Christine Visits the Bar – SoCS

We are gathered at the bar, and we have a lot of ground to cover. Linda G. Hill tossed a wrench into my plans. In her Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt, she’s offering bonus points. As you can imagine, I had to bend the SoCS rules to get here, and there’s no way that bonus points are going to cause me to make you wade through a longer intro just so I can score them. In case you didn’t recognize that bit of irony, bonus points rule. So, David and I are here, and Christine Robinson will be joining us in a moment. As for SoCS, I think I successfully ironed out that problem. Phew. The prompt:

“Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is ‘iron(y).’ Use ‘iron,’ use ‘irony,’ or use both. Use them any way you’d like. Bonus points if you use both. Have fun!”

“Dan, what’s the story today? Do we have a guest, or are we talking about your book?”

“We have a guest, David.”

“OK, good.”

“And we’re talking about my book.”

“But I thought our guest just wrote a book.”

“She, that’s Christine Robinson, by the way, did just write a book – ‘Three Years of Her Life’ – and I think I see her coming over to join us.”

“Hi Christine.”

“Hi Dan, glad I’m not late. I got caught up in heavy Saturday traffic.”

“Christine, this is David.”

“It’s nice to meet you, David.”

“And more importantly, this is, oh wait, I think you know Cheryl.”

“I do. We’re virtual blog friends. It’s nice to see you in person, Cheryl.”

“It’s nice to see you, too, Christine. I know what these two are drinking, what can I get you?”

“Well, I’m not much of a drinker. A Shirley Temple with three cherries would be nice.”

“In honor of your book?”

“Ha ha – yes!”

“Christine, while Cheryl gets our drinks, can you fill us in on your book? I know Dan is reading it, but I don’t know much about it.”

“David, first, about the three cherries in the Shirley Temple. They’re symbolic in the title. The main character, Elizabeth, is in nursing school for three years. And she meets her dream doctor, Erik, who captures her heart. Then, it takes three years for Elizabeth and finally Erik to uncover her famous grandfather’s secret in Germany. A secret that causes a ruckus in her prejudiced family. Elizabeth tries to stand up for her grandfather, and in turn for Erik, but it backfires.”

“Standing up for the outliers in a family often backfires. Trust me, I know.”

“David, we’re not here to talk about your in-laws – but you really should write that book. Here is your Shirley Temple, Christine. Dan, here’s your Corona. David, in honor of Christine’s book, you get three cherries in your John Howell’s Bourbon today.”

“Cheers everyone, and please continue Christine.”

“Elizabeth complicates her life, and falls into an entanglement with her guitar teacher. It’s only a longed-for connection to musicians, her absent father and dead grandfather, but it causes uncertainty. She’s now torn between two very different men. And what happens if and when she lets one of them go?”

“This sounds very interesting, so far.”

“Thanks Cheryl. I know it’s a teaser. So, here’s a clue closer to the last part of the story. In August Nineteen-sixty-one, Erik gets trapped in East Berlin while on a mission transporting hospitalized heart disease patients to the West through the Berlin Wall. Before he leaves, he sets up Elizabeth’s future. And he’s dead serious about his plan. Now, what is his plan? Wouldn’t it be really good if the teaser and clue entice readers to buy the book to get the answers?”

“Well, you have me hooked, Christine. I can almost feel the intrigue of the period circling your story. And I did buy the book, so it worked! I haven’t finished reading it, but I love it. It’s hard to believe it’s not a real story.”

“The book is fictional, like your first series fictional book, ‘Knuckleheads,’ but mine is historical. A second book in progress is titled, ‘A Song for Clare,’ a Domestic or Literary Fiction. Your series books are sort-of paranormal thrillers. Dan, how did you start writing your books? Is it from events in your childhood?”

“The period and the setting are drawn from my childhood, but the story is fiction. There are a couple of childhood stories and circumstance that made their way into the book, but I don’t travel in my dreams, and I don’t have a friend who can see into the future. The book lays the foundation for the books that follow in the series, and they are pure fiction. ‘Knuckleheads’ also introduces some of the main characters in the series.”

“What about you? Is there a bit of Christine in ‘Three Years of Her Life’ ?”

“Okay, David, I have to admit, Elizabeth lives my life in the beginning, until the dreamy doctor Erik enters the scene. Then, it’s totally an alternate life to my fullest imagination.”

“It has to be hard to not lean on the familiar history that you have, Christine.”

“That’s true Cheryl. Really, I base the story on two real family rumors. Grandfather’s words. ‘No one is to look into my past. That history dies with me.’ And cousins remark that grandfather is adopted. It’s a history of grandfather’s career as a soloist trumpeter in NYC, Boston and Detroit orchestras.

“As no one talks about grandfather, he dies in nineteen-thirty-three before I’m born, I make up his personal life. My imagination goes from his eighteen-seventy-nine birth in Germany, to a strong Ukraine connection and the eighteen-eighty-one pogrom (violence by Russian authorities against Jewish people). Then, his emigration in nineteen-o-three to the U.S. and life with his second wife, my grandmother.

“To your earlier remark, Dan, advance copy readers remark. ‘It’s hard to tell what’s real or made up. It all sounds so real. The story weaves history and fiction seamlessly. Recent book readers tell me, ’It’s unputdownable, one terrific, well-written book.’ That’s all very encouraging.”  

“Nineteen-o-three. That’s one year after my grandparents emigrated from Syria. They were fleeing for religious reasons, as they were Christians in a not-so-Christian land. They settled outside of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. That is where all of the books in my series are set.”

“Now that doesn’t surprise me, Dan, that you would return to your favorite city.”

“A lot of the action happens in and around the rivers. David. There are other river cities, but none that I know as well as Pittsburgh.”

“I can see that. Christine, I’m sure Dan will tell us how to buy his book, but I’m more interested in yours at the moment. I know Dan has a copy. Is he reading one of those advance copies, or is your book be available. If it is, how can I buy it?’

It’s available now on Amazon for paperback, and in the Kindle Store for eBook.”

“I picked up the Kindle copy, David. I know you prefer paper, but either way.”

“Cheryl’s right, David. While we’re on the subject, when is your book going to be available, Dan, and how can we buy it? We might as well shamelessly market our books at the bar. A lot of people visit virtually every Saturday. And now that David and Cheryl know all about our books, they can tell their friends.”

“Well, Cheryl already knows this, but David might not. My book just arrived in both forms on Amazon a few days ago.”

“I wasn’t aware of that, Dan. I guess I haven’t been paying attention to your blog.”

“That’s OK, David. I knew I’d see you here. Christine, the next two books in my series have been written. You mentioned a work-in-progress, ‘A Song for Clare.’ When can we look forward to that being published?”

“Hopefully, later this year. The theme approaches a best friend’s staggering real-life challenges. She’s a downtrodden, middle-aged woman, divorced by a high-powered businessman husband because she lost her looks, verve, and got sick. But, there is humor in the trenches.”

“I like that phrase, ‘humor in the trenches,’ I think that’s what gets us through life’s challenges.”

“Philosophical, Dan. I thought it was Corona?”

“OK, David, humor and beer. Christine, I think you can see that you’ve been accepted at the bar. David is no longer trying to be polite.”

“Don’t let these clowns fool you, Christine. They are best buds, but they do enjoy busting each other’s chops. Do you guys need another round? I know marketing can build a powerful thirst.”

“Ha! You are perceptive, Cheryl. I think we’re ready for three more cherries and another beer.”

“The same for you, Christine?”

“Cheryl, you make the best three cherries Shirley Temple. And no joking about my obviously wise age and ordering a kid’s drink. It does raise eyebrows. Probably it’s time for a more adult beverage—mock fizzy water with three lemon wedges should pass. A sneaky way to market the book at other social events. Curious people might ask, ‘Why three lemon wedges in a gin and tonic?’”

“That’s a great way to step into the conversation. One mock gin and tonic coming up. Three lemon wedges included. David, do you want me to make yours a mock bourbon? I could put three cherries in glass of Coke.”

“Perish the thought, Cheryl.”

“Christine, all busting Dan’s chops aside, I’m glad you could join us at the bar today. It is nice to meet you, and to hear about your book. I’m going to snag a copy after I get home.”

“I totally agree with David, Christine. I am glad you joined us today and thank you for asking about my book.”

This is so much fun. Dan, thank you again for inviting me. David, thanks for listening so intently as we elaborated about our books. You could hardly get a word in edgewise. Let me know when you write that book about your in-laws.”

Dan Antion
Blog – (hint, you’re here)
Amazon Author page


  1. Dan, once again you managed to work everything in. :-) Christine, your book sounds fascinating and I wish you both the best. I read a lot of books that I hope aren’t drawn from anything the author every experienced! :-) Often though, they’re based on something that author heard about or read about and then turned into fiction, although often too-real fiction.


    Liked by 1 person

    • Janet, thank you for your comment. History in my family is partly real, and partly fiction. Grandfather was famous as a soloist trumpeter in NYC, Detroit and Boston orchestras. Personal life partly fiction. The nurse/romance totally an alternate life. And playing and singing in a band totally wishful thinking. The story was fun to write. Dan’s book is so well written, it seems real. I’m almost finished reading it and my review will follow with a 5 star. 📚🎶 Christine

      Liked by 2 people

  2. A plethora of bunny shots to start my weekend, most excellent. The fact that he’s waiting outside your door is promising. Perhaps next week you can invite him for a salad….

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Some good chuckles here. Maybe bonus points rule, but so does sarcasm! Having an actual book is a huge accomplishment for a writer, and I send congratulations to both you and Christine. “Knuckleheads” arrived yesterday! My younger son is coming for a visit (yay) so I might not be able to start reading until after that, but I can say right now that I love the white spaces on the pages!

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Good to hear about Christine’s book. I wish her the best. I already have yours but it is good to let folks know about it as well. Yes, indeed that is a red-shafted flicker. Little smoke doesn’t seem to be gaining much of a tail. Thanks for the mention.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Dan–you do such a good service having blogger buddy writers at the bar with you and David. ‘Unputdownable’ has to be the ultimate review, Christine. Such a great word that says all I need to know about a book. And a Shirley Temple–gosh, that brings back such good memories. Congratulations to both of you. This was a fun visit.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks so much, Jan. It was fascinating researching my family. What I didn’t find, I made up to make a complete story. Knuckleheads is a great book. A 5 star review from me.📚🎶 Christine

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks so much for the nice things you’ve said in your replies, Christine (and thanks for replying). I understand having to make up some parts of the story. You weave that in very smoothly.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Thank you, Dan, for inviting me to the Island View Cafe! I love the sign. Please give me permission to use it in my marketing campaign! We did have fun, didn’t we? It’s been years & years since I was inside a bar and had a Shirley Temple, only one cherry though. Now, after reading close to the end of your book, I have a lot of questions. What was real and what was pure paranormal. I think you must have had experience in a Bowling Ally. And are you sure you never had a virtual dream? The entire story was so real, it was jumping off the pages. I could “see” everything so clearly! And I don’t have that virtual dream capacity. Did I catch it from you book? Yikes!! 😮 Christine 📚🎶

          Liked by 1 person

          • First off, Christine, you are more than welcome to use the image. The photo is mine, and everything else was done by me. If you want a better quality version without the copyright notice, I can sed you one via email. This was fun, Christine. I love having guest at the bar, and you we one of the easiest ones to work with. It was so generous of you to loop me in under your banner. It was fun to share to spotlight with you. Some of the childhood experiences are drawn from my childhood and that of others I am familiar with. It’s hard to make up childhood settings.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Thank you so much. Yes, please send me the better quality photo version. I’ll give you credit when use it. We authors have a great opportunity to support one another in marketing our books. I’m so glad you gave me the spotlight to share with you. Your story & childhood settings reflected that you did have familiar experiences. They showed authenticity. I’m looking forward to more of your books in
              the series. I’m sure Zach & Billy getting older now, have matured and experience more complex adventures to read about. 📚🎶 Christine

              Liked by 1 person

            • I’ll send the photo right away. I very much appreciate your sharing the spotlight. That was very generous – and it was fun. I wish you good luck with this book, and with writing the next.

              Liked by 1 person

            • Thanks so much, Dan. I think you should make a photo, like mine, featuring your book. It’s an eye-catcher. We’ll be showcasing our books more than once. And it would make a great heading for where ever you talk about your book or books coming up. 📚🎶 Christine

              Liked by 1 person

  6. A great post best wishes to Christine and yourself with the books both sound amazing … Sorry not feeling too good this week else I’d of been more verbal 💜💟💟


    • Thank you, Janis. So happy your favorite genre is historical fiction books. It seems to be my choice too. However. I’m close to the end of Dan’s book and it’s unputdownable. Sort of paranormal and a compelling 5 star read. 📚🎶 Christine

      Liked by 1 person

  7. This is an excellent way to introduce new books. I loved reading through this conversation once and have come back for a second read. Congratulations to Christine and to you, Dan!!! Excited for you both.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Rebecca. This was a lot of fun, and Christine was generous in welcoming me to share the spotlight with her. That’s not the way these posts usually go, but it was fun. I’m glad you enjoyed the conversation.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. It looks like I’m going to have to clear a shelf in my bookcase, metaphorically speaking. Everything sounds enticing, intriguing. I have yours already Dan but I got some shopping to do…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Pam. I am glad you enjoyed the conversation today. Christine’s book would make a very nice addition to your bookshelf. She was wonderful to work with. I am very happy you have my book, and I hope you enjoy it.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Pam, thank you for considering putting my book on your shopping list. I did leave some clues about me during the bar visit today. The book has some history that I’ve embellished for reader’s enjoyment. 📚🎶 Christine

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Thank you for introducing Christine and her book, Dan. Her book sounds interesting. We can read about Elizabeth and read between the lines to know something about Christine! Congratulations to both of you and your books. I got your book, Dan!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Miriam, thank you for your comment. There just might be something about me in between the lines. It is my real life with embellishments until Elizabeth meets the love of her life, a dreamy, cardiac doctor. And she joins a band (wishful thinking). 📚🎶 Christine

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Way to sneak in the prompt at the beginning – bonus points up front! I enjoyed the interview and have added both books to my WTR list on GoodReads. Both will be the first fiction books I’ve read in a couple of years. I bet I won’t be disappointed. The photos are great as always – yes, that’s a Flicker. They love to eat ants. I love the reflection pond photos, way to get the flag in one of them. Oh, and the bunnies – it’s a fun year for watching bunnies. Congrats to both of you authors, you deserve pats on the back and high fives for your efforts!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. HI Dan Hi Christine, this is a fabulous post. I love the sound of Christine’s book and have it coming up on my list after my committed Beta read which I started last night. Then I will be reading Dan’s fascinating sounding book. I have some excellent reading ahead of me.

    Liked by 1 person

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