So, I’m not the happiest of bloggers right now. Why? Well, simply put. I have a shotty mail service. Yep. I was looking forward to reading this novel for the tour, and I never received the book. So, sadly yet happily, I had to resort to posting a guest post from Mary Carter in anticipation of the blog tour. I love visitors and I want to welcome Mary Carter to Reviews By Molly today. Please take it away, Mary!
By Mary Carter
I was walking by Times Square yesterday raging silently against the post office for losing a book I mailed to Molly back in July to be reviewed, and wondering what to write for the guest post that would now take the place of what was supposed to be my first review on my virtual book tour for The Pub Across the Pond, when I came across the Meeting Bowls.
Plopped on the street in Times Square where pedestrians now rule, were several strange metal bowls that looked like a ride at the county fair. I love New York, you just never know what you’re going to see. After a cursory look, I kept walking, still raging. I should have paid extra for confirmation and delivery tracking. But I rarely do because it’s a pet peeve of mine. Why should I pay them extra to do their job? And where was the book now? It hadn’t come back to me, and I did put a return address on it. Was there a mailman secretly reading my book somewhere? Carelessly tossing letters onto porches instead of boxes because he or she was so into my book that although they’ll fight rain, sleet, and snow, they just can’t resist The Pub Across the Pond? That brought a smile to my face. Take that post office. You too, Fed Ex, who wanted to charge me fourteen dollars to mail a fifteen dollar book. Really? I spend a year writing it and you spend two days mailing it, and the cost is the same?
A few feet later, I stop. Hmmm. Mmmm Meeting Bowls. What if I had to choose one of my characters from The Pub Across the Pond, to sit with inside the one of the meeting bowls? Who would I choose? What would we talk about?
I went back and took a few pictures with my iPhone. I stopped raging against the post office (they don’t call it going postal for nothing) and started thinking about my characters. I have a whole colorful pub of regulars to choose from. I decided I couldn’t pick either of my main characters, Carlene or Ronan, that would be too easy. I knew them better than the rest anyway.
I thought about Anchor, a large affable Irishman with a soft heart, or Collin, a gorgeous young lad always sporting a funny t-shirt, or any one of the seven McBride sister’s would be a right laugh to sit with in the meeting bowls—although with the sisters I doubt I would get a word in edgewise, so I decide to sit with Billy.
When Carlene first meets Billy, he’s inside her new pub trying to walk across a tree branch without spilling a drop from his pint. I’m sure you’re wondering why there is a tree branch lying in the middle of a pub, and it’s an excellent question, but I’m afraid you’ll have to read the book to find out. All we really learn about Billy is that he’s young, he has reddish hair and freckles, and he has pretty darn good balance even if he is teased by the other men, (they call him Billy the Bollix) and lastly we learn that he’s afraid of dogs.
I imagine sitting across from Billy in the Meeting Bowls. He’s smiling, but not at me, he’s thrilled to be out of his small village of Ballybeog, and sitting in Times Square. Billy is a bit of a ladies man, so he’s lusting after all the women walking by, already formulating the story he’ll tell the lads back home in the pub. I already know he’s going to exaggerate everything that happens to them. Bragging rights as they as they say. He’s fidgeting inside the bowl, bouncing his leg, eager to jump out and explore. I I ask him why he’s afraid of dogs.
“Because they fecking bite,” he says. I ask him if he’s ever been bitten. “Not yet,” he says. “That’s why I stay away from them.” He wants to get the interview over with so he can start following young girls in short skirts. I’m trying to encourage him to get out of the touristy spots but he’s already keen on going into Bubba Gump Shrimp. I ask him what he thinks of the Meeting Bowls. He points out about four girls walking by that he’d rather be sitting with. He winks at a few and calls out to them in his Irish accent. They stop, of course they do, the accent is better than a puppy. I ask him if he liked being a character in my book. He says he should have had a bigger part. Everyone’s a critic. He sees a woman walk by carrying a little pug. He hits the deck of the meeting bowl like he’s just been shot. I’m starting to understand why they call him Billy the Bollix. I didn’t handle this interview very well. I probably should have written about something else. I wouldn’t have to if the post office had done its job. I go back to raging. Just another chunk out of the Big Apple. Next time I’m going to have to take a smaller bite.
About The Author:
MARY CARTER is a freelance writer and novelist. The Pub Across the Pond is her fifth novel with Kensington. Her other works include: My Sister’s Voice, Sunnyside Blues, She’ll Take It, and Accidentally Engaged. In addition to her novels she has written two novellas: A Very Maui Christmas in the best selling anthology Holiday Magic, and The Honeymoon House in the best selling anthology Almost Home. She is currently working on a new novel for Kensington.
Readers are welcome to visit her at www.marycarterbooks.com.
Visit her at Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Mary-Carter-Books/248226365259.