Monday, August 22, 2016

Books We Love's Tantalizing Talent ~ Author Karla Stover

Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Karla Stover. I have lived in Tacoma, WA all my life as did my parents.  My paternal grandparents were the first homesteaders in Oregon’s Warner Valley, owned the water rights, and had a cattle ranch. My maternal grandparents left Johnstown, PA around 1915 and settled in Tacoma. They passed their love of books and reading to my mother who passed it on to me. The maternal grandparents were survivors of the 1889 Johnstown, PA flood, lived very long lives, and often talked about it. I also spent time on the cattle ranch which had few modern conveniences. I love history. Until the last financial crash, I wrote a monthly article on some aspect of local history for a local newspaper. I also talk about Tacoma’s amazing past weekly on KLAY 1180 am, and, if I did it right, that love shows in my second murder mystery, Murder, When One Isn’t Enough. It revolves around the book, Madame of the House, San Francisco madam, Sally Stanford’s autobiography.

My first book was nonfiction, Let’s Go Walk About in Tacoma.

Next was a murder mystery, Murder on the Line.

Then, another nonfiction, Hidden History of Tacoma: Little-known Tales of the City of Destiny.

Murder, When One Isn’t Enough was also a murder mystery, a sequel to the first one.

A Feather for a Fan, followed—fiction set in a nonfiction environment.

A third, nonfiction Tacoma history book is currently being edited AND

For BWL I’m writing a historical-romance-mystery called Wynters Way. The cover is great.

I am a slow writer which means no time to tweet or keep up a website or blog, but I write because I have to. Don’t all authors?

EXCEPT FROM Murder, When One isn’t Enough

     After dinner, I read more letters, learned more about the many properties Sally owned, but especially about the house at 1144 Pine Street, which had a fountain in the drawing room. Supposedly, delegates from various countries convened in the house’s living room and formed the United Nations there. In addition to Humphrey Bogart, Frank Sinatra liked to drop in, and she entertained shahs, princes, national dignitaries, and California state and local government officials. On quiet nights, her girls made fudge. Sally also read obituaries and often paid the funeral expenses of Depression homeless.

However, it wasn’t all sunshine and lollipops. Patsy developed a drinking problem. Two men broke in one night and beat Sally up. She kept a seldom-seen photograph of a seldom-seen son who was tucked away in boarding school.

I finished the last letter, bundled them up, and turned out the lights. Outside, the natives were restless. Two peacocks wandered down from the hill and took refuge on the garage roof next door. A raccoon walked up and down under the bedroom window, making crunchy noises on the gravel, and occasionally standing up to try and look in. Porch Cat’s tail twitched back and forth as he kept track of the movements. After a while I took a sleeping pill. The moon lit up the room and I dozed in its light until around midnight when the phone rang. I stumbled into the living room, picked it up and heard someone humming.

“You again. Well, you little pervert, buzz off because, frankly, I don’t give a damn.” I slammed the receiver in its cradle.

Back in the bedroom, a mosquito hummed. “Bite me and you’ll be sorry.” It did, and it was. I turned on my stomach and fell asleep.