Just In Time For Summer

Just in time for Summer

Crazy busy these days.  Two novels coming out June 7.

Forever Beach36kbForever Beach as Shelley Noble, about a young single woman’s determination to  adopt her foster daughter, but her only shot at protecting the child she loves is to enlist the help of her estranged former best friend, who betrayed her when they were both in the foster system and who is now a high profile family lawyer.

Fortunately her friends are there to help her to see her way through with support, love and good times at the beach—their Forever Beach

 

 

And A Golden Cage, the second of my Shelley Freydont, Newport Gilded Age Mystery, Golden Cage revisewhere headstrong heiress Deanna Randolph must solve another murder among the social elite.
With her mother in Europe, Deanna is staying with the Ballard family, who agree to chaperone her through the summer season and guide her toward an advantageous marriage proposal—or so her mother hopes. Relishing her new freedom, Deanna is more interested in buying one of the fashionable new bathing costumes, joining a ladies’ bicycling club, and befriending an actress named Amabelle Deeks. Mayhem ensues.

Read excerpts  at Shelley Freydont  and Shelley Noble.

And check out my blog tour schedule  on the announcements  page. Now back to work.

What’s your favorite kind of summer reading?

A To Do List, really

to doI’ve often wondered why I never get to the end of my to do list.  Today I finally got it, because it’s a to do list, not a done list, or a never mean to do list, but a to do list, and the items that you don’t get accomplished just get transferred to the next to do list.

I’ve noticed that the ones that get left over from the list the day before, are also the ones that don’t get done today or tomorrow.  There’s a message there.  So tomorrow i’m putting the ones still to be done tonight at the top of tomorrow’s list. Think I can make it work?

For example, this blog.  I have three novels and a novella coming out from now through September.  Just thinking about it amazes me.  I’ve been doing edits, copyedits, proof reading as well as beginning next years books.   (May the force be with me  . . .and you too.) I’ve written blogs for other people, but I forgot about my own.

But I’m still here and this year’s novels will be here soon.

Whisper Beach

Whisper Beach

My beach book comes out first.  It’s sort of a Big Chill -2015 Jersey Shore Edition story. Four childhood friends , well actually three friends and the other girl who sometimes hung out with them, come back as adults to attend a funeral.  Things have changed . . .or have they?  Maybe they are finally experiencing all the things about friendship that they never understood before.  But can they trust it?  Or each other?

It’s a theme I like to explore,  the meaning of friendship and trust and how far love can bend before it breaks.

What about friendship interests you most?

Whisper Beach June 16

Shelley Freydont mysteries coming in July, August and September.  Whew!

 

 

Where Did it Go?

320px-Photo_Quarter_Horse_RacingI know it’s only November and we still have Thanksgiving and December holidays to go before the new year.  But I woke up this morning and thought Yikes, where did my year go? I feel like I’m racing to the finish.

And how much can I cram into the last month and a half?

I had a great year.   Living at the shore is a sure fire way to reduce stress.  Stuck on a plot point? A the minute walk on the beach will fix that?  Well at least give you a new viewpoint when you return to the manuscript.

Did I bask in the sun all summer?  No.  I sat at my computer all summer.  All winter, spring and fall (so far.)  Am I a happy camper?

YES. YES. YES.

WhisperBeachIt was wild.  I wrote my next women’s fiction. Whisper Beach, which comes out in June.  About childhood friends who might or might not still be friends when the re meet at a funeral. A touch of the Big Chill Jersey Edition.

 

 

Then I wrote the first novel in a new historical mystery series (as Shelley Freydont). A Gilded Grave. It was really fun and hair-tearing.  Lots of research. But that’s the beauty of working at something you love, and feel compelled to do. It takes pace in 1895, the height of the Gilded Age in Newport, Rhode Island, which gave me a double dose of one of my favorite places because it came on the heels of my last Women’s Fiction Breakwater Bay which is a contemporary A Gilded Grave2 smastory set in Newport.

BreakwaterBay

 

 

 

And last but not least a new Celebration Bay novel and novella  to be out in time for Halloween next year.

It was a crazy year.  Crazy and beach-soothing. Did I feel like I missed anything?  Sure. Lots, but it was worth it.

I hope I get to repeat it next year. Though I will try to schedule better.

How did your year go?  Meet your goals? Sat back and enjoyed life?  A little bit of both? What do you love spending (almost) every waking minute doing?

 

 

Sand Surf and Carousels

We Jerseyans love our shore.  We go down the shore for vacations, for holidays, for relaxing, for inspiration, just for the heck of it.  Memories are made there. Lives are changed there.  And many good times have been had there.

Hurricane Sandy did a lot of damage.  It hurt individuals, families, friends, neighbors.  But in new Jersey’s indomitable spirit, everybody came out to lend a hand, donated goods, time and financial support, trying to make life a little more comfortable for those who lost their home, business or a loved one.

BUT WE’RE BACK!!!

Seaside Heights back and building

I’ve been busy with a bunch of deadlines and hours of writing, but I took a day off to drive over to Seaside Heights to see how things were going.

And they were going.  It was a Tuesday and though the boardwalk wasn’t thronged, it is the very beginning of the season, it was there and looking good. Arcades were open, games and food lined way.  Both carousels were up and running.

I’m a big carousel lover.  I’m exultant that I finally got to put a carousel in my upcoming book Stargazey Point.  The book takes place in a fictional town on the South Carolina shore, and strangely enough , though written well before Sandy, it’s about a town devastated by decades of hurricanes that looks toward its old carousel to lead it back into prosperity.

Yike’s, kind of scary.  Little did I know then that I would be getting first hand experience of how my characters were affected and how their lives were changed, and most importantly of all, how they made a comeback, stronger than ever.

Carousels are more than just a ride, a fun few minutes, to me at least.  They are symbols of childhood innocence, of hope, of dreams. A lot to ask of a ride that goes around in a circle with none of the high tech thrills and chills of being suspended in air, dropped through space, scared out of your wits. Up and down and round and round, sort of like life, and if you’re lucky there’s a brass ring to take home.

 

STARGAZE POINT

 

Here’s an excerpt from STARGAZEY POINT

Even when the carousel music slowly wobbled to silence, Cab could still hear it playing inside his head. Sometimes he heard it in his dreams and he and Midnight Lady would gallop over the sand, wild like the wind, his Uncle Ned had read that from a book once, wild like the wind.

His uncle locked up the carousel, stuck the cash box under his arm, and came to stand beside him.  “Tired, son?”

“No sir,” Cab said, stifling a yawn.

“It’s a mighty fine night, ain’t it?”

Cab nodded.  Stargazey Point was just about the best place in the world. Like living in a carnival.

Uncle Ned said goodnight to the women closing up the community store.  They were going home for the night, but out on the pier people played the arcades and ate cotton candy and drank lemonade.  If he listened real hard, Cab could hear music coming from the pavilion out at the end, where the grownups would be dancing to a real live band.

Ned put his arm around Cab’s shoulders.  “Time we were getting home.  Have us some left over barbeque and get to bed.”

They walked away from the beach, the lights, the sounds and into the night. They were half way home when Uncle Ned stopped in the middle of the dark street.  “Look up at the sky, Cab.”

Cab did.  The sky was black and there more stars than you could ever count. He sighed.  School would be starting soon and he’d have to leave his uncle for another year. He didn’t want to go, he didn’t like boarding school, everyone here was nice.

“I wish I could stay in Stargazey Point forever.”

“Maybe you will one day. It’s a magical place, sure enough.  It can mend your heart, make you strong, and show you the way to follow your dream.  You remember that, Cab. There’s not a better place in the whole world than right here at the Point.”

 

 

Monday and the Mental Health Day

I confess, I took off from my current work in progress Friday and went to the beach or as we say here in Jersey, down the shore.

I had way too much to do to think I could take off  like that, but it was the last day of summer and besides my mind was working so slow I knew I wouldn’t miss much while I was gone.

My beach pal picked me up  and off we went, beach chairs , umbrella , cooler. sun screen, books and even a notebook and pen in case inspiration struck.  It didn’t, but that was okay.

I spent the day reading someone else’s book, staring at the ocean, or closing my eyes and contemplating the inside of my eyelids.  Occasionally I’d take a short walk up the beach and back.  There was a handful of people on the beach catching the last rays of tanning weather.   A few read.  Most just sat back in their chairs, eyes closed  trying to soak in enough summer to last through the winter.

We left before rush hour so we wouldn’t get annoyed at traffic on our way home.   And there was a rush hour, all those people who didn’t play hooky to go to the beach.  Or those  who were coming to spend the entire last weekend of summer’s end down the shore.

I got home with no more words written than when I left.  But I felt energized and when I stopped to think of it, I had acquired several new characters to incorporate into some book some where at some time if I ever needed them. (The lady at the deli definitely will have a place in a future work.)

So I guess you could call it a working day off.  Or a field trip.  Or just being receptive.

I like to think of it as Down the Shore.

Where do you go for your mental health day?