We’ve been out trippin’ for the last week, and I just downloaded (or uploaded, whichever it is) 491 photos into my computer! I will do you the supreme favor of not showing you all of them (have to save some for WILLARD), just a few, to catch you up on where we are and what we’ve been doing so far! You know what?  Taking pictures doubles the pleasure! I’ve had so much fun looking at them this morning!  MUSICA!

delicious-autumn Fall quote

It’s October, Girlfriends, rabbit-rabbit, big time. 



It’s been wonderful out here on the road.  We’ve driven across Massachusetts, up through Vermont to Lake Champlain, and now we’ve arrived in Meredith, New Hampshire ~ in two cars, with our friends Lowely and John.  Here are a few road photos so you can see a little bit of what happens in New England in the fall.

happinessScarecrows, cute ones, decorate roadsides . . .

apple trees in Vermont

And there are apple trees EVERYWHERE.  Aren’t they gorgeous?  I bet 300 of my pictures are of apples! I can’t help it. I think you can see why!

Vermont covered bridge

And of course, Vermont is famous for its covered bridges . . . which we brake for like crazy!

from inside a covered bridge

This one had windows inside, and this is the view.  Lowely and I are looking out this window and thinking how much we want to take a walk next to that river ~ so we pick a spot further down and ask the boys if they would meet us there with the cars.

The Fine Romance Van

And of course, they say yes . . . there goes Joe!

walking in vermont woods

So here we are, on our little woodsy path next to the river. That’s Lowely.

taking photos

She needs to get just the right shots so she can paint some of these scenes when she gets home.


We’re going to meet the guys on the other side of that bridge . . .

our walk

Here we are on the bridge with the lapping little stream running beneath us . . . 

patience is a virtueAnd there they are, in the ancient, classical pose of men waiting for women . . . how we love them!a picturelove the flags in Vermont

So off we go again, through hill and dale . . . and everywhere there are American flags flying . . . and trust me, although I haven’t put up pictures of us eating, don’t worry, we definitely ATE.

on the road in Vermont

There was just enough color to satisfy the soul, but much more to come for New Englanders!  This is just the beginning.  (Uh oh, we better catch up with their car, they’re getting ahead of us!)

following John and Lowely

John lived in Vermont when he was in college, so he knows all the best back roads . . .

No service!

But then I try to take a picture of it to Tweet on Twitter, but no service!


That’s okay I just save the pics for later . . . can you see the cows?  I am SUCH a barn person!

Myles Burkett Foster

All these country scenes make me think of paintings like this one.


More flags!  A good red tree over there too!



More flags, and of course, since this is Vermont, it’s “Bernie Sanders country!”

hydrangea, in Vermont

The last of the season hydrangeas are worth their weight in gold.  Picket fences too . . . Everything has been so clean, no trash on the sides of roads . . . beautifully kept.

May Day Bouquet

following john and lowely

We went to a graveyard to lay flowers on the grave of Lowely’s grandmother. . .very lovely, of course, quiet, blowy and chilly, wonderful.


following john and lowelyAnd then we’re off again . . . to Lowely’s grandmother’s house, to see where her mom grew up (the house has been made into a B & B) where we got to see this . . .

the Moon eclipse

The eclipse!  Ooooo, eerie and cold night, leaves blowing and this red moon! The last time we had a moon like this was in 1982, the year I moved to Martha’s Vineyard.  Perfect timing for a revisit!

The moon belongs to everyone artwork Susan Branch


Trees blew in front of it . . . I wished it was Halloween and this was our moon! All of us under this moon together! So lucky!

Lowely's grandmother's house

Lowely put us in the bedroom belonging to her grandparents . . . we had a fire.  Do not fear for us out here no matter what the weather, because wherever we’ve gone, we always seem to find a cozy fireplace!

leaf border


Here we are at the Shelburne Museum yesterday, which I will tell you more about later, but I just had to take a photo of this little pile of leaves blowing around the corner of one of the Museum houses.

Mill Falls at the Lake

And this is today! From the deck of our room here at the hotel in Meredith this morning, beautiful sky, but cold out there!

B r r r r ♥ 

From our Hotel room

Here’s another shot, looking down. We seem to be “lake hopping!”  This is Lake Winnipesaukee. When I get done here, we’re going out for a walk in the woods!


And, as you might imagine, when it comes to the new book, the fairy tale continues. I think the very last of your books went out yesterday and we already have 12 lovely five-star reviews on Amazon!!!!!! It’s really hard to believe. I know it’s you ~ and I can’t thank you enough!

The Fairy Tale Girl on Goodreads

Reviews are also starting to trickle in to Goodreads too ~ also wonderful comments, but a couple of readers girls eating applesmentioned  discomfort with having to read about the sad parts of my life. But I have to say, I’m not sure if I would have ever made it to this kind of happy if I hadn’t had that heartbreak too. It’s bringing yourself out of sadness that is the true accomplishment in anyone’s life (I think). And butterflies in loveit’s true life. It can’t all be candy canes and butterflies! But it’s YOUR reviews I’ve been loving. If you would like to read what our Girlfriends have been saying, just click on “comments” at the bottom of my last post and they are all there. Even on this trip, I’ve been reading them and telling my heart to “be still” every day. Not easy! Too good! Thank you all so much!


Writing about the back roads of England is one thing, writing about yourself is something very different!  I didn’t realize HOW different until it was too late!!! So thank you! XOXO 

michele morgan

And darling pictures are coming in too . . . this is our Girlfriend Michele Morgan and her new book . . . a fairy tale girl if I ever saw one!

The Fairy Tale Girl

And this one came from, you guessed it, a teacher Girlfriend of ours from Indiana named Lori Hibbard who wrote “to give the book an A+.”  I felt just like a kid with a really GOOD grade!

Susan Branch Studios Crew

Here are the girls we have to thank for the monumental job of getting your books to you . . . from left, that’s Sherie, then Kellee, Bonnie, Robin, and Sharon.  And they’re still smiling! 

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ 


Here’s Kellee, who makes all the hard decisions! 

Girl Kitty

I’ll say goodbye and leave you with some more hearts ~ ones we found on the beach, and another bigger black-and-white heart named Girl Kitty.  Out here in the world, no kitties for me!  It will be good to get home!  But tomorrow, Saturday, October 3, I get to girl paintingmeet lots of you at Innisfree Books, between 11 am and 1pm.  I hope, if you’re in the neighborhood, you can make it.  After Martha’s Vineyard Isle of Dreams (book two) comes out, Joe and I will get in the van and cross the country and try to see the rest of you!   That’ll be next May! I have to get home and finish painting for the second one (SO much more to show you)! Until then, any of you who ordered a book but haven’t gotten it, you should have it very soon now!  Thank you all from the bottom of my heart. Have a fabulous day! Love you! XOXO

dreams come true

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The first seven pics here were as far as I got in ferry boat to martha's vineyardthe “saying goodbye” department before the ferry boat horn blew and we had to run out the door to make our 8:15 boat yesterday.  But my heart was in the right place. I really tried. Now, I’m in a hotel room, drinking tea and trying to make up for lost time. MUSICA

Backroads of New England

I wanted to show you some of the views we’re aiming for on this trip we’re taking up through Vermont . . . to Lake Champlain.


It’s a little early in the season still . . . most of the leaves here in Massachusetts are only tinged with color . . . nothing like these.  But maybe when we get further north.

New England fence

These pictures were from another trip Joe and I took a couple of years ago . . . Nice fence eh?


West chop lighthouse

Here we were yesterday morning.  I took this picture of the West Chop Lighthouse, not so steadily, through the ferry boat window as we were sailing past, with my iPhone.

Falmouth sky

And this one of the sky over Falmouth, MA through the windshield of the van . . . as you can see, not much color on the trees yet, but oh what a sky! Perfect day to be a travelin’ man and girl.

The Fine Romance Van

The van’s loaded up with Fairy Tale books we’re taking to my book signing at Innisfree Bookshop up in Meredith, New Hampshire on October 3rd.  If you pass this van on the road, honk if you’re happy! Jack and Girl Kitty

Had to leave the kittens behind of course.  My worst thing ever.  Why can’t they stay cats but act just a tiny bit more like dogs, in the coming-with department?  But nooo, they gotta have everything their own way… white blankets and white sofas and all. They have a wonderful kitty sitter living with them, so I know they’re doing just fine! (I already miss them and it’s been one day!!!) 

Kitty Love

Yellow moon

Tonight, the super moon will go incognito with an eclipse that hasn’t happened in this exact way since 1982 — which is the year I moved to Martha’s Vineyard, so I’m HOPING we get to see it.  I don’t know what the sky above us might be up to tonight. We’re meeting up with Lowely and John this evening and spending the night in a B & B that used to be the home of Lowely’s grandparents.  I’ll take pictures!

earth spring from a distance

Hasn’t the Pope been wonderful?  Isn’t it refreshing to hear words of hope and goodness?  Wob him.  

The Fairy Tale Girl

The Fairy Tale Girl books are still going out so if you haven’t gotten yours, it really won’t be long now.  The whole crew worked Saturday and as it looks now, I think every book that’s been ordered should be out by Tuesday afternoon.  Fingers crossed.

Studio Crew

I did allow them time to eat lunch, because I’m just a really great boss that way! :-)  Aren’t they cute, all around the breakfast bar in the kitchen in the Studio.  Best, nicest, hardest workers in the world! My favorite part is how much they all like each other and get along. They make the Studio a very nice place to be.

I've got my love to keep me warm

The Fairy Tale Girl

All in a day’s work . . .cake love how to be happy

Mailing the Fairy Tale Girl

Bye-bye books.  Spread sunshine please!

fortune cookie

This was my fortune cookie fortune this week.  Good timing!

clockLinda and Kathy in Ohio

You should remember some of these next photos . . . This one is of our Girlfriends in Ohio, Linda and Kathy having an elegant champagne and tea party with A Fine Romance.  When that book first came out, our Girlfriends sent me the most wonderful photos . . .Falling in love

Gilmanton Library

. . . of our traveling book . . . as it went all over the world really . . . to kitchen tables, to libraries (like this one with our Girlfriend Pamela), out camping, to the top of a mountain, in front of Highclere (home of Downton Abbey) . . .

A Fine Romance at Hilltop

Painting BeatrixAnd here she is, with Beatrix Potter’s Hilltop behind her, looking up at Castle Cottage in New Sawrey, in the Lake District in England, soaking up the sun and the magnificent ambience. Our English Girlfriend Eli took her there and sent the photo!

A Fine Romance

And remember her here, lounging in the most adorable bedroom belonging to our Girlfriend, Paula.  (I’d like to see the rest of her house!  The wallpaper sends me to the moon! The blue vase, with the peony?  Killer!)

aint life grandpaul McCartney and A Fine Romance

And who can forget our Girlfriend Cathy Shultz’s contribution, getting Paul to hold up the book!  LoveSo the point is, if you take The Fairy Tale Girl somewhere on vacation, or to a tea party, or to a book club, or to the bus stop, anywhere at all, you can send me pics at ~  Kellee and Sheri and I will choose our favorites and I’ll include them in the next WILLARD which will be coming out the middle of October. Won’t that be fun? 


photo 1-6

I thought I’d show you where Smallville met Plainville yesterday afternoon ~ We stopped especially to visit a wonderful new bookstore we heard about in a town called Plainville here in Massachusetts.

photo 2-5

The store had the perfect name, it’s called An Unlikely Story and books flew overhead ~ see them? I really hope this brand new independent bookstore can survive, because it is very wonderful. Here’s the story of how it came to be . . .Just a guy with a dream! 

photo 3-8

See? Flying books . . . 

They don’t know me in that store, and I’m always too shy to say oh me, here I am, so I didn’t say anything and they don’t have my book yet . . . but you should go LIKE them on Facebook if you feel like it, because they do deserve it for making something so special for humanity.

photo 3-9

The store has deep leather chairs for reading, and a wonderful coffee shop and beautiful everything. If you are ever in the area, be sure to stop in!


Also, Joe and I dropped off a box of books at Titcombs Bookshop yesterday in Sandwich, MA (that picture is from a couple of years ago, nothing has changed in this lovely old bookshop except that sign wasn’t there yesterday), in case you live nearby and want a book (I signed them too).  Not too many bookstores have The Fairy Tale Girl yet . . . Only Titcombs Bookshop and Bunch of Grapes, our wonderful independent bookstore on the Island, have them so far. The rest are being shipped probably by the end of this week. We’re going back to Titcombs on October 17 to meet and greet and to sign books . . . If you can join me, go HERE to read more and print out a Girlfriends name tag which looks like this . . . ♥ FTGNameTagSpeaking of printing out, I hope you’ve seen all the wonderful fall FREE STUFF Kellee has put in our webstore?  If not go HERE and check it out! We have some great stationery, bookmarks and gift tags . . . write your girlfriends a letter and send a bookmark and say Happy Fall!

A Fine Romance Book Mobile! Well, that’s all she wrote . . . I have to say, Later Gaters, talk to you soon, time to pack up and keep moving! Have a WONDERFUL day! XOXO

Traveling book

Okay, just one more . . . :-) Love the red roof of this historic inn in New Hampshire . . .♥ I’ll be on the road today, probably won’t get to “moderate” comments until later tonight or tomorrow, but never fear, I love reading what you write!  Byeeee, XOXO

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