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Annie in Austin
Welcome! As "Annie in Austin" I blog about gardening in Austin, TX with occasional looks back at our former gardens in Illinois. My husband Philo & I also make videos - some use garden images as background for my original songs, some capture Austin events & sometimes we share videos of birds in our garden. Come talk about gardens, movies, music, genealogy and Austin at the Transplantable Rose and listen to my original songs on YouTube. For an overview read Three Gardens, Twenty Years. Unless noted, these words and photos are my copyrighted work.
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Monday, March 17, 2008

Coming Soon - Susan Albert's Blog Tour!

This post, "Coming Soon - Susan Albert's Blog Tour!" was written for my blogspot blog called The Transplantable Rose by Annie in Austin.

Once I realized my 2008 turn as hostess for the Divas of the Dirt would land on St Patrick's Day weekend the menu choices were quite clear - we had to have steel cut Irish Oatmeal at breakfast and Corned Beef sandwiches with coleslaw for lunch.

As I stood in the kitchen mixing the coleslaw, the scent of dill reminded me of one of my favorites in Susan Albert's China Bayles Herbal mystery series ... A Dilly of A Death. Thinking of that book reminded me that Susan Albert will be a guest at the Transplantable Rose in a few weeks, visiting on April 8th as a stop on her Nightshade Blog Tour. Among the blogs on the tour are some familiar names, including friends Carol of May Dreams on March 24th, Cold Climate Kathy on the 26th, Rurality on April 1st, Crafty Gardener on April 4th, and Zanthan Gardens on April 10th. At each stop along the tour you'll be invited to enter a drawing for a first edition of the newest book in the series, the ominously titled Nightshade - eight stops makes you eligible for the grand prize drawing of an audio book of Susan's personal favorite in the series, Bloodroot.

Some of you may also know Susan Albert as the author of another series, the Cottage Tales of Beatrix Potter - with Beatrix as the heroine. I intend to read the first book in this series soon. But will I love Beatrix as much as I love China's best friend Ruby? To anyone who knows me, my identifying with a youngish, slender, six-foot-tall, redheaded owner of the only new age shop in Pecan Springs might be ludicrous... but inside my head - I am Ruby!

More details on the Tour will be coming soon - in the meantime check out the first bluebonnets on Susan's Lifescapes blog from the Texas Hill Country outside Austin - and have a Happy St. Patrick's Day!
This post, "Coming Soon - Susan Albert's Blog Tour!" was written for my blogspot blog called The Transplantable Rose by Annie in Austin.


  1. Great news Annie! I am a big fan of Ms. Albert and love the Beatrix Potter books as much if not more than the herbal China Bayles series. While I don't picture myself as Ruby, she is a terrific character, I do feel a kinship with Beatrix.
    Frances at Faire Garden

  2. Happy St. Patrick's Day to you, Annie in Austin. I'm looking forward to following this tour from blog to blog this spring.

    I also bought the first in the Cottage Tales of Beatrix Potter and intend to read it someday soon myself!

    Carol, May Dreams Gardens

  3. Annie, I just received my copy of The Tale of Hilltop Farm in the mail from Amazon this afternoon! I'll look forward to following Ms. Albert's blog tour.

    Happy St. Pat's day.

  4. I'm just reading A Dilly of a Death right now, and I have Nightshade to read as well. I'm looking forward to the blog too also.

  5. Hi Frances - I liked the Rene Zellwegger movie and gained an appreciation for Miss Potter herself from the biography in the DVD extras...and words from you carry some weight, you know!

    Top o' the evening to you, Carol! It sounds like fun to blog hop, doesn't it? Do you think your delay in reading about the creator of Peter Rabbit has something to do with not finding bunnies cute? Squirrel Nutkin is not gonna be my favorite character!

    Hi Garden Girl -now that's a fine coincidence! Susan Albert will be signing books at the Wildflower Center during Spring Fling so I may get to meet her in person. Maybe she comes to Chicago and you'll meet her, too.

    Oh, Crafty Gardener - I see that your blog is a stop on the tour, too! I'll come to visit and hope you like "Dilly of a Death", too - it's fun.

    Thank you,


  6. Hi Annie,

    Happy St. Patrick's Day to you! It is exciting to hear that Susan Wittig Albert will be guest blogging here. I remember reading her very first China Bayles mystery and how enchanted I was by her herb garden and Pecan Springs.

  7. I'm looking forward to the blog tour, having just discovered the China Bayles books last year. I liked the first one so much I've gone on to read the next 2 and plan to read the rest.

    I'll be interested to hear your thoughts on the Beatrix Potter series.

  8. Since I've visited Austin I have enjoyed the allusions to Austin places. ("Mopac! I've heard of that!") I've been following China Bayles for quite a while, and read a bio of Beatrix Potter. I'll have to look up that series as well.

    And, Annie? I think cole slaw goes great with corned beef sandwiches, too, but cole slaw is German! Cabbage is very Irish; perhaps they have a similar dish. Anyway, America is a big melting pot, er, mixing bowl, um, salad bowl?

  9. Kate, it's interesting that you've found this series, too. Do most of us wish Pecan Springs was real so we could go to the herb shop?

    Hello Entangled, I've read quite a few of them and given China's Book of Days as gifts but there are some I've missed. Actually, the first one I read was in the middle of the series!

    The local allusions are fun, Kathy- and I like the way history and politics sneak in, too.
    The St Patrick's Day parties held in my extended family always featured both cooked cabbage and coleslaw so it seems traditional to me but your comment made curious, Kathy!
    According to food history sites the Romans invented cabbage (caulis) salad with vinegar but the name coleslaw derived from the Dutch koolsla.
    Then I found sites about the origins of the names for cabbage in different languages, for the term "brassicas" and theories on how cabbage became a staple in almost every country in Europe, the British Isles and Asia Minor. Cabbage was apparently introduced to North America when Jacques Cartier planted it in Canada around 1542.
    Looking things up on Google is too much fun.

    Thank you all,

  10. The wenches have heard of China Bayles but haven't read any--yet. Love the titles! The guest blogging event sounds like fun. Thanks for stopping by and saying that our forsythia looks nice--notice there weren't any pics of the whole bush. Let's just say it looks better close up than it does from a distance!

  11. Looking forward to the tour Annie. Thanks for reminding us. Between you, Carol and the others surely I will get to see her tour through.

  12. Annie! Your garden is wonderful! I've been reading some of your older post and I always love getting a peek into someone elses garden. I hope ours looks as good as yours some day. And the Divas of the Dirt, what a wonderful idea. I'm going to read more of the archives when I get time. There's that precious four letter word there never seems to be enough of these days.

  13. Hi,
    Glad to meet you. The blog tours sounds fun; I read the first one in the series and enjoyed it.
    I was a book blog tour host for the first time recently, for my friend, Trish Berg, and look forward to hosting more blog book tours in future.

  14. Thanks for telling us about the blog book tour Annie. It sounds like a lot of fun.
    I've heard of them, but I haven't read any of Susan's books yet. I'll have to look them up at the library. With so many positive reports by others, they sound like something I'm sure to enjoy.
    Happy first day of spring! We have snow showers, sleet and cold winds here. It feels nothing like spring!
    I hope you have a wonderful Easter.

  15. I keep hearing about this writer, and keep forgetting to write her name down and checking for her at one of the book stores locally. But this post convinced me to be organized enough to do just that. Plus i'll follow the blog book tour, too.

  16. Okay Annie, I swear to you this is the first time I've read your St. Pat's blog entry. I had no idea you'd posted about Ms. Albert before I did; complete with photos of her book on your table. Either I'm psychic or we were separated at birth. Now I'm a bit embarrassed of my entry yesterday regarding her new series as well. *blush* Sorry about that.

    Anyway, I adore Susan Wittig Albert's books. Have been reading them since '89 and just started her Beatrix Potter series last week. Love it, of course!

  17. Oh I must put these books on my 'must read' list. I just planted dill which is enough of an incentive, after your dill comment, to read this book! Along with your recommendation of course!

  18. The tour started this morning at Carol/May Dreams Garden, Lisa at Greenbow - I'm heading over there next.

    Thank you so much Randy and Jamie! Your garden is going to be amazing, but having the ground cleared by a tornado is a pretty stressful way to get room for new borders.

    Welcome Terra Hangen - this is something new for me and I'm quite thrilled to be part of it.

    Hello Kerri - they're good stories and maybe will let you get a feeling of Texas without getting on a plane. It is Totally spring here now.

    Jodi, Susan's setting are regional, but her themes can be enjoyed no matter where you live. I hope you find and enjoy the books.

    Heck, I'm still catching up with the Garden Bloggers Bloom Day posts. I loved your St Pat's post with music, Dawn and Susan Albert will probably be happy to know you're a fan, too... the more posts the merrier! Since I've already claimed kinship with Ruby, I'll say we are both Psychic ;-]

    Now over to Carol's blog for stop # 1 on the Nightshade Blog Tour!



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