2014 in Review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Happy End of This Year!

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I wasn’t going to share this report – partly because it shows how small, how humble my blog and novel are. Plus I figured statistics would bore you.  But everyone else was sharing theirs, so I joined the crowd.  That said, here’s my Annual Report from WordPress for my blog.  It was nice of them to give me the fireworks.

.1916 Toasting

Just one other thing.  Many years ago I made a New Year’s resolution that I’ve never broken – not to make New Year’s resolutions. So to keep me from breaking that decades long string, I will resolve today.  What?  To say I was brought up to be unassuming and humble is a huge understatement. I got into trouble if it so much looked like I was about to say something good about myself.  Imagine how I cringe at all the self-promoting I have to do as an indie writer.

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It has always been a simple expression of humility (not a self-abasing thing) that in personal (and blog) communications, I sign my name with a lowercase “t.”  (I never do that in business though.) However, to help me stop cringing every time I advertise my books or myself, I hereby resolve (note it is not a New Years resolution, LOL) to stop signing my name as teagan, and always use “Teagan.”

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Want to share a non-New Year’s Resolution? Leave a comment with it.

Hugs,

tea… I mean Teagan

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 10,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 4 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Rewind – Three Things Episodes 29 – 30

Welcome back to the Jazz Age and our little 1920’s serial story.

There are so many different (not to mention fascinating) holidays at this time of year.  Whatever you may have celebrated — or perhaps you choose not to honor any day at all — no matter what the case, I hope it has been a time of happiness, health, and satisfaction for you.

Guitar Mancer Cover 11-28-2014

Click for clues and my inspiration

I appreciate each of you for sticking around for this “rewind” of the original interactive serial.  With work and other things, my writing time is very limited. So this rerun has given me a little time to work on novels in progress.

Atonement Tennessee

Available at Amazon

I’m still fleshing out the draft for The Guitar Mancer.  The mythology I created for that story (National Novel Writing Month 2014) took me to unanticipated scenarios, causing me to stumble for awhile. But now I’ve embraced that part of the story and come to love the difficult turn.

However, I have a bit of angst about working on this new novel. I’m such a slow writer that I really should have skipped NaNoWriMo this year and focused on book-2 of Atonement, Tennessee.

atonement_in_bloom_1_03-24-2014

Click for Pinterest board

Atonement in Bloom, the sequel, still gets tended and nurtured as I go along. The new supernatural characters are leafing out, and the seed of the mystery subplot has sprouted and ripened in my mind.

Enough of my rambling. “Everything’s Jake,” as Pip would say. On the first weekend of 2015 I will conclude this rewind.  Lord David Prosser supplied the “things” for the conclusion.  Those things were just the bee’s knees. They really took control and led to such a strong concluding episode that I had to divide it into three parts.  So today I’m giving you Episode-29 and part one of the conclusion.

Join me for a cup of java, and let’s get a wiggle on with this rewind.

Original Introduction to Episode 29

Lord David Prosser, of the Barsetshire Diaries, sent three things that immediately took my imagination to events that would lead to an exciting conclusion for the storyline!  (For now I’ll let you wonder what I will do with “Pyx, Clasped Hands, and Harpsichord.”) However, I needed a segue before that episode, so I elected to first use the three things sent by a dear friend in New Mexico.

Without further preamble, here is episode 29 of the Three Things Serial.

29.  Cypress Tree, Mosquito, Gams1920s Paper Moon Couple

All the Fabro cousins stood on one corner of the deck, apparently just beating their gums about nothing in particular while they fished.  Frankie swung his fishing line out into the water, and then looked up at me with that adorable lopsided grin of his.  Okay, so it’s just the way my pop raised me… so I don’t talk a lot about these things, but I had gotten pretty sweet on Frankie.

In case you’ve forgotten, the yacht was on the way to the Ca’ d’Zan mansion in Sarasota, the rich circus magnate having invited everyone for the trip.  We barely had enough time to hurry back to the office building where most of us lived (except the Fabros) and grab a few personal things.  Andy and Mona were below decks talking to Ringling about the Astronaute man’s short film idea, which was the impetus for the generous invitation to all of us.

Life October 1929As I walked across the deck toward Frankie and his cousins I pulled my sweater closer.  Around Sarasota it was 61 degrees Fahrenheit (°F), still warm compared to most places.  But out on the open water it felt a lot cooler to me.  My gams were freezing and I wished for some thick wool stockings, or — the flapper in me hated to think it, but maybe a longer skirt!

The boys didn’t seem to notice the cold.  All of them had their shirtsleeves rolled back.  That was the first time I paid any attention to the tattoos.  They all had the same one on their forearms.  Once I had asked Frankie about his, but he seemed shy about it and conveniently put his arm around my shoulders where I couldn’t see the tattoo.  It was of a Maltese cross inside a triangle and it had a spear through it.

The men abruptly stopped talking when I walked up.  One of the twins elbowed the other, Fred or Fedel — it was hard to tell them apart.  Flavio shot me a funny surreptitious look, but that was just him.  Charming as he was, he did have sort of an odd way about him.  For the first time I felt kind of awkward around the guys.  I shivered dramatically to cover my self-consciousness and commented on the weather.  “At least it’s too cold for mosquitoes!  Catching anything?” I asked.

Fred (or was it Fedel?) held up an impressive string of fish, and I made a big deal over them.  Frankie waived toward the shore.  I could make out some cypress trees and realized that there must be a stream or lake just beyond my view.  The yacht wasn’t too far from shore.  “My grandma always said that there’d be good fishing if a cypress tree was within sight,” he told me.1920s Cosmo Fishing cover

Frankie seemed to really love his grandma.  That was one of the things that endeared him to me.  I remembered the time he threw his shoe to stop the guy who broke into Boris’ place.  He had proudly said “Good thing I’ve got big feet!  I get them from my grandma!”

I chuckled at the memory.  He gave me a funny look for a second, but his smile never faltered and he reached out and pulled me closer to him.  I snuggled up under his arm — after all, it was kind of cold out on the deck.

***

Three Concluding Things Episode 30, Part 1

Clasped Hands, Harpsichord, Pyx

Ca'd'Zan Garden

Ca’d’Zan Garden, Ringling estate

I looked down at my clasped hands and told myself not to fidget.  My eyes wandered absently around the amazing rose garden of the Ca’d’Zan mansion.  I was vaguely aware of the cold bench on which I sat.  Even at that time of year some of the roses still bloomed.

Mona said something and I jumped.  I was so preoccupied that I didn’t even notice when she walked up.  “Why so glum, Pip?” she said with the smile that made everyone like her.  Mona the Movie Star sat down and put her arm around my shoulder and gave me a little hug.  “You and Frankie have a little spat?”

I shook my head and gulped.  Why did I want to cry?  Why should I?  There had never really been anything going on in the first place.  Mona hugged my shoulder a little tighter.  “Go ahead and cry if you want to, Sweet Pea.”1920s PhotoPlay

That name made me smile.  It was what a lot of people called my grandmother.  We both had P.I.P. as our initials, though when people kept spelling her name, Phanny with an “F” (making it Fanny), well Granny just went with the flow.

I brushed away a single tear.  “No, we didn’t fight.  I’m just feeling out of sorts.  I thought Frankie liked me, but all through the trip here, he acted like I practically didn’t exist.  It really doesn’t matter,” I said with a sniffle.

Mona handed me an embroidered handkerchief and I dried my eyes and blew my nose.  A window was open, and somewhere inside we heard the happy voices of Countess Babikov and her friend Mable Ringling.  “Please won’t you play, Bepa?” our hostess asked.  Then I heard charming music from a harpsichord.

“It sounds like those two are having fun,” Mona said.  “Why don’t we join them.  It’s a little too cool out here.  This bench is freezing my bottom!”

Rose covered doorWe stood to go inside.  Movement caught my eye at the far end of the huge rose garden.  It was one of the Fabros.  However, all four of them looked so much alike that it was hard to tell them apart from that distance.  He pushed back a thick leafy climbing rose and seemed to struggle briefly with something.  He looked over his shoulder and motioned to someone out of my view.  Stepping forward he disappeared into the vegetation.  Then two more Fabros followed, and finally a larger man. Comparing his height to the others, I recognized him for Frankie.

Before I knew what my feet were doing, they were taking me quietly down that path.  Mona grabbed my elbow, but followed.  I made a shushing sound when she asked what was going on.

“I don’t know,” I said.  “But I want to find out.”

 Stay tuned for more of these three things (Clasped Hands, Harpsichord, Pyx — especially Pyx) in part two of the conclusion.

***

Copyright © 2013 – 2014 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

All rights reserved.

No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission.  Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights.

All images are either the property of the author or from Pinterest unless stated otherwise.

Holiday Hosting: Chance to Win Books by Jo Robinson

Celebrate car in fireworksHello my friends.  As this year draws closer to a close, I feel a sense of gratitude, because I am sincerely thankful to each of you.  It’s been a very difficult year for me. Though that is because of a facet of my life that I don’t blog about, a few of you know some details. But that’s all beside the point. You — my friends here at Teagan’s Books, are often what gets me through the week.

I celebrate each and every one of you.  In doing that I decided to take time, before I get ready for the office, to give you a chance to win e-books from the extraordinary Jo Robinson.  That’s right — free books!  Jo is launching a new book, Echoes of Narcissus. So keep reading.  You’ll want to eat-up Jo’s books.

cat eat book

Now let’s get a wiggle on — heeeeeer’s Jo! 

Echoes Banner

Donna thought there was something wrong with her. That she was suffering from a mental illness that has caused her husband to despise her, distance himself from her, and cheat on her. She blames herself for the desolate, miserable thing that is her marriage and her life. Then she comes across a book that will change everything for her, and reading it, she discovers that there’s nothing wrong with her mind at all, but that there is something very wrong with her husband instead. Marco, she realises, is a malignant narcissist. A text book case. He has a real and documented mental disorder, and that he’s been controlling, manipulating, and abusing her for decades. The sudden full knowledge of all that he’s purposely done to her enrages her. Not sure how to leave after thirty years of what she finally knows has been intentional mental and emotional abuse from him, and believing that she has nowhere to turn, being so physically isolated, she bides her time.

Then she meets and befriends a group of unusual people who share her passion for gardening, and so begins her journey to escape. She joins her new friends in their project to assist elderly people in old age homes care for their small gardens, as well as secretly supplying those suffering from painful and terminal illnesses with medicinal herb and plant remedies, including illegal plants such as cannabis. As weeks go by, she delves into her memories, relearns what it is to be respected, liked, and loved again, and slowly she formulates a plan to safely leave her dangerous husband. But unbeknownst to Donna, Marco is in serious trouble, and has desperate plans of his own, and absolutely no regard for her safety.

** This is a work of fiction, but malignant narcissists really do exist, and it is a recognised mental illness. Unfortunately, many people never realise that they are involved with a narcissist, because their actions are so demonically bad as to be unimaginable and unbelievable, and so they spend their lives in misery, depression, fear, and isolation. If only by the accidental reading of a fictional story, I hope that this book will help even one person, unknowingly suffering narcissistic abuse, to realise that they don’t have to, and that it’s never too late to start over, be happy, be fulfilled, to love and care for yourself, and be truly loved and respected by others.

Narc12349N1T (2)

Available now from AMAZON

Jo Robinson very recently returned to her homeland, South Africa, after having lived in rural Zimbabwe for eighteen years. Her obsessive affection for the African continent, most humans, and all creatures feathered and furred are what inspire her writing. She is the author of African Me & Satellite TV, the science-fiction/fantasy series Shadow People, and a couple of short stories, which will be free to download from Amazon from 26 to 30 December, Fly Birdie and The Visitation.

To win eBook copies of Shadow People and African Me & Satellite TV, send Jo a message from THIS page.

Jo Robinson Photo.jpg 1.jpg 2

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Rewind – Three Things Episodes 26 – 28

Welcome back to the “rewind” of the first serial I did here at Teagan’s 1916 ToastingBooks.  The timing of the rerun of Episode-26 is serendipitous. In the original introduction I mentioned one of my friends in Albuquerque, New Mexico and some of the self-teaching she has done to learn about medical things, in order to help her family.  Just a few days ago I got wonderful news from her. You see, her husband underwent a very risky medical procedure. A long recovery time was ahead, even more so because of his very poor health. Yet he has left the doctors with their jaws dropped to their knees because of how fast he came around.

So dear readers, here’s to your health this holiday season!  

Ah, my foodie friends — I have not forgotten you!  Since I just made a toast, of sorts… that’s all it took to have me thinking of champagne.  So I’m giving a shout-out to lovely Suzanne at A Put in the Kitchen and pointing you to a tantalizing recipe she did this summer.  It features champagne grapes!  Click the title and check out this amazing dish!

Champagne Grape Galette with Whipped Goat Cheese

Now let’s get a wiggle on with this rewind.

 

Introduction to Episode-26

St. Joseph Sanitarium, Albuquerque, NM; 1920's

St. Joseph Sanitarium, Albuquerque, NM; 1920’s

I’m privileged to have a dear friend whom I also think of as a mentor.  For the majority of her life she has given huge effort to educating herself about complex medical issues that have touched the lives of her loved ones.  That truly amazing woman sent today’s set of “things” and as usual, my mind went to unexpected turns with our 1920’s serial, Three Things.

I confess that it took me a little while to work my way to angiogram!  However, it was enlightening, educational, and fun.  Be sure to check out the story that I did not tell, by clicking on the link near the end for Werner Forssmann.  It’s pretty amazing.

26.  Angiogram, Burglary, Cockroach

Countess Babikov was utterly fascinated with Pear the hedgehog.  She had pulled both Mona hedgehog in handsand me into conversation.  However, I still noticed when John Ringling covertly motioned to Frankie and they began a quiet little exchange on the other side of the room.

The fireman looked over at me.  Oh, he was hiding something; that was for sure.  Frankie was about as obvious as a cockroach going after a plate of leftovers.  But he pretended nonchalance.  His long legs took him across the cabin in two strides.  Frankie excused himself and put his hand on the lovely wood of the door.  Then he turned back and I saw the glint of an idea in his eyes.

He moved to the countess who was still on the sofa with the tattered quilt over her lap.  “Here ma’am,” Frankie said bending down.  “Let me take this dirty old thing and get you a nicer blanket.  Something that smells nice and fresh.”

The circus magnate’s eyebrow shot up and his lips pursed.  I could tell that Frankie had just done something unexpected.  Ringling seemed to guess what the young man had in mind.  But I couldn’t imagine what he was up to!

After a moment, the millionaire left briefly and returned with a soft wool blanket.  He carefully placed it over the white-haired woman.  I asked him where Frankie had gone.  I felt a sudden pang of worry.  First 1920s 4_guys_carthere’d been a shooting with the countess being abducted.  Then the same night a burglary at Boris’ place.  Now the older woman was safe and sound, but the kidnappers were still free.  And I had a hunch they wouldn’t be satisfied with the payoff John Ringling gave them for very long.  I felt worried thoughts taking a firm hold on my mind.  My face must have showed it too.

“Don’t fret,” the millionaire told me with a tight smile.  “He’s going with a few of my men to fetch Boris.”

That statement got a pleased response from Countess Bepa.  She had taken Pear out of his lunch pail and held him in her lap, but her eyes were looking sleepy.  I thought the brandy was finally kicking in, and silently blessed the millionaire for skirting prohibition and having that kind of hooch on hand.

I wasn’t very pleased with this turn of events.  I should have gone with them to get Boris.  He hardly knew Frankie.  The retired dancer would feel less threatened if I was there.  I started to protest, but I already knew that somebody would tell me that it might be dangerous and that it was no place for a woman.  Now, I ask you — what self-respecting flapper could sit still for that?  However, a glance at the countess silenced me.  I didn’t want her to hear the word “danger” in the same sentence with “Boris.”

Ringling deftly changed the subject by complimenting Mona, and it quickly turned into a discussion of her acting career.  “My dear, you move with a natural grace,” he told the brunette.  “Have you ever worked on the trapeze?”1920s circus acrobats

While Mona replied animatedly, I looked out the porthole at the strangest sight.  Flavio and two men I hadn’t seen before got onto the old fire truck.  Even at a distance I could see that Frankie’s cousin still didn’t feel well.  One of the men helped him up onto the truck.  The really strange thing was what appeared to be a very large old woman hunched over a cane and hobbling along with two burly men.  They got into a sedan and sped away.  I couldn’t see what the woman looked like because she was huddled in an old quilt.

Then I turned an accusing look on Ringling.  That quilt was the same one the countess had been using.  And it had to be Frankie under it.  Was Frankie setting himself up to lure out the villains?

The circus magnate shot me a silencing glare and pointedly looked at the countess.  I could tell he was concerned about her, so I held my piece.  The white-haired woman was dozing quietly with the little hedgehog snuggled in the blanket.  Mona looked at them fondly.  She seemed to have had an instant rapport with the older woman.

“Why don’t you young ladies go enjoy the party for awhile,” Ringling suggested kindly.

Mona and I softly closed the cabin door behind ourselves.  As we approached the room where I had found the microscope, I heard male voices escalate.  One had a German accent.  We paused at the open door because we were so startled.  A bunch of brainy looking guys sat around the table.  The one with the German accent waived his arms in frustration.

“Calm down Werner,” another man said to him.  The guy on the other side of him said in a calm voice, “Dr. Forssmann, we know your ideas are scientifically sound.  But you know everything has to be properly tested.  Things involving the heart even more so.”

The German didn’t look as upset as he sounded, but he was still intense.  He vowed to everyone at the table, “I will create a true angiogram even if I have to insert a catheter into my arm myself, and pass it into my own heart!”

Werner Forssmann copyMona and I exchanged startled looks.  A young man in waiter’s clothes came up behind us.  “Don’t worry ladies,” he said as he adjusted his uniform.  “The German doctor isn’t as frightening as he sounds right now.  Werner Forssmann has ideas that sound like something Edgar Rice Burroughs would dream up.  But the others say he’s a real pioneer of medicine.”

“I don’t know…” Mona said to the waiter’s back as he went into the cabin to check on the group of men.  “He sounds like he really means to do… whatever he was talking about.  Good golly, that’s a lot of science talk!”

I had to agree with Mona.  It sounded like the German meant to do some very risky procedure on himself, just to prove it would work.  Mona and I retreated to the yacht’s deck.  Neither of us wanted to get into that conversation.

***

Introduction to Episode-27: A flash back to a past NaNoWriMo

Atonement TennesseeWith National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) in full swing, I’m indulging myself with today’s set of three things.  When I wrote my NaNoWriMo 2012 winning novel, Atonement, Tennessee, I was somewhat influenced by the style of Charlaine Harris  — particularly her “Southern Vampire” series, sometimes referred to as the Sookie Stackhouse books.  While Atonement is very different from the books Ms. Harris writes, (and there are no vampires) I believe that if you enjoyed those, you will also like Atonement, Tennessee.

Even though it has nothing to do with the 1920’s, these three things are a nod to Charlaine Harris and the Southern Vampire series of books.  I took them from the first line of the first book in her series.  As always, you can do catch-up reading at the page where the entire Three Things Serial story lives.  And now… Cover of "Dead Until Dark (Southern Vampi...Three Dead Until Dark Things

27.  Vampire, Years, Walked

“I’d been waiting for the vampire for years when he walked into the bar…”

I couldn’t help being worried about Frankie.  Two of the men who worked for Mr. Ringling returned with a very uncertain looking Boris.  Or at least that’s how he looked until he saw his babushka.  It was a very touching reunion.  Mona and I both dabbed tears from our eyes.

But there was clearly more to the story of Boris being separated from his grandmother.  It had to be connected to her abduction… and not to forget that bent key.  The entire situation could be something that had been brewing for years.

However, the other two men and Frankie didn’t come back with the ones who brought the retired ballet dancer.  The last time I saw the fireman he was disguised as an old woman, wrapped in a tattered quilt.  He even walked with a cane to complete the ruse.

G-men PosterFinally I saw the sedan roll up.  Ringling’s two men were in the front seat, and a couple of other mugs were in back.  They weren’t moving.  Then to my astonishment, Andy — our little Astronaute man drove up in his Studebaker with Frankie and the Fabro cousins.  Flavio and the twins, Fedel and Frediano were squeezed into the back seat.  The twins jumped out and ran to help Ringling’s men pull two bound and gagged men from the sedan.  They looked like the same ones who had hurried away from the yacht after the circus magnate paid them a ransom for Countess Babikov.  They were a couple of blood suckers alright.  Regular vampires.

The young man in a waiter’s uniform that Mona and I had seen hours earlier was at Mr. Ringling’s elbow.  “Get to one of the radios, please.  Call the G-men.  Tell them I have a present for them.”

***

Introduction to Episode-28

Today is the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who.   As a long time “whovian” I had to give a nod to the BBCA Doctor Who 50th Anniversarytelevision show, because it is sublime.  If any of you are not familiar with this phenomenon, it is a BBC science fiction television series about a “time lord,” known as The Doctor.  He travels in what looks like a blue police box called the TARDIS.  The sound this time machine makes reminds me of a dragon coughing.  Apparently in the early days the series didn’t have a lot of funds for special effects.  However, I loved the old campy episodes with their low budget special effects.

“Doctor Who?” you might ask.  My favorite Doctor has always been the fourth incarnation, Tom Baker.   The late Jon Pertwee, the third Doctor, is dear to me as well.  If you like vintage fashions from the early 1970’s you should take a look at some of those episodes.

So today I give you three things supplied by Provincial Lady that I have just taken the liberty of turning into…

Three Doctor Who Things

28. Sublime, Dragon, Funds

Willie Garson

Willie Garson as Andy

Boris leaned on Andy heavily as they boarded the yacht.  As they got closer I noticed cuts and bruises on the faces of both men.  Poor Mona looked like she didn’t know which way to turn.  She was as conflicted as ever over the two Russian.  She fluttered around, trying to help.  Mr. Ringling sent for a doctor.

Countess Babikov sat back down looking like she was still a bit dizzy.  I picked up the blanket Ringling had brought earlier and tucked it around her lap.  Everything on the yacht was luxurious, even the blanket.  It was soft to the touch and embroidered with a Chinese dragon.  A thought suddenly popped into my mind — the bent key.  It had some kind of design engraved on it, but it was distorted by the damage to the key.  Could it have been a dragon?

The expression in Countess Bepa’s eyes was sublime as she looked at her grandson.  Something seemed to have been settled between grandmother and grandson just with that eye contact.  She was gracious, despite her own injuries and calmly asked for introductions.  By then all the Fabro boys were onboard as well.

“Pip dear, who are these fine young men?” she asked and I supplied all the “F” names of the Fabro brood.

They were all polite, even Andy.  Our poor little Astronaute man, who was so sweet on Mona watched sadly as Mona tended a cut over the Russian’s eye.  However, when I introduced him to John Ringling, his face lit up.  I gave a glowing description of the science fiction stories Andy liked to write.  The next thing I knew, Andy boldly pitched an idea to the circus magnate.  I was stunned, because I had never heard of anything like what he described.

“It’s a kind of advertisement, Mr. Ringling.  A very short film clip… of course staring Mona,” Andy said with a glance at the brunette and a blush.  “It could be shown just before a film.  Imagine this if you will…  A young woman sits on a swing, day dreaming of performing on the trapeze at the circus.  Then the film segues through a fog, and then shows a brief clip of one of your trapeze acts.”

I was fascinated by the idea.  Everyone had gotten quiet. Ca d Zan-1

Andy offered a bit of encouragement.  “The funds required to produce it would be minimal.”

The circus millionaire gave Andy a blank look and I was half afraid he might throw Andy off the yacht.  But then he tilted his head to one side, looked from Andy to Mona and pursed his lips as he studied the two.

“Oh, why not,” said Ringling.  “Now that I have Bepa and Boris both safely onboard I’m ready to go back to Ca’ d’Zan.  You could come with me and we’ll film this advertisement there,” he said.  Then he spread his arms wide and added, “All of you could come.  There’s plenty of room.”

You should have seen the look on Andy’s face!

***

Tune in again next week as this rewind continues. Same flapper time; same flapper channel.

 

Copyright © 2013 – 2014 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

All rights reserved.

No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission.  Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights.

All images are either the property of the author or from Pinterest unless stated otherwise.

The Eighth Day of Christmas with a Lord David Prosser and Lady Teagan Geneviene

Oh my…! I had to re-blog this beautiful post from Sally. Naturally her memories are very worthy of re-blogging, but — shock and awe — she called me a Lady! The only time i ever hear that word in connection with my self is when it is preceded by the words “Crazy cat” (crazy cat lady).
>Seriously though, take a look at Sally’s marvelous walk through a picturesque holiday memory. Be sure to check out the links to the amazing Lord David Prosser too!
> Holiday hugs all around!

Meet Guest Author Teagan R Geneviene

What a terrific start to my Tuesday! During NaNoWriMo, Chris the Story Reading Ape interviewed me — and he has it posted on his website today!
Chris is an extraordinary promoter of writers, and I am sincerely honored by his interview request.
What many people don’t realize is that he is also a gifted artist, and creates book covers! So I hope all you writers will think about gifting yourself with one of his book covers this holiday season. There’s nothing wrong with a little “to me – from me.” (Grins)
Mega-hugs my friends!
teagan

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

OrangeHi Chris. I’m Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene. Thanks so very much for having me here at your blog. I’m quite humbled. As for introducing myself to your readers… how do I begin? I guess I’m who I am because of the many changes I’ve been through. If my life were a book, there would be several volumes.

Nearly 20 years ago, a friend looked at me in amazement and said “You don’t mind shaking things up, do you?” She still lives in the same place and works at the same job. I sincerely admire her stability. But that wasn’t in the cards for me. Lots of changes were ahead.

One of my “new volumes” began when I changed careers. After a divorce I left low-paying low-level office jobs to become a technical editor. I started at the bottom, earning a Bachelor of Science degree related to information technology (IT), because I…

View original post 1,092 more words

Three Things 25 & Character Recap

1920s Vaudeville Cats Postcard

1920s Vaudeville Cats Postcard

Welcome back to our whimsical version of the Jazz Age.  You’re just the cat’s pajamas for coming back to this flapper tale.

I hope the characters in this 1920’s serial have wiggled into your mind so comfortably that you have your own ideas of how they would look or sound.  However, I thought it might be fun to show you how I imagine them. So in no particular order, please meet the cast of The Three Things Serial.

Paisley Idelle Peabody

Better known to you as Pip

Young Lucille Ball

Young Lucille Ball

The moment I saw a picture of a teen-aged Lucille Ball she became my Pip. In my imagination the voice of a grown-up Lucy narrates The Three Things Serial, looking back on the adventures of her youth.

Pip might be a tad conservative, naive, or innocent as flappers go, but that allows her to take people as they are, without judgement.  Time and “things” will tell if that open hearted naïveté gets her into a pickle — or maybe a barrel of them!

The heart of a true flapper beats in Pip, and she is determined to be what she thinks of as a modern woman.

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Pops

Pip’s Unseen Dad

Thus far I’ve done three incarnations of this “interactive” serial.  Pip’s father has been mentioned many times, and he’s made a phone call or two. However, he has never actually made an appearance. It started to remind me of the 1970’s television series, Charlie’s Angels, with John Forsythe phoning in as the never-seen Charlie.

John Forsythe 1958

John Forsythe 1958

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Mona the Movie Star

 Pip enjoyed giving everyone nicknames, usually based on their occupations or their aspirations.  Her friend and neighbor, Mona, had big dreams of being an actress, but little chance of seeing them come to fruition. Mona is something of a flirt, but you won’t see her “lead anyone on.” It’s just that people (particularly men) jump to do things for her.

 In my imagination, the original “It Girl” — Clara Bow plays Mona.

Clara Bow

Clara Bow

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Andy the Astronaute-man

Andy Avis

The “things” for Episode-2 required me to write about a ballerina, a fireman, a movie star, and an astronaut. Have I mentioned that I’m a research geek? I had to make sure the word “astronaut” was actually used in the 1920’s. I got conflicting information, but the greater consensus said “no.” However, I learned the term Astronaute was used in France at the time. So Andy Avis is also of French descent.

Willie Garson

Willie Garson

Andy is a science fiction writer, hence Pip’s nickname for him Andy the Astronaute-man.  Despite the heroic stories he writes, Andy is not the bravest bean in the bunch. Discretion is pos-i-lute-ly the better part of valor with him. To his credit, sometimes Andy overcomes his big fears and takes action. Doesn’t it take a lot more courage to do something when you’re afraid than if you are just naturally brave?

Buster Keaton

Buster Keaton

Right away I saw a younger Willie Garson as my Andy.  (You might know him from “White Collar” or Sex and the City.) I could see the friendship between him and Mona. Although unlike Stanford, Andy hopes the friendship will become a romance. On the other hand, Andy could easily look like Buster Keaton with those sad eyes.

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Ca’ d’Zan

The Ringling Mansion

Although it is not truly a character the Ca’d’Zan mansion is an important part of this story. Learning about this amazing place was so much fun that I had to include it here. I hope you’ll do some research of your own about the home of John and Mabel Ringling.

Ca'd'Zan Mansion

Ca’d’Zan Mansion

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John and Mabel Ringling

The Ringlings don’t play huge roles in the story, but they were important nonetheless.  Pip and company are invited onboard a yacht that they don’t at first realize belongs to John Ringling. Countess Bepa is old friends with Mabel Ringling.  The entire gang ends up at fabulous Ca’d’Zan where the mystery concludes.

Mabel and John Ringling

Mabel and John Ringling

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The Fabros

Frankie Fabro and His Cousins

Frankie the Fireman and his cousins Flavio, Fedel, and Frediano. First we meet Frankie. He’s taller and a little bigger than his cousins, but all four of the young men look a lot alike. Elder brother Flavio looks out for twins, Fred and Fedel. Pip has a crush on Frankie. Flavio, like most men seems to think Mona is the berries.

Oddly enough I never had an image in my mind of Frankie the Fireman. So he is included here with his look alike cousins.

1920s 4 Look-alike Guys

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Countess Bepa Babikov

The mysterious white-haired woman… turns out to be not only the grand mother of Boris the Ballerina, but a real life countess. It was after Bepa Babikov came along that I saw a photo of Countess Von Hartenau that was simply the vision of Bepa’s elegance, as well as her fierce determination.  She instantly replaced any other image I had of Bepa.

Johanna Loisinger; the Countess Von Hartenau

Johanna Loisinger; the Countess Von Hartenau

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Boris Babikov

Boris the Ballerina

Retired from the Ballets Russes after a career-ending injury, Boris gives the occasional dance lesson to earn a living. Mona is infatuated with Boris, but also conflicted. She has some ways of thinking to outgrow.  Boris is the strong silent type. His friends have to work at it to get to know him. When I saw a photo of Fred Astaire, in a rather sulky pose, it made me think of Boris Babikov.

Fred Astaire

Fred Astaire

I hope you’ve enjoyed this little break from the serial.  Next weekend I’ll be back with…. What’s that? Stop screaming so I can tell what you’re saying. No episode this week? Oh… Well if that’s what you really want.

Let’s get a wiggle on and round out this character recap with Episode-25.

25.  Kitten, Fake, Comfort

My eyes strayed to the Art Deco pottery jug into which Ringling had casually dropped the bent key. 1920s  Ben Key Had he been a little too offhanded when he did that?  What if his nonchalance was fake?  I shifted my gaze to the circus millionaire and found him looking at me.  I knew it might be foolish of me, but I couldn’t stop myself from blurting out my thoughts.

“That’s no ordinary key,” I said.  “It might be to Ca’d’Zan, but it’s no door key.”

Everyone became silent, except for Pear the hedgehog, scrabbling inside his lunch pail carrier.  I turned to Countess Babikov.  By the expression on her face, I knew the direction of my words didn’t give her any comfort.  It was obviously meant to be a distraction when she turned to Mona and indicated the tin lunch pail.

“Dear!  What have you in that box?  I hear a tiny creature moving around.  Is it a kitten?” she asked Mona.

It was a feeble attempt at diverting me and the white-haired woman must have realized that, because she blushed and glanced over at me.  However, I was not diverted.  My mind went to that very eventful night when the hedgehog in handscountess was abducted, and later the group of us returned home to find Boris’ place being burglarized.  I remembered the broken vase and speculating that a key might have been hidden inside.  At the time I wondered if Boris had a key to match the bent one that was dropped from the getaway car.  Once again I considered the same idea — and I voiced the thought.

Ringling and the countess looked at each other in a silent exchange.  She drew an unsteady breath and looked up at him from her spot on the beautifully upholstered sofa.  “John, I am more worried than ever for my grandson’s safety.  If these young people can tell us where to find him…  Can you bring him here?  Please?”

I couldn’t imagine anyone refusing the tortured look in the woman’s eyes.  The circus magnate was not immune to her gaze.  Frankie shifted his feet in a nervous way.  Mona sat in silence.  She licked her lips and looked from the fireman to me.  After all, these people were strangers to us.  Boris kept us at arm’s length, but he was our neighbor and a friend, if not a really close one.  We had already concluded that he was in some kind of trouble.  But did these people have his best interest at heart?  And why did my friends seem to want me to make that decision, I wondered in dismay.

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Tune in again next weekend. Same flapper time, same flapper channel. You’re pos-i-lute-ly the cat’s pajamas!

Copyright © 2014 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

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