Author Speak Luncheon – Reminder. Let’s Party!

Author Speak Luncheon – Reminder. Let’s Party!

On the Rocks
Oil/Aluminum 36×36
This is a reminder blog for my Author Speak luncheon on Friday, Nov 1 at noon. At the Norwalk Public Library. Sign up for my newsletter when you arrive at the library, you could win a goodie basket.
Wednesday, is my painting day in the fall. I’m in workshop at Silvermine with my artist friends and David Dunlop at the helm. I had a painting that was calling out to me to perk it up. The updated painting is above. It was fun and relaxing. How do you like the title? “On the Rocks.” Tom named it spontaneously. Way to go, Tom.
I definitely want to attend this Norwalk Library Author Speak program with Gail Ingis.  I know her personally as she is a trustee and Art Chair on the Board of Lockwood-Mathews Mansion.  In addition to all the things this blurb cites, she is a wonderful artist, dancer, and humanitarian. Don’t miss this opportunity to see her at the November 1st Norwalk Library Author Speak luncheon.
Celeste Champagne
“To err is human; to purr is feline.”(Robert Byrne)

The Unforgettable Miss Baldwin
The Gilded Age Heiresses
Gail Ingis

Friday, Nov. 1 luncheon
12:00 – 1:30 pm
Main Library Auditorium 


Opposites attract in this gilded age historical romance when a young American suffragette eschews marriage until a handsome detective is hired to protect her from a dangerous stalker.

It’s not that she doesn’t want to marry…
Allie Baldwin is tired of writing about the latest fashions for the society column of her father’s newspaper, the New York Sentinel. Determined to write about important issues, Allie can’t help but defy danger at every turn. When she narrowly escapes a riot at a suffrage rally, Allie’s beleaguered parents enlist the services of a security agent—a dashing and debonair detective, with a knack for getting under Allie’s skin.

He’s not ready for marriage…
Peter Harrison is too busy running Harrison Detective Agency to bother with courtships and conjugality. He refuses to make the same mistakes his father made—marrying too young and forsaking family for work. But when a newspaper magnate hires him to protect his willful daughter—Peter is torn between his oath to bachelorhood and an alluring attraction to the ravishing redhead with a nose for trouble.

When a mysterious fire sparks her investigative instincts, can Allie stick to reporting the facts and restrain her flowering feelings for the handsome detective?

Gail Ingis writes historical romance with a twist of mystery set in the Gilded Age.

Her latest book, The Unforgettable Miss Baldwin:  The Gilded Age Heiresses (Sept 2019) is available on Amazon or at the book signing on Nov 1 at noon in the Norwalk Public Library.

Her first novel, Indigo Sky, is also available on Amazon and other retailers. (2015 Soul Mate Publishing). The love story behind Albert Bierstadt’s painting Domes of Yosemite was Gail’s inspiration to write Indigo Sky. The painting, now in St. Johnsbury Atheneum in Vermont, once hung in Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum, Norwalk, Connecticut, where she serves as a trustee and curator of art.

Before her debut as an author, she illustrated the book Seeking Paradise by Deborah Galiley (2009, Oak Tara Publishers).

Gail’s career in interior design and architecture culminated in her founding a school of interior design, Interior Design Institute, now part of Berkeley College. Her professorship extended to colleges across NJ, CT, and NY.

Gail has memberships in several interior design and art organizations, and membership in the Romance Writers of America. She resides in Connecticut with her scientist-writer husband, Tom, who is supportive of her work and her writing.

Gail will read an excerpt from UMB, hold a book signing after the luncheon, and the drawing for the gift basket will be after the signing, 

To Register and for more information contact Cynde Bloom Lahey by phone 203-899-2780 ext. 15133 or email

Norwalk Public Library | 1 Belden Ave Norwalk, CT 06850

P.S. You can vote again until the end of the month Oct 31st, that’s today: The Unforgettable Miss Baldwin by Gail Ingis – VOTE. 

That Dog-gone Kousa Dogwood

That Dog-gone Kousa Dogwood

Kousa Dogwood in full bloom

A tree grows in Fairfield, in our backyard, taking over the garden, the house, and the patio. The Kousa Dogwood in bloom is gorgeous. In one month all the flowers turn brown and ripen into juicy berries with a bitter/astringent taste. The exterior of the berry is tough and bumpy and the only way to eat it is to suck out the fruit. A few years back, I decided to make some Kousa berry jam. I picked the berries after they ripened, mashed them and cooked them down with sugar in a saucepan until the jam was formed. After cooling, I poured the jam into mason jars and gave them to family members for Christmas.

The jam was pretty good, not delicious. The taste improved when blanketed on a cracker with a dollop of cream cheese. Despite my attempt, I didn’t think I could turn the Kousa jam-making into a side business. Perhaps the flavor would have improved by adding those tried and true Holiday ingredients: cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, orange citrus, and ginger. I was left with a special colander for making jam, and special jam jars, that I have since donated to all my friends and family to make their own jam. Speaking of jars – If you’re not a fan of jam, you can use those wonderful Mason jars for candy or sugared almonds, tie a ribbon around it and voilà, a lovely gift for any occasion.


Meanwhile, we had a very fruitful Kousa Dogwood, I pruned the branches when the flowers began to brown to keep away as much fruit as possible. Alas, all that accomplished was to make the tree smaller so that the shade provided on our patio minimized. The job of collecting the fruit kept us busy picking it off the tree, and those that we missed, fell onto the lawn and patio, squishing under our feet and the lawnmower. It’s a shame the jam was not yummy, imagine making a buck from your fruit tree in your own backyard. And the birds didn’t like the fruit either, even though I read somewhere that birds love the fruit. Not the ones in our yard.

It’s been twenty years of this unwanted exercise just to enjoy the beauty of the short-lived flowers, and some shade on our patio. One day, I said to Tom, “Can we remove the tree?”

He gaped at me, his handsome face frozen in horror for a moment. “Are you sure?”

Without going into all the details, first, we trimmed all the branches. Then we cut them back, then we cut it down.

For you tree lovers, please don’t hate us, we moaned during the whole process. But we’re glad we cut the tree down because we now have more time to enjoy our backyard and our backs are thankful we won’t be doing all that extra stooping anymore.



Portugal Praia (beach)

I haven’t been to the French Rivera. I haven’t been to the cliffs of Amalfi. I have driven, toured and run the soft sparkly sand through my fingers at the Algarve. The Algarve is Praia eo Camilo (Lagos)150 kilometers/90 miles of coastline.

We drove to S. Vicente, the Cape Cod of Portugal, the most southern point, surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean.

It isn’t true if you’ve seen one beach, you’ve seen them all. They are all so different.

The Hawaiian personality of the thatched umbrellas was at the Falesia Praia, the picture below, and at no other.


We discovered all the beaches are topless, but not all the women were. No, you can’t see the ones that were topless. I don’t have them to share.

The path begins at the Nossa Senhora da Encarnação fort (GPS 37.09474, -8.46976), which is at the top of the steep hill leading to the left (east) side of the beach. The boardwalk extends for 570m to the car park at the top of the Algar Seco cliff (GPS 37.09332, -8.46556). A typical walk takes around 10 minutes but often takes much longer as the beautiful scenery is admired. The wooden path means that it is suitable for all and is perfect for less mobile visitors or families. At the base of the Algar, Seco cliffs is the Boneca Bar, a great setting for drinks and light meals.

Do note: The Carvoeiro Boardwalk does not extend down to the Algar Seco and to reach the base of the cliff a long flight of steps needs to be descended.

The town of Carvoeiro, where the stars reside, is a town known for entertaining kings and queens. You can find cafes at every turn. There were so many cafes,  it was hard to choose.



Cafe Pine Cliffs Hotel, Algarve

We didn’t see any famous stars. The praia (the beach) was the star, with hills, cliffs, houses in the cliffs, sheer dropoffs, eloquent seascapes. Fishing boats right next to beach umbrellas, people at rest, children at play.

Custard tarts & and coffee (those tarts are outrageous) This pastéis de nata recipe makes as-close-to-authentic Portuguese custard tarts with a rich egg custard nestled in shatteringly crisp pastry. Tastes like home, even if you’re not from Portugal. If you live in Connecticut, buy these at Chaves Bakery in Bridgeport on Madison Ave. 


Portuguese sundae, yum (atypical)







Coffee (above) is serious business in Portugal. Usually, espresso is served after every meal. After lunch at one of the cafes in Carvoeiro, we indulged. Decaf, brewed of course. We were horrified at our Tivoli Hotel in Villamoura, where they served Nescafe, a decaf espresso, not brewed. It wasn’t too bad. And that’s only b/c it was Nescafe. I tried another brand, not brewed, it tasted like bug spray smells.
Plowing through all these places gave us both infinite pleasure. Not once did we see rain.

Alfama, Portugal is Lisbon’s oldest district made famous for its tight winding corridors and for having been one of the few neighborhoods to survive the devastating earthquake of 1755. Photo by Laura Pastores from Westminster College. – See more at:

The white sand beach and cliffs of the beach of Praia da Rocha soft and reflective. The waves broke against the rocks and splashed up sizzling in the sunlight with colors of the rainbow.

Indie Author Day Is Coming Soon.

Indie Author Day Is Coming Soon.

On Saturday, October 12, libraries across North America (and the world) will be celebrating INDIE AUTHOR DAY. It’s the third annual event celebrating indie (self-published) authors in their home towns and cities. And it truly gets better every year!

I’ll be one of several indie authors giving a short talk at my local library on  – The Norwalk Public Library, 1 Belden Avenue, Norwalk, Connecticut – reading from my new historical romance, THE UNFORGETTABLE MISS BALDWIN

Libraries across North America are planning programs to celebrate their local independent and self-published authors. Mine  is Norwalk Public Library on Saturday, October 12 from 8:30 am – 5:00 pm. Please check your local library for the schedule. Over the past three years, hundreds of libraries across North America have taken part in coordinating events that have drawn thousands of authors and readers.

We’re hoping that this year will be even bigger and better! Here in Norwalk, more than 60 authors and other publishing professionals will be taking part. Authors are invited to speak or read an excerpt from their work. And of course, you’ll be able to buy books and get them signed by the author.

The fun starts at 10:30 am. Children’s authors will be reading in the Children’s section of the library.

If you’re looking to meet your favorite author(s), hear what they have to say, and enjoy talking to fellow readers, then Indie Author Day is for you!

Check out local events in your area by clicking HERE.

Click HERE to watch a short video about Indie Author Day.

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