Thanks to the TPL for kicking off the holiday season with their annual Open House and Author Signing. This year, the Tuscaloosa Symphony Orchestra's horn section opened up the event and lots of folks stood in a line for veges, cookies, and other finger foods. The University's Dept. of Theater and Dance offered a Truman Capote reading, and there were fun children's activities as well. It's always so enjoyable to meet library patrons, to visit with library staff, and to have time to catch up with other local authors. Such a great afternoon!
Yea!! I've finished the Christmas stockings I've been cross-stitching, and Jim and I are ready to sign books for all the readers on your Christmas lists. We'll be in five locations between now and early January. We'd love for you to drop by our tables!
Sunday, Dec. 2 2:00 - 5:15 Tuscaloosa Public Library Open House and
Author Signing, Jack Warner Parkway
Saturday, Dec. 8 10:30-11:20 Ernest & Hadley Booksellers, Tuscaloosa
Saturday, Dec. 15 1:00 -4:00 Very Very Merry Market, Tuscaloosa Holiday
on Ice, Amphitheater area
Saturday, Dec. 22 1:00-4:00 Very Very Merry Market, Tuscaloosa Holiday
on Ice, Amphitheater area
Saturday, Jan. 5 10:00-5:00 Barnes & Noble, Tuscaloosa
Of course, if you can't make it to Tuscaloosa, you can find all of our titles on line in both print and kindle editions, or order from your local bookstores. Thanks so much!
Huge thanks to the Choctow County Public Library for an evening to remember! Both Jim and I felt like rock stars this past Thursday night as the signing lines grew longer, meandering all the way back to the library door. It was wonderful to see everyone and to have time to visit afterward. Thank you to the citizens of Butler and surrounding areas, for your support and gracious hospitality!
Jim and I had such fun at Walker Elementary School on Monday of this week as visiting authors. The five fifth grades were wonderful hosts and it was a full, fun day of exploring the importance of reading for pleasure and writing, regardless of one's eventual career(s). And thanks to the Tuscaloosa Arts & Humanities Council for linking artists of all kinds to schools in our city and county! We were so impressed by the school, its staff and all the children we met.
Had such a good time writing this article for Kid's Life Magazine!
Had such a great time at Jim's and my signing yesterday! Thanks to all who came by to visit. And a huge thanks to Barnes & Noble. Such a supportive store!
Please Join Author of the action/suspense novel, 'The Cistern, Jim Ezell, and me this saturday at Tuscaloosa's Barnes & Noble Booksellers. I will be signing both tuscaloosa Mysteries as well as my latest book of short stories. Hope to see you there!
I woke up this morning and discovered that Dr. Don Noble has written a review with the above headline of my latest completed work, 'kaleidoscope jane & other stories.' It appeared in the 'Tuscaloosa News' in the Books and Entertainment section, and his reviews are also aired on Alabama Public Radio. He ends the review by suggesting, "Reading these stories will make you look a little differently at the people you run across doing your daily chores." What a great compliment! This was my lofty goal.
‘Short story collection teems with plot twists’ By Don Noble, The Tuscaloosa News, Sunday, July 29, 2018
Carolyn Ezell, writing as Carolyn Breckinridge, has published two mysteries set in Tuscaloosa, “Tuscaloosa Moon” and “Tuscaloosa Boneyard.” While not exactly cozies, these are not grim either. Those books have earned her the Druid City Arts award for literature. Now we have “Kaleidoscope Jane & Other Stories,” her first collection of 15 stories, each about and named for the main female character.
Most of these women are of a certain age, sometimes downright old, but a few are girls just starting out. The stories are not avant-garde or cutting edge. I suspect they would not be well-received in a master of fine arts workshop.
Several have what might be called O. Henry endings, when a reversal is sprung on the reader. A few have surprise endings; things were not as they seemed. A few even have the twist we might call “so it was all a dream after all,” which is definitely not in vogue, but can be pleasing for readers with more traditional tastes.
The title story, “Kaleidoscope Jane,” which Breckinridge uses to conclude her volume, is perhaps best described as a fable, nearly Aesopian. The action takes place near a shelter for homeless people, those going through a really rough patch. Katie and her mother had a conventional life but grandmother got sick, mom forgot to pay the insurance premiums and their house burned down. Now they live with Johnny, a one-armed man, and the mentally ill Gertrude. And with Jane, who wears the same clothes every day, and smells bad but is not like the others. She seems somehow not to belong there.
Jane often has a kaleidoscope in her hand, lets young Katie look through it, finally gives it to her. “To help you remember life turns you right-side up and upside down and all manner of sideways. But somehow a person can end right-side up again.”
Several stories are of the “she’s leaving home” variety. Sadly, many of the lonely women are trapped either in their parents’ homes or in unhappy marriages and long to escape. There is the open road, but that’s dangerous. Some escape into a world of delusion.
The author of this volume is a retired social worker and these experiences clearly influence her work. The story “Jewel” concerns children in foster care, with all its complexities. The story “Eunice” has as protagonist a woman suffering from anger management issues, as they say. She is in court-ordered counseling but it does not seem to be working. Eunice is tormented by squatters who have invaded her house and won’t leave. Eunice plans to murder them all. In the story “Madeline,” we watch a proud mother shopping with her two daughters, Erica and Janie.
Reading these stories will make you look a little differently at the people you run across doing your daily chores.
Don Noble is host of the Alabama Public Television literary interview show “Bookmark with Don Noble.” His most recent book is Belles’ Letters 2, a collection of short fiction by Alabama women.
Had so much fun yesterday at Barnes & Noble, Tuscaloosa! Thanks to all who stopped by our tables to check out 'kaleidoscope jane & other stories,' my two Tuscaloosa mysteries, and Jim's 'The Cistern.' And a special thanks to all who left with our books in hand!
Need Graduation gifts? Mother's Day presents? Some good summer reads? Join Jim Ezell and me at Barnes & Noble Booksellers, Tuscaloosa, this upcoming Saturday, May 5th, from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. We will be signing our three novels set in the Tuscaloosa area, 'The Cistern,'(suspense/adventure), 'Tuscaloosa Moon,' and 'Tuscaloosa Boneyard.' (mysteries.) I will also be signing my new collection of short stories, 'kaleidoscope jane & other stories.' Signed books make great presents! Hope to see you there!