Take Me Out to the Ball Game #Excerpt #Book Promotion

Baseball season would have opened last week, but because of the coronavirus, who knows when that will happen? If my husband Bill were still alive, he would not be happy at the prospect of not listening to a game with his beloved Colorado Rockies on the radio.

In my latest book, The Red Dress, my main character Eve’s thirteen-year-old son Thomas, like Bill, is a Colorado Rockies fan. During this period of social isolation, he may have been ecstatic about not having to go to school, but he would no doubt be down in the dumps with no Colorado Rockies games for him to watch on television or attend with his father. The following excerpt demonstrates his devotion to this baseball team.

***

“Wow, two tickets to the Rockies game tonight!” Thomas said almost a week later.

On Monday morning, they were all gathered at the breakfast table, where he had been opening his birthday gifts.

Wearing a broad grin, he waved the tickets high. “Wait till Andy sees these. I’m the luckiest kid on the block!” Andy, who lived across the street, was Thomas’s best friend.

Greg, sitting next to Thomas, looked dazed. “Amazing, honey. How did you manage that? I heard that game was sold out weeks ago.”

“It was almost sold out,” answered Eve. “I got the last two tickets. They’re not the best in the house.”

“Let’s see them,” said Greg. Thomas handed them over, and Greg glanced at them and said, “These aren’t bad.”

“I can’t believe it,” said Thomas. “I’m going to another Rockies game! Mom, you’re the greatest!”

He leaped out of his chair and ran around to his mother’s side of the table to hug her. He then turned back to his father. “When should we leave, Dad?”

Greg consulted the tickets. “The game starts at 6:30, so we should leave here by 4:00. We’ll hit the freeway just at rush hour, so it’ll take us a while to get there.”

“I don’t want to miss the first pitch,” said Thomas, casting an anxious glance in his father’s direction.

“Don’t worry,” said Greg. “We won’t.”

***

Will Thomas and his father make it to the game on time? Will the Rockies win? Read the book, and find out.

By the way, for the next month, My Ideal Partner and The Red Dress are available on Smashwords as part of its sale to support those isolated as a result of the coronavirus situation. Please click here to visit my Smashwords author page and download these books. Thank you for stopping by.

 

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.

***

My Books

My Amazon Author Page

Facebook

Website

 

eEImage contains: Abbie, smiling.

 

Vain Teenagers #excerpts #Thursday Book Feature

“Mom, where’s my Sugar Shack shirt?”
On a Saturday afternoon in June, Eve Sawyer turned from her computer with a sigh and faced her seventeen–year–old daughter, Julie, who was standing in her home office doorway, fresh from the shower, clad only in a long t–shirt.
“Oh, honey, I’m sorry. I’ve been so busy with the proofs for Always that I haven’t gotten around to putting away the laundry. It’s still in the dryer.”
Julie rolled her eyes. “God, I hate having a bestselling author for a mom.”
As she flounced away to the basement to retrieve her shirt, Eve turned back to her computer.
Julie reappeared a few minutes later, the garment slung over her arm. “I found it, Mom. Thanks. I’m running late, so can I use the car to get to work?”
“Sure. I’ll be busy with the proofs this afternoon, so I probably won’t be going out.”
“Thanks, Mom. By the way, the mail’s on the hall table.” Julie gave her mother a quick hug before hurrying upstairs to dress.
Eve shrugged. The only reason Julie had brought in the mail was that she was expecting the monthly issue of a teen magazine she enjoyed reading. Then again, Eve was proud of her daughter. Julie did well in school and would be starting her senior year in the fall. This summer, she’d found a job at a local ice cream parlor.
A few minutes later, Julie came thudding down the stairs and hollered, “See you later, Mom.”
***
Leaving the dog tied outside the store, Eve purchased hamburger and other items. After returning home and putting Ginger in the yard with a bone, she walked into the basement laundry room and groaned. Clean clothes were scattered on the floor and on top of the washer and dryer. She could never understand why the kids couldn’t put everything back in the dryer once they found what they needed.
She’d discussed this with them many times. Julie’s response had always been, “Mom, if you’d only put the clothes away when they’re dry, we wouldn’t have to hunt for them.”
Often, Eve had explained that she wasn’t the maid. She’d reasoned that her writing provided most of the income that paid for the house, food, clothing, and entertainment, and that when there was a deadline, that took priority.
Ashley and Thomas had always promised to try to do better, and Julie had always shrugged and said, “Whatever.”
***
The above excerpts are from my latest, The Red Dress. See below for more information. Thank you for reading today.

 

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.

***

My Books

My Amazon Author Page

Facebook

WebsiteImage contains: Abbie, smiling.

I Will Always Love You #Monday Musical Memories

In 2005, when my late husband Bill proposed to me, he was living in Fowler, Colorado, and I, here in Sheridan, Wyoming. He sent me a cassette of love songs he’d downloaded from the Internet. If he could have given me another cassette containing more songs related to his eminent death in 2012, this would have been one of them.

With his declining health and paralysis, Bill thought that if he hung around, he’d only be in the way. He thought he wasn’t what I needed. If I’d spent more time with him after he moved to the nursing home, maybe he would have understood how much I valued his love and support.

The nursing home was only a temporary placement until he could get into a facility where he would have a room to himself with plenty of space for his recliner and computer. With a laptop, I could have easily worked away from home. If he’d waited, we both might have been happy for many years to come.

But what’s done is done and can’t be undone, according to Shakespeare. So, I can only hope that wherever he is, he still loves me after seven years apart. I will always love him.

By the way, you can learn more about Bill and me by reading My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds. This book, along with my latest, The Red Dress, is available absolutely free this week as part of the Smashwords 11th Annual Read an eBook Week. Click here for more information and to download the books. Happy reading and thank you for stopping by today.

 

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.

***

My Books

My Amazon Author Page

Facebook

WebsiteImage contains: Abbie, smiling.

A Winter Adventure #Thursday Book Feature #Poetry #Excerpt

The following poem appears in the current issue of The Weekly Avocet. It was also published in my collection, How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver.

 

You may think this doesn’t look like a poem, and it doesn’t. It is what’s called a prose poem, which means basically that it looks like prose but reads like poetry. You can click the link below the poem to hear me read it.

A Winter Adventure

                                            

 

On a cold, cloudy day, we strap on our skis, boots, head up the trail. I inch along, sure I’ll fall at any minute, as my skis slide through packed snow.

“Left foot right pole, right foot left pole. See if you can go faster,” Dad says. I prefer to keep my slow, plodding pace.

 

At the top of the hill, we retrace our steps. My feet slide out from under me. I land flat on my back. “Smile,” says my brother, holding the camera.

 

“Stick that camera where the sun won’t shine,” I want to tell him.

 

“You’re not falling right.  You could get hurt,” he says. I remove the skis, walk the rest of the day.

 

A Winter Adventure

 

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.

***

My Books

My Amazon Author Page

Facebook

WebsiteImage contains: Abbie, smiling.

Drive #Monday Musical Memories

This was one of my favorite songs when I was in college. Now, even though it’s about love gone wrong, it makes me think of my dad, especially when the vocalist sings, “Who’s gonna drive you home tonight?”

In 1973, when I started the sixth grade after we moved to Sheridan, Wyoming, my dad insisted I walk to  and from school. I’d always wanted to do this, having read stories about other kids walking to and from school every day. In Tucson, Arizona, where we’d lived before, this hadn’t been possible because the state school for the blind, where I spent the first five and a half years of my education, and then the Miles Exploratory Learning Center, where I was mainstreamed six months before we moved to Wyoming, were miles away from our home.

But here in Sheridan, our first house was just up the hill from the elementary school. So, walking to and from school was easy, except in winter when snow and ice made the hill treacherous. Occasionally, Mother or Dad drove me, but most of the time, I walked.

When I started seventh grade, the junior high school was a mile away. Dad claimed he’d walked that far when he was a kid, but I wasn’t sure I wanted to do that, and Mother agreed with me. She and I prevailed, and I only walked a few blocks to  and from the bus stop each day.

In the spring of my eighth grade year, we moved to another house that wasn’t within a school bus route. So, I had no choice but to walk the mile to and from school each day. The good part of this was that my route took me through downtown Sheridan, and I often stopped at a cafe for a milkshake on my way home from school.

The high school was closer, but the route there was difficult, taking me across a busy street, with no lights or stop signs, and up a hill that was treacherous during the winter months. In favorable weather, I walked, and it’s a wonder I’m still here to tell the tale, not having been killed while crossing that busy street. In the winter, Dad or Mother drove me, and Dad often grumped about doing this.

Now, here’s the irony. As an adult, after completing my music therapy internship and moving back to Sheridan and finding an apartment and a job, Dad said he regretted being so hard on me about walking to  and from school. On the contrary, I told him, I’m glad he encouraged me to walk when I could. Because participation in physical education classes was difficult due to my visual impairment, walking to and from school gave me some much-needed exercise.

A few years after I started my job at the nursing home, Dad sold his coin-operated machine business. This gave him more time. So, he was available more often when I needed a ride. I used the local transit service to get to work, but sometimes, I wasn’t finished until five thirty in the evening when their buses were no longer running. In those cases, Dad often picked me up after work.

After I married Bill and after he suffered his strokes, Dad often gave us rides when the transit service wasn’t running. When we acquired a wheelchair accessible van, Dad was our main driver. After Bill passed, and I sold the van, Dad still gave me rides when I needed them and couldn’t use the transit service.

Dad left this world suddenly in 2013, not having a chance to wonder who would drive me home or anywhere else. I’d like to think that he, like Bill, is watching me from above and at peace, knowing I can usually get a ride, either from the transit service or from friends.

 

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.

***

My Books

My Amazon Author Page

Facebook

WebsiteImage contains: Abbie, smiling.

Hemorrhage #Poetry #Book Excerpt

Today, instead of reviewing someone else’s book, I’m tooting my own horn. The following poem from How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver, gives a brief run-down of the journey my late husband and I took through the labyrinth of recovery and rehabilitation after his strokes. You can read a more detailed account in My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds. Click on the link below the poem to hear me read it.

Hemorrhage

 

Barely coherent, drenched in sweat, he lay on the floor. “What happened?” I asked. His response was unintelligible.

“I don’t need to go to the hospital,” he told the paramedics. “but if my wife wants me to go, I guess I will.”

“The stroke was caused by bleeding on the right side of his brain,” said the doctor. “He may need surgery.”

“In this case, surgery won’t help,” another doctor told us. “We’ll just have to wait and see.”

“He’s not strong enough to participate in our rehabilitation program,” said the social worker. “He’ll have to go to a nursing home.”

“I don’t know how much you’ll recover or how long it will take,” a third doctor said. “Continue the therapy, and watch your blood pressure.”

“We’ll work on strengthening your legs and try to get you up and moving,” the therapist promised him.

“They’ve given up on me. I don’t think I’ll ever walk again.”

 

Hemorrhage

 

 

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.

***

My Books

My Amazon Author Page

Facebook

WebsiteImage contains: Abbie, smiling.

Novel Touts Value of Knowing One’s Culture #Thursday Book Feature

Pigs in Heaven: A Novel

by Barbara Kingsolver

Copyright 1993.

 

This is the sequel to The Bean Trees, which I reviewed here a couple of weeks ago. Taylor and her six-year-old adopted Indian daughter Turtle are living happily in Tucson, Arizona. While vacationing at The Grand Canyon, Turtle sees a man fall into a spillway. She and Taylor alert the authorities, and the story becomes national news.

As a result, Taylor and Turtle are asked to appear on the Oprah Winfrey show. In Oklahoma, a lawyer for the Cherokee Nation, after seeing Turtle on TV, questions the validity of the child’s adoption, which occurred three years earlier. When Taylor learns of the lawyer’s suspicion, she and Turtle hit the road. Her mother, who lives in Kentucky, travels to Oklahoma to visit her cousin and plead their case.

Parts of this story could have moved along faster, but otherwise, I was riveted. On cold winter nights, without leaving my recliner, I traveled through desert heat from Arizona to Nevada to Washington State and finally, to the small town of Heaven, Oklahoma. From a Las Vegas coffee shop, where we meet a waitress with a Barbie obsession, to a Cherokee ceremonial dance in Oklahoma, the author drew me into her story. Although the ending was satisfactory, I would like to have seen a few details resolved. Otherwise, this second novel by Barbara Kingsolver is a good story.

 

 

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.

***

My Books

My Amazon Author Page

Facebook

WebsiteImage contains: Abbie, smiling.