Tuesday, April 30, 2019

MAY 2019

May, 2019, might well be an interesting month! Not only am I scheduled to get my left shoulder replaced on May 20 (although this date might be pushed back some, depending on whether the hospital ever calls to schedule the CT-scan the surgeon claims he needs in order to create a map of my shoulder. Guess he’ll use the map and his scalpel at the same time or something. Ew), but the brilliant and talented folks at ePW will publish another Daisy Gumm Majesty box set on May 7! Not only that, but they’ve renumbered the entire series so that SPIRITS REVIVED, the true seventh book in the series, will no longer have the number #6 1/2 on its cover. In other words, Brian and Nina Paules are going to a colossal amount of trouble for Daisy’s sake, and I appreciate them enormously.

The new box set will contain SPIRITS REVIVED, DARK SPIRITS and SPIRITS ONSTAGE. I’m particularly fond of the last one, because in it Daisy gets to play the mean and nasty villainess, Katisha, from Gilbert and Sullivan’s THE MIKADO. Daisy, who has to be nice and polite even to the silliest and most frustrating of her clients (she’s a fake spiritualist-medium, if you haven’t read the books) relishes the opportunity to be awful and not get scolded for it.

Here’s the newly minted link for SPIRITS REVIVED, which will have #7 on its cover (although it doesn’t yet). If you follow me on Facebook, I’ll give everyone the skinny as it happens. I’ll also post the link to the new box set when I get it:

The recently released SHAKEN SPIRITS features not merely Daisy, Sam, Peggy and Joe Gumm, and Aunt Viola Gumm, but a relic from Peter Brandvold’s books (Peter Brandvold is a best-selling western writer whom I met when I edited his books for Five Star). Mean Pete kindly allowed me to borrow Lou Prophet who, in his salad days, was a rip-snorting, hard-drinking, womanizing, deadly bounty hunter. By the time he ends up in Pasadena, California, in 1925, he’s… well, not. But he’s so much fun to write; I hope Mean Pete allows me to keep him forever. Here’s the link for SHAKEN SPIRITS, should you feel inclined to have some fun with Daisy and the gang:

Not only that, but the immensely talented Denice Stradling, who has been narrating my Daisy books for audio, has finished reading DARK SPIRITS, and it should be available soon! I’m listening to it now, and I’ve never known Daisy to be as downright insufferable as she is in this book. On the other hand, she’s dealing with the Ku Klux Klan, so perhaps she should be forgiven a few lapses into snarliness. I’m kinda sorry I made her so obnoxious, although I didn’t notice this trait when I was writing the book. Must have been in a bad mood or something. Anyway, here’s the cover art, and I’ll post a link on my Facebook page when the audiobook is available for purchase. If you’re interested in reading Daisy as an unspeakable brat, here’s the Kindle link:
Also, Wolfpack continues to republish every single one of my back-list books! This is so kind of them! The Pack is beginning with the Pecos Valley series, a series I aim to continue once I finally finish editing all the books I have to edit and am able to return my attention to writing. These books are mega-fun for me because they’re set right here where I live (darn it) in Roswell, New Mexico. However, because I didn’t fancy being sued or anything, I changed the name of the town to Rosedale, although a whole lot of the stuff you’ll read about in the books comes from stories my mommy told me. My mother was born right here in Roswell, NM, in 1913. Shoot, that’s more than a hundred years ago! Does that mean I’m old? Oh, dear. I fear it does. Anyway, here they are in order.

After Wolfpack republishes the Pecos Valley books, they’ll move on to the “Meet Me at the Fair” series, which are fun. They take place at the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago (the Chicago World’s Fair, in other words). I’m really happy that my early books will be back in print soon!
Because I’m not sure I’ll be able to move my arms much by the end of May, I do believe I’ll forgo a book giveaway at the end of this month. However, I’ll gather names and addresses for June’s giveaway, if you’re interested. I think I’ll give away audio copies of DARK SPIRITS. What the heck, huh? Anyway, if you’d like to enter (and please remember Bam-Bam won’t be munching up names from his special contest doggie dish until the end of June), just send an email to alice@aliceduncan.net 
According to Bam-Bam, who is a special dog and extremely dear to my heart (he was bred and grew up in a puppy mill in Big Spring, Texas, and never quite learned how to be a dog), the wieners of copies of PECOS VALLEY DIAMOND are:
Brenda Williamson (I’ll be happy to send it to your P.O. box), Sue Farell and Vickie Shaw! Congratulations, ladies.
Confession time: I had carpal-tunnel surgery in early April and didn’t get my March books sent out before the surgery. Therefore, I’ll send them soon. Promise. And I apologize!
Um, what else? Well, there’s always Daisy Daze. I love Daisy Daze. Iris Evans and Leon Fundenberger founded the DAISY DAZE Facebook page. On this page, people post all sorts of historical stuff about Pasadena, sewing machines, fashions from the 1920s, houses in which the people in the books might live, and lots and lots of other historical (1920s-era) stuff. It’s fun, and if you’d like to be a member, check it out here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/905100189878318/ .

If you’d like to visit my web page, here’s the link: http://aliceduncan.net/ . And if you’d like to be Facebook friends, please go here: https://www.facebook.com/alice.duncan.925
I think that’s it! Thank you.


Monday, April 1, 2019

        APRIL 2019

Yippee! PECOS VALLEY DIAMOND will be published in early April! Here’s the lovely cover art and a pre-order link. I’m really excited about the re-birth (well, re-publication, anyway) of my entire inventory of back-list novels. As I think I mentioned in another blog, I’m not accustomed to good things happening to what I laughingly call my writing career.

The Pecos Valley books are dear to my heart. My mother’s family moved from Georgetown, Texas, to Roswell, New Mexico, in the early 1900s. In fact, my maternal grandmother bought the property upon which my house sits in 1903! Most of the things I describe about Rosedale, New Mexico, are stories I heard from my mom.

By the way, my maternal grandmother was born in Switzerland. Her family immigrated to the USA before Ellis Island was the incoming destination for immigrants. I think her family docked at the Battery. Her ship also hit an iceberg on its way from England (departure point for all of Europe, I guess) to New York. My grandmother was so seasick, she wanted the ship to sink, but I’m kinda glad it didn’t. Don’t know her feelings on the matter. The Titanic disaster disturbed her a lot, even though Titanic hit that iceberg about thirty years after her own ship collided with its berg.

Anywho, until she was an adult, my maternal grandmother believed her last name to be Ischy, because the man whom she regarded as her father was named Christian Ischy. It wasn’t until she grew up and wanted to get married (to a fellow named Daugherty) that her mother admitted that the father of my grandmother, Emma, and her sister, Lina, was a gent named Krieg. Only she didn’t seem to consider him a gent. Emma Krieg (or Craig, which is the name I used for several of my earlier novels) died before I was born, but she used to tell my mother (Wilma Rachel Wilson, which explains another of my pseudonyms) the only thing her mother told her (Emma) about her father was that he was a “wonderful musician.” I used to weave romantic fancies when I was a kid about my great-grandfather being some famous old-time composer, but I couldn’t find any who were Swiss. Maybe Franz Liszt visited Switzerland a time or two? Frederic Chopin? Hope to heaven it wasn’t Richard Wagner!!!! In reality, he was probably a championship yodeler or something.

Oh, and my maternal grandmother married William Jones Wilson when she became a widow. Her first husband, the Daugherty in question, died of tuberculosis after they’d been married less than a year. My maternal grandfather died two days after my mother was born, so poor Emma was left to rear five of her own children and, I think, something like six kids from Will's prior marriage to his first wife, Emma’s best friend, on her own. At least she had a vocation: seamstress. I still have the mirror upon which eager brides-to-be would scrape their rings in order to see if they were real diamonds. That mirror holds scratches from lovesick maidens of yore, by golly!

Anybody confused yet? My father’s family is so much easier to trace. Oh, well.

By the way, according to an author friend of mine who lives in Georgetown, Texas, there are still Ischys running around all 0ver the place there. I guess technically we aren’t related, but what the heck. Here's a photo of my grandmother and her children. This picture was probably taken in 1920 or thereabouts, and Emma was maybe 49 years old. Left to right are Bill Wilson, Maren Wilson (who owned the house I gave to Mrs. Bissel in my Daisy Gumm Majesty books), Jesse Lee "Red" Wilson, Wilma (Mom to me) and Adolph Wilson. Rough life:

So… as for the rest of my life, things are pretty much back to normal, as normality relates to me personally. Not only did I have to replace my refrigerator in February, but March also provoked a call to an electrician and one to my very favorite plumber of all time. This favoritism is probably because I have to call him so often, and we’ve become pals. Good thing he’s a nice guy, because I think I supported his family last year.

And now for the medical issues. I already knew I’d have to have carpal-tunnel surgery on my right wrist. Had similar surgery on the left one last year; easy-peasy. Right wrist’s surgery’s scheduled for April 8th.

In the not-so-easy category is my left shoulder. Blasted thing has been hurting like heck for months. So I figured I’d probably torn the rotator cuff or something. Ha! I should be so lucky.

On Friday, March 29, I went to see Dr. Bryant, who fixed my left wrist last year. This time I wanted him to look at my wonky left shoulder. So he had his tech take X-rays. I think he was the only person happy with the results.

Honest to dog, he was positively THRILLED when he went through those X-rays! First one: "Wow!" Second one: "Will you look at this!" Third one: "This is amazing!" Evidently most people with shoulders like mine can't move their arms at all. Medical miracle here. Oh, and it’s not a rotator-cuff injury. It’s pure-D osteoarthritis. No cartilage between the socket and the ball joint. He then aspirated about a quart of some kind of fluid that shouldn’t have been in my shoulder (telling his nurse, “Wow, look at this! You don’t see this very often! I sure wish a med student was here so I could show them this procedure!”). I live to give joy to surgeons. Anyhow, whatever parts need replacement will be replaced as soon as I recover from the carpal-tunnel thing.

Funniest thing he said, however, is that he's never seen such terrible, widespread osteoarthritis in a person as young as I! He called me young! Peter Brandvold, who should know better, asked if he was speaking in tortoise years. But I’ve got two of his book under my personal editorial control, so he’d just better be nice to me. If possible. Can’t expect too much from that source, I reckon.

What else to report? Poor little Jazzy has been having ear problems. She began shaking her ear as if one or both ears were itching. So I called my vet only to learn HIS OFFICE WAS CLOSED UNTIL APRIL FIRST!!!! How dare they be closed when Jazzy needs them? Besides, Dr. Smith is the only veterinarian in Roswell whom I trust. Another vet murdered my wonderful, sweet, darling Bella; another one ripped me off for too many hundreds of dollars; and, well… never mind.

So, since I didn’t know what else to do, I called Jazzy’s Founding Father, Jacob Torres. Jacob found her running along the highway to Ruidoso, collarless, tagless and chipless, so he picked her up. He intended to keep her, but Jazzy proved too much for him, so he gave her to me and took up the breeding and showing of long-haired Chihuahuas. Jacob told me to bring her in, so I did.

He cleaned out her ears, having found a little ear wax build-up. But Jazzy began shaking her head again today, and now her ears (or maybe only one of them) hurt. So I’ll try Dr. Smith again on Monday, the day I have to pre-register for carpal-tunnel surgery. And I have 597 books to edit and 7,000 of my own books being re-published any old day now. Life always picks the least convenient times to go wrong, you know?

Here's Jazzy, the Beautiful Blue Wiener and Queen of All She Surveys. She's gorgeous, and her head's full of cotton fluff. And she doesn't care! She also doesn't really have green eyes.

But enough of that. Bam-Bam has chosen wieners of March’s book-giveaway. They are:

Sue D’Amico, who wins a copy of UNSETTLED SPIRITS,
Kristie Dilcher, who wins a copy of SPIRITS UNITED,
And Kathleen Lauri-Lewis wins a copy of SPIRITS UNEARTHED!

Congratulations, ladies! I’ll get your books to you as soon as I can.
At the end of April, I’ll be giving away a few copies of PECOS VALLEY DIAMOND! Providing I can use my left shoulder then. But don’t worry. I’ll get ‘em sent somehow or other.

My Daisy publisher, ePublishing Works, has also set up a pre-order page on Amazon.com for SCARLET SPIRITS, the next Daisy book, which will be published in the fall of 2019. Yay, me! Haven’t a clue what the cover will look like, but here’s the Kindle link if you have a burning desire to pre-order it:

Iris Evans and Leon Fundenberger founded a Facebook page called DAISY DAZE just for posting stuff from the 1920s that Daisy Gumm Majesty and her family might have used or seen or gone to or shopped at. It’s fun, and if you’d like to be a member, check it out here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/905100189878318/ .

If you’d like to visit my web page, here’s the link: http://aliceduncan.net/ . And if you’d like to be Facebook friends, please go here: https://www.facebook.com/alice.duncan.925

I think that’s it! Thank you


Thursday, January 31, 2019

February 2019

Mercy sakes, January’s over. That happened fast, didn’t it? The coming month will feature the eleventh birthday of my great-granddaughter, Kasumi. That happened fast, too. I remember visiting my grandson and his family shortly after Sumi’s birth, when they lived in Kansas. And now Sumi’s turning eleven. Worse, Andrew, her older brother, is going to be fourteen in May! Well, I don’t mean worse precisely, but I have almost-grown great-grandchildren, and that makes me feel old, which is only right since I am old. So I’m trying to remember my age in order to minimize falls, etc. I’m not used to being old, and I don’t like it. Too bad. So sad. Sigh.

But enough of that. SHAKEN SPIRITS was released in January, which made me happy. People seem to appreciate the addition of Lou Prophet to Daisy and her gang. Old Lou is extremely fun to write, so I hope Peter Brandvold (who created him and writes about Lou when he was in his salad days) lets me keep him. So please go out and buy several copies! You know. For gifts and stuff. Here’s the cover and the Kindle link:
Also, if you want to read about Lou Prophet when he was a young, vigorous, womanizing, hard-drinking bounty hunter and still had two legs, please go and buy several copies of BLOOD AT SUNDOWN, too. It’s a great read, in my not-very-humble opinion. Here’s the cover and Kindle link for BLOOD, too. Hmm. That title doesn’t shorten awfully well, does it? But it’s a good book!
 My Daisy publisher, ePublishing Works, has also set up a pre-order page on Amazon.com for SCARLET SPIRITS, the next Daisy book, which I just finished writing. Yay, me! Haven’t a clue what the cover will look like, but here’s the Kindle link if you have a burning desire to pre-order it:

Two extremely good things regarding what I laughing call my writing career happened in January, although I’m afraid I’ll jinx myself if I write about them here. But what the heck. If I’m jinxed, I’m jinxed.

The first extremely good thing was that Five Star finally relinquished the rights to Daisy’s actual seventh adventure, SPIRITS REVIVED. Therefore, ePublishing Works (run by the fabulous Nina and Brian Paules) are going to reprint the whole series and number them correctly! That means the books will follow one another in a logical sequence, SPIRITS REVIVED will be #7, and the rest of the books will be numbered accordingly. I’m so happy about this I could squeal, but I don’t want to scare the dogs.

The second extremely good thing to happen is that a person who hates to be thanked for anything and whose name I won’t mention here (Peter Brandvold. Okay, so I lied) told me about a publisher called Wolfpack run by a fellow named Mike Bray. Mean Pete suggested I send an email to Mike Bray with “Mean Pete Sent Me” in the subject line. So I did and included a list of all the books I’ve written (around 60-something). Mike Bray got back to me and said he’s extremely interested in re-packaging and re-publishing my entire back-list (the ones to which I own the rights, I mean)!

Wow. It would be spectacularly nice to make some money on books I wrote way back when, and I’m super-excited about this possibility. Wolfpack will probably begin by re-publishing either the Pecos Valley historical cozy mystery series (beginning with PECOS VALLEY DIAMOND, and going on through PECOS VALLEY REVIVAL and PECOS VALLEY RAINBOW) and starring Annabelle Blue; or my post-Titanic-disaster series, featuring three women who survived the sinking of Titanic. The books in order are A PERFECT STRANGER, A PERFECT ROMANCE (my personal favorite), and A PERFECT WEDDING. All three books feature Loretta Linden, a fabulously wealthy San Francisco woman who is devoted to helping everyone around her, whether they want her help or not.

The bitter truth about the Titanic series is that I totally loathed writing the first book (A PERFECT WEDDING). That’s because I thought Daisy Gumm Majesty was dead and floating belly-up in the goldfish bowl of publishing, and I only wanted to write more Daisy books. I got over it and enjoyed writing the second and third books. It probably helped a whole lot that Daisy got a new lease on life, thanks to Five Star. And now ePublishing Works has done a totally fabulous job on the Daisy series. In fact (this is embarrassing to admit, but what the heck), ePW is the very first publisher I’ve ever had (and my books have been published by most of them) that has ever made any money for me. I love Nina and Brian!

Very well then, let’s get to the important stuff. The people who won copies of SHAKEN SPIRITS are: Meredith Hillenbrand, Tammy Corcoran (who lives in Minnesota, poor frozen thing), and Teena Stambaugh (who lives in Ohio. Not sure what the weather’s like there). I’ll get your books to you as soon as I can get to the post office, ladies.

As for books I’ll be giving away at the end of February, lemme think for a minute. Okay, I’ll give away a copy of PECOS VALLEY REVIVAL, a copy of FALLEN ANGELS and a copy of SIERRA RANSOM. SIERRA is an historical romance novel, but it’s pretty good anyway. Due to the high cost of postage, I’ll only be able to send physical books to people residing in the USA. However, if you live in a far-off place and win, I’ll be happy to send you an ebook (Kindle or Nook).

Iris Evans and Leon Fundenberger founded a Facebook page called DAISY DAZE just for posting stuff from the 1920s that Daisy Gumm Majesty and her family might have used or seen or gone to or shopped at. It’s fun, and if you’d like to be a member, check it out here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/905100189878318/ .

If you’d like to visit my web page, here’s the link: http://aliceduncan.net/ . And if you’d like to be Facebook friends, please go here: https://www.facebook.com/alice.duncan.925

I think that’s it! Thank you!