My short story, "Invisible," was selected as a winner of a $500 scholarship from WILMA magazine! I get to go to a fancy party!
If you're interested in reading and reviewing my latest from Kensington Book's Lyrical Liasion line, click here...Deadly Past has been uploaded to NetGalley, where it will be available as an eGalley until a few days after the book’s on sale date. After the eGalley is taken down from NetGalley, reviewers will no longer be able to download it there.
Can't wait to hear what you think of Cynthia and Charlie's story!
Lots of people didn't. It makes all the damage done to possessions seem like nothing. It was the trees. The soil was sodden with record rain fall this year, and add a category 1 hurricane to the mix, and boom. They all came tumbling down. I'm from New England, so the storm itself didn't seem more than a windy version of a regular thunderstorm, minus the thunder, strangely enough. There were moments of "train's coming" sounds that were worrisome, because I've lived through small tornadoes (tiny compared to what happens in the center of the country) and that's what they sound like...trains...but nothing so scary I couldn't just roll over and fall back to sleep.
We did learn tons. We will not be staying for a category 3, thank you very much. We will board up and take a vacation to someplace the storm isn't. A Cat 1 or 2 storm will topple your trees on your house. But a higher hurricane category? Trees won't stay put, and winds are mercurial, so that gorgeous live oak down the street might end up in your bedroom. The people that died the night of the storm mostly died because of trees falling on their houses. I'll take a strong pass on that.
But for a Cat 1 or 2, we will stay again, because Wilmington became an island after the storm. People who left are still having trouble returning. At one point, nothing but helicopters or boats could pass the flooding damage to roads and bridges, and for a few scary hours, we waited to hear if the water company would receive the necessary fuel to keep the water on. Next storm that we decide to stay for we will buy a generator. Our wonderful neighbor allowed us to hook our refrigerator up to his for the two days we were out of power (most were out of power for a week,) so our experience post #Florence was more glamping, than roughing it, and for that I'll be forever grateful.
The final thing I'll be doing is not panicking for days on end. My husband and I spent so much energy panicking, that by the time the storm left and all was (reasonably) well for us as a family, we were spent. Doesn't leave much for cleanup tasks.
It was a historic storm. We survived. The flood waters haven't crested yet in the Cape Fear River downtown, so needless to say, the cleanup hasn't begun for most businesses. Schools are still closed, and will be for another week, but businesses are beginning to open elsewhere, and life is starting to seem familiar again.
What I want to know is: "Is this the new normal?" I hope not. Meteorologists describe #Florence as "historic" so that suggests maybe Wilmington won't have to deal with this every year, but who knows? Certainly not North Carolina. "A new law in North Carolina will ban the state from basing coastal policies on the latest scientific predictions of how much the sea level will rise, prompting environmentalists to accuse the state of disrespecting climate science." abcnews.go.com/US/north-carolina-bans-latest-science-rising-sea-level/story?id=16913782 It sure would be nice if NC would get out of the way of our state's scientists so they can seek solutions to what might be, after all, a new normal.
A special shout out to @StarNews. A few days ago, when I saw this (below) on my driveway, I knew the worst was over. #SupportLocalNewsPapers
All boarded up. Sky's blue, air's still, heaven on earth. Waiting for #Florence to kick our collective butts, it feels as if the neighborhood is holding its breath. Only a few of us have covered our windows. Most don't think they need to, but I'm a born and bred New Englander (they call us Yankees in NC) and we survive by over-preparing. Weather kills up north. Here, it's looking as if the aftermath is what kills. The storm surges, the flooding... Not looking forward to weeks of no power, but I've a stack of TBR books, and I've a feeling life goes on here, power or no, so it will be an adventure. Wish us luck, and see you on the other side.
Just finished. My thoughts on this memoir have been percolating for days now. At first, it was hard to keep reading. Ms. Samuel did not lead an easy life. Meaning, in a perfect world, someone would have intervened and saved her. There was no saving going on in her journey, other than the saving she did. The old saying, "change anything about your life and you won't end up where you are today," has a whole new meaning to me now. Rather, I'm not sure the axiom is true!
I'm happy. Not MGM musical happy, but happy in my life. Sure, I have struggles, fears, thwarted ambitions, but I wouldn't change one thing if it meant changing how my life turned out. The same can't be said for Ms. Samuel. Change any number of things about her life, and she would still have been controlled by the labyrinth of Indian tradition. The die seemed cast at her birth. Fascinating story, but in ways that made me feel helpless, because it's my nature to fix sadness, because sadness is a horrible place to be. (Probably why I write romance.)
When I put the book down for the last time, it occurred to me Ms. Samuel wasn't alone in her experience. Sure, her particular circumstances were her own, but those same restraints, those same vulnerabilities her culture forced on her, could have been the story of most women, distilled to its essence. Born a woman, your world is immediately carved a little smaller depending on where you're born. But smaller, nonetheless.
"A Fractured Life," is a deep dive memoir into a different world (India) through the eyes of a woman who survived, and became stronger than those who relentlessly told her she was weak. It could have ended differently. It could have been a tragedy, but Ms. Samuel made this story uplifting and life-affirming.
I wouldn't be honest, however, if I didn't admit that this book broke my heart, while it impressed the hell out of me. Written as if we were chatting over a cup of coffee, it was accessible, (and after the first hard chapter, where I spent the whole time grimacing, needing to intervene in a family situation that happened fifty years ago) it was enthralling.
Great job. Five stars. A must read.
Repped by Louise Fury at The Bent Agency.