The Seamless Web

My guest today is Joe Eliseon. He is looking at you over his glasses because he wants to make direct eye contact with you, dear readers, as he is about to share his interesting history with you.

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The well-seasoned old codger looked at me sideways, stroking his clean-shaven chin.  “You know, if we hire you, you’ll be the only lawyer in the firm with a beard.”

“What is it?” I asked. “Some sort of hormonal problem?”

Honest to God, I thought it was something in the water.

Times have changed since I was in law school, interviewing for jobs. I grew my beard back then, wanting to do something women couldn’t do, at least not well. Recruiters described a law firm as “casual” and “relaxed” if they allowed you to take off your suit coat on a hot day. The constant, staccato beat of secretaries’ typewriters told the partners they were making money. Big clients like insurance companies were pushing hourly billing as a cost-control measure.

Today, most law school graduates are women and scraggly beards pass unnoticed among the surviving but otherwise emasculated males. Suits and ties are reserved for court appearances, as if they were the wigs worn by British jurists. There are hardly any secretaries; lawyers do their own typing on keyboards that click quietly rather than clack loudly. Consultants and accountants tell you whether or not you’re making money. Big clients like insurance companies moan over the fact that hourly billing is bankrupting them.

And I don’t practice law any more. I write novels.

Why is that?

There’s no simple answer to the question. It’s like asking me why I became a lawyer in the first place. I’ve given simple answers to the latter question, but I find they change over time. The more I think about it, the more I remember little things that contributed to the decision. Some of them seem more important at one point, others at other points. They rattle around in my head and jostle for position. Figuring out your own motivations is damned difficult. It’s so much easier to figure out other people’s.

Maybe that’s why I write novels. Or I may just have stories to tell.

Let’s talk a little about my books.

I had written a number of short stories before I wrote my first novel, The Seamless Web: A Legal Comedy. In fact, SW started out as a short story about a young attorney who discovers how to manipulate the electronic records of legal cases and starts writing his own cases.  That’s the core of the novel, but the characters took over and ran off with the story. My protagonist, Pete Roselli, turned into the legal equivalent of Everyman, having to face the consequences of a little lie that keeps getting bigger and bigger. He finds that a lie, even a little one, leaves you at the mercy of all manner of liars.

My second novel is still a work-in-progress. It’s called D.P.W.: A Political Fantasy. It’s about politics as seen through the eyes of a low-level public employee, a snowplow driver in the Department of Public Works, who finds himself the target of a federal investigation into municipal corruption. Wondering why he has been singled out as a target for his pitiful nickel-and-dime graft, he consults his retired mentor in the Department. This mysterious character, who lives in a broken-down shack in the far reaches of the Department’s equipment yard, explains to him that he’s been targeted precisely because he is a small-timer. Our hero thereupon resolves to fight back by becoming the biggest crook he can be.

DPW’s almost done. I’m finishing up the third draft. I’ll need to do a fourth. But it will be ready for release by summer 2016. Of course, that’s what I said last year.

While you’re waiting, I really do recommend my short story collection: Five Minutes More and Other Stories,  in which I skip from haunted law firms to time-travel to ancient Sicilian legends to science fiction to gods new and old.

And visit my Google+ page, where you’ll find links to a baker’s dozen of free short stories that I ought to be charging for.

Full Edition FINAL

Visit Joe’s website:

http://joeeliseon.com/

There you will find all his book information, and if you click on “Contact” on the menu at the top, you can find all the links to his wonderful sites and podcasts.

 

 

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Holiday Reading – Julie Ryan

Ready to add to your holiday reading list? Here’s author Julie Ryan to share three of her favourites with us, and two of her own novels as well.
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Why not add these to your list?
Three books I enjoyed –
The Little Bookshop on the Seine – Rebecca Raisin
One Wish in Manhattan – Mandy Baggot
My Big Fat Christmas Wedding – Samantha Tonge
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Link to Pandora’s Prophecy on amazon.com
And watch for “Callie’s Christmas Countdown” coming out on amazon in early December:
Christmas countdown

The Wind Weeps – Chapter One

The wild winds weep,

And the night is a-cold;

Come hither, Sleep,

And my griefs unfold.

From Mad Song by William Blake

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Part One

The Fledgling

Bored, the nestling looks about,

Adventure calls, and she leaps out.

On untrained wings she flutters down,

A spastic fledgling, faltering.

Too far from home, and on foul ground,

She shrinks from shadows all around.

Oh woe, the hasty choice she`s made.

Too late, she is awakening.

A shocking truth, Reality.

She fights to keep her dignity.

-Anneli Purchase

Chapter 1

I knew I must have the wrong address. He was absolutely stunning. My heart fluttered and thudded frantically. Heat rose to my face. I ducked my head in embarrassment, but couldn’t keep my eyes off him.

I glanced at the scrap of paper in my hand—Single girl looking for roommate to share expenses. Call Monique. 604-483-5866

The guy who opened the door to the ground level basement suite was serious model material. Lean, broad shoulders, tight jeans, red plaid shirt—the healthy, outdoorsy type. His dark brown hair stuck up in spiky tufts when he took off his cap to greet me.

“Hello. Ah … er … Is Monique here?” I rechecked the address I had scribbled down when I talked to Monique on the phone. “Maybe I have the wrong place?” I backed up a step or two, looking for the house number again, unsure what to do next.

“Andrea?” he asked.

I nodded. “Do you live here?”

“Of course.” He looked puzzled by my question.

Three’s Company? What was I getting myself into? “Monique didn’t say there was another person sharing the suite.”

“No, dere isn’t. It will be just de two of us.”

“I don’t think so.” No matter how good looking he was, no matter how tempting he was, I wasn’t about to move in with a man I’d never met before. I turned to leave.

He reached for my hand and pumped it up and down. “I’m Monique.”

“You’re Monique?” I stood there with my mouth hanging open as a second surge of warmth crept up my neck to the roots of my hair.

“Don’t worry. It ’appen to me all de time. People t’ink I am a boy because of my short ’air and de way I dress.”

“I – I’m sorry. How stupid of me.” Relief—and disappointment—washed over me.

“Come in. ’Ave a look around and see if you like de place. You say you from Ontario?” I nodded. “Eh bien, we are almost neighbours den. I am from Québec.”

“Have you been in B.C. long?” I scanned the room behind her as we talked. The place looked clean and bright.

“About a year.”

“So what brought you here?”

“Why did you come ’ere?” She smiled as she threw the question back at me. “Probably de same reasons, eh? To be by de sea, to get away from de crowd, to be independent, to find romance, adventure? Am I close?”

“You’re right on.” We’d get along very well. “I like the place and if you like me, I like you.”

Monique smiled broadly displaying beautiful white teeth.

“So you would like to move in?”

“I think so. Yes. But, Monique, if I don’t find a job. You know … I explained on the phone I can only pay for a month or two if I don’t find work soon.”

“Dat’s no problem,” she said. “Dere is always work around ’ere in de tourist season and den after dat, we see.”

She sounded so sure of herself. I wished I had her confidence. It had taken every bit of courage I could muster to come out here by myself.

“It’s too far. Won’t you change your mind?” My mother had clung to me, her face wet with tears. I almost changed my mind right then.

My dad shook his head. “I don’t suppose there’s any way we can convince you to stay? I hope you won’t regret it. You’re too stubborn for your own good.”

I had put on a brave face and said something clichéd, like “I’ll email you,” but I had no idea if I’d even have access to a computer in Lund. It looked like a small place when I had chosen it at random on the map. As it turned out, I was right. It was a very small hamlet over four thousand kilometers from home.

No job, only $800 in my purse, no family, no friends—and now this gorgeous hunk of a man turns out to be a woman.

*********

You can download The Wind Weeps ebook for FREE from all Amazon outlets:

amazon.com

amazon.ca

amazon.co.uk

amazon.de

or from smashwords.com (especially if you have an e-reader other than Kindle).

Miriam Wakerly Revisits the Sixties – Secrets in Appley Green

 My guest today is the lovely Miriam Wakerly. You may remember her from other posts when we introduced her novels “Shades of Appley Green,” “Gypsies Stop tHere,” and “No Gypsies Served.” I’m happy to host Miriam again to tell you of her latest novel. portraitmw

Anneli has been sharing writerly tips for a while now over on the LoveaHappyEnding Lifestyle magazine. http://www.loveahappyending.com/category/writing-advice/ It’s wonderful how authors help each other. Thank you so much for having me on your website, Anneli.

I have started running writing workshops with the rather stupendous idea of covering all aspects of novel writing in three hours! The workshop preparation and process has rekindled in me a love of writing and all the challenges it poses. It is rather like learning to drive at first, with so many different things to think of, especially in those all-important opening lines, pages, and chapters.  Setting the scene, developing a style, introducing and growing  characters the reader will care about, planting credible hooks to keep the reader turning the pages, with the overall structure and way forward always there in the back of your mind – it’s daunting sometimes but wonderful when it all comes together. The best bit is when your characters begin to think and act for themselves in a given situation. Then you know they have become ‘real’, yet still creatures of fiction.

Going back to my teenage years, riding on a wave of nostalgia, made me think hard about the Sixties. How different 1960 was from the years that followed!  The attitudes and general way of life particularly fascinated me and made me ponder on how much those of us who can remember the Sixties have changed since then – apart from simply growing older. Having said that, human emotion pretty much endures – the pain of injustice, rejection, and lost love, the double-edged joy of being in love, the happiness friendship brings, the spirits uplifted on a sunny day in a lovely garden.

The setting is an English village, the same place as my first three novels. If you’ve read any of my other books, Gypsies Stop tHere, No Gypsies Served and Shades of Appley Green, you will recognise some of the older characters – as they were over fifty years ago!

Three naïve, but very different, Appley Green schoolgirls pledge to stick together forever, but when one of them gets pregnant, this pushes their promise to the edge.

A young girl in need of love is vulnerable to the charms of an older man with heartbreaking consequences.

These are Great Britain’s Sixties, an exciting era, gathering pace, then in full swing as social change sweeps aside past attitudes, laws, fashion, and culture. Youth is finding a voice as parents struggle to adjust.  Its characters span the full social spectrum and take us beyond Appley Green to Brighton, Margate, London, Vienna, and Paris.

Miriam Wakerly’s  Appley Green village stories all standalone and can be read in any order, but they are connected. This one can serve as a prequel to all three, especially Shades of Appley Green.

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I hope you enjoy Secrets in Appley Green – A 1960s village novel. The Kindle version is available on amazon outlets, paperback to follow within a few weeks.

Links: 

Blog: Miriam’s Ramblings 

Miriam’s books in the UK:  Amazon.co.uk  

Miriam’s books in the US and Canada: Amazon.com 

Llm link to articles about English village life: