Grace's Mosaic Moments


Saturday, May 25, 2024

Ad Update & True Tale

 

Love this!

 

Update on "How to Kill an Ad"

 I am delighted to report that I have not seen a Progressive anti-parent ad in several weeks. Not one. (I should have complained a lot earlier!)

And . . .

I don't know if any of you took up the cry against the Tampa Hardrock Casino ads or the Inspire commercials, but someone surely did. (Not me.) The Casino ads are gone, gone, gone. Vanished. (They were so outrageous, I suspect shouts of protest came from all over.) As for Inspire, the ad that skated closest to being fraudulent is also gone. The ads that seem to indicate that sleep apnea is a serious problem (NOT insomnia) are still running. 

If my blog or blog readers had anything to do with the demise of these commercials, yay, hurray! If it was simply coincidence, it's still a win. Please keep in mind that you—yes, YOU—have the power to rid your TV screen of insulting, offensive, or downright disgusting commercials. Remember the cry from that old movie:  "I'm mad as hell, and I'm not going to take it anymore!"

 ~ * ~

 True Tale from The National Company 
of "The Sound of Music"
(way back when) 
 
A long, long time ago, I took the plunge, gave up my job teaching music in a Connecticut suburb, and moved to the big city—New York City, to be exact. (I knew I'd reached the age where if I didn't I pursue my desire to sing in musicals, I never would.) I was among the fortunate—being a trained musician with near-perfect sight-reading and choral-directing experience certainly didn't hurt. Particularly when auditioning for a serious musical like the "The Sound of Music." (Broadway was just at the turning point when dancing skills were beginning to take over.)
 
We auditioned all afternoon, the group of finalists growing smaller and smaller. Until there were just sixteen of us (all female, of course). A voice came out of the darkness of the auditorium: "Okay, girls, time to put on your dancing shoes."
You can imagine the horrified groans! Happily, this was a joke. We had all been selected for our voices. In addition, I was given the job of playing piano for rehearsals on the road, training all replacements, and directing the off-stage choruses. Wow! (Rodgers & Hammerstein even paid my dues into the local Musician's Union.) 
 
There is music in "The Sound of Music" that you never see in most scores—Medieval-style music in eight parts, sung in Latin. It is absolutely gorgeous, yet doesn't even appear in the recordings of "The Sound of Music." Anyway, we practiced that music, two to a part, until it was perfection, and then we recorded it in a special sound chamber to get an echo effect. This recording would open each show, accompanied by a pantomime of the novices in the Abbey going about their daily activities in front of the curtain.
 
Mechanics of a road trip:
It was customary for key crew and musicians to travel with the show. For example, Stage Manager, Lighting Technicians, Orchestra Conductor, first chairs of each section. All others—crew & musicians—were hired locally. (FYI, we traveled by train, each chorus member with her own roomette. Very posh.)
 
Our opening performance was a Saturday matinee in Detroit—at a grand old theater I now understand is derelict. Naturally, excitement was high. This was it. We were actually doing this. No peeking through the curtain, however. This was Broadway, not high school. But we were told the audience was teeming with families with children and a whole host of nuns. (This was back in the day when nuns were easily distinguished by their wimples.)
 
Our glorious 8-part Latin began to play; the novices wafted onto the stage, doing their pantomime. The music faded away; the girls disappeared into the wings. Sammy, our Stage Manager, gave the signal to open the curtain . . . Nothing happened. He tried again. Nothing. Sammy roared:  "God-dammit, open the curtain!"
 
And his words went out over the loud-speakers that were still open from broadcasting our ethereal 8-part, highly religious prelude to "The Sound of Music."
 
Oops.
 
The road trip was long and sometimes arduous, continuing for more than a year after I left to return to teaching (and not long after, into another new world, that of marriage and raising three children). But I'm pretty sure they never had another opening quite like our debut that afternoon in Detroit. 
 
~ * ~
 
 The featured book this week is my very first (though Tarleton's Wife was published first). All 144,000 words of it. I actually had an offer from a major NY publisher - if I would change the heroine's age. Incredibly, I refused. Just because she was too young for modern sensibilities didn't mean she was too young for a heroine in 1809! (A foolish mistake on my part. If I'd compromised, who knows what might have happened?) Shortly after, I was blessed by one of the early e-publishers being willing to accept both the length and a young heroine (by the end of the book she is 21). Eventually, I got my rights back, and The Sometime Bride went up on Amazon and the many affiliates of Smashwords (now Draft2Digital). After a quarter century, copies are still being sold each month.
 
 
 

 
A very young bride finds herself married to an enigmatic British spy "for her safety." And is plunged into a seven-year, highly personal view of the Peninsular War—ending, after years of blind devotion, in discovering a betrayal of her trust so immense she can only wonder: Is she the sometime bride of a man who never existed? A discarded mistress? Or a beloved wife whose only rival is her husband's expediency in a time of war?

Author's Note: In addition to being a saga of young lovers caught up in a war, The Sometime Bride is the history of the Peninsular War, Britain's fight against Napoleon in Portugal and Spain. The story moves from France's invasion of Portugal and British troops being driven into the sea at La Coruña to the return of British troops under General Sir Arthur Wellesley, the fortified lines at Torres Vedras, and the gradual push of French troops across Spain and back to France. Plus the chaotic times in Paris after Napoleon's surrender and the Emperor's triumph as he gathers up his old troops, only to be stopped in one of the most famous and bloody battles in history—Waterloo.

Reviews:

Reviewers Choice Award. "Sometimes a reviewer gets a book so powerful, it's hard to know where to begin to tell about it. The Sometime Bride is such a book. . . . Bride passes every criterion for a successful book that I was given as a reviewer. Ms Bancroft weaves a most unusual love story in among the threads of history that cover eight years. . . . I highly recommend both Tarleton's Wife and The Sometime Bride as companion books. They are totally independent, but together give a vastly enlightening and entertaining view of the period through use of wonderful characters and page-turner plots—definite keepers, both." Jane Bowers, Romance Communications

"The writing talent displayed by the author is wonderful . . . Ms. Bancroft's detail for historical events is phenomenal. . . ."
April Redmon, Romantic Times

Five Stars. "Set against the bloody Napoleonic wars, The Sometime Bride is ambitious, engrossing and absolutely wonderful."
Rickey R. Mallory, Affaire de Coeur

Five Stars. "The Sometime Bride by Blair Bancroft is a riveting and well-written story. . . . The tension between the hero and heroine sizzles. . . ." Janet Lane Walters, Scribes World
 

~ * ~

 
For a link to Blair's websiteclick here. 
 

Thanks for stopping by,

Grace (Blair Bancroft)       
 

Saturday, May 18, 2024

Gallery - Veterans to Dancing Dolphins


 A startling variety of pics for this week's Gallery, from the return of an Honor Flight from Washington, DC, to Dolphin-dancing off Florida's Gulf Coast. 

What is an Honor Flight? you ask. There is a local group that flies elderly veterans—most from the Vietnam War—to see the Memorials in Washington, particularly the Vietnam Wall.

Our Cassidy has been in Police Explorers since before she joined the Air Force Junior ROTC and has been a faithful member in each, rising to commander of the Honor Guard, which met the return of the latest Honor Flight at Sanford International Airport. In the video below, you will also catch glimpses of her father (red shirt) taking photos of the event.

Cassidy, in front

For a link to the video of the Honor Flight vets returning to Sanford International, click here.

And yes, this is the same airport where Cassidy is continuing her flight training. As her high school years came to a close, her parents decided they should capture Cassidy in some Pilot Pin-up poses. (Is that expression still in our modern vocabulary? I grew up with "Pin-up" meaning a glamorous movie star pic that soldiers and sailors in WWII pinned to the walls beside their bunks to keep their spirits up.) Below, several Cassidy Pilot Pin-ups, using "her" plane as a backdrop.


 



If you're thinking this can't be the same girl as the leader of the Police Explorers Honor Guard . . . I, her grandmother for seventeen+ years, swear it really is. (Needless to say, her two older sisters are ready for all the hoopla to fade away.)

**********

My hairdresser operates her own business out of a building that rents individual cubicles with all the necessary equipment—chair, sink, storage, big window, etc. Which is why my hairdresser can bring her four-month-old puppy to work. Below, Bentley, whose soulful eyes I didn't quite manage to capture. Bentley is both charming and well-mannered, an enjoyable bonus to getting my hair cut.


 

And in a classic sunset finish, a photo from Florida's Gulf Coast, where I lived for 25 years before moving to Orlando to be near my daughter and the three grandgirls. 

Dolphins dancing off Ft. Meyers Beach


~ * ~

 I thought I should choose an intrepid heroine for this week's featured book, and Rogue's Destiny leaped to mind (even though I've featured it before). I based the heroine's father on my own 4 or 5-greats grandfather, Peter Demo*, which would make him Cassidy's umpteen-greats grandfather. And since he lived to be 112 and one of my mother's "greats" lived to a hundred (passing on about the time I entered high school), the family has oral history far more vivid than could be expected about someone who was a drummer boy for the French at the Battle of Quebec (September 13,1759).

*If you would like to know more about a man who lived a truly remarkable life, click here.. for "An Amazing Bit of Family History" (May 30,2015).

 

In previous books in the Regency Warrior series, Jack Harding has suffered a broken heart, a close brush with the hangman, and continued his uncertain history with females by letting yet another woman slip through his fingers—this time to his employer, Terence O'Rourke. It would appear Jack is never to know the joy of true love—until he meets a feisty young French Canadian heiress in need of a knight in shining armor. A role at which Jack excels.

WARNING: Although the story in Rogue's Destiny stands alone, it contains major spoilers for the previous books in the Regency Warrior series: The Sometime Bride, Tarleton's Wife, and O'Rourke's Heiress.

~ * ~

 
For a link to Blair's websiteclick here. 
 

Thanks for stopping by,

Grace (Blair Bancroft)       

 

Saturday, May 4, 2024

Thoughts on Civil Disobedience

 [New Blog:  Saturday, May 18]


From the Orlando Sentinel, 4/28/24

The United States of America was founded on Civil Disobedience, which escalated from the Boston Tea Party to armed and rebellious militias, to the ride of Paul Revere, the formation of the Continental Army and, lo & behold, David was taking on Goliath, and though not winning quite so handily, persisting until the Brits decided their losses simply weren't worth the effort of subduing a bunch of rebellious colonies. (George III was likely too afflicted by madness to realize the enormity of this mistake. But, hey, France was a lot closer and an enemy for centuries—far better to commit Redcoats to that problem than worrying about a near-wilderness 5000 miles away.)

All of which illustrates that the U S of A has enormous tolerance for Civil Disobedience. I mean, we practically invented it. Since my earliest memories go back to WWII, I hasten to say there was not so much as a whiff of Civil Disobedience during that time. Patriotism was rampant, everyone pulling together to grind the "Axis" into dust. (Until, that is, the men came home, and many women found they didn't want to give-up their independence and well-paid jobs to return to nothing but cooking, cleaning, and babies.)

In the years that followed, however, the glow of WWII ideals grew dim, as my college classmates were drafted into the Korean War. (Huh? What are we DOING over there? Why did we found a United Nations after the war if it can't handle situations like this? Have we become Policeman to the World? Really?) And then came the gradually escalating Civil Rights movement and the Vietnam War. You could almost say that protests against both played tag with each other. And at long last, I learned the meaning of Civil Disobedience (strictly as an observer, I hasten to say) . 

For nearly twenty years after college, I was a member of a 16-voice all-professional choir at Temple Mishkan Israel in New Haven, CT. (One summer evening, I even got to be Cantor.) And during much of this time, the choir would sit up in the balcony during the sermon and wonder when "they" were coming to get us. Because Rabbi Bob Goldberg was gung-ho at the front of the Civil Rights movement, marching shoulder-to-shoulder with Martin Luther King and never hesitating to state his opinion on the subject. (Angering some of his congregation as they felt he was neglecting his duties to Mishkan Israel.) 

[As an aside, I should mention that Bob Goldberg was a friend of the author, Arthur Miller, and was the rabbi who taught Marilyn Monroe Judaism before her marriage to Miller.] 

I admit my days at Mishkan Israel, employed by a temple where the rabbi was on the FBI "watch list" was about as close to Civil Disobedience as I ever got. Though, unlike my opinion of the Vietnam protestors, Civil Rights for Black Americans was something I wholeheartedly supported.

In the midst of a growing Civil Rights movement, we plunged into a war in Vietnam. Raised to support our troops, I was horrified when protestors shouted, "Make Love, not War." Appalled at the denigration of our soldiers as they returned from months or years of unrelenting jungle warfare, only to be booed, spit upon. If I hadn't seen it on the TV news, I would not have believed it. One of the most shameful periods in American history. The war might have been questionable. The courage and patriotism of our troops were not!

What did the Civil Rights protests and the Vietnam protests have in common?

They were PEACEFUL protests, escalating to violence only when the police began swinging clubs. Peaceful protests almost everyone tolerated because that's who we are—a nation who fought for the right to speak freely, to express "the other side." But . . .

When Peaceful protests turn violent . . .

When the protestors' rhetoric advocates hatred for someone else's religion, ethnicity, gender-choice . . .

When "student" protests are led by outside agitators with agendas like White Supremacy or Twisted Politics . . .

When it's "Make Hate, Not Peace," it's time to take a long look at what is going on.

My Switch in Attitude:

When my son in New Haven called to tell me protests had begun at Yale, I thought, "Good!" Because I am truly shocked that Israel—with whom I have always had great sympathy—should adopt a policy of annihilation that smacks of Adolf Hitler and his genocidal cohorts. Let's face it—Netanyahu and his rabid Zionists have to go. But . . .

Today's campus protesters are promoting Intolerance and, yes, Hatred. And using VIOLENCE to make their point. I have no doubt there are many truly sincere students involved, justifiably protesting the Israeli army's scorched-earth policy in Gaza, but there are far too many outsiders "jumping on the bandwagon," encouraging—promoting—the protests far beyond the boundaries of Civil Disobedience. 

And yet . . . the Elephant in the Room crops up again . . .

THE BIG PROBLEM:  How to distinguish genuine peaceful protestors, appalled by the excesses of Israel's Zionists from the rabble-rousers who are using the protests to incite anti-Semitism and anti-anything else they might not like. 

I can only hope when it's Punishment Time, both colleges and police will find a way through the jungle of motivations, going easy on those who are protesting genocide and coming down hard on those who are there to incite riot, promote hate, or those making as much political hay as they can for their "any tactic, no matter how low" candidate for the Presidency.

Pay attention, folks. Don't take your eye off the ball. This is a moral battle with world-wide repercussions. And truly difficult to sort out. So condemn the protesters' violence, pray for Peace, and save a bit of admiration for the sincere protesters who are risking their college careers to point out it's way past time to draw a line in the sand and say:

Zionists and Hamas, lay down your weapons, give succor to the wounded, pray for the dead, start clearing the rubble, rebuilding lives along with buildings. An air dream? Pie in the sky? I hope not.

~ * ~

 This week's featured book has to be either The Lady Takes a Risk or The Making of Matthew Wolfe, as both feature scenes of protest. Hmm. Matthew Wolfe, I think—with the scene where Matthew first meets the dour war-amputee from The Lady Takes a Risk (and hero of The Abominable Major).


AUTHOR'S NOTE (from 2020). Welcome to a Regency series with a twist! Although the Matthew Wolfe books feature the adventures of a supposed nobody off the mean streets of London, they are designed for Covid relief—light, warm-hearted, even whimsical. Hopefully, by the time Matthew has found his Happily Ever After, our World will have righted itself and we will be well on our way back to normal. Meanwhile, here is the first in a three-book series of novellas told as an old-fashioned "serial," the first two books with cliff-hanger endings.

Matthew Wolfe, born and raised in the squalor of London's inner city, should be a nobody, forever destined to obscurity, or the hangman. But wait . . . he can read and write, is a whiz at math, can speak like a gentleman, even knows more than a bit of French. And when the boy from London ends up on a hops farm in Kent, surrounded by the remnants of the Royal 10th Hussars and a passel of children, what will this fish out of water do? Retired military and their ladies, children, dogs, a regal cat, neighbors in need, and a determined twelve-year-old—all assist Matthew on his journey toward the person he is meant to be.

~ * ~

 
For a link to Blair's websiteclick here. 
 

Thanks for stopping by,

Grace (Blair Bancroft)       

 

Saturday, April 27, 2024

EDITING EXAMPLES, Part 3

 On the day of Big Eclipse—far more fuss over this one than any other I can recall!—I played Couch Potato, viewing total eclipses across the continent via CNN, while outside, the Florida sun did not noticeably diminish. My son-in-law, however, managed an excellent photo of the eclipse over Central Florida, for which I'm grateful as I'd find it hard to believe, otherwise.


Eclipse, Sanford, FL - photo by Mike Reale


Cassidy - Military Ball, April 2024   

Below, Riley moonlighting with the Citrus Singers, singing the National Anthem before a Women's Pro Volleyball game at UCF. (She "aged out" of the CS last year.)



Riley & Mom

It's been a while since we featured an English blooper—this one's a doozy!



 EDITING EXAMPLES, Part 3

 A few reminder notes:  I make it a practice to edit after every chapter, and again at the end of each five chapters:  1-5, 6-10, etc. And, yes, I edit hardcopy because that's what works for me. (This is not a "rule." To each his own method, as long as you buckle down and DO it.)

When I reach the end of a manuscript, I edit from Top to Bottom, not once but twice. And there will inevitably be a few more revisions as I format the manuscript for upload to Amazon and Draft2Digital (formerly Smashwords). Repeat:  a few gifted people get it right the first time round. Most of us don't. So accept you're not omnipotent, and EDIT THE BLASTED BOOK!

 

Below, for your amusement, one of my more heavily edited pages and the inserts written for it.





 EDITING EXAMPLES, up close

 Original:

The viscount chewed his last bite of bacon—a good deal more thoroughly than necessary, Isabelle thought as the temper she thought well-dampened flickered to life. "The constabulary is appalled," he offered at last. "The mayor and every ranking nobleman in Bath is in full cry, an emissary from the Archbishop expected at any moment. There are whispers of sending for a Bow Street Runner, but pride is a devilish thing, Miss Bainbridge. No one wishes to admit help from London is needed."

Revision:

The viscount remained silent, chewing a bite of bacon a good deal more thoroughly than Isabelle thought necessary. After what seemed like enough time to have masticated an entire side of bacon, he leaned back in his chair, looked her in the eye, and answered more candidly than Isabelle expected. “The constabulary is appalled, the mayor and every ranking nobleman in Bath  in full cry, an emissary from the Archbishop  expected at any moment. There are whispers of sending for a Bow Street Runner, but pride is devilish thing, Miss Bainbridge. No one wishes to admit help from London is needed.”

 Original:

It should have worked. The miserable girl should be dead, or wounded beyond saving. And there was a lesson to him. Never hire someone to do a task you should have done yourself. For now he was not only faced with carrying out the reckoning—an inevitability, hit or miss—but the necessity of devising another, more successful approach to the problem of Isabelle Bainbridge.

Revision:

It should have worked. The miserable chit should be dead, or wounded beyond saving. And there was a lesson to him. Never hire someone to do a task you should have done yourself. For now he was not only faced with the necessity of ridding himself of the bacon-brained blackguard who knew too much, but he must devise another, more successful approach to the problem of Isabelle Bainbridge.

 

Beginning a new chapter

I frequently slave over the opening of a new chapter. It really helps to get it right—to make sure you've made a smooth transition from the end of the last chapter, as well as an attention-grabbing introduction to the new chapter. While not forgetting to let the reader know how much time has passed since the end of the last chapter. Below is an example of how I revised the opening of Chapter 20 of The Abandoned Daughter.

Original:

The problem with being so firmly put in her place,  Isabelle grumbled to herself as she crept down the stairs the next morning, was that her infernal Bainbridge pride was balking at the thought of the humble pie she must eat in order to discover the answer to the question she should have asked last night. Instead of attacking him about the planned excursion to Sydney Gardens. . . .

Revision:                                         

Isabelle's laggard feet crept down the stairs the next morning, her infernal Bainbridge pride balking at the thought of eating humble pie before Lord High and Mighty Ashton. And all because she needed an answer to the question she should have asked last night, instead of attacking him about the inappropriate frivolity of an excursion to Sydney Gardens. . . .  

 

ADDING A MAJOR INSERT     

Never hesitate to play with your manuscript. See it as a reader, new to the story, might—someone looking for a touch of something you might not have thought important but which adds a note a great many readers may be looking for.

I tend to be more interested in the Action in my books than in the Romance. Therefore, if the interaction between my hero and heroine seems solely related to the Gothic plot, I sometimes have to catch myself, slow down, and write a scene that hints at a possible Happily Ever After ending (despite the fact that I've been doing my best to throw roadblocks in the poor couple's way for hundred pages or more). This can result in inserting a page or more into a chapter that was too heavily weighted with looming disaster. (Or in the case of other authors, the opposite might be true.) Keep in mind that you're not writing a Liam Neeson Thriller but the kind of story that needs contrasting moments, giving readers time to breathe. Moments of both Light & Dark, Action & Romance.

                          

ADDING A WHOLE SCENE

At the end of Chapter 24, I felt something was missing, a bit more intrigue needed. It should be noted that I never hesitate to use multiple POVs, something once considered a heinous crime by New York romance publishers, even though it was common to the works of one of Regency-writing's greatest shining lights, Georgette Heyer.

So I added a scene from an entirely new Point of View—from a well-known character, but one previously seen only through other people's eyes. Why did I do this so far into the book?

To answer that, I would have to give away the plot. Suffice it to say, that this character is important enough to be have his POV set down for readers to ponder. Is he a hero, a Red Herring, or . . . ?

I have a whole stack of Editing Examples at hand, but that's enough for now.

~ * ~

Hmm . . . the above calls for a Regency Gothic as this week's featured book. And I choose Shadows Over Greystoke Grange, a tale that has its own special way of inserting the hero's Point of View.

At eighteen, Adria Lovett can think only of making her come-out and finding the love of her life. Until, scant weeks before leaving for London, her world crumbles around her, pitching her into a situation shockingly contrary to anything she has ever known. And yet, far from London, Adria finds herself surrounded by a bevy of young men—though none of them what she envisioned when dreaming of her future. There is Dudley Greystoke, who should be Sir Dudley but is not; Chandler Satterthwaite, who has strayed far from the fold of his father, the vicar; the supposedly reliable Ned Steadman, son of the local squire; Garth Maddox, son of a gamekeeper, who calls himself Myrddin, the Welsh name for Merlin. And Drake Kincade, son of a wealthy merchant—the Drake Kincade, known to many as "the Devil's Spawn," who has fled to the country to escape a bride selected by his father. And then there is Dudley Greystoke's twin sister, Daphne, a young woman as willful as she is beautiful, who plunges Adria into the world of witchcraft—a world already complicated by a barrage of evil deeds ranging from nasty pranks to murder.

Grimoires, spells, devil-worship, rape, and murder—not at all the Season Adria dreamed of.

~ * ~

 
For a link to Blair's website, click here. 
 

Thanks for stopping by,

Grace (Blair Bancroft)       

 

Saturday, April 20, 2024

Gallery - Mosaic Moments

 Here, for your enjoyment are all the random pics I've been accumulating over the last three weeks, beginning with one that's been making the rounds for years but so beautifully illustrates, "A Picture is worth a thousand words."

 

I've titled it, "Egg Lesson."

 

Friends recently visited one of my favorite places, the Ringling Museum in Sarasota, where I was a volunteer tram driver for umpteen years.

Ringling courtyard, watched over by DaVinci's David*

 *A reproduction, of course, with fig leaf. The original is in the Uffizi in Florence (sans fig leaf). 

 

The Milky Way roiling behind Devil's Tower (WY)

 Sorry - no credit given for this remarkable shot when posted to Facebook. Photoshopped? It's still strikingly beautiful and awe-inspiring. I've always lived too close to cities to see the Milky Way like that.

 

Susie, Riley & friends - first shark's
-tooth expedition of 2024*

 *I presume this is a tributary of the Peace River and 30-35 miles inland, reminding us that all Florida was once covered by the ocean.

 

And now some of the "Creature" photos I've accumulated over the last three weeks . . .


Close-up of one of Susan Coventry's many deer friends

 
And then Ms Coventry took a trip to Florida, continuing her nature photos with an egret.



Oops!

And now the inevitable—feline photos.
 

 
Cat Bloom



The grammar may be off, but you can't argue with the concept.

~ * ~

This week's Featured book is chosen because of the Ringling photo above. The Ringling complex in the book is BEFORE the construction of the modern Circus Museum, the fancy new restaurant, and a number of new galleries. It's the Ringling I knew when I was a volunteer tram driver, one of the best volunteer jobs anyone could have. I also acted as "Roving Information" (in costume & carrying brochures in a flower-bedecked wicker basket) for the Medieval Fairs that were held on the grounds each year - which ceased forever when the new construction got under way. So, if you'd like to read a mystery set on the grounds of the Ringling Museum and get a peek at the way it once was . . . [Including before the State of Florida, evidently considering the Satyr statue inappropriate, whisked it away for "cleaning," never to be seen again. (Maybe he didn't have a fig leaf.)]

 


 

 Someone is killing people at the Bellman Museum, staging the deaths as bizarre works of art scattered over the museum's sixty-six tropical acres. FBI Special Agent Aurora "Rory" Travis, broken in body and spirit, shuns the world as a tram driver at the museum, until a friend becomes a suspect in one of the deaths. Rory's self-appointed investigation is complicated by the appearance of a mystery man who hops onto her tram in the midst of a thunder storm and the arrival on site of a determined Sarasota PD detective. In the end, only one of the new men in her life is watching her back when Rory is forced to confront her worst fears as she goes one-on-one with the villain.

Review:

"This is an engaging Florida investigative thriller starring a likable cast to include eccentric seniors especially Aunt Hy, polar opposite sleuths with an in-common interest in Rory, and a terrific heroine struggling to regain her sea legs. . . ."
Harriet Klausner 

~ * ~

 
For a link to Blair's website, click here. 
 

Thanks for stopping by,

Grace (Blair Bancroft)