Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Fairy Tale Fortnight






Fairy Tale Fortnight Fairy Tale Therapy 



Join Alice as she tumbles down the rabbit hole...

YouTube video book trailer: The Secret Diary of Alice in Wonderland

When life tips your tiara it can hurt like the worst toothache. All princesses endure this at one time or another. Sometimes the only relief from the pain of a tipped tiara is to re-write a fairy tale and mock all the bullies who tried to knock your crown off your head. I found riffing fairy tales to be quite therapeutic.


 Therapy 101:

Alice in Wonderland Alice in Lewis Carroll’s Wonderland is insatiably curious and eager for adventure. Following a white rabbit down a hole she finds a world that skates on the thin edge of logic                                                                                                                                 . My Contemporary Alice Miami real estate broker, Alice Harte, follows the WRONG white rabbit and tumbles into a world populated by mobsters and their nonsense lawyers. The original Alice nibbled on mushrooms and EAT ME cookies to grow in size and strength. Alice Harte relies on Xanax when she stumbles across a beheaded mob boss. Will she keep her own head? And what about love? After all, this is romantic suspense.


 How The Secret Diary of Alice in Wonderland, Age 42 and Three-Quarters came to be.

Caught up in a relationship with a British man I met on the Internet in a holiday house exchange, I was jabberwockied to discover he was a professional conman. Like the original Alice, I tired to make sense out of his nonsense. But he confused my logical mind with his caterpillar smoke and mirrors. I had become Alice in Wonderland, and the only way out was through the portal I created by writing my own version of Alice. I became a twister of fairy tales. It’s great fun to use snarky wit to secure the tiaras of not only Alice, but Wendy Darlin, and Zo White.



 Comparing Alices

Both Alices are curious creatures but whereas the original Alice wanted only to escape the world of grownups with her tiara intact; contemporary Alice wants to live in England with a loving partner, and stroll the sheep-lined country lanes. She’d also like to escape her mobster employer.



Unfortunately, Alice Harte is tossed down a dark rabbit hole with murder, mystery, thugs, fish-flingers, and a touch of romance. The usual suspects: the March Hare, Red Queen, and the Tweedles appear in the book, but with a Chandler-esque twist. The Courtroom – real life I found myself in a courtroom not unlike Alice’s encounter with the King, Queen, dormouse, lizard, and playing cards. It was easy to convert a pack of lawyers into a deck of playing cards.

I fastened my tiara, rolled up my sleeves, and jumped in. I hoped that at the end of my godawful experience I would have one heck of a fairy tale to share. In Wonderland, Alice is called as a witness. She accidentally knocks over the jury box with the animals inside. The King orders her to place the animals back into their seats before the trial continues. In my real life courtroom, a portly, pompous lawyer berated me, then without turning, he backed into this seat. He missed the chair and tumbled to the floor knocking over a few stray barristers. When he fell on his bum with an earth- shattering thud, I knew my fairy tale was calling to me. This would make a perfect book.

As I grew in size to the point where the beheading judge was fast falling to pieces, I recalled the part in Wonderland where the Queen orders Alice to be gone, citing Rule 42 "All persons more than a mile high to leave the court.” Alice argues against their silly rule and refuses to leave. The Queen shouts her familiar "Off with her head!" but Alice is unafraid, calling them “just a pack of cards.” The cards and characters swarm over her as she beats them off. This final scene was enough to launch my career as a twister of fairy tales. If your tiara is painfully tipping or your chip has fallen from your shoulder, take one fairy tale and call me in the morning.


The End 

Giveaway: One Kindle Copy of The Secret Diary of Alice in Wonderland,
One Kindle Copy of Zo White and the Seven Morphs
One audio copy of Wendy and the Lost Boys




Barbara Silkstone is the best-selling author of the Wendy Darlin Tomb Raider series that includes: Wendy and the Lost Boys, London Broil, Cairo Caper, Miami Mummies, Wendy Darlin Tomb Raider Boxed Set. Her Criminally Funny Fables Romantic Suspense series includes: The Secret Diary of Alice in Wonderland, Age 42 and Three-Quarters; Wendy and the Lost Boys; Zo White and the Seven Morphs. For a squirt of paranormal comedy try: Cold Case Morphs.

True fiction fan? Try: The Adventures of a Love Investigator.

 Silkstone’s writing has been described as “perfectly paced and pitched – shades of Janet Evanovich and Carl Hiaasen – without seeming remotely derivative. Fast moving action that shoots from the hip with bullet-proof characterization.” All books are available on Audible.com

Short Excerpt from The Secret Diary of Alice in Wonderland

 9:00 a.m. A bell rang and Leslie moved to his seat. The bailiff called the Court to order and the judge entered. We all stood. The judge was female, about fifty-five, with a stubby body. She wore a long white wig like the judge in Alice in Wonderland. Bum luck pulling a lady-judge. I’ve learned that women are usually less compassionate with other women. She wasn’t going to be sympathetic to my flights of fancy. The worst part was she was probably in Leslie’s pocket.

As I slipped into position at our table my straight skirt rose up my legs. I tugged at the hem catching my bracelet on my pantyhose at mid-thigh. I struggled to free the gold links from the tougher than steel fibers of my run-resistant hose. My every movement succeeded in tangling me with myself. My right wrist felt permanently attached to my right thigh eight inches short of being obscene.

 As the true horror of my situation sank into my brain, I watched the lawyers take turns going up to the podium to announce their names and whom they represented. Dallas Little was attorney for Leslie Archer. Glick waddled up to the stand, “George Blackstone Glick for the plaintiff, Algernon Green” he said in a big, booming voice.

“And for the Defense?” the judge asked. I was sweating. I couldn’t stay in my seat. You had to walk up and announce yourself.

I edged out of the chair bent over, hobbling, wrist on thigh, and skirt way up where it shouldn’t have been. I tried to act as professional as I could under the circumstances. I flashed the judge a self-deprecating smile. “Alice Harte. I am here today in my own defense, Your Honor. I am pro se.”

I couldn’t reach the microphone on the podium, so I spoke as loudly as I could considering my face was on my stomach.

The courtroom was silent; you could have heard a lawyer drop. The judge looked flabbergasted. “Are you mocking me?” she snapped. “Your Honor I have a problem. May I go behind the bench?” “The correct terminology is ‘May I approach the bench?’”

I hunched forward, pigeon stepping toward her. There were twitters of laughter in the courtroom. The judge banged her gavel. “Silence. Ms. Harte if you are attempting to make a mockery of this court, I will not take it lightly. Now straighten up.”

The judge’s bench was a good three feet taller than my head. I waddled as close as I could and mouthed the words ‘Panty hose are stuck.’ She didn’t get it.

I figured if I could get behind the judicial platform I could take off my panty hose and roll them up with the bracelet and be done with it. The bailiff was one step behind me as I slipped around the bench and under the judge’s chair. I guessed he’d never seen anyone act that way in court before because he stood there dumbstruck and then broke into gales of laughter. The spectators joined him.

The noise was so loud the judge’s gavel-banging couldn’t be heard. It was twenty minutes before they all got quiet and I felt secure enough to walk out from under the judge’s chair. I did so with all the dignity I could muster. I pretended I was Joan of Arc going to the stake.


Monday, April 7, 2014

Saturday, April 5, 2014

The Secret Diary of Alice in Wonderland, Age 42 and Three-Quarters

Why age 42 and Three-Quarters?


Because 42 is the perfect age. Young enough to dangle off the side of a barge in the Seine but old enough to know better. Young enough to fall in love, but supposedly old enough not to fall for a stranger over the internet.








Excerpt from Alice's Secret Diary:


9:00 a.m.  A bell rang and Leslie moved to his seat. The bailiff called the Court to order and the judge entered. We all stood.
The judge was female, about fifty-five, with a stubby body. She wore a long white wig like the judge in Alice in Wonderland. Bum luck pulling a lady-judge. I’ve learned that women are usually less compassionate with other women. She wasn’t going to be sympathetic to my flights of fancy. The worst part was she was probably in Leslie’s pocket.
As I slipped into position at our table my straight skirt rose up my legs. I tugged at the hem catching my bracelet on my pantyhose at mid-thigh. I struggled to free the gold links from the tougher than steel fibers of my run-resistant hose. My every movement succeeded in tangling me with myself. My right wrist felt permanently attached to my right thigh eight inches short of being obscene. 
As the true horror of my situation sank into my brain, I watched the lawyers take turns going up to the podium to announce their names and whom they represented. Dallas Little was attorney for Leslie Archer. Glick waddled up to the stand, “George Blackstone Glick for the plaintiff, Algernon Green” he said in a big, booming voice.
“And for the Defense?” the judge asked.
I was sweating. I couldn’t stay in my seat. You had to walk up and announce yourself. I edged out of the chair bent over, hobbling, wrist on thigh, and skirt way up where it shouldn’t have been. I tried to act as professional as I could under the circumstances. I flashed the judge a self-deprecating smile.
 “Alice Harte. I am here today in my own defense, Your Honor. I am pro se.” I couldn’t reach the microphone on the podium, so I spoke as loudly as I could considering my face was on my stomach.
The courtroom was silent; you could have heard a lawyer drop.
The judge looked flabbergasted. “Are you mocking me?” she snapped.
“Your Honor I have a problem. May I go behind the bench?”
“The correct terminology is ‘May I approach the bench?’”
I hunched forward, pigeon stepping toward her. There were twitters of laughter in the courtroom. The judge banged her gavel. “Silence.  Ms. Harte if you are attempting to make a mockery of this court, I will not take it lightly. Now straighten up.”
The judge’s bench was a good three feet taller than my head. I waddled as close as I could and mouthed the words ‘Panty hose are stuck.’ She didn’t get it.
I figured if I could get behind the judicial platform I could take off my panty hose and roll them up with the bracelet and be done with it. The bailiff was one step behind me as I slipped around the bench and under the judge’s chair. I guessed he’d never seen anyone act that way in court before because he stood there dumbstruck and then broke into gales of laughter. The spectators joined him. The noise was so loud the judge’s gavel-banging couldn’t be heard. It was twenty minutes before they all got quiet and I felt secure enough to walk out from under the judge’s chair. I did so with all the dignity I could muster. I pretended I was Joan of Arc going to the stake.



I'm in Love with the New Fire TV!



I’m in love!

The new Fire TV is here and what a dreamboat. He’s a little box that plugs into your HDTV. Fire TV is the easiest way to enjoy Prime Instant Video, Netflix, Hulu and ESPN… all low cost or free video rentals. Plus, all your favorite streaming services.
With the spooky but oh-so-accurate voice search, gone is old TV remote that required scrolling and plunking in each letter one at time on a tiny keyboard. All I do is whisper in his ear.
I’m a Prime member so I get unlimited access to movies and TV shows, including Downton Abbey and Under the Dome. 
My new love is such an amusing dude, he would make Spock and Captain Kirk palpitate. And if they were lost in space they could chill-out playing hundreds of games with him. 
Yuppers... I am in love and after years of doing without a TV because of the boring selection of cheesy shows… I’ve actually purchased a new television. Now I’m back at the helm. This is so cool. I just had to share.



                                                       

Sunday, March 23, 2014



Amidst the high-rises of downtown Miami, archaeologists are taking a giant step back in time as they piece together evidence of the only known prehistoric civilization cut into bedrock in the United States. This continuing exploration was the inspiration for Wendy Darlin's latest adventure:

                                      Miami Mummies


                                                  Read all about it on Second Act Cafe



                                                               

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Look out! The Mummies are in Miami!

The Miami Mummies are coming to get you!



                                                                  

Review from Big Al's Books & Pals

Reviewed by: ?wazithinkin

Genre:  Humor /Mystery /Adventure

Approximate word count: 45-50,000 words

Availability    
Kindle  US: YES  UK: YES  Nook: NO  Smashwords: NO Paper: NO
Click on a YES above to go to appropriate page in Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Smashwords store

Author:

“Barbara Silkstone is the best-selling author of the Wendy Darlin Tomb Raider series ~ Mystery Comedies featuring Wendy Darlin, Miami real estate broker and part-time Tomb Raider. Silkstone enjoys doing playful things with language as she writes criminally funny tales ripped from the headlines...shaken, not stirred, and served with a twist and a chuckle. She lives in south Florida where she survives on buttered popcorn and fried chicken... extra crispy.”

You can find out more about Ms. Silkstone at her website or connect with her on her blog orFacebook. Ms. Silkstone has also recently opened another website that has nothing to do with books. “The Second Act Café is a place for those lingering on either side of fifty. It’s about getting even by having fun. Life truly should be one long laugh.” Her books are also available on Audible.com.
Description:

“The legendary mastermind criminal and mummy thief, Kyzer Saucy, strikes again. Part-time tomb raider and full-time real estate broker, Wendy Darlin joins her lover, archaeologist Roger Jolley as they struggle to save a rare Miami mummy from the clutches of this evil genius. Can Saucy be stopped before he kills again? Meanwhile can Wendy keep her promise to Alfred Hiccup as he attempts to transmigrate from the afterlife? Or has Wendy finally made one promise too many?

Appraisal:

As always Wendy hits the ground running. She just happens to be in the wrong place at the wrong time with hormones raging. Ms. Silkstone's plots are character driven and I am not sure she has any control over Wendy at all. She is a smart, take control type of heroine and doesn't let anything get in her way, besides holes in fabric, water in her face, or heights.

Miami Mummies is a homage to Alfred Hitchcock with character names such as Alfred Hiccup, Tippy Henman, Gary Grant, and Stewart James. Tippy's construction site, where the mummies were found, is the old Bates Hotel. In a secondary plot Alfred Hiccup, Wendy's mentor, recruits her to repossess, it's not stealing if it was originally stolen from him, a bronze  Remington statue that has been located in the lobby of the Cowboy Pension Fund on the top floor of the North by Northwest Financial Center in Miami. You can tell Ms. Silkstone had a lot of fun weaving this story and the Hitchcock elements together. I found myself chuckling through it all.

This is not just slapstick humor, there is a good mystery, unscrupulous political figures, evil lobbyists, a spoiled heiress, and a radical spinoff tribe of Seminole Native Americans trying to protect what may be an old Tequesta Indian burial site. Unfortunately, Roger Jolley is away on other mummy business involving the world’s most notorious mummy thief, Kyzer Saucy, who wishes to totally eliminate Roger by crafting an exotic demise. However, when he hears about the archaeological finds around Miami he joins Wendy in her quest to get to the truth about the Miami mummies.

I was glad to see more of Kit Kennedy in this book. He is a lot of fun to have around. I did fear for his safety a time or two through some of the plot twists. Ms. Silkstone does an excellent job bringing her story to life using recent headlines in Miami's news while making it a fun romp through Alfred Hitchcock's movie portfolio. There are a couple of new characters introduced who may make appearances in future books, it will be interesting to see. There is no cliffhanger at the end of this story but some things were not tied up in a neat little bow leaving openings for further adventures.

FYI:

Miami Mummies is the fourth book in the Wendy Darlin Tomb Raider series.
While it could be read as a stand-alone I would recommend reading Wendy and the Lost Boys, London Broil, and Cairo Caper for a complete appreciation of the characters.

Format/Typo Issues:

I found no significant issues.

Rating: ***** Five Stars

  




Monday, March 10, 2014

Celebrating the coming release of MIAMI MUMMIES

 To celebrate the upcoming release on March 17th of Miami Mummies, an homage to the great director Alfred Hitchcock, we are sharing this intriguing diagnosis of Hitch's film works.

Sit back and enjoy. There will be many things you already know, but many more surprises.
The Guardian performed a marvelous autopsy on the superb collection of classic Hitchcock films.


                   Click here:       Alfred Hitchcock's 39 Stats by the UK Guardian