godmother just sending *poofs* wherever you are that make all us girlfriends oh so very happy! Thank you for your magical touch!!!! 😘🐱🐦🐇

  57. Suzette Shoulders says:

    Susan, Just catching up on your dear blog and your happy travels, after having been a while away from home! I loved seeing so many happy faces! If I want GOOD NEWS, I come to YOU! I can answer the question about what to do after reading all three of your memoir books…. RE-read them! I intend to start again on ‘A Fine Romance ” and enjoy dear olde England all over again! I have the fantasy of going over on a ship, but I suspect I will be flying. I love England, and have such good memories of times there. Some of the places you and Joe visited were places my buddy Jenny and I visited, such fun! Thanks so much for your wonderful blog, and oh, boy, congrats on the NYT bestseller list, YOU GO < GIRL!!! hugs, Suzette in Oregon

  58. Caroline says:

    Dear Susan, My girlfriend and I loved meeting you at RJ Julia’s at the beginning of your wonderful trip across the country! Thank you for sharing. You have inspired me in in so many ways. If you recorded your guided meditations, it would just be miraculous! Please do it sometime this long cold winter! I will preorder now:) Much Love to you and to Joe for being such light in the world, Caroline ~girl friend in green polka dot sweater and great lover of passing on wonderful books!

    PS. Desperate to find a new book that could even be read after Isle of Dreams, I was finally given The Boys in the Boat. Wonderful! Inspiring! and Joe would love it too. I am off to your store to search for another good book to read! Caroline

    • sbranch says:

      SO happy to meet you too Caroline in the green polka dot sweater!!! Thank you so much for coming and spreading your light! XOXOX

  59. Irene Talaasen says:

    Oh, Susan, I am almost finished with Isle of Dreams and love it!! You were in Denver about 70 miles from us and it was a day we just couldn’t come and it made me sad to miss you; I have waited for you to be nearby!! Anyway, loving the book and so thankful you wrote it and know how the Lord blessed you in that time, far away from CA and alone but not ever alone!! Now I am rereading Heart of Home (the original one…….with so much meaning!) and look forward to the revised one.
    Blessings, your friend in Colorado!

    • sbranch says:

      Thank you so much Irene! So nice to hear that . . . I’m sorry to have missed you, but may next time!

  60. Diane Harris says:

    Hello Sweet Sue, I am so very thrilled for you and Joe! #3!!! Now you know what this means? You’ve cracked the nut, you’ve discovered the formula, so you must do it again! With all your travels back and forth across this country, there’s a book in there waiting to come out! A quaint USA travel book combined with a Finding yourself Book that only you can do so brilliantly! Something to think about on those long roads home. Wishing you safe travels on this Flag Day and Happy Times! Much love, Diane

    • Diane Harris says:

      Wondering if you’ve overlooked this?

      • sbranch says:

        I probably haven’t seen it yet Diane, sorry, I haven’t been able to check in in way too long . . . I’ll look for it as I go along. (The last comments come in first here, so the ones that came in a few days ago are at the bottom.)

    • sbranch says:

      Thank you darling Diane! XOXOXO

  61. Ginger from TX says:

    Susan, hope your book tour is going really well. I was sooooo looking forward to your stop in Austin and getting to meet you, and then realized we would be out of town celebrating Father’s Day with our son and his wife. I’m so sad to miss you, but couldn’t pass up the opportunity to spend the weekend with our son. Have a wonderful time in Austin. Safe travels on your remaining tour.

  62. Merci says:

    Oh, Susan, a little ahead of you, but of course you (and Joe) are so busy traveling around the country making all us Girlfriends so happy to have the opportunity to meet you and your “smitten” Joe. Such a wonderful pleasure to finally meet you in Prescott. You and Joe were so kind, thoughtful and precious! There was never a rush to get done with the signing, you took your time to talk to everyone! And, Joe was gracious to walk around and talk to everyone and take tons of pictures! Again, you didn’t disappoint, you are the wonderful lady we all believed you to be! I want to grow up to be just like you! More later…..

    • sbranch says:

      Thank you poetic lady! xoxoxo We loved every moment of it, thank you for being there! I’m now about to close up the computer, into the Fine Romance Van we go, and onward toward Austin, Texas!

      • Mary Heiland says:

        So happy Merci made the trek from Payson to Prescott 🙂 She’s right … you didn’t disappoint! Still basking in the memories of a beautiful day … white bunting, the queen, secret garden, hats, birdcages, banners, teacups from trees, candy bar, raffle quilt, scones, cream, jam & curd, SB tea, sandwiches & sweets, babies in pink hats, a nonagenarian, locals and out-of-staters, birthday celebrators, Butterfield sisters, artists, librarian, hospice, Peregrine Book Co, Q & A, ♥ of the Home 30th anniversary edition, pinkies & gloves, girlfriends united … all made for a very memorable day. With gratitude & love … xoxo

        • sbranch says:

          MARY, you are pure MAGIC and so was that day. Don’t forget your adorable pink spectator SHOES!!! And the weeping willow tree! And your daughters! And your MOM!!! For Hospice. Amazing. I LOVED it, and will never forget it. What a GIFT. 💝 Thank you!

      • Susan Morgon ( Ohio gal from SoCal ) says:

        I know my friend Chris from Knickerbocker is looking forward to meeting you there! It’s so fun to be on the road with you, well, in a manner of speaking, and watch your progress!

  63. judi says:

    I’m trying to follow you. I’m not a twit (Twitter), l sent pic of my bookshelf with your books to an email addy cause didn’t know how to post to your FB page. You sadly never made it to FL … Still have my A fine Romance girlfriend name tag, un used and now my printer died … I’m a mess but, still trying to keep track of you on the road. Safe travel you two! judi

  64. Isabel says:

    Hi Susan,

    I know you are busy with your tour but you have not posted for 3 weeks. Hope everything is going well. Hope to see more “signing” blogs soon.

    • sbranch says:

      Yes, busy, I’m sorry. We’re so “on the road” — which isn’t quite as simple as it sounds, unpacking and reloading the van, doing laundry, icing up the coolers, grocery shopping, and other such things we forgot to plan for!!! Normally it takes me 6 to 8 hours to put up a blog . . . and lately I just haven’t had those hours! Oh well, soon I’ll be back to “normal” again!

  65. charissa says:

    Waaah! I was so excited to meet you in Austin (actually excited is not the word for it), but my hubby has to have kidney stone surgery unexpectedly tomorrow and now my dream is gone. I am so heartbroken. I haven’t said anything to him because I think he forgot with all these health issues and will try to push himself for Saturday as he knows how much this means to me. It’s more important for him to rest and he is the bestest so I need to be the bestest back. Just wanted to explain my absence. Not that anyone would notice, but I had promised to be there on FB. I was so looking forward to meeting YOU and all the Girlfriends. And Joe too. I know you will have a wonderful turnout and I am just DEVASTATED to have missed it. With a heavy heart, xoxo

    • sbranch says:

      SO happy I got to see you at our popup at the British Emporium! Worked out so good! XOXOXOX

  66. Carol says:

    It’s all your fault, Susan! I’ve been reading the Martha’s Vineyard book this week and tonight started reading the “It’s Raining Men” pages. I was single once ~ way back when ~ so I get it! I have been laughing hysterically; in fact, laughing so hard that tears were streaming. Now my mascara is probably somewhere around my nose. I thought the dune buggy date “Wilma Flintstone!”) was hilarious until I read about the others, particularly Goat. That was hooting and hollering time for sure! I am just so glad my husband isn’t at home because he would want me to explain why I was hysterical and there’s no way I could! Fortunately, the word goat rarely comes up in my life and that’s a good thing, because I fully expect to start bursting into laughter any time it does. Oh girl, thanks for keeping me entertained with your true tales. Goat!

  67. Anita Taylor says:

    It’s been a week now since I saw you in Pasadena. I purchased Fairy Tale Girl and both laughed and cried my way through it. Being a mere 6 years apart in age I could relate to most everything you said. From parallel childhoods (except I was an only child who wanted brothers SO bad!) Growing up in the magic of the 50’s; everyone should have been blessed with this experience. The strength you found/find in girlfriends (where would we be without them??) A miserable first marriage … you had Cliff and I Dwayne. That awful pit in the stomach we got when we realized that Prince Charming (PC) was a toad, the happily ever after with a white picket fence was melting and slipping through our clammy fingers. Do you think if we had not been raised in a “Disney” land mentality we may have been tougher?? Maybe that is why I rarely visit Disney’s world when I only live a few miles away. My heart broke again when you realized your marriage was dead. Reading your books is like sitting and visiting with an old friend. Now, half way through Isle of Dreams I am feeling sad knowing I will be done in a few weeks and will have to wait who knows how long for the next installment since I read a Fine Romance first. And finally, kitties, kitties, I have had a million. Put on earth to care for woman damaged by their first loves! I look forward to my next visit to the island and if you see a goofy 62 year old woman with a blond pony tail blowing in the wind lurking around your Spring Street home don’t fear … it’s just me! Thank you, thank you for sharing your love story, your love of cooking and your art with the rest of us … your faithful California girlfriends.

    • Anita Taylor says:

      It’s been a week now since I saw you in Pasadena. I purchased Fairy Tale Girl and both laughed and cried my way through it. Being a mere 6 years apart in age I could relate to most everything you said. From parallel childhoods (except I was an only child who wanted brothers SO bad!) Growing up in the magic of the 50’s; everyone should have been blessed with this experience. The strength you found/find in girlfriends (where would we be without them??) A miserable first marriage … you had Cliff and I Dwayne. That awful pit in the stomach we got when we realized that Prince Charming (PC) was a toad, the happily ever after with a white picket fence was melting and slipping through our clammy fingers. Do you think if we had not been raised in a “Disney” land mentality we may have been tougher?? Maybe that is why I rarely visit Disney’s world when I only live a few miles away. My heart broke again when you realized your marriage was dead. Reading your books is like sitting and visiting with an old friend. Now, half way through Isle of Dreams I am feeling sad knowing I will be done in a few weeks and will have to wait who knows how long for the next installment since I read a Fine Romance first. And finally, kitties, kitties, I have had a million. Put on earth to care for woman damaged by their first loves! I look forward to my next visit to the island and if you see a goofy 62 year old woman with a blond pony tail blowing in the wind lurking around your Spring Street home don’t fear … it’s just me! Thank you, thank you for sharing your love story, your love of cooking and your art with the rest of us … your faithful California girlfriends.

      • sbranch says:

        Thank you Anita, that was wonderful. Two girls, same boat! Yes, I do think our fairy tale world did not prepare us for change, but I’m not sure anyone could imagine how fast the changes would come in our lifetimes, and that beat definitely goes on!!! I think it’s up to us alone by ourselves to figure out how to slow life down if we can!

    • sbranch says:

      Thank you back Anita! I think I already answered you, it may be here twice because I’ve taken so long to answer . . . but anyway, just in case I’m wrong and I didn’t answer it, I just want to say THANK YOU for your sweet memories!

  68. Janette J. says:

    I would love it if you were to record a meditation cd. There is so much anxiety in the world, it seems it could be of great benefit. Especially for those who may not otherwise ever try it To me, it’s nice to have a “familiar” person/voice to practice a technique with if I am feeling alone…probably like a lot of girlfriends. :).
    Please let me know if it becomes a reality…I would like to make a contribution. Wishing you safe and fun travels as you meander toward home!

    • sbranch says:

      If I get to do it, I’ll be sure to put it on the blog. Thank you for the encouragement Janette . . . !

  69. marty from New York City says:

    Happy Father’s Day to Blog Daddy Jack! you certainly raised the whole clan just right. Wishing you Good Health and Happiness–Marty

  70. Teresa says:

    I received my 30th anniversary HOTH book! Such a gorgeous cover, oh goodness. I didn’t compare it to my original yet, and I want to savor each page, but I quickly thumbed through it and saw a lot of the new recipes. So glad you included the crunchy apple coleslaw. I’ve been making that for a while from your blog and love it. And excited to receive the blueberry cornmeal cakes recipe (without the Jiffy!!!). I am going to try that one first with all of my blueberries. Just love the new book and can’t wait to enjoy it in detail page by page. Hope you are having fun on your trip!!!

    • sbranch says:

      Happy to hear you got Heart Teresa! (In more ways than one 💞) … glad you like it, I do too … it’s just exciting to see it out there again, especially with all the new stuff in it. The trip is fantastic, we will never forget it!!

  71. Jean says:

    I just received the new Heart of the Home cookbook💞 Thumbing through it felt just like that very first time 30 years ago🤗 I didn’t expect to get it so soon, I thought maybe in the fall, but no…and what a happy surprise!!! Just like the first HOTH it will take up an honored spot on my kitchen cookbook shelf. I just love it and the new recipes (as well as the old tried and true recipes) thank you Susan!!! I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again you bring so much joy into my life with your wonderful books and water colors , I just think your the cat’s!!!

    • sbranch says:

      Merci Jean! Love to hear that. Thank you so much! Yes, the new version of Heart of the Home won’t be anywhere but in our store until after September… we’re sort of holding back so that maybe some of the independent bookstores can get it from us and have it for a couple of months before it goes to the wholesalers and distributors. SO nice to have the “Power!” xoxoxo

      • Susan Chicas says:

        I was blessed to purchase the last copy of the new HOTH at Vroman’s the night we attended your signing! Now I understand why they had it in stock, when I thought only mail-order would do. I’m so glad to have it, especially after just finishing MVIR! Thank you for visiting the SoCal area; I would have liked to go to Prescott, too, but couldn’t get my act together before it sold out. So very glad we were able to see you in Pasadena! Safe journey, and Happy Independence Day to you both.

  72. Vicki says:

    Susan, your ‘rep’ should update your Wikipedia page. It seems to stop 3 yrs ago. You have so much more since then to toot your horn about!!

    Hope you’re enjoying your westerly visits (dodging wildfires, hope not).

    • Vicki says:

      Oh, I’m kinda out of the loop; been computerless of late. You’ve actually missed the SB/Goleta fires (ugh, so much smoke drift over a wide area, and we’re so hot in SoCal; in the beginnings of an awful 4-5 day heatwave). You’re already in Texas today and will be home by 4th of July; wow, what a whirlwind trip; it seems like it went by fast; you must be sorta exhausted of the road!

      • sbranch says:

        We can’t wait to see home and kitties, but it’s been a joy and a gift to be here meeting everyone. Stay cool Vicki, thank you for writing! xoxoxo

    • sbranch says:

      I really don’t have a “rep.” Someone did that a while back, but I have no idea where they are now! But thank you, I should figure out how that is done. Nope, no problem with wildfires, just lots of heat, and thankfully, lots of air conditioning! xoxo

  73. Holly says:

    Hi Susan,
    Have you heard about the Amazon series ‘Julian Fellows Presents Doctor Thorne.’ It’s an original Amazon production, that Fellows did for them, adapted from the book Dr, Thorne from the Chronicles of Barsetshire series by Anthony Trollope. It’s rather cute, charming & a bit funny. Without Downton it fills British drama need.

    • sbranch says:

      I’ve heard of it, but haven’t really looked at it … being on the road is a little limiting. I think one of my favorite things about Downton, looking back, was that it was on TV, Sunday nights, and everyone in the country could share it at the exact same time. Made it better, like we were football fans, with our team!

  74. Mary McCatherine says:

    Dear Susan,
    You are a beautiful, beautiful soul and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for coming to Texas today. Joe is such a kind gentleman as well. Both of you were patient and kind to everyone present at The Book People in Austin. Joe was covered in Texas heat, but still had a smile as if that was the most normal situation for him.
    I have wanted to meet you for so many years…a dream come true. I still have some moments where it does not seem real. It was almost like meeting up with a friend that I have been away from for many years. When talking to ladies sitting near me, I got the feeling that they felt the same way.
    I came to Martha’s Vineyard two years ago. You inspired that trip. My husband and I enjoyed that trip so much, but I do not know what I was thinking. Maybe I thought you would magically appear and I left no corner unturned 🙂 I digress…sorry.
    Thank you for signing The Fairy Tale Girl (I own it already along with Martha’s Vineyard Isle of Dreams, and A Fine Romance, but I bought The Fairy Girl today…my cousin will enjoy the copy I had at home…). I am so very happy and appreciative of you taking the time to sign Baby Love for my “baby” Alex. I know this will make his baby book more special. You are sweet and patient and kind.
    I wish you safe travels out there on the road for the remainder of your trip. And I hope you find time to rest, relax, and enjoy a cup of tea sweetened with Lampasas, TX honey! It is really delicious. (The honey is only a small token in comparison to the joy you have given me the past 22 years with your cookbooks, calendars, cards, blogs, Willards and so much more.) Please know that MANY friends will be thinking about you and wishing you well as you move to your next stop! Just sorry to say that it takes FOREVER to reach the Texas state line no matter which way you travel because you were truly in the HEART of Texas!
    Love, Mary McCatherine
    P.S. My husband John enjoyed seeing you as well. He has heard so much about you throughout the years, he said he feels like he has always known you. 🙂

    • sbranch says:

      Oh Mary, you are so sweet. It was just wonderful to meet you! We loved driving through Texas, in one side and out the other in something like 4 or 5 days, and all the wild flowers and charming towns. In fact we’ve very much enjoyed our trip through the whole south ~ we’re in Georgia now and it’s been beautiful getting here. I feel like I know everyone too, it’s very surreal, my eyes search faces and want to put the names to them. Thank you, and your husband, for coming to see us. XOXO

  75. mary spring says:

    …good morning dear Susan !..’such a wonderful post about your book touring journey..thank you for sharing this with all of us..especially for those who weren’t able to meet and greet you at one of your events !!..’can’t wait to hear about your visit with your Mother and Father ( !!!) and the rest of your awesome journey !!…meanwhile we have been loving updates via twitter pics… thank you Susan ( and Joe )..’hope your journey continues to be absolutely wonderful !!!… with love, as always… p.s…btw, you are more than half way home !!!

    • sbranch says:

      I know, now we are even closer, crossing into our favorite time zone just this morning when we came into Georgia! It continues to be a gift that we will never forget. Thank you Mary xoxoxo

  76. Susan says:

    Aloha Susan,
    Gosh, what a fun looking tour! You and Joe have had quite the experience. My husband (Bruce) and I would love to get back to the mainland for a road trip. Such fun! One day, that may happen. Love the pictures of old those smiling faces.
    Hope you have had a safe journey home.!
    Susan from Maui

  77. Charissa says:

    I am the happiest girl in the world today. As I got to meet you at the British Emporium today!! RED LETTER DAY FOR SURE!!! Can’t wipe the smile off my face:o))))) You were so gracious, darling, and sweet. (I was tongue tied and seeing stars and trying not to full out cry and tell you how much you mean to me) Met a few Girlfriends too. And one sweet gal took my picture which I can’t remember if I even thanked her. I think I did, but just in case… THANK YOU and thank you to all who encouraged me to do it. I am grateful that I did. I was so excited and flustered and trying not to cry that I can barely remember what happened. Thank you to all the Girlfriends that let me get all my books signed XOXO And thank you Susan for signing them. Your poor hand. You made everyone’s day! AND thank you to Joe who is just as charming as you think he is and who signed his book for me and gave me 2,TWO, DOS, deux, kisses on my cheek. This made my husband so jealous (the fake jealous kind) He threatened to come down there and give Susan two kisses on the cheek just to get him back:) Which is hilarious because he is so reserved. We laughed and laughed. Susan and Joe the picture of bliss. I just had the best time. And thank you to Sheela at the British Emporium for being a wonderful host and store owner. She made us all feel so welcome while trying to run the store as well xoxoxo

    • sbranch says:

      You and your husband are adorable! Fake jealous and shy kisses! Thank you sweetheart, give him a hug for me.

  78. noonie (Bainbridge Island, Wa.) says:

    HAPPY FATHER’S DAY, BLOG DADDY!!!! I hope that your day is filled with the love of family and friends….

  79. Deborah in Odessa,Tx. says:

    We made it to Austin. I loved it. My 2 friends, my 8 yr old granddaughter and my daughter. We have pics. You were everything I expected. Hi to Chris Wells. I looked for you..I happened to say your name and a lady said you were at the table getting your book signed and were leaving. I got out of line and went downstairs and paged you. I am so sorry I didn’t get to meet you. It was a wonderful event. So happy you made it. Susan said you had to get back home. Susan you are the best to remember us. Thank you for sharing your life with us

    • sbranch says:

      And vice versa Deborah . . . I’m sure Chris will read this and be sorry she missed you!!! Thank you for coming and bringing everyone. I just loved every moment of it!

  80. Charissa says:

    Couldn’t sleep and now that I have come back down to earth after seeing you, I have thought of the 15 things I had wanted to say and didn’t because I was just a complete mess inside. I think I should have only had you sign a book or two and gone to the end of the line and gone back around, but that thought never even occurred to me as I could barely form words.

    Sorry to all that were there that this did not come to me earlier. I am usually very conscientious and I feel I might have really failed those who I most wanted to show it to. Even though I asked y’all and you said it was ok, but what were you going to say. Duh. I am an idiot. This was my first book signing ever. I am very sorry… I was not on my game. Just an utter ball of emotions. Thank you for indulging me. I had been heartbroken because I was supposed to drive to Bookpeople in Austin, but my husband had to have emergency kidney stone surgery earlier that week and I only found out about the signing in Grapevine a few hours before so I think I was in some kind of happiness nervousness trance that my dream had not died. I apologize profusely for flubbing this up.

    What I really wanted to say besides how much you, Susan, mean to me and how much you have helped me in all aspects of my life (which I think I said quickly, but then stopped because tears came) was… THANK YOU!!! Thank you for being yourself and letting me and the whole world find happiness, joy, determination, fun, inspiration, and kindness just by you being you! What a gift to us. My life is so much better by just having you in it and the world is so much better by having you in it and the millions you inspire. And thank you for this tour. While wonderfully fun and happy and good for book sales, I could see the hardships of travel too and I wanted to thank you from the bottom of my heart from all of us. It was a true gift from you to all who have been in attendance. Still in awe in Texas xoxoxo

    • sbranch says:

      You are so funny Charissa because you seemed so normal! Like I seem normal when I have to give a talk, but I am just like you on the inside, barely squeaking out the words, and praying not to look like a total idiot! You did everything perfectly! Not a thing would I change! You are a dear and a darling and your goodness just shone right through. XOXOX Thank you for coming, it would not have been half so fun without you!

      • Charissa says:

        Normal?! Me? No. So glad you didn’t notice my hands shaking, my heart beating out of my chest, the weepy eyes and trying not to go into the ugly cry, or the utter inability to say anything that I wanted and planned to say. And I was glad I was in the car far away from you screaming on the phone to my mom that I just met you and my mom thinking something terrible had happened because she couldn’t understand my screaming. And so glad you missed me flying down the highway at almost 100 until I looked at the speedometer. Or me rushing in to do the happy dance with my husband and tell him all about you and my craziness. LOL But glad you understand the feeling. I have no idea how you do those interviews. I would probably blackout or something. Thank you for saying everything was ok. I’m the type of person that dwells on things if I think I made a mistake. So that helped a lot. xoxo

  81. Rachel says:

    Dear Susan and Joe, thank you SO MUCH for coming to Austin. Your book signing was just THE best! I was able to meet several of the girlfriends who make comments on your blog….it was really nice to put faces with names. You were so gracious to take time with each of us….and Joe was so much fun to talk with and listen to as he walked the line talking with us and talking photos. May the rest of your trip be fun for you two….and may you back to your Isle of Dreams safely. Rachel Scott

    • sbranch says:

      Rachel, Thank YOU for coming!!! Do you know, I was unaware that it was YOU that brought all those cookies for everyone until Joe and I were on our way home! Although, knowing you, I should have guessed!!!! SO adorable and generous of you. Thank you, as always so very special. xoxoxoxo

      • Rachel says:

        Susan, you are most welcome. It was fun to have a treat for the girlfriends to enjoy, especially since they are your recipes. There was a sample plate so they would know from which of your books they were taken. I really like Annie Hall’s Butter Cookies to make cutouts for my grand’s school classroom holiday cookie decorating. And, the Chocolate Dipped Coconut Macaroons are just plain addictive….I had a few left to take to our family Father’s Day lunch. They have both become part of our Christmas tradition as well. Rachel

        • sbranch says:

          The potato chip cookies, although not the prettiest of them, are my favorites (tied with chocolate-coconut!), thank you so MUCH again Rachel!

    • Deborah in Odessa says:

      Thank you Rachel for the cookies. I loved the whole occasion.

  82. Mar Bailey in Longmont CO says:

    Congratulations on a job well done! Not one of us is a bit surprised.
    I was so excited to find out you and Joe were coming to Denver. I thought it was about time to introduce my 3 girlfriends to the World of Susan Branch. What better way than high tea at The Brown Palace and then meeting you at The Tattered Cover. Talk about stars in their eyes…they still haven’t recovered!
    You have filled my heart and soul with joy since a dear friend sent me Heart of the Home back in 1986. Isn’t it something that we girlfriends must pass on the pure joy of you to other girlfriends? It’s tradition and I thank you.

    • sbranch says:

      And I thank you back Mar! Loved you girls, all dressed up so cute for your Tea Party! Sending love . . . and hellos to the girls!

  83. Patricia Edde says:

    Hi SusieQ. I know you and Joe are really busy but when can we look forward to more new pictures and comments on your blog? I read the new book in 1 sitting and of course I loved it. When are you going to start part 4, your love affair with your Joe? I just got the updated “Heart of the Home” cookbook and enjoyed every mouth watering page. Your watercolors and quotes are so uplifting and can make a down day an up day. Isn’t it wonderful to be able to make a living doing something you love and that brings others so much enjoyment. Enjoy the rest of your trip and a safe return to Jack and Girl kitty.

    • sbranch says:

      I thought about writing a book about my love story with Joe, but it would be so boring! Page one would say “happy” — you turn the page, it says “happy,” next page says “happy” . . . and so on, forever. so far! I think a book needs to have highs and lows, and we’ve been pretty much steady, well, actually, totally steady since day one! I’ll try to update the blog soon. I never have enough straight hours to do it, we’re always packing and leaving or doing laundry or something. I get little blurbs in Twitter, but that’s about all. I’ll be back soon!

  84. Carilyn Wolski says:

    Hello Susan! Just a little note to say “hello” and wish you good luck on your book signing today in Memphis, TN. Hope you are well and feeling fine! You and Joe will need a “staycation” to restup and relax once you are back home with your kitties!!!!! I’ve enjoyed following you this summer throughout your travels via the beautiful photos posted in this blog… happy for your great success, and new friendships acquired from your WONDERFUL trilogy of books!!!!! Last Saturday I received two of your cookbooks I ordered, Heart of the Home AND Autumn, for which I consider the treasures needed to console my sadness of not being able to see you on your tour…….they are are just divine! I’m savoring them, page by page, and oh what beautiful cookbooks they are! Once I read them, I will then dig in and start cooking away! Thank you Susan for all the sunshine and beauty you give to us Girlfriends through your creativity…….a “Happy Angel” you truly are! (P.S. My lavender is blooming gorgeous purple blossoms, all three huge plants in my cozy little backyard…….summer splendor in Dearborn, Michigan!) Take care of yourself! God Bless!

    • sbranch says:

      Love hearing from you Carilyn. We’re still enjoying this amazing gift of a trip across the country! But of course, home is smiling down on me right now . . . we begin going north tomorrow and arrived in our home time zone just today (as we crossed into Georgia). All’s well here, your garden sounds heavenly. xoxo

  85. Anne says:

    Hi Susan-were you aware that they discovered a Beatrix Potter manuscript in the V & A Museum? It is called The Tale of Kitty- In-Boots and she only did 1 illustration, but someone else did the rest and they are releasing it this Fall!

    PS I have read all 3 books and swooned over them, but the one on England is my most fave and I have it by the bedside. I have family there so it is my home in my heart.

    Thank you for you

  86. What a lovely trip! Thanks for taking me along. I’m sure a trip like this can be tiring. But what fantastic things you get to see along the way.

    • sbranch says:

      That’s the truth. We’ve particularly enjoyed the backroads in the South, through Texas, Arkansas, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia . . .

  87. I just received my copy of the 30th Anniversary Edition of the Heart of the Home! It’s beautiful! It has not lost any of the charm of the original! Well done! I love the new recipes! I plan on making the cranberry marmalade this autumn and give as gifts!

  88. Nonni says:

    I’ve been stuck in my bedroom for days now with Shingles! I exclaimed to my doctor upon hearing the diagnosis, “Isn’t that what old people get?! “It is,” he smiled- as he took in my silver white hair. “Oh yea,” I replied. “I am one!” (I’m seventy…but I feel forty, that is until I was felled by this horrible stuff called Shingles. Sorry, I regress…too long shut up in my bedroom! So what do I do to entertain myself (all the time feeling like crap)? I started with the first 2011 Susan Branch Blog entry and read EVERY Blog entered month to month (I’m on January 2013 at present). Since now I’m aware you have Pandora capability you HAVE to put in “Julie London Radio”. Oh my gosh they play all the 30’s and 40’s music! Sometimes I let it play for hours (while I’m reading your Blogs)…so apppropo, don’t you think? ha,ha. Well, got to go-time to get back to my Blog reading (they’re fabulous, by the way!). Enjoy your vacation.

    • sbranch says:

      Well Nonni, get well SOON!!! I’m so sorry. I had a girlfriend that got shingles and it does NOT sound fun!!! Thank you for letting me entertain you! xoxoxo

    • judi says:

      Oh, Nonni, what a super thing to do! Kinda like reading a book sure your gaining new friends like I did😎 judi

    • charissa says:

      Nonni, Bless your heart. Shingles are horrible:( I have never had them, but have nursed a friend and neighbor through. Oooooouuuuuccccchhhhh! Sending you get well soon hugs. Thank for the tip on julie london radio. I love it. xoxo

  89. Rachel says:

    Susan and Joe, I am SO excited that you went to Ivy Green….I was a bit concerned that the festival might keep you away. The larger crowds will be there this weekend. It’s a lovely place to visit and I hope you went into the room in the larger house that is more like a museum. She was truly a remarkable person and Annie must have had the patience of Job to tame the wild child that Helen had been allowed to become. Tuscumbia is also my home town….my mother’s and father’s families lived there. Did you go by the courthouse or by the Commons or down to Spring Park? I hope you enjoyed your visit. Rachel

    • sbranch says:

      We got lucky. We got there before the parade had started . . . they were lining up at the end of the street as we were leaving. So really, we had the place to ourselves and it was at its most perfect, and filled with flowers. We went into every room and just loved it. I’ll do a blog post on it one of these days. I was a little surprised at how CLOSE the cottage was to the main house… I always imagined it a bit further out. I made Joe stop at the courthouse so I could take a picture. What a sweet town that, to me, the unschooled, reeked of southern languor. All those huge old trees! There was a house across the street from Helen’s that was SO charming. They must have decided to “dress up” for the occasion, because it was just wonderful, big porch and prettiest garden. I took a picture, but I don’t think it did it justice.

      • sylvia in seattle says:

        How wonderful to visit such a place. Can’t wait for the upcoming blog about it.

  90. Elske Olijnsma says:

    Susan! I just finished Isle of Dreams! What should I do now?? I loved reading about your life on the island, Holly Oak and the kitties! I need more! Please tell me, is Holly Oak still there? I love that house. You can always post more pictures of the house 🙂 Please continue writing, you even have some girlfriends in Europe!!

    Love, Elske

    • sbranch says:

      I will do a post about Holly Oak soon. It’s still there, although the woman who owns it now has added on to it, it’s still darling. Joe and I are coming to England and having a BYO Picnic Basket Party on the lawn at Stourhead in Wiltshire on Sept 18 at 12 noon. Come if you can!

  91. Deidra Wilson says:

    Susan and Joe ~ There is no way I can communicate my feelings and appreciation for ALL of your enchanting books! You found the puzzle piece, missing from my heart, for the past 67 years in the new Trilogy of your diaries! When you opened your heart and shared your personal insights and feelings, how could you know of the love you poured out to so many of us.
    I was also SO blessed to to be at the bookstore in (I think October or November 1986), when I purchased, “Heart of the Home” ~ right as the book clerk was unpacking the first of many upcoming treasures. I knew we shared a true love for New England and this was the beginning of your (and, now my) adventure on the “road not taken.” You and Joe have touched more lives for the better than you can even imagine.
    Blessings, safe travel, and good sleep as you continue this wonderful trip! ~
    Deidra Wilson 🌷

  92. Gill says:

    Finally got my copy in the mail!! Woo Hoo! I read it until it was done, and then pulled out Heart of the Home and Vinyard Seasons from my bookshelf and read through them too😊…and just about remembered to pull my peach cake out of the oven in time! Love, love, loved it. I was right there with you in Laura Ashley and Banana Republic clothes😉I had a little island home too once upon a time, and now I am sooo homesick. Happy days.

  93. Margaret says:

    About your visit to Fox tale Book Shoppe yesterday, let me just create a quote from “nanny”, one of my favorite characters in Kay Thompson’s Eloise books: “Glorious! Glorious! Glorious!” (I tried writing that in Arfy, but I was a complete failure…and I used to be a language acquisition professor! LOL!). You and Joe made us all feel so welcome and part of the family within minutes of your arrival in that cute van…and you were the guests! You are both just “charming, charming, charming”! I must apologize for the heat…for your next trip to Georgia, try April when it’s cool, less humid, and my favorite dogwoods are in bloom.
    Now it’s on to Asheville! What a glorious, glorious, glorious town…very artsy-crafty (oh, the pottery and hand painted furniture!)…there’s so much to do, so you’ll have to be sort of selective if you’re short on leisure time. Of course the gardens at the Biltmore estate are glorious, glorious, glorious…if the heat’s oppressive , you could drive through in the van and still see plenty. Or, come back for a long weekend in the fall, spring, or (my fave) Christmastime when the entire estate is decorated! A must for any time of the year in Asheville, is the Grove Park Inn…constructed of huge river rocks and full of stories about former famous guests. You don’t have to stay there to have lunch or tea and listen to musicians…I’m not doing it justice here…just Google it and see what you think! safe and happy travels. Thanks for blessing us so graciously in Georgia! I hope you’ll enjoy the reading journal I made for you! Y’all come back and see us again, y’hear?

    • sbranch says:

      Glorious is hard to say in Arf and Arfy! But here we go: Glar-for-arfee-ar-fus. 😜 The heat down south while we were there, is like the cold in New England in January. You must have air-conditioning, like we must have heaters! We did get to dinner at Grove Park Inn, WOW, is all I can say . . . but we had to put the Biltmore on our still-to-see-list. Too hot to walk around, and we want to! So, next time. Loved Asheville. Also, BTW, your photo here just does not LOOK like a Margaret. Thank you for everything, it was wonderful to meet you!

      • Margaret says:

        Argh! I do not know how that picture got attached to my name! I’ll have to get a teenager or someone younger to help me change it to something more Margaretty. When I got home from meeting you, I lay my copy of “Martha’s Vineyard” on the counter while I took a shower. When I got out, my husband was deep into your book and he won’t let me have it back till he’s finished! He’s a huge fan now…I just wish he would read faster!!! He asked me to make beer butt chicken tonight for our anniversary, such is our “Fine Romance”! How could I resist? Kisses and hugs to The kitties, I’m so excited for you to be home again after a very successful tour. Congratulations!

  94. What a long long journey you have been on this summer! You must be sooooo looking forward to hugging your kittys! Here’s to a relaxing trip home on the ferry back to Martha’s Vineyard, having kitty fur all over your clothes and face, sleeping in your own bed, then waking up and watching the sun come up from your kitchen window! You two have given soooo much to all of us this summer! Thank you!

    • sbranch says:

      Oooooh, that about put me over the top of longing! I’m enjoying this part . . . I have one more signing here on the Cape today and then tomorrow morning we go home. xoxo

  95. Jennifer Tanner says:

    Dear Susan,

    I wrote you on here weeks ago about trying to make it to Malaprops in Asheville ( from Florida) but my my sons baseball team keeps winning and the next playoff game is of course Monday night during your talk in NC. I debated even driving to GA yesterday for the day but had a baseball team building party ( yes we are serious about this stuff-all good fun⚾️) I purchased Isle of Dreams over the phone just now with Amy at Malaprops and she said they would hold for me to pick up. What a fun treat to savor the final book once I do get to Asheville when this tournament is over(?)- hoping July!)

    May I just quickly say that when I think of my desire to travel 4 states to be at your book signing (not something I would normally do) I think it is in part how you are living out your life with great purpose and clarity. Clearly you know what you were created to do and you go about it with loveliness and beauty. That in itself is so inspiring. There is a verse (Job 37:6) that says God said for the snow to fall and for the rain to be a mighty downpour. Neat to think God created the snow to just be snow and fall and the rain to just be rain and rain mightily. If you apply that to yourself I think people love that you have figured out what you were created to do best and you do it so well. It’s neat to read in fairytales how those all started (drawing at 30- that gives hope of culmination even if I’m over 30:) and how you use your gifts in full abundance. Thank you for that example. Thank you for the joy of your books and the escape of beauty, cups of tea, gardening, quotes, literature, romance, friendship, yummy food ideas, faith/hope, penmanship, watercolor’s, England, and everything lovely. Your books and blog are proof that there are many who enjoy those things in today’s world where that type of living feels like a dream. Thank you for showing and inspiring those of us that try to continue living in this way.

    “Where even the teakettle sings from happiness.That is home.” E.S-Heink


    • sbranch says:

      So very sweet Jennifer. Thank you for all your kind comments. I’m glad you were there for your son’s game . . . despite being on the winning team, it would be no fun without mom to witness it! I’m just glad to have you as a Girlfriend! xoxo

  96. Tawni urrutia says:

    Good morning Sweet Sue!
    I was checking in on Blog Daddy. It’s been awhile since we’ve heard from our Commander in Chief of the Peanut Gallery, I miss him!
    Blessings and joy to you and Joe on the road H❤️ME!
    Tawni Urrutia, in Lodi, Ca.

  97. judi says:

    Loved to see the pics of that fab restaurant in NC. I have never been to that state but have always heard it is beautiful.

    Ahhh, in a week you will be home. Have loved following your (very rainy to start) wonderful cross country adventures. You must have every cell in your body filled with the love you have received from your “girlfriends” coast to coast. Many more of us that have been following your blog for years were with you in spirit😊

    Hugs to you and Joe as you approach the homestretch❣ Xoxo judi

    • sbranch says:

      I do, all cells are filled to the brim. It’s something I will NEVER forget. I have the BEST Girlfriends in the world . . . even the bookstore owners commented on how lovely everyone was!! And they were, I was so proud! Thank you for being there too Judi, virtual counts! xoxo

  98. JoyPence from Ohio says:

    Dear Susan, I just wanted to tell you that I miss you. I know you are busy with your book tour, but it is just not the same without a good blog post from you. Love, Joy

  99. Charissa says:

    I got my revised and expanded HOTH and you signed it on Father’s day and then after a busy week I finally got to read it Saturday. It’s lovely!!! A Good old friend with new accessories. I love the look and all the new content. I have been waiting for that Cranberry Tea Cake recipe for so long!!! I went straight to the store to get the ingredients to make for Sunday morning breakfast. I started out using a spring form pan and I don’t know if I didn’t have it in right or what, but while I was making the batter… I heard sizzling and opened the oven. Sticky cranberry goodness everywhere. Smoke from burning sugar. Smoke detectors going off. This is by no means a reflection on the recipe… just of me and my goofiness. I was not to be deterred and ran straight to the store for more cranberries. NOT using a spring form pan;) I easily whipped up this gorgeous recipe. I started to make the Vanilla Sauce and noticed your hilarious clipping of your fire and thought how apropos. My husband said it was ok to be twinkies with you, but he would prefer me not to burn the house down if I could help it. ANYHOO, this cake is HEAVEN!!!! and the Vanilla Sauce is the perfect accompaniment. I ate it for all 3 meals and a snack. I wanted to have a tea party with my husband, but because of his kidney stones he is no longer allowed to have tea!!! I hope I never get a kidney stone because I do not think I could live without tea!! Poor hubby! I was so excited about it I took a picture because it is beautiful and sent it to all my family who have requested it for when they visit or I visit them. Just wanted to say thank you for yet another wonderful recipe and gorgeous book and making my family happy. Can’t wait to try some more. xoxo

    • sbranch says:

      I’m so happy you liked the Cranberry Tea Cake. I totally agree, a keeper of a recipe!!! Glad the house didn’t burn down!

  100. Jennie Lou says:

    I have a thought for your meditation tapes: in the background, the soft tinkling sound if cups and saucers, handwashing dishes, kitties purring in the laundry basket, the soft snap of sheets hung on the line to dry, the swish of a broom tidying up the floors, the far-off sounds of a rake in the garden, chirping birds, walking along the path to the beach…all the sounds we imagine when we read your books and blog. Congratulations on climbing the NYTBL, our hearts soar with you! Isn’t the world a wonderful place!

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