Release Day! (And A Free Book!)

At long last, release day for Besieged by the Moon is almost here.  There’s still time to preorder to get your copy first thing Wednesday, April 21.

This was a challenging book to write, but I’m proud of the finished product. I’m grateful my publisher and editor allowed me to reset deadlines on multiple occasions.  Thank you Debby and Char for helping me make Besieged the best story it could be.

To my reader: thanks for your patience. Enjoy!

P.S. Betrayed by the Moon the first book in the trilogy, continues to be FREE  through the 20th.

Bonus Blog: FREE BOOK

My amazing publisher has made the first book in the Service for Sanctuary trilogy FREE stating today, through April 20.

Service for sanctuary–that was the werewolves’ deal for over 200 years.
Now the government is changing the rules,
leaving Ethan Calhoun fighting for the only way of life he’s ever known—
and Selena Wolfe fighting for her life.

Get your free copy of Betrayed by the Moon now.

 

Memory: Driving a Stick

This past year I purchased a brand new car. The vehicle is only the second one I’ve purchased where I was the original owner.

The first time I purchased a bare-bone “starter” vehicle: a charcoal gray hatchback with a standard transmission because back then, an automatic transmission cost more, and I was on a tight budget.  The only problem was I didn’t know how to drive a manual transmission. I figured the best way to learn was to buy the car. Then I wouldn’t have a choice.

There were some funny moments those first couple of days. My younger brother still tells stories of me rolling backward at a traffic light on I-690 and panicking about it. But I did learn. And I loved driving a stick. There had been one or two occasions in the past when the ability to do so would have saved me some grief. It’s a handy skill to have.

Even after I mastered the ability, I encountered some amusing moments –that weren’t so amusing at the time.

My boss at the time had some fancy-schmancy sports car–low slung and long in the front. She was also very tall, maybe close to six feet. I am barely five feet tall. She needed me to drive her car . . . I don’t remember the details. The gist was “you know how to drive a manual transmission, my car needs to be someplace I can’t take it, please do this.”  Except even with the seat pulled all the way up, I couldn’t reach the clutch. I was nearly fully reclined, barely able to see over the dashboard, driving in the city (i.e. lots of stop-and-go traffic), driving a hideously expensive sports car that didn’t belong to me.

That was a moment.

Movie-Memory: Big Night & Stanley Tucci

 

 

 

 

I have been watching CNN’s series, STANLEY TUCCI, LOOKING FOR ITALY.  I am in bliss for several reasons: Italy, food, wine, and Tucci himself.

The very first time I became aware of Tucci was in 1996. I must have read about the movie Big Night somewhere, because I was desperate to see it. I don’t think it played in a first-run theater in my area. But eventually it did come to the old second-run theater in my neighborhood.  I convinced my husband we needed to see the film. So one winter night we drove through a lot of snow to see the film. I was enchanted.

As we were leaving the theater, I happened to look down and saw something poking through several inches of freshly fallen snow. It was an oversized key ring with several keys on it. We trudged back into the theater to turn in the keys in case someone was looking for them. Turns out someone was.

The owner of the theater was a cranky old woman who had inherited it from her parents. People who grew up in the neighborhood tell of going to matinees and have Miss DiB**** stalking up and down the aisles with a baseball bat looking for people with their feet on the seat backs or any other number of criminal behaviors.  A former co-worker who knew how to run the old 35mm projectors happened to run into her one days, and her greeting was, “The first show is at 7pm on Saturday. Be at the theater at 6.” My colleague said, “What are you talking about?” She replied, “My projectionist just died, you know how to run the 35mm, be at the theater at 6pm on Saturday.” (He didn’t go.) She was a genuine character.

My story about this genuine character involved that key ring on that snowy night. I located her in the nearly deserted theater and handed her the key ring, saying, “I found these on the sidewalk outside.”

“Where did you get those!” she snarled with a glare.

“I found them on the sidewalk under the marquee,” I repeated.

“These are the theater keys and they’ve been missing.” 

I didn’t like being accused of anything. I reiterated that I’d found them outside and left.

So that was my introduction to Stanley Tucci. I adored him in Julie & Julia. I wish I could remember him in The Devil Wears Prada. He was delightful in The Hunger Games series.  He has a long list of credits for both movies, theater, television, but neither IMDB or Wikipedia list a short-lived public TV series he hosted called Vine Talk. Maybe because was dreadful. I wouldn’t admit I was associated with it either. But there are 13 episodes available on Amazon Prime.

Searching for Italy (Sundays at 9pm on CNN) is much better.

 

 

A Book Review: The Sun Down Motel

 

Image credit: tieury / 123RF Stock Photo

I did a search looking for haunted house books because I was in the mood for some ghosties. The Sun Down Motel popped up right away. I was intrigued because I also have a thing for old motels, abandoned motor courts, and the like.  Also, the book is set in upstate New York,  the area in which I live. I also happened to live in upstate NY in 1982, which is the year the protagonist’s aunt vanished.

I wasn’t expecting another The Shining (the only book I’ve ever read that scared the daylights out of me in broad daylight),  but based on the hype I expected a lot more than was delivered.

First of all, the book switched back and forth between 1982 and “the present”, muddling the story. The characters were interchangeable. Only the names changed. I kept having to stop and figure out in whose point of view/which year I was reading. The only distinct and memorable character was the motel itself. Needless to say, the motel was the only character even approaching likability.

I was also highly offended by the constant litany that 1982 was a different time and young women didn’t need to be as careful as “in the present.” I was a young single woman in 1982 in upstate New York. The time wasn’t that different. At least, not enough to use it as a justification for carelessness.

The story is billed as a mystery.  Nope. Suspenseful. What? I put the book down for days at a time because I simply didn’t care about the story.

My take? Don’t bother.