Posts tagged “Oregon

Signing at Lucy’s Books

One of my favorite spots on the Oregon coast is Lucy’s Books, a jewel box of a bookstore, owned by a lovely friend, Lisa Reid. Lisa has curated an awesome collection of books and makes great recommendations. She’s been incredibly supportive of my work, even letting me include her store in my novel, Sunset Empire.

Lucy

I knew my characters would be exploring the tunnels under 12th Street, and the windows in Lucy’s provide the perfect vantage point for watching a gang of teens up to no good, sneaking across the street to enter the basement of the fictional Chinook Bar & Grill. I asked Lisa if one of my characters could work in her shop so he could observe the mischief. She said yes, and gave Phantom a job.

That’s why I’m excited to join her on Saturday, July 8, from 5-8pm for the Second Saturday Art Walk in Astoria. I’ll be signing copies of Sunset Empire and Pitcher Plant, both of which are set on the Oregon coast. I’ll also be doing a drawing for a book-themed prize, so stop by and say hello.

Here’s an excerpt from Sunset Empire, an exchange between Phantom and his boss (who may or may not be based on the real life owner of Lucy’s–you’ll have to ask Lisa).

Books sign in Lucys

“I know that look, Sean Hughes.”

Phantom turned to see Lucy eyeing him from the cash register. “What look?”

Lucy smiled. “Your girl-trouble look. Who is she?”

Since the professor had lost his mind and Phantom’s mother had fallen into a chronic state of depression after his dad died, Lucy Rose was the one person in town he could count on. As his mother’s best friend, Lucy knew what he’d lost, and she’d looked out for him over the years, making sure his fridge was stocked and giving him a job at her bookstore.

Phantom spared a last look at Chinook’s, but Elyse had disappeared from view. He went back to stocking shelves. “Her name’s Elyse Pthan. She’s new at school.”

“Have you talked to her?” Lucy asked, coming over to tidy the front display.

Phantom smiled. “I bought her dinner.”

“That sounds promising. So what’s the problem?”

“We’re friends. I thought we could be more than friends, but then things got complicated.”

“How so?” Lucy asked.

“She’s a Legacy girl. And the granddaughter of Evangeline Porter, chair of the Sean Hughes Sucks Society,” Phantom said.

“That is a problem,” Lucy said, nodding. “But, you know, as much of a force of nature as Ms. Porter might be, I doubt she controls her granddaughter’s mind. Or her heart.” She reached into the box at Phantom’s feet and pulled out one of the new books. “This one will go in the window, I think.” She rearranged the books in the window to include her latest find. “Does Elyse know about Jenna?”

“I told her about the accusations against me,” Phantom replied. “Didn’t want her hearing it from someone else.”

“That’s wise,” Lucy said. “But does she know how you felt about Jenna?”

Phantom shook his head. “I don’t think I can go there yet, Lucy. Wound’s still fresh.”

Lucy put her hand on his shoulder and gave him a sad smile. “I know, sweetie. Give it time.”

© Melissa Eskue Ousley 2017

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City of Books

The best thing about playing tour guide is you see things anew through other people’s eyes. My brother had a business trip in Portland this week, so I made the two-hour trek from the coast to meet him for dinner. We drove over to the Pearl district, and as we were paying for parking, I heard the sound of bagpipes.

“The Unipiper!” I said.

“The what?” he asked.

IMG_1442“He’s this dude who rides around Portland on a unicycle, wearing a kilt and a Darth Vader mask, while playing bagpipes that shoot fire,” I explained. And sure enough, as we crossed the street, we ran into the man himself. The Unipiper was gracious, letting me take a photo with him and giving my brother a keychain before pedaling on his merry way. A pretty good ambassador for the city.

“Okay, you’re done,” I told my brother. “You’ve encountered a quintessential PDX icon. You can go home.”

Then we walked into Powell’s City of Books, and I realized we weren’t finished yet. There was much more to see. If you’ve never been to Powell’s, you should remedy that posthaste. It had been too long since my last visit, and I’m glad we went. The first thing we saw was a display dedicated to all things Oregon: t-shirts, magnets, cutting boards, jewelry…whatever your tourist heart could desire. They even had Bigfoot air fresheners. What more could you want, really? Stegosaurus taco socks? Fine, done. They had those too. Along with posters, book bags, and all kinds of geeky accessories that made me want to blow my paycheck.

IMG_1443I managed to resist, and chose one book to bring home, after my brother recommended it. Ready Player One was a book I’d always meant to read, but hadn’t, so it was nice to have a reminder. He asked me for recommendations on books from Oregon authors. I was thrilled to point out books from writers I love: Chelsea Cain, April Henry, Ursula K. LeGuin, and more. It’s such a joy to talk books with someone and find out you adore the same authors. You love Jim Butcher too? No way! Powell’s is so huge we didn’t even make it to the upper floors. When his arms were full of books and my stomach started growling, we walked over to a pub to eat and chat some more.

Living 1,500 miles apart, we don’t see each other often, so it was great to catch up. Of course, I tried to sell him on moving north by gifting him a book on weird places in Oregon as well as a sand dollar from one of my favorite beaches. I stayed later than I meant to, and didn’t get home until one in the morning, but it was worth it to spend time with my brother.

Driving down the Sunset Highway in the middle of the night, surrounded by trees and patches of fog, I kept an eye out for Bigfoot. It seemed a good night for spotting him. There was a full moon and I’d had a fortuitous encounter with the Unipiper earlier, so why not? Alas…no such luck. My air freshener will have to suffice.

© Melissa Eskue Ousley 2017


Dressed in Shadows

Honey Perkel

Today I’m featuring Honey Perkel, a fellow author on the Oregon coast. Honey will be sharing about her brush with the supernatural, which relates to her son, Brian, who passed away four years ago. Just Breathe is a memoir capturing Honey’s fight to save her son, who suffered from addiction and mental illness.

Honey PerkelHoney has written a trilogy taking place on the Oregon coast. A Thousand Summers, Secrets at the Cove, and A Place Called Paradise hold the flavor of Seaside, a small beach town.

The Faithful Daughter is a Historical Romance taking place from the Jewish district in Denver to the shores of Seaside, Oregon.

Honey believes in things that go bump in the night, past lives, spirit guides, and angels, and that belief touches her writing.

Honey’s books are available on her web site: www.honeyperkel.com.

 Just Breathe Honey PerkelThe Dreams …

The Fears …

The Death Of A Son

Just Breathe … A Mother’s Story is the true journey of this author’s personal tragedy. It is a story of growth, of lost dreams, and new dreams realized. Of fighting to save a child through insurmountable odds. It is a story of letting go and in the end, instead of saving her son, one mother is able to save herself.

The Vision

I saw my son standing in the doorway. Young, eager, dressed in shadows, and I wasn’t afraid. I wasn’t afraid! The fact alone amazed me. It was the evening of what would have been his thirty-fourth birthday. That too, gave me pause.

I hadn’t seen him for nearly twelve years. And gone were the memories of—the nine therapists in nine years, the bouts with mental hospitals, the giving up of custody and regaining it, the empty, lonely years of estrangement that followed, and now this. What was he trying to tell me? That he was all right? What?

Having not fared well during those raw years, I was glad to see him, my son. We exchanged glances, his features hidden in darkness, then he turned and as a road runner in slow motion he lifted a leg and sprinted into nothingness. I held my breath. Brian, dead for nearly three years. I saw him.

Brian William Perkel

June 24, 1980 — August 13, 2011

Read author Honey Perkel’s memoir depicting her struggle with her son’s mental illness in Just Breathe.

© Melissa Eskue Ousley 2015