Nardi Point Interview – Colson Mitchell

So happy to have Colson Mitchell here with us this morning. Colson supervised construction of upscale homes in the Nardi Point subdivision. Before he met Laurinda Elliot, that is. Welcome Colson!

Colson: Thanks, Nancy. Thanks for inviting me. And congrats on being the Chanticleer Reviews Blue Ribbon 2012 First Place category winner! Did I get all that right? I actually wrote it all down right here. (laughing) It’s good to get out of the North Carolina summer heat into some air-conditioning. Ninety-two today!

Nancy: And how! Thanks for the kind words! I never thought about this before, but what do you construction guys do in case of, pop-up thunderstorms or intense heat?

Colson: Gotta love those storms, actually. Depends on how far along construction is. At Nardi Point there was any number of homes in progress. If we were framing, without a roof, well we’d run for the trucks for shelter. Especially so for the severe weather storms with lightning and high winds. Or, we’d move to a  home with a roof and work on some interior features.

Nancy: See, the things you never know. Now, you are a Native Carolinian?

Colson: Yes, indeed. Been around these parts all my life. Went to State and just didn’t want to leave afer graduation. Couldn’t have been better timing. The construction industry was booming right then.

Nancy: Hmmm. You joined the Matt Holt organization right off about that time?

Colson: Yeah. Matt. His rep and prestige in these parts were golden. I’m pretty good with people, but Matt? Guess he fooled me, being an older man and all. That was tough and a real learning experience I can tell you that.

Nancy: Bet it was. What about Laurinda? (Folks you’ve got to see this guy with the biggest smile on his face right now …)

Colson: Laurinda, Laurinda. Thought she’d be one of those snooty out-of-state, know-it-all types. As it was, she did bring in all these philosophical issues after we encountered the potsherds on her building site. Again I was wrong, eh? She made me see things in such a different way.

Nancy: And Annabel took a liking to her, too?

Colson: Oh, Annabel LOVES Laurinda. When I see them together the difference in their looks is amazing … Annabel curly blond and Laurinda a striking brunette. They look so beautiful together. Laurinda’s made such an impression on my little girl.

Nancy: I wanted to ask if you’ve seen Dan Riser lately? He came by several weeks ago for a visit.

Colson: Dan? What a mess. No, I haven’t seen him and it really doesn’t make any difference to me now.

Nancy: He looked and sounded like he was sorry for how he treated Laurinda. Almost like there could still be something there for her.

Colson: Yeah, well that’s not going to happen. We make our lives, either purposefully or by letting the life fall where it may. I guess that’s something else I learned from Laurinda. (laughing)

Nancy: I know you have to get back to your office. I appreciate you stopping by and chatting with us.

Colson: You’re welcome!

Nancy: Though Colson has to leave, he’s promised to answer any questions you may have. Just add a comment and I’m sure he’ll answer!

Nardi Point is Chanticleer Blue Ribbon 2012 Published Novel Finalist!

How exciting to receive notification Nardi Point has finaled in the Chanticleer Book Reviews Blue Ribbon awards contest for Published Novels in the Mystery/Romance category!

The Finalists were announced at the Pacific Northwest Writers Conference in Seattle on Saturday, July 21st, 2012.  Editors Tom Colgan of Penquin/Berkley and Meghan Stevenson of Penquin/Hudson Street Press presented the certificates and blue ribbons individually as Kathryn Brown announced the winners.

Leyla Jo’s Pineneedle woven basket

One of Leyla Jo’s most cherished belongings is the small, artisan basket hand-crafted from North Carolina longleaf pine needles. The beautful basket features a small pine cone handle at the top and open weaving at the bottom. The basket was the only piece of her heritage, one lovingly passed to her by Aunt Beatrice.

“Will anyone come for me?” Leyla Jo asks.

Aunt Beatrice takes a small round basket made of coiled dried pine needles and places it into her small hands. Leyla Jo knows she is being given a treasure, even then, and recognizes it’s a connection, a link to another time. Aunt Beatrice hastily wipes away tears, the only tears she remembers the dear old woman shedding, then pulls her protectively into her arms. The summer sun edges down behind the pine-covered foothills of Robeson County. That night, Leyla Jo’s small makeshift bed tucked next to Aunt Beatrice’s room, becomes comfortably permanent. She loves the safety its warm pinecone patchwork quilt provides.

Whatever Leyla Jo placed into the basket was special. “She went to the book shelf, removed the small coiled pine needle basket and sat on her practitioner’s bench with it. Her spirit leapt as she opened the basket. Three pottery pieces rested inside. She reverently lifted each one and her heart beat faster as she relived the spell.”

Barb Dedrickson of Somethin Country in Clay Center, Nebraska, talked to me about baskets like the one Leyla Jo loves. If you enjoy collecting beautiful handcrafted objects, contact Barb at


Nardi Point at Zest Cafe!

What an exciting Saturday! Signing copies of Nardi Point at Zest Cafe and Home Art and sharing excerpts with dear friends and new readers! Thank you Lisa Hagan and Rachel Bates for your help! The Cafe was alive with folks enjoying Tarragon Chicken Salad, awesome quesadillas, asian style spring rolls, Coconut layer cake, and Nardi Point!

Several folks enjoying lunch were intrigued by the story and its local setting and came by to hear more. As we chatted, I learned they’d grown up in the North Raleigh region and were interested in the history of archaeology we experience in North Carolina. Love that!

And since it’s Fourth of July, I’m celebrating Independence day by participating in the Independence Blog Hop! Join the fun! Great prizes! Summertime means fun! Have some great reading opportunities!