Thursday, December 16, 2010

Guest Post & Giveaway ~ Ann Wertz Garvin - On Maggie's Watch

The Pleasure Wagon: A Holiday Message

My good friend often talks about her wealthy 80-year-old uncle who may or may not have dementia. Dementia isn’t usually a grey area (you either remember your children or you don’t) but her uncle sits right on the corner of Wise and Worldly and Cute and Clueless. For example, last Christmas he gave everyone in the family a beautifully, red and green wrapped, dented, label-less can of some unknown type of food. Every single person, including the fifteen nieces and nephews got one, each with their names spelled right and no earthly idea what was inside. It was quite the topic of conversation behind closed doors. Is Uncle Rodney the ultimate Go-Green gift giver (Wise and Worldly) or is Uncle Rodney one step away from assisted living (Cute and Clueless)?
Recently, Uncle Rodney saw that motor home living was the future and he was going to ride that wave to the end. At an auction, he had his eye on a sweet little number deliciously called The Pleasure Wagon—I wish I’d made that part up because it’s almost too good to be true.
My friend accompanied her uncle and it was a beautiful fall day, I’m told. Uncle Rodney brought his lunch pail,
“A dollar and-a-half for a hot dog! Ridiculous!”
After a morning with thoughts of the open road on his mind, he began bidding for a future where wheels and beds are one and no one cares if you,
“Whiz on the side of the road.”
Imagine his excitement when his competitors exited the bidding frenzy, when he watched his rivals give up and walk away.
“If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the Pleasure Wagon,” he said triumphantly.
With check in hand he marched up to the auctioneer, ready to receive the wagon-of-pleasure for only $3000. (!)
Imagine his dismay when he discovered that he had mistakenly bid on the much less desirable fork lift, sitting in the shadow of the RV of the future. In his zest for the bid, his zeal for the future he’d purchased a fork lift where wheels and cutlery are one. *sigh*
After some over-the-top-of the eye glasses discussions with those in charge, my friend was able to return the forklift but not in time for Uncle Rodney to bid on The Pleasure Wagon. The Wagon went to an elderly couple who, as Uncle Rodney put it,
“Don’t look like they know their heads from a hand basket,” adding with disdain, “What the Hay.”
After a nap in the sun, my friend asked Uncle Rodney how he was doing.
“Well, hell,” he said, “It’s kinda like Christmas morning when all ya’ get are socks.”
“Speaking of Christmas,” my friend said, (hoping to spend a nice day shopping and do a quick mini-mental assessment on the side). “What was with the cans you gave for Christmas last year?”
Uncle Rodney sat bolt up-right and said, “What’d ya get?”
“Green beans,” said my friend (but of course, she had thrown away the can without looking).
“Green beans,” he nodded with deep appreciation. “That’s what I love about that gift. You never know what you’re gonna get.”
So with that, I hope you find yourself on the street corner of Wise and Worldly and Cute and Clueless this holiday season because we’ve gotten both green beans and a forklift (metaphorically speaking) this year and just once I’d like to nod, smile, and take a nap in the sun because of it.

About the author ~ 

Ann Wertz Garvin is a full professor at the University of Wisconsin Whitewater, where she teaches courses on nutrition and stress management. On Maggie's Watch is her first novel.

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The Book ~

On Maggie's Watch

Maggie Finley has returned with her husband from the big city to her Wisconsin hometown, where she reunites with her best friend and awaits the any-minute-now birth of her baby. She's determined to create a safe haven on Hemlock Road, a neighborhood that has always meant security, community, and love. One way to do that: resurrect the defunct Neighborhood Watch program.

The Watch folks are mostly concerned with dog poop and litterbugs. But Maggie's done some digging and discovered a potential threat living just around the corner-a threat that must be eradicated. And the more Maggie tries to take control, the more out of control she gets...

Thanks to  Penguin, I have two (2) copies of this book to give away. 

GIVEAWAY  Rules for entering:

  • This contest is open to residents of USA only!
  • Please complete the form below - do not leave information in the comments - it will not count.
  • The contest will end on December 30, 2010 at 11:59PM EST; 2 winners will be selected and contacted thereafter.
  • Once the winners are contacted, they will have 48 hours to respond to my email or another winner will be chosen (make sure to check your spam filters!).
  • Book will be shipped directly from Penguin.