Friday, June 29, 2012

Happy Surprise

can’t believe it’s the end of June. I feel like I’ve been in a tunnel focusing on Yarn2Go one page at a time. But the end is in sight. Another week and I should be ready to hit send. I have been intensely sharing the world with my characters and their predicaments for long time now. But when I hit send it won’t be good bye, just farewell until I get a revision letter from my editor and have to go back and fix things.

When I get to this point in a manuscript, it seems like everything else moves to the sidelines and the days melt into each other. I haven’t been to the gym as much as usual. I have to make an effort to water my flowers and check my tomato plants for ripe ones before the fauna in the backyard find them.

I don’t forget to walk Goldy. As if she’d let me. It’s all on her time schedule. She appears when she wants her walk and then stands by the gate until I show up with the leash.

In the midst of all this concentration on Yarn2Go, I had a wonderful surprise about Behind the Seams. I got a nice note from the woman who invited me to speak at the Woodland Hills Woman’s Club last week. Along with thanking me for speaking, she mentioned a page number in Westways magazine. It’s the AAA magazine for Southern California and I thought the reference was for some kind of calendar listing for my appearance at their meeting. My copy of the magazine came in the mail the same day her card did and I thought the calendar listing was probably too late.

Curious I turned to the page she’d mentioned and when I saw what was on it, all I could do was stare with my mouth open. See below. I couldn’t cut and paste the picture they had in the magazine, so I just stuck in my book cover. In the actual article the spines of the other author’s books appear as well

I found out the magazine’s circulation. Almost 4 million, but the readers number over 9 million. All I could say was wow!

On the Shelf
Looking for a good summer read? We’ve got five here, all set in our Golden State or by California-based writers. —Robin Jones

1. 1. Southland resident Betty Hechtman brings back her crime-fighting crochet group, the Tarzana Hookers, for a sixth installment in Behind the Seams (Berkley Prime Crime, 2011, $24.95). This time, the yarncrafters get caught up in a murder when group leader and actress CeeCee Collins appears on a TV talk show the same day the show’s producer drinks a poisoned cup of coffee and dies. Bookstore event planner Molly Pink, the book’s narrator, chases clues around town, much to the distress of her police officer fiancé. It’s the perfect novel for a day at the beach.

2. When Mark Twain’s beloved wife and editor, Olivia, died, he locked himself in his house, too overcome by grief to even go outside. His main companion was Bambino, the cat left behind by his daughter when she was hospitalized due to the stress and grief caused her mother’s death.
But one day, Bambino escapes, and in his search for the cat, Twain rediscovers his love for life. P.I. Maltbie tells the story and, in the process, introduces the grade-school set to Twain’s legendary wit in Bambino and Mr. Twain (Charlesbridge Publishing, 2012, $15.95). Daniel Miyares’ gorgeous illustrations create the perfect background for Maltbie’s clever tale.

3. For decades, Charles Ridgway served as one of the architects of the Disney theme parks’ publicity strategy. He was so good that for years, the parks did little traditional advertising. In Spinning Disney’s World (The Intrepid Traveler, 2011, $24.95), Ridgway tells stories about his days working at the parks, lifting the veil a bit on the famous Disney magic. His behind-the-scenes tales about Anaheim’s Disneyland and his account of the development of Walt Disney World reveal insights into Walt Disney’s personality and chronicle the evolution of a major media company.

4. Hollywood screenwriter-turned-psychotherapist Dennis Palumbo added “novelist” to his resume two years ago when he published i, a murder mystery starring psychologist Daniel Rinaldi. The good doctor is back consulting with the Pittsburgh police in Fever Dream (Poisoned Pen Press, 2011, $14.95), working to unlock the memories of a bank robbery’s sole survivor, when he finds himself mired in a political scandal that threatens to become deadly. Palumbo’s screenwriting experience and expertise in psychology show in the book’s crisp prose, fast-moving plot, and insights into human nature.

5. Set in Berkeley, Lola, California (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2011, $28) tells the story of two women, Rose and Lana, best friends in their youth who are pulled back together when Rose tries to convince Lana to reconcile with her father, who’s on death row for a decades-old murder. The novel, author Edie Meidav’s third, unveils the mystery behind the killing, but it’s more concerned with friendship and the freedom of youth and how both can slip away. Dreamlike flashbacks give the book a pensive, wistful quality that lingers.


Linda O. Johnston said...

How cool, Betty. Congratulations on the recognition!

Betty Hechtman said...

Thanks, Linda.

Planner said...

I spotted the article in Westways (page 26 of the July/August 2012 issue) before reading your post. I was just flipping through the pages late at night, and I was so excited when I saw it. In addition to the terrific review, the page is beautifully laid out and vibrant.

Congratulations! I'm delighted for you, Betty! I hope it exposes Molly to many new friends.

Betty Hechtman said...

Planner, the layout in the magazine looks so much better than my cutting and pasting. I have to figure out how to scan something and save it as a Jpg.

Thank you for the good thoughts!