Tag Archives: rehoboth beach

Of Home Renovations, Writing Contests, and Audio Books…

For me, this summer has begun with a challenging and exhausting home renovation. We’re repainting an area of the house that has not been touched in 14 years—specifically, our library.

With five packed bookcases, two recliners, two tables, and more “stuff”,  and the fact that the library shares ceiling space with the adjoining stairwell and hallway, it’s no wonder that we left it alone for as long as we did. However, the carpet is in dire need of replacement and I thought that since we’ll need to move furniture to make that happen, I might as well repaint these areas.

 

As of this writing, I have patched and sanded where needed, primed, and applied the first coat of paint. The second coat of paint will be applied tomorrow evening and then I can clean up. After that, it’s touching up the window trim and inside the hall closet. The carpet installer will be out next Monday to measure for the estimate and provide samples. It’s a family-owned business and we had them out last June to replace the carpet in our bedroom–which I also repainted a few days in advance. They did a fantastic job and as such, we called them first.

On top of this, two high-profile projects at my FT job are keeping me busy and will consume part of my upcoming weekend and well as my summer. As you might have guessed, I have not written at all this week and probably won’t next week either,  but over the past two to three months, I did manage to write three more chapters in the first draft of my SF novel-in-progress while also editing submissions for Meanwhile in the Middle of Eternity, the third volume in our series of speculative fiction anthologies.

The first volume is called Somewhere in the Middle of Eternity (released in 2014), and the second, Elsewhere in the Middle of Eternity, was released last August. Our third collection has a tentative release of summer 2018.

On the short story front, I have two submissions out into two separate contests. The first is the Rehoboth Beach Reads Short Story Contest in Delaware, sponsored by Cat & Mouse Press and Browseabout Books. I won second place last year and my story was published in the resulting anthology, Beach Nights.

I already had a new story ready to go by the end of 2016 for this year’s contest, which is themed Beach Life. Winners will be announced around August 7-8. Watch this space for updates!

The second story is a paranormal tale set in New Mexico and was submitted to the Bethlehem Writers Roundtable annual contest. I was informed last month that the story made into the final round of judging and is now in the hands of NYT bestseller Carrie Vaughn to select the top three winners. Winners will be announced by July 1, which would make a marvelous birthday present for me! Stay tuned.

Lastly, when Podiobooks merged with Scribl.com, I was disappointed to see that the reviews for my audio books did not migrate over… then I stumbled upon my audio books at LibriVox and not only do they have the older Podiobooks reviews, but new reviews that I had not seen before. My exciting discovery for the week!

Click here to listen to Testing the Prisoner. 

Click here to listen to By Your Side. 

 

 

 

 

And the Awards for Beach Nights Just Keep Coming!

Just when I think the saga has reached its end… Many of you recall that last year, I took second place in the Rehoboth Beach, DE short story contest with my paranormal tale, “Tower Sixteen.” That story, plus 22 others, were published in the anthology, Beach Nights by Cat & Mouse Press in November 2016. 

Last month, the Delaware Press Association bestowed four awards on Beach Nights including best anthology, best edited collection, as well as two awards for individual stories. 

Well, yesterday I learned that Beach Nights and editor Nancy Day Sakaduski just won two awards from the National Federation of Press Women: First place for anthology and second place in the editing category! 

Here is a statement from the judges wherein, I am proud to say, my story “Tower Sixteen” is specifically called out along with “Flight of the Songbird”, which took first place in the initial Rehoboth Beach contest last year. 

What a fun and inviting collection! A wide range of stories nicely presented (including typography) and well edited. I realize judges chose the stories, but I can see your development and guidance as well. It seems while there is great variety, these are nicely edited and of high quality. These stories overall have excellent, memorable first lines – unlike collections where the reader feels the story could have started 2 pages in! Keep watching for that with your authors – that they show characters and actions, rather than describing them in exposition to set the scene. The very best of these do that. I was particularly taken with Flight of the Songbird and Tower 16, actually – I would agree with your judges on the strength of those stories. I also loved how you ordered the stories for flow, so the award winners are sprinkled throughout. Very interesting for the reader to discover those along the way. Nice work!”

 

 

Book Signing at the Beach!

Taking a few hours out of my summer vacation to sign books at Browseabout Books in Rehoboth Beach, DE on July 13 from 11AM to 1PM.

The titles I’ll have on hand include:

By Your Side by Phil Giunta Testing the Prisoner by Phil Giunta

Somewhere in the Middle of Eternity 

 

Browseabout Books is located just a block and a half up from the boardwalk at 133 Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth Beach, DE 19971

Beach Nights & Cool Sand

More than half of the authors published in Beach Nights gathered in Browseabout Books between 2-4PM today to celebrate the release of this fourth annual Rehoboth Beach Reads anthology by Cat and Mouse Press.

Beach Nights Paperbacks

To say the turnout was impressive would be an understatement. Many books were signed, much cake and wine consumed, and it was a joy to finally meet editor and publisher Nancy Sakaduski and several of my fellow contributing authors. My heartfelt gratitude to Nancy for all of her hard work on the Rehoboth Beach Reads contest from editing to publishing to arranging the book launch and everything in between!

Special thanks also to writer pal Susanna Reilly for making the trip from PA to show her support and to her dad for buying lunch at the Purple Parrot!

Beach Nights Display at Browseabout Books.
Beach Nights display at Browseabout Books.
Beach Nights Cake
Beach Nights cake
Several Beach Nights authors furiously signing books for loyal readers.
Several Beach Nights authors furiously signing books for loyal readers.

 

Writer pal Susanna Reilly at the Beach Nights book launch.
Writer pal Susanna Reilly at the Beach Nights book launch.

 

These beach anthologies are certainly popular!
These beach anthologies are certainly popular!

 

It's a crowded house at the Beach Nights book launch!
It’s a crowded house at the Beach Nights book launch!

 

Beach Nights editor and publisher, Nancy Sakaduski of Cat and Mouse Press.
Beach Nights editor and publisher, Nancy Sakaduski of Cat and Mouse Press.

 

Kathleen Martens, First Place winner in the Beach Nights short story contest.
Kathleen Martens, author of “Flight of the Song Bird” and first place winner in the Beach Nights short story contest.

 

Emory Au, artist for the Rehoboth Beach anthologies.
Emory Au, cover artist for the Rehoboth Beach anthologies from Cat and Mouse Press.

 

Weldon Burge, author of "Melvin and the Haunted Mansion."
Weldon Burge, author of “Melvin and the Haunted Mansion.”

 

Robin Glanden, author of "The Portrait" and "The Attitude of Gratitude List."
Robin Glanden, author of “The Portrait” and “The Attitude of Gratitude List.”

After the signing was over, I took the time to kick off my flip-flops and hit the beach for about 20 minutes before making the journey home with yet more fond memories of this wonderful town that has become my second home.

Rehoboth Beach in November
Rehoboth Beach in November

 

Rehoboth Beach in November
Rehoboth Beach in November

 

The Lone Chair on the Beach
The Lone Chair

 

Wandering seagull
Wandering seagull

 

Cold November sand
Cold November sand

 

Beach Nights – Countdown to Launch

For those of you within driving distance of Rehoboth Beach, DE next Sunday, November 13, consider stopping by Browseabout Books on Rehoboth Avenue, just two blocks up from the boardwalk. Between 2-4PM, Cat & Mouse Press will be launching their fourth annual Rehoboth Beach short story anthology, BEACH NIGHTS.

In Beach Nights, readers will encounter a ghostly WWII tower (Phil says: Hey, that’s my story!) and a couple with an unusual annual tradition; a girl who finds her voice at a jazz club and a boy who learns the snow cone king has a secret; an old lady who is inspired to get a tattoo, and a despondent man who is resurrected through the tango.

Beach Nights opens with a funny and romantic story involving a high school prom, and continues through tales that involve a mermaid’s moon, a “Vampire Surf Club,” senior disco queens, a seemingly haunted Funland ride, a murder at a Rehoboth hotel, a moonlit sea turtle rescue, and a kid who sneaks into a James Brown concert and meets the man himself.

Many of the authors will be in attendance to sign copies of the book, as well as the editor and judges. Refreshments will be served, and prizes will be given away!

Beach Nights

 

The View From On High: The WWII Towers of Delaware

 

Beach NightsIn case you missed my other five or six posts about the Rehoboth Beach Reads short story contest, my paranormal tale, “Tower 16” took second place and will be published in the anthology, Beach Nights, coming in November from Cat and Mouse Press.

In fact, the book launch is scheduled for November 13, 2-4PM, at Browseabout Books on Rehoboth Avenue.

My story focuses on lonely WWII veteran and Rehoboth Beach resident Reggie Prell and his doting granddaughter, Hannah, who is visiting him during summer vacation with her parents. In between regaling Hannah with stories of his army career, Reggie is confronted by the ghosts of his brothers-in-arms, all of whom have passed away over the years leaving Reggie the lone surviving member of his battery. Realizing that his end is near, Reggie reveals to Hannah the legend of Tower 16—which only materializes to claim the souls of those who served in the fire control towers along Delaware’s coast. Will Tower 16 come for Reggie next?

I was told by the editor of the anthology that my story actually made one of the judges cry. I know it certainly moved me as I wrote it.

So What Is This Tower You Keep Referring To?

I’ve been fascinated by the WWII fire control towers along Delaware’s coast for years and always wanted to write a story about them, but it was not until the Beach Nights contest was announced that an idea finally came to me.

After all, tell a paranormal fiction writer that you’re looking for stories that take place at night and whaddaya expect to get?

My connection to Rehoboth Beach seems to sDelaware Beaches Plaquestrengthen each year. I was married there, and as I write this, I am back in town with my wife as we celebrate our anniversary.

For the past four summers, she and I have rented a house for a week every July with friends, and we take the occasional day trip here as our schedules permit.

When at all possible, I also try to include a visit to Tower 7 in Cape Henlopen. It is the only tower open to the public at present, but there is a growing movement to restore and open some of the others.

This past July, I had the pleasure of visiting Tower 3 near Dewey Beach, which I’d spotted earlier in the day during a parasailing excursion.

 

Of course, trips to the beach wouldn’t be complete wiTower T-Shirt and Plaquesthout stimulating the local economy. This time, I finally bought a few tower-themed goodies from the local shops, including a t-shirt and two wooden plaques as pictured here.

Below are several pictures taken not only of the tower in Cape Henlopen, but images of the ocean, the bay, and surrounding park taken by me  from the very top of the tower.

 

The Purpose of the TowersFire Control Tower2_Long

The Fire Control Towers were constructed by the US Army in the early days of WWII to protect the Delaware Bay from potential incursion by German vessels.

There were 11 total concrete towers built between Cape Henlopen and Bethany Beach. Across the bay in New Jersey, two were built in Cape May and still exist, while the pair in Wildwood have been demolished.

Further north in Delaware, five metal towers were raised in Fort Saulsbury, but only one remains at Big Stone Beach as shown below. Photo credit: http://www.fortsaulsburyde.com

Fort Saulsbury Tower

The towers were mostly constructed in pairs in order to triangulate the position of enemy ships. The information would then be transmitted back to the gun crews.

Cape Henlopen was also the location of Fort Miles army base. Today, the base remains as a tourist attraction with many of the large caliber guns on display alongside the buildings as shown below.

Fort Miles Mobile Gun2 Fort Miles Rail Gun Fort Miles Massive Gun Fort Miles from Tower

Below: From the top of Tower 7, views of Delaware Bay, Atlantic Ocean, and Tower 12 in Cape Henlopen State Park.

Ocean from Henlopen Tower3 Ocean from Henlopen Tower2
Fire Control TowerCape May Ferry

Below: Tower 7 in Cape Henlopen State Park on a perfect summer day.

Fire Control Tower 7

References:

Fort Saulsbury, DE website

Fort Miles, DE website