Just released! OF THE LAW by Susan Wingate
Hear ye! Hear ye!
Susan goes on a book reading tour for her new novel, OF THE LAW (Sixteen Cat Tails Publishing), this 2007 from May until September. She'll most likely be hitting major cities in Arizona, California, Oregon, and Washington.
This is the current schedule as she begins kicking off her tour!
May 6th - Friday Harbor, WA - San Juan Island Library, 6pm
May (Date TBD) - Friday Harbor, WA - Boardwalk Books
May 24th - Tacoma, WA - Tacoma Lutheran Home, 10:30am
June 14th - Scottsdale, AZ - ArizonaWebTV Taping @ Barnes & Noble, 9:30am
August 11th - Teleconference Reading & Talk with Susan Wingate, 10:00am (PST)
call-in 5 minutes early to:
(800)371-8200 and use access code: 08121958
There will be more posted soon, she's just gearing up. To book Susan for a reading & book-signing, contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org, PLEASE WRITE "BOOKING" IN THE SUBJECT LINE.
Or call Elizabeth Boyer, Associate Publicist (602) 501-1175.
Poetry -THE FISHERMAN, THE EAGLE, AND JESUS is Susan's latest award-winning work. Here it is...
the day Jesus appeared on the pond
was a time meant for all time
when i spotted Jesus,
when he skipped across my pond
when he shown himself to me
as an eagle.
Jesus, the eagle, searched for fish
surely to feed his followers
he served pond water as wine
flapped his eight-foot-wing-span
and preached a parable
to his masses.
don’t let your babies
lest the good Lord
take them away.”
He walked and talked and squawked like a preacher
He bowed and cried and gestured the same
He, the preacher, the eagle, the prophet
and Jesus were all fisherman through and through
when he scolded the mother of all fish
from the brink, there in the drink.
He summoned his followers
He summoned so coolly
He summoned them like an eagle
He cawed and he crowed
His voice arced and bowed
then he spat out his intent
“come out, come out wherever ye are
you’re safe with me
So lift up your eyes to the light
in the sky
and follow me, follow me.”
(This poem won 2nd Place in the 2006 Foster City International Writing Competition)
Short story (excerpt) -
THE MURDER OF LUKARSE by Susan Wingate
My name is Bess. Just Bess. Although the judge and the jailer call me Lady, you’ll bear witness (from this tale of my defense) I have no honor. Any honor bestowed me came long before today.
As I write, I look out through the grated window and see a bufflehead dive under a tall cattail down at the moat’s edge. That is how freedom looks. Once again, the morning breaks as a persistent rain drums against the copper roof and with it, the clouds lay a grey cloak over the coming day. A ring-necked dove coos in my warden’s atrium and reminds him to feed her. My mind whirls back to years long ago when life was better, food scarce, when I lived and loved in alleys. I remember those times when my character was tested, when choices were few, you’d take what you could get, and you gave what little you had.
Since my days are numbered, thirty-nine left me to be precise; I thought it wise to expose the truth of things already decided me. I did not murder my husband. It was only my desire to do so. I did not hire his murderer. But, I’m glad he came forth. For my husband was a cruel sort. His behavior was loathsome and garish. He debauched women and loved his whiskey. His thick girth and fleshy limbs caused him to grunt when he rose and to sweat when he moved. He was a drunkard and a rapist and the word disgust doesn’t even capture my feelings toward him. He bastarded many children but gave me not a one. The only guilt I own at this late stage is my contempt for the man who ripped me out of the gutter.
Susan's latest novel, OF THE LAW (excerpt) -
The day, August 12, 2004 (also the 144th anniversary of Clara Hitler’s birthday), was a day when the past catches up to you. Like death, the past steals up behind you and taps you on your shoulder. At least, that’s what the knot in my gut implied. August 12 was the day I felt God turn away. When I look back on this day, I wonder if Hitler’s mother believed in God, if she did when she as a child, as a young woman, or in dying.
I remember my own youth and believing in God, the figment of what God might be the white robe and long silken beard, a kind face and open arms, healing arms to hold you when you cried or were afraid – a vision of greatness, one who could absolve any sin – no matter what. I did believe then, but do less so now. I want to believe but monsters are real. I remember how afraid of the dark I was and of monsters hiding in my closet.
As I grew up, the visions of monsters waned. I talked myself out of believing in their existence. I was told there are no such things as monsters. I was told a man shouldn’t show fear or cry. However, now, as I near retirement at age fifty-eight – as a person whose experiences have led him along a specific past – I feel my courage slipping back to the past and my belief in monsters returning.
Innocence, like a dwindling season, nags like a dream you can’t fully recall, only the thin smoke of it lingers and becomes the sole reminder that it was there. Like the hazy dream, innocence lingers – innocence lost – and it haunts me like a old home movie when, at any given point in the evening after watching, the film breaks and the reel spins out of control.
If I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes, the story as I write now would mean nothing. I saw it all – lived it all, so, it’s my duty to tell you, to reveal somehow the way it all started, how events progressed, describe to you the players involved, paint a picture for you of the staged body, define the anguish of loss – the loss of beauty and innocence.
August 12 started an advent of action that morphed into madness, a madness I can’t even now come to terms with. Maybe by describing the tale will somehow exonerate the guilty, lift gazes above the crime and touch some purer sense of justice so we can understand the whole truth, make the inexplicable explicable – but right now I have to ask myself if that will ever be possible.
A solitary bird flew into view – a lone gull. It passed low over boats that bobbed lazily on waves of dark green in the small island’s marina. I leaned on my elbows against the dark mahogany window sill and looked out from Guy’s second-story office window inside the courthouse. The hard wood trim of the window pinched my skin and the pain seemed to be reflected in the scene as I watched.
The gull’s stark white body contrasted vividly against a crystal blue background. When, all at once, ten more gulls came in close behind. They looked like kamikaze fighter pilots as they aimed at their targets. The bright summer sun hung high in the sky and cast shadows off the sea birds’ bodies, causing a double-sightedness to onlookers who rose to attention in horror and scrambled in all directions from beneath them. Then, as if bombs released from the underbellies of Jap fighter jets, the gulls let go random splashes of dung that landed squarely onto upper decks, a green plastic chaise, the wooden-slatted boardwalk, the reddened back of a woman tanning, blackened-creosote-covered pylons; and, as if added for emphasis, muck slid poignantly down the windows of several boats. The ten appeared as twenty. A gull chorus cawed Tora! Tora! Tora! Wailing and yelling from boaters cursing melted up and into the open window where I stood. Their shrieks heightened quickly and then diffused into the thick summer air. A warm wet breeze swept through Guy’s office and brought in a sweet and rotten odor with it – sweet from honeysuckle clinging to rocks and trees, from pines bending in the wind, and from cotton candy spun cones; rotten from diesel leaching from scows. The breeze ruffled a wisp of my thinning, grizzled hair and I felt the strands lift into what would have become a comb-over if the wind had been a little stronger. The skin on my head felt dewy under my hand when I pressed the hair back into place. That was possibly the only good thing about wearing a hat on these warm summer days – I didn’t have to worry about my hair.
Guy pressed down his intercom button. I looked at him over my shoulder.
“Maryann, Harvey’s here. Can you bring in the Malouf case file in for me?” Guy Cantwell, the prosecuting attorney here in Thirsty Cove, kept eye contact with me while he instructed his paralegal through the phone.
I said nothing and turned away to look out the window again. Boaters milled about noting the slimy mess left by the birds. They strung out hoses, sprayed droppings away, pulled out tarps for cover, wiped down deck furniture down, and took showers.
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