Posts By donnaeve

Dear Followers of www.donnaeverhart.com


I did mention that website change, didn’t I?  Are you finding me?  No?  This is what happens when they let me have hold of the power tools.

DSCF0058

Juuust kidding.  I haven’t been doing the work, but, here’s what has been going on – without getting too far into the weeds.  The website is now redesigned.  As part of that redesign, it is also being supported by a new web-hosting entity.  These back end changes to enable that have resulted in two sites.

Old.  New.

You are likely not getting to the old site if you have it bookmarked.  Even though the old site could have been found under http://www.donnaeverhart.com, it was really www.donnaeverhart.wordpress.com.

That’s how you would find it today.

Meanwhile, the new site is here.  But, then I noticed my stats showed zero visitors to the new site.  And that I had zero (!!!) followers.  Which made me…

crying-woman

Hmmm.  What could be the problem?

Ah.  All of you are over there on – I mean here – on the old site – and maybe not even here because of “broken” links. (bookmark).  Yikes.  What I didn’t know was creating the new site would leave you behind.  I thought it would be a seamless transfer.

The question is, have you missed me?  If so, I would love it if you would follow me over at the new place.  Check it out.  See what you think.  At the bottom of each page, you’ll see how to follow my blog – again.

I hope to see you, HERE!

monarch-favorite

 

Advertisements

Kodachrome


I got a new camera for Christmas.  My husband can’t stand to see me struggle over anything, and although I never complain, there must be a look.  A frustrated glaring at whatever device I’m mangling into some modicum of acceptable performance.

For instance, he gave me a new Dell All In One about a 18 months ago.

“I got tired of watching you squint over that ten year old laptop.”

He gave me a camera a couple Christmases ago too. He said, “it’s not an expensive one, but I thought it would be better than what you were using.”

Only, I would try to take pictures of my favorite subjects – the moon.   Dang it.  Blurry.

DSCF1748

A sunrise or sunset.  Dang it.  Blurry.

DSCF1827

Miss Priss.  Payton.  The camera was slow, and I remember trying so hard to get the perfect shot of Miss Priss eating her cake when she turned 1.  In this case there was likely frustrated declarations, “Argh!  I missed it!  Argh!  It’s blurry!  Come on Payton, just one more.  I got to get a good picture of you and Abigail.  Argh, it’s orangey!  Oh well.”

dscf1903

dscf2371

Sure, there were some good shots too.  Like this.

dscf1949

And this.  (I only took about 50 to get this one)

DSCF1768

Still, it could have been better.

As usual, my husband heard, and he acted.  This year, he gave me a whizz bang camera that, at the moment, is smarter than Stephen Hawking – or at least I think it is when I stare at all the buttons, and the two different lenses, and the VIDEO TAPE that came with it to tell me how to manage it.

It’s a Nikon.  As he put it, “A nice camera.”

I’m going to love it – once I know what to do with it.

 

 

New Year, New Look


Fyi, y’all.

My website is undergoing an overhaul – this time not by me, but by professionals.

Amen to that!

As much as I like plunking around and figuring out themes for a new look on occasion, the end result never quite meets my expectations when I’m done.  And then there’s the HTML code, of which I know just enough to be dangerous, but is needed to make some of the “buttons” work, or to add in giveaway information, etc.  I usually figure it out, but it can consume a lot of time.

I don’t know the exact timeframe for when the web design team will be done, I’m thinking sometime towards the third week or so of this month.

I can’t wait for you to see the new design!

DSCF0058

Yep, that’s me running a power tool with my Rosie the Riveter do rag on my head.  *Taken in Bucha Ukraine, Mission Trip 2006

 

Holiday Blowback and A Southerner’s New Year’s Day Meal


Over the holidays it got so busy I believe there were several times my brain and body disconnected.  Matter of fact, I know they did.  It was like I was on some sort of mental auto-pilot more than once.

One of those moments happened when I thought I lost my rings.  That would be my engagement ring and wedding band, and my mother’s birthstone ring which is about 60 years old.  I put them in the pocket of an apron I was wearing (yes, an ACTUAL apron!) on Christmas Eve while at my MIL’s house.  I realized I didn’t have them after I got home.   Panic.  I called my mother in law at 11:30 p.m. and left a vm, “Don’t wash the apron, whatever you do!  I’ll call you in the  morning.”  I called her at 7:00 a.m.  No rings.  She was very logical telling me I MUST have put them in another pocket.  We backtracked and for the life of me, I couldn’t remember doing anything other than dropping them in the apron pocket.  Until I go check my coat pocket – and there they were.  And no memory of placing them there  – at all.  It was sort of scary when I thought about how we can be SO involved our brains just sort of takeover and do what we might be thinking sub-consciously.

Another time I was so doggone tired, I found I was doing The Things I Hate To Do.  A thought would send me into one room where I’d promptly forget why I was there, so I’d start to do something else, only to leave it, go to another room, start a new thing – entirely different, leave that, move some stuff around and then end up looking for what I’d moved the rest of the day.  Eventually I’d find an item where I left it hours before, and then discover those half done “things” I was also intent on finishing hours before.

Boy.  That’s what I call holiday blowback.

At any rate, I hate seeing any year end as it fills me with nostalgia and the realization it’s a time we will never get back – as is every single second of our lives.  Yet, on the other hand, I balance that nostalgia with the happiness and appreciation for all that I have and have accomplished.  There’s an eagerness in thinking about what’s to come when the clock officially sets us at the beginning of 2017.  I mean, might as well get on with it, ya know?  Ain’t no stopping the clock.

Here in the south on New Year’s day, we’ll be filling our plates with greens and black-eyed peas, a tradition intended to bring one wealth and luck in the new year.  The greens are said to represent dollar bills and the beans coins – so I plan to eat a lot.  This dates back several hundred years although most know of it from the Civil War.  You can read a bit about it here.

And with that, I’m off to start cooking my Hoppin John!  Here’s to a Happy New Year!

Courtesy 2017.Org

Courtesy 2017.Org

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Out With The Old


…in with the new, as the old saying goes.

Yesterday I took the tree and decorations down.  Some will think, but what about the Twelve Days of Christmas leading up to the Feast of Epiphany?  A twelve days of Christmas celebration never took place in my family’s household.  Growing up, the tree came down soon after the 25th – maybe not as quick as mine, but quick enough.  I wonder how many of you actually follow the tradition – with your celebrations beginning on the 25th and lasting until January 6th, which is the 2016 timeframe?

I received a new Garmin fitness tracker for my birthday (earlier in December) and to give you an idea of what it means when I say “take the tree and decorations down,” consider that I logged over 4.5 miles of walking – inside my house and in my yard alone.  On top of that, I estimated I climbed the staircase with boxes, presents, and cleaning stuff at least 30 times – probably more.  At least that’s what my leg muscles are telling me this morning.

That new fitness tracker leads me to my next thought.  I’m not any different in that I love the idea of fresh starts and new beginnings.  I make resolutions, which I usually keep to myself – in case I don’t stick with them.  🙂  Statistics say most of us aren’t good at this resolution thing.  Check out some of those facts here.

2017 is peeking around the corner.  Are you ready?  What do you want most this year?

2016-to-17

Courtesy 123rf.com

 

 

 

 

 

Silver Bells


I grew up listening to the old classic Christmas songs sung by Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby,  Bobby Darin, Brenda Lee,  Alvin and the Chipmunks (yes, that one!)…the list goes on and on.  On Christmas Eve, Mom would put on a stack of records – for those of you born before this time – ya know, vinyl.  🙂  Those black round things that spin in a circle?

Anyway.  She would put on as many as the record player would allow.  Remember how you could get about six or seven of them balanced on the spindle ?  And as each finished, the arm would lift, move off to the side, and plunk!  The next album would drop in place, the arm would move to the edge, and the inevitable, sssshhh, sssshhhh, could be heard first and then the song would start.

What memories!  My brother and I would go to bed, and the music would play and play.  I realize now she was camouflaging the sound of her and Dad bringing out the presents.

All that said, for me, even as a little girl, no one could sing like Elvis.  Nope, not even Sinatra.  Not Bing.  Not Harry Belafonte.

I tried to find a live version of him performing this song, Silver Bells, but no luck.  Just close your eyes and listen.  Brrrrr!  His voice still gives me the shivers!

Christmas in Dixie


The perfect song – even without those two words reminding me of a certain book.

Merry Christmas From The Family


Right about now?  I sure do need me a good healthy dose of Robert Earl Keen.

2016 In Review


I’m in a state of disbelief another year is just about gone, and so, what better time to gather up some pictures and share them here, thereby providing a “snapshot” of 2016 in review!

To say it’s been a wonderful, fun filled, exciting time doesn’t even come close to how I really feel.  The holidays are almost here and I find I’m in a reflective mood, feeling ever so grateful for all that’s happened while looking forward to what 2017 might bring.

images

And so it began…like every other New Year, with fireworks, that feeling of renewal, AND the ever present resolutions!  (did you break all of yours like I did mine?)

dscf1904

February arrived, and with it Miss Priss turned 1!  She likes cake.  A lot.  She will hate this picture in about 15 years.

In March, page proofs arrived for THE EDUCATION OF DIXIE DUPREE.

Then came the ARC (notice the cover) and book plates.  So exciting to see!

dscf1949

Early April, and spring was here.  The rhododendrons were spectacular, as always!

dscf1966

Also, in April 2016, came my first ever book club presentation! Here we have some members of the Cosmopolitan Book Club.

dscf2032

In May came another event, a reading and publication discussion for Ye Olde Town Arts Club!

the education of dixie dupree

In June 2016, I received the good news that the book was really resonating with the Sales Department, and with booksellers.  The cover was tweaked to bring the title out more.

dscf2056

Despite all of the good things happening with THE EDUCATION OF DIXIE DUPREE, I had to keep writing!  And in June, 2016, I completed my second novel, THE ROAD TO BITTERSWEET.  And I had a celebratory beer.  🙂

July and August 2016 = typical summer months.  In other words, hot, hazy and humid, and a few violent storms.

dscf2169

In August, Mom turned 80, her second birthday without my Dad.  Here she is with her great grands, and though I can still see the sorrow in her eyes, she’s getting along okay.

indienextlist-logo

In mid September, I found out THE EDUCATION OF DIXIE DUPREE was selected as a November 2016 Indie Next List pick!

prh-sales-rep

I was invited to attend the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance (SIBA), also in September, where I signed books at the all around author event, participated on the Southern Reads panel, and met a lot of other great authors.  And yes, here’s a lovely Penguin Random House Sales Rep, and look there, what book do you see?  SO exciting!

And then?  Unbelievably, (while also thinking FINALLY!) it was time for the book to release on October 25th!  I held my official launch at Raleigh NC’s well known Quail Ridge Books, on November 1st.  Not only did the staff have to bring out more chairs, they sold out of the books.  🙂  I had the best time, and was so thankful for all of my family and friends who came out to  make it such a big success!

During this event, it was announced that THE EDUCATION OF DIXIE DUPREE was selected as an Amazon Top Ten Pick for November, as well as being featured as the Debut Spotlight pick!

amazon-logo

And that certainly helped to propel it here! (along with the Kindle and the Bookbub deals that ran almost simutaneously!)

2016-11-18-2

In the meantime, Fall/Winter lists had been compiled, and the book made these lists!

bookbub-logo

It was a Library Journal Book Club Selection

LJ logo

 

And suddenly, folks were sending me pictures of the book from everywhere.  Here we show Miss Dixie Dupree at the local Wal-Mart,  Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU), Denver, Kentucky and Seattle.

usa-today-logo

Then came the news the book hit the USA TODAY bestsellers list.         (!!! x a bajillion)

 

indiebound-logo

It made the IndieBound bestsellers list (and…it’s still there!)

So, you can see why I am feeling so grateful.

It’s hard to wrap my head around the idea that this book, THIS story, would resonate with so many.  It’s not an easy read.  It deals with dark subject matter, social issues, and as one reviewer pointed out, “all the triggers are going to be pulled.”  And, as I’ve mentioned before, The Washington Independent Review of Books said it was”a harrowing tale of domestic trauma with Southern Gothic flair.”

And there have been many more reviews, like that one, that removed a lot of the doubt I had about writing such a difficult story without mincing words.

dscf2384

Still, there is a lot of work yet to be done.  I was thrilled to be asked by my editor to read a manuscript and provide a blurb.  I am finalizing the revisions on BITTERSWEET.  I am working on my new book’s outline and first three chapters.  For now, though, I’m turning towards this holiday season and spirit of giving.  I wish each and every one of you joy, peace and hope.

Little Dog says, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you too!

I hope to see you back here, in 2017.

xoxo,

Donna

 

 

 

More BIG News!


I was in Raleigh yesterday helping Mom.  This was the second time while away from my computer, emails, all manner of “connectedness,” that exciting news about THE EDUCATION OF DIXIE DUPREE sat percolating in my inbox until I got home.

I’d spent the day with Mom raking leaves, going to the bank, emptying recycling bins, and checking her mail.  I’d bought her a Christmas tree and stand, got it set up and ready for her to decorate, and by the end of the day, I was tired.  A good tired though, you know?  Driving home I always take what we call “the country route,” shorter in mileage than the highway, but longer to drive because it’s…ya know.  A rural country road.  It was already dark, and so, I took my time, looking at the Christmas lights people had put up.  Traffic was heavier than usual, but typical for a Monday after a holiday, so it took me twice as long to drive home as it did to get to her house.

Soon as I pulled in the drive, I got the vehicle unloaded – because you never go to Mom’s without coming home with a boatload of things she think you ought to have – like jelly.  Canned tomatoes.  An ornament.

And finally, after all that, saying “Hi” and giving a hug to my hubby, I launched my computer.  And my eyes zeroed in on this absolutely wonderful news from my editor.

USA TODAY BEST-SELLING BOOKS TOP 150

November 20, 2016  #121 The Education of Dixie Dupree by Donna Everhart (Kensington $9.99)

Heart rate went up much higher than it had when I was raking those doggone leaves like some sort of maniac.

But, then, I saw MORE news.  I started making weird squeaky noises.  My husband saw my face, heard my noises, and paused in his cooking.

“Are you all right?”

There was some hand flapping.

Little Dog sat down and stared at me.

I continued to hyperventilate.  🙂

One of my publicists shared that the book has been in the bestseller rankings at the independent bookstores around the country, and she had written:

“You are officially Donna Everhart, USA Today and IndieBound Bestselling Author!”

THE EDUCATION OF DIXIE DUPREE has been ranked at #24, #15, #16,  and most recent, #17 since it’s release.

What a way to end my day!

That tired feeling I had was ziiiiip!  Gone!  Yes, there may have been dancing around the house while juggling a beer to celebrate.

Happy Dance

 

 

 

 

%d bloggers like this: