Romance and Laughter
Two local authors hold Thunderbird signings Saturday.
Thursday, March 25, 2004
This Saturday, the Thunderbird Bookstore will hold a book-signing double-header, the last literary event before this venerable bookstore closes its café and meeting rooms Wednesday, and moves its literary events downstairs to the Barnyard’s Community Room.
If you live in Pacific Grove, you already know it can be a really creepy place. Dank Victorians, shifty fog banks, and mournful seal barks lend a haunted atmosphere to the place even in summer.
Local author Jana Matheson has mined the town’s unique history and eerie ambiance for her book Dancing in the Shadows of the Dead, a psychological thriller that is equal parts suspense novel, ghost story and historical romance.
It’s a tale of past lives, lost love, and a spiritual journey that takes one woman back 100 years in time to a Pacific Grove “of Methodists and miscreants” to relive an unspeakable tragedy.
Opening in present day Newport Beach, we’re introduced to Paige Brighton, a woman set to escape the clutches of an abusive husband and start life anew with wealthy psychiatrist Neil Carmichael. Yet before she can pursue happiness in this life, she must find happiness in a past life.
Beckoned through the very “portals of Time,” Paige follows the ghost of her past-life lover to the year 1906 via a series of trances. Amidst the fog, the ever-changing seascapes and oppressive mores of turn-of-the-century Pacific Grove’s puritanical community, she is doomed to relive a scandalous and tragic affair.
Yet back in present day Newport Beach, Paige’s harrowing trances alarm the enamored Neil Carmichael, who fears for her sanity. Despite a psychic friend’s ominous warning (“If you wander too far or too deep, you won’t be coming back”) Paige embarks on an urgent search for the reincarnation of her lost lover.
Billed as “a brooding and gripping tale of love lost in a past life and found in the present, of our spiritual journey and the inherent obligation of being born—and born again,” Jana Matheson’s novel promises to be a chilling read that should appeal especially to Monterey County locals.
Matheson knows a little something about her material. An award-winning short-story writer, columnist and journalist, she claims to have lived in a haunted house in Pacific Grove for 18 years before moving up towards Jacks Peak off Highway 68.
March is Diabetes Awareness Month, fortuitous timing for Saturday’s second book-signing. If laughter is the best medicine, diabetics could be feeling a little better soon thanks to DIABETease, a new book of cartoons by local nurse Theresa Garnero.
Subtitled “A lighter look at the serious subject of diabetes,” Garnero’s book instructs diabetics on how to manage their disease with a sense of humor. Especially helpful for recently diagnosed diabetics, the book’s colorful drawings and generalized facts and tips address the physical and emotional hurdles they may face.
In addition to the 50 color cartoons, DIABETease presents tips on how to control the disease, a glossary, and a list of Internet resources in what Garneros calls “an easy-to-read, humorous and validating format.”
Garnero holds a Bachelors and Masters degree in nursing, and has board certification in Advanced Diabetes Management. She currently works at Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula as a Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE). She’s also the president of the California Central Coast Chapter of the American Association of Diabetes Educators and is the editor-in-chief for Nursing Insight, a quarterly publication put out by CHOMP.
An internationally published cartoonist, Garnero received her first rejection letter from Walt Disney at the age of eight. Undaunted, she went on to have her cartoons published in a variety of venues including Diabetes Interview.
The cartoons in DIABETease are silly, educational, and at times, surreal. They deal with the realities diabetics face every day in a light-hearted and genuine manner while conveying a sense of shared experience and community. In addition to being educational for diabetics, this small book is a good introduction to the disease for family and friends.
Throughout the book, LadyBetes the Ladybug provides information and advice in a way that’s sure to appeal to young readers. It’s a non-threatening approach to what can be a very scary disease, and through her amusing cartoons, Garnero hopes to reduce stress while inspiring interest in diabetes self-care management for both adults and children.
Theresa Garnero signs copies of DIABETease at Thunderbird Books, 3600 The Barnyard in Carmel, Saturday, March 27, from 2-3:30 pm. She will also be available to answer diabetes-related questions and will offer free diabetes risk screening tests. Jana Matheson will sign copies of Dancing in the Shadows of the Dead the same day, from 4-5:30pm.