October 11, 2019

Creative Woo-riting, Part 3

Hello, hello! I'm back with more behind-the-scenes brainstorming of my latest short story, "Revolve Her," inspired by the lyrics of the Beatles album Revolver. As it was a rather metaphysical story, I decided to approach it in a rather metaphysical way, especially since I'd had major writer's block and needed some help however I could get it!

As mentioned in my last post, to get an initial, intuitive peek at my main characters, I conducted a tarot reading. Because...why not? I knew I wanted tarot to feature in the story somehow, so it felt appropriate to use it as an actual tool in crafting the story.

In my previous post, I shared the reading results for my protagonist, Ellie. Today I'm sharing another cursory character sketch using the same method. Once again, I used Ethony Dawn's Story Tarot Spread and the Tarot of Haunted House deck to learn a bit about my secondary character Beverley:

This photo is a re-creation of the original reading, but drat! I accidentally positioned the 4 of Swords upright when it had actually been reversed. Due to laziness, I am using this photo anyway. Just flip the image in your mind. :)

1. Significator: 5 of Pentacles. [Unlike the significator I deliberately chose for Ellie, I think I drew this card at random because I really didn't have a clear idea of this character.] She is destitute, working here to make what money she can, though has a true gift for spiritual connection and insight. Has to fend off a lot of creeps and skeptics, though, that threaten this livelihood.

2. Challenge: 9 of Wands (reversed).She's been through some hard knocks, but her defenses are down, and she's starting to fear this will never end--the way things have been--overwhelmed by what opportunities could be passing her by. What's her next step, and should she get a plane ticket out of town for a completely new start elsewhere?

3. Opportunity: The Moon (reversed). The Protagonist's challenge is the Psychic's opportunity. [See previous post, where the Moon reversed also showed up for my protagonist, Ellie.] This lost soul finds her and, together, they navigate the path(s) visible to them or not yet [visible].

4. Environment: The Magician. All sorts of tools available to them in the crystal shop! Crystals, tarot, other divination, and her psychic gifts. It's all there, just takes them to use it and manifest real change.

5. The Reward: The Emperor (reversed). Overthrowing the Patriarchy. She is vulnerable to men, too. [See previous post, where this issue also came up for Ellie.]

6. The Outcome: 4 of Swords (reversed)*. Getting up and out of her situation before it can snare her in its clutches for good. She's had enough time standing still and analyzing it to death. Time to rise and step out into the moonlight with our Protagonist, facing fears and following intuition together (?). Maybe she does leave town with the Protag. or just buys a ticket and leaves it to fate [at this point I had drawn a clarifying card, the Wheel of Fortune, which added that last bit of insight]. Goes to airport and sees where the next departures are headed. Standing up to men fires her up for positive change.

* To repeat my caption above, yes, the 4 of Swords was actually reversed. Ignore my shoddy work in re-creating the scene for the photo.

In my journal I then went on to look at the overall trends in the cards, particularly that out of six cards there were four Major Arcana and four reversals. I took this to mean: "This is a massive, ongoing issue for her with significant impact on her future. She's low energy and vulnerable, scared, and hesistant/resistant, though."

And I LOVE THIS: I next asked what the story's heat level should be, not sure how far I wanted to go with romance yet also not certain that a tarot card could give a clear answer on that...and then I drew this:


HA! BURN, BABY, BURN!!! 🔥🔥🔥

So, yeah. For the record, a tarot card can be very, very clear on that point. 😆

I wouldn't say I took the heat level that far in the story, but I did appreciate getting the go-ahead for some sexual tension if I wanted it! And as for Beverley, this exercise genuinely did help me begin to shape her in my mind, to get a sense of what her own conflict might be.

How closely did I follow this in the story? Read it and find out! 😃

"Revolve Her" is available in the Paperback Writers anthology at Amazon: http://getbook.at/PaperbackWriters







October 8, 2019

Creative Woo-riting, Part 2

Eek. Took me longer than expected to get back here, but I've been busy editing for myself and others, so that's a good thing! Am stealing a moment now to bring you the next installment of my "Creative Woo-riting" series, in which I share a little of the metaphyzzle shizzle that went into writing "Revolve Her." Here's the blurb:
Dr. Robert has spun Eleanor round like a record. He rocked her world in the UK, then turned it upside down in the US. Hot, dry, sunny Sedona, Arizona is nothing like the London she left behind for love. And now, on her own, Eleanor — Ellie — isn’t sure where she belongs.
She’s not the only lost soul, however, when someone else’s violent past traumatizes her present. Unsure whether the threat only lives in her mind or if a spirit actually lurks in her motel room, Ellie seeks the aid of a psychic medium named Beverley. Unfortunately, Ellie’s life takes another turn for the worse when Beverley’s own troubled history comes around to haunt them both—and this time, it’s definitely not Ellie’s imagination. That revolver is real, and it’s taking aim. But who is it for?
Riffing on the song titles and lyrics of the Beatles album Revolver, “Revolve Her” spins a supernatural tune of its own about a woman who knows where she comes from and will decide for herself where she’s going.

So, there's a bit about the story, which was largely inspired by The Beatles in subtle and unconventional ways. And also unconventionally, I decided to consult tarot cards for ideas on characterization!

Using Ethony Dawn's Story Tarot Spread, I laid out the following cards from the Tarot of Haunted House deck to get some insight into my story's protagonist, Ellie:


The notes I scribbled as I first interpreted this spread go a little somethin' like this...

1. Significator: Queen of Wands for August 5. [This date is Ellie's alleged birthday and when Revolver was released in '66! So, I deliberately chose this card to represent the fire sign of Leo. The rest of the cards, however, were selected at random.]

2. Challenge: The Moon (reversed). Fear, deception, disillusionment. She's lost and depressed and letting doubt get the better of her.

3. Opportunity: Strength. She has occasion to find inner strength as mirrored in her own reflection or the spirit or medium. This strength could lead her down the wrong path, though. Her smile is more smirky and devious/vengeful.

4. Environment: King of Wands. Seductive, handsome man with the power. She is vulnerable and useless around him -- or the spirit was, and this energy affects the protagonist.

5. The Reward: 5 of Wands. There is struggle and confusion that she must overcome to truly find her strength and the clarity to light her path. She must throw off the cloak that conceals the real her. Break free from the tangle of men.

6. The Outcome: 8 of Cups. An escape to higher ground. A more enlighted path that discards the toxic influences/habits that no longer serve her.

I went on to feverishly jot down ideas from there in my journal, as I always like to brainstorm a story with pen and paper. I'd just never tried tarot before as a prompt! The results were cool. It's interesting to look back on this now that I've written and published the story. I'd say all of this does factor into it in some way.

Next up is the reading I did for my psychic medium, Beverley. Until then, dearies, whether it's books or tarot, I wish you happy reading!



August 31, 2019

Creative Woo-riting, Part 1

Howdy and happy weekend, all! As mentioned in my last post, I'm back now to talk a bit about the writing process for my latest project, "Revolve Her" (a short story that you can find in the Beatles-themed anthology Paperback Writers). I've taken to calling the process creative "woo"-riting, however, as this time, I not only wrote about the metaphysical, I practiced it as well to get the inspiration flowing.

In a previous post, I talked about how 2018 wasn't the most stellar year for my writing. For pretty much the entire year, I was blocked, so I seized it as an opportunity (if not took it as a sign) to step back and incubate in self-care and mystical study for a while. At the very least, all the stuff I've learned will make it into my future books! But it's all truly been transformational for me as a human being in general, and I think I needed to fill my cup in that respect before I could go back to being a writer, too.

In any case, to get to the point, when authors Morgan and Jennifer Locklear invited me to contribute a short story to the Paperback Writers anthology last year, I panicked that I wouldn't seize on an idea in time, given the absolute standstill of 2018. So, I felt I needed to get more serious about intention-setting and committing to follow-through. I began on the first evening of a new moon with a tarot spread, seeking advice on writing this story--and meeting its deadline. The oracle card I drew at the end of the reading as a final word (from the Sacred Rebels deck) was this:


"Bring it into form." Uh, yep! Definitely the kick in the pants that I needed to get out of my writer's block and start manifesting ideas on the page again. By this point, my writing muscles were almost in atrophy, so just the image of this card was revitalizing and inspiring to see.

My next step was to conduct a new-moon ritual adapted (okay, totally ripped off) from Kelly Fitzgerald at The Truth in Story. The original video doesn't appear to be available anymore (or at least I can't find it), but, basically, she approached intention-setting using geomancy and the Wildwood Tarot. For this, she used a book box (which you can still get a glimpse at in this video: https://youtu.be/DXFbZtKH0WU), and I myself have ended up using a little wooden box with a hinged lid, like what you could store a tarot deck in. And whereas Kelly filled her box with normal sand, I found garnet sand from a Scottish seller on Etsy that is absolutely gorgeous and just the vibe I need. In the sand, you place stones in the shape of a geomancy figure that best expresses your intention. I take it a step further by using onyx rune stones that themselves represent the gist of what I'm after. In this case, the geomancy figure I chose was "The Way" (a straight line of four dots) to represent the path (and movement) forward, and the runes essentially reflected clarity, creativity, inspired communication, and a fruitful outcome.



Next, at the four corners of the box lid on the left-hand side are representations of the elements--a tealight for fire, feather for air, stone for earth, and a small cup of water for, well, water (for my cup, I use a seashell that I collected on the Cornish coast along with the feather and stone). Between these elements, you can then lay one or more tarot or oracle cards that likewise embrace the spirit of your intention. Like Kelly, I've opted to use the Wildwood Tarot, which I supplement with the Celtic Lenormand deck to get even more specific about my intention. The cards I chose for this one were also concerned with forward momentum and hitting my writing target with creativity and skill.

I meditated on this intention for two moon cycles, I believe, and I wrote like I hadn't written in well over a year! The ideas came to me fast and furious, and I rediscovered my drive and joy. It's not so much that I cast a "spell" to make this happen; the process simply compelled me to get specific about my goal and to remain focused on it. Even when I wasn't meditating before this ritual box (repeating my precise intention over and over like a mantra), just a glance at it would remind me of what I needed to do, and every time I saw it, I felt the power of its motivation. I even took a photo of it for when I was writing on the road, just in case I needed to see it to believe in it again. To believe in myself again. And yeah, okay, I suppose I do also believe that in sending an intention out into the universe in this ritualistic, repeated way--and putting an earnest effort out there to back it up--the energy and inspiration I needed were sent right back to me.

I must say this was a very moving process, and I think the story that resulted--"Revolve Her"--is all the more unusual and special for it. So, it's no surprise that now that I need to re-edit What the Clocks Know, I just did this ritual again at the new moon yesterday. Same tools, different intention (ergo different cards, runes, and geomancy figure).


We'll see how the upcoming cycle plays out, but, in the meantime, I'll be back here with more creative woo-riting. Enjoy the weekend, my lovelies!







August 22, 2019

Where'd the Clocks Go?

https://www.rumerhaven.com/what-the-clocks-know
Follow my ebook shortlink (http://getbook.at/WTCK) to What the Clocks Know, and it leads to nowhere. Find the paperback at Amazon, and it's selling at a dramatically higher price. This can only mean one thing, folks.

Yep, the book's out of print.

But not for long! I've recently reclaimed my rights to this title and will be re-releasing it later this year, when it'll join Coattails and Cocktails under the Fallen Monkey imprint. (From Crooked Cat to Fallen Monkey? It's a virtual menagerie over here!)

What the Clocks Know won First Place in General Fiction in the 2017 Red City Review Book Awards, an achievement I'm incredibly proud of, especially since this story was the very first novel manuscript that I ever penned. Whittling that rookie effort into award-winning shape wasn't easy, and I'll be honest that there's still more sanding and varnishing to be done. One could say this of any story, so there's of course a time when we have to just let our book babies go and survive in the wild without us. That said, I'm seizing republication as an opportunity to re-edit Clocks into a stronger version of itself. I'm not talking total revamp, just tightening the opening chapters and little tweaks here and there as I read the book myself for the first time in years. It's been a decade since I started writing Clocks, and I expect the clocks know even more now. I know I do.

On a more superficial note, I'm also quite excited to present this book in a prettier package! For Clocks' second edition, I will be collaborating once again with the cover and interior designers of Coattails and Cocktails--a dream team to be sure! Watch this space (and my social media profiles) for updates.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43809574-paperback-writers-anthology
Until then, dahhlings, I will be back to blog about the creative "woo-riting" that went into my latest paranormal project, "Revolve Her," which you can find now in Paperback Writers--an anthology of original stories inspired by the music of The Beatles. Universal. Romantic. Experimental. Timeless. Emotional. Fearless. Eleven short stories that all share a chord. (All proceeds benefit the World Literacy Foundation.)

~ Rumer

May 16, 2019

COVER REVEAL: Paperback Writers Anthology!

Cover Reveal_ PB WRITERS ANTHOLOGY

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Paperback Writers Anthology Book Cover

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Title: Paperback Writers Anthology

Authors: Beck Anderson, Kris Babe, MJ Grace, Rumer Haven,
Shari Ivey, Effie Kammenou, Jennifer Locklear, Morgan Locklear,
Sydney Logan, Melanie Moreland, Susan K. Swords, Aubree Valentine

Genre: Stories include a mixture of Contemporary Romance, Romantic Comedy, Fantasy, Contemporary Fantasy, Dramatic Romance, Romantic Suspense, and Sweet Contemporary Romance

Release Day: June 11, 2019

Cover Designer: Jada D'Lee Designs

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Paperback Ebook Cover

An anthology of original stories inspired by the music of The Beatles. Universal. Romantic. Experimental. Timeless. Emotional. Fearless. Eleven short stories that all share a chord.

All proceeds will benefit the World Literacy Foundation, a global non-profit organization working to ensure that every young individual regardless of geographic location has the opportunity to acquire literacy and reading skills to reach their full potential.
Foreword by Sylvain Reynard.

Paperback writers featured:
Beck Anderson
Kris Babe
MJ Grace
Rumer Haven
Shari Ivey
Effie Kammenou
Jennifer Locklear
Morgan Locklear
Sydney Logan
Melanie Moreland
Susan K. Swords
Aubree Valentine


PURCHASE-7
circle icon - amazon ibooks-480 barnes-and-noble-icon  circle icon - Kobo


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Enter to win the Cover Reveal Giveaway HERE!




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March 17, 2019

Today Only! HISTORYTELLERS Scavenger Hunt

*** THIS EVENT IS NOW CLOSED. ***
MANY CONGRATS, HOWEVER, TO OUR
GRAND-PRIZE WINNER, 
CHRIS KEMP-PHILP!!!

As promised in my last post, welcome to the Historytellers Scavenger Hunt! This hunt is dedicated to novels historically set in the 1910s, 1920s and 1930s, across all genres. You’ll have the opportunity to discover new authors, new stories, and to meet other readers who love this time period--not to mention, you’ll be eligible to win the grand prize, which includes a digital copy of all the novels participating in the hunt!

This online event takes place only today, 17 March 2019, from 00:00 to 23:59 EST. You can find out how to play here: https://sarahzama.theoldshelter.com/historytellers-how-to-hunt/


If you’d like to find out more about the hunt, see links to all the authors participating, and see the full list of prizes up for grabs, go to the Historytellers Scavenger Hunt page.


***THE SCAVENGER HUNT***

Directions: I’ve included my lucky number in this post (you will definitely spot it!). All my fellow authors participating in the hunt will also include a lucky number in their posts. Collect all of these numbers and add them up.

Entry Form: When you have that lucky total number, make sure you fill out the form below (or here) to officially qualify for the grand prize. Only entries with the correct number will qualify.

Rules: Anyone can take part. To be eligible for the grand prize, you must submit the completed entry form by 23:59 EST on Sunday, 17 March. Entries sent without the correct number or without contact information will not be considered.

LET THE HUNT BEGIN!

HISTORYTELLERS Scavenger Hunt


***HI, I'M RUMER HAVEN***

I'm probably the most social recluse you could ever meet. When not babbling my fool head off among friends and family, I'm pacified with a good story that I'm reading, writing, or revising--or binge-watching Buffy. Hailing from Chicago, I presently live in London with my husband and probably a ghost or two. I've always had a penchant for the past and paranormal, which inspires my writing to explore dimensions of time, love, and the soul. My award-winning work includes Coattails and Cocktails (First Prize Winner, 2018 Red City Review Book Awards) and What the Clocks Know (First Place Winner in General Fiction, 2017 Red City Review Book Awards).

Where to find me:
Website: www.rumerhaven.com
Twitter: @RumerHaven
Facebook: www.facebook.com/rumerhaven
Instagram: www.instagram.com/rumerhaven
Amazon: viewauthor.at/RumerHaven

Coming up next is the novel up for grabs in the HISTORYTELLERS Scavenger Hunt Grand Prize!


***TODAY'S PRIZE FROM YOURS TRULY***
(COATTAILS AND COCKTAILS)

A body clearly shaken, but not stirring...

Summer, 1929. Murder isn't on the menu when Chicago tycoon Ransom Warne hosts a dinner party at his country estate. But someone's a victim--and everyone's a suspect--when drinks and desires lead to disaster.

Hollywood starlet Lottie Landry has returned home to celebrate her engagement. She's famous for her on- and off-screen romance with co-star Noble, but, privately, she's having second thoughts. As her former guardian, Ransom doesn't approve of the match. Yet his own affections raise questions when his wife, Edith, suspects him of having an affair--just as Noble suspects Lottie. Stirred into the mix are Lottie's friends Helen and Rex, a young journalist and football hero who can feel tension building in the Warne mansion like a shaken champagne bottle.

And once the cork pops, a body drops.

Coattails and Cocktails is where Agatha Christie meets The Great Gatsby, a whodunit spiked with new love and old baggage, public faces and private vices. Filled to the brim with romance and mystery, it's sure to intoxicate.

Available in both ebook and paperback format at AMAZON: getbook.at/CAC


 ***EXCLUSIVE CONTENT***
(A SNEAK PEEK AT MY NEXT NOVEL!)

As part of this scavenger hunt, I have happily agreed to share some exclusive, never-before-seen content.

While Coattails and Cocktails is 100% historical fiction, my next book will be set in modern day but with some flashbacks to a past era. Unfortunately, I haven't drafted those bits yet, but what I can offer today is a draft scene set at a murder-mystery dinner, in which my contemporary characters role play as 1940s murder suspects.

So, to be clear, this is not an excerpt from Coattails and Cocktails, the historical murder mystery featured above as my contribution to today's Grand Prize--which also happens to be accessible to anyone at any time at Amazon. No, ma'ams and sirs, what follows below is from a story I am still slowly but surely writing about a modern-day mystery dinner game--and no one's eyes but mine have read this yet!

And so, without further ado... (Though please do bear in mind this is a first draft and highly subject to change, if it ends up making the final cut at all! 'Tis the beauty of the writing process. :))

~ * ~ 

[ROUGH-DRAFT EXCERPT FROM MY CURRENT PROJECT]

“Ladies and gentlemen,” Aubrey began after everyone quickly reacquainted or introduced themselves—their real selves, not their characters—“it is my master’s greatest privilege to welcome you into his home.”
“Why would the maid announce this?” Kelly murmured to Greer out the side of his mouth. The group now stood in a circle within the dim confines of the parlor, painted a peacock blue and upholstered within an inch of its life with pale floral patterns. Porcelain kitsch cluttered every available surface of the mahogany furnishings.
Catching Aubrey’s nervous glance, Greer elbowed Kelly in his side to shut up. Aubrey had organized the whole thing, so it made sense for her to kick things off. But for all her insistence that everyone get in character straight away, it did seem odd that Aubrey wouldn’t have just made Stacey and herself the master and mistress of the house to jive with the story better.
Greer refused to comment, though, so her brother just rolled his eyes and turned his attention back to the empowered housemaid.
“I hope you all had safe journeys and settled in well,” Aubrey continued. “Anyone need a drink?” Raising her chin, she looked around, and to Stacey’s evident relief, everyone seemed all set. The “butler” had followed his orders, as dictated by the real master of the house here. Granted, Greer and the last to arrive—Ken and Sadie—had never gotten a chance to grab their drinks, and Aubrey herself still only clutched the feather duster. Hopefully Stacey wouldn’t catch heat for that; it was kind of Aubrey’s fault, after all, for holding them up in the foyer and then rushing them into the parlor to the start the game. But Greer wasn’t much of a drinker anyway and could easily wait until everyone sat for dinner. She knew Ken was too polite to make a fuss, too, and true to form, he didn’t.
She knew quite a lot of things about Ken, and she wondered if Sadie did yet. If this new woman on his arm had even a fraction of the history Greer had shared with him before he’d broken her heart. But whatever. Like she’d told Aubrey only moments ago, she’d moved on and would be happy for Ken if he was happy with Sadie.
Yep, she was one big happy-fest as her face grew hotter and hotter beneath her fedora. Her thick suit was so warm, too, in this musty old place. Really putting the fried in her Girl Friday. Spence’s date must’ve been boiling in her cheap white synthetic wig and opera gloves, too. Yet Rita kept smiling and sipping her white wine, so it must’ve been true that even fake blondes have more fun.
A scuffling sound to Greer’s right broke her thoughts and alerted her to Anna, who’d appeared from nowhere now wearing a black pillbox hat with crinkled netting hanging awkwardly over one eye.
Just as Greer raised a brow, Aubrey exclaimed, “Ah, Ms. Job! You were able to make it! Finally!”
Anna fidgeted with her apron, in which she’d tucked a length of shiny brocade fabric partially around her waist, presumably as part of a costume. Was she playing the game, too, then? Hadn’t she said in the foyer her last name was Bosworth?
“Sorry if I’m late, ma’am. Uh, Miss Feather Dussder.” Pointing her thumb over her shoulder, she sputtered, “There was a— I got held up, uh—”
“At the ferry!” Aubrey clapped her hands together. “Of course! Water’s been choppy today. We may be in for some weather.”
“Ferry? Out here in the prairie?” Kelly muttered before Greer elbowed him again.
“Um…” Aubrey’s cheeks were reddening closer to the shade of her auburn hair, and both her voice and body seemed to tremble. The poor gal was clearly so nervous about pulling this off. Her parties didn’t tend to go without a hitch, yet that never squashed her penchant for entertaining. “So. Like I was saying, I’m so glad everyone could be here. And everyone is good with their drinks, yes? Good. Uh…” She kept darting glances at Anna, then stretched her arms toward the woman with flourish. “Anita Job, everyone!”
“Oh!” Anna seemed alerted to action. “Yes! That’s my name. I’m Anita Job, and I’m, ah, here because, uh…I need a job?”
“Your reputation precedes you, Anita. Of course everyone knows who you are and why you’re here.”
As Greer looked around at everyone else looking around at each other, clueless, Aubrey continued, “Oh, and we all know that you’re here because our illustrious host, Mr. Phil Theeritch, has invited you to discuss the new film he’s financing.” She stared intently at Ken.
“Oh, uh, yes,” he responded, much as Anna had when clearly missing her cues in this role play. This would take some getting used to for everyone. “As the name says, I’m indeed ‘filthy rich’ and, uh…”
Ken’s hand scrambled around in his tuxedo pocket until Sadie calmly handed him the crisp black-and-gold card she’d removed from her black beaded purse.
“Thank you, darling,” he said as he shined his magnificent side-smile on Sadie. Squinting, he paraphrased aloud from his invitation, “Okay, so I’m a wealthy tycoon looking to fund a new Hollywood motion picture, and my trophy wife Erma Candy and I”—he wrapped an arm around Sadie’s chiffon shoulders—“have invited famous director Cam Rushai”—he looked around and nodded at Spence, who’d raised his hand—“here for dinner to seal the deal. Also the starlet Ivanna Tension?” Ken smiled at Spencer’s date Rita when she waved jazz hands to reveal herself. “Has-been actress Anita Job is my ex-wife”—he smiled sheepishly at Anna—“and journalist Berry DeLeed is here to cover the scoop on our movie.” He gestured to Greer with his card but looked at Kelly instead. “Which leaves Kelly here as…? You crashin’ my party, pal?”’
Kelly laughed. “Hey, I’m here with Berry. Your invitation to her included a plus-one.”
“Indeed it must have.” Ken nodded. “Nice to meet you, then, Mr.…”
Dunnit. Hugh Dunnit’s the name.”
“Like whodunnit,” Rita said, her silver sequins shimmering over her voluptuous form as she giggled. “That’s cute.”
“I guess you do vant attention, Ivanna,” Spence teased. “Speaking out of turn.” He gave her a playful spank as punishment, which she laughed off with a diminished smile.
“And what is it that you do, Mr. Dunnit?” Sadie asked, showing initiative. A sign, Greer thought, that Erma Candy wouldn’t be content just playing “arm candy” tonight. Beneath that dark, lustrous, Victory-Rolled hair was probably a big, beautiful brain if Ken had stuck with her this long. Well then, Berry DeLeed would just have to up her game.
Greer heard her character’s name just then, as Spence explained to Rita on the side what it meant to “bury the lead” in journalism. And also cackle that brother and sister were on a “date” tonight.
Kelly, who’d started to answer Sadie's question, interrupted himself to point at Spence. “Watch it,” he said with mock—though probably pretty real—aggravation.
“Anyway, as I was saying,” he continued with Sadie, “I just hold an office job. Nothing special.”
“Hm,” Sadie replied with a narrowed eye, not seeming to buy Hugh’s story. “Well, my husband and I are happy to receive you in our home, Mr. Dunnit.”
Greer’s stomach dropped at “my husband.” She’s only acting in character, she’s only acting in character, she’s only acting in character, she reminded herself. Boy, now Greer wished she did have that drink already. She crossed her arms and dug her thick high heel into the old matted carpet instead.
Aubrey, who was wringing her hands around her feather duster, assumed center stage again. “Okay, so, Anna—I mean, Anita, if you want to share your story now?”
Anna had just been milling around quietly in the periphery of the group, looking anxiously now and then toward the foyer. But once summoned by Aubrey, she snapped to attention and, lifting away that swathe of tacky brocade, fished a folded piece of glossy white paper out of her apron pocket and began to read it in monotone.
“‘I, Anita Job, was once a siren of the silver screen. But the “talkies” were not kind to me and my grating East Coast accent.’ Whoops.” She looked up at Aubrey, who seemed to wave off the need for Anna to affect any accent. But Anna apparently wanted to try anyway, as she continued in a high, nasal tone: “‘Linguists tried and fay-yelled, and in the meantime I refused voiceovahs and threw enough fits to boyn bridges and lose leading roles to youngah, freshah actresses. My diva behaviah cost me my relationship with Phil also, so in time I fell outta fame and the public eye. Phil Theeritch reads his lines next’…oh.” Shaking her head, she motioned at Ken with her paper for him to take his turn.
“Um” was all Ken said, looking at Aubrey.
Zeeb!” she hissed at Stacey.
“What? Oh.” He walked to a side table and grabbed a small stack of thin booklets. Thumbing through them, he handed one to Ken.
Ken flipped to the first pages, seemed to find what he needed, and read, “‘Word is, however, that my ex-wife is staging a comeback. She claims to have mended her ways and has gradually resurfaced as a character actress, where her regional accent suits the roles. This swallowing of pride for the love of her craft has brought her acclaim on stage and in film, so the studio has officially picked her back up and, along with the public, warmed to her and her voice. So, she has a lead role in A Filly’s Tale, the motion picture I seek to finance.’ Uh, Cam, I guess you’re up next.”
Stacey was quicker on the draw to hand Spence his booklet. The wannabe actor pretended to twiddle his slim, drawn-on moustache as he reviewed his lines, probably rehearsing them in his head first as if this could be his big break.
“‘The problem now,’” Spence boomed in a dramatically deep voice, “‘is that I, the director of A Filly’s Tale, and its producer Phil Theeritch disagree with the studio, viewing Ivanna Tension as the natural fit for the part.’”
Aubrey theatrically gasped at this, then nodded to Anna.
“‘Oh, de-ah,’” Anna robotically said in her awful East Coast accent, reading off the paper once more. “‘Well, I nevah. You’ll he-ah from the studio about this. I got a contract.’”
“‘Yes, Anita, you do,’” Ken read, “‘but what you don’t know is that instead of the leading lady, you’ll be playing the role of…her mother!’”
“Dun-dun-DAH!” Spence sang to score that reveal.
“‘Mothah?’” Anna read with zero feigned outrage. “‘That’s not what I agreed to. Well, I nevah! Storms in anger out of’—oh.” Ducking her head down, Anna scurried out of the parlor.
Everyone giggled in equal parts confusion and amusement as Stacey distributed the rest of the character booklets to their respective players. Greer started flipping ahead in hers when a fan of feathers tapped her wrist. “Sorry.” She smiled meekly at Aubrey.
“Well, Hugh,” Aubrey said to Kelly pointedly, “you’re supposed to do something now. Aren’t you.”
“Oh. Right.” Kelly flipped to his opening pages and proclaimed, “‘Someone should make sure Anita is okay. I will follow her to the library.’ That sounded natural enough, right?” He grinned at his friends until Aubrey swatted the air with her duster as his signal to literally follow Anna out of the room. Grimacing, Kelly obeyed.
“Uh, well, everyone,” Aubrey said, “that was awkward, but hopefully Anita Job is okay. If not, surely Hugh Dunnit will see to it. In the meantime, everyone just enjoy your drinks, and our butler Zeeb Uttler Diddit here will see to it if you need more.”

~ * ~


And now the moment you've been waiting for... My lucky number is 16! Add it up with all the other lucky numbers and you’ll have the secret code to enter for the Grand Prize!



***CONTINUE THE HUNT***

To keep going on your quest, you need to check out the next author, Lillian Csernica! https://lillian888.wordpress.com/

GOOD LUCK!

March 14, 2019

Save the Date: HISTORYTELLERS Scavenger Hunt on March 17!


Hiya, Flappers!

As you may already know, my fiction has a penchant for the past and paranormal--emphasis on PAST for this post. With two novels partially set in the late-19th and early-20th centuries, respectively, and one entirely taking place in the 1920s, I'm teaming up with fellow authors of historical fiction this weekend for the HISTORYTELLERS Scavenger Hunt!

On Sunday, March 17th, 12 authors of historical fiction set in the 1910s, 1920s, and 1930s are joining together to offer a bundle of their books to one lucky reader--which could very well be YOU! Talk about the cat's meow.

The book on offer from yours truly is COATTAILS AND COCKTAILS, a 1920s murder mystery that won FIRST PRIZE in the 2018 Red City Review Book Awards. For a preview, you can read the 5-star review here: http://redcityreview.com/reviews/coattails-and-cocktails-by-rumer-haven/

To find out how to participate, hunt organizer and author Sarah Zama has the rules at her website: https://sarahzama.theoldshelter.com/historytellers-how-to-hunt. Easy-peasy.

Also, if you'd like to help spread the word (the more, the merrier!), you can simply copy-paste the following TWEET:
Are you a reader of #historicalfiction set in the first decades of the 1900s? Then we're on the same page! Join the #Historytellers scavenger hunt for a chance to win 12 novels set in your favourite period! http://sumo.ly/12u1T #historicalfiction #amreading #freebooks
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As for my writing partners in crime, all of us participating authors are testing the circuit today to ensure everything goes without a hitch on Sunday. (Please note, then, that what follows below is only a test. The official entry form and clues will ONLY be up on Sunday.)

TO MY FELLOW AUTHORS
This is the link to the blog next to me in the hunt: https://lillian888.wordpress.com/

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All right, then. That'll do it for today. I hope you explore the links above, share them with others, and join us on Sunday for the scavenger-huntin' hootenanny! See you then, dears.