Eric and I recently went home again, home to St. Croix in the US Virgin Islands, the location the Katie & Annalise books are based on. The driver? Our oldest daughter, Marie, who we went to visit. [Marie is not in love with being photographed; she doesn’t appear below, but we don’t love her the less just because she’s not pictured.]

We had a lovely time, but some parts of it are hard. It’s hard going back to the beloved place you weren’t ready to leave. But we did. We visited the “St. Marcos” tidal pools and the lovely bay where the rocks suck the water back in the sea, an aching pouring in and rushing out.


The inspiration for Saving Grace’s “Horseshoe Bay”

Want to hear it for yourself? Click here: Rocks at Annaly Bay

We drove by and up to the gate of the real Annalise, Estate Annaly.


From afar


From the gate, unchanged except for a paved road from the gate to the house

We didn’t want to ask to go in. It would have broken my heart if anything had been changed. If you want to stay there, I hear it’s a B&B now. Google Annaly Manor, St. Croix, USVI. If you want to see how it looked when we lived there, check out our picture album, HERE.

We did Holland Redfield’s (former senator of the USVI and #3 guy in the RNC) radio show, TOGETHER, much to Eric’s chagrin. [He did great.] Holland was a hoot and was so kind and generous with us.


And, at the request of a wonderful friend who follows my novels, we had a book signing at Undercover Books. It was a lot of fun, and we had time to visit with a few old friends.





Maybe best of all other than spending time with our wonderful and oh-so-mature and accomplished daughter, was reuniting with the real Ava, pictured on the right in the photo below and second from the left at her birthday celebration while we were there.



The Tina Turner lookalike second from the right is “Ava’s” mother, IRL

We even sang together and experienced for a few seconds that old magic.

But like all good things, it came to an end too soon, and we are waiting to board our flight back to Nowheresville as I type this. That’s okay, though. While we weren’t ready to leave when we did, nearly ten years ago, we love our life now and wouldn’t change a thing.

Except for maybe more time with the people we love down here on a little rock in the middle of a big blue sea.

That’s all I’ve got.



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6 Responses to Leaving Annaly: Life Imitating Art (and Vice Versa)

  1. Heidi M says:

    I know it was bittersweet, but looks like you had a great time. I don’t know that I ever knew the “story” of why you left when you did, but regardless, it’s a beautiful place filled with beautiful memories and loved ones. Blessings to you, P!
    xo Heidi
    Heidi M recently posted..Queen Anne Desk Makeover (and a Booth Refresh)

  2. Eric says:

    Of course you said it all better than I could. You did perfectly. Bye Bye STX.

  3. Jan says:

    I’m a Hawaii Island girl, and I loved your island story. Seems it is the same, you carry the island within you, haunting you. The old saying, you can take the girl out of the island, but you can’t take the island out of the girl. It’s so special you can go back and refresh your soul. Got a new island story working its way around inside you now?

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