Category Archives: chick lit

Apples, Goat Cheese and a Red Bikini (In France!) A sequel to the novel Alice in Monologue Land Part 1

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Apples, Goat Cheese and a Red Bikini (In

Hello, Peeps.

I recently wrote a short story for an anthology called Girls of Summer. It’s a sequel to my novel, Alice in Monologue Land. The anthology has been taken down from Amazon, so here is the story in chunks. I hope you like it.

Copyright 2015 by Amy Gettinger

This is a work of fiction, originally published in the anthology, Girls of Summer. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

Apples, Goat Cheese, and a Red Bikini (In France!)   Part 1

July 9, 2004

“Let’s go back to Carmen’s. Gotta pee.” Sandee Kinney hopped a little, her pink-and-blue-striped ponytail flapping as she picked her way up the rocky beach toward the path back to Cassis, a Mediterranean village near Marseille. (In France!)

“Wait.” Fran Whittier put a hand on her sunhat to keep it from flying off in the whipping wind. She gazed over the heaving Gulf of Cassis toward Cap Canaille: an impressive, layered rock formation, the highest sea cliff in Europe. Which, in typical stony French fashion, had completely ignored Fran’s question. What good was a wise old rock that wouldn’t help a girl with her problems?

“Frannie! Now!”

“But …” Fran stood up. The two girls had spent the afternoon on a small, pebbly beach called Plage de Corton, five minutes’ walk to the west. When some cute guys toting surfboards had sauntered by, the girls had followed them here to rocky Plage de l’Arène, where the guys had joined a couple dozen surfers catching some nice waves.

Of course, the girls were just curious. The surfers weren’t that good-looking, with their Roman noses and intense gazes and long, muscular frames. On the beach itself, there was no one else except two skinny boys in tight French maillots and sandals. Maybe seven or eight years old, they were shrieking at the surfers riding the swells.

“Remy! Basile!” they shouted, jumping up and down. “Allez, allez, allez!

“Frannie!” Sandee said. “There aren’t any public restrooms around here.”

“Oh, use a bush! I’m not done here!” Fran’s time in Europe was about up. She would not be hurried away from this gorgeous scenery (in France!) “Or ask to use somebody’s toilet.” She pointed inland, where creamy old villas with orange tile roofs sat amid brilliant green vineyards and olive groves.

Sandee scrunched her nose. “Frannie! These people scowl when you ask to use a bathroom. Or else it’s filthy. I’m going back to Carmen’s.” She took off down the pathway towards the sleepy town, where their friend Carmen Polaski had rented a summer villa that the two girls were sharing this week. Before that, Fran and Sandee had done a two-week tour of Europe using Eurail passes. They were due to go back to Southern California in four days—back to work, freeways, cheeseburgers and college.

And Fran hadn’t even had a European kiss yet.

“Chickenshit!” Fran yelled at Sandee’s retreating form. Seriously. Why not squat behind a cypress tree? Mothers here let children pee everywhere. She turned back toward the beach to beseech the giant boulder one last time.

“What’s next for me?” she asked it. “Two years of general education at Garden Beach College: done. European adventure: nearly done. Now what do I do? Study ichthyology? Race cars? Become an astronaut? Learn Chinese?”

Nothing but stony silence from the Cap.

“Hey, rock! I don’t have all day!”

The surf pounded.

“Stupid rock.” She turned her attention to memorizing the whole sparkling scene—azure sky, foamy waves, olive-green cypress and scrub plants, red-and-gold-striated cliffs, chunky white beach, jumping kids. And gorgeous surfers—worth some serious memorizing. California had surfers, but French surfers (In France!) were just so cool, or blasé or—hard to put a finger on it, but vive la difference.

Her hat flew off as the wind picked up. She scrambled to grab it before it blew off into the trees behind her. When she turned back toward the ocean, three surfers were riding a huge wave toward the beach. A tall, handsome dude rode a red board off to the left side. A stockier guy took the middle, and a young teen navigated all the way in and beached his board right by the kids, smiling and breathless.

“Remy! Chouette!” the kids yelled, excited. “Mais où est Basile?”

 

Watch for my next installment later this week!

 

All Promotional Stuff + A New Review for Roll with the Punches

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MIAMI,  FL - MARCH 22: Derek E. Miller (L) and Alexis Krauss of Sleigh Bells perform at the Ultra Music Festival on March 22, 2013 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images)

Me in my wildest dreams

So this week, I posted a bunch of Chick Lit Chat HQ #chicklitmay #chicklitreads #chicklitmonth related blog posts, two with contests and prizes–got a lot of blog exposure, and some exposure for Roll with the Punches, my literary (cough) okay, humorous fiction baby.

And I wrote a new short story to include in another free (promotional) anthology for summer, featuring red bikinis. Good story–coming together well. I had nasty arm and back pain from too much computer use. Still do.

I tweeted and followed and tweeted and followed–not obsessively, but more than usual. I’ve got close to 300 (Woohoo!!) followers now, though my heart is not in tweeting at all. Sorry, Twitterverse.

I put Roll with the Punches on sale for 99 cents–> http://www.amazon.com/Roll-Punches-Roller-Alzheimers-Plagiarism-ebook/dp/B00V5B3W12

And I FB posted and tweeted and blogged about that, forgetting to include the buy link to Amazon. (Thanks, Paul De Lancey for catching that.) Then I included the buy link and it either wouldn’t stay a full link or it blew away the sale art. I can’t figure out how to post using my own (well, not my own–I begged it at the last minute from Karan Eleni at Bliss Book Promotions–bless her wonderful, giant heart) graphic for the book being on sale WITH the Amazon link, which wants to post my book’s cover art. The two pix battled it out, and Amazon won.

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I am also being featured at Dianne Bylo’s awesome Tome Tender Book Blog–go here–> http://tometender.blogspot.com/2015/05/spotlight-on-amy-gettinger-her-fun.html?zx=cb46d30f863b4393. She is sooooo generous with her time and her great reviews. Love her! She makes my spotlight look really fun, and she’s just a peach.

Fools Rush In, the April Fools Day free (promotional) anthology that I have a piece in has reached over 30,000 people–many, many downloads. Should translate to sales, right?

I got a wonderful Amazon review from the awesome Karin Gillespie, whose Bottom Dollar books I adore. http://www.amazon.com/Karin-Gillespie/e/B001HCVXHY/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1431904518&sr=1-1

I did a quick promo with B Knights on Fiverr. Supposed to bring many sales!!! Yeah! But I must have done something wrong. Seriously.

I have great support! I do! My husband, my friends! Dianne Bylo! The incomparable Karan Eleni! Karin Gillespie! The large and very supportive Chick Lit Chat community!!!

And I sold 2 books. And 2 got borrowed. All that to sell 2 books. And loan out 2.

Yeah, I was in tears yesterday.

Then, I dug into the email I missed when I was mid-cold virus two weeks ago and found this Reader’s Favorite 5-star review–which apparently can’t be posted on Amazon, but which is pretty cool.

Book Review
Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers’ Favorite

“Roll with the Punches: A Story of Roller Derby, Alzheimer’s and Plagiarism is a chick lit novel written by Amy Gettinger. Rhonda’s relatively carefree existence gets entirely turned upside down in almost no time at all. The librarian and aspiring novelist finds out that the novel she’s been writing for over a year, and spent a full month finishing, has been plagiarized by the mysterious, best-selling author, Reynold Jackson. To make it even more painful a loss, the book’s a runaway bestseller and the fact that she had shopped the book to a number of agents means her reputation is totally shot. Things are even worse at home. Monica, the older sister who took care of things relative to their parents, has emigrated to Australia, her mother’s in the hospital and her father is acting very oddly.

Amy Gettinger’s romantic comedy, Roll with the Punches: A Story of Roller Derby, Alzheimer’s and Plagiarism, works on so many different levels that it’s awfully hard to categorize it under any single genre. The mystery of the purloined manuscript and the sleuthing efforts of Rhonda, her friend, Harley and the Amazon Rollergirls is first-rate, with plenty of red herrings and an unpredictable ending. Rhonda’s adventures in the roller derby world are marvelous as is her love of being active, strong and athletic — she makes a fabulous role model for young women. The issue of aging parents and the duties that seem to fall willy-nilly on the geographically closest child is a serious one that’s handled with love, humor, and respect. Finally, there’s the romance, something Rhonda’s not too good at, and how she resolves the sudden interest of not one, but two men. Yes, there are sex scenes in Roll with the Punches: A Story of Roller Derby, Alzheimer’s and Plagiarism, and they’re delightfully free of the usual cliches and filled with invention, frolic and warmth, and they were sheer pleasure to read. This is a big, warm-hearted, hilarious book that wraps the reader up within its covers and holds them there until the last page — and that’s a very good thing. Roll with the Punches: A Story of Roller Derby, Alzheimer’s and Plagiarism is most highly recommended.”

Go here for more info–> https://readersfavorite.com/book-review/roll-with-the-punches

So that made my freaking week. I really like Jack Magnus now. He gets me. He really gets me. I feel like Sally Field at the Oscars in 1985. If he ever needs a place to stay in SoCal, no problem. This is it.

And now you know how old I am.

Wow! I’m in the spotlight at Tome Tender Book Blog!

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WHOOOOOOOOOOOP!

I am privileged this week to be featured on Dianne Bylo’s fabulous Tome Tender Book Blog. Dianne is a top-500 reviewer on Amazon and a VORACIOUS reader!!! She’s graciously offered to review and feature both of my books (plus the 2 anthologies) this week!!! What a fun ride! Thanks so much, Dianne!!!

http://tometender.blogspot.com/2015/05/spotlight-on-amy-gettinger-her-fun.html

And here’s her review of Alice in Monologue Land.

Alice cover 1

“Practice your snort laugh, you are going to need it and its okay if someone hears you, it means another author has done their job! Amy Gettinger has a story to tell and it’s one for regular women, and about regular women, because seriously, sometimes guys just don’t get many of a female’s issues or stumbling blocks in life. Meet Alice, single mom, struggling to make ends meet, be in three places at one time and now, a speaker for a unique women’s literary event. And she is trying to find a way out of it, desperately, because, really who wants to read a poem or anything about female body parts. Alice isn’t a groundbreaker, she’s good with not being up close and personal with her, um, you know…and the oppression women have felt over being comfortable with their bodies? Can’t call her a groundbreaker there, either.

Pretty sure you have figured out this is not drama, although Amy Gettinger does make some dramatic scenes come to life with a bit of mystery and edgy darkness. Ms. Gettinger is here to entertain and she succeeds admirably, from page one as she takes us through the chaotic life that belongs to her main character, Alice. From dark parking lots to students who are more than they seem, to pythons giving “hugs,” one must admire the character Alice or pray for her survival.
A fun-loving read, perfect to bring sunshine to even the cloudiest day, Ms. Gettinger lets us know it is okay to laugh at ourselves, just in case we can identify with Alice and that reading less than lofty tomes brings a certain sparkle and shine to the literary world. I might suggest you hang on tight, this tale has more spins than a tilt-a-whirl.”

http://www.amazon.com/Alice-Monologue-Land-Amy-Gettinger-ebook/dp/B00VVK8NFM

I am happy dancing all day today!!! Hope you’ll go over and check out her blog post–you can win gift cards!!!

What’s on Page 45?

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What'sonPage45

Wow! Two fun writing blogs about my book 2 days in a row! In honor of Chick Lit Month–May, on the Chick Lit Chat group on facebook. So what IS on page 45? Take a guess.

In Roll With the Punches, page 45 is where Rhonda realizes just how much hot water she’s in with her book having been stolen and her dad a sudden wild card—quite unpredictable and irrepressible (in layman’s terms: looney tunes) in his actions. Her mother is about to have surgery on a broken ankle, and Rhonda’s siblings are out of town. She’s really stressed out, waiting at the hospital. So take a guess what she does—what any red-blooded American librarian/novelist would do under such sudden, elemental, parental and societal pressure.

 

  1. She snorts a bunch of coke? Uh, nope. She’s too cheap to buy it. And being allergic, she’d probably sneeze it all into the next county. L. A. has plenty of drug problems without her adding to the mix.
  2. She gets drunk? Nah. Getting drunk is for wusses. Or for later in the day.
  3. She goes to the mall and buys out Nordstrom’s? Hah! With her credit score? Get serious. Besides, she still has t-shirts and shorts with a few good wearings left in them.
  4. She chows down on burgers and fries at McDonald’s? You have very bad taste in burgers. We may not let you guess any more.
  5. She does word scramble puzzles at the speed of light with the aid of her super color/letter sensitivity? BINGO! We have a winner! Of course, after that, she leaves her parents snoring in the hospital to hop in the car and head for the beach. A girl needs fresh air and gorgeous views to figure this hard stuff out.

 

Please join Rhonda in more of her rollicking, humorous chick lit mystery/adventure, full of fun and light romance: Roll with the Punches. Here is her blurb:

Falling is extra hard on tall people, like Rhonda Hamilton: the bone breakage, the bruises, the ignominy of it all. And Rhonda’s falling, hard. The latest novel from a reclusive national bestselling author is a twin to the manuscript she’s just finished and started marketing to agents. Some wild roller derby girls add a bludgeon of crazy to Rhonda’s hunt for the book thief, but can they find out the truth before her reputation tanks?

Plus, Dad is acting odd: storing milk in the garage and throwing away Rhonda’s clothes. Two drool-worthy guys offer to help, guys Rhonda would gladly fall for, if her life weren’t careening between crazy Dad, crazy-ass derby bouts and burlesque fundraisers, and crazy-inducing mudslides. Only one thing is sure: if she wants to nail the wily plagiarist and keep Dad safe, Rhonda had better stay up on her skates to avoid a very big fall.

 

http://www.amazon.com/Roll-Punches-Roller-Alzheimers-Plagiarism-ebook/dp/B00V5B3W12

 

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Pippa Franks – http://pippafranks.blogspot.com/2015/05/whats-on-page-45.html

Laura Kenyon – http://wp.me/p28QA1-1JR

Jayne Denker: http://wp.me/p2yU7r-gy

Gina Henning – http://www.ginahenning.com/blog/2015/5/4/whats-on-page-45

Laura Chapman – http://www.change-the-word.com/2015/05/chicklitmay-whats-on-page-45.html

Celia Kennedy – http://womanreinventsself.blogspot.com/2015/05/whats-on-page-45.html

Jennifer Farwell – http://jenniferfarwell.com/2015/05/12/whats-on-page-45/

Glynis Astie – http://blog.glynisastie.com/2015/05/whats-on-page-45.html

Tracy Krimmer – http://www.tracykrimmer.com/2015/05/11/page45

Jillianne Hamilton – http://jillianne-hamilton.com/whats-on-page-45/

Georgina Troy – http://georginatroy.blogspot.com/2015/05/chicklitmay-whats-on-page-45.html

Jennifer Collin – http://jennifercollin.blogspot.com/2015/05/whats-on-page-45.html

Samantha March – http://samanthamarch.com/chicklitmay-whats-on-page-45/

Sky Greene – http://livinglifewithjoy.com/2015/05/11/chicklitmay-whats-on-page-45/

Kathryn Biel – http://kathrynbiel.blogspot.com/2015/05/whats-on-page-45.html

Meredith Schorr – http://wp.me/p2PJqp-xV

Karen M. Cox – http://wp.me/p3IgXQ-nH

Jennie Marts – http://celiakennedy.weebly.com/promotions.html

Serena Clarke – http://wp.me/p2Z7wj-XU

 

GRAND PRIZE

1poundcaramelsforchicklitmay

A one-pound package of caramels from Whitney’s Goodies http://whitneysgoodies.com/  Winner can choose their flavor from those listed below.

The Girl Next Door (Crème Caramels): A scrumptious, full-bodied caramel. Old fashioned, melt-in-your-mouth bliss!

The Charmer (Chocolate Crème Caramels): This smooth, chocolate cream caramel will add panache to your day. An exquisite and elegant morsel, simply irresistible.

The Movie Star (Orange Crème Caramels): A timeless treat that will satisfy caramel fans of all ages. “The stuff that dreams are made of!”

The Bombshell (Lemon Crème Caramels): A bodacious bit of heaven with a bold citrus pallet. They will leave you satisfied and refreshed. Caramels are a girl’s best friend!

Always a Lady (Rose Caramels): A delicate bouquet of rose essence infuses this lovely caramel: alluring, tantalizing and reminiscent of another era. They are perfect for weddings and bridal showers. A definite for ladies who lunch or breakfast at Tiffany’s.

HOW TO ENTER

To enter, answer the following question in the comments section below. You can enter at each of the blogs participating in the pageant. That’s 37 chances to win! Entrants must leave their full name, along with an e-mail address. A winner will be chosen via Random.org on Tuesday, May 19th. This giveaway is open to residents of the USA only.

In 4 or 5 words, why do you think Roll with the Punches would be a good read? (Be sure to leave your email address to enter.)

 

Miss Chick Lit Pageant & Gift Card Giveaway

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MissChickLit2015

Miss Chick Lit Pageant & Gift Card Giveaway

Hi, I’m Rhonda Hamilton, representing the great County of Orange in California in this pageant! Yeah, California is so big, they only let me represent a county, not the whole state. (If those stubborn bloggers who still think I plagiarized my own book had anything to say about it, I’d only get to represent Acorn Street, Anaheim, where I grew up.) But hey, I’m 35 and writing full-time!—my third novel in my Science Blows Bigtime Series. I love fast food, men with big noses (well, one in particular), and Frisbee-catching dogs. And I love beating Dad at hearts—which is rare. Old codger is a sly dog. My dream is one day to find the perfect roller derby knee pads that will bounce me back to a balanced standing position on impact. A girl can dream, can’t she?

Rhonda’s Swimsuit for the Competition

MIAMI,  FL - MARCH 22: Derek E. Miller (L) and Alexis Krauss of Sleigh Bells perform at the Ultra Music Festival on March 22, 2013 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images)

(Photo by Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images)

Um, about that swimsuit. See, girly swimsuits? Who needs them? They’re totally archaic and require all that painful shaving. Ugh. Besides, when you’re built like a derby girl, let’s just say shorts and tank tops are a kinder option for both wearer and viewer. So after sweaty bouts, we rollergirls all head over to Hippo’s condo and dive into her community pool in our derby practice wear. One time, Cathy dove in with her skates on. LOL. Made swimming really hard. Then we all soak our sore, tattooed butts in the Jacuzzi with a brew in hand–a good brew, like a Fat Tire or a Sam Adams. Gotta admit we have good taste in beer. Of course, when I go swimming with my man at the new house, swimming suits are pretty much optional … but that’s another story.

Rhonda’s Talent Competition

Does interpretive roller skating count as a talent? Or I could show off my mean J-check. I am a gifted blocker, they say. And the derby girls and I do a corral move that will literally knock your socks off. Actually, if pressed to show a solitary talent, I could do 30 pull-ups in a row. Then a few dozen pushups and 200 sit-ups. Yeah, I know. Stellar, huh? Pretty sure I’m gonna win this thing.

Interview Question

Interviewer: So, Rhonda, if you were stopped by a police office for speeding, what excuse would you give for the rush?

Rhonda: You’re kidding, right? Me? Stopped by the cops? Never! I mean N-E-V-E-R! I am a totally law-abiding citizen. Now, Harley gets stopped every time we go out together. She’s collected a list of the traffic cops in the area. She knows them by name and knows just how to charm each one to let her off the hook, mostly. It *may* involve Starbucks and Krispy Kreme gift cards. Or not.

Interviewer: But if you were stopped … Surely, it happened once.

Rhonda: Oh, you mean that incident. Um. Well, my guy had gotten a bit drunk. Okay, snockered. So I was driving, and suddenly, he was all over me. And that nose—well, I guess I’m a sucker for attention to certain parts of my anatomy. In all the passion resulting, my foot got a bit heavy, and … Let’s just say the—er—cop that stopped me got a view of more skin than everybody saw at the Halloween Derby Fundraiser before the brawl. You’ll have to read about it. Um, I’m done now. Bye.

Interviewer: You’re blushing!

Rhonda: I am not.

Interviewer: Are too.

Rhonda: Shut up or I will punch you.

Read more about Rhonda Hamilton in Roll with the Punches at http://amzn.com/B00V5B3W12

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You too can be a derby queen, representing your own street in the pageant with a $100 gift card! The Grand Prize for this international drawing will be:

US/Canada winner – $100 gift card to Sephora

UK winner – £65 gift card to Lush Cosmetics

Australia winner – $125AUD to Mecca

$100

 Participating blogs:

Cait Reynolds – http://wp.me/p4jZS8-b5

Gina Henning – http://www.ginahenning.com/blog/2015/5/3/miss-chick-lit-pageant

Tracie Banister – http://traciebanister.blogspot.com/2015/05/miss-chick-lit-2015-chicklitmay.html

Amy Gettinger – http://wp.me/p4080t-25

Glynis Astie – http://blog.glynisastie.com/2015/05/miss-chick-lit-2015.html

Tracy Krimmer – http://www.tracykrimmer.com/misschicklit/

Maggie Le Page – http://hellopreciousbliss.com/

Kathryn Biel – http://kathrynbiel.blogspot.com/2015/05/miss-chick-lit.html

Laura Chapman – http://www.change-the-word.com/2015/05/chicklitmay-miss-chick-lit-2015.html

Contest Instructions: Answer the question below in my comments section in order to be entered in the giveaway. Be sure to include your email address with your answer so we can get in touch with you if you win! You can enter at each of the 19 blogs listed above, giving you 19 chances to WIN! A winner will be chosen via Random.org on Monday, May 18th.

Interviewer: So, blog visitor, if you were stopped by a police office for speeding, what excuse would you give for the rush? Don’t forget to include your email address in the reply.

Book Excerpt: Roll with the Punches

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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.”

“Not me.”

He gave me a measuring look. “You seem relieved.”

“Huh?”

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.”

 

Alice in Monologue Land Excerpt

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Alice cover 1

Alice shoved the scripts at Maya like she was sending a salad with a caterpillar back to the chef. She owed Maya something in return for the lunch, but reading one of these scripts? Aloud? On stage? No. Her whole body constricted at the thought.

Maya shuffled through them. “No, not ‘Venus Interrupted.’ It’s about the killing of innocent women all over the world. You know, like those awful honor killings and dowry deaths in Asia, the maquiladora killings in northern Mexico, and female infanticide in places like China.”

A chill went up Alice’s spine, and she heard Kali giggle from her shelf.

“Too depressing for you,” Maya said. “Ah, here. Try ‘Venus Nipples.’ Start here.” She shoved the whole script pile back at Alice, pointing to the top one with her long, slim index finger, so tan and refined next to the graffitied cast below it. “Aloud.”

Alice obeyed out of old habit. “I am Venus’s rosy, erect n-n-nipple, open and tamarind sweet, full and ripe and waiting, pulsing to nourish the world. My dark au-au-aureole, its rich coffee halo roots taste of warm bergamot, yearns and blooms, aches a saxophone echo of my plummy, t-tart Venus l-l-labia, q-q-quivers the sweet, tender—”

“Going to lunch with us, Maya?” came a tenor voice from the doorway.

“Ahh!” Alice lurched upright, clutching the scripts to her chest.

A shaggy male head in a worn-out baseball cap appeared at the office doorway. “Oh. You have company.” She saw worn brown corduroy pants on a medium, stocky build. His Birkenstocks stepped inside the doorway.

Alice saw a chance to bolt.

Maya said, “Hi, Joe. Lunchtime already? Alice, this is Joe Dancy from art history. He and I eat with a group of colleagues on Fridays.”

Alice stood and took a step, but her long, flowered skirt caught on her chair leg. Rip. Pulled off balance, she grabbed Maya’s desk, and the bundle of scripts fell through her grasp like pornographic confetti.

“Whoops!”

Private female words danced around the office floor like a bunch of naughty four-year-olds. Alice dove at the scripts, ripping her skirt farther.

But Joe, Boy Scout-quick, was already kneeling and chuckling at the top script. “Nipples? Lick me, suck, me, and drag me howling to your famished depths? Whoa, momma!”

Maya grabbed the script. “Joe, Alice here teaches ESL part time.”

In her mad scramble after pages, Alice mumbled hello.

Maya said, “Alice, what was your last name again? I’m sorry. My memory plays more tricks than Kali and Shiva together.”

“Hey, don’t call in your demons, Maya,” Joe grumbled. “I’ve got enough trouble this week, thank you.”

Alice finally looked up to see a wild sandy beard and sandy eyebrows to rival Groucho’s. Joe’s gray eyes lit up as he glanced at another script. “A climactic, pulsing, reverberating sunrise of glossy, moist, pink vibrations?”

Alice wrenched the whole paper mess from his hand. “Hi. I’m Alice.”

“Alice …?” he said expectantly.

“Chalmers.” Three … two … one. Alice evened the stack of papers and checked that her cell phone was on in case one of her kids barfed at school or her house caught fire. The best thing about her ESL students and city folks in general was that they didn’t blink at her famous name brand.

Joe nabbed three more scripts from the floor. “Oh, Nora Rohmer mentioned you.” Nora Rohmer was ESL department head. “She and I just served on the technology committee together. She likes your enthusiasm for the new classroom computers. They were her idea, you know.”

What a relief not to have to discuss her name further. “Always glad to be in good with the full-timers.” Alice performed her I-love-this-job-so-much-couldn’t-I-just-have-an-office-and-tenure-with-a-side-of-benefits? smile.

A wiry young woman with low-slung cargo pants, tiny tank top, four-inch platform clogs and Coke-bottle glasses slouched in. She reeked of cigarette smoke and fresh nail polish. “Lunch time, Maya. Get a move on! I f-messed up my toenail. Gotta get to a nail place. Now.”

“Go ahead, Lila,” Maya said. “I’ll lock up if we’re long.” She frowned. “Wait. Alice Chalmers. Isn’t that a famous actress?”

Joe fingered his beard. “No, I’m thinking a porn star.”

“Joe,” Maya laughed. “No sexual harassment. Please!”

Lila clomped back to her desk, shaking her head.

Then the corner of Joe’s mouth went up. “Oh. Allis Chalmers.” His eyes twinkled like a sandy Surfer Santa on a Laguna Beach Christmas card. “Listen, I’ve got car trouble. Do you rent out for towing? Or even better, for spring planting? My garden really needs work.”

“It’s not easy being green,” Alice sang. “Eight cylinders. Always towing a wide load, sowing seeds of knowledge, spreading around loads of sh—manure.”

Maya said. “Seeds? Manure? Are you a gardener, Alice? But a green toe? Isn’t it a green thumb?”

Joe cocked an eyebrow. “Alice will tell us over lunch. Won’t you?”

Buy the book here: http://www.amazon.com/Alice-Monologue-Land-Amy-Gettinger-ebook/dp/B00VVK8NFM

Spotlight on Amy Gettinger – Author of “Roll With The Punches”

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Look what my good friend and great admirer Paul De Lancey (Captain of Paul’s Fighting Flying Squirrel Squadron) did! He highlighted my book on his blog! Check it out for a fun excerpt from Roll With The Punches!!

Spotlight on Amy Gettinger – Author of “Roll With The Punches”.

I’m getting book reviews, good ones!

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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

http://tometender.blogspot.com/2015/04/roll-with-punches-story-of-roller-derby.html?zx=cd2c7253e6ccc176

 

for my big, fat awesome book!!

http://www.amazon.com/Roll-Punches-Roller-Alzheimers-Plagiarism-ebook/dp/B00V5B3W12