My Three Marys


Mrs. Hinton’s first grade class. Aren’t we cute? And so 1970ish! I’m the little girl in light blue with a barrette in her hair in the top row, far left. I was in love with Mrs. Hinton. Who wouldn’t be with that blonde hair flipping up? I thought she was the coolest.

But this post is really about the Marys in my life.

My first Mary was my best friend. I met her the first day of kindergarten. She had this devilish gleam in her eye that made me know she’d be wild, and as shy as I was, I wanted in on her action. And I was right, she was a lot of fun, and as much as we were opposites, we were friends throughout elementary school and junior high. I moved away from Maryland right before high school. We kept in touch over the years until I went through a hectic period several years back and managed to lose track of her. She’d married and changed her name, and I’d lost her last address. Then we moved, and I knew she wouldn’t have MY address anymore, either, though since I’ve been married since I was 18, I hoped she’d remember my married name, and since I write under my own name, I’m not hard to find on the internet. My only hope was that someday she’d find me…… This weekend I got an email from her. She had, indeed, found me! I was SO excited. She still lives in the town in Maryland where we grew up, and I’m planning to take my kids there sometime next year so I’m looking forward to getting to see her! πŸ˜†

She’s the one in the first seated row at the bottom of the picture dressed all in green. Doesn’t she look like a cute little elf? She always had good Barbie stuff, too, and she had her own horse. She was Catholic and I SO WANTED TO GO TO CHURCH WITH HER AND SEE THE CANDLES but my Church of Christ everyone-else-is-going-to-hell parents would never let me.

My second Mary was my sister-in-law. After my mother, she was the biggest supporter of my writing. She died a few years ago, and the last conversation I had with her, when she was dying, all she wanted to talk about was me and my writing and tell me how successful she knew I would be. I MISS HER.

She loved the beach. This picture was taken on one of her last trips.

And in an overabundance of riches in Marys, I met my third Mary when we were both getting started writing. She is one of the most fun and most supportive people on the planet and you’re lucky if you get to know her. We both used to live in Texas and would do lunch and I miss that. She moved to Vegas and I moved to North Carolina, so now we only get to see each other at RWA conferences.

Is this cover gorgeous or what?

I was SO excited for her when she sold to Next. She’s a wonderful writer, and if you haven’t ever read a book by Mary, here’s your chance! Starting today and through Tuesday, Mary will be holding a contest daily for autographed copies of her fabulous first Next, What To Keep, IN STORES NOW! “When divorced Las Vegas blackjack dealer Juliette Carlton inherits Magnolia Hall, a dilapidated one-hundred and forty year old southern home from her long-lost uncle, she’s stunned and happy. Her life has never been messier with a recent divorce and a lost job. She believes the windfall will fix her life; however, little does she know she’s in for the ride of a lifetime.”

Go see her here and leave a comment for your chance to win!! You know you want to.


  1. Margery Scott says:

    Now you’ve gone and made me think about old friends I haven’t seen in years. I can’t come up with duplicate names, though.

  2. Katie says:

    Awww, Weren’t you cute!!!
    Love the Next books – thanks for the heads up!

  3. Mary says:

    Thanks for the great post. Your serious writing always brings a tear to my eye.

  4. Eve says:

    I recently reconnected with my childhood bestfriend after being apart for 23 years – it was wonderful and I hope you have a great reunion.

    I’ll certainly look for Mary’s book (Mary is also my mother’s name, so I have great affection for the name)

  5. Leanna says:

    I’m one of the blessed to know Mary (and Suzanne!). What to Keep is awesome. And watch for The Lighthouse by Mary Schramski in….uh-oh is it November? I’ve already seen the cover and it’s gorgeous. And I’ve already read the book and it’s fabulouso!

  6. Cheryl S. says:

    Aww . . . what memories. Always nice to be reminded of our blessings. πŸ™‚

  7. mary beth says:

    You should warn us when we need Kleenex.

  8. Toni Anderson says:

    I have two Mary’s in my life. We met in the Gatty Marine lab when we were fresh faced 21 year olds. Love them:smile:

  9. Robyn says:

    Suzanne, even way back then your hair was
    so thick and nice; lucky you.
    I will check out Mary’s site; thanks.

  10. Kelly says:

    Suzanne, you’re getting me all sentimental! πŸ˜‰ Beautiful post!

  11. Tori says:

    :sniffle: What a fabulous post, Suzanne! You’ve got me wondering about old friends now, too.

  12. Michelle says:

    Awww! Great pictures and such nice stories. πŸ™‚

  13. melissa marsh says:

    Now I have the urge to go dig out my old kindergarten photos. πŸ™‚

  14. Trish Milburn says:

    I’ve really been enjoying your blog, Suzanne. I have two special Marys in my life too — my sister and my good friend Mary Fechter. And I see you’re headed to the Outer Banks soon. I loved it when we visited a few years ago. I love the national seashore where you can walk on the beach uncluttered by buildings, and I love Roanoke Island.

  15. TeresaH says:

    I love your blogs…they make me think of fun things and bring back memories.:smile:

  16. Alyssa says:

    I ran into a friend from high school several years ago at a scrapbooking expo, and we’ve been going to lunch and scrapbooking together ever since. Those long-term friendships are precious, aren’t they?

  17. Cynthia says:

    Suzanne, what a beautiful post! I have a best friend that I only get to see about once a year, but whenever we see each other it’s like we’ve never been apart.

    I’m back from the Reno/Disneyland circuit…saw my pic posted on your blog. I feel so special! :heart: Although my youngest looks in the middle of a meltdown — which he was. :shocked:

  18. MartyK says:

    Lovely post–I’ll be sure to check out your third Mary πŸ™‚ And interesting tidbit about your parents/religion. Me too–exactly. I knew I liked you πŸ˜‰

  19. Jill says:

    Sweet post. And lovely pics!

  20. Gina says:

    Lovely post. My mother’s name was Mary.

  21. Ashley says:

    My first name is Mary, though so is my mom’s so I go by my middle name.

  22. Mik says:

    What a great post. You’re making me nostalgic for my own elementary school pics. LOL HOW CUTE ya’ll are. And thanks for the heads-up on the book. Vegas has a special place in my heart. πŸ™‚

    By the way, my mother’s name is Mary.

  23. kacey says:

    Ah, what a great post! And I know Mary Schramski! She’s so cool. And I already read her book, but I’ll pop over to her blog anyway!

    I was looking for old friends on the internet the other day, but had no success…it’s the whole women changing their last names thing…

  24. Mechele Armstrong says:

    Wonderful news about your friend contacting you. That’s so neat.

    And what a great tribute to your sister in law.

  25. Melissa says:

    My Mom’s first name is Mary too. πŸ˜€

    The NEXT books are awesome! :hyper:

    :wave: Mary S., if you’re reading this I’m gearing up to go to Vegas. I want to read your book on de plane! de plane!

  26. Cece says:

    I have to say that Harlequin has done some AMAZING covers for the Next line! :thumbsup: