Jazz Age Wednesdays 1

Wednesday, September 6, 2017Camel Walk dance poster 1920s

Each weekend I give you a new serial episode. I’ve been giving that throughout most of the past four years. However, Teagan’s Books is about more than serial episodes.  It’s about my books too.  So I’m creating this midweek feature.

I added a poll to the last post. Not a majority, but some people wanted me to keep it to one post a week.  No one is obligated to visit every post.  Although I have to say I find that discouraging.

Since my current release is Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I, I’ll be having Jazz Age Wednesdays.  That means short stories from the “Pip-verse.”  (At least for a while.  When Atonement in Bloom is published, the midweek feature will be from that universe.)

We like to joke about Wednesday being “hump day” and camels. Did you know that in the 1920s there was a dance called the Camel Walk?  Although this example from 1935 is probably a little more complicated than what the average couple did…

Here’s my first Jazz Age Wednesday feature.  It takes place right after the novella, The Three Things Serial Story.  I was honored to have a great review of the novella from author and translator Olga Núñez Miret.

It’s a short story, so it was driven by only one “thing/ingredient,” macaroni and cheese.  It came from Suzanne DeBrango’s  souffléd macaroni and cheese when we did a joint post in January.  (Yes, I’m re-sharing this story.)

Pip Arrives in Savannah

The breeze that rustled through the fronds of tall palm trees was tinged with salt.  I inhaled deeply as I walked out of the tall arched door at Savannah’s Union Station.  I heard the bell of a streetcar, which had gone past a moment before.  I stretched to see the trolley, but barely got a glimpse of its back-end.

With a loud Bronx cheer I dropped my suitcase to the curb of West Broad Street.  I thought the Jazz Age slang for the rude noise I made was appropriate, since my Pops was continuing on the train to New York City.

Pops said I needed to be reigned-in, and Granny insisted that I needed to learn to cook.  Neither of them would admit that I was a modern woman.  No self-respecting Flapper needed to cook!  Anyhow, Pops had unceremoniously dumped me off the train, saying he’d visit with Granny and me on his way back.  I blew another raspberry at the streetcar that I had just missed — and at my wretched situation.

Union Station Savannah, GA

The ringing of the streetcar’s bell faded into the distance.  The first time I ever saw a trolley was during a visit to my grandmother, there in Savannah, when I was a very little girl.  I slipped away from her and Pops, and scampered onto a streetcar.  I didn’t get far, but Granny Phanny was mad enough to spit. 

This time, I had done the opposite.  Instead of getting on a trolley when I shouldn’t have, I had missed the one I was supposed to ride to get to her.  Now Granny would be waiting to meet me at some Chinese restaurant downtown, but I wouldn’t be on the trolley.  Horsefeathers!  She would be in a lather.

A nearby news vendor walked away from his stall, probably headed for a bite of lunch.  I called out and waved as I hurried toward him, my suitcase bumping along at my side.

“Hey Mac!  Was that the trolley that goes to Pearl Street?” I called out, but he didn’t hear me over the blast of a train whistle.  “Enjoy your lunch,” I grumbled and my empty stomach answered in kind.  “I sure could do with some of Granny’s macaroni and cheese.”

“Did you miss the trolley, sweet cheeks?” a clear tenor voice asked.

I didn’t see him until he moved forward.  He had been leaning against the opposite side of the newsstand.  He wore a suit and hat, but they had flair.  He cast a furtive glance over his shoulder, but then tilted his head back and blew a smoke ring into the air.

Applesauce!  He looked pos-i-lute-ly like the kind of character I had always been told to avoid, but he was as sexy as the Sheik of Araby.  Then his cigarette smoke drifted to me and I sneezed.  So much for me being a sophisticated Sheba.  I had to agree with Pops that smoking was a nasty habit.

mallory-ad-man-in-car-hat-ad

“You’re new in town, huh?  I’m Floyd.  I can take you where the giggle water flows aplenty.  It’ll be a real blow,” he said with a smile and a wink that made him even handsomer.

“Says you,” I countered coyly, thinking he was joking around.

“At least let me drive you over to Pearl Street.  Stick around until my pal gets back.  He’s picking up something for me,” he added gazing up and then down the street, as if looking for his friend.  Stay right here and I’ll get my machine.  It’s a sweet ride.  You’ll love it,” he called over his shoulder as he rushed away.  “Don’t move.  Promise.  I’ll be right back.”

I stood baffled, gaping at Floyd’s retreating form.  I was also feeling flattered by his interest.  There was an intensity about him that I found exciting.  Not to mention the fact that I was relieved that I might avoid Granny’s wrath over me missing the streetcar and leaving her waiting.

Signorina, do not be going with that man.  It would be a bad thing for you.  Trouble comes,” a voice, heavily accented with Italian, said from behind me.  “There will be other transportation.”

Turning, I saw a portly man in odd looking chef’s clothes.  He lifted his brimless toque and bowed.  A jalopy backfired so suddenly and so loudly that I jerked around to face the noise.  When I turned back, the chef was gone.  I didn’t see him anywhere.  It was as if he disappeared into thin air.

I quickly forgot about the odd occurrence when a wooden crate fell off a passing truck.  The driver pulled to the curb beside me.  Without thinking I went to help.  He had not been traveling fast, so little damage was done.  A few oranges rolled from a broken crate.  I started picking up the wayward fruit.1920s delivery truck

An Asian looking guy with a quasi-British accent jumped out of the driver’s door, apologizing even before his feet hit the street.  He gingerly hopped over the tailgate and began re-positioning the crates.  A couple of them looked ready to fall.

I noticed lettering on the truck proclaiming Wong’s Chinese.  Was that the name of the restaurant where I was supposed to meet Granny?  I was so resentful about being sent to Savannah that I hadn’t even paid attention to what she said.  I knew there wouldn’t be more than one Chinese restaurant on the street.

“Your place isn’t on Pearl Street by any chance, is it?”

“Yep, that’s Wong’s,” he replied with a grin, stopping his work.  “Hey, are you Pip?  Miss Phanny will be looking for you.  I’m Alastair Wong,” he bent from the truck bed and shook my hand.

I sighed with relief.

Then a brand new Ford stopped and gave a long blare of the auto’s horn.  “Hey! Move it,” my Sheik of Araby from moments before shouted angrily, and followed that with a racial slur.

Floyd got out of the automobile, moving toward us in a menacing posture.  I stood up, a smashed and dripping orange still in my hand.

“This cake eater’s bad news, Pip.  You don’t want to have anything to do with him,” Alastair Wong whispered as he stepped in front of me protectively.

In the distance a police whistle trilled.  The guy’s eyes widened and he looked over his shoulder.  Before I knew what was happening, he had hit Alastair in the head with the butt of a pistol.  I shrieked as he dragged me into the open Ford, my arms and legs flailing.

I could hear the coppers coming toward us, shouting and blowing whistles.  Suddenly the Ford was blocked between the delivery truck and police vehicles.  Alastair lay unconscious on the street.  The busted orange dripped juice all over my skirt.  The guy waved his gun around excitedly.  A maniacal gleam came to his eyes when he looked at me.

1920s Police car

An over eager copper fired his gun.  I heard the whiz of the bullet pass by my head.  Startled, Floyd jerked toward the policemen.  Movement from the delivery truck caught my eye.  A catawampus crate started to wobble.  Suddenly that crate and another one tumbled down to land on the windshield of the Ford.  Floyd started screaming and cursing, waving his pistol even more.

When he turned back to me, on sudden impulse I stuck the busted orange in his face and smeared it into his eyes.  By then the coppers had reached us.  They grabbed him before he could do any damage with the gun.

A copper helped me out of the Ford.  I ran to Alastair as another cop helped him stand.  Across the street I saw Floyd’s pal, the news vendor being held by a policeman.

“What just happened here?” I demanded.

A paddy wagon rolled up and the policemen pushed Floyd into it, along with his pal.

“Bootleggers,” a copper told me.  “As if we didn’t already have enough of those around here.”

“So Pip,” Alastair said while he held a handkerchief to his bloodied forehead.  “How do you like Savannah so far?”

I chuckled despite everything.  At least he had a sense of humor.

studebaker1920_2

“Well, I was afraid I would be bored to tears here,” I told him with a dramatic sigh.  “But I suppose it will be interesting enough.  So far I’ve learned three things.  Don’t take any wooden nickels.  Don’t get into Fords with handsome men.  And Wong’s Chinese is the right place to go.” 

Alastair laughed.  “That’s a good slogan, doll face.  Mind if I use it?  How about we get you to the restaurant.  Miss Phanny will be getting impatient.”

And so began my adventures in Savannah.

The end

***

You’ll find more of Pip and her friends and her adventures in Savannah in Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I .  Thanks for visiting. You’re the cat’s pajamas!

Bijou front only 2

 

This is a work of fiction.  Characters, names, places, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, locales, or events is entirely coincidental. 

Copyright © 2017 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

All rights reserved.

No part of this work 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 provided by free sources, unless stated otherwise.

 

 

 

 

Mocha Dacquoise Cake And The Winners Of the Giveaway

“Hey Sheba! Whatcha got there? A cookbook? Applesauce! You could use one.  Hold on… is that a cookbook for salads?  Are you sure you can manage a salad without burning it?”

“Ha!  Pip, I hope you realize that you get your cooking skills (or the lack thereof) from me.  Besides, I happen to have won this book over at Suzanne’s blog, A Pug in the Kitchen.” (Click here.)

Food52 Mighty Salads: 60 New Ways to Turn Salad into Dinner--and Make-Ahead Lunches, Too by [Editors of Food52]

“Oh, I remember visiting there with some of my stories.  She’s an amazing chef, and her blog is the berries!  Jeepers, that cookbook really is the cat’s pajamas — look at all those color photos.”

“Yes, Pip. Food 52 Mighty Salads is a gorgeous book.  But look at this post from Suzanne. Isn’t that the most delicious, sophisticated dessert you’ve ever seen?  Pip?  Hey Pip! Where’d you go?”

Well, I think our flapper is on her way to Brooklyn.  So click on over and check out Suzanne’s post.

 

Source: Mocha Dacquoise Cake And The Winners Of the Giveaway

Goodbye Mean Old Monkey — Happy New Year

 

1920s-couple-n-monkey-charleston

1920s Couple & Monkey doing the Charleston

Happy New Year everyone!  I didn’t have this video/greeting finished in time to add it to my regular weekly post.  However, the Year of the Monkey wreaked such havoc that I had to celebrate its passing.

 

My post on Friday, wasn’t a proper New Year’s greeting.  So I’m doing the traditional recap of the year and plans for the next one.  However, sly old fox that I am, I wanted to do it in video form.

Many of you have already commented on my post for this weekend. You have my heartfelt thanks for visiting me.  Anyhow, I’ve disabled comments on this one, so Is Your Writing Beastly? can remain featured.  Kindly leave comments there, if you haven’t already. I love hearing from you.

Wishing everyone a fantastic 2017.

Happy New Year!

 

 

Copyright © 2016 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.

1920s Party — Three Things Serial Story

Three Things Serial 1920s Party!  

You’ve all made this Roaring Twenties party a huge success.  New guests keep arriving (be sure to meet them in the comments).  Everyone is having such a great time that I’ve decided to let this hootenanny continue through this weekend too!   So happy holidays to all you Sheikhs and Shebas!

Welcome! Come on in — join the fun.  We’re all dudded up in our snazziest clothes, ready to enjoy great dancing, food, and friends.  Yes, it’s a Roaring Twenties shindig.  So in a comment, leave a link to your books, blog, or to your favorite 1920s food, drink, or entertainment. That’s what makes the party.

ape-tuxedo-cigarDon’t panic!  That really is a great ape in his tuxedo, getting the buffet ready, but it’s none other than Chris The Story Reading Ape.  He’s dishing up the fruit cocktail, and yes, that is made with bananas!  

That’s Tess with him, putting some finishing touches on the Swiss steaks.  I see Andrea Stephenson has brought a delicious lemon meringue dessert.  Thanks for your help everyone.  It’s looking mighty tasty! You’re the bee’s knees.  

(Excuse me while I answer the door…)  KathrynCome in — let me help you with that steaming pot of Broccoli Cheddar Soup with Crab.  Let me introduce you to some other guests.

That lovely lady twirling her long flapper beads is 1920s Catering Menu-2Sally Cronin.  She’s adding the nut and cheese sandwiches she brought to the 1920s dishes on the buffet table.  Hey Sally, those red shoes are pos-i-lute-ly the cat’s meow!  

Oh great, there’s Kirt D Tisdale.  Hey Kirt — while you’re taking pictures, be sure to get one of Sally and those shoes.  You’re the berries. Thank you. 

Another styling flapper just arrived, it’s Mary J. McCoy-Dressel.  Mary, you’re a real Sheba with that fringe dress and boa.  And would you just look at how cute — a pup in a Roaring Twenties costume — It’s Suzanne and Percy the pug!  Goodness, why is Percy barking so frantically?  It’s as if he hears something that the human ear can’t…  He seems fine now though.

John W. Howell is looking spiffy too.  He offered to be bartender and he’s making “John Cannon” cocktails (read his trilogy for the hero’s favorite drink) with our bathtub gin.  Thank goodness, there’s Geoff with more olives for those cocktails.  bartender-vintage

What’s that you say Geoff?  We’re almost out of beer?  Well, it’s too early for us to be getting splifficated anyway.  But no worries, I’ll call Dan Antion.  Dan was going to photograph doors on his way, so I’ll drop a dime to his cell phone. He sure can pick a great brew, and I’m sure he’ll step on the gas, and get here before we run out.

Ouch!  Oh, no John, I’m okay.  There was a shrill sound when I hung up the call with Dan, that’s all.  Erm… but my cell phone is gone and now I have one of those “candlestick” telephones they used way back when.  What the Sam Hill happened with the phone switcheroo?  Why yes, John. A Gin Rickey would be a good idea.  Better make it a double.  Thank you, it’s delicious.  Love that tang of lime.

I hear a car outside.  Is that Hugh Roberts I just got a Glimpse of?  He and Colleen Chesebro , Tina Frisco, and D. Wallace Peach just got out of a ritzy Studebaker.  With that dragon hood ornament, I know the car belongs to Diana.  Hey Colleen, love your new hairdo! It’s the berries!  Come on inside everyone.studebaker1920_2

Who’s that in the middle of that big cluster of ladies?  Oh of course, they’re all stuck-on Lord David Prosser.  Thank goodness Olga is nearby — some of David’s admirers don’t speak English, and Olga’s a great translator.  She finally took a break from the dance-floor. Where does she get all that energy? 

Applesauce!  What happened to the lights?  The dark will be just fine when Teri Polen and Barbara get ready to tell ghost stories, but…  Oh good, they’re back on.  But wait, those aren’t my lamps.  They’re snazzy Art Deco lights.  I can’t help getting goosebumps at all these odd happenings…

Wow, just listen to that music!  Thanks to Lavinia  and Kev performing, the tunes are great and that’s no phonus balonus!  You two have been playing your hearts out. Take a little break and I’ll turn on the stereo.  

1920s Dance PartyHey! Hang on… my stereo is gone, but there’s an old Victrola where it used to be. Okay, it’s making great 1920’s music though.  Donna Parker is really cutting a rug with the Charleston.  Hi Donna — thanks for bringing the deviled eggs and tea sandwiches.

Oh, and the vision in fringe and sequins over there, that’s Inese.  I see she put down her camera to dance.  I wondered where Christoph had gotten to, and that’s him with Inese. Applesauce, can they ever dance!

I wonder if they could teach me?  Suzanne Joshi and Judith both offered to give me a break from hostessing.  Dare I try?  I’m such a klutz.  Holy Hannah! Where did all the hummingbirds come from?  They’ve caught strands of my hair, and the fringe of my dress, and they’re pulling me to the dance floor!  I should have known — the hummers belong to Janet.  Maybe the hummingbirds can disguise what a horrible dancer I am…

Ah! There’s Gerlinde and Cheryl with with trays of tasty cookies to tempt the dancers away from the floor.  (What do you mean I didn’t dance yet?  You must have looked away… Here hummingbirds, I’ll give you a cookie if you’ll play along.)  

For a little slow down from the Charleston, Christy has a poem for us.  Also Lavinia has shared one of her sublimely beautiful songs. Take a breather, relax and enjoy.

Now maybe I’ll read you an excerpt from The Three Things Serial Story instead of dancing…  Christine would you please point all these guys and dolls to the living room? There’s room for everyone to sit down over by the television.  What do you mean “What TV?”  It’s next to the computer.  What do you mean “What computer?”

Everything in this house is like the 1920s!   Quick, somebody open the door and look outside…  The cars have all been replaced by antique jalopies.  Everything outside is like the 20s too!  What?  Yes, I said I’d read to you.  At a time like this you want me to read?  All right then. Sheiks and Shebas, gather around.  Who’d want to leave the Roaring Twenties anyway?

Excerpt

Pip, Mona, and two of the Fabro boys get invited to a swanky outdoor party.  Here’s what Pip has to say about it.

3-things-cover_3-2016“Applesauce!  This shindig is incredible.”

It was almost a carnival.  The party was huge and spread out along the banks of the Santa Rosa Sound.  There was a band stand, and a wooden floor was set up where dancers did the Charleston.  I saw balloons everywhere.  Tables with white linen and silver were clustered beneath a brightly colored tent.  In other places blankets were spread for picnics.  Everywhere I turned there was something else happening.

Then I saw it.  The yacht.  It was breathtaking.  I knew there was no way it would happen, but I really wanted to see the inside.  I must have been drooling over it because a flapper stopped and giggled at me.

“Be careful if you go in there, hon.  Doctor Fred might put you under that microscope of his,” the flapper told me as she hurried past.

I drew a breath to call out to her.  I wanted to ask the girl what she meant, but she was already gone in a flash of fringe and sequins.  Then a Victrola started blaring out the song “Five Foot Two Eyes of Blue.”

Abruptly an idea occurred to me.  I clutched my pocketbook and felt it still inside — the bent key.  I never had been able to make out what was engraved on it.  The flapper’s voice and the word “microscope” rang in my mind.  Was there really somebody on the yacht with a device that would let one see tiny things?  Maybe they could read the faint lettering on the key.

***

The mystery only deepens when the gang gets aboard the yacht.—  Hold onto your hats!

I really must give special thanks to a few people now.  I was thrilled to see reviews of this “Little 1920s Story” from OlgaColleen Chesebro and Donna Parker. My heartfelt thanks to them and everyone who reblogged their reviews, like Chris Graham, Sally Cronin, Adele, and Christoph.  

Thanks for visiting.  I hope you enjoyed the party.  Remember to leave a comment with links to your books and what-not.  You’re all the cat’s pajamas.

…We now return you to the era or universe of your choice.   Mega hugs! –

 

Copyright © 2016 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.