Happy First Day of Autumn. This is my favorite season of the year. It's a time when I long for fall leaves in Lake Placid, white, steepled churches in Vermont, and covered bridges in New England. So many images come to mind: pumpkin people on the porches of old-fashioned general stores, maple syrup, caramel apples on a stick, cinnamon scented candles from Bath and Body Works, Pumpkin Spice Lattes, and cozying up to the fire with a good book.
When it comes to autumn, this California girl lives on the wrong coast. The temperatures here are still in the 80s and some days, even the 90s. It's our season of fires and Santa Ana winds. I'll never forget the time my husband and I planned a Halloween party that was supposed to take place in our back yard, but had to be moved indoors because ashes from a nearby fire were raining down on us and our decorations. Forget about small paper lanterns lining the patio; we didn't want to burn our house down.
Autumn also reminds me of the radio show "A Prairie Home Companion" which my husband and I have religiously listened to for over thirty years. The Fall is the time when the sun is getting low enough for us to light our candles and turn on our space heater that looks like an old-fashioned coal fireplace. We lose ourselves in the stories that Garrison Keillor's low, mesmerizing voice weaves. I love his world of bachelor farmers, Pastor Liz, Dorothy's caramel rolls, The Sidetrack Tap, and the Chatterbox Cafe. Maybe there really are some places like the Chatterbox Café? Wouldn’t it be fun to go find out?
So after all the years of talking about this town where "the women and strong, the men are good looking, and the children are always above-average," my husband and I finally went to Minnesota on a pilgrimage to find the real Lake Wobegon. This book is the result. I hope you will enjoy this story about a precocious teenager who talks her father into taking her to Minnesota on just such a quest. Her father wants to go on a Bob Dylan pilgrimage while there, but she has other plans when a "bachelor farmer" (who was last seen at the "Chatterbox Cafe") goes missing and they join the search party. Part travelogue, this book also contains pictures. It's only $1.99 and available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, Google Play, Kobo, Smashwords, and Scribd. Also available in paperback at Amazon.
The Missing Bachelor Farmer:
A Nancy Keene Mystery
by Louise Hathaway