12. November 2015 · Comments Off on Christmas is a-Coming … · Categories: Book Event, Domestic

And the goose is getting fat … time to put a penny in the poor author’s hat … yep, much appreciated, as the household account was depleted yesterday by the death of the Whirlpool dryer. Which, as the darned thing was twenty years old, was hardly unexpected; this was the last of the three household appliances that I purchased at the Base Exchange when I bought my house and moved into it in 1995. The washer was replaced two years ago, the refrigerator about 18 months ago, so the dryer was surviving on borrowed time, and becoming increasingly inefficient. This, in spite of having applied the business end of the shop-vac to the house dryer vent and cleared out all the lint … and seriously, the shop-vac could – in a colorful and slightly off-color simile – suck the paint off a car fender.

Anyway – off to the friendly neighborhood Scratch and Dent Super-Store, where amazing bargains are to be had, as the various large household appliances are available for quite good and readily negotiable prices (with delivery, installation and haul-away of the old appliance for an additional reasonable charge) since the items on hand are either slightly dinged, surplus to requirements at the original retailer, overages from the manufacturer, special-orders not redeemed at the last minute, et cetera. It’s a mixed bag, usually limited to what they have on hand at any given minute … but they will bargain, and we promptly had discounts on a suitable model which 9780989782050-Perfect.inddwas a good match for the washer – discounts for being repeat customers, veterans and referring neighbors right and left. We like this place – the sales staff have the authority to negotiate; so very rare in a top-down corporate enterprise world. Even with tax and delivery, the cost of a replacement dryer still came out to about two-thirds what it would have been new, from any other retailer. It was promptly delivered today … but in the meantime … the other schedule. The seasonal crush of market events begins for both my daughter and I, even before Thanksgiving. We have a full schedule of events, beginning this weekend and running nearly up to Christmas itself. I usually try and time my book releases for this season; this year it is different because a) two books are in play, and my daughter has co-author credit for one of them. She came up with the characters and the general plot, and I write the rest; fine-tune the plot, the conversations, and descriptions.

This Saturday is a craft fair in Bulverde, at the Bulverde Spring Branch Activity Center, 30280 Cougar Bend. Then, on next Friday and Saturday, the 20th and 21st, it’s the New Braunfels Weihnachtsmarkt, in the New Braunfels Civic Center. This is the planned launch event for both of the new books: Sunset and Steel Rails, and The Chronicles of Luna City. The New Braunfels Civic Center is at 375 S Castell Ave – which is the main street running east from IH 35 into the old downtown part of New Braunfels.

Then – we will be in Miss Ruby’s Author Corral, somewhere about Goliad’s downtown square on the 5th of December — sometimes the Author Corral is in one of the shop-fronts along Courthouse Square. We are tentatively set for an event in Helotes on December 13th, and we might still have the stamina for a final pre-Christmas market in Boerne on the following weekend.

9780989782241-Perfect.2.inddOf the two books, Sunset and Steel Rails is a historical novel, set between 1884 and 1900, following the experiences of a young woman who comes west as a Harvey Girl. She is, all unknowing, related to the Vining and Becker families through her grandfather, who had a family in Boston … and another one in Texas, four decades previously. It overlaps with The Quivera Trail – and a fair number of characters from that book, and the Trilogy generally make appearances – but again, it is an independently-standing narration.

The Chronicles of Luna City is something quite different – an exploration of a little town in South Texas, through short stories, blog-posts and news stories. I’ve posted some of them here; sometime in mid-summer we were struck by an inspiration — what Cicely, Alaska, might be like, if it were in South Texas. Or Lake Woebegon, if the author was fond of and respected the people written about. Luna City is completely mythical, of course … but the characters and situations are based on real events, and some real people, whose identities … well, never mind. The Chronicles are enlivened by chapter-head illustrations derived from photographs I have taken, and it may amuse people to try and deduce where those buildings are really located. Both Sunset and Steel Rails, and Chronicles of Luna City are available in Kindle and Nook ebook forms, as well as in print, although the print version of Luna City may not post to Amazon and Barnes & Noble until next week, and the ‘look inside’ feature has not yet been activated.

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