What’s in the Works for Judith Gould

What’s up? Wow. That’s a real toughie. As the late, much-mourned Lawrence Sanders (who lived just down the street from me in Manhattan) once wrote in one of his crime novels, “My ghasted has been flabbered.” Well so has mine!

So, what’s in the pipeline? Everything and more. Like the old saying goes, “There’s no rest for the wicked or the weary!” And the less wicked I get, the wearier I seem to become!

Okay, here goes. A new novel’s what’s up - what else? I already have the title for that one, but I’m keeping it a secret for now. It’s already a quarter of the way finished, and is a Romantic Suspense Thriller. But while being coy about the title, I can let you know the locales. That’s the teaser in me, although from experience it’s always bad karma to mention a title ahead of time.

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I Capricorn: The harbor at Nassau, in the Bahamas, where the new Judith Gould novel— In The Works Right Now— first began gestation. But at that time— who knew? One thing to remember: the Bahamas are not actually in the Caribbean— they’re in the Atlantic. And since there are some 3,000 islands in all, stretching across the Tropic of Capricorn, I (or at least Nick of the “Gould Duo”— who’s a Capricorn), immediately seized upon these coral rocks, ribbons of sand, and fringing reefs as the ideal locale for a novel. Where the next Gould novel’s main action is, of course, set.
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Brothers in Crime...and Love: Billy (lying down and being licked by his litter mate, Jeffrey (they’ve never been separated a day in their lives), are now 10 going on 11. They’re inseparable, and liven up the Gould household like you wouldn’t believe. They should be poster children for Humane Societies and ASPAs everywhere! Miss Gould’s motto— don’t buy: adopt!
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The Blessings of the Hounds: At the local Hunt Club (Beagling Division), each season begins with the blessings of the hounds. It’s a lovely tradition that goes way back...just as Beagling does...and last year our local club won the Silver on the East Coast. Now that the the competition’s on again next week between Maryland, Virginia, and other points, the OCHC (Old Chatham Hunt Club) is hoping to hang onto their trophies (which get circulated among the various winners each year, but to which our beloved, and beautiful, Joint Master of the Hounds, Jessica, is taking along her silver polishing case— now that’s what I call optimism!). A gal after my own heart, she always see the glass more than half full.
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You Think Writing Means There’s a Muse Sitting on Your Shoulder? Think again. This is one of Ms. Gould’s three...yes, I said three writing stations in the house. And that doesn’t count the laptop! Of course, all the writing begins with pen and paper. (Note the two low piles of manuscripts on the right.) They’re two different novels Yours Truly is working on right now! And that doesn’t include the third novel In The Works upstairs, on the third computer station!
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The New Pocket Garden in Summer: And now it’s time to put it to “bed”— plants need nurturing! The garden furniture is teak— which means it can stay outdoors in all weather. Want to know how teak garden furniture came into being? Just ask Judith! It all started after World War I, when British warships were being scrapped— and hardy teak decks were made into garden furniture! The rest is history. (You see? You learn something new every day!)

The new novel takes place not in my beloved Greece, but in the beautiful Berkshire Mountains of Western Massachusetts, as well as Washington, D.C., Beaufort, South Carolina, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and the Bahamas. And that of course means another trip to the Bahamas for research purposes. “Miss Gould” has long ago learned NOT to rely on travel guides alone. Of course, I was in the Bahamas during Dreamboat’s 18-night Transatlantic cruise. But there’s a big difference between knowing the terrain and getting to know the people rather than relying on a severely time-constricted stay. I’m pulling out all the stops on this book - action, adventure, romance, buckets of danger - you-name-it!

And another reason this new novel I’m working on excites me a great deal is that the heroine is an up-and-coming celebrity chef - and there’s nothing I love as much as food. (see Recipes and Reviews for some of my favorite recipes.) I’ve added a few! And do try them. I guarantee you won’t be disappointed - though I hate the term “foodies!” Am I a “foodie?” Nah. I just like my taste buds to sing! If that’s a sin, I gladly indulge. My biggest disappointments are when I go out to eat and the food isn’t up to snuff. Except for a few good restaurants, I’m invariably disappointed. Also, my years of eating in the Mediterranean (especially in Greek tavernas) have inspired me immensely. I’ve fallen totally head over heels with “peasant cooking.” So out with the Extra-Virgin Olive Oil and in with the plain (and far less expensive) Pure.

I’ll never forget some years ago, when Maxime de la Falaise (ex-Schiaparelli model, cook-book author - Food in Vogue, and The Seven Centuries Cookbook - as well as working for Yves St. Laurent, and whose daughter Lou Lou de la Falaise was YSL’s famous muse) came to dinner. Of course, I had to flex my culinary muscles, and prepared a molded, fish-shaped Salmon Timbale. I’d even baked the fresh salmon first (knowing Maxime, I didn’t dare take a short-cut by using canned salmon), and I pulled out all the stops. And after the dinner came the verdict: “You should have marinated the salmon first.” Whereupon Maxime, ever the gourmet, added a line worthy of the late great Diana Vreeland: “Lemon is the speed of cooking!”

Ouch! Lesson learned. Naturally, ever since, I always marinate my salmon first (in a few tablespoons of olive oil and FRESH lemon juice. Real foodies can always tell.

Now off to another subject: gardening. My move to a cottage from the massive barn and former summer stock theater (see Rhea’s Story, in The Story of Judith Gould) has resulted in what I call “pocket gardening.” Rhea claims it looks like a garden in Georgetown (Washington, D.C.). Of course, it was a challenge I couldn’t resist: creating a series of terraced perennials out of an eroded hillside in the back of the cottage. Best news of all: I’ve had it entirely fenced in, so there are no more deer to fight! Every deer deterrent known to man has been of no help in the past. Plus, I’ve gotten rid of Japanese beetles, having learned the hard way to never plant what attracts them: in particular, plum and cherry trees, roses, and hollyhocks. You plant, you live, and you learn.

Now, of course, I’ve got to put the garden to bed for the winter. The winters here in upstate New York can be beautiful - but seem to last forever. The first snow had already fallen before Halloween. Sometimes I wish I were like one of those Hindu goddesses with six or eight arms.

Also, now comes Thanksgiving and Christmas - always a major occasion in the Gould household. What better time for catching up with family and friends I haven’t seen in ages, since I’m usually glued to my desk chair.

Oh? Did I mention that my new publisher has set up some book signings for Greek Winds of Fury? They ought to be fun, though time-consuming. It’ll be great to meet some of my readers face-to-face, and I’m thoroughly looking forward to it, although it’s just another thing which keeps me from hurrying along on my new novel. I’m determined to complete it by May 31st. In book time, that’s like “tomorrow”! It’s been my experience that tomorrows always sneak up on me.

Like everyone else, I’m easily distracted. Take today. I’m still working on this web site to send off to Stephen, my jewel of a techie) instead of burying my head in fiction. And this afternoon is another local Hunt Club event (Beagling Division, not Foxhounds). Which means tromping over hill and dale through burrs and bogs and thistles while watching the beagles try to flush a rabbit. Invariably (and as an animal lover I’m glad), the rabbit always escapes. While the beagles yowl and run in circles around the rabbit hole, it’s us humans that see the rabbit making its dash. It’s not a killing sport, I’m happy to say, or else I wouldn’t participate. Of course, the payoff is inevitably the “tea” - a misnomer, since unlike in England or Ireland it’s always a feast of a buffet. At least it gets my tush out of my chair and is a good excuse for getting a little exercise. However, I’ve got to keep in mind what the late movie director, Billy Wilder (who directed Some Like it Hot with Marilyn Monroe, Jack Lemmon, and Tony Curtis), was once quoted as saying: “I never trust writers who are thin or tanned.”

And that boils down to Yours Truly becoming very pasty-complexioned over the next seven months. But at least there’s the research trip to the Bahamas to look forward to. Then it’s day after day of writing, writing, writing - from wake-up to bedtime! Books don’t write themselves, you know! If only they did...but that wouldn’t be any fun either, now would it?

As ever, yours,

Judith Gould (signature)
©2017 Judith Gould