Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Grand olde dame

The heroine of this fine novel is in her seventies 

DRIFTING front cover
Readers will come to love feisty Charlotte “Muddy” Rewis who, despite the bad news in the world, triumphs by making a difference in her own way.

Chock full of humor…a beautiful story that makes you feel like you have been transported back to small town America.

- Winston Groom, author of Forrest Gump 


Book Reviewers, Bookclubs, please contact handell@summertimepublications.com

Bookstores: distribution by Ingram Book Group and Baker & Taylor ISBN: 9781940333090

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Mysterious Tall Dark Stranger in IKEA Catalog Thriller

"There's always a place at the table."*

The photo is idyllic: candles flickering, lamps lit, sun streaming in from windows on three sides, Olga - or Bertha or Inga? -  delicious  in her white blouse, a clean kitchen towel tucked domestically into her waist, as she welcomes the new guest.  On her bare left hand, she effortlessly balances a clear Pyrex dish. With her right she touches (leans into?) the door frame. Around the table, a luminous picture of harmony.

There is the white-haired matriarche from Stockholm. And, across from her, a husband, most likely hers. One guesses a devilishly sophisticated commodities trader from someplace at once hip and rural, like Bergen. He's got the grey hair, the athlete's bod, the bracelet, and a perfect two days of beard. At the end of the table, like bookends, two attractive young women, one a short haired blonde, the other a Magrebine beauty with a crown of thick curly hair. Sisters? friends? Lovers? It's such an exciting world! 

And next to her, standing, holding a stemless glasses, white smile brilliant against his dark skin, a handsome black man. There's something about him. Something special. Yes!  He's wearing a hat.  Inside! And standing up while all the other are seated. Is it possible he's just arrived?

The others all have plates of half eaten food before them, forks and knifes crossed on porcelain. Olga our waitress or other daughter whoever the hell she is - is she surprised? 

Why else would she have stopped at the door of the kitchen, casserole dish suspended in mid air? 

And why, oh why, is the man in the hat smiling at her in that way? 

But maybe perhaps you weren't expecting me? 

And yet, in addition to a good seat at the head of the table, there is an additional empty chair. So maybe he's not unexpected. Maybe she's not breathlessly exclaiming, "Oh, what a delicious surprise! Welcome!" but "Where the fuck have you been! You're two hours late!"

That chair, that haunting, not quite empty, chair.
It's not really empty. There's some kind of rug on it. Is it the IKEA bathroom mat he just bought and is bringing as an offering (thanks for lunch, have a bathroom mat). Is it a coat, so coolly fashionable that it has armpits - what is it?
With all those candles and light streaming in from three sides plus an additional two lights over the bookshelf we should be able to make it out. But we can't! It's as confusing and convoluted as a millennium thriller!

There's always a place at the table.

Yes! Maybe! No!

The tension is unbearable.

*Ikea France Catalog. Page 56.