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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Latchis Hotel - Brattleboro, Vermont

The Latchis Hotel and Theater in Brattleboro, Vermont is an Art Deco blast from the past, with a confident future and a vital place in this community.

Built in 1938, the hotel and movie theater under one roof is on the National Register of Historic Buildings. The hotel offers modern amenities, and the theater provides a mix of film, lectures and live entertainment.

Have a look at this website for more on the Latchis.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

A Commercial...

My novel of New Zealand misadventure, The Current Rate of Exchange will soon be re-issued in paperback.

I’d like to invite the first five people with a blog to receive a free copy of either the paperback or a free download of the eBook (or both if you’d like), in exchange for a review. Here’s what you have to do:

1. Email me at to let me know if you’d like a paperback or eBook or both. If you choose an eBook, I’ll email you back a coupon code for a free download from the online retailer Smashwords (which provides a variety of formats). If you’d like a paperback, I’ll need you to put in your email the address where you’d like me to send it. I’d be happy to sign the book so that it will be worth a million times more when you sell it on eBay. (Bawhahahahah!!! -- Sorry. Sometimes I crack myself up.)

2. When you contact me by email, include the name and link to your blog in case I don’t know you from a hole in the ground. I will pick the first five bloggers who request a book. Unless your blog is called “Why Hitler Was a Swell Guy”. I reserve the right to display righteous indignation.

3. Please write an honest review. If you think it’s lousy, say so. I have a thick skin, like a rhinoceros. (Well, not really. I use a sunscreen that’s SPF 5,000.) I will not improve as a novelist if I don’t get honest feedback.

4. Feel free to take up to the next six months to read the book and write your review. I understand we all have lots to do, and you won’t be able to dash this off like a book report written on the bus on the way to school. Unless that’s how you write your book reviews. It’s none of my business.

But Wait! There’s More!

Later this summer the second book in my “cozy” mystery series set in the early 1950s, a book called Speak Out Before You Die, will be published both in eBook form and also as a paperback. The same deal goes for this book. First five people who want a copy of either eBook or paperback or both, just send me an email with the above details.

If you want to review both books on your blog, that’s fine, too. Just say the word.

Speak Out Before You Die continues the partnership of the young and wealthy socialite and the ex-con as they ferret out a murderer during a snowbound house party on New Year’s Eve, 1950. More on that story in weeks to come.

For now, here’s the product info on The Current Rate of Exchange:

Humorous, heartwarming, and poignant, The Current Rate of Exchange follows Rose, an easygoing but somewhat bumbling American woman, on her travel through New Zealand to re-establish ties with her late mother’s family. Her ill-planned adventure turns her life around, and that of Nora, her New Zealand cousin, whose family problems immediately begin to involve Rose. Nora’s elderly mother, who broke off ties with Rose’s family; Nora’s unemployed husband, who confides his dreams to Rose instead of to his wife; and Nora’s brother, whose emotional meltdown from losing the family farm -- all challenge Rose to bring her family’s past full circle. A sudden romance with the farm manager with the mysterious past, was certainly not her original agenda. She is anxious about continuing it lest she repeat mistakes made by her American father and New Zealand mother. Armed with old family letters, Rose retraces her mother’s footsteps as a World War II government agricultural worker, or Land Girl. The information Rose learns from the letters is key to preventing a tragedy in Nora’s family.

The eBook is currently available at Barnes and Noble, Amazon, Smashwords, Kobo and retails for $3.99. The paperback will be available through CreateSpace, this blog and my website --, and eventually through Amazon as well. The paperback will retail for $12, plus postage.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Village Green - Woodstock, Vermont

The town common, or village green in Woodstock, Vermont. It is early spring, and the activities held here by the community are for another day. Today, we have it all to ourselves.

If you want to know more about Woodstock, here’s the marker right on the green to fill you in. These are the facts.  I like the one about it being the the site of the first ski-tow in the US, in 1934.

Poet William Blake provides some color commentary in “The Echoing Green”:

The sun does arise,

And make happy the skies.

The merry bells ring

To welcome the spring.

The skylark and thrush,

The birds of the bush,

Sing louder around,

To the bells’ cheerful sound,

While our sports shall be seen

On the echoing green.

Old John with white hair

Does laugh away care,

Sitting under the oak,

Among the old folk.

They laugh at our play,

And soon they all say:

‘Such, such were the joys

When we all, girls and boys,

In our youth-time were seen

On the echoing green.’

Till the little ones weary

No more can be merry;

The sun does descend,

And our sports have an end.

Round the laps of their mother

Many sisters and brothers,

Like birds in their nest,

Are ready for rest;

And sport no more seen

On the darkening green.

William Blake (1757-1827)

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Old Granary Burial Ground - Boston

The small boy dressed in Colonial clothing striding across the Old Granary Burial Ground is not a ghost, even though the modern-dressed boys in the background don’t appear to see him.

Here on Tremont Street in Boston, the burial ground dates from 1660, and among the famous names you’ll see on some of the headstones is John Hancock and Paul Revere. You might meet the occasional historical interpreter as well, dressed appropriately and giving you a tour.

Unless it’s a ghost.

For more on the Old Granary Burial Ground, have a look at this site.

Now Available