Friday, November 30, 2018

December? Whew!

Well, blow me down with a gentle breeze, another year’s nearly bitten the dust. They seem to fly by faster and faster, the older I get. That doesn’t seem fair somehow. Ah, well. Such is life.

However, I can show you the great cover for SHAKEN SPIRITS (created by the brilliant and talented Nina Paules), Daisy Gumm Majesty’s… Oh, Lord. Here we go again. This is Daisy’s 14th adventure into publishing, but the book cover says the book is her 13th. As I’ve often mentioned before, the actual 7th book (SPIRITS REVIVED) is one for which I haven’t yet been able to get the e-rights back. Therefore, as an audiobook, SPIRITS REVIVED is #6½. When it comes out in print and e-book format again, it will still be #6½. Publishing is a strange and mysterious business, if you’re me.

Anyway, back to the cover of SHAKEN SPIRITS. Here it is! That’s Daisy reclining pretty much underneath the wheel of that automobile—which is a 1923 Cole Sportster Sedan—and Spike, her loyal dachshund, valiantly attempting to rouse her. Somebody paid somebody else a lot of money to mow poor Daisy down. The car actually slaps her up against a pepper tree (pepper trees lined Marengo Avenue, where Daisy lived, in those days). Daisy is quite shaken up by this non-accident, which occurred right after the Tournament of Roses Parade on New Year’s Day, 1925. Her shaken-ness doesn’t abate when she realizes someone actually is out to get her. Below the picture of the cover is a link where you can read an excerpt from SHAKEN SPIRITS. Moreover, you can buy it, because there are links to every e-reader, paperback and hardback site known to man. Well, maybe not all of them, but close enough:
(and read an excerpt if you'd like to)
About halfway through SHAKEN SPIRITS, Lou Prophet, a washed-up, one-legged former bounty hunter, shows up. The elderly Lou was given to me by Peter Brandvold, bless his heart (don’t tell him I said that. He cherishes his image as Mean Pete) after I’d already written nearly half of the book. Anyway, when Lou came along, I had so much fun writing him into Daisy’s life, he darned near stole the book! I’m trying to tone him down in the book I’m writing now, SCARLET SPIRITS, although he still plays a role. If you want to read about Lou before he hit rock-bottom and ended up in the Odd Fellows Home of Christian Charity in Pasadena, California, in 1925, here’s his latest book (by Peter Brandvold, of course), BLOOD AT SUNDOWN (to be released December 19, I believe). In Mean Pete’s book, Lou’s about forty-five years younger than he is in Daisy’s day, and he’s a wild and woolly, hard-drinking, womanizing, irreverent, rascally bounty hunter. He looks good, too. When he hits Pasadena, he’s still a little woolly, but he’s old and not nearly as wild as he once was. He resents it, too (and I don’t blame him, being in the same fix myself, although I was never a hard-drinking, womanizing bounty hunter):
Um… Oh, yes! I need Bam-Bam (who went to the vet this morning for a checkup and trembled the entire time) to pick a November wiener for my book-giveaway! Bam-Bam, while terrified of pretty much everyone in the universe who isn’t me, at least doesn’t scream as if he’s being tortured when he goes to the vet like Jazzy does. Of course, Jazzy is a Beautiful Blue Wiener and Queen of All She Surveys. She’s also an incredible drama queen. In fact, here’s a photo of Bam-Bam the Not-Very-Bold and Jazzy the Drama Queen. They’re lying on my bed, which has on it a crinkly silver thing that’s supposed to keep dogs off the furniture. You can see how well it works:

And (thank you, Bam-Bam) the wieners are: Julianne Sparks, who wins a copy of CACTUS FLOWER; Karla Jans, who wins a copy of SIERRA RANSOM; Marilyn Silverstein, who wins a copy of THANKSGIVING ANGELS; and Mary Jane Hopper, who wins a copy of FALLEN ANGELS. I’ll get your books to you as soon as I can drag myself to the post office, ladies.

Let me see… I’m sure something else exciting happened in November. Oh, yes. I remember now. Right after I left Southern California, the whole blasted state caught fire, and my daughter and her husband barely escaped being burned to a crisp by the Woolsey Fire. The Woolsey Fire started in Thousand Oaks the day after that horrible man shot all those people in the Borderline Bar. That bar is where Robin and Gilbert (my daughter and her husband) go with pals to watch sports and stuff. Fortunately for my family, everyone in it was spared. Far too many other people weren’t so lucky, and the entire town of Paradise, CA, was burned to cinders in one of the fires in the northern part of the state. Here’s what it looked like in Robin and Gilbert’s neighborhood while firefighters were gallantly attempting to save it from total ruin:

For what it’s worth, rains have come recently, and California has experienced terrible mudslides in the burn-scar areas. Fortunately again, Robin and Gilbert and their neighbors were spared. However, the air still stinks to high heaven. I fear it’s going to take a lot of work and planting and more rain to make my home state beautiful again. I love California, so this makes me sad. Sniffle.

Oh, yeah. Here’s something not-so-awful. Joyce Abbate, a long-time friend and dancing pal, sent me some pictures from when I belonged to the dance company, Gypsy. Here I am. These were the good old days. I could still hear, had all my original body parts (and they worked) and I could sing and dance and have fun. I miss those days. Deep, theatrical sigh here. Hmm. Maybe Jazzy takes after her mommy in some ways. But never mind that. Anyway, the Gypsy Folk Ensemble has a Facebook page, if you want to visit it:
Oh, yes! The very best thing that happened in November (for me) was that Iris Evans and Leon Fundenberger created a special Facebook page for Daisy! It’s called Daisy Daze, and it shows photographs of things that were around in Daisy’s days and that Daisy and her friends and kin might have used. For instance, they found a copy of SIXTY-FIVE DELICIOUS DISHES MADE WITH BREAD, the cook booklet Daisy used when she was coerced into teaching a cooking class at the Salvation Army. Poor Daisy, who can burn water, hated teaching that class. Worse, she didn’t learn how to cook while she did it. If you’d like to participate in Daisy Daze, click on this link: DAISY DAZE .

Let me see… What books should I give away at the end of December? Beats the heck outta me. Lemme think. Ow. That hurt. However, I did find a few books I can give away. Some lucky folks will win an original hardback version (these are first editions, by golly. If I were famous, that might actually mean something) of HIGH SPIRITS or HUNGRY SPIRITS, and I’ll also give away one of my Mercy Allcutt books, ANGELS OF MERCY. If you’d like to enter, just send me your name and address: . Due to the high cost of postage, I’ll only be able to send 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).

I think that’s it! If you’d like to visit my web page, here’s the link: . And if you’d like to be Facebook friends, please go here:

Thank you!