By: judithdisalvo | March 14, 2017

The latest issue of Virtuoso Life Magazine (March/April 2017) featured me in their “Why I Travel” article. I’m quoted as saying, “It (traveling) teaches me about who I am. Sometimes you need to get a little lost to find yourself.”

Since this is a blog about my writing adventures, I venture to say the quote also applies to the characters I write about. Getting a little lost, then finding their way with help from friends, is a good template for a compelling story. Could the quest to find our way lie in our DNA or maybe our primal brain?

Santa Fe's Baldy Mountain
View of Santa Fe's Baldy Mountain

My last post was about the passing of my mother. For the last half year, she lived here on our farm with Tim and me. Upon her passing, home for me became a sad place and so, for a month or so, I took off on a retreat to a favorite destination, Santa Fe. Returning home recently, it was time to clean mom’s little house and go through her things. Yes, still hard, but the treasures were worth it.

One such treasure is the discovery that she had noted one of my favorite quotes years before I came across it. It’s the most famous from writer Simone de Beauvoir, the opening line in Book II of The Second Sex: “One is not born, but rather becomes, a woman.” So thank you again, June Bug, for raising me in an atmosphere of “becoming” and also inspiring me, and hence my characters, to risk being a little lost.

Springtime is about to bloom on the farm and I am home.

Judith Hennessey, March 2017

By: Margaret | January 03, 2017

My mom led a dual life, half semi-traditional and the other half very avant-garde. Her story is worthy of a book, one I might just be spurred to write next. Maybe it will be called “June Babe,” the name her close friends called her when she was younger. It suited her, in her Levi jeans, smoking cigarettes she said she never inhaled—ha! She drove us to school everyday in her sporty AMC Javelin with the Pierre Cardin interior and I have got to tell you, it was a real trick getting out of the back seat of that car even when I was 10-years-old! Cool is one thing but there’s something to be said for comfort. Lucky for us back-seat passengers, she decided 4-wheel drive was more her speed. Her Jeep Liberty is still parked next to her house. Later in life, Mom was nicknamed “June Bug” by her caregivers because of her sweet disposition, polite and poised, and of course still wearing her jeans. She was always thankful for any and all kindness. 


June Bug turned 88 on December 12th and passed on to the next life exactly 2 weeks later, on December 26th.  Alzheimers took her away mentally some years ago and COPD contributed to her loss of memory. But she was “Mom” for 56 years and an inspiration to me most of my life. She pushed me to reach for my full potential as a woman and human being. I have mentioned in a previous post that Mom was completely responsible for me becoming a writer and authoring my novel, First Rodeo. She is and always will be a great woman, never forgotten. I’ll always remember her as the woman who taught me to face my fears, to love with my whole heart—even knowing it may get broken only to mend over time—and to always blaze my own trail. 

I love you mom! Cheers!

Judith Disalvo Hennessey

By: PenPower | December 02, 2016

Robins Nest on the Katy Trail
Robins Nest on the Katy Trail

I have lived in Defiance, Missouri for a few years, appreciate the natural beauty and have met some fine people, mostly at the local watering hole,  The Roadhouse. Yet recently, with the launch of my first novel, I’ve discovered a very special local merchant community. They have tucked me and First Rodeo  under their wing. Robin White at Robins Nest (I know—wings, bird,  robins, angels —it’s for real) has carried First Rodeo for weeks now. Their praise has sold countless books.     Now, the Distillery of Defiance has launched their new and delicious vodka, "Judgment Tree," and has partnered with me! How fun could that be? It makes sense if you have read First Rodeo. Kate, the heroine loves her martinis. We'll call these wildly entertaining events the "First Rodeo Judgment Tree Martini Tour." And IT IS our ‘first rodeo,' in publishing for myself, and in distilling spirits for distillery co-owners Chris Lorch and Scott Koziatek. defines defiance as “a daring or bold resistance to authority or to any opposing force.” We are guilty as charged! We have banded together, outlaw merchants from the small town of Defiance who have large dreams. Who says we can’t make the big time?

Distillery of Defiance
"Judgment Tree" Vodka and First Rodeo

Please join us December 11th 4-6pm a for the very first "Bottle and Book Signing" at Robin's Nest , 2998 S. Hwy 94 (click for map) in Defiance. Meet the posse, do some Christmas shopping, wet your whistle, and checkout Redbooks' “must read”, First Rodeo.

We hit the trail and will have another "Bottle and Book Signing" at Ladue Pharmacy, in Ladue Missouri, December 15th  from 4-6pm.  Stay tuned for more events!


Happy holidays!!! 

Judy Hennessey, December, 2016

By: PenPower | November 10, 2016

Is Old Man Winter asleep at the wheel? You’d never guess that Thanksgiving is just a few weeks away. The warm weather and James, the infamous Viking Gardener here at Ravens Ridge, have kept us in the green, growing beautiful organic lettuce, arugula, Kale, mustard greens and even tomatoes! Lucky for you, he will be at this season’s last Wine Country Market on Sunday, November 13th at the Trail Smokehouse.

This fun, stress free, open air shopping experience offers local food, crafts, artisans and gifts. You will find everything you need and then some for your Thanksgiving feast (minus a turkey) including green beans and sweet potatoes.

My good friend Trish Perkins will be there offering her incredible sauces, salsas and jams, perfect for party apps (pictured here with my favorite new chips), stocking stuffers, or hostess gifts. 

Before or after, don’t forget to check out the Trail Smokehouse, serving some pretty tasty BBQ and southern classic dishes. Their beautiful patio is the perfect spot to relax, listen to live music and sip on a beverage or an adult libation, beer, bourbon or wine.

Judith Hennessey

November 10, 2016

By: PenPower | October 27, 2016

It turns out that I love the Booksigning Events, especially when they go so well. I guess it's that people lover, car seller part of me that always loves a fun gathering. These are pictures from the Barnes & Noble event in Ladue, MO earlier this month. Thanks to old friends, new friends, cowboys, cowgirls, all of you who have been such great support. I loved signing that big stack of books -- every one of them! Yes, and thanks to that handsome cowboy, my husband, Tim!

The other thing that was so enjoyable was all the guys who showed up for this so-called "Chick Lit" book. Look at this picture. OK, they may say they are buying it for their wives or girlfriends, or they may be good friends! But some guys have actually enjoyed First Rodeo and I hope you all do.

Check my event page for the next ones coming up. Or talk to me about coming to your area!