Friday, June 22, 2012

"That Was Tomorrow" - A Book Review

Historical fiction is a much abused genre. Too often fascinating people and events are treated like museum pieces – fragile, silent, and dead.

That Was Tomorrow by Mary Lois Timbes avoids these pitfalls, giving us a vivid portrait of a time and place in history filled with colors, scents, sounds, and a strong sense of the future.

Along with heroine Amelia, we explore the turn-of-the-century Utopian experiment known as Fairhope, getting to know the colony's eccentric citizens, their habits, their politics, their fears, and their dreams. It is a coffee-fueled, romance-filled, full-sensory trip back to a dynamic time in a very unique place – and is well worth the visit.

Top 10 Reasons To Buy That Was Tomorrow
  1. Impress others with your extensive knowledge of early 20th century educational theory.
  2. Find out just what the heck “Fishlock” means.
  3. It hits on all the major life themes: Love, Sex, Death, and Food.
  4. Learn the difference between “batter cakes,” “pancakes,” and “scrapple.”
  5. Uncover an historical justification for pairing socks and sneakers.
  6. Because you're curious what Wharton Esherick and Sherwood Anderson might have been like when tipsy.
  7. Radical socialist agenda!
  8. Discover a funky little town in Alabama where I used to knock around as a kid.
  9. Two words: Nudist camp
  10. It's only $9.99 for your Amazon Kindle!

Today's lesson: Buy That Was Tomorrow. (And while you're at anyway, download Hometown. It's free through June 22!)

Next: Maybe a new Yummish saint. It's been a while since the last one. Any nominations?

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

A Midsummer Day's Blog Post

Today is the Summer Solstice, celebrated in many parts of the world as Midsummer.”

Many years ago I was in a “Shakespeare in the Park”-style production of “A Midsummer Night's Dream.” It was the worst production I was ever in – until that same troupe did “The Taming of the Shrew” the next year.*

In some countries, people celebrate “St. John's Day” on Midsummer. Though “John” has historically been one of the most common given names, I currently know only one person by that name.**

Folks in Seattle, WA mark the day by stripping to the skin and riding around the city on bicycles. I love Seattle.

Many traditional Midsummer celebrations involve lighting large bonfires. As these celebrations take place largely in Northern Europe, where the sun will barely dip below the horizon (the midnight sun and all that...), I'm going to have to admit to being confused by the concept. Are they for making traditional viking s'mores? 

As a kid living in Florida and Alabama, I never understood this lyric, as the only immigrants I knew came from tropical Latin countries to the south. In fact, the only people I knew whom this statement even came close to describing were my Michigan-born brother and myself. Let this be a lesson to you not to waste too much time analyzing Led Zeppelin lyrics.

It is said that if a woman places a particular combination of flowers under her pillow on Midsummer's Eve, she will dream of her true love. I tried this last year, but my husband kept jostling them. 

Every time I read the words “Midsummer's Eve,” I think “Fresh is simple with Summer's Eve.” Commercials clearly take up too much of the real estate in my brain.

Speaking of commercials... Witness! Cultural insensitivity at it's finest –

Banned IKEA Commercial, Swedish Midsummer

Reminds me a lot of tail-gating in the US, to be honest... 
and a few nights I spent on Dauphin Island back in college.
I see nothing wrong with any of this. 
I'd party with those cats any day. Skål, y'all!

From the official website of Sweden: “A typical Midsummer menu features different kinds of pickled herring, boiled new potatoes with fresh dill, soured cream and raw red onion. This is often followed by a grilled dish of some kind, such as spare rib or salmon, and for dessert the first strawberries of summer, with cream. The traditional accompaniment is a cold beer and schnapps...” Note to self. By next midsummer, befriend Swede who can cook.***

I have never danced around a Maypole. Or a stripper's pole. I've lived a sheltered life.

Today's lesson: The Earth orbits the Sun... and that is a good thing. 

Next: Why “That Was Tomorrow” by Mary Lois Timbes is the next ebook you should buy.
(Especially since you're going to anyway to download "Hometown" for FREE!) 

*I'm a slow learner.

**Either I need to get out more or people need to quit naming their kids things like “Pleistocene” and “Artichoke.”

***Not this guy -

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

"Hometown" - Free for Amazon Kindle

From June 19 – 22, my novel Hometown is available as a free download for Amazon Kindle and Kindle enabled devices. 

Why are you giving away your book?
I'm just awesome that way.

What do you want in return?
Reviews! Intelligent, thoughtful reviews from funky tastemakers like you! Having insightful customer reviews on makes my book more appealing to future readers.

Will it expire/disappear after June 22?
Nope. Once you've downloaded Hometown, it will behave like every other Kindle book in your collection.

If I fall in love with Hometown and want to get a copy for my technophobic Aunt Mildred, is it available in print?
Indeed! Print copies are available from for $16.99 (+ shipping).

Is Hometown a staggering work of genius filled with humor and pathos, reflecting the greater human condition?
OK... Yeah. Sure. It's also free until June 22.

Now use the social media buttons below to share the good news -- because everyone likes free stuff!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012


As a child I was always eager for June to arrive.

June brought trips to the beach, pizza parties, sunbathing poolside, Kool-Aid, cokes, and ice cream. June meant picnics, Mickey Mouse, and the scent of chlorine in your hair. 

June was an icy glass sweating in the breeze of a high ceiling fan, sunburned thighs, dancing to the late-night radio in a still-hot kitchen under the blue-white hum of a fluorescent light.

June was hot hands plunged into an arctic ice chest, cold fried chicken on a park bench, and endless stretches of highway, burning in the sun. 

June seemed to come so slowly, shine so brightly, and leave too quickly, but our days were always the warmer and sunnier for it. 

Dedicated to my grandmother, Catherine June Gettys (1920 – 2008)

Today's lesson: A rainy summer day in the Bay Area leads me to write a maudlin post.

Next: Something less maudlin.