Opie-Bound, A Giveaway, And Hurricane Katrina Relief


We’re off to the holler! According to Mapquest, it’s a 330 mile trip that should take us 5 1/2 hours. Travelling with three kids and an 80-year-old man, we should arrive sometime in the next decade. We expect gas for this trip to now total approximately $7,490 roundtrip.

We’re stopping on the way to West Virginia to play tourists in Mount Airy, the hometown of Andy Griffith and the town Mayberry was based on. We’ll eat at the Snappy Lunch, shave the kids at Floyd’s Barber Shop, then drop them off at the Old Mayberry Jail on our way out. Or something like that.

Time for a giveaway! My romantic comedy Weekend Engagement is based on my family’s history in West Virginia, and is set in the 100-year-old farmhouse where we’ll be staying. I’ll give away 10 copies by random drawing–if you’re interested in having your name in the hat, let me know! Winners will be announced tomorrow–with photos LIVE FROM THE HOLLER. (Could you ask for more excitement?)

We’ve all seen the devastation beyond imagining in the aftermath of the hurricane in the Gulf states, but there’s nothing that brings it home more than to read a personal story of tragedy. Writer and Coast Guard wife Larissa Ione has lost everything. Get a Kleenex before you go read her story. The romance community is putting together an auction to help Larissa–I’m contributing signed books and a PAX totebag–please watch Stephanie Tyler’s blog and RomAid for information about the auction. Larissa’s husband is a real-life hero, continuing to work to rescue others while his own home is gone and his own family is homeless.

MORE HELP FOR REAL-LIFE HEROES–many of our military members serving overseas have also lost their homes without even a chance to salvage photographs or a few mementoes as other evacuees were able to do. Together with ArmyWifeToddlerMom, I’m helping to gather items for an auction to benefit hurricane relief for our military heroes via Soldiers’ Angels. I’ll be donating signed books and PAX League items. If you’re an author, please consider donating signed books. If you’re a reader–are you crafty? Do you knit or…anything? If you have a craft or a talent, please consider donating for the soldiers’ auction. If you’re interested in donating by bidding on items for the auction, we already have blog designs, signed books, handmade candles and soaps–and more to come! Watch this spot for more information coming soon. Email me by clicking the Contact button on the menu bar above if you have something to donate for the auction!

Back in Texas, my sister and her friends have adopted Louisiana evacuees at a local hotel, providing food and basic needs. If you can help, contact Shannon– sdrobinetteATsbcglobal.net.


  1. Teresa says:

    Have fun on your trip. And OMG at that gas expense!:shocked: That stinks.

    I read Larissa’s post and it broke my heart.:cry:

  2. Eve says:

    It’s really great what y’all are doing for the hurricane victims.

    Put my name in a hat for the drawing, thank you!

  3. Beth C says:

    It sounds like a fun trip! Well, except for the gas bill part. I love the Andy griffith show! Never realized they had a real town for Mayberry. I think you should eat at Goober’s. :bananadance:

  4. Estella Kissell says:

    Have a safe trip. The gas prices are horrendous:shocked:
    What you and others are doing for the hurricane victins is great:bananadance:
    Please put mu name in the hat for the drawing.

  5. Mik says:

    Have a great trip! I think what you’re doing for the hurrican victims is terrific. :thumbsup:

    Put my name in the hat!

  6. Mary says:

    I lived in Mt. Airy when I was a kid, for about a year. You’ll love it. Go by Horne Creek Farm by Mt. Pilot. It’s on your way.
    Larissa’s post really brings the hurricane into perspective.

  7. Carol says:

    Have a great trip. I can’t wait to hear all about it and see the pictures!

    Please put my name in the hat!

  8. Melissa says:

    Suz, I used to live in Chesapeake, Ohio. And, we used to cross the bridge and go to Huntington, WV to shop. Nobody knows where Chesapeake is. I love hillbilly’s and a good ‘ol bluegrass festival. Have a fun and safe trip. :guitar:


  9. Emma S says:

    How do you have internet access at The Holler? Makes it sound a little less rural.

    But have a fun trip1!

  10. Jean says:

    Sounds like an unbelievable trip and can’t wait to hear the stories you’re going to have. I’m sure we’ll feel like we were there with you (except having to pay for that gas:no: Hope it all turns out well.

    Would love to win your book:hyper:

  11. Sonja (from HCRW) says:

    Heehee, live from the holler. You crack me up. I want to be in the drawing. 🙂

  12. Melissa Mc says:

    Have a fun and safe trip! Please feel free to donate the book I won last week to one of the causes you are supporting!

  13. Shelly says:

    I’m sure you’ll have LOTS of fun — despite cringing at the gas pump. :rolleyes:

    I’ll be checking out the auction for our military men and women. Unfortunately, I’m not very crafty. 🙁

    I’d love to be added to the drawing for Weekend Engagement. :yes:

  14. Angie T says:

    Y’all have fun in the holler, ya hear?? :bananadance: Have a safe trip. It looks like the weather will be great, so enjoy it! Maybe gas will not be to bad…we are having shortages here in Georgia due to “panic buying”.
    People never cease to annoy…I mean amaze me…:no:

    And I would like to be included in your drawing, too. Thanks!

  15. Amy K. says:

    Have fun on your trip!

  16. Michelle says:

    Enjoy the holler, and hope the gas prices don’t send you bankrupt. Thanks for all you’re doing for the hurricane victims.

  17. Toni Anderson says:

    A wonderful way to help out Suzanne!!!

  18. Alyssa says:

    Thanks for posting about the different donating opportunities. I have some scrapbook albums I could donate. Do you think there would be any interest?

    Please enter me in the giveaway.

  19. Tori says:

    It’s a great thing you’re doing for the victims of Hurricane Katrina. :thumbsup:

    Live From the Holler! Sounds like a TV music show. Must be a bluegrass show. :rotfl:

  20. BJ Deese says:

    Hi Suzanne! Have a great trip. Please enter me in the contest. Thanks!

  21. Stacey115 says:

    Have a great trip- hope you survive the gas prices.

    Enter me into the contest, please.

  22. Jennifer says:

    CNN is so addictive during times like these. I will have to check out the auctions.

    Have fun on your trip despite the gas prices. Someone broke the cover to the gas cap and stole my neighbors gas during the night.:shock:

    Please enter me in your drawing. I would love the chance to win your book.

  23. Kelly says:

    Have a good trip, Suzanne! And it’s wonderful what you’re doing to help.

  24. Crystal says:

    Have fun on your trip. Gas prices are horrible now.

    Please enter me for the contest.

  25. Christy says:

    Have a safe and wonderful trip.

    Please add my name for your drawing/contest.

  26. Juanita Stender says:

    Have a safe trip and don’t fall in the “hole” when you use the outhouse! I was born in a little bity town called Jenkins, Kentucky and didn’t have indoor plumbing for a few years. Hillbilly through and through. Please enter me in your book drawing and kudos for your relief efforts.:thumbsup:

  27. Danica says:

    Have a fun trip! Remember the duct tape!

    Put me in the drawing please. 🙂

  28. Peggy says:

    Have a wonderful holiday Suzanne! Sounds lovely!

  29. Mechele Armstrong says:

    Have a great safe trip!

    Put my name in the hat please. :bananadance:

    And Larissa’s post broke my heart 😥

  30. Kim says:

    ooh…I’d like to win this book. Please put my name in the hat. Hope you have a great time on your trip.

  31. Gina says:

    Have a great trip. Include me in the hat please.

  32. Jeanette Jackson says:

    Have a safe trip. I’d like to be included in the drawing please.

  33. Carol Burnside says:

    Have fun in the holler and I’ll talk with you in the workshop.

    I read Larissa’s note yesterday. Very tragic, but I’m glad they had the means and sense to get out of there when they did. I’ll keep checking for the auction.

    Throw my name in the Weekend Engagement drawing, please.

  34. ruby55 says:

    Sorry I’m so late again. It’s..er, was definitely not been a good day for me yesterday.

    Of course, not anything like the days of the survivors of the hurricane. Though we don’t live in hurricane country, we do get tornados and ice storms up here. We were actually supposed to get some of Katrina’s rain but the last word was that it would fall mainly over Lakes Erie and Ontario. Hurricane Hazel in 1954 devastated parts of western Toronto when storms flooded the Humber River Valley. That’s about the closest Canada has come to hurricane disaster.

    As with Hazel, so Katrina caused the most damage with flooding. It’s been terrible to see the streets that are now mere waterways. Wind can be terrible but walls of water must be even worse. There’s nowhere to hide safely from expected wind and then take a hit from flooding. May God keep the poor people who’ve been deprived of homes, friends, pets, memorabilia, health and livelihood.

    I’ll see what I can do to help.

    :no:Probably it’s too late but I’d like to put my name in for the book too.:no:

    Have a safe and pleasant journey despite the the high cost of fuel and the passengers. My brother called me today that they had all paid for the trip we plan to take as a family to the Dominican Republic–provided the place is still there in January–in order to forestall any potentially bigger oil price hikes.

  35. Maureen says:

    Enjoy your trip. Please include me in your drawing.