Who needs words with these pix?
Deck the Malls with Purple Peacocks is FREE today and tomorrow!!!! Grab your FREE copy at http://amzn.to/2AuArxQ
And here’s the event site if you’d like to join our discussion of Deck the Malls with Purple Peacocks this upcoming Thursday (which is also the winter solstice–cool). https://www.facebook.com/events/372175096539747/
There will be prizes at the discussion! Hope to see you there!
“Fun, fun, fun! That’s definitely how I would describe Alice in Monologue Land by author Amy Gettinger. following the story of Alice Chalmers, adjunct English professor, single mom, and basically all around stressed out woman. And when she’s ‘encouraged’ or, more aptly, ‘required’ to read a part in her campus’ upcoming “Venus Monologues,” things in her carefully orchestrated life start to fall apart. A coveted job opens up, but Alice is certain that the conservative selection committee would not appreciate her participation in the Venus Monologues. Her Dean pretty much forces her to continue with her participation though, and, resigned, she does so. It’s at practice for the monologues, that she meets the “Venus Warriors,” an interesting group of fearless college women who aren’t afraid to discuss or do just about anything. Throw in some special attention from not one, but three men interested in her and the fact that some of her female students have gone missing, and you’ve got yourself one heck of wild ride of a book.
I so enjoyed Alice in Monologue Land. This was an exceptional read and I read it from cover to cover in just a few days. Author Amy Gettinger has done a fantastic job in creating characters that are funny, intriguing and exciting, sometimes all at once. The story is truly laugh out loud funny at times, and in one scene I actually laughed until I had tears in my eyes. Alice in Monologue Land is a book that would be enjoyed by any reader who enjoys a book with a fun female lead, a book with a little mystery, a little suspense and a little romance all wrapped in one, or just a plain good book. I certainly hope that Amy Gettinger is working on her next novel in this same vein, because I, for one, will be eagerly waiting to read it!”
~ Tracy Slowiak for Readers’ Favorite
I am overjoyed! Thanks, Tracy, for reading and reviewing!!! Alice was meant for just your type of audience!
Here’s an excerpt of Roll with the Punches:
I was just getting ready to call Marian’s copyright lawyer, Jack Pruitt, at lunchtime when my cell phone rang.
“Rhonda? Is that you?” said an older female voice.
“Yep. This is my cell phone.”
“It’s Arlene, honey. You don’t happen to know where your dad is, do you?”
Alarm bell. “No. He should be in Anaheim, at home.”
Polite Arlene minced words. “Well, Corliss Greene was with him this morning, but your father, well, maybe … kind of yelled at her or something. Your mother told her to make cereal for his breakfast, but Harold insisted on making eggs and bacon. I think it may have ended in kind of a … well, a food fight. Then he wanted to go see your mother right away, but Corliss was still cleaning up the kitchen. He got real impatient, I believe he swore some, and he took off, she thought for a walk. That was about 9:30 or so. She called me at my job an hour later when she realized he’d taken the car. She said she couldn’t work for a man with a mouth like that. She quit.”
Stomach sinking, I said, “So did he go see my mother?”
“He never showed up there. Nobody knows where he went. I got some neighbors to look in the neighborhood, but no luck. Your mother told me not to bother you, but it’s been almost three hours, and I’m really worried.”
Oh boy. Orange County was a giant place, and Dad was loose in it.
“I’m coming. Try the local donut shops, okay?”
Stooped, gray Marla in her stout librarian’s shoes was deeply unhappy at my leaving work early on a Friday, but I finally got a hall pass and flew back to Anaheim in my little Honda, like Boudicca in her chariot, ready to save her royal ancestor. On the way, I stopped at my condo for some fresh ice packs.
The Santa Ana winds had intensified overnight to produce a hot, dry, hazy October day. During my drive, my head filled with a blast of acrid wood smoke blowing in from wild fires in the hills near Silverado and Modjeska Canyons. My eyes watered and my nose ran. It was the type of day we Southern Californians used as an excuse for arson, murder, and bad hair.
When I pulled up at the curb outside the folks’ house, I had already peeled off my green linen jacket. I ran inside. A quick tour of the suffocating house revealed no sign of Music Man, not even the old blue Chevy in its normal mooring place. In the middle of the family room, I slammed my bag on the brown shag carpet, shed all my clothes except my underwear, and screamed loudly. Then I flipped on the cranky old air conditioning, crouched low under the kitchen window and Arlene’s visual radar, and slapped together a peanut butter sandwich at the kitchen countertop, all the while trying to read Dad’s mind.
Where are you, you old coot?
But my sports bra and underpants were soaked with sweat. So I popped them in the microwave and found a chunk of ice to rub on my stomach and chest and stood in front of the family room air vent feeling quite free in an odd sort of way. The hall mirror showed me a slightly rounded Roman statue of Pomona, goddess of fruit, come to life. Me. Au naturel. I posed a second for the glass. Not bad, except for the dorky sandals.
Then, just like my karate-loving brothers at age five, running around with weenies flapping at bath time, my lack of clothes freed the real Pomona inside me. I stretched like a cat, working out muscle stiffness, and danced a swirly, twirly dance around the room. As I did, my goddess energy shifted more toward Athena in battle, throwing air punches at the mirror and striking defensive stances. I snatched a pot lid for my shield and lashed out with a stirring spoon, my spear, then whirled and stuck the butcher knife deep into my imaginary opponent’s invisible heart. A high kick at his compadres with my magic sandal finished the job.
Which was when Dal walked in the garage door and got a comprehensive view of everything I had to offer. Faster than a speeding bullet, I was down the hall, leaving the spoon and butcher knife suspended in mid-air like in Tom and Jerry cartoons. Then silence. For long minutes.
“Could you throw me my bra? It’s in the microwave,” I finally yelled.
Pause. It sailed down the hall.
I waited. “And my underwear?”
It came after another pause, with elastic now as limp as old celery.
“You nuke elastic?” he said.
“Never,” I yelled. “Clothes?”
“Why?” He laughed.
When I came out in Mom’s robe, he was rooting in the fridge. “This house has unexpected and wondrous views.” he murmured to the lettuce.
“Mm-hmm,” I agreed, appreciating my view of a tightly muscled rear end and some long, sleek, brown legs disguised in old cut-offs and Nikes. Not bad. “Forget what you saw or you die.” I bit into my sandwich.
He closed the fridge and turned, imperious with all that startling nose. A smile quirked his lips. “Not sure it’s possible,” he said, then laughed.
* * *
After I’d changed, I found him out on the driveway, unloading his over-stuffed silver Toyota. “Have you seen my dad?” I asked, holding a cold Coke to my forehead. It was still mercilessly hot out.
He was arranging an armload of long metal pipes, two-by-fours, saws, and other tools, including some evil-looking axes, on and around the workbench in the garage, ponytail wagging as he bent and lifted.
“No, I just got here. Your car was here and the garage door was open. So I …” He stacked a giant plastic bin full of scrap metal on top of a pile next to the workbench.
I said, “Listen, Music Man took off in the car three hours ago. No one knows where he is.” A little frantic note crept into my voice.
He stopped and looked at me. “Music Man?”
“Dad. Harold Hamilton, Harold Hill. He was in the school play.”
“He’s not at the hospital?”
“Never went there. He’s been gone for hours.”
“And your little naked dance in there was aimed at getting him home fast?” He frowned.
“I was nuking my underwear. I couldn’t call the police naked.” I pulled out my phone and dialed the police as I spoke, and got put on hold.
“Why not? People do it all the time.”
He gave me a measuring look. “You seem relieved.”
He shrugged. “He’s wandered off. Pardon my bluntness, but isn’t that a perfect excuse to put him in assisted living and not have to deal with him anymore?”
“What the—! Who asked you? See, I work for a living. I can’t be here every minute. And I didn’t lose him. He took off.” The police operator finally picked up, and I barked out all the pertinent information into my phone, including Dad’s driver’s license and license plate number. I’d memorized them long ago.
Dal’s eyes were unreadable. “Was he alone this morning?”
Hanging up, I turned on him, blood in my eye. “You mean did I leave him alone just to give him the chance to wander off so I’d have an excuse to commit him? Boy, are you a snake.” I stomped into the house to get my purse and an apple.
He was waiting in the yard, an eyebrow raised, when I got back outside.
I burst out, “Look, everyone says he’s fine. The doctor said he should stay home, and he agrees. So we’re trying that. He doesn’t want a keeper, but he takes off when he’s left alone. At least in one of those assisted living places, we could locate him. But why am I talking to you? According to you, whatever I do with him is wrong.” I got in my car and slammed the door. My butt bruises screamed. I’d forgotten to bring an ice pack.
He stood impassive in the yard, arms crossed.
I wrestled with my seat belt, still grumbling. “He was so obnoxious that his companion left today. But I’m the one to blame! The doctor assured me—” The seat belt would not unroll. “—all Dad needed was a normal life.” Tug. “At home to get past the stress—” Tug. “—of Mom’s surgery and my sister’s moving.” I looked up and he was gone. I fought the damn thing for several minutes and got as manic as my sister on prom day.
Then suddenly he appeared at the driver’s side window and shoved three more cold Cokes at me. “Move over. I’ll drive.”
“This is my car, and someone needs to be at the house in case he comes home.”
“The neighbor’s right next door, and you’re too mad to drive.”
“A minute ago you blamed me for leaving him alone,” I complained, scooting over painfully. I hated women who always handed over the steering wheel whenever a Y chromosome entered a car. But I was too hot and frustrated for more protest.
The seat belt worked like silk for him, and he swung the car into the street. “Is there somewhere we should check, some favorite place where he might spend three hours?”
I held a Coke to my rib cage, then took a swig.
He said, “Some restaurant? A library? A bar? The beach?”
“That’s it!” I said. “The beach. He loves the beach. There are only a few thousand miles of that to search.”
On March 24, I published my first novel, Roll With The Punches. It took 10 years to write and rewrite and rewrite and slice back and reconfigure and rewrite. Finally, this month, I got the courage to release it to the wild, sort of like those red-tailed hawks and Cooper’s hawks and kestrels and barn owls and great horned owls we released back into the wild after months of rehab with the OC Bird of Prey Center this week. Then I got crazy and released my second book, Alice in Monologue Land. It had taken 12 years to accomplish to my satisfaction. Twelve years of writing–learning to write, getting the words just so, so they tell the story I want and flow and are funny. Problem with my books is they have never flown before like those raptors, and I now feel like a true Helicopter Mom, trying to get them to fly and then teach them how to stay aloft.
I got a wonderful book review right out of the gate from my long-time best friend, Lenore, who had read the book a while back and enjoyed it. Then many dry days went by until my sister read the book and wrote quite a glowing review, which I really had not expected. (Thank you, Mary!) Yay! 2 great reviews! I was happy. But according to the Powers Of Book Promotion, 2 is not enough. I must find more, many more. All wonderful, all valid reviews. So I’ve begged and pleaded for days for more reviews. I’ve walked the streets of Orange County, hawking books and begging tourists and passing fat men for reviews. (LOL, no. I’ve learned to tweet and pimp out the book something outrageous on Facebook–which is just as bad. And I must say tweeting is for the birds and liking for like’s sake is just weird.)
So yesterday, I checked my FB as usual, which is now taking all day long, with all the writers’ sites I’ve joined. I had requested a review from a top-500 Amazon reviewer, Dianne at Tome Tender Blog. And there it was!! My review!! My big, fat, awesome book review!!! I was thrilled! I am thrilled! Here is a link to my big, fat awesome book review
for my big, fat awesome book!!
As it happens, this April Fools Day anthology which I have a piece in is also out this week. YAY!!!!
If you are so inclined, any and all reviews of either of these new books would be smashing!
In 2005, my dad died of Alzheimer’s. It had been a long 4 years with him, or the guy masquerading as him, using his body, moving from place to place. No place seemed just right for him.
Later that year, still processing this huge issue, I sat down and started writing this book. In the book, I wanted romance and adventure and a mystery and a light feel. I got that, but Dad showed up in the book too, but not really Dad. A much larger, more expansive, more fun version of Dad, one I think he would approve of. Orange County showed up in the book too, in very large, distinctive, rather earth-moving ways.
I hope you like the book. Its title is Roll With The Punches, and I’ve been working on it for 10 years.
This is so exciting!!!!!
Hey, I’m finally published on Amazon in a format bigger than flash fiction!!!
Here’s the blurb for my latest short story, “Cupid, with a Eucalyptus Tree, in the Teachers’ Workroom”:
Spending all evening teaching seemed a perfect way to spend another lonely Valentine’s Day for Annabelle Lopez—until she found the two lovely surprise gifts in her book bag. Now the hunt is on for her secret admirer. Who could it be? A student? The dean? The computer guy? The janitor?
If you want to find out the answers to this and quite a few more chick litty Valentine’s Day questions, please download our anthology, Cupid on the Loose on Amazon (and several other platforms).
Dry, hot hills all around. Unrelieved straw-brown lumps of earth with scattered rocks and gray-green scrub to keep it in place. An unfortunate landscape, really, though not as unfortunate as my body, whose contours, minus any moisture at all on this dry day, aren’t sweaty, but gritty.
I drive north.
The green grass on these hills disappeared months ago when the bully of a sun pushed the temperature up over ninety degrees in a big show of muscle and rank, then left the whole middle of California frying on high, never turning down the burner a notch, then forgot the area completely to run off to make a big show of setting beautifully and scarletly and all tranquilly on the coast. I drive the asphalt ribbon labeled 99 down from the mountains, and it’s all fields and irrigation, fields and irrigation, fields and irrigation, like the landscape artist got tired and went to bed. Nothing but flat fields and scrub for miles. With some occasional almond trees. It goes from boring to boringer to boringest. For entertainment, there are a few squat, faded buildings and some peeling billboards circa 1970. The road’s so straight and flat that my eyes cross.
Until I hit the part of the road with oleanders in the median. Big lazy bushes waving many arms covered with poisonous white blossoms in the breeze. Sometimes there’s a pink one, and sometimes a red. Those are the bold ones, trying to color the faded landscape just a little, and they succeed a bit, outshining everything beige and brown here.
Then more beige for a while.
But on my right, there are suddenly row upon row of green vines, thumbing their nose at the sun. I wonder why they don’t also shrivel in this heat. If I use my imagination, I can almost see them pushing forth plumping grapes under their wide, shady leaves.
I lick my lips.
Then follows a giant dairy, boasting a thousand fertile Daisy Bells, hefty black and white girls, not quite gamboling with full udders around the field. They seem so calm and alive, giving off their come-hither baleful looks and earthy smells which are certainly not for the faint of heart.
Breathe it in. The valley. Home.
Then the road actually curves for a bit and eucalyptus trees rise up and tower over the whole road with power and grace, their sheer height nearly making me shiver in their gift of shade. They command the valley and take control, pulling me along farther into it with promises of more cool encounters and relief from our common nemesis, the sun.
But soon, they’re history and it’s just more beige valley interspersed with more Valentine-colored oleanders and more neat rows of vines with their plump cargo. And then… peach groves. Big, fat fruit trees as far as the eye can see. Small rosy, cloven orbs peep out from their depths like millions of tiny, soft baby butts and beckon with the aroma of fresh pie.
I stop at a fruit stand, squinting at the sun, but salivating. I gaze lovingly at the fruit displays for a long while, like this was the Louvre and they were those incredible Reubens paintings that just take your breath away, Then I buy baskets of garnet-colored berries, melons pregnant with tangy juice, and peaches and plums so perfectly ripe and tart that one bite is sure to start the rapture.
I drive the 99 with one hand on the wheel and plunge the other into the bag on the seat, grabbing juicy globs of grapes and berries and shoving them into my mouth. The juice dribbles everywhere, even onto my white shirt, and I don’t care. I revel in this exotic, yet commonplace respite from a boring summer afternoon schlep. Something generations before me have indulged in, rich or poor. Fresh-picked bliss.
No longer focusing on the freeway with its shimmering heat waves dancing up to burn me alive, I graduate to the main fruit course and bite into the bare, moist flesh of a fresh peach. It has a flavor like no other, which doesn’t survive cooking or canning or freezing, because it depends largely on the perfect texture of the ripe fruit. A day late or a day early, and it’s just not the same. Over and over I attack this juicy, fleshy orb, until there’s nothing left but the pit, which I suck on down to its last smidgen of taste.
I go for the bag again, unable to get enough, even when my hand and arm are covered in scarlet rivulets and my tongue is saturated with rare summer flavors. In my fruit-fueled frenzy, I roll down the windows to the stifling breeze, start singing the Hallelujah chorus, and pound the steering wheel with a sticky fist.
Red and blue lights flash behind me. A cop stops me on the gravelly shoulder. “Ma’am? You’re weaving. Are you using a cell phone?”
Caught red-handed in my fructose orgy, my eyes glazed over, my hair stuck to my smeared face, I grin up at him, hold up my peach pit with rosy fingers, offer him the bag full of jewel-toned delicacies, and say, “Got nectarines?”