Saturday, September 8, 2018

How'd it get to be September Already?


First of all, I proffer my sincere apologies for being a week late with my newsletter. Another bout of illness (in this case colitis) felled me. Well, it didn’t flatten me, precisely; it just doubled me over in pain. Phooey. Whoever called old age “the golden years” was either lying through his/her teeth or making an extremely bad joke. They’re more like corroded copper or, in my case, rusted steel. I used to be fit and healthy and danced and sang and had a good time with this formerly fairly nice body. Now, although I still live in it, I seem to have no control over what happens to it, inside or out. Totally unfair. Whine, whine, whine.

Huh. Now that that’s over with, I probably should mention a few things that actually happened in August! For one thing, Peter Brandvold’s book, STAGECOACH TO PURGATORY, was published. In order to understand precisely how Lou Prophet, a rugged, hard-drinking, womanizing, wild and woolly western bounty hunter, ended up a one-legged old crock in Daisy Gumm Majesty’s Pasadena in 1925, you can read all about it in the forward to STAGECOACH. Therefore, I recommend everyone get a copy or three. Here's the Kindle link, and after you read the forward, you may also read the rest of the book if you want J
 
After you’ve done that, please feel free to pre-order SHAKEN SPIRITS, Daisy’s next adventure, which will be published in January, 2019. Here’s the Kindle link for SHAKEN SPIRITS, along with a place-holder in the real cover’s stead. I can’t wait to see the cover art for this book. I’ve been in the book biz for more than 25 years and have 65 or so published books under my belt, but the most exciting part of the whole process, even to this day, is seeing the cover art for the first time. In SHAKEN SPIRITS, someone or some ones are attempting with all their skill and might (using motorcars, guns, knives, and various other weapons) to kill poor Daisy. They don’t succeed, but they sure bang her up a lot, and she recovers, but not without damage to her poor self. Pasadena Police Detective Sam Rotondo, Daisy’s fiancĂ©, helps capture the rascals, as does poor, worn-out, one-legged, amazingly anachronistic Lou Prophet. Lions (beasts of the jungle, not a sports team if there is one) even come into play, by gad.

I’m sure I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again: it still amazes me that Mean Pete gave me Lou Prophet to play with, even as a damaged old coot (Lou, not me, although I guess we both fit that descriptor). I’d never, ever, in a zillion years, entrust another author with one of my characters. I don’t care how old, senile, wretched, poor or broken-down one of them gets, and no matter how many body parts have gone missing, I’d still never let another author have her. Or him, but most of my books have female protagonists. In fact, I think they all do.

Anyway, after you’ve ordered or pre-ordered the above books, I should tell you about Boomer. As a member of New Mexico Dachshund Rescue, I have had many foster hounds in my care over the years. I don’t know how many dachshunds I’ve owned since being given my very first wiener dog, Hansel Schnitzel Fritzel von Pancho Pooh Puddle Monsieur la Puppy Stink Duncan, but I’ve owned a bunch of them. Haven’t done a whole lot of fostering in recent years, primarily because I live in Roswell, which is in the precise middle of nowhere. Roswell is about 200 miles away from a city larger than it is. You can drive 200 miles in pretty much any direction and, if you don’t die from boredom, you’ll eventually run into Albuquerque, Santa Fe, El Paso, Las Cruces, Lubbock, Midland, etc. Most of our adoptees go to Albuquerque or environs, so there isn’t much call for fosters in this neck of the woods. However, it has been a pure pleasure to foster Boomer, a long-haired, black-and-tan, seven-year-old darling of a dachshund. He’s about the most adorable dog I’ve ever even known, much less fostered, and I’m going to miss him a lot. Here’s Boomer:

 

It’s too late for you to adopt the precious Boomer, because an approved adopter has already been found for him. However, if you ever feel the burning need for a dachshund to give you comfort and solace in your life, please visit NMDR here: http://newmexicodachshundrescue.org/

Oh, and for the first time in all the miserable years I’ve lived in Roswell (feels like about a thousand, but it isn’t quite that many), scorpions invaded the house in August. Scorpions. In the house. Come on. Scorpions have an entire desert to roam around on. My dogs and I have this one small (maybe 800 square feet) house to live in. If I could read and write Scorpion, I’d issue warning signs: DANGER TO ANY SCORPION WHO CROSSES THIS THRESHHOLD, but I don’t. Even though the scorpions around here aren’t particularly venomous, their sting hurts like heck, and I don’t want my dogs to tangle with one of them. Death to indoor scorpions, say I. And so do the hounds.

Another terribly exciting thing happened in August. My hot-water heater broke. On a Saturday morning. The plumber, a very nice fellow who also sings in various venues around Roswell, had already been to my house earlier in the week to grind roots out of my water pipes. Well, not my personal pipes, but those belonging to the house. So I guess he’s got his utility bills covered for another month, thanks to me. Sigh. Not that I’m not a charitable person or anything, but I’d be happier if I could select the charities to which I donate. Not that he and his family aren’t a worthy cause, but, well, sheesh, y’know?

Um… what else? Oh, I probably should tell you who won last month’s book-giveaway, huh? The people who will receive copies of BRUISED SPIRITS, Daisy’s tenth adventure (it’s actually her eleventh, but… oh, never mind) are: Vickie Shaw, Donna Durnell, Pat Thayer and Marelou Azares. Congratulations, ladies! I’ll get your books to you as soon as I can stagger to the post office.

Since I just restocked my supply of SPIRITS UNEARTHED, Daisy’s 12th adventure (that’s what the cover says, although it’s really her 13th, but… never mind again), I’ll be giving copies of that one away at the end of September. By the way, if you live outside the United States, I’ll be more than happy to give you an e-copy of the book, but postage to places outside the country is mega-expensive. I remember fondly when I heaved books to people in Germany, Turkey, Australia and even China. Not any longer. Oh, well. Sorry, but since I’ve recently begun supporting my friendly neighborhood plumber, I just can’t afford postage to areas outside the USA.

If you’d like to enter September’s contest, just send me an email (alice@aliceduncan.net) and give me your name and home address. If you’d like to be added to my mailing list, you may do so on my web site (http://aliceduncan.net/) or email me (you won’t be smothered in e-mails, because I only write one newsletter a month, and that’s an effort). If you’d like to be friends on Facebook, visit my page at https://www.facebook.com/alice.duncan.925.

Thank you!

 

 

Tuesday, July 31, 2018


It’s August!

Does anything exciting happen in August? Around here, school begins in August. When I lived in California, kids went from September to June, but here it’s August to May. Not sure why. And I really don’t much care, either, so I’m not sure why I mentioned it. Maybe because August is otherwise such a dull month? Oh, never mind.

Anyway, Bam-Bam, my winner-picking wiener dog, has selected the winners of July’s book, SPIRITS UNITED (he’s such a good dog, even though he did just bark madly at a huge scorpion his mommy had to squash for him. I hate doing that). The winners are: Lisa Brooks, Paula Adams, Brenda Winslow and Sandra Miller. Congratulations, ladies! I’ll send your books to you as soon as I can make it to the post office.

All sixteen of my regular readers will probably be delighted to know I finished writing SHAKEN SPIRITS, the next Daisy Gumm Majesty book. I’m hoping it will be published in October, but I have to go through it one last time and take out the boring bits. After Peter Brandvold gave me his character, Lou Prophet, to play with, there were no more boring parts. Even if Mean Pete did wait to share until Lou was old, broken-down and one-legged. But that’s okay. Daisy, Sam and I had a lot of fun with poor old Lou, even in his elderly guise. Daisy is even learning a new language: Old Westish.

Regarding carpal-tunnel surgery on my left wrist: It went perfectly! So few things do, you know? But the surgeon knocked me out (he used drugs, thank heavens), went snip-snip, and voila (or viola, as Julia Child sometimes said when she was in a funning mood), the wrist was fixed. It didn’t take long to heal, and I’m hoping to get the right wrist operated on before I head to California in mid-October. I’m right-handed, so this upcoming surgery might take a little longer to mend, but I was really happy the surgery was so trouble-free. People I know who had carpal-tunnel surgery some years back didn’t get off so easily. The surgery had improved lately, for which I’m grateful.

Any other news? Other than being a bit wobbly on my pins and taking the occasional fall in front of hordes of spectators in Cahoon Park (Roswell, New Mexico) as the hounds take me for our daily drag every morning, all is just swell. It’s really stupid for a crippled little old lady to walk four (sometimes five) dogs, as my younger daughter is always telling me, but if I walked them one at a time or in bunches, I’d be walking dogs all day long. And If I didn’t walk the dogs, I’d feel guilty. So. There we are.

Regarding August’s contest… Why don’t I give away copies of BRUISED SPIRITS, Daisy’s tenth adventure? All righty then, I will.

In the meantime, please feel free to pre-order SHAKEN SPIRITS:

 

If you’d like to enter August’s contest, just send me an email (alice@aliceduncan.net) and give me your name and home address. If you’d like to be added to my mailing list, you may do so on my web site (http://aliceduncan.net/) or email me (you won’t be smothered in e-mails, because I only write one newsletter a month, and that’s an effort). If you’d like to be friends on Facebook, visit my page at https://www.facebook.com/alice.duncan.925.

Thank you!

Sunday, June 24, 2018


Happy Independence Day!

Okay, so it’s a little early to be wishing everyone a happy Fourth of July. I’m having carpal-tunnel surgery on my left wrist on June 27, so I’m catching up ahead of time. If that makes any sense.

Regarding June’s give-away, Bam-Bam, my winner-picking wiener dog, has selected the winners of June’s contest, in which I’m giving away copies of some Mercy Allcutt books. They are:

LOST AMONG THE ANGELS, which goes to Carol Goerz;
ANGELS OF MERCY, which goes to Lisa Brooks;
FALLEN ANGELS (winner of the Arizona/New Mexico Book of the Year award in 2012. I’m not a contest-enterer as a rule, but this one cracked me up. New Mexico & literacy don’t normally end up in sentences together. That’s not very nice, is it? Oh, well), which goes to Donna Durnell; and
THANKSGIVING ANGELS, which goes to Mary Ann Hopper.

At the end of July, I’ll give away … I dunno. Let me see here. Okay, the book will be SPIRITS UNITED. I’ll give away four copies of that one, in which a librarian is murdered! By, needless to say, a dastardly fiend. But Sam Rotondo and Daisy save the day. Well, not for the murdered librarian, but for other would-be victims of the villain.

When I recover from having my left wrist operated on, the surgeon will fix the right wrist. I’m actually looking forward to this, because I’ve had trouble with carpal-tunnel syndrome for … oh, I don’t know. Twenty or thirty years or thereabouts. It’s past time to get my wrists un-crimped. Maybe my handwriting will improve! It used to be kind of pretty, but now, what with arthritis and carpal tunnel, my writing looks rather like that of a spider on meth.

On to the good stuff. Last month I told everyone Peter Brandvold (Mean Pete, as he prefers to be called) gave me one of his characters, Lou Prophet, former bounty hunter, to play with in SHAKEN SPIRITS, my next Daisy Gumm Majesty book. This is probably the nicest thing anyone’s ever done for me, writerishly speaking. Of course, when Mean Pete writes about Lou in his books set the 1880s, Lou is a young man in his late twenties or early thirties. When Daisy gets hold of him, he’s in his seventies, has lost a leg in an accident involving (naturally) wimmin and booze, and is living in the Odd Fellows Home of Christian Charity in Pasadena, CA. He’s craggy, slightly grumpy, still good-looking for an old guy, and I absolutely love him!

Mean Pete’s next Lou Prophet book, BLOOD AT SUNDOWN, will be released by Kensington in August of this year. I hope everyone goes out and buys a copy or three. Here’s a picture of Lou Prophet as a young, womanizing, and incredibly handsome man. I’m including a link so you can buy Mean Pete’s book. I didn’t get to edit this book, but I trust Mean Pete’s Kensington editor. A little:
 
 
 
 
 
If you’d like to enter July’s contest, just send me an email (alice@aliceduncan.net) and give me your name and home address. If you’d like to be added to my mailing list, you may do so on my web site (http://aliceduncan.net/) or email me (you won’t be smothered in e-mails, because I only write one newsletter a month, and that’s an effort). If you’d like to be friends on Facebook, visit my page at https://www.facebook.com/alice.duncan.925.

Thank you!

 

Thursday, May 31, 2018


June is bustin’ out all over!

Or maybe it isn’t. Busting or not, it’s sure hot here in SE New Mexico. May’s blog was sort of a downer (actually, it was a major downer), and I apologize for that. Nothing much has changed in my world, which means my niece still has scleroderma, although there’s been no biopsy to confirm the synovial carcinoma thing, and that’s good. Probably. I still can’t hear out of my right ear, and I’m peeved about it. But enough of that!

To start with, Bam-Bam, my winner-picking wiener dog, has selected people’s names, and the winners of May’s contest are:

SPIRITS ONSTAGE: Annie Amos and Virginia Winfield
UNSETTLED SPIRITS: Diana Smith and Johnna Smith (I don’t believe these two ladies are related. For that matter, I don’t know if they’re ladies, but I’m pretty sure they are).

 Believe it or not, something not merely good, but exceptionally good, happened to me in May. I’ve had more than sixty books published since 1994, and I used to be incredibly single-minded and gung-ho about writing. After all, writing books was the only thing I ever really wanted to do. And puh-leeze don’t give me that “Writers write” nonsense. I was a single mother with no money other than my crummy earnings as a secretary (a job I hated, if anyone cares). My kids’ father didn’t see any need to pay child support, so I worked one and sometimes two jobs in order to make ends meet. Rearing two daughters alone, working full tim, and taking care of everything by myself ate up all my time. There wasn’t any time for this writer to write, dad-gum it! Every time I hear some snobby person say, “Writers write,” meaning, of course, that no matter what, you’re supposed to be writing, I want to strangle that person. It’s probably a good thing the arthritis in my hands is so bad, I can’t. But honestly, do the “writers write” folks not care if their kids starve to death? I did, and if that was wrong of me, so be it.

Oh, dear, I’ve done it again, haven’t I? I didn’t mean to sink into negativity. Ahem.

Let’s get back to the exceptionally good thing that happened to me in May. After being published for so many years, earning so little money for my efforts pretty much sapped my writing energy. It wasn’t fun any longer, and I had trouble thinking up plots. It takes a long, long time to write a book that can be read in hours, and if the author isn’t making any money doing it, why do it, y’know? Fortunately for me, all those books having been published led some folks to think I knew what I was doing. Therefore, I was offered an editing job by a publisher. Which means, of course, I actually was making through my writing, although not precisely the way I’d imagined it would happen.

Anyhow, I began editing books written by Peter Brandvold. Mean Pete (he calls himself that; I’m not being unkind) writes really, really good westerns. His books are full to the brim with action, violence and sex. He has several ongoing series featuring people like Bear Haskell, Deputy US Marshal; Yakima Henry, a half-breed wandering law officer (he does other stuff, too); Mike Sartain, a Cajun who takes it upon himself to enact justice on people who would otherwise get away with their fell deeds; and Lou Prophet, a dissolute, funny, big-hearted, foul-mouthed bounty hunter. All these guys are young in the books Mean Pete writes about them in the 1880s and thereabouts. My books are set in the 1920s.

But you know what? Mean Pete gave me Lou Prophet! Mind you, Lou’s kind of a broken-down crock by Daisy Gumm Majesty’s day, but he’s still a firecracker, albeit an elderly and one-legged one. You see, after his youth was spent on tangleleg and loose women and he got too old to continue as a bounty hunter, a film company in Los Angeles hired him to be a consultant on some of their western flickers. Old Lou had himself a high old time for a while there. Then one night he got into a motorcar with two ladies of the night and a case of bootleg hooch, and somebody drove the car off a cliff in Santa Monica (which is right on the Pacific Ocean for anyone who doesn’t know). Lou was the sole survivor, although he lost one of his legs during the accident. Therefore, in 1925, poor old one-legged Lou, while still a foul-mouthed, uncouth sort of fellow, has fallen on hard times. In fact, in SHAKEN SPIRITS, the Daisy book I’m writing now and in which he has a part, he’s living at the Odd Fellows Home of Christian Charity in Pasadena, California.

Doesn’t it just seem inevitable that Daisy and Lou should get together? It did to Mean Pete and me. Daisy and Sam break him out of the Odd Fellows Home, and Lou is now helping Sam figure out who’s trying to kill Daisy. I haven’t had this much fun writing a book in, literally, years.

So thank you, Peter Brandvold! You’re not as mean as you like people to think you are. Most of the time. Here’s a picture of Mean Pete and me when he drove through Roswell on his way to Arizona to get away from the Minnesota winter for a month or so (he lives in Minnesota).
 
https://www.amazon.com/Peter-Brandvold/e/B001ITXEDW/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1527802177&sr=1-2-ent

For the record, if you’re of a mind to, you may pre-order SHAKEN SPIRITS, which will probably be published in October of this year (providing I have time to finish it. Editing cuts into writing time, dang it).


 
In the meantime, if you want to read Daisy’s latest adventure, SPIRITS UNEARTHED, in which Daisy’s dachshund, Spike, finds a shoe with a foot in it at the cemetery and chaos ensues, please feel free to do so:
 
 
Now. Whatever should I give away at the end of June? Beats me. Oh, I know! I’ll give away some of Mercy Allcutt’s books. There will be no more Mercy books, by the way, until I can get the rights back to the last one. At any rate, I’ll give away a copy each of LOST AMONG THE ANGELS, FALLEN ANGELS, ANGELS OF MERCY and THANKSGIVING ANGELS. If you live in a country other than the USA, you’ll have to settle for winning an e-book, because sending books all over the world is too expensive for this little old crippled lady.

If you’d like to enter the contest, just send me an email (alice@aliceduncan.net) and give me your name and home address. If you’d like to be added to my mailing list, you may do so on my web site (http://aliceduncan.net/) or email me (you won’t be smothered in e-mails, because I only write one blog a month, and that’s an effort). If you’d like to be friends on Facebook, visit my page at https://www.facebook.com/alice.duncan.925.

Thank you!

 

Sunday, April 29, 2018


It’s May, For Pete’s Sake!


I swear to heaven, life is just flying by. I wouldn’t mind that so much if it didn’t stop to heap coals of fire upon people I care about (and me) every thirty seconds or so.

For instance, my very favorite great-niece (actually, I think she’s my only great-niece) already has scleroderma. Look it up. You don’t want it. Trust me on this. And now she’s been diagnosed with what her doctor thinks is a synovial sarcoma that finally grew so big it shredded her meniscus. She’s THIRTY-THREE YEARS OLD, for dog’s sake! I mean, I whine and moan about all the things getting old is doing to me, but the hideous meanness of life is hitting her now, when she’s young, and it’s not fair. Single working mom, a thirteen-year-old son. I mean, come on. Where are the gods of mercy when you need them?

And then my wonderful neighbor and friend has been diagnosed with macular degeneration. That means she’s going to be blind one of these days. Talk about horrible!

My older daughter has such trouble with her feet, she has to use a wheelchair to get around. Gimme a break, life! My younger daughter also has trouble with her feet, and she just got through surgery for a detached retina and cataract surgery. These are what my daughters and I call “family heirlooms,” since they seem to pass from generation to generation (I’m sure both Anni and Robin will begin to suffer from back problems soon). Some families pass along… oh, I don’t know. Money. Jewelry. Wealth. Health. You know, good stuff, to their children. Not my family.

And yes, I know every family has its problems, but these things seem particularly harsh to me. And I haven’t even talked about my own problems yet, although you might have read about them on Facebook.

I came down with bronchitis. Bad stuff, bronchitis. It morphed into sinusitis. My face hurt, my teeth ached, my ears itched. And then, BOOM, all of a sudden I couldn’t hear out of my right ear! Mind you, I expected some hearing loss as I age, but this just happened all of a sudden in one swell foop, you know? So my regular doctor, after making sure all the various infections were cleared up, sent me to an ear-nose-throat guy who checked my ears and throat and did a lot of strange things (well, they seemed strange to me, anyway) with various instruments. Then he sat me down and said I had two options. One was to do nothing, and the problem might resolve itself eventually. Or it might not. The second was to insert a titanium ear tube, and the problem might resolve itself eventually. Or it might not. So, since I pay through the NOSE for a Medicare Plan F, I decided to go for the titanium. What the heck, if I never hear out of that ear again, I guess I can always sell the titanium.

This ear thing has been quite bothersome, however. I’m already unbalanced (and I’m not talking about my mental state, although that’s iffy, too). I had lumbar surgery in 2012. When I woke up in the recovery room, the adorable 16-year-old Austrian neurosurgeon smiled hugely at me and said, “Oh, my, you gave us such a challenge!” So happy to have given her something interesting to do for ten hours, y’know? Anyway, since then, my back has been full of so much hardware, I set off alarms in airports, and I tend to walk funny. Then I had to have my left hip replaced, so I have a metal hip. And (this is the important part as far as my unbalanced state goes) my left leg is now slightly longer than my right leg. So I wear heel lifts in my right shoes. What with the defunct ear now messing with my equilibrium, I’ve managed to take a couple of truly spectacular falls in recent weeks. I’m trying to remember to take my cane with me when I go places, but I more often than not forget it. Sigh.

I know I whine a lot, but jeez, I’m used to being an independent person! I’ve lived alone on purpose for years and years and like it that way. Yes, I have dachshunds. I also have lots of friends, and I adore them. I also adore most of the dachshunds. But I used to be a dancer, for pity’s sake! And a singer! My voice is now shot, too, thanks to the bronchitis-sinusitis junk. Not that I was an opera singer or anything, but I did enjoy singing in choirs and local choral groups from time to time. I even used to have a fairly respectable (loud, anyway) tenor voice. Now I croak when I talk. Singing is out of the realm of possibility at the moment. I really hope this all comes to an end, preferably before I do. It would be nice to be able to hear out of both ears again, you know? Whine, whine, whine.

Okay, enough of that. The wieners of SPIRITS UNEARTHED, Daisy Gumm Majesty’s 12th (or 13th, depending on who’s doing the counting) are: Linda Tippit, Prentiss Garner, Jeri Dickinson, and Brenda Winslow. I have to buy some more envelopes before I can send your books, but I promise I will get that done soon(ish). Congratulations, and I hope you enjoy the book!


Here’s my regular caution about my monthly contests. I love giving my work to people; however, I found out quite by accident a few months ago that sending books to Great Britain, Australia, and other countries outside the United States is beyond my monetary capability. If a resident of a nation other than the United States has an e-reader, I’ll happily supply that person with an e-book. If a person doesn’t have an e-reader and still likes to read book-books, he or she is on his or her own. I’m sorry, but what I laughingly call my writing career hasn’t made me wealthy yet. And it probably won’t, but let’s not get in to that because it always depresses me. So. That’s that. However, if you WANT to read a book, you may do so with an app on your computer, so let me know if you live in some far-off country (Canada, maybe), and you can still read the book on your computer with a Kindle or Nook app.

Um . . . about May’s contest. It’s the merry month of May, or so they say, so why not give away a merry book or two? Let me ponder a moment to see if I can think of my jolliest books. Ha! Found ‘em! How’s about I give away a couple of copies of SPIRITS ONSTAGE, in which Daisy gets to play the mean and nasty Katisha in Gilbert and Sullivan’s MIKADO; and two copies of UNSETTLED SPIRITS, during which people drop dead during communion services at Daisy’s church. Sounds like fun to me.



If you’d like to enter the contest to win a copy of, just send me an email (alice@aliceduncan.net) and give me your name and home address. If you’d like to be added to my mailing list, you may do so on my web site (http://aliceduncan.net/) or email me (you won’t be smothered in e-mails, because I only write one blog a month, and that’s an effort). If you’d like to be friends on Facebook, visit my page at https://www.facebook.com/alice.duncan.925.

Thank you!

 

Friday, March 30, 2018


April

 SPIRITS UNEARTHED, Daisy Gumm Majesty’s 12th (actually, it’s her 13th, but let’s not get into that again) adventure is being released on the 17th of April! What’s more, one of Aunt Vi’s recipes will appear in this book: Smothered Chicken, Swedish Style. You’ll have to get the book to read the recipe, but I found one very interesting historical item in it. In order to create this recipe, you begin by hauling out your Scotch kettle! I had no idea what a Scotch kettle was, so I looked it up on Google, and turns out it’s a Dutch oven! You just never know about these things, do you? Here it is:


And here you have the cover of SPIRITS UNEARTHED. Immediately below the cover is a link to purchase it for your Amazon Kindle or your B&N Nook:
 
 


By the way, in case you’re not tired of pre-ordering Daisy books, here’s the place-holder and Amazon link to SHAKEN SPIRITS, Daisy’s 13th (actually 14th, but we knew that already) adventure:

I can’t find the Nook link, so I’ll just have to post it later.

March was an uneven month. I had to have Giblett, my problem child, put to sleep. Hurt like heck, even if he was a pain in the butt. The other dogs are happier without him, so I guess it’s a good thing I finally bit the bullet. Or Giblett did. Here’s one of my favorite photos of him. He used to love disemboweling stuffies. Unfortunately, he also tried to unstuff me when he got the chance. He finally bit me once too often, and I had to get a tetanus shot and take antibiotics for that, and Giblett bit the dust:

 
 
Then I got a most ghastly case of bronchitis, which I’m still battling. On my second round of antibiotics, and I’m still playing merry melodies on my bronchial tubes. Sigh.

I’ll be giving away copies of SPIRITS UNEARTHED at the end of April.

Here are the wieners of March’s contest:
Lamar Jackson wins a copy SPIRITS ONSTAGE (in which Daisy has a marvelous time playing Katisha, the mean old nastypants in Gilbert & Sullivan’s The Mikado).
Fred Holmes wins a copy of UNSETTLED SPIRITS (in which people keep dropping dead during communion services at Daisy’s church).
Sheila Deeth wins a copy of  BRUISED SPIRITS (in which Daisy and her friends save the life of a battered woman – this is based on a true story, by the way. The real woman lives in Australia).
And Sharon Sambuca wins a copy of SPIRITS UNITED, in which a dastardly plot at the California Institute of Technology (or Caltech, as it’s affectionately known) is foiled by Daisy and her gang. I think Sam’s Voodoo juju goes a bit wacky in this one, too.

A word about my monthly contests. I love giving my work to people; however, I found out quite by accident a few months ago that sending books to Great Britain, Australia, and other countries outside the United States is beyond my monetary capability. If a resident of a nation other than the United States has an e-reader, I’ll happily supply that person with an e-book. If a person doesn’t have an e-reader and still likes to read book-books, he or she is on his or her own. I’m sorry, but what I laughingly call my writing career hasn’t made me wealthy yet. And it probably won’t, but let’s not get in to that because it always depresses me. So. That’s that.

If you’d like to enter the contest to win a copy of SPIRITS UNEARTHED, just send me an email (alice@aliceduncan.net) and give me your name and home address. If you’d like to be added to my mailing list, you may do so on my web site (http://aliceduncan.net/) or email me (you won’t be smothered in e-mails, because I only write one blog a month, and that’s an effort). If you’d like to be friends on Facebook, visit my page at https://www.facebook.com/alice.duncan.925.

Thank you!

 

Thursday, March 1, 2018


March

It’s March already! How come the older I get, the faster time flies? No need to answer that question. Anyone who’s old knows the feeling, and if you aren’t yet old, you will know it—with luck and survival skills.

Winners of February’s contest, which is whatever book you want as long as I have a copy, are: Alicia Carol, Linda Rorex, Rita Wray and ALICE DUNCAN! Yes! There’s another one! And she lives in Aberdeenshire, Scotland. She also claims to wear a kilt, but I haven’t seen proof of same yet. I’ll send you an e-book of your choice, Alice, since I can’t afford to send a real book. Alicia, Linda and Rita, please let me know which book you’d like, and I’ll send it to you. It may take me a while to do so (unless you want an e-book) I regret to say, because I’ve been a bit dilatory of late.

So. Here’s the fabulous cover of next month’s release, SPIRITS UNEARTHED, Daisy Gumm Majesty’s 12th (actually, it’s her 13th, but let’s not go into that again) adventure. Right below the cover is a link to purchase it for your Amazon Kindle or your B&N Nook:
 
 
 
 

February was kind of a dopey month. I got edits for SPIRITS UNEARTHED while I was sick, and I fear for the book’s reception and overall worth. I think it stinks, although I do hope I’m wrong. The cover is spectacular. Yes, Spike is a black-and-tan dachshund; red dachshunds show up better on book covers. Therefore, he’s red on the cover (by the way, red is dachshund-speak for brown). But his attitude on the cover is pure Spike, and he’s doing precisely what he does in the book to get the action started. Hope the rest of the book lives up to its cover. If you ever want to understand insecurity, go in for a writing career. Insecurity guaranteed, curse it.

Oh, and everyone else I know was sick in February, too. Basically, February was a sickly, sucky month. Fortunately, the hounds seem to be all right, even Giblett, my problem child, which doesn’t seem quite fair to me but what do I know?

Also, I got an invitation to attend my – this just makes me gasp with appalled-ness – 55th high-school reunion. I swear, I don’t know how I got so old so fast. I wouldn’t mind the aging thing if it didn’t hurt so much, but oh, well. However, I’m going to attend. This is mainly because I’ll get to see Phyllis McKown and Janet Levine Goldberg, with whom I used to play flute in the Eliot Junior High School band in Altadena, California. I don’t think the three of us have been together since Eliot days! Egad. I only recently found out that neither Phyllis nor Janet considered herself a musician, but both merely sort of faked it. And here I thought we were all ardent flautists who practiced all the time (even though by doing so we made our dogs howl). Show’s how much anyone knows about anyone else when s/he’s a kid, huh? Also, it cleared up any doubt I might have had about why I was selected to be first-chair flute. Evidently, I was the only one who could play the instrument!

Anyway, now I’m in the process of writing Daisy’s 13th (or 14th) adventure, SHAKEN SPIRITS, in which Daisy has already been hit by a car and had her left shoulder dislocated. She’s recovering nicely, although she’s in a good deal of pain. The car that hit her was a 1923 Cole Sportster Sedan, quite a classy car. In fact, here it is! It’s not the real culprit. It’s the agent the real culprit used to whack poor Daisy. After he stole it from a grand estate in the San Rafael hills. Then he abandoned it on the Angeles Crest, the bounder:
 
 
Daisy’s going to miss choir practice for a couple of weeks, and she won’t be able to use the Ouija board or shuffle tarot cards for a while, but she’ll recover. I’m also relatively certain she and Sam will figure out who did the evil deed, why, and make certain whoever dunnit will never be able to do it again. If that made any sense.

Well, whatever. Let’s see now. What should I give away at the end of March? SPIRITS UNEARTHED comes out in April, so what I think I’ll do is give away one copy each of SPIRITS ONSTAGE (in which Daisy has a marvelous time playing Katisha, the mean old nastypants in Gilbert & Sullivan’s The Mikado), UNSETTLED SPIRITS (in which people keep dropping dead during communion service at Daisy’s church), BRUISED SPIRITS (in which Daisy and her friends save the life of a battered woman – this is based on a true story, by the way. The woman lives in Australia), and SPIRITS UNITED, in which a dastardly plot at the California Institute of Technology (or Caltech as it’s affectionately known) is foiled by Daisy and her gang. I think Sam’s Voodoo juju goes a bit wacky in this one, too.

A word about my monthly contests. I love giving my work to people; however, I found out quite by accident a few months ago that sending books to Great Britain, Australia, and other countries outside the United States is beyond my monetary capability. If a resident of a nation other than the United States has an e-reader, I’ll happily supply that person with an e-book. If a person doesn’t have an e-reader and still likes to read book-books, he or she is on his or her own. I’m sorry, but what I laughingly call my writing career hasn’t made me wealthy yet. And it probably won’t, but let’s not get in to that because it always depresses me. So. That’s that.

If you’d like to enter the contest, just send me an email (alice@aliceduncan.net) and give me your name and home address. If you’d like to be added to my mailing list, you may do so on my web site (http://aliceduncan.net/) or email me (you won’t be smothered in e-mails, because I only write one blog a month, and that’s an effort). If you’d like to be friends on Facebook, visit my page at https://www.facebook.com/alice.duncan.925.

Thank you!