CHRISTMAS IS COMING!!!

A VINEYARD CHRISTMAS, that is. Two weeks from tomorrow is the official launch of my latest Martha’s Vineyard novel…are you ready? Make your list now and check it twice…starting with entering my CONTEST to WIN a chance to be my GUEST for a day at CHRISTMAS IN EDGARTOWN! Next on your list: October 6th…come to the EDGARTOWN LIBRARY at 3:00 p.m. where I’ll be appearing. We’ll draw the winning contest name, and, YES, refreshments will include Christmas Cookies!!! (Nope, you don’t have to be there to win…but it will be fun!!!)Vineyard Christmas

Guiding me Home…

Vacation on Cape Cod is so much fun! For me, coming home is even better. Yesterday, this little guy sat outside my window on the ferry as we waited to leave Hyannis. He was pointing South, so, I figured that, like me, he was heading back to the island.

First thing tomorrow, I’ll be at my desk, doing what I love best, starting book #3 in my new Vineyard series; he’ll no doubt be sitting on a post in Vineyard Haven Harbor, doing what he loves best, keeping watch over the comings and goings of people, boats, and black dogs. And, also like me, I bet this little guy will be happy to be home.IMG_7137

CONTEST!

You and a friend will BE MY GUESTS—

Sat., Dec. 8th—at CHRISTMAS IN EDGARTOWN 2018!

THE PRIZE:    Your day will begin in the morning when I pick you and your friend up at the ferry in Vineyard Haven (from Woods Hole) or in Edgartown if you arrive from Hyannis. Choose what you want to do from tons of fabulous events: the Christmas Parade, the Holiday Crafts Fair, Open Houses, shopping, walking tours, and hot chocolate and mulled cider seemingly everywhere! You’ll see the list of events ahead of time to allow you to plan what you want to do. Plus, I will treat you to LUNCH at THE NEWES FROM AMERICA—a terrific, 18th century pub that I’ve featured in several of my Vineyard novels. I’ll have you back to the ferry for the 6:15 p.m. boat. Please ENTER! We’ll have FUN!

TO ENTER:     Send me a message through the contact page on my website. jeanstone.com, or Friend me on FB (JeanStoneBooks) and include a message that says you want to enter. The winner will be selected Sat., Oct. 8th at the launch of A VINEYARD CHRISTMAS at the Edgartown Library. (You don’t have to be there to win.) Spoiler alert: I drive a VW Beetle—there is a back seat, so if your friend has long legs, she’ll be more comfortable if she sits sideways.

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It’s a perfect way to get into the HOLIDAY SPIRIT! Please enter only once. And GOOD LUCK!

Coming Soon . . .

IMG_7054Welcome to Chappaquiddick, indeed! It’s summer now . . . there are lots of folks hiking, biking, and sunning on Chappy now, but soon . . . yes, SOON it will be—gasp!—Christmas . . . and, even better, A VINEYARD CHRISTMAS!

I am, of course, referring to my latest novel, which will be released Sept. 24th from Kensington Books. The first in a new Vineyard series, the story takes place on Chappaquiddick because I wanted to set it not only on the Vineyard but also in a place where my characters might get stranded if a fierce nor’easter rolled in, and where cell service and power might more readily crash.

But I’ve said too much. For now, here’s a photo of the sign on the front of, yes, you guessed it, the Chappy Community Center. This is the place where an awesome book group (that I whole-heartedly attend) meets in summers (and where tons of other fun stuff happens), and where the fabulous potlucks take place (where I love to go on Wednesday nights in winter).

So watch this sign . . . soon all will be revealed!

Crossing into Summer

Last night I was coming home from the Cape on the 7:45 p.m. boat, the Governor—the small, open freight ferry. The sun was starting to set, the water was calm, the night cool but not cold as there was hardly a breeze. In short, it was a perfect crossing. Until . . .
Just before we entered Vineyard Haven Harbor, we stopped. Dead. Dead Calm, I thought, remembering an old horror film that I hadn’t been able to watch that was based on an even older book that I couldn’t read, what with my over-active imagination and terror of things that go bump in the night. Or, in this case, the sea. It probably didn’t help that the Fourth of July is approaching so yet another anniversary for the film, JAWS, is looming.
I didn’t know why we were sitting there what seemed like too long. (I do know I wanted no reminders that the boats had undergone their own brand of horror stories over the winter.) Rather than obsessing, I decided to study the coastline ahead, the curve of West Chop with its lighthouse that steadily blinked its welcome. It felt . . . peaceful. Not JAWS-like at all.
By then it was well past 8:00 p.m., and the orange sunset was fading into darkness. That’s when I noticed the lights. From West Chop to the harbor, lights appeared in countless windows of the waterfront homes—homes large and small, old and new, most gray-shingled and sitting high on the bluff, perhaps watching the water as I was watching them.
That’s when I knew that it really is summer again. Off season, most of those homes were dark, their windows boarded against winter’s nor’easters, their owners elsewhere, perhaps counting the weeks until they returned; off season, if I’d been on the Governor at that time of night, I’d be wrapped in a down coat and warm blanket to keep from freezing to death.
Yes, it is summer. The rhythm has changed; the island is alive again, vibrant with chattering voices and a palette of colors and the welcome sounds of music and laughter and the occasional bark of a black dog. And yes, with lights glowing in windows again. Through the bicycles and the mopeds and the long lines at restaurants, tranquility somehow remains, like the meadows up island, like the calm sea.
The Governor’s old engine finally rumbled back to life, like the rest of us who live here year-round, I supposed. Within only a few minutes, we glided into the harbor, pausing as one of the big ferries—the Martha’s Vineyard—passed. Up ahead, I saw another ferry docked in one of the two slips: apparently our delay had simply been to allow time for the Martha’s Vineyard to load up and leave.
It is summer, after all. Let the party begin!

Meanwhile, back on the Vineyard…

jean stone 2017Spring has sprung…sort of. The boats are running again…sort of.

But there is happy news: I have been hard at work on a new Vineyard series…women’s fiction with a dash of mystery. The first book, A VINEYARD CHRISTMAS, will be released by Kensington Books in September 2018 (my website will be updated soon with more info). It all begins at the fabulous Christmas in Edgartown, so mark your calendars!

In the meantime, here’s the new promo pic of me to prove that, yes, I really do live here now year round. I suppose to really have proved it this should have been taken in January, but it was too cold to stand up by the cliffs. And in February it was too windy. And in March I was too busy trying to meet the deadline for book #2 in the series.

Whatever…stay tuned…and Happy Spring!

Sweet Potato Beats the Yarrow Root

IMG_5382I’ve never been much of a gardener. And I haven’t been to the car races since 1973. But when the list of events at the Ag Fair read: VEGGIE CAR RACES, I really wanted to see this. Perhaps, I thought, Veggie Cars would be a wave of the future.

I had no idea what to expect, but I think it might have been something . . . grander.

Here’s the deal: You got to pick your vegetable. Corn (still in the cob), sweet potato, radish, white potato, and something else that I do not believe I have even eaten (or missed out on). There were also bananas for contestants who preferred fruit.

IMG_5384Then you picked your wooden wheels. The nice woman attendant stuck metal rods into your corn/sweet potato/radish, etc. at appropriate intervals, then screwed on the wheels. A wooden ramp was propped up to about a 45º angle and had three “lanes.” Once you had a competitor (or two) and his or her veggies (or bananas) were ready, the cars lined up at the top. When I watched, there was a yarrow root vs. a sweet potato.

Ready, set, go.

It was not exactly the Daytona 500 or even the old Riverside Park Speedway (can’t believe I IMG_5383remembered the name of that old one in Agawam), but . . .

The race was on. It only took a few seconds, but it was Sweet Potato all the way. No prize was awarded to the winner; then again, there hadn’t been an entry fee, either.

And you know what? It was terrific. Soon, more kids liked up. The veggies raced, laughter rose, competitive natures between brothers, sisters, friends blossomed—all without the use of electronic devices. They had a blast.

Such was my introduction to the Ag Fair on the IMG_5385Vineyard. I really liked the sheep shearing, but, best of all, I think I liked the miniature horse that stood motionless in one of the barns. I think he would have loved the Veggie Car Race, too. He might have liked to have some wheels screwed into a homegrown carrot or a big, juicy apple.

Yup, I love this island.

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I meant to post this a week ago . . . but got busy! Sorry!