Saturday, January 31, 2015

The Start of a New Book

By  now you've all heard about my novel, Willard Manor.  Probably more than you ever wanted to!  Well, for the last few months, I've been working on a prequel to that novel, meaning it's the back story of one of the book's characters. 

The new novel is called Leaving Mark and I want to give you a taste of it by giving  you the prologue.  Here is how the book starts:

Leaving Mark

July 16, 1957.  Shots were fired.  The peace and quiet of the New Haven Green was shattered as people scurried in all directions desperately trying to find a place to hide.  The bearded hot dog vendor cried out then crumpled to the freshly-cut grass, relish dripping into his puddle of blood.  A woman, dressed in a navy blue suit and heels, fell backwards, her briefcase scattering its contents on the Green.  Attorney Leonard Fortier, who left his office in the Fisher Building to grab a quick lunch, was shot as soon as he stepped outside.  The wild-eyed gunman then aimed the gun at himself and pulled the trigger.

Survivors waited until no more shots were heard before cautiously emerging from their hiding places.  They looked in stunned silence at the carnage.  The New Haven Green quickly came to life as a building security guard put in a hurried call for help and onlookers came to the aid of those who were dead or injured.Flashing lights of ambulances and police cars, their sirens screaming, ascended on the grizzly scene and, as if out of nowhere, television and newspaper reporters appeared, rushing to get the scoop only to be shooed away by the police.

When the shooting began, Eleanor Rawley had been sitting on a bench enjoying her hot dog.  After the first shot, she crouched behind the bench  and from that vantage point saw her boss, Attorney Fortier, exit the building and collapse on the grass.  When it was all over, she ran to her boss calling his name, but when she saw his blood pooling on the walkway, she let out a scream and collapsed next to him.

Eleanor came to in the arms of a New Haven policeman.  He checked her for any visible wounds while an EMT tended to Len.  In a shaky voice, Eleanor said, “We have to call Mabel . . . his wife!”

The Green was buzzing with first responders, ambulances and gurneys.  Cries and wails were loud enough to be heard over the sirens.  Inside the lobby of the Fisher Building, people lined up at the two pay phones.Ten minutes ago the Green had been a peaceful refuge from stuffy law offices; now, four people lay dead. 

And Mark‘s life would be forever changed. 

Stay tuned for more to come.

Quote of the Day: Books cannot be killed by fire.  People die, but books never die. Franklin D. Roosevelt

Thursday, January 8, 2015

A New Chapter Starts....

We have a new year.  I have a new life and a new "normal."  

My last thirty years (although I go back way further than that) can be described as BF (Before Fred), WF (With Fred), and now AF (After Fred).  Each segment a new and different chapter in my life.

In my BF years, I lived either with my children around or alone, moved across the country to California, gave seminars, and started college at age fifty.  It took me five years of working days and going to school nights, but I graduated with honors and my AA degree.  I had the opportunity to go on a cruise to the Mexican Riviera where I parasailed in Mazatlan, went horseback riding in Puerto Vallarta, and snorkeled in Cabo San Lucas.  My girlfriend and I went to Hawaii where we parasailed, then climbed Diamond Head.  

In my WF years, two very independent people tied the knot with each one straining against the rope to retain his or her independence.  Together, we traveled to Italy, rode a flume in Hawaii, flew over a volcano, saw Mayan ruins, saw a glacier calving (breaking off), flew in a glider, owned a restaurant, played golf, drove across the country and back for an indescribable six-week trip, and drove across one more time to settle in North Carolina. During these years, I flew in a hot air balloon alongside the Rockies, went skydiving at age sixty, started writing and publishing books, and lost a husband.   

Now I enter my AF years where the pages are still blank, the chapters waiting to be written. As a very dear friend of mine wrote, “We know as one story ends, another begins.  The pages are numbered; when the story starts we never know who will shine or become a treasured character we will remember for the rest of our lives."

One thing I’ve learned in life is to not look back with regret, but to look forward with anticipation.  

I wish each of you a Happy New Year with all the wonder and anticipation that this year may bring.

Quotation of the Day:  To rejoice in life, to find the world beautiful and delightful to live in....  Edith Hamilton