Mothers Reading

Allice Warren and childen

   A stoic woman in a starched high neck dress sits with a book in her hand surrounded by five attentive children. The woman, Alice Warren, had fled the fires in Atlanta to move in with her sister to a plantation home built three years prior to the firing on Fort Sumter. Shortly thereafter, they could no longer make the mortgage payments.  As rumors swirled that Sherman’s men were burning their way through Columbia and headed for … [Read more...]

What Inspired Me


The first time I realized I wanted to write a book was when I read, John Berendt’s Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.  Perhaps this is not the book that inspires great literature, but it is the book that inspired me.  Berendt wrote about a South that I knew.  Holy cow, I had a DNA connection to half the characters and I loved them all.  But instead of writing a syrupy tongue-in-cheek cozy mystery, Berendt dug up the graves and hit … [Read more...]

Biscuit Recipe from The Quaker Cafe

  Dump in a Bowl 2 C self-rising flour1 stick of cold butter cut into 8 chunks1 C sharp cheddar cheese grateda pinch of red pepper  With your hands rub it all together until everything is crumble size.That means Don’t stir or Mix  Make hole in the middle of the mixture and pour in¾  C of cream – maybe more(you can substitute milk if you’re on a diet but why bother?)  With a big spoon or your hand swoop around the bowl no more than … [Read more...]

Organizing Communities to Take a Stand

Three days before Christmas in 1989 our rural community was selected as the site for a hazardous waste incinerator.  We learned quickly because other communities had been through similar struggles.  If you have never heard these lessons before, they’re worth repeating. 1.      There is no silver bullet.  It all depends on who gives up first. 2.      Law suits alone won’t win the battle. 3.      Push your side of the story to the … [Read more...]

Quakers only a part of the story.

The Quaker Café isn’t a story just about Quakers, although there are characters in the novel who are Quakers. There are also Baptists and Methodists plus an Episcopalian wedding and an Easter Parade. In addition there’s murder and adultery and guilt and a lot of secrets to go around. The Quakers can’t manage it all by themselves. In the novel the protagonist, Liz Hoole,  has married into a weighty Quaker family and slipped off the … [Read more...]