Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The Joys and Travails of April

Springtime in New Mexico, unlike springtime in other, more civilized parts of the world, is windy. Really, really, really windy, complete with dust storms and accompanying ickiness. Heck, I even wrote a book about the wind once (Cooking Up Trouble, available for a miserly $2.99 on Kindle and Smashwords). As we’re in the second year of a ghastly drought, this April’s winds have been particularly heinous. Parts of the state have also been overrun with moths. Go figure. If I were a moth, I wouldn’t want to live in a dry, windy state like ours. Heck, I’m a human, and I don’t much want to live here. Ah, well.

The month did bring a bit of magic, however, beginning with the simply smashing e-book cover for the third of my Mercy Allcutt books, Fallen Angels. Mercy Allcutt is a rebellious Boston Brahmin, who has come to the wicked city of Los Angeles, where her sister Chloe lives with her wealthy movie-mogul husband. Mercy has secured a job (gasps of horror echo from her mother in Boston) as secretary to private investigator, Ernie Templeton. In this outing, one Persephone Chalmers is foully done to death, and Ernie ends up the prime suspect. Mercy isn’t about to let Ernie burn (California used the electric chair in 1926, when the book is set) so she investigates on her own. Her investigations lead her many places, including the Angelica Gospel Hall, run by the charismatic Adelaide Burkhard Emmanuel. I shamelessly borrowed both the Hall and Sister Emmanuel from the Foursquare Church of God founded by Aimee Semple McPherson, in case anyone cares. Here’s the cover, created by the multi-talented Melissa Alvarez (

You can now buy FALLEN ANGELS for your Kindle or your Nook or whatever else you want to read it on. 

Here's the link for Kindle: Click Here

Here's the link for Smashwords: Click Here

And then Bella the Pekinese came into my life. Of course, she never would have except that I’d been fretting about finding a suitable outfit to wear to my daughter Robin’s wedding in June. Trust me when I tell you Roswell, New Mexico, isn’t a shopping Mecca. Heck, it isn’t even a Meccette. Therefore, when I got word that a four-month-old Pekinese puppy needed to be picked up in Artesia (approximately 45 miles southish from Roswell) and then driven to Santa Fe (approximately 200 miles northish from Roswell), I thought to myself, “Santa Fe! They actually have stores in Santa Fe!”

So I picked up Bella in Artesia and took her to my house in Roswell. I worried that Giblett, my bully wiener dog, would try to murder her. Needn’t have spared the matter a thought. I guess Pekinese used to be guard dogs in Chinese temples, and Bella clearly takes her background seriously, because when Giblett growled at her, she took off after him, screaming doggie obscenities (I was shocked a dog her age knew so many of them), and scared him into my office and into his crate, from which he didn’t emerge for a full hour. When he did come out again, he tried to recoup his dignity, but Bella would have none of it, and they hollered at each other for what seemed like hours and hours. And hours. Lord. Bella had my entire herd trembling in its boots—or she would have, if they’d been wearing boots.

Anyhow, as much as I love Bella because she’s sweet and cuddly and as adorable as a puppy can be (except when faced with a Giblett), I wasn’t sorry when I loaded her in my car the following morning and drove the 200 miles to Santa Fe, where I dropped her off in the wonderful care of Marguerite Wood, who operates Santa Fe Small Dog Rescue. According to Marguerite when I checked on the 25th of March, Bella is doing extremely well, gets along fine with the other dogs in her care (none of whom are bullies like Giblett) and will eventually be placed in an excellent home.

What’s more, I actually found an outfit to wear to Robin’s wedding in Santa Fe! Mind you, since my spine had squashed three whole inches from my frame, I’m not shaped like I used to be, and it’s difficult to find clothes that fit right, but I think this outfit will work. I’m not going to show it on this blog, because I loathe having my picture taken, but it’s pretty.

Whew! Overall, except for the weather and a few doggie growling matches, I do believe April contained more magic than mayhem, which makes for a pretty darned good month!


Anonymous said...

Somehow you make everything sound funny. I LOVE your Bella story.

"Fallen Angels" was such a wonderful book!!!!!!! And somehow amusing AND edifying.


Sheila Deeth said...

Bella and Giblett! What a great combination. I can just imagine their combined vocabulary, and I'm quite glad I'm only imagining it!

Alice Duncan said...

Thank you very much, Brenda and Sheila! Yes, Bella was quite an experience. Giblett is SUCH a bully and a coward!

Caroline Clemmons said...

Alice, I love your posts! That cover us gorgeous. I'm getting my cozy mystery DIGGING FOR DEATH ready for Amazon and Smashwords and need a great cover.

Alice Duncan said...

You can't do better than Melissa, Caroline! I don't know what other people charge, but Melissa has lots of covers already made up for as little as $20. Mine cost $75. Mind you, I'm not sure I'll make that up in sales, but what the heck, y'know?

Anonymous said...

Ha! Nice to see Giblett got a taste of what he's been dishing out. Is he reformed now, or was that only temporary?

Lovely cover. If I ever manage to get a ereader I can work with, I'll be buying your Mercy and Daisy series as my first purchases!


PS I showed your blog post about Bella to a co-worker (just said you were a friend, not an author) and her comment was "She should write a book!" She was chuckling all the way through. Ever think of compiling your animal tales into a single volume?

Alice Duncan said...

Thanks, Lynne! Giblett's reform was, alas, short-term. He's back to being his old bully of a self. Bless your friend for me! I'm still faintly (actually more than faintly) embarrassed about my involvement with dachshund rescue. I feel like such a sucker or something. Go figure.

Lynn Michelsohn said...

Just read your comment on Joe Konrath's blog about maybe going the self-publishing route.

Do it! Do it! Do it!