Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Breaking news; The Reckoning Stones, Truth Be Told!

BREAKING NEWS!  TRUTH BE TOLD  (Agatha WINNER and a Library Journal Best of 2014) is out in paperback TODAY!  Library Journal said “Drop everything and binge read to the mind-boggling conclusion!”
So, binge now, okay? And listen to this: If you send me proof of purchase--I’ll send you a paperback of THE OTHER WOMAN.  (Just click here and click on contact.)





MORE BREAKING NEWS: The amazing Laura DiSilverio’s new book THE RECKONING STONES is out next week, and the Library Journal starred review says—well, it says a lot of wonderful stuff.  But the headline word is: OUTSTANDING!


But you know Laura. Her headline word is: fun. And: family. I know her well, though, and can reveal her imagination is, well, remarkable. And today, in these waning days of summer, if you and our family are thinking about adventures? Laura has some hilarious ideas about where NOT to go.



Not Your Father's Amusement Park

This summer, the fam and I headed to Universal Studios in Florida to visit Harry Potter World. It has long been my older daughter's dream, and so, to celebrate her 18th birthday, we packed our sunblock, hats, shorts, and bug spray to take on Florida in late June. I will say up front that I am not a theme park person. They cost too much (waaay too much), they're crowded, hot and loud. Despite that, the Harry Potter attractions captivated me with their attention to detail, whimsy, and thrills. 

My daughter teared up on several occasions, standing in Diagon Alley and outside Hogwarts, and said, "This is where I grew up." It brings me to tears as I type this.

However, this is not going to be a melancholy post. 

Seeing how beautifully--and realistically-- J.K. Rowling's books were brought to life made me speculate about theme parks based on other book series, and I came up with a Top Ten list of the book series that would make the worst amusement parks.
         
   10. Little House on the Prairie. Riding in a covered wagon pulled by animatronic oxen is no one's idea of a thrill, and those with a yen for constructing log cabins can report to their nearest Habitat for Humanity build site.

      9. Michael Shaara's Civil War 1861-1865 series (Gods & Generals, et al). War sucks. The Civil War sucked more than most. Fighting against kin. Gangrene and amputations. Slash and burn warfare. Not much here to appeal to most amusement park enthusiasts. Do a tour of Civil War battlefields instead.
       
        8. The Mitford Series. Resisting temptation, a church service or two, some pastoral counseling, and a bucolic setting. Let's just say the Disney corporation isn't battling for the rights to this series with an eye toward putting The Mitford Moral Dilemma Roller Coaster next to Space Mountain. 

        7. Not really a series, but Anything by Dickens. Grinding poverty, noxious smells, rats the size of capybaras, class warfare. If that's what you're after, take a walking tour of Mumbai. (Airfare to India would be only marginally more expensive than entry to a standard amusement park.)

         6. Stephanie Plum. Once you get past the exploding cars and the Ranger/Morelli whiplash ride, there's not much there.

         5. Kay Scarpetta. With a body farm as the main attraction, homeowners downwind will organize and get this one shut down before it opens to the public.

         4. Most cozy series. I envision this park as a cross between a cat sanctuary and an upscale tea house. Each ticket has a recipe printed on it, and the "Main Street" equivalent is lined with muffin, cupcake, cheese, spice, pie, cookie, fudge and donut shops. There would also be libraries, bookstores, and specialty boutiques. Absolutely no thrill rides. Come to think of it, it might be my kind of theme park.

         3. Madeline. Lines are a staple at amusement parks, but requiring visitors to walk in two straight lines all the time is really over the top. Uniforms, school, and nuns are not what most kids want from their amusement park vacation.
    
     2. The Hunger Games. There'd be plenty of thrills, of course, but being handed a body bag on entry might quench people's enthusiasm, and there wouldn't be much repeat business since only one customer a day would get to leave the park.

         1. Fifty Shades of Grey. All together now: Ewwww.


So, that's my take on the series that wouldn't make successful theme parks. Add your ideas in the comments, or suggest some series that would make amazing amusement parks. You never know--the folks at Disney or Universal Studios might be listening!


(The astute among you will have noticed this post has nothing to do with the book I'm here to promote, The Reckoning Stones, my first standalone suspense novel that Romantic Times award four stars! (And a starred review from Library Journal!) I hope you'll check it out, though, and pre-order a copy. It'll be in your mailbox or e-reader queue on Sep 8th.

The Reckoning Stones is darker and edgier than my cozy books, but not graphic, with a heroine who was molested by her pastor as a young teen. She ran away the same night someone beat the pastor into a coma, and grew up to be the emotionally troubled but brilliant jewelry designer Iris Dashwood. When the pastor awakens 22 years later, she returns to Colorado to confront him and find the truth of what happened the night she left. She might be able to disperse old demons, rekindle family relationships and find redemption . . . if she survives.)

HANK: YAY! And we’ll award a paperback of Laura’s other books to one lucky commenter!


(And don’t forget the TRUTH BE TOLD offer above!)

47 comments:

Joan Emerson said...

Laura, I chuckled over your list of books that would make the worst amusement parks [but I must say that, despite the price, there's something special about taking the children or the grandbabies to Disney].

Although I enjoy the books, I expect the Temperance Brennan stories are also probably candidates for your list of series that wouldn't do well as a theme park. However, I'm voting for the cozy series park because I absolutely love the idea of all those good books and libraries . . . .

I'm really looking forward to reading "The Reckoning Stones" . . . .

Lucy Burdette aka Roberta Isleib said...

Laura, congrats on the new book--this sounds fascinating! I'm with Joan, sign me up for the cozy mystery theme park. All those big fluffy cats walking around and the shops--the cookies, the cakes, the yarn, the cheese...I can't wait to go!

Hank Phillippi Ryan said...

I am so intrigued with this..you mean someone hasn't thought of the cozy park before? It's SUCH a brilliant idea. Can ou imagine?

SO--should we pitch it? I mean, we're all pretty much experts.

I could do: fashions for the chic amateur sleuth. Hallie does movie screenings, Lucy does food, of course. Susan does historical cos plays, Debs takes virtual tours of London,, and Julia has…SUndays? Or helicopter rides! ANd Laura D runs the Readaholics book club.

What else should we do?

Ramona said...

Your list made me laugh!

It's astounding that no one has built a Pemberley Amusement Park.

Also, Gone With the Wind. The Melly Ride: give birth and then escape a burning city in a bumpy cart with two bickering lovers driving it. Fun!

Laura DiSilverio said...

Thanks, ever delightful Reds, for having me here today. I always love hanging out with the Reds. I am totally up for running a cozy amusement park with you. We need a name for it.

Ramona, you made me laugh out loud with your Melly Ride idea!

Oh, and can I mention that Library Journal made The Reckoning Stones their Pick of the Month? So thrilled!

Laura DiSilverio said...

Joan--You are right on both counts. There is something special about Disney--the result of pixie dust, maybe--and I definitely don't want to go to a Temperance Brennan theme park (not even if Seely Booth in the form of David Boreanaz is going to be there).

Mary Sutton said...

Just what I needed to start my day - a good laugh.

I'd go to a Pemberly amusement park, especially if it featured Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy (really, I'd just like the lounge around the grounds. I'm cool with that.). And I could do the cozy park. A whole day of sitting around eating baked goods and drinking tea? Cats would be optional. I mean, they're okay; perhaps we can bring a cute puppy, too?

Your others made me giggle.

I was at the Harry Potter attraction with my kids in 2010. I know they've expanded it since. While I am no longer an amusement park person, I'd go back to Harry Potter. I'd also go back to Disney, if only to relax at the resort while the family leaves me alone to be at the park.

Mary Sutton said...

Just what I needed to start my day - a good laugh.

I'd go to a Pemberly amusement park, especially if it featured Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy (really, I'd just like the lounge around the grounds. I'm cool with that.). And I could do the cozy park. A whole day of sitting around eating baked goods and drinking tea? Cats would be optional. I mean, they're okay; perhaps we can bring a cute puppy, too?

Your others made me giggle.

I was at the Harry Potter attraction with my kids in 2010. I know they've expanded it since. While I am no longer an amusement park person, I'd go back to Harry Potter. I'd also go back to Disney, if only to relax at the resort while the family leaves me alone to be at the park.

Kristopher said...

This list is just too funny. When I read the Plum entry, I think my cubicle neighbors decided I was more wack-a-doo than normal today. ;)

I have a copy of The Reckoning Stones and it is creeping up the TBR pile. Looking forward to it and happy that it is getting so many great reviews.

No need to throw my name in the hat, as I think I have most (all) of Laura's books at this point. ;)

BTW, I went to Harry Potter this year as well - in late Jan/early Feb and there were no crowds. But I will admit, there were still tears. It's just magical.

Laura DiSilverio said...

Hi, Mary--Pemberley with Colin Firth . . . where do I get my tickets. Glad I could make you laugh today. And of course there will be puppies. I'm more of a dog person than a cat person myself. (Ssh . . . they might take away my cozy credentials for admitting that.)

Kristopher--Glad you enjoyed my riff on the Plum series. :-) I'm sure Jan/Feb are far more pleasant times, climate and crowd-wise, to be at Harry Potter. It is magical.

Susan Elia MacNeal said...

Welcome, Laura! What a great post! I have to admit that the cozy mystery theme park sounds like fun — baked goods, bookstores, and cats? Yes, please!

Laura DiSilverio said...

PS to Kristopher--You can keep your name in the pot and if you win I'll send you a Readaholics T-shirt instead of a book. :-)

Susan D said...

The Mitford Park...? oh wait, you mean some other Mitford.

I thought you meant Nancy and Decca and Debo et. al. I dunno. I've always felt these sisters and their various connections (i.e., 80% of the Western world's movers and shakers of the 20th century) make for fascinating reading, but they'd be very discomforting in person. Tea with Führer? I'll pass.

(You can leave my name out of the hat too. Not that I wouldn't love another book, but I'm so commenty here, I've already got a nice little library of books from Jungle Reds.)

Laura DiSilverio said...

Hi, Susan D--The Mitford I'm referring to is from the Jan Karon series about a priest in a small town in Virginia, I believe.

Mark Baker said...

Loved your list.

However, in the list of books I want turned into a theme park area is Narnia. Please! With Turkish Delight on top. I would be there in a heartbeat.

While the rides in a cozy themed amusement park might not be good, the shopping would be amazing. Anyone who wants to open that village would make tons of money.

Hank Phillippi Ryan said...

Narnia! Mark, that is a fascinating idea...but it seems like parts of it aw awfully scary. Well, no scarier than Harry Potter, I guess. You just have to bring a big coat, right?

And what a bout simply a Colin Firth Park? Just in cases.

Laura DiSilverio said...

Narnia! Oh, absolutely, Mark.

Grandma Cootie said...

Well, I have to admit that I really want to go to amusement park number 4 - the cozy park! I used to love the Disney parks and then one day something just clicked: it's too expensive, too crowded, too many lines, too much bad food. I'm sure I will get my enthusiasm back, though, once the great-grandkids come for a visit.

How about an Outlander park? Yeah, yeah, too much danger, what if guests got stuck in the wrong time . . . but Jamie would be there! Worth the risk.

Congrats on the new books, sounds like an exciting must read. (And the Stephanie Plum comment was wicked funny.)

Laura DiSilverio said...

Hi, Grandma Cootie. I must admit I haven't read the Outlander series, but I'll trust your judgment that it would make a good theme park. Thanks for the congrats. I'm very excited about The Reckoning Stones (which is, of course, available for pre-order on all the usual outlets. Just saying . . .)

Hank Phillippi Ryan said...

Oh, my gosh, Grandma Cootie. OUTLANDER. I would go in a heartbeat. (Except for the rape and torture part.) WOrth it for the clothes, I say. LOVE Claire's knit shawls.

Hank Phillippi Ryan said...

Gone With The Wind, yeah. Yeesh. Can you imagine how much that wouldn't work? That is one BAD idea. :-)

Hank Phillippi Ryan said...

I just read this again, LAura. It's SO funny. And now I am thinking about Madeleine. Love it,

Lisa Alber said...

Laura, THE RECKONING STONES, sounds fantastic. I love troubled heroines. :-) This reminds me that I need to do a share on Facebook. Fellow commenters, if you don't already know, Laura has a great giveaway going on in Facebook land. Just go to Laura's author page.

I'm trying to imagine a Stephen King amusement park ... Now that would not be for the faint of heart!

Lisa Alber said...

Wait, did Hank say a Colin Firth park? Would there be dozens of lookalikes walking out of ponds? :-)

Laura DiSilverio said...

Thanks for encouraging the sharing, Lisa! Would love to see all of you on my author FB page, winning books and Readaholics T-shirts, as well as the 10.7 carat citrine I'm giving away on launch day, next Tuesday.

A Stephen King park . . . not for me. I don't even like Splash Mountain!

Ann Mettert said...

Love the list!! :)
pmettert@yahoo.com

Hank Phillippi Ryan said...

A Stephen King "amusement" park, Lisa? Oh, whoa. Under a dome, I suppose. WIth a PROM. Ahhhh…

Lisa Alber said...

:-) I was thinking this would be in the NOT amusement category but I didn't make that clear, did I? Funny thing is that as a kid I adored haunted houses.

Pennywise the Clown!

Kaye Barley said...


so now I really want to visit the Harry Potter theme park.

The Mitford Series was actually based on the town of Blowing Rock, NC. Many places in the books existed at the time she started writing, including some of the restaurants and the bookstore, and some of the people. Jan Karon was living in Blowing Rock when she started writing the series, but no publishers were interested, so the local weekly newspaper - The Blowing Rocket - published snippets of it weekly in serial fashion. It wasn't until the third or fourth book that she was offered a deal and wowie woo, what a deal! She moved from her house in Blowing Rock once people discovered where she lived because they would just walk right up and knock on her door. She now owns an 1817 estate in Virgina that she spent 4 years renovating. There used to be annual "Mitford Weekends" in Blowing Rock, but it's been discontinued.

Congrats on the new book, Laura - it sounds terrific!!!

Pat D said...

I think amusement park hell would be only clowns and mimes. Nightmare! Ann Charles' Deadwood series could inspire a wonderfully creepy park. Lots and lots of haunts, weird creatures, and good looking men to combat them.

Hank Phillippi Ryan said...

That is an amazing story, Kaye! Fascinating, and inspirational, too.

Pat D, you are right about amusement park hell. We could use that as a theme, maybe, too? YOu have to make scary bargains to get on the various rides..

Hank Phillippi Ryan said...

Pennywise and KAthy Bates, how about, Lisa??

Lisa Alber said...

Oh yes! And a "The Shining" haunted house and a pet cemetery ... and you'd have to throw in a "children of the corn" thing even though King didn't write about that (or maybe he did?)

Maybe at the end, if you make it out still sane, you'd be rewarded with a Colin Firth lookalike walking out of a pond ... Or would that be a fakeout and really be a zombie? :-)

OK ... Can you tell I'm between scenes at the moment? :-) Back to good-old fashioned murder. :-)

Laura DiSilverio said...

Very interesting, Kaye. Thanks for chiming in to set me straight on Mitford's setting!

Lisa--Get back to work! :-) You're using up your day's quote of creativity on this blog instead of on your WIP.

Hank Phillippi Ryan said...

Before ou go, Lisa, do NOT talk about Children of the Corn. I get scared even THINKING about it.

ZOmbie Firth, huh? Talk about high concept.

Laura, tell us about your amazing giveaway!!

Deb Romano said...

How about a Twilight Zone theme park? People go in -- but do they come out again? If so, in what form?

I'd like a catless cozy park; I'm allergic to them, plus they are just plain scary! (They'd probably be at the Twilight Zone theme park.)

Laura, I've read most of your books and loved all that I've read. I just finished the first Readaholics and am waiting impatiently for more.

Laura DiSilverio said...

My amazing giveaway . . . for the 30 days leading up to the launch of The Reckoning Stones, I've been giving away books and "Hi, my name is __________ and I'm a Readaholic" t-shirts EVERY day (winners chosen randomly from the day's commenters)on my Laura DiSilverio Author Facebook page. Next Tuesday, I'm giving away the grand prize (chose at random from among the month's commenters) of a 10.7 carat emerald cut citrine. We're having lots of fun learning about gemstones on my page--stop on by.

Laura DiSilverio said...

Thanks for your kind comments, Deb. The next Readaholics is out in Dec, The Readaholics and the Poirot Puzzle.

I think a Twilight Zone theme park might be fun. There could be an airplane simulator ride with a gorilla on the wing.

storytellermary said...

Twilight Zone Park! . . . followed by a calming stay at Cozy Park for a much-needed spot of tea.

Lisa Alber said...

I'm laughing!

(OK OK, back to it ...)

Deborah Crombie said...

What a fun post, Laura! I do want to go to Harry Potter World, I really, really do. That needs to go on the LIST.

And of course I would go to Pemberley!

I had to laugh--Outlander was the first thing I though of--but the beheading parts would be a bit unpleasant. I just want the clothes and the castles and Jamie-like Scottish blokes in kilts...

If we're going to do Narnia, then of course we have to do Middle Earth. But I just want Hobbiton, Rivendell, and Lothlorien. No Mordor, please.

But Cozy World is the very best....

Laura DiSilverio said...

Speaking of Mordor, Deb, I heard a joke I like a lot. My daughter at the Univ of Ala passed it along. "It's so hot in Alabama [fill in the location of your choice] that two Hobbits just threw a ring into my backyard." Roll Tide.

Thanks for having me today, Reds. I had a blast, as always, hanging out with the funnest, most creative, most generous bunch of readers and writers in the blogosphere.

Hank Phillippi Ryan said...

Wait, wait, we're giving the LAura paperback of your choice to one lucky commenter… Let's wait just a bit longer, though… Thank you, darling Laura! You are the BEST.l

And see? I already live in Jane World.

Barbara said...

A suggestion for a future blog...if you haven't already done it and I missed it....So many authors preface every chapter with a quote, poem, or something similar, how long does it take to find the appropriate one? Seems like it would be quite time consuming.....

Kathy Reel said...

Coming in very late today, but I need my Jungle Reds fix, so better late than never for me. Happy Paperback Publication Day, Hank! I know those people who wait for the paperbacks of books will gobble up Truth Be Told. They are in for such a treat!

Laura, your list of amusement parks that wouldn't work are hilarious. I agree with Joan that I still think Disney is magical, especially for the grands. I'm definitely on board with Grandma Cootie for an Outlander Park and with Mark for Narnia. Deb Roman, I love the idea of a Twilight Zone Park, too. How about a Goosebumps Park for the younger crowd?

The Readaholics is a series that I want to get started on soon, Laura, and I will. Your new stand-alone sounds fascinating, too.

Hank Phillippi Ryan said...

Barbara, you are SO right! Great idea.

Hi, Kathy! Goosebumps--genius!

Laura DiSilverio said...

Thanks, Kathy. I'm sure a bunch of kids would enjoy a Goosebumps Park, or a Lemony Snicket one. Good thinking!

Barbara, I'd be interested in a poll to find out how many people actually read those quotes/poems that start chapters. I always skip them.