Thursday, April 11, 2019

At The Masters: Augusta National - A Gardener's Delight

Ahhh, the Masters at Augusta National. It is a revered sanctuary to this amateur golfer's heart and mind. I've been once and that was enough. As a claustrophobic, I love it on television. I don't have to scramble and dodge to see my favorite golfers and I can make my own pimento cheese sandwiches and drink mint juleps without bumping elbows and stepping on toes.

But every year I recall the garden that is Augusta National, one that can make a good walk unspoiled, no matter how you play. The colors, the botanical aromas, the rippling waters and the immense green of the manicured grass, that I did enjoy, and would again without the densely packed, but mannered crowds.

The Augusta National Golf Course was formerly a plant nursery and each hole on the course is named after the tree or shrub with which it has become associated. Several of the holes on the first nine have been renamed.

First Nine (Masters’ folks don’t like the term “front nine.”)

First Tee: Tea Olive; Second: Pink Dogwood; Third: Flowering Peach; Fourth: Flowering Crab Apple;


Fifth: Magnolia; Sixth: Juniper; Seventh: Pampas; Eighth: Yellow Jasmine; Ninth: Carolina Cherry.

Second Nine

Tenth hole: Camellia; Eleventh: White Dogwood; Twelfth: Golden Bell; Thirteenth: Azalea; Fourteenth: Chinese Fir; Fifteenth: Firethorn; Sixteenth: Redbud; Seventeenth: Nandina; Eighteenth: Holly.


Unlike most other private or public golf courses in the United States, Augusta National has never been rated. During the 1990 Masters Tournament, a team of USGA raters, organized by Golf Digest, evaluated the course and gave it an unofficial rating of 76.2. It was re-evaluated in 2009 and given an unofficial rating of 78.1.

The golf course architecture website has said, “Augusta National has gone through more changes since its inception than any of the world’s twenty or so greatest courses. To call it a MacKenzie course is false advertising as his features are essentially long gone and his routing is all that is left.” The architects, it is said, was strongly influenced by the Old Course at St Andrews, and intended that the ground game be central to the course.

However, almost from Augusta’s opening, Roberts sought to make changes to minimize the ground game, and effectively got free rein to do so because MacKenzie died shortly after the course’s opening and Jones went into inactivity due to World War II and then a crippling illness. The authors add, “With the ground game gone, the course was especially vulnerable to changes in technology, and this brought on a slew of changes from at least 15 different ‘architects’.
Source: Wikipedia.

Enjoy the Game!

Gerrie Ferris Finger

Monday, July 23, 2018


Hello Friends and Followers

On Saturday, August 4, 2018 I will be attending the Suffolk Mystery Authors Festival in Suffolk, Virginia. I attended last year and it was loads of fun for authors, readers and attendees alike. You are welcome to browse the tables of 30 authors. Buy our books and we will sign them for you. 

I will be autographing American Nights, the 6th in the Moriah Dru/Richard Lake series, and the 7th, the newly-released Wolf's Clothing. Please stop by and say  hello. 

I will also be on a panel with the title: My Job's Trying to Kill Me: How A Sleuth's Profession Impacts The Story. Moriah Dru is a PI child finder and Richard Lake is an Atlanta PD detective. Many have tried to kill this duo. So far they've dispatched the bad guys.

We'd love to see you August 4th.

A Synopsis of Wolf's Clothing
The 7th in the Moriah Dru/Richard Lake series begins when Atlanta's famous police dog, Buddy, is stolen from his handler's SUV.  The community is anguished over the German Shepherd's disappearance. Buddy and black Lab, Jed, work with Child Trace's Moriah Dru when she's hired by the courts to find missing children. Atlanta's citizens thrilled when the two canines found children slated for the sex trade overseas and those secreted in the outbuildings of a cathedral. Dru, a former police officer, is aided in her investigations by her lover, Lieutenant Richard Lake of the Atlanta Police Department. 

But why did two men pull into one of Atlanta's toniest malls and steal a police dog, and how did they get away with it? The trail to Buddy's abductors leads to a training facility where that day the canines underwent yearly trials; to an investment scam, dubbed by the media The Wolves of Atlanta; and to a mega-church's financial chicanery. As Dru and Lake dig deeper, the bodies of the good and the bad pile up while Dru crosses her fingers one will not be Buddy. 

As always, Happy Reading!
Gerrie Ferris Finger


Wednesday, May 30, 2018


I love World Days. Today, May 30, is World Otter Day.

When my children were small and we made weekly visits to the zoos in and around our state, they always made a beeline to the otters' hangouts, which were streams and other aquatic gymnasiums.  They seemingly, to me, spent their days swimming, playing and eating raw fish. Not a bad way for homo sapiens to spend their days, either. Their family is the Lutrinae.  Other members of this family are honey badgers (earthworm eating stink bombs, sorry badge). martens (cute tree huggers), minks (slinky minky), polecats (Polecats!) and wolverines (I thought they belonged to the woo-woo myths of gothic horror).

From Wiki, that know-it-all site: 

An otter's den is called a holt or couch. Male otters are called dogs or boars, females are called bitches or sows, and their offspring are called pups. The collective nouns for otters are bevy, family, lodge, romp (being descriptive of their often playful nature) or, when in water, raft.

The feces of otters are typically identified by their distinctive aroma, the smell of which has been described as ranging from freshly mown hay to putrefied fish; these are known as spraints. (By any other name, they still stink.)

Until the next World Day catches my fancy, 

Best to all, 

Gerrie Ferris Finger

Author of twenty novels, seven in the Moriah Dru/Richard Lake Series.
Just out #7: WOLF'S CLOTHING

Tuesday, May 29, 2018


I missed World Book Day this year. It was in May. Little late, but last year's offering has not changed. 
For me, books have been an enduring pleasure. Reading transports me to other worlds and makes me laugh and cry, has horrified and comforted.

Also reading made me a writer. Not that I thought I could create better stories and characters than writers I enjoyed reading, but as an avenue to create my own worlds.

Here are quotes gathered from Brainy QuoteFlavorWire and Good Reads.
 “The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid.”  — Jane Austen
“Reading is a conversation. All books talk. But a good book listens as well.” — Mark Haddon
“Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read.” ― Groucho Marx

“You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.” ― C.S. Lewis
“If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.” ― Oscar Wilde
“There is no friend as loyal as a book.” ― Ernest Hemingway

“Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.” ― Charles William Eliot
“Only the very weak-minded refuse to be influenced by literature and poetry.” ― Cassandra Clare
“There are worse crimes than burning books. One of them is not reading them.” — Ray Bradbury

“Books are the perfect entertainment: no commercials, no batteries, hours of enjoyment for each dollar spent. What I wonder is why everybody doesn't carry a book around for those inevitable dead spots in life.” ― Stephen King
“Books are like mirrors: if a fool looks in, you cannot expect a genius to look out.” ― J.K. Rowling

Happy Reading!

Sunday, December 11, 2016


"Saudi Arabian prince, Husam al Saliba, hires child-finder Moriah Dru to find his missing American wife, Reeve, and daughter, Shahrazad.

The investigation begin when Husam tells of falling in love with Reeve, of turning his back on his ascendancy to the Saudi power structure for the woman he loves. He talks of his king’s disapproval of him marrying and siring an infidel.

But does he really want to return to the good graces of the royal family and marry cousin Aya and be an heir to kingship? Confused Dru thinks she’s fallen into a fairy tale. After all the prince is fond of reciting tales from the Arabian Nights.

The investigation had just begun when Reeve’s parents, Lowell and Donna Cresley were  killed. They hated their prince son-in-law. He is immediately suspected when the Atlanta police, in the person of Dru's lover Lt. Richard Lake, come into the case.

It’s soon evident infidelity abounds and everyone has something dreadful to hide.

Thanks and Happy Reading!

Gerrie Ferris Finger

Tuesday, December 6, 2016


There is one Christmas Carol that has always puzzled me. What do leaping lords, French hens, swimming swans, and especially the partridge who won't come outof the pear tree, have to do with Christmas?

According to Wikipedia, the meaning of The Twelve Days of Christmas has yet to be satisfactorily explained. According to The Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes, "Suggestions have been made that the gifts have significance, as representing the food or sport for each month of the year. Importance [certainly has] long been attached to the Twelve Days, when, for instance, the weather on each day was carefully observed to see what it would be in the corresponding month of the coming year. Nevertheless, whatever the ultimate origin of the chant, it seems probable [that] the lines that survive today both in England and France are merely an irreligious travesty."

On the other hand, modern folklore claims that the song's lyrics were written as a catechism song to help young Catholics learn their faith, at a time when practicing Catholicism was discouraged in England (1558 until 1829). In this catechism version there are two levels of meaning: the surface meaning plus a hidden meaning known only to members of the church. Each element in the carol has a code word for a religious reality which the children could remember.

-The partridge in a pear tree was Jesus Christ.
-Two turtle doves were the Old and New Testaments.
-Three French hens stood for faith, hope and love.
-The four calling birds were the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke & John.
-The five golden rings recalled the Torah or Law, the first five books of the Old Testament.
-The six geese a-laying stood for the six days of creation.
-Seven swans a-swimming represented the sevenfold gifts of the Holy Spirit--Prophesy, Serving, Teaching, Exhortation, Contribution, Leadership, and Mercy.
-The eight maids a-milking were the eight beatitudes.
-Nine ladies dancing were the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit--Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self Control.
-The ten lords a-leaping were the ten commandments.
-The eleven pipers piping stood for the eleven faithful disciples.
-The twelve drummers drumming symbolized the twelve points of belief in the Apostles' Creed.
Even if it's lore - and who's to say? - it's good lore.

Merry Christmas.

Gerrie Ferris Finger

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Razzing and Roaring at the Ryder Cup

I love the Ryder Cup, what golfer doesn't?
I have favorite players on both sides--the Euros and the Americans, but no matter how much I admire Henrik Stenson,, I hope he loses to Jordan Spieth.
But my favorite moment in this year's tumultuous games--including the arrogant bowing and shushing of the American crowd by the European  players and booing of McIlroy--was when a heckler challenged a couple  of European pros to a putting contest. From the crowd at a practice round, he made wise crack remarks about how they couldn't sink a 12-foot putt.
So my favy Euro golfer, Henrik Stenson, grabbed David Johnson from North Dakota out of the crowd and handed him a putter. Euro Justin Rose laid a $100 bill on the grass. The crowd laughed as the amateur plumb-bobbed the putt--who does that anymore?--and took his stance. With a firm roll, Johnson sank the ball.
So, how did a heckler in the crowd manage to sink a shot that two champion golfers simply couldn’t?
“I closed my eyes, swallowed my puke and hit the putt,” Johnson said. “It happened to go in.”

I can relate, except I don't puke--ladies don't--but I waver a bit on key putts with cash on them.

Now back to the  one-upsmanship match play exhibited by American Reed and Euro McIlroy. What would that gentleman of the game, Arnie Palmer, say?

Happy Golfing.

Gerrie Ferris Finger