Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Is Life Stranger Than Fiction?

Is life stranger than fiction? It depends on who's talking because each person has a different answer.
In March of 2014, this upside down rainbow appeared in the sky above our house. I saw it through our skylight. I'd never seen anything like it before. If I told you what I saw, you'd think I made it up. But it was real. It's actually called circumzenithal arcs. Normal rainbows are caused when light refracts through raindrops, mist, or even sea spray. The upside down rainbows are caused by ice crystals in the air, not rain. Pretty strange? Not if you're a scientist.


Here's a double rainbow, a little more common but still unusual. It was taken in August 2015 outside the Snow Library in Orleans, MA. Double rainbows are formed when sunlight is reflected twice inside the raindrops. The second rainbow usually sits outside the first and looks dimmer. Because of the angle of the reflection, the second rainbow appears with the opposite color scheme to the first.

 Why am I writing about weird rainbows? It's just a segway into what I really want to write about, which is... Are my stories beyond fiction? Do characters in my novels resemble me and my life? Of course they do.


Let's start from the beginning. Did my husband, Tim, and I uproot our three teenagers from their birth home when we turned forty and move across country to Cape Cod like Nancy Caldwell did in The Old Cape House?  Yes, except she had four children and then one more came when they arrived on the Cape.  In actuality, I had two more children when we moved here and I was over forty years old. That's even our house on the cover of the book.


Some of my readers think that my present day character, Nancy Caldwell, is beyond fiction and totally unrealistic. How can a stay at home mom raise five children with only the support of a husband who's an artist? Well, I did.

Tim has been a professional artist for over 35 years. I may have stayed home but always worked as his accountant, business manager, and PR person. We continue to be a good team and our daughter Heather, has owned Struna Galleries – Chatham for the past eighteen years, helping us keep the business in our family.

Have I had nannies and housekeepers over the years like Nancy Caldwell? Yes, I hate to clean.


Did I ever find treasure like Nancy Caldwell? It depends on what treasure means to you. I've never found diamonds, jewels, or pieces of eight. But I did find the wreckage of an old 20th century ship.

                                              An old boot from 1900 with a wooden heel.


                                                    It had a lot of teeth marks all over it.

                                                          The carcass of a whale.

      I've dug up a toy gun from 1940, just like Nancy Caldwell did in The Old Cape House.

On the Brewster tidal flats, I found a beautiful blue flowered pottery shard. This find actually sparked my imagination for the second novel, The Old Cape Teapot.


These shards and old pipe stems are my treasures.

Can you still find treasure? Yes. Here's a link to an archived blog about treasure.

Can you still find treasure?


For those of you who doubt my characters and their actions and think they aren't believable, I want to tell you that many plot points come from real events or people I've met in my life. Finally, I like to live my life following the proverbial saying, 'what if' or 'it could happen'! I guess I'll always want to open that door, look inside the box, or take that first step into the unknown...that's what makes everything interesting.









Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Springtime, Sales, Giveaways!

 
Springtime in Brewster near Eagle Point. This moss–lined path led Tim and I on a journey where we discovered some unique images from nature.
We may be on the cusp of spring but these frozen ice sprays tell a different story. They were formed on a windy and cold morning a few days ago on the edges of Upper Mill Pond.

That same day Tim and I drove to Nauset Beach in Orleans. Quite a different sight in early spring. We were the only ones parked in the usually busy parking area. We headed for the beach.
As we exited up a dune, near Liam's Clam Shack, we found two interesting items leaning near the boarded up seaside restaurant. Look closely - there's an iron ball encrusted on the side, next to remnants of bottles.
Lost items on the ocean floor oftentimes become embedded or concreted onto other larger things laying at the bottom of the ocean. This looks like an old spring, maybe from a wagon that harvested peat to sell in Boston around the turn of the the 19th century.

Take another close look and you'll see the bottom of a boot sticking out. There were also pieces of glass, nails, and wood that seemed to be frozen in time against the metal.
And now that I have your attention, The Old Cape House–ebook will be on SALE for $0.99 until March 10 on amazon. Then it will be on SALE for $1.99 until March 12. It's called a Kindle Countdown. When you follow the link to Amazon, watch the clock mark off how much time is left for each sale.The Old Cape House–ebook
AND...Enter to win an autographed copy of The Old Cape Teapot on Goodreads. If you're an avid reader on Goodreads, enter your name to win a copy or sign up to join this great source for finding the right book for you. Giveaway portal is at the top of my blog.





Monday, February 8, 2016

Isn't the internet wonderful?


I'm traveling and I can still promote a sale on my historical fiction, The Old Cape Teapot. Isn't the internet wonderful?



I can hold my grandchildren in Los Angeles and Juneau, Alaska and take care of what I need to do. From bottles to bylines, I can make it happen.

So from Feb. 8-10 it's FREE on iTunes and .99 on Amazon!!


Free and .99 books

For those of you in New England, it's a great time to find a wonderful book to read during the storms.
Enjoy!!

Monday, January 25, 2016

Walking Crosby-Winter 2016

Crosby Scott
Tim and I are walking Crosby. No, not our new handsome grandson, Crosby Struna, but Crosby Beach in Brewster.

In the aftermath of the weekend's storm, Cape Cod proved to be lucky. We only had 5-10 inches of snow. Other states along the Atlantic coast didn't fare as well. So when the sun came out today, we left our cozy home to explore the beach at Crosby Landing.


Brewster had cleared a small circle for any hearty beach-goers. We parked, buttoned up, and headed for the beach.

A layer of gray slurry had formed about 100 yards wide. Undaunted we continued down the dune and turned to the left to a small path other people had carved out.




To our surprise, the snow, wind, and water had created a mass of ice across the top of the breakwall. It resembled an upturned boat. Then we turned to inspect the white line of ice and snow that lined the whole coastline.

video


Through a combination of cold temperatures, ocean, and snow, the gray slurry had formed a dam. It was approaching high tide but the water was held back by this temporary barrier. In 28 years here on the Cape I'd never seen anything like it. I'm sure it wasn't new but I hadn't seen it.

As we walked the frozen beach, we couldn't help but be reminded of a few years ago when our oldest son, Scott, married his beautiful wife, Carly, on the beach at Crosby Landing. They even got engaged there. It's very special to the young couple. Hence, little Crosby!

 It was a beautiful summer day for their wedding. Quite a difference from the January picture.

Behind the happy couple you can see the top edges of the breakwall that was covered in a huge ice drift on January 24.  Every year when they come to Cape Cod, Crosby Landing is the first place they visit after giving us some hugs and kisses.

During the recent storm that blanketed the Cape with mounds of snow, I was cozy inside...writing. And I'm happy to say that my third historical novel is just about finished. Only a few chapters left to wrap everything up. I think it's going to be almost 88,000 words and titled, The Old Cape's Hollywood Secret. Another page turner you won't want to put down. It takes place in 1947 and present day. My character, Nancy Caldwell, follows her detective instincts on a journey from Hollywood to Cape Cod. Along the way, she solves a cold case that involves the disappearance of a young Cape Cod woman and uncovers a one-of-a-kind treasure.

Just in case, you're looking for a good winter read, my other historical fictions, The Old Cape House and The Old Cape Teapot are available on Amazon, B&N, iTunes and many bookstores on Cape Cod. See list on the sidebar. Oh, and we still have skunks but they're almost gone!

Friday, December 25, 2015

Home is where your heart is....


My three sons live far away, anywhere from 3000 to 4000 miles away. I'm grateful that my two daughters live close, one is a mere 70 miles and the other lives right in our little town. But the distance doesn't separate us from the love that we share as a family. We text, skype, and actually even call on the phone and I know that wherever my children make their home, they're happy, safe, and loved.  I think what I miss the most are the hugs, of course, my dear sweet husband is right there with open arms.

So I made a little video of our house for them to enjoy on Christmas. 


video

My greatest gift to them is love and looking at the world as a magical place, where your dreams come true. I've always told them, Never Lose The Magic!

And my wish for you is the ability to enjoy the world around you through eyes filled with Love, Peace, and Wonder.
  See you next year.

Friday, December 4, 2015

The Old Cape Teapot ebook sale and ...skunk!?

                                           ON SALE  
                                          
                READ The Old Cape Teapot FOR $0.99

                           Friday 12/4/15  to Monday 12/7/15
      
    Regular Price $3.99  ebook $0.99

 

Mystery with a touch of history! Join present-day amateur sleuth Nancy Caldwell in this tale of treasure and a pair of pirates that crisscrosses centuries and locales from Antigua to Cape Cod.

Nancy uncovers a pirate mystery in the historical fiction, The Old Cape House. Was she lucky or a good detective? Now she returns in The Old Cape Teapot, the second in a series, to follow the trails of two survivors from the wreck of the 1717 pirate ship Whydah. Armed with the knowledge that in pirate culture the looted riches were equally shared, she takes us to the tropical island of Antigua and back to Cape Cod searching for clues to more treasure. Using alternating chapters from the 18th to the 21st century, danger and conspiracy follow her at every turn. What will help her this time?

 Amazon

Barnes & Noble 

iBook 


This is such a good sale. But Wait! There's more....

A few weeks ago, Tim and I were settling in for a warm cozy night by the fire. I suggested a movie and some popcorn.

"Great idea," said Tim.
   
I got up off the couch for the remote while Tim retreated into the kitchen to make popcorn. That's when I smelled something other than popcorn. "What's that smell?" I asked over the popping noises in the microwave.
   
"What do you mean?" yelled Tim from the other room.
   
I said, "I think I smell skunk!"

   
"Let me check out the back door," I said opening the porch door to hopefully find that the skunk was outside.
   
Tim responded with, "I'll see if I can smell it in the front on the road."
To our dismay, it was only inside. After airing the house out, we spent the night googling how to get rid of skunks.

The next morning we scoured the foundation of the house and gallery for any signs of entry. We first found only one, it was under the lattice work that hides the bottom of the gallery porch. Then we noticed some furious digging near several other sections. After lifting a few porch floorboards we found their entry. They had gone in by the porch, then dug under the old carriage house, that is now the gallery, then crossed over to an opening by our addition and into one of the bays in our basement.

Then we made a plan. We found that they do not like noise and lights because they are nocturnal animals.    

So...we tried to discourage them.

We put spotlights, dirty kitty litter, and ammonia soaked rags to replicate the presence of a different animal around the hole. We did this for at least two days, then we thought talk radio would do the trick for annoying noise and put a radio on in the basement. 24/7!!!  At night we turned it down a little because we had to sleep.
   
On the third day, Tim decided to stay up and see if he could see them leave for the night. He attached heavy roping to the top of the area they dug so we could see if they went in or out. 

That night, we stayed up and finally heard a thud around 2AM in the basement. We quietly went out into the gallery, looked out the door and down to the foundation for any sign of movement. Two ropes were pushed out signaling the skunk left. As Tim grabbed a shovel to begin digging up the dirt to seal off the opening, a second skunk came out! And went right back in! At that point we went to bed. The next morning we called in the Calvary. 

 Perry LePews. Yes, that's the company's name. It caused us to snicker but then they got down to business.
They set one trap at the entrance of the porch to catch them on their way out and another near the second entrance hole.


After two more days they caught them both, using cat food.

So we asked them what they were going to do with our two furry friends. They said they would release them on the property. 

What!?? Yes. It's the humane way and also a law in Massachusetts. They keep them in the traps for two more days with food and water. The methodology is to make the animals uncomfortable so they never come back. It also gives the homeowner a chance to secure their house.

And so while our two uninvited guests were in jail, they secured the house and closed the entry.

Then they released them back in our woods. But the story doesn't end here. Someone came back and tried to get in again. There was one spot way on the other side of the foundation that was missed when they put the heavy gauge wire in and under the dirt closing off the entry. Yes, you guessed it. They returned. We are now waiting to see, via a camera supplied by LaPews,  to see who is visiting us again. Stay tuned for more.

Oh, and don't forget, my historical fiction thriller, mystery, THE OLD CAPE TEAPOT, is on sale for $0.99! 
P.S. You can be sure the skunk scenario will be in my fourth novel.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Read The Old Cape House FREE!

Here's your chance to get an ebook copy of The Old Cape House for FREE from November 9 - 14 Get it FREE on Amazon!




                                                               The Old Cape House

Subscribe to Runaway Goodness, a wonderful site where you can find bargain and FREE ebooks for your reading pleasure. Sign up for free.
You can find The Old Cape House under Historical Fiction on this site. Easy to sign up.


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Stay tuned for my next blog, "What smells so good? Skunk!!