Friday, April 19, 2019

EVERY NOW AND THEN

Thrilled to announce that my newest novel, EVERY NOW AND THEN, will be published by Crooked Lane. Hopefully, it will be released in the summer of '20, but stay tuned for updates!

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

EVERY NOW AND THEN

Thank you to all the readers who've asked what I'm working on now. Here's a brief description of EVERY NOW AND THEN and a few pages to, hopefully, whet your whistle. I have no idea when, or even if, it'll be published but I'm sure enjoying the characters and in the end . . . really . . . that's all that counts. (But a fancy schmancy book deal wouldn't be horrible either.)❤ . . . always, Lesley


  All that is over is not past and when memories come to haunt they don’t ask our permission to do so.



Summit, Wisconsin, the summer of 1960: Air conditioning was a modern luxury few in town could afford and window fans were flying out of Mike Hansen’s Hardware store so fast he’d begun talking about retirement. Husbands returned home with five o’clock shadows to sit on their front porches and drink bottled beers that wouldn’t hold a chill while their wives fanned themselves with shirt cardboards and prepared cold cut suppers instead of the usual meat and potatoes. For kids seeking relief from the heat, there was a creek to be swum in, sprinklers to run through, and ice cream at Whitcomb’s Drugstore.

But . . . The Tree Musketeers—Francis “Frankie” Maniachi, Vivian “Viv” Cleary, and Elizabeth “Biz” Buchanan—don’t remember that summer only as the one when the heat wave hit their small town. They remember the summer they were eleven-years-old as the one evil paid a visit to their small town and took there lives as they’d known them as a souvenir. The summer when they’d almost lost their lives, learned about prejudice in its many forms, mental illness, forbidden love, murder, and what it meant to be blood sisters.

Narrated by bestselling novelist Biz Buchanan almost sixty years later, There Comes a Time is an unforgettable story about what three young girls did during a long ago summer to keep their lives and those of the ones they loved from coming apart at the seams and what they continue to do to make amends. Told with empathy, humor, and insight, There Comes a Time is both a powerful and emotionally resonant coming-of-age story and of-an-age story about lifelong friendship, the timelessness of grief and guilt, and the hope for redemption.  


                                                             * * *

                                                                 Prologue


The girls didn’t blame me at the time and to the best of my knowledge, still don’t, but I’ve never entirely forgiven myself for instigating what happened that night in Founder’s Woods. Then again . . . if I hadn’t done what I’d done, more than one grave would’ve been dug that summer.
Of course, not everyone in town remembers the events that unfolded back then with as much remorse, or gratitude, as I do. “What’s done is done. Forget about it. Time heals all wounds,” someone not old enough to know better is bound to pipe in whenever the summer of ’60 comes up in conversation. But there’ll come a time when they, too, will understand that the border between then and now is more like a cobweb than a brick wall, and when memories come to haunt . . . they don’t ask our permission to do so.
A breeze ruffling oak boughs on a full moon night or the whistle of the late train rumbling down the tracks is all it takes to bring back the press of cold steel on my neck, the sound Frankie’s leg made when it cracked in two, and Viv’s scream cutting through the sultry air on a long ago summer night evil paid a visit to our small town and took our young lives as we’d known them as a souvenir.

                                                              
                                                              

                                                                      
                                                                Chapter One



God only knows why my best friends and I loved getting the hell scared of out of us every Saturday afternoon at the Rivoli Theatre or the Starlight Drive-In after the sun went down, but we spent most of our childhood jumping halfway out of our skins.
The radiated ants from Them! sounded an awful lot like cicadas, and after we saw The Fly the three of us strained to hear one calling to us, “Help me . . . please, help me.” The Invasion of the Body Snatchers, whose main character was a doctor—like my father—who discovered his neighbors were being systematically replaced by alien duplicates grown in pods scattered around his small town—like ours—had the girls and I spying into our neighbors’ windows for weeks to ascertain if they’d been similarly afflicted, but it was the The Tingler that almost did us in. Unbeknownst to us, the owner of the downtown theatre had fastened something called the Percepto! beneath the seats and when he activated the vibrating device at just the right time, it felt like that alien parasite had crawled off the screen and into our spines and we ran out the Emergency Door screaming and swatting at each others’ backs.
But while every day back then might’ve felt like anything-can-happen day, to the best of
my recollection, which, if I do so say myself, remains remarkably sharp for a gal on the dusky
side of her sixties, our lives were fairly ho hum. Other than a recluse most of the kids in town believed to be a practitioner of the dark arts, a group of bad boys who hung out in Founder’s Woods, and the occasional escapee of Broadhurst Mental Institution, nothing much out of the ordinary occurred in Summit, Wisconsin—a town deemed so unremarkable at the time that a popular travel brochure left the Points of Interest section blank—until the record-breaking heat ushered in the spring of ’60 like a harbinger of the horror to come.