romance in the neighborhood

June 21, 2016 | 3 Comments

My anniversary is coming up, so I thought I’d revisit and update a post for you. This was a fun assignment from my local chamber of commerce. I had to come up with ten romantic things to do in my town. My overachiever tendencies came out, and I listed 11. Comment below–what’s romantic about your town?

11 Most Romantic Things To Do On Bainbridge Island susanjerrybooth-162
compiled by Susan Wiggs
1. Watch the sunrise from Fay Bainbridge State Park.
2. Breakfast options-Café Nola-white table cloths, good coffee, luxurious food. Or if it’s a beautiful day, grab some pull-aparts from Bainbridge Bakers and take them down to Waterfront Park and share. If it’s a Saturday, buy fresh berries at the Farmers Market.
3. Recreation! Rent a two-person kayak and paddle around, even out to Blake Island if you’re feeling brave. Or get a Laser sailboat or dinghy and explore; you’ll probably encounter sea lions. Seeing wildlife up close together is inherently romantic. Landlubbers can bike along the south end, taking in Fort Ward State Park to watch the boats go by. Romantic walks depend on your mood and fitness level: It’s an easy beach walk from Lynwood Center toward Point White and back, offering matchless views of Mount Rainier and a bird-watcher’s dream at the estuary. Or you could hike a secluded woodland trail, like Peters Trail and not run into a soul. If you have access to a horse, go for a ride in the Grand Forest. (Good luck with that, sez Jay.) For the athletes-try a round of golf or tennis at Meadowmeer followed by a nice drink on the deck.
4. Get a picnic lunch from the New Rose Café at Bainbridge Gardens, or at Hitchcock Deli take-out and share at one of the shady picnic tables at Strawberry Hill Park.
5. Go for a stroll in the Bloedel Reserve. A really long stroll, and don’t take any shortcuts. Nobody will think less of you if you engage in naughty role play in the main house or the Japanese tea house. And do not ask me how I know this.
6. Stop in at Bainbridge Gardens because after Bloedel, you are going to want to bring home a fancy plant like Nightshade. Then go shopping along Winslow Way-don’t miss the original jewelry creations and vintage collection at Gilbert Thomas. At Eagle Harbor Book Company, you’ll find signed books from every one of the island’s 13,447 (and counting) famous authors.
7. Get dual massages at Spruce Day Spa.
8. Most romantic restaurant, bar none: A corner booth at Restaurant Marche. Lovely setting in a historic building, gorgeous food and wonderful service.
9. Catch an indy film at the historic Lynwood Theatre and afterwards, stop in at the Beach House for coffee or a nightcap.
10. Stargazing at Battle Point is a must.
11. Romantic places to spend the night abound. Our favorite, of course, is Point White Guest House.

Every great love story has a beginning.

June 10, 2016 | Leave a comment

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Susan Wiggs comes a wonderful companion story to her unforgettable novel Family Tree.

Meet Annie Rush in THE KEY INGREDIENT, my new short story set in Vermont. It’s available exclusively as an ebook, and is the prequel to my new novel FAMILY TREE, on sale 8/9.  Pre-order THE KEY INGREDIENT from your favorite ebook retailer – it’s on sale 6/14 – to get a sneak peek at FAMILY TREE!

Every great love story has a beginning...(and who doesn't love pancakes?)
Every great love story has a beginning…(and who doesn’t love pancakes?)

Every great love story has a beginning. Annie Rush’s started at a food cart in a vibrant city park. Annie, then a film student, came across a ruggedly handsome, charismatic chef serving up gourmet street food to an ever-growing clientele lining up for his creations. Together, Annie and Martin Harlow conceived The Key Ingredient, a cooking show featuring Martin as the star while Annie handles production.

As they travel to Annie’s Vermont hometown to film their pilot episode, she realizes that she might want to create more than television magic with Martin. But does he feel the same way? The weather is miserable, their shoot is a disaster, and the maple syrup just isn’t flowing. While Annie tries to cling to her vision for their show, she can’t help but wonder if she could be as unlucky in work as she is in love. Is she always destined to stay behind the scenes?

Just as some recipes only come together at the last minute with the addition of a key ingredient, sometimes a single moment can change everything—turning Annie’s life into a cornucopia of good fortune, the feast of her dreams.

parenting tip

June 10, 2016 | Leave a comment

Here’s how to 1) have a successful pool party and 2) embarrass your teenager IN ONE SIMPLE STEP! #parentingtips #teenagers #summerfun

Print out the list of rules below. Then make a martini, put on the headphones, kick back and enjoy.

House Rules

Polite language only, please. Swearing makes Susan’s ears bleed. She’s like your grandma, only meaner. If we catch you swearing, you have to wear Clara’s tutu.

No adjusting the music or touching the speaker, especially if you’re wet. Whenever you hear Carter’s favorite song by Katy Perry, you have to stop what you’re doing and dance.

Don't mess with her.
Don’t mess with her.

Use your phone only to take photos and to check in with your parents. If you play a game on your phone, we will take an embarrassing picture of you and post it.

If you’re wet, stay outside. We mean wet feet, clothes, hair, nose hairs, everything. There is a Honey Bucket for wet people to use.

Go outside anyway–the beach, the corner village, the trails.


Doors stay closed. No running through the house. If you’ve seen what Barkis does when people run, you’ll understand.

There is a special place in hell for people who chase Lenny.

Though he be but small, he is fierce.
Though he be but small, he is fierce.

If you overuse the word “like,” you have to, like, wear the mosquito hat until, like, someone, like, says it more than you.

After 9pm, it’s quiet time. Don’t go near the guest house. There are zombies staying there and they don’t like to be disturbed.

No movies naughtier than PG-13. If you argue over which movie to watch, then the movie will be Bambi. 

Be safe about fire. We like barbecued meat, but teenagers tend to be too tough to eat.

Beware of pirates in the neighborhood.
Beware of pirates in the neighborhood.

Peeing in the hot tub or pool will activate the sensor dye and everyone will know you did it.

You can play with the Airhead, paddle boards and kayak in the Sound, but do NOT let them scrape bottom–especially the Airhead. A floatation device is mandatory. On the paddleboard, use the ankle strap because that’s the floatation device.

Safety first.
Safety first.

You get one drink cup and one paper plate. Put your name on them. If you lose your cup, you have to drink out of Carter’s glass.

Helmets are mandatory. Maybe not for swimming unless you’re super clumsy.

Cleanup happens before the movie. Cleanup means all pool toys, towels, S’mores stuff, dishes, drink stuff, leftover food, extra clothes, dead rats, ashes of former teachers.

Final cleanup happens before breakfast, and you need to be finished with all your stuff in the car by 9:30am.

signed first edition

June 06, 2016 | 1 Comment

It’s like finding a four-leafed clover–rare, and lucky. My very thoughtful publisher arranged for me to sign a very limited edition of just six thousand copies.

Why thoughtful? The logistics can get complicated.

  1. Six thousand blank pages are shipped to me. They filled three shipping boxes. 
  2. I spend a month of evenings signing pages and binge-watching TV series. My binge-watching (the ones I’ll admit to, anyway): Nurse Jackie, House of Cards, The Americans, America’s Test Kitchen, 11-22-63, Confirmation, OJ Simpson
  3. For me, the best pen for swift signing is this.
  4. Some of the pages get a feather stamp, because there’s a feather in my logo. (see above)
  5. Then I ship the signed pages back to the bindery. I included something sweet in the box and a thank-you note, because my mama raised me right. 
  6. The bindery will insert the pages into the hardcover print edition. 
  7. Et voila! The print edition is ready to pre-order from your friendly local (or maybe not so local) bookseller–Books-a-Million, Eagle Harbor Books, Barnes&Noble