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  • Writer's pictureCarol Anne Shaw


Because... who doesn't like free books?

Well, THE PECULIAR LANGUAGE OF LLAMAS has been out for a couple of weeks, and books sales aren't too shabby! That sure feels good. But truthfully, when I finish a novel, the world tends to feel a bit surreal. It's like I've been driving over 100 miles an hour for months, then I suddenly hit the brakes and park. I stop moving. Sure, it's nice to catch my breath, but it also feels kind of foreign. A bit lonely, too, because I make friends with my characters; they feel real. And then, just like that, I'm not checking in with them every day. Sigh...

It's funny. I said I would take an extended break after this book came out, but I'm already feeling restless. My "break" lasted about ten days. Maybe that's all I needed. And now what I need is to write every day. It's just the way I'm wired. So, that's what I'm doing, which means book #2 of The Garcia Island Chronicles, THE TAO OF TALKING TO TURKEYS, is now front and centre on my laptop. YAY! No more separation anxiety. It's great to be back on Garcia Island!

I'll leave you today with a sample chapter from "THE TAO," and if you're interested in winning a copy of THE PECULIAR LANGUAGE OF LLAMAS, hop on over to my Instagram account and enter to win. You can find me there at:

Okay, here's some Turkey Talk for you:


Talking Turkey

Today Ivy and I went to the diner for some rootbeer. Actually, it was only me who had rootbeer; Ivy had peppermint tea with honey, which she always chooses. She says peppermint is a natural digestive aid. I always tell her that a fifteen-year-old girl shouldn't be worrying about digestive issues; that's something exclusive to the over-55 set, who are often plagued with sagging oesophagal flaps and tired gallbladders, but she never seems interested.

While we were there, I overheard a conversation in the next booth between four of Garcia Island's original locals. There was Clyde, local "erotic demon" sculptor, Old John, the owner of the island's only gas station, Stinky Pete, who lives on his boat down in the bay, and Chuck, an old guy who has lived here forever in a ramschackle cabin near the ferry terminal. Fun fact: Chuck also has a glass eye and a fake flipper tooth and is in the habit of taking both out simultaneously in the diner if there are any children around. Once his glass eye rolled off the table and was scooped up by Spud, the diner's resident Jack Russell terrier, who raced into the kitchen holding the glass eye in its jaws. One of the prep cooks had to pick him up and squeeze him to make him drop it, and except for a tiny nick near the pupil, the eye was returned to Chuck intact.

Anyway, The four men were pretty pissed off about something, and I held up my finger to my mouth to silence Ivy, who was halfway through a rant about how women shouldn't have to pay for feminine hygiene products. (Ivy is quite a militant feminist, just so you know.) Naturally, she didn't take too kindly to being told to stop talking and got up in a huff to go to the bathroom. I was able to eavesdrop more effectively after she did that.

Turns out Clyde, Chuck, Old John, and Stinky Pete are angry about turkeys. Not the frozen kind; the wild kind. The kind that has been making their presence known on these islands for a couple of years now. Last year there had only been a handful of them, but this year, I've seen over ten of them at the same time. A couple of days ago, I saw a bunch of them outside the fish and bait shop near the ferry terminal. There was a really big one, an old gobbler, with a scarred-up head and a tattered wattle. I guess he's seen his fair share of turkey altercations. No surprise really; I imagine the toms are battling for territory. That, and to take possession of the hens, of course. (Note to self *Do NOT talk to Ivy about the complex mating and/or family structure of wild turkeys. She's bound to get twisted about the oppressive turkey patriarchy or some such thing.)

"I have a good mind to dust off my old Remington double-barrel and put a few of those assholes in my freezer!" Old John said. "Damn bastard tom got into the orchard and did a real number on my Italian plum trees. They were just getting going, too. You know how expensive those damn trees are?"

Chuck, Stinky Pete, and Clyde all nodded knowingly, although I suspect Stinky Pete had no clue; he's more of a whiskey expert than a plum tree expert. Not that I'm being judgy or anything; it's just a cold, hard fact.

That's when Annabella, from the Sunburst Circle Wellness Centre, appeared from the booth beside them and walked over to their table. Her long skirt made little tinkling sounds as she moved because there were tiny brass bells sewn along the hem.

"I'm hoping I didn't hear you correctly," Annabella said. "Because I thought I heard you mention a gun."

Old John looked her up and down and smirked. "So. What's your point?"

"So," Annabella said, "this island is a gentle one. We don't take kindly to random acts of violence."

Old John folded his arms over his chest and narrowed his eyes at Annabella. "I think I know what kind of an island this is," he said. "I've lived here for fifty-two years."

"Then you know that guns aren't appreciated."

Chuck snorted. Stinky Pete rubbed his palm over his face. He looked like he'd had a rough night, but Stinky Pete always looks like he's had a rough night.

"I'll keep that in mind," Old John said sarcastically. "Guess I'll have to pull out my bow and arrow when hunting season arrives then, eh? Been a long time since I took down a critter down with a bow. Nasty way for an animal to die, though. But if you got a problem with guns, then I think—"

"Stop!" Annabella put her slender, pale hands over her ears and squeezed her eyes shut. "Just. Stop."

The four men stared at Annabella as she swayed from side to side, her eyes remaining shut. Then, without so much as another word, she turned and walked out of the diner.

Chuck, Old John, Stinky Pete, and Clyde all shook their heads and muttered under their breath. I, on the other hand, stirred the melting ice cubes in my rootbeer with Ivy's teaspoon.

"Goddam treehuggers," Chuck said. "They come over here and grow their organic beets and what have you and they think they're somethin' special."

"Takin' up space in the diner with their fucking blueberries and dumb phones, hogging all the Wifi. There oughta be a law against it," Clyde said.

I saw Ivy coming out of the bathroom, so I jumped up, paid the bill, and steered her out of the diner.

She was a bit miffed about that, but when I told her I wanted to take her for frozen yogurt at the juice bar, she relaxed a bit.

Of course, the real reason was that I didn't want her to get wind of the conversation in the next booth. Because she'd surely have something to say about it. Ivy has something to say about EVERYTHING, and sometimes it takes her a really long time to say it.

Anyway, I soon forgot all about that when I bought her a lime cone. Lime is her favourite, but the juice bar is often out of it. Not today, though. So I bought her a large one, and she thanked me with the kind of kiss that makes your knees feel boneless.

I had a shower the minute I got home.


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