My Tenth

when-the-grits-hit-the-fanEdith here, aka Maddie Day, on a glorious occasion – my tenth novel releases today!

I am delighted and happy about this third Country Store mystery, which is already garnering some pretty darn nice reviews. Dru’s Book Musings said, “Done to perfection…tightly woven mystery…cleverly placed clues…engaging dialogue…lovable cast of characters…the best book in this delightfully charming series.” From Kings River Life Magazine: “Intriguing plot will draw in even those who skim past tantalizing treats and elaborately depicted preparations. Yet who could resist those? This blend of academia and small-town secrets satisfies on so many levels.” And the fabulous cooking blog Cinnamon &Sugar and a Little Bit of Murder wrote, “Solid addition to a terrific series…nails both the [Midwestern] setting and the characters…well-plotted…suspenseful and exciting conclusion.” apronI’m grinning and  blushing at the same time.

To celebrate, I’m giving away one of my fun new aprons to one commenter! (US only.)

In a flourish of riches, my eleventh novel (Called to Justice) will be out April 8 and my twelfth (Mulch Ado About Murder) at the end of May. I just figured out that as of now, I am contracted through my twenty-first mystery, which will be Cozy Capers Book Group #3.

But I guess the tenth hitting bookstores and ereaders makes today a milestone book birthday, and it got me to thinkingEdieFifthgrade about other tenth milestones in my life.

My tenth birthday took place in the fall of my fifth grade year. I was a pretty goofy kid, always youngest and shortest in my class. A good student, but prone to getting up to mischief, and often bewailing the injustice of stuff the boys got to do that I wasn’t asked to (can you say Young Feminists of America?). Little Eva released “The Loco-Motion” that year, and I was in Girl Scouts. I don’t remember much else, frankly.

The tenth house I lived in was an apartment in a double triple-decker in Somerville, which might be unique to the Boston area. It’s a three-story apartment house which has two apartments on each floor. I had the bottom floor on the right, with the bow windows. 223SummerStreetWhen I lived there, eventually with my good friend Jennifer, the front part was open covered porches (now closed in). After our apartment was burgled in broad daylight when neither of us were home, we made the landlord install bars on the windows – and then found somewhere else to live.

I’ve been wearing glasses since I was eight, but remarkably haven’t changed frames very often. I do believe my current model is my tenth pair! It’s possibly my favorite set of frames, too. After my second pair, which I wore into high school (until I transitioned to contacts for a few years), I have only worn wire rims of one kind or another. But two years ago I need new glasses. Everybody was getting bold dark frames, and I couldn’t quite stomach rectangular black specs. But when I saw these turquoisey-print glasses, I fell in love, and have been complimented on them regularly since.NewGlassesCrop

And I calculate that the quilt I finished this winter, which my dear mother designed and began for me but didn’t finish, is probably my tenth completed quilt. I started putting together quilts when I was in college, so I’m clearly not a regular in that hobby if I ‘m only up to ten, but I do love setting up the machine, laying out the components, and assembling them. Is there any more practical product than the beautiful cover you sleep under? (The pink border cloth and the backing are fabrics I brought home from West Africa years ago which were sitting in my cloth bank just waiting for their time.)


So, dear readers, help me celebrate by telling me some of your own tenth milestones. Anybody have ten children? Ten cars (I’m only up to seven)? Ten countries you’ve lived in (I’m only up to six) or the tenth you visited? The tenth school you attended? What about your own tenth birthday, house, car, glasses, or hobby result? Do tell! Remember, I’m giving away one of my fun new aprons to one commenter. (US only.)

59 Thoughts

  1. Happy tenth, Edith.

    I started 6th grade when I was 10. It wasn’t an easy year at school, but it was better than 4th grade when I went to 4 different schools. Tenth grade at Marblehead High School was my favorite school year. Although we moved twice in Marblehead, I was in the same school and continued all my activities in tenth grade. Marching band was my favorite, then concert band, Okommakamesit Fife and Drum Corps, Sitzmarkers Ski Club with our exchange teacher from Norway who predicted (incorrectly) that I would have 10 children (true), and being in Mariner Scouts until the day my mother left. She gave me two ten dollar bills and said, “I’m going to stay with Henri. Find someone else to stay with.” Fortunately my grandfather came to get me. I’m not sure how he found out I was alone. My father was in Takoradi, Ghana and knew nothing until he got my letter. I was very happy with my grandparents in Boston, even though someone decided that another year of tenth grade wouldn’t hurt. My favorite tens, though, were at a tenpin bowling alley in Billerica, Collins Bowladrome. My seventh and eighth grade (sorry, not tenth) bowling club played there every Friday. There were good ice cream snacks, because Mr. Collins also owned the local dairy. After my miserable tenth year in school, I went to private school in Boston and did fine. If I counted right that was my 10th school. Then college after which I spent 10+ years in graduate school. I seriously loved it there and never wanted to leave. I stayed on for another ten years instead of becoming a full time minister. Oh please don’t ask. :-0

      1. Yes, she was. Her life from the age of 18 was very sad. But she never gave up, and neither did I. She was an artist and gave me any talent I might have. She never got to see any of my work, but she would have loved it. She is the person I love most. She died young but not before we became as close as any mother and daughter.

  2. Happy tenth my friend! About to head into an arts advocacy day, then go to the State House. Maybe this is my tenth visit? Probably more, but the sake of the post, let’s say it is ten.

    Congratulations on the newest from Maddie Day!

  3. Nope, only four married children who have given us TEN GRANDCHILDREN! The oldest is doing his gap year in Israel. The youngest will be a year old on the night of the first Passover Seder.

  4. I counted different towns I’d lived in and moving to Massachusetts to Hanscom AFB was my tenth move! A big one for so many reasons! Happy Book Birthday!

  5. Let’s see, it isn’t my tenth husband, tenth child, tenth move, tenth laugh, or tenth anything except my tenth congratulations to you and wish for much more happiness, success and, of course, books. Can’t wait to wish you the same on your twentieth.

  6. Congratulations, Edith! When I was 10 I was in fifth grade. I don’t remember much, and that’s probably a good thing since school was not a…positive experience socially.

    Only two children, thank goodness. I don’t wear glasses, I haven’t lived that many places or driven that many cars, and I haven’t written ten books. “Home Front Homicide,” which will be in the Malice Anthology this year, is my tenth published short story. I think. And I’ve been married 20 years, that s a multiple of ten. Does that count?

      1. Ten books, that is really exciting. Congratulations, Edith.

        Also, can I tell you how much I love the photo of you as a ten-year-old? You are still the same, spunky, smiling and happy person!

  7. Congratulations and happy book birthday to you.
    I can’t think of anything ten. I counted 9 cars we’ve owned, but since I’m betting I missed one, let’s say 10 cars. I can’t think of anything else at the moment.

  8. I was ten when I “became a woman.” Scared me to death and I thought my life was over. I put away my baseball bat and sat down with a couple of girls and their dolls. Then I realized that was not for me, went out and picked a fight with some neighbor boys, and felt a lot better. Now I’m retired from corporate life, but still stuck between tomboy and girlie. (sigh) Congratulations on the wealth of new releases coming down the pike.

  9. Congratulations and happy book birthday to you, Edith! I am having a hard time thinking of anything significant tenth milestone – they are all over and under the number 10. The only one I can write about was that I was in fifth grade at age 10. I had a very influential teacher that year who taught what was called social sciences (geography and history). I fell in love with geography, and knew from that age that I would major in geography at university and become a globe-trotter (both in real life and virtually).

    1. Thanks! Grace, my dad taught high school geography. He hardly got to travel the world at all, but he knew all about it. He would record the BBC so he could keep up with decent world news, too.

  10. Happy 10th!

    I’m trying to think of a 10th milestone in my life, but I’m drawing a blank.

    You’re contracted through 21 books? That means I have at a minimum 11 more wonderful books to read.

  11. If one combines the seed feeders with the hummingbird feeders I have ten bird feeders, but other than that my tens are sad ones: a little over ten years since my husband was diagnosed and a little less than ten years since he passed. May all your tens be happy ones.

  12. When I was ten I moved away from our little town of Temple City and you Edie! Missed you and my Brownie Troop something awful. We didn’t have much power as 10 year olds and it seems like we had moved a thousand miles away when it was only 5 or 6 miles away in the next town of Arcadia. So grateful that we found eachother again on this marvelous communicator and can share this milestone with you. Love you my friend,
    Princess Debbie

  13. Congratulations Edith! I love your girl scout picture, and you definitely hit the jackpot on your 10th pair of glasses, you look wonderful in them. I spend my 10th birthday in California visiting Hearst Castle, some relatives I had never met who threw me an impromptu birthday party, and we stayed at the Fairmont in San Francisco where the doorman gave me 10 silver dimes — it was an amazing birthday.

    I love grits and know I will love When the Grits Hit the Fan!

  14. Congratulations on the book and the series. Great big congratulations on your contract! Fabulous! I have no specific 10’s right now. Past them with moves and fewer with kids and grandkids but loving every day!

  15. Congrats on your 10th book. That is a great accomplishment. I have had 10 wonderful cats in my life. The latest two are kittens I just adopted, Hamilton and Jefferson.

  16. Congratulations on your 10th book! The only 10 milestone I can think of is that Hong Kong was the 10th country (OK, technically part of China, but it’s autonomous and I’ve never been to the mainland) that I visited.

    Looking forward to reading this latest installment ^^

  17. I was born on the 10th day of the 10th month at around 10:00.


  18. Congrats and happy tenth. I do not come anywhere close to 10 in places I have lived, cars I have owned or even my glasses. I have traveled to more than 10 places, but would not be able to remember which was the 10th. I do remember not enjoying my school year when I was 10 though. Honestly it is the only year I did not love. Cannot wait to read this one!

  19. Congratulations, Edith! That is quite an accomplishment, with many more to come. I’ll be keeping my indie bookstore busy for a long time. Tenth grade was my first year of non-parochial school and loved it! And I just realized I’ve been in 10 countries. But your “10” is a real achievement.

  20. I’ve had ten writings published so far; poems and articles. It needs to be more!
    You know, you really haven’t changed much! I am sure that anyone who knew you as a kid would spot you quickly at a reunion!

  21. Congratulations on Book #10, Edith! The significance of 10 is a fun idea and it got me thinking. It took a while though, thus my late reply. In my case, the number 10 seems to be connected to celebrations. Take birthdays, for instance; my youngest brother was born when I was in 10th grade and another was born in October, the 10th month. In 2010 (Year of the Tiger) I welcomed in the Lunar New Year in Ho Chi Minh City and it was during the 10th month that I watched the Sox win the World Series while I was on a road trip in Ecuador. On another tangent… as a native New Yorker, I always switch to 1010 WINS New York for the news when I drive toward the city.

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