Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Guest Blogger - Alice Duncan

Although I hate to admit it, August was another crummy month. Not only did I lose a dog I was supposed to be fostering and who dug out from under the fence and hasn’t been seen or heard from since in spite of a million flyers and an ad in the newspaper, but Daisy Gumm Majesty (STRONG SPIRITS, FINE SPIRITS, HIGH SPIRITS, HUNGRY SPIRITS and next year’s GENTEEL SPIRITS) lost her publisher. Again! Yuppers. Five Star, who had kindly taken Daisy under its wing after she was bumped out of Kensington’s lineup (through no fault of her own, as Kensington itself, in the person of Kate Duffy, admitted), is no longer going to be publishing their Expressions line as of December 2011. Sob!

Five Star’s Expressions line was truly a godsend for a lot of us whose books don’t fit neatly into specific genres. For instance, Daisy’s books can’t truly be considered romances, because she’s already married. They aren’t true mysteries, since the Powers That Be at Kensington asked me to take out the dead bodies and add a subsidiary romance to each book. Once I began doing that, I couldn’t very well go back and turn ‘em into real mysteries, could I? Well, maybe I could have, but I didn’t. So unless Five Star agrees to publish Daisy’s sixth book (ANCIENT SPIRITS) as a romantic suspense novel, I don’t know what I’ll do with it. Take it directly to Kindle? Try to find another publisher? Ha! That’ll never happen. The demise of Five Star’s Expressions line is a sad blow to many of us “out of the box” types.

So . . . piffle.

However, perhaps not everything is black. Jean Lamb, a fellow author who truly is a lamb and who reads and likes my books (I don’t know why it always comes as a shock to me that some people actually do read and enjoy my books, but it does) did a special tarot-card reading for me! This fits nicely with the Daisy theme, since Daisy herself is a spiritualist-medium to people who have more money than sense in Pasadena, CA in the early 1920s. Of course, Daisy’s a phony. Jean isn’t. Well . . . I don’t think she is, anyway.

Anyhoo, here’s Jean’s reading, and in it she makes a lot of sense and some good suggestions. She used the Celtic Cross method (which Daisy’s used a time or two, thanks to a book on tarot I bought when I began writing the books–although I never got the hang of the tarot as Jean and Daisy clearly did). The first thing one does when using the Celtic Cross method (from what I gather) is choose a Significator. I’m not quite sure what that means, but here’s the entire reading, and I can definitely relate to the Significator, even if I’m not positive what it is:

Significator: Four of Swords. You want to lie up and heal your wounds. Frankly, this is a good idea if you have the time to do it. You will be able to go forward much more easily if you take the time to recover, rather than forcing yourself into action.

Question: Page of Pentacles--you need to know what is going on out there in the publishing world. Things are changing rapidly, as you well know, and you want to know the reasons behind the events, not just the events themselves.

Opposing forces--Five of Swords. In the picture, someone stands on guard, holding swords, and clearly worried about thieves. This may be holding you back. I haven't been to your web page, so I don't know if you're already doing this, but at Baen Books, they have a free library so people can pick up the first of a series for free, become addicted, and purchase the rest. Now, they're a pretty large company, so they can afford to do things others can't. But it might be something to think about.

Foundation--Ace of Pentacles, reversed. Alas for the life of fame and fortune that is every writer's dream! I want the Standard Rich and Famous Contract, too (as spoken of in the first Muppet Movie), but it's not happening that way. Darn it! (Note from Alice: I had kind of already figured this one out for myself).

Influence passing away: Lovers, reversed. Someone made a choice (doesn't have to be you) that went for short-term gain instead of what was truly ethical. There might be something really interesting going on, which you would like to find out about. But it probably won't help you much even if you do, unfortunately.

Influence that may come into being: Nine of Swords. In fact, obsessing over How They Done You Wrong could be a wrong path for you, too. There are other publishers in the world, and who knows, Kindle, etc., might indeed be the wave of the future. You do have a loyal readership, which should be an asset when approaching another publisher. This is the card of nightmare--avoid it if you can. (Note from Alice: oh, goody)

Influence that will come into being--Eight of Wands. But before you end up too bogged down, you'll fall in love again, either with someone or with a new book. I know that I am happiest when I am dreaming my book and champing at the bit to find time to get it down. (Note from Alice: I’m happily writing PECOS VALLEY RAINBOW even as we virtually speak, and it’s going quite well. That sounds like a Good Thing).

Fears for the future--Queen of Cups. Perhaps you worry that you will never find true love again--but this card being upright means that it may be far more possible than you think. (Note from Alice: God help me).

Friends and Family--King of Cups, reversed. There's a man somewhere in your circle who is always used to getting his own way and is unpleasant when he doesn't get it. Could it be someone at your publishing company? Perhaps you're lucky not to be there any more after all.

Hopes for the future--Nine of Pentacles. This is a woman in a walled garden, alone, but happy and prosperous. In this card, she has a bird on her arm, but somehow I think your garden has dachshunds.

Summation--The World. Wow. Maybe God has opened both a door and a window this time. Follow your heart, and all will be yours--it will be scary, but worth the trouble. I can't think of a better card to end a reading on.

Anyway, rest up for now, try to find out what is really going on but don't obsess over it, and then be happy in new love. It will be the gateway to everything you ever wanted.

And there’s the entire reading. Thanks, Jean! Except for the new love thing (which kind of makes my insides curdle, me being possibly the worst picker-of-men in the known universe), it sounds as though things are going to work out one of these days. Mind you, at the moment my life’s in turmoil and I’m dreading the future primarily because I’m going to have to move, and my lower back spasms at the mere thought of that particular undertaking. But everything will work out all right in the long run! Therefore . . . I guess one must carry and look forward to things to come, right?

I truly appreciate the reading, Jean! By the way, if you’d like Jean to do a reading for you, you can get one for $25 by contacting Jean at tlambs1138@charter.net . Cheap at twice the price!


  1. This makes me want to pull my tarot deck out and do a rading myself!


  2. Very cool, Alice! I wish you all the best finding a new publisher. And I hope your doxie comes back! Hugs, Carla.

  3. I have to admit I've been feeling really down myself about the cancelling of the Expressions line. It's a serious loss for many of us.

    Jacqueline Seewald
    TEA LEAVES AND TAROT CARDS, new release from Five Star/Gale Expressions

  4. I have a whole, entire book about tarot, which I've used as reference when writing the Daisy books, but I don't think I really have the knack. I think it's cool that you do, Terri!

    Thanks, Carla. I wish she'd come back, too. Sniffle. Oh, and the publisher, too. I'm so used to being dumped, I almost take it in stride nowadays, although this one hurt.

    I'm very down about losing Expressions, Jacquie. Where do we go now? Nobody else publishes stuff like we write. Kindle? I dunno. It's depressing.

  5. Alice, you know how I love Daisy and hope, hope, hope you find another publisher soon! Will they ever be on Kindle? I must tell you that Five Star's price was hard for my budget. You've hearsd of champagne taste on a beer budget, but mine is a water budget. Please let all your fans know about future books.

  6. Actually, I read FINE SPIRITS on my little Palm Pilot (fits into a pocket, easy to smuggle with me into the ladies' room, bad of me...). I bought it at Smashwords, and they have Ms. Duncan's books in Kindle format, too. They took my Visa really easy too.... (and the books are really cheap there, too!)

    Thus endeth the commercial.

  7. Believe me, Caroline, I know ALL about abject poverty. Unfortunately. I can't afford to buy my own books! If you manage to snag a Kindle somewhere, the first three Daisy books are there. Five Star is considering the sixth book as a romantic suspense, so there's still hope!

    Thanks, Jean!!! I loved your reading -- well, except for the troublesome parts, but at least it ended well :)


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