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'One Author's Life': Amy's Blog

The Upside (and Downside) of a Protected Childhood

We came home from church and were still in our Sunday best. My two older brothers raced upstairs to change. Mom headed for the kitchen. My sister and I were in the living room with Dad when he turned on the TV to check the news – not a habit in our family, but then again, the previous few days had been unlike any others.  Read More 
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The Delany Sisters' Favorite Beverage Treat

Fans of my first book, the 1993 oral history, Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters’ First 100, may recall that the centenarian Delany Sisters’ favorite beverage treat was something called a “Boston cooler.”

What is a Boston Cooler, you ask?

It’s an ice cream soda similar to a root-beer float, except it’s  Read More 
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A Special Cake for a Book Birthday!

When you’re writing a book, the publication date seems so far in the future.

And then, suddenly, it’s here.

Today is publication day for my new novel, Miss Dreamsville and the Lost Heiress of Collier County, which I started writing 730 days (or two years) ago.

I’m relieved, ecstatic, and a little  Read More 
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Trying to Hang onto Summer? Make a Key Lime Pie

When I was a newspaper reporter, I knew a novice food writer who got the assignment of her dreams from a big magazine: She was to travel throughout the South in search of the best Key Lime Pie. It seems the distinctive flavorings of Key Lime Pie have inspired epic struggles about the “right”  Read More 
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Lets Talk about Grits!

The release date for my novel, Miss Dreamsville and the Lost Heiress of Collier County, is just around the corner – September 8. I’m celebrating by sharing recipes of yummy dishes and desserts mentioned in the book, which is set in Florida during the 1960s. Today’s recipe is for Collier County “Guilty Pleasure” Cheese Grits. Special thanks to my husband, Blair, who grew up in Collier during that era, for his dutiful assistance in helping me re-create these recipes. Read More 
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When Baking Brings Back Memories

One of the most popular desserts of the 1960s was Pineapple Upside-Down Cake. The way I remember it, there rarely seemed to be a gathering where someone didn’t bring one, and church suppers often featured two or three. At home, my mom sometimes made one when it was her turn to host her  Read More 
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New Video! (Also known as a "Book Trailer")

A book trailer (or short video) is a way for an author to connect with her readers and let them know what her book is about.

At 5 minutes and 49 seconds, my new one is a little longer than most. While it focuses on my new book, we found it necessary to provide some context  Read More 
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The Lazy Days of Summer: Where Did They Go?

One of the saddest moments when you’ve become an adult is when you realize that summer is not what it used to be.

Gone are the days of playing hopscotch, climbing trees, and getting on your mother’s nerves.

Gone are the days when the only deadline is getting home in time for  Read More 
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Happy Father's Day to My Favorite 'Relic from Another Era'!

My dad’s way of dealing with challenging situations in life – most recently, aging – is to face them head-on with humor.

In recent years, he has started referring to himself as “the Relic from Another Era,” followed by a hearty chuckle.

I sometimes forget that he’s 91.

And then something happens that reminds me.  Read More 
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The Shame Game

I’ve always had a strong sense of justice, and recently I came across a newly-published book that appealed to the side of me which likes to champion the underdog.

The book is called Fat-Talk Nation, and it was written by an anthropologist named Susan Greenhalgh. The subtitle of the book, published by Cornell University Press, is The Human Costs of America’s War on Fat. Read More 
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