A Billboard Beckons

Find yourself in Switzerland. Call Magic Carpet Travel Agency for your next getaway.

bigstock-Diner-7877017 (2)Azalea Pruett finds herself in poverty after her husband’s death. She discovers that he’s left her with a mountain of debt, and her story becomes one of riches to rags. Forced to become a waitress in a retro-fifties diner, her life turns completely upside down like a burger flipped on a hot grill.

A billboard reminds her of the Colorado mountains where her grandmotherMountain Top Mine was born. Still reeling from a funeral and a repossessed home, she moves to Ouray on a whim. But will the impetuous move prove courageous or rash?

In the historic mining town, she researches her ancestral history and discovers an unexpected skeleton dangling from the family tree. But that’s not the only surprise in store for Zal. She’s caught off guard by the attention of two unusual men and soon finds she has no clue how to be single again.

Tattered CoversAward-winning author, Lucinda Stein, returns to the beautiful San Juan Mountains in this novel. She’s the author of five books, including a collection of short stories, Sanctuary: Family, Friends, and Strangers. Her novel, Three Threads Woven, was a 2010 WILLA Finalist and her short story, “Sulfur Springs,” won the 2011 LAURA Short Fiction Award. Her short fiction has appeared in The South Dakota Review, Pooled Ink, Fine Lines, and Women Writing the West online. A recent story, “Two Steps Back,” was a winner in the 2014 Northern Colorado Writers Contest.

Tattered Covers is available at Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.

“Lucinda Stein…brings past and present together in a seamlessly written narrative. Set against the rugged Colorado mountains, Tattered Covers is eloquently told with a strong sense of place.” —Erin Gray, author of Moonshine Murder

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Suddenly Single

bigstock-Diner-7877017 (2) Zal Pruett never dreamed she’d be a waitress in a retro-fifties diner. But like a burger flipped on a hot grill, Zal’s life turns upside down after the sudden death of her husband.

 

 

To her dismay, she discovers he’s left her on the                                                                     verge of bankruptcy.  old blue pick-upStill reeling from the disaster, Zal heads out on the open road with a used Airstream trailer hitched behind a run-down pickup. What does she have to lose?

But she’s not prepared for the unexpected attention of two men in the sleepy mountain town where she lands.

 

Tattered CoversAward winning author, Lucinda Stein is a member of Women Writing the West and Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers. Her other works include: Spiral of Darkness, Sanctuary: Family, Friends, and Strangers, Three Threads Woven, and Maggie’s Way: The Story of a Defiant Pioneer Woman.

Tattered Covers is available at Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.com.

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Making the Headlines

Sneaky Card Playing ProstituteAfter Zal Pruett moves to a historic mining town, she researches her family history only to find a skeleton dangling from the family tree. She discovers her great-great-grandmother staring out from an old photograph. A group of women poses outside a house of prostitution, some haughty, some bored, some with cloaked expressions.

How did I come up with this idea for my story? I perused historic newspapers and found a July 23,1871 issue of the Rocky Mountain News with the following headline:

STABBED BY HIS MISTRESS

Intrigued by the article, I used the newspaper account in my book, Tattered Covers. Of course, I had to come up with the lady of the night’s motivation. What drove her to stab her lover? The article stated she wasn’t found. What happened to her? Thus the story of my protagonist’s great-great-grandmother!

Tattered CoversTattered Covers at Amazon.com

Tattered Covers at Barnes & Noble

Author’s Website

Lucinda Stein is a member of Women Writing the West and Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers.

Other titles by the Lucinda Stein:

Sanctuary: Family, Friends, and Strangers, a collection of stories

Three Threads Woven, a 2010 WILLA finalist

Maggie’s Way: The Story of a Defiant Pioneer Woman

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Would You Like to Dance?

Back when I was single, I liked to dance at a local country bar with live music. I went Vintage abstract green background with flowersimply to dance. I used a line on men who asked me where I worked. With a straight face, I informed them I was an undertaker. Their eyes grew wide, not quite sure if I was serious or joking.

“Is that a problem,” I asked. On the off chance it might be the truth, they maintained a serious face. My ploy worked. I didn’t have to field any more questions. In my recent novel, Zal Pruett has her own encounter with a man who unexpectedly asks her to dance.

Excerpt from Tattered Covers:

“Care to dance?” The man looked down at her. His unsmiling lips fell in the midst of a large volcano of beard, its jagged edges falling to his chest.

Zal froze, failing to comprehend why the hillbilly wanted to dance with her. Was there even a dance floor? She looked at Burt and gave a subtle shake of her head. She pleaded silently, imploring his intervention.

With a generous smile, Burt gestured in the direction of the dance floor.

    He wanted her to dance with the goober?

Cougar grabbed her hand and pulled her from the chair. The strange man led her to the dance floor, the size of a double door, and to her dismay, the mellow music suggested a slow dance. She twisted her head back and frowned in disbelief. What was wrong with Burt?

Unfortunately for Zal, this is not the last she’ll see of the scraggly man called Cougar.

Tattered CoversTattered Covers by Lucinda Stein

Author webpage

Demonstration of the Pretzel (part of the country swing dance)

 

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Fresh Starts

old blue pick-upHave you ever wanted a fresh start in life—to the point you’d take off to an unknown destination? After college, I headed to a state where I didn’t know a soul. I wouldn’t recommend it. But then, I was single and struggling. It took many years before I felt somewhat grounded.

In my book, Tattered Covers, Zal Pruett sets out on a road trip in her ’65 Ford truck, hauling an old Airstream trailer. Everything she owns is in that silver bullet. She plans to visit her grandmother’s birthplace in the Colorado mountains but has no idea where or when she’ll find a job.

Zal does better than I did. She locates a job as a bookstore barista in the small town. The owner, Burt Baxter, takes her under his wing and becomes like family to the single woman.

Old mining ruins above the town where Zal's grandmother was born.

Old mining ruins above the town where Zal’s grandmother was born.

But is life ever what we expect? Confronted by the sudden attention of two men, Zal is unsure what to do. As a young widow, she struggles with starting a new life. But that’s the least of her worries when Burt becomes ill. Burt’s son announces the bookstore will have to be sold.

Tattered Covers is available in print and e-book format.

Author’s Website 

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Whims, wishes, and Waterfalls

060One of my favorite places is Ouray, Colorado. The first time I experienced its magnificent scenery, I was smitten. A red rock amphitheater surrounds the picturesque mountain town. High above, the San Juan peaks brush the heavens. Dramatic waterfalls plunge over rugged rock cliffs. Hiking trails wind up alpine slopes and lead to haunting silver mines from the nineteenth century.

It’s no wonder that my latest novel, Tattered Covers, is set in this fascinating place. Thevintage boots historic town once held an onslaught of miners and prospectors in search of a quick fortune. Ladies of the night followed on their footsteps, intent on getting their share of the wealth. It’s here, that my main character pursues a fresh start and researches her family history.

Tattered Covers makes a perfect Colorado Christmas gift for your family or friends. Or perhaps, you’d like a good book to curl up with this winter. Don’t forget that mug of hot chocolate!

Tattered CoversHappy reading,

Lucinda Stein, author

Available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble in both book and e-book format.

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Vagrants and Visitors

woman with luggage at the airportEvery summer I anticipate a trip home to see my family. We live far enough apart that frequent visits are out of the question. I usually spend three full weeks visiting my family and enjoying every minute of it. (Okay, I do miss my own bed at times.)

Some people have another type of experience with visitors. Some dread an uncomfortable visit by thorny in-laws. Others have relatives who outstay their welcome. Then there’s the distant relative who drops in unannounced.

In Tattered Covers, Zal finds an unwelcome visitor on her doorstep. She hasn’t seen her great-uncle for years. As a child, she dreaded his visits. His breath always exuded the wretched odor of a dead animal. She’d hide behind her grandmother, but Grandma would nudge her forward to accept the stale dinner mints from his thin outstretched hand.

After all these years, she’s no happier to see him than on those occasions he appeared at her grandparents’ house. But this visit proves even more distasteful than those from her childhood. Delivered by a brown-uniformed deliveryman, Uncle Harold arrives in a neatly packaged porcelain urn.

Zal is the reluctant recipient of her uncle’s ashes.

A new novel from WILLA Finalist and LAURA Award winner, Lucinda Stein.Tattered Covers

Like a burger flipped on a hot grill, a young widow goes from wealthy wife to washed-up waitress. After an impulsive move to a historic mining town, she becomes a bookstore barista and discovers an unexpected skeleton dangling from her family tree.

Available at Barnes & Noble  and Amazon

Author Page

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Café Confessions

bigstock-Diner-7877017 (2)The life of a waitress can be trying— demanding customers, messed up orders in the kitchen, spilled drinks, and constant motion. My short-lived encounter with waitressing at age eighteen led me to pursue other vocations. I learned when people go out to eat they demand perfection. If not, the waitress will certainly hear about it. My experience granted me one thing: empathy for the people who spend a great deal of energy trying to please their customers. I don’t expect waitresses or waiters to be perfect, friendly—definitely—but I can overlook a forgotten item brought a bit late.

In Tattered Covers, Zal becomes a waitress in a retro-fifties cafe called Momma’s Diner. She’s a people person so she enjoys interacting with her customers. But one particular customer throws her for a loop. Zal presents a menu to an aloof gentleman.

“I’ll be back to get your order, sir.” The man’s eyes remain focused on the menu,  his voice low. “I killed my wife.”

It’s a day Zal won’t soon forget!Tattered Covers

Websites:

More about the Author

Tattered Covers

Keys to Being a Good Waitress

It Could Happen to You (movie)     

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Bookstore Barista

old blue pick-upFrom washed-up waitress to bookstore barista, Zal Pruett starts a new life in Colorado. In the historic mining town, she researches her family history and uncovers a skeleton dangling from the family tree. Unexpected attention from two men, leaves Zal uncertain to whether she’s ready for romance.bigstock-Portrait-of-pretty-girl-lookin-41296678

Tattered Covers by Lucinda Stein, author  of Three Threads Woven, a 2010 WILLA Finalist

Tattered Covers is available in paperback, Kindle, & Nook format at:

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

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A Washed-Up Waitress

bigstock-Diner-7877017 (2)Zal Pruett never dreamed she’d be a waitress in a retro-fifties diner. But like a burger flipped on a hot grill, Zal’s life turns upside down after the sudden death of her husband. To her dismay, he’s left her on the verge of bankruptcy. Still reeling from the disaster, Zal heads out on the open road with a used Airstream trailer hitched behind a run-down pickup.

Tattered Covers by Lucinda Stein

WEBSITES:

Tattered Covers, a novel

Author’s Website

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