A lovely review on A VINEYARD CHRISTMAS from MV Times… I especially like the line where she writes: “Not surprisingly, Stone herself lives on the island, and we can feel her love for it throughout.” Enough said!!!!!
Years ago, a fellow author commented on how bizarre the life of a writer actually is. “You sit at your desk, alone, day after day, week after week, month after month,” my friend said. “You wrap yourself up in sweats or denim* and forego wearing make-up. You drink lots of coffee (tea, water, or otherwise). You don’t answer your phone. Or your doorbell. Your only friend is solitude. Finally you finish. Your book is published.”
Of course, my friend’s story (which perhaps I have embellished, but only a bit) does not end here. So let us continue.
“You publisher sends you a schedule of appearances and booksignings. You read it. You sigh. Then you throw your sweats or your denim into the wash. You dig through your closet in search of something decent to wear. Shouldn’t there be a plain black dress in there somewhere? And maybe a scarf? What about that blue skirt . . . Oh, wait. That one went to the Thrift Shop three years ago.You realize your mascara has dried up. But the time has come when you must look the way women once looked when they went uptown to lunch or maybe to church or when traveling first class on a plane.
“After all, you are now part of the world again. Or at least, you must appear to be. You must smile and speak to an audience other than yourself. Or your imaginary characters. Or your cat or your dog. And you must tell them about your wonderful book. If you do that, and do it moderately well, in a week or two or three, you will be allowed to slip into your sweats or your denim, sit back down at your computer, and begin the process all over again.”
So . . . that’s the whole story. And it’s my way of saying that if you’re on the Vineyard, or perhaps will be Columbus Day Weekend, please join me for the official launch of A VINEYARD CHRISTMAS. Maybe I’ll find my black dress by then.
Sat. Oct. 6, Edgartown Library, 3:00 p.m.
Sun. Oct. 7, Edgartown Books, Noon–2:00 p.m.
* When my editor approved my manuscript for the second book in my new Vineyard series, A ViNEYARD SUMMER (to be released July 2019), I decided I need to toss out my 20+-year-old Menemsha Blues green denim shirt. It’s been washed so much, it’s lost most of its color. And there’s a rip in the left sleeve at the elbow that the Island Home could easily navigate through. I’m going to miss that shirt.
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!!!)
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.
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.
It’s a perfect way to get into the HOLIDAY SPIRIT! Please enter only once. And GOOD LUCK!
Welcome 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!
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!