About the Setting
Kents Hill, Maine: I’ve spent years looking at a placard from the prep school my husband attended in Kents Hill, Maine. Having been married to this wonderful man for two decades, I know a lot about the New England town by now, and in Cerphe’s stories, it just seems like a magical place. So, poof . . . in it went.
Leesburg, Virginia: I created a fictional version of Leesburg, of course. We don’t have demonic battles on King Street (that I remember, anyway). And archangels and elementals don’t live inside our charming homes or work in our downtown businesses (or do they?). Regardless, this book is also a love letter to this beautiful town and the amazing people who call it home.
If you, dear reader, have not been, come for a visit, and you’ll see what I mean. The people, places, and sense of community here are lovely beyond words. We have many talented people here: authors, award-winning graphic artists, singers, songwriters, chefs, and artists who work in every medium. We also have a cornucopia of wineries, breweries, distilleries, restaurants, wine bars, art galleries, and lots more.
Here are a few of my favorites, including website information:
Eyetopia, Inc., mentioned in chapter two of The Summerlands, is an enchanting boutique and prescription eyewear center in historic downtown that deserves your attention. I would never consider going anywhere else for glasses and delightful gifts. Eyetopia’s owner, my dear friend Paige Buscema, will take excellent care of you should you stop by for a visit.
Fabbioli Cellars, run by dear friends Doug Fabbioli and Colleen Burg, has lovely wines and an adorable kitty who roams the grounds and poses for photos and wine labels. A great way to spend a Saturday or Sunday afternoon . . . tasting delicious wine at Fabbioli Cellars while taking in their glorious vineyard.
Mom’s Apple Pie, Co. shows up in the book as a fictional diner owned by the fictional Bob Nash. Here in the real world, Mom’s is the world’s best pie shop owned by a lovely person named Avis Renshaw. I’m convinced Avis came to Earth to make the world’s best cherry pie (my favorite). Mission accomplished.
The Barns at Hamilton Station Vineyards run by dear friends Andrew and Maryann Fialdini. They offer fantastic wine, tours of their beautiful vineyard, and a magical setting for weddings, special events, and concerts inside their lovely barn and on their gorgeous grounds.
Lightfoot Restaurant is owned by the powerhouse-sister team of Ingrid Gustavson and Carrie Gustavson. It’s the perfect place to host a special event or indulge in a delicious brunch, lunch, or dinner inside the beautiful restaurant or outside on the patio.
DIG Records & Vintage is Leesburg’s ultra-cool vintage vinyl shop run by the ultra-cool Kevin Longendyke.
The Tally Ho Theater is owned and operated by Don Devine and Jack Devine, Leesburg’s dynamic father-and-son team. The Bodeans, The Outlaws, Pat McGee Band, The Gin Blossoms, 80s hair band Kix, and many more have played their 1932 Art Deco theater and concert hall. The Tally Ho is also home to Leesburg’s annual holiday show, Jingle Jam.
Leesburg and Loudoun County have excellent original music and concert series, too:
Songs Stories and Gas Money is spearheaded by dear friends Stilson Greene and Don Chapman (world-class musicians themselves). It’s a lovely evening of just what the billing says. Check it out at The Barns at Hamilton Station Vineyards during the fall.
Acoustic on the Green is the brainchild of Stilson Greene and lovingly tended by him for more than a decade. His popular outdoor concert series, now run by the town, is a great summertime Saturday night out.
Jingle Jam, also the creation of Stilson Greene, is Leesburg’s annual holiday Rock n’ Roll Concert. Loudoun County residents get in line as early as 11 pm the night before tickets go on sale to snag a seat at this special event. Hats off to the Jingle Jam Band: Todd Wright, Gary Smallwood, Jon Carroll, Michael Sheppard, Kim Pittinger, Mark Williams, Cal Everett, Tobias Smith, Prescott Engle, Stilson Greene, and special guests. Their eleven years of jingle-jamming have resulted in more than $150,000 raised for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund.
You should look us up. Then come on out. The people of Leesburg and Loudoun County will welcome you with open arms.
About that Menu
Cerphe’s Up Veggie Sub is, of course, named after my amazing hubby, who is the voice of Mortegol in the audiobook version of The Summerlands. He wrote an excellent book with co-author Stephen Moore, called Cerphe’s Up, which I hope you’ll look up on Amazon. It’s an eclectic memoir of his life among rock stars. Cerphe has worked for all the great radio stations in Washington, D.C., and now spearheads our online radio station, Music Planet Radio. Check it out when you have a minute and hear my guy’s super-sexy voice. The music he plays is ultra-cool too.
Todders Boxed Lunch Special is named after our dear friend and incredible singer/songwriter/performer/recording artist, Todd Wright. This charming music man writes scores for TV and film and runs a production company called Half King. He’s got a string of hits you should check out on your favorite music source too. Todd wrote (and sings) the Visit Loudoun theme song Coming Home, which I adore.
Tammy Loves Bacon is a literary embrace to my incredibly smart, beautiful, kind, and dear friend, Tammy—who loves bacon more than anyone I know. She is married to our other dear friend Stilson, an award-winning graphic artist. Stilson is also a super talented singer/songwriter/performer/recording artist. You might remember his name as one of Sera’s birthday party guests who raises his bottle of iced tea to toast her. He, Todd (Todders), and Cerphe really do all love a specific brand of tea, and I really do panic whenever I run low. And I’m sure if Bob Nash were a real person, they would convince him to drink it.
StilsonGreene.com (Stilson Greene Graphic Design & Illustration.)
Big Red’s Bawdy BLT is named after my dear friend and Music Planet Radio show host, Tim Burch, Jr. Tim has strawberry blond hair and stands above six feet, thus the nickname, which he’s had since high school. It also works well for the rock show he does on Cerphe’s station. It’s full of fun and heavy-metal hair bands—Big Red’s Rock Show—Saturday nights at eight p.m. EST.
Juliana’s Julienned Green Beans pays homage to our lovely friend and unbelievably warm and caring soul, Juliana MacDowell. She is a singer/songwriter/performer/recording artist who is talented beyond words. Juliana’s new album Leaving Home is about realizing the love and recognition sought elsewhere can all be found at home. It’s a fantastic addition to an already stellar catalog.
Mayor Burk’s Breakfast Bonanza is a tribute to Leesburg’s wonderful mayor and dear friend Kelly Burk. Kelly got a fictional menu item because she is such a charming and lovely soul. She’s also a great mayor and deserves a namesake menu item in every restaurant.
Roger Hates Brussels Sprouts is named after Loudoun County Treasurer Roger Zurn. I don’t think I’m going out on a limb when I say Roger really does hate brussels sprouts, as evidenced by his social media posts on the subject. So, of course, I had to include Roger Hates Brussels Sprouts on that diner menu.
Umstattd Omelet is named after Kristen Umstattd, Leesburg’s District Supervisor, our former mayor, and dear friend. I love omelets, and I love this amazing powerhouse woman, so it’s a perfect fit.
Susan Butler Colwell is a writer, the wife of rock-radio legend, Cerphe, mother to the world’s cutest gray cat, an entrepreneur, passable baker, and lover of magical things. She lives in Virginia with these two lovely, otherworldly beings inside a house overflowing with books.