Peace FB promo copy
free, hippies, Peace Love and You Know What

Steal My Book

Well, it’s not really stealing if I give it away, which is the case for my novel, Peace, Love, & You Know What. And that’s the situation when I make the Kindle version free Friday, Oct. 9, and Saturday, Oct. 10.

Many of you might be familiar with my Isabel Long Mystery Series, published by Darkstroke Books, and The Sweet Spot, which I self-published. I also self-published Peace, Love, & You Know What.

As a comedy, perhaps it’s the perfect escape from these troubling times.

So what’s Peace, Love, & You Know What about? Here’s my pitch: First a three-day graduation bash at a college hippie pad, then maybe adulthood; Peace, Love, & You Know What is a comedy framed by the Vietnam War and Watergate.

Here’s more: There’s Tim, who is actually faking his graduation, and his roommates Mack, Manny, and the poetry-spouting Joey. Then, there’s Lenora, their queen, who is graduating and splitting for Europe. Tim and Lenora have been tight friends for four years, and he figures this might be his last chance with her.

The three-day bash is a big hit for every hippie freak and dirty professor at Westbridge State College. But the story doesn’t end there. We follow them, well, mostly Tim and Lenora, as they stumble through adulthood. As to be expected, I love my characters, well, maybe not one of them, but I bet you can figure out who that is if you read the book.

Peace, Love, & You Know What is inspired by my own experiences, so I believe I portray that time with authenticity. However, I will be upfront that none of it happened in real life. When the novel, which I wrote when I lived in Taos, New Mexico, came out, a few friends from that era weren’t happy. But this book is a work of fiction and not a memoir. The difference is that I take what I know and have my way with it.

Interested? Here’s the link: Peace, Love, & You Know What

By the way the title to this post is a takeoff of Abbie Hoffman’s Steal This Book. Hoffman was a counter-culture activist, who published wrote that book in 1970.

And thank you for reading what I write.

 

 

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99c_99p Kindle Sale FB copy
hippies, Peace Love and You Know What

Now for Some Cheap Laughs

Peace, Love, & You Know What is a comedy inspired by an exciting period — the early seventies — when I was a young adult and finding my way in the world. And in keeping with the holiday spirit, I am making it dang cheap to buy. For three days, Dec. 14-16 (Friday-Sunday), the novel is on sale for 99c/99p for those who want the Kindle version. I’ll tell you more below.

The novel starts in 1972 on graduation weekend for Westbridge State College. What better excuse for a three-day bash at one of the local hippie pads?

There’s Tim, who is actually faking his graduation, and his roommates Mack, Manny, and the poetry-spouting Joey. Then, there’s Lenora, their queen, who has her act together, so she is PeaceLoveYouKnow What_cover_200graduating and splitting for Europe. Tim and Lenora have been tight friends for four years, and he figures this might be his last chance with her.

The three-day bash is a big hit for every hippie freak and dirty professor at Westbridge State College. You name it, they do it — from a softball game between rival tribes to a dinner prepared from government surplus food to so-called free love. Oh, yeah, there are plenty of drugs and music.

Here’s an excerpt.

Tim held the joint aloft, making Lenora reach for it. She grabbed his side, tickling him so hard he fell back, and then she was lying on top of him, laughing with him. He stuck the joint between her lips. She held the smoke in her mouth and blew it into his.

“Take a hit.”

Tim did as he was told. He would have done anything Lenora said. She took the joint and brought it to her lips.

“You’re such a crazy girl.”

Smoke streamed through her mouth as she laughed. She held the roach.

“Uh-oh, all gone.”

Somebody changed the record. Sly and the Family Stone played “I Want to Take You Higher.” Lenora rolled off Tim, and he said, “Hey, come back,” but she sat against the wall to get out of the way of the stampeding dancers. The volume was up so loud, the funky guitar riffs buzzed through the speakers. Sly wailed like a tomcat. It was a miracle the cops hadn’t showed up.

This graduation bash is the start of an adventure called adulthood, whether it’s a commune for Lenora and her baby, or Tim finding purpose in his life.

Upfront I will say Peace, Love, & You Know What is a work of fiction and not a memoir. None of it happened. Like many writers, I took what I know and had my way with it.

Perhaps the book will be a bit nostalgic for those who lived through this period and a curiosity for those who didn’t. There’s enough sex in it that I embarrassed my kids but not my 94-year-old mother, who says she’s read a lot worse in her romance novels. Really, Mom?

ON SALE: So back to that holiday gift. For three days, Dec. 14-16, get thee to Amazon for a bargain. Here’s the link: mybook.to/PeaceLoveYouKnowWhat. Have yourself a good laugh.

 

 

 

 

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ProfGroovy_Cover
books, Fiction, hippies, New release, short stories

Professor Groovy, Class Is In Session

I just got word Professor Groovy and Other Stories is now available on Kindle. How much fun is that?

As I’ve mentioned before, the four stories are a prequel of sorts to Peace, Love, and You Know What. Michelle Gutierrez designed the cover you see above that reflects that relationship in a creative way. (Thanks, Michelle.)

Lenora Dias, one of the novel’s main characters, is the prominent figure in each story. We get a taste of the late sixties via her point of view.

For those who haven’t read the novel, Lenora is the first of her Portuguese family to go to college at the fictional Westbridge State. She goes hippie big time, but is levelheaded enough to stay out of too much trouble and to graduate on time. A serial romantic, she falls hard in love and suffers for it. She is the queen of her little tribe of hippie friends.

In one story in this collection, Lenora has an encounter with a professor who enjoys having no boundaries with his students. Yes, you could call him a dirty professor.

In another, Lenora reveals a secret and in another, a liar. Then, there is her raucous summer fling with a guy back home.

Yes, these stories were inspired by my experiences long ago, but they are strictly from my imagination. I wrote them before I started Peace, Love, and You Know What. I guess you could call them practice runs although two did get picked up by publications.

I opted at this point to go with Kindle only because the short stories total 10,000 words. In the future, I may incorporate them with other stories to make a heftier book worth printing.

The price to read Professor Groovy is 99 cents, which I believe is fair.

Don’t have a Kindle? You can download the free app to your computer, phone or tablet. Anyway, here is the link on Amazon Professor Groovy

Thanks for reading my fiction.

 

 

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books, hippies, Taos

Keeping Up With Appearances

The publishing experiment continues with two readings, actually three, in two days. Not as racy, certainly, as Lenora, one of my main characters in Peace, Love, and You Know What, having sex with three guys in two days, but that is fiction. This is real life.

On Thursday, June 30, I was part of the lineup of 50 or so writers who read from their works as part of SOMOS of Taos’ open house in its swanky new headquarters. I was the first, reading from Los Primos y el Pez Mágico — the English part anyway — in the kids’ hour. We had a good crowd of gymnastic campers from next door and even adults.

somos reading June 2016

Reading at the SOMOS of Taos open house. Thank you Bleuzette La Feir for the photo.

Throughout the day, writers of all genres read from their work. That night I was back with the adult fiction writers. I read from a chapter in Peace, Love, and You Know What called The Hard Truth, which is the second in the book.

I had nine minutes. When I prepared, I realize a lot happens in my novel. Since the plot involves college hippie tribes and dirty professors, I wanted to keep it simple and focus on the main characters. I wanted dialogue. The Hard Truth worked.

The next morning I drove across the mesa to KNCE 93.5 FM for David and Carolyn Hinske’s radio show, You Kids Get Off My Lawn. (Don’t let the title fool you into thinking the Hinskes are curmudgeons. They are really sweet.) The station is located in an Airstream trailer, aka the Silver Twinkie, next to Taos Mesa Brewing.

As a journalist for over 30 years, I am usually the one asking questions. This was a change for me. But I was delighted the Hinskes read the novel. (Carolyn made a pitch that it would make a great movie.) And they asked great questions about the book, the writing process, and my former life as the managing editor of a newspaper. I think I gave decent answers.

And I read a bit from Peace, Love, and You Know What. Here was the challenge: as I told David and Carolyn, I not only swear like a sailor and I write like one. The FCC frowns on that. So I printed out a chapter and change a couple of the words so the radio station wouldn’t get into trouble.

That won’t be the case Friday, July 8, when I do a solo reading. Again it will be at the SOMOS office in Taos, from 6-8 p.m.

This time I am going to read sections from chapters to get those who attend through the three-day bash — and then one from a year later to show where this book heads.

My friend Teresa Dovalpage, who grew up in Cuba and knows nothing about hippies, will do a short Q&A. I will have books to sell — $12 each — and sign. And I will be serving brownies, without the magic ingredient, of course. To make it authentic to the book, however, I may even use a Betty Crocker mix.

I am hoping for a raucous good time.

Can’t make it and want your own book in Kindle or paperback? Here’s the link: Peace, Love, and You Know What

ABOUT THE PHOTO ABOVE: Hank and I were sitting in our front yard after dinner when the light hit the landscape in a rather magical way for several minutes.

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books, hippies, Writing

A Whole Lot Going On

First, to those who anticipate buying a paperback of Peace, Love, and You Know What, the only holdup is the arrival of the hard copy proof. That is imminent. The biggest concern for Michelle, the designer, and me is the layout. This is a first for us.

I will let everyone know as soon as I pull the trigger — and as loudly as I can.

PeaceLove_Cover smallOn related topics, the electronic equipment I ordered to record Peace, Love, and You Know What is on its way. The prequel, Professor Groovy and Other Stories is in the batter’s circle. I scheduled a solo reading at SOMOS of Taos for July 8, a week after I am in a marathon reading as part of the open house at its new location.

Meanwhile, I am copyediting the next book to be launched — The Sweet Spot. This is one of my hilltown books. Here is a teaser: A big scandal in a small town — love and mislove, secrets and discovery, rich and poor, old families and newcomers, deep roots and fresh starts, violence and peace.

The Sweet Spot takes place in 1978. It didn’t happen in the small town of Worthington, where I once lived, but it could have. This book is not a comedy, but a couple of the characters are, well, characters, who may generate a chuckle from the reader.

Speaking of copyediting, I got inspired while reading a friend’s non-fiction book to do it as a sideline business. When I was given a sample copy, I found the book to be interesting and well-written, but, alas, it contained so many typos. Hundreds of typos. My friend had just sent it to the publisher, and I advised him to take it back. I volunteered my services to copyedit the book. The book had been edited — for pay no less — but still I found spelling errors, lack of hyphens, improper punctuation, and so many inconsistencies. I did four go-throughs and was happy to do it.

The experience got me thinking about doing editing for pay. I have been editing and copyediting other people’s writing, never mind my own, for decades. I know how not to get in the way of a writer’s voice. If I have questions, I ask them.

My aim would be not to let errors be a distraction to a piece of writing. And with the self-publishing opportunities now available, would-be authors need that kind of help.

Right now, I am figuring out rates, how to get the word out — you know, the business end of writing.

One final note, which I am adding after the original post, is about a rattle snake. I was getting water from the back spigot when a young rattler ambled about six inches from my foot. I am pleased at myself for not freaking out. Instead, I watched it curl beneath one of the currant bushes. I am going to pay attention to where I walk from now on.

My neighbor just found one on her back door. She called a friend, who chopped off its head, skinned it and took the rest back with him. He will use the fat as medicine and eat the meat. So the rattler didn’t die in vain.

ABOUT THE PHOTO ABOVE: This trio, playing lively Hispanic music, was part of the entertainment when Hank and I were at the Taos Farmers Market on Saturday.

 

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