Working at the Ice Cream Shop #Tidbit Tuesday

Here’s Julie from The Red Dress to tell you about her summer career as a scooper. Take it away, Julie.

***

I can see why my blind Aunt Polly wouldn’t want to work in a place like The Sugar Shack. Scooping ice cream is hard, even when you can see.

Once, my mom came into the shop with my brother and sister. Mom made me so nervous that I dropped a scoop of ice cream on the floor. Michelle, my boss, yelled at me in front of my family. I was mortified.

I told Mom never to come into the shop while I was working. It’s weird, but Dad never made me nervous.

Now, just when things are getting good, I have to quit my job because my family wants to drive to California. I get that it’s summer and we haven’t taken a vacation in years, since Mom has been so busy with her books. But I love this job. Michelle is planning to show me how to use the blender, so I can make milkshakes.

Of course, I’m planning to quit in the fall when I start my senior year of high school, but I’m not ready to quit yet. What’s more, Mom grounded me because she doesn’t like my attitude. What am I going to do?

***

By the way, from now until July 31st, you can download My Ideal Partner and The Red Dress absolutely free from Smashwords as part of its annual summer/winter sale. Click here to visit my Smashwords author page.

Also, for those of you who use the National Library Services for the Blind and Print Disabled, The Red Dress is available for download from their site here. Thank you for reading. Stay safe, happy, and healthy.

New! The Red Dress

Copyright July 2019 by DLD Books

Front cover contains: young, dark-haired woman in red dress holding flowers

When Eve went to her high school senior prom, she wore a red dress that her mother had made for her. That night, after dancing with the boy of her dreams, she caught him in the act with her best friend. Months later, Eve, a freshman in college, is bullied into giving the dress to her roommate. After her mother finds out, their relationship is never the same again.

Twenty-five years later, Eve, a bestselling author, is happily married with three children. Although her mother suffers from dementia, she still remembers, and Eve still harbors the guilt for giving the dress away. When she receives a Facebook friend request from her old college roommate and an invitation to her twenty-five-year high school class reunion, then meets her former best friend by chance, she must confront the past in order to face the future.

***

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Walking the Dog #Musical Monday

The song I’m featuring today was used in the 1938 classic, Shall We Dance, starring Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire. I recently learned about this movie while listening to a program on my local classical music station called Saturday Cinema. Before playing the song, the host explained that in the movie, when we hear the song, Ginger Rogers is walking her dog on the deck of a ship. She encounters Fred Astaire, and they start dancing. I’d heard this song before, and it brought back many pleasant memories of our family’s canine companions.

During the 1970’s when I was in high school, I often walked Clancy, our Irish setter. This was in the good old days before stricter leash laws were imposed. I walked down the street with Clancy prancing ahead of me, sniffing everything he saw. With my limited vision, I couldn’t tell what he was getting into, and at my age, I didn’t care, most of the time.

I avoided alleys altogether because I knew the smelly fish heads in which he loved to roll lurked there. Back then, it was unheard of to tell a dog to “leave it.” Clancy passed away while I was in college.

As an adult practicing music therapy in a nursing home, I often walked with my father and his Irish setter, Maud. One afternoon, we were passing the home of my supervisor, Arlis, when Maud, with no modesty whatsoever, relieved herself in the yard, just as Arlis was opening her front door. Not knowing how she felt about dogs, I wondered if I would lose my job. All my career training hadn’t prepared me for this.

To my surprise and relief, she smiled and greeted me as if nothing were wrong. I introduced her to Dad and Maud, and all seemed well. To be on the safe side, though, when I returned to work, I apologized, even though Maud wasn’t my dog. She just laughed. Apparently, she hadn’t noticed Maud watering her lawn.

Now, the only time I walk a dog is when I visit my brother in Jupiter, Florida. We walk Sammy and Max on their leashes the few blocks to a wildlife preserve near their home, then let them loose for some fun. The next time I go to Florida and engage in this quality sibling time activity, I imagine this piece will be going through my head. Enjoy!

 

 

By the way, from now until July 31st, you can download My Ideal Partner and The Red Dress absolutely free from Smashwords as part of its annual summer/winter sale. Click here to visit my Smashwords author page.

Also, for those of you who use the National Library Services for the Blind and Print Disabled, The Red Dress is available for download from their site here. Thank you for reading.

New! The Red Dress

Copyright July 2019 by DLD Books

Front cover contains: young, dark-haired woman in red dress holding flowers

When Eve went to her high school senior prom, she wore a red dress that her mother had made for her. That night, after dancing with the boy of her dreams, she caught him in the act with her best friend. Months later, Eve, a freshman in college, is bullied into giving the dress to her roommate. After her mother finds out, their relationship is never the same again.

Twenty-five years later, Eve, a bestselling author, is happily married with three children. Although her mother suffers from dementia, she still remembers, and Eve still harbors the guilt for giving the dress away. When she receives a Facebook friend request from her old college roommate and an invitation to her twenty-five-year high school class reunion, then meets her former best friend by chance, she must confront the past in order to face the future.

***

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Celebrate Independence with a Great Magazine

Today, with the number of COVID-19 cases rising across the country, instead of your usual big family barbecue and fireworks, why not kick back and relax with the summer solstice edition of The Writer’s Grapevine? This issue is packed with stories, poems, articles, and news from a variety of great authors like me. I know. I’m so vain. You think I’m saying this magazine’s about me. Well, it isn’t about me, but I’m in it and so are many others whose work I’m sure you’ll enjoy. What’s more, you’ll learn more about TELL-IT-TO-THE-WORLD Marketing in Kingsport, Tennessee, which publishes this magazine each month. From the link below, you can download this issue in either Word or PDF format. So, check it out! Happy Fourth of July!

 

Via The Writer’s Grapevine

 

By the way, from now until July 31st, you can download My Ideal Partner and The Red Dress absolutely free from Smashwords as part of its annual summer/winter sale. Click here to visit my Smashwords author page.

Also, for those of you who use the National Library Services for the Blind and Print Disabled, The Red Dress is available for download from their site here. Thank you for reading.

New! The Red Dress

Copyright July 2019 by DLD Books

Front cover contains: young, dark-haired woman in red dress holding flowers

When Eve went to her high school senior prom, she wore a red dress that her mother had made for her. That night, after dancing with the boy of her dreams, she caught him in the act with her best friend. Months later, Eve, a freshman in college, is bullied into giving the dress to her roommate. After her mother finds out, their relationship is never the same again.

Twenty-five years later, Eve, a bestselling author, is happily married with three children. Although her mother suffers from dementia, she still remembers, and Eve still harbors the guilt for giving the dress away. When she receives a Facebook friend request from her old college roommate and an invitation to her twenty-five-year high school class reunion, then meets her former best friend by chance, she must confront the past in order to face the future.

***

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WebsiteImage contains: Abbie, smiling.

 

A Modern Little House on the Prairie #Thursday Book Feature

If You Lived Here You’d Be Home By Now: Why We Traded the Commuting Life for a Little House on the Prairie

by Christopher Ingraham

Copyright 2020

 

What Amazon Says

 

The hilarious, charming, and candid story of writer Christopher Ingraham’s decision to uproot his life and move his family to Red Lake Falls, Minnesota, population 1,400—the community he made famous as “the worst place to live in America” in a story he wrote for the Washington Post.

Like so many young American couples, Chris Ingraham and his wife Briana were having a difficult time making ends meet as they tried to raise their twin boys in the East Coast suburbs.  One day, Chris – in his role as a “data guy” reporter at the Washington Post – stumbled on a study that would change his life. It was a ranking of America’s 3,000+ counties from ugliest to most scenic. He quickly scrolled to the bottom of the list and gleefully wrote the words “The absolute worst place to live in America is (drumroll please) … Red Lake County, Minn.” The story went viral, to put it mildly.

Among the reactions were many from residents of Red Lake County. While they were unflappably polite – it’s not called “Minnesota Nice” for nothing – they challenged him to look beyond the spreadsheet and actually visit their community. Ingraham, with slight trepidation, accepted. Impressed by the locals’ warmth, humor and hospitality – and ever more aware of his financial situation and torturous commute – Chris and Briana eventually decided to relocate to the town he’d just dragged through the dirt on the Internet.

If You Lived Here You’d Be Home by Now is the story of making a decision that turns all your preconceptions – good and bad — on their heads. In Red Lake County, Ingraham experiences the intensity and power of small-town gossip, struggles to find a decent cup of coffee, suffers through winters with temperatures dropping to forty below zero, and unearths some truths about small-town life that the coastal media usually miss. It’s a wry and charming tale – with data! –of what happened to one family brave enough to move waaaay beyond its comfort zone.

 

My Thoughts

 

When I read an excerpt from this book in the June issue of Reader’s Digest, I was intrigued. It’s one example of what can happen when a reporter doesn’t check things out thoroughly. Luckily for Christopher Ingraham, this turned out better than anyone could have expected.

I’ve always enjoyed stories that take place in Minnesota, including the Little House series by Laura Ingalls Wilder and Garrison Keillor’s Lake Wobegon vignettes. This book didn’t disappoint me. The author’s accounts of deer hunting and ice fishing fascinated me, although I doubt I’ll ever engage in such activities. Having once spent six months in Fargo, North Dakota, located on the border with Minnesota, I could empathize with the family’s struggles during the winter. This is a great book to read on a hot summer day.

***

By the way, from now through July 31st, you can download My Ideal Partner and The Red Dress absolutely free from Smashwords as part of its annual summer/winter sale. Click here to visit my Smashwords author page.

Also, for those of you who use the National Library Services for the Blind and Print Disabled, The Red Dress is available for download from their site here. Thank you for reading.

New! The Red Dress

Copyright July 2019 by DLD Books

Front cover contains: young, dark-haired woman in red dress holding flowers

When Eve went to her high school senior prom, she wore a red dress that her mother had made for her. That night, after dancing with the boy of her dreams, she caught him in the act with her best friend. Months later, Eve, a freshman in college, is bullied into giving the dress to her roommate. After her mother finds out, their relationship is never the same again.

Twenty-five years later, Eve, a bestselling author, is happily married with three children. Although her mother suffers from dementia, she still remembers, and Eve still harbors the guilt for giving the dress away. When she receives a Facebook friend request from her old college roommate and an invitation to her twenty-five-year high school class reunion, then meets her former best friend by chance, she must confront the past in order to face the future.

***

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WebsiteImage contains: Abbie, smiling.