Saturday, May 31, 2014

LOSING DAVID

I'm pleased to announce the publication of my book LOSING DAVID.



It's available in print and ebook but will be on Amazon only for the next few months before going to Barnes and Noble and the other places.

Yes, I know. There's a big to-do about the argument between Hachette Publishing and Amazon, with big names like Scott Turow and James Patterson calling Amazon the evil empire. Which is surprising, considering how many books Amazon sells for them.

But Amazon and Hatchette are like any other businesses: trying to make a profit. It just so happens the profit this time comes from books. Whatever the outcome, authors won't see an increase in pay. And since Amazon nurtured and supported self-published authors while Hachette and the other big publishers were trying to keep the status quo, I kind of think I'll stick with Amazon.

Anyway, LOSING DAVID is a vintage mystery with strong romantic elements, set on a barrier island.

When his father died in 1946, sixteen-year-old David Harmony should have inherited a fortune. Instead, he vanished at sea.

In 1962, an elderly attorney hires an actor to pretend to be David. He says the man in line to receive the Harmony estate killed David.

The actor suspects the attorney is scheming to claim the estate himself, but agrees to act as bait till he falls for a woman who realizes he’s an imposter. Now she may reveal his identity to the one person she shouldn’t.

David's murderer.

In an era of clacking typewriters and rotary phones, gentlemen tip hats and ladies wear gloves. But evil still hides beneath the most refined exteriors.



Sunday, May 25, 2014

WHY I DON'T COOK

The other night I decided to cook veggies for supper. My guy usually grills something and we fix corn on the cob or a baked potato or something to go with it. Something easy because I've never been a great cook.

But veggies sounded good and I hadn't actually cooked an entire supper myself in... Hmmm. I can't remember. Several years, maybe?

First I put the squash and onions into my hot olive oil and splattered my left hand. Annoying, but not bad. I stuck it in some water and it was fine.

Then I noticed the garlic potatoes in the microwave (Irish potatoes sliced thin, layered with garlic and dotted with butter, then covered in milk) were running over the top. Since the microwave was dirty by now, I cooked them till they were tender, then took the casserole dish out. At the sink, I wiped up the top of the casserole dish, then picked it up to wipe underneath.

That's when the rest of the hot milk poured out over my left hand, mostly the big, fourth, and little fingers. This time I felt it. And kept feeling it even when I put my hand in water.

My guy heard me yell and came rushing in. We soon had a pot of water with soda in it and I soaked my hand. It still hurt. He rumbled around and found some Solarcaine gel for sunburn and other minor burns that someone had left at the house. I slathered it on and in a few minutes, got some relief. I was still holding those fingers gingerly when I went to bed though.

Guess who's doing the cooking for the next few years?

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

WALK ON THE BEACH

We went over to the beach yesterday early enough to miss most of the tourists. It was very restful.

I didn't know it until we moved here, but beaches, especially on barrier islands, change. We have a huge sandbar where once it was simply sand underwater. Looking southward, the sand on the left is where the sandbar begins. It keeps going northward (behind the photographer and up the beach).


This is taken when we walked northward, and the sandbar continued. You can see a stream, the sandbar, and then the ocean in the distance. Around here is where the sandbar used to begin.


Still going northward. We (and the doggie) are on the beach, looking out over the sandbar toward the ocean. See how high the sandbar's edge is? The stream in the middle used to be quite wide but has narrowed considerably.


The first thing we came across was a stranded jellyfish. In ten feet or so, we found another, and then another. We ended up seeing five or six of them.


Then we saw some horseshoe crabs. Or at least their shells where they had molted. Quite a few were over on the sandbar. On the beach, we only spotted four or five. I guess everyone knows these aren't really crabs.


 

Coming back, I noticed some shells up in the dried seaweed. I suspect someone may have been collecting them and forgot them since usually large ones are found with small ones.



And finally, we came across this. I couldn't figure out what it was till I got closer. It's an orange peel! Someone must have been watching the ocean while eating it, then threw it down. And there are plenty of trash cans around!


I love walking on the beach because you run across all kinds of things.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

DREAMS

Yesterday about six a.m., my girl cat meowed. One of those Get-up-and-feed-me-before-I-starve-to-death! yowls that make you think someone is murdering her. Just one yowl but enough to wake me in the middle of a dream.

I danced in the back of the chorus line while Barbra Streisand sang "Hello Dolly" in the front. I never saw her--backs of period costumes and hats of the dancers around me blocked my view--but I heard her very plainly. Seems I was actually a part of the dream. Don't know why I dreamed about her. She's okay, but I was never a big fan.

Usually, I don't participate in my dreams. They normally work like movies or books. Movies flow as if on screen. For books, I see the pages.

My most unusual dream was a television show. With commercials. It was a period (Hmmm. Could I be onto something here? Maybe I should be concentrating on writing more historicals?) drama. The only scenes I remember were men in black suits and string ties carrying a coffin up--or down--a narrow staircase; and women in Victorian mourning dresses sitting around a table, wiping their eyes.

The commercial came in the middle, naturally. A merry little jingle accompanied an actress flinging open the trunk of her car to reveal a beautifully wrapped large box with one of those big, puffy bows. I think it was advertising some department store I'd never heard of. Then back to the drama.

Strangely enough, I could sing the commercial's ditty the next day. I have no idea where that came from. Neither tune nor lyrics were familiar.

Anyway, this morning my cat didn't yowl till seven o'clock. Guess I was past the dream stage because I just woke up annoyed.

Not that she cares.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

NOSY SQUIRREL

We must now contend with a squirrel at our bird feeder. He looks young, and eats up all the seed.

Yes, he's cute. But we had these critters up in north Georgia and they made a mess of our house. They nibbled holes in the sides and tore a vent (with wooden slats across it) to pieces. They'd get in the attic and party. My guy had to put up steel wire to keep them out.

He doesn't intend that to happen here so he got cayenne pepper, which is supposed to deter squirrels but not hurt birds. He mixed it with the seed and poured some on the feeder ledge.

Seems as long as the pepper's on the ledge, the pesky rascal will stay off. But in a couple of days, he's back to his old tricks.

This morning when I glanced at the feeder, the squirrel wasn't on it. He was at our sliding patio doors, bumping into the glass trying to get inside. Then he started picking at the screen, doubtless hoping that would get him somewhere.

I ran over and fussed at him.

He stared at me, unmoving.

I made as if to open the door.

He stared at me, unmoving.

I unlatched the door just as I remembered the rabid fox who bit a man in town a couple of days ago. Was this squirrel rabid? Would he pounce on me?

He stared at me, unmoving.

My hand (which didn't keep up with my brain screaming "Don't do it! Don't do it! He'll bite you! You'll have to have shots!) was already sliding the door back.

The little critter started ambling off.

Whew! Not rabid.

I yelled and went after him. He thudded into the fence trying to get out.

He moves a lot faster than my cats.

Monday, May 5, 2014

SUICIDAL BIRDS

I heard the cats thumping around about five or so this morning. You cat owners know what I mean. Sounds like they're dribbling basketballs. I heard my guy get up and stop them, but I went back to sleep.

A little after seven, they were at it again. Then the girl cat comes thundering through the house -- No pitter-patter of little feet for her! She sounds like a stampeding elephant! -- into our bedroom where she lets out a bloodcurdling "Yeow-ow-ow-ow."

That wakes me up. My guy turns over, too.

"What are they playing with?" I ask. "Is it that tennis ball we keep for the dog when she visits?"

"No. It's a bird."

"What!"

"You know. The bird that keeps flying into the sliding door. I opened the door earlier and scared it off."

Evidently, it was back and the girl cat wasn't having any luck in shooing it away. She was yowling because she wanted my guy to get back out there and take care of the situation.

I think this is the bird. Looks pretty meek, but she must have suicidal tendencies.