The Vintage Telepath

The world of vintage clothing introduced in the Loving Vintage series opens an entire new realm of clothing history that mixes both past and trending fashion. How the two vintage_coverworlds collide is up to how yesterday’s pieces are paired with today’s—an art form for self-expression.

Now, in soon-to-be-released book two, The Vintage Telepath, we follow Julie Bishop, the Loving Vintage authenticator, who feels publicly humiliated because she knows things unknown to everyone else merely by holding an object. Julie is a clothes telepath. While this makes her job as vintage authenticator easy, she hides this ability from everyone.

There is much to learn about vintage. For instance, clothing categorized as Vintage is 20 years prior to current date, and Antique is applied to items older than 75+ years. The best way to learn is immersion. Visit many shops and experience how vintage makes you feel.

Hints to help with the process:

  • Don’t pass by items that may not look good on the hanger, try it on
  • Try on items for fit rather than relying on garment’s actual size, sizes have undergone standardized changes across the years and often use Vintage sizing versus Vanity sizing
  • Incorporate one piece at a time
  • Dead stock vintage means the items are vintage, but have never been worn
  • Don’t feel comfortable in it? Hang it back up

Once you dip a toe into the Vintage world you may be pleasantly excited by its design and quality workmanship. Included below are links to popular Vintage shops across the nation. Enjoy exploring!

RaleighVintage, Raleigh, North Carolina

Hey Betty Vintage Clothing, Pittsburgh PA

Rue St.Denis, New York, NY

Screaming Mimi’s, New York NY

Announcing the Loving Vintage Release

My interest in women’s back stories drives me to explore their situations and their worlds. And better yet if that back story includes archaeology, natural/alternative  healing methods,  metaphysical touches and some travel. In past stories you’ve met a software project developer (Nardi Point); a Nurse Practitioner (A Path through the Garden); and a bibliotherapist (Yellow Pansies in a Blue Cobalt Jar). vintage_cover

Today, I announce the release of the first book of my new series LOVING VINTAGE. In this story, you’ll meet Annie Savone, the boomer manager of the Loving Vintage consignment shop.

When Annie Savone enters her bid to purchase the upscale vintage clothing shop she manages, she designs a path to take her from a blindside divorce to the rest of her life.

With only a faded photo of a woman with toddlers—her only possible clue to a family of her own—Annie elects to brazen out the mystery of her adoption and grapples newly exposed family roots that lead her into a jeopardize-all risk.

You may enjoy reading the novella,  Stronger Ever After (presented in a five-part series on this blog) that introduces some of the main characters you’ll meet in Loving Vintage. Enjoy!

Stronger Ever After – Conclusion

Here is the final installment of my novella, Stronger Ever After. Enjoy! For the further adventures of these characters and others, be sure to explore my latest novel, Loving Vintage, to be released December 10, 2016!

The long Sunday hours killed her. Barb had projected the increase in shop traffic correctly. Mimi’s greatest struggle however, were her careening thoughts about Willow and how to guide and support her daughter through this challenge as Mimi restocked displays and helped customers. Her focus was Willow’s next confrontation surely to follow tomorrow, Monday morning at school. And the appointment Mimi had arranged with Willow’s teacher. She slipped away into the break room and rotated her shoulders to break the tightening knot. She scanned her cell. No messages. Her daughter hadn’t answered her texts all day.

She pressed Jeff’s number. The call went to voice message as she rubbed her neck. “Jeff, I’ll stop by for Willow on the way home from work. Save you a trip. Be leaving in about half an hour.” Her shoulders burned in spasm. She reached back and attempted to knead it loose then finished up the orders and inventory count before leaving.

Jeff’s townhouse windows were dark when Mimi parked in front. She grabbed her cell as the message indicator blinked on. It was Jeff.

“Look, Mimi. I messed up. Willow’s home. Safe. I’m at the precinct,” a pause, “Got picked up for DWI.”

What! Her hands shook. The message, listed from two in the morning, had posted only now.

Impossible reckless excuse for a husband. He’d sworn off drinking and why the judge had granted joint custody during divorce proceedings.

Her throat tightened, she crushed the car door handle open and ran to his front door, pressing Willow’s number again on her cell. Still nothing. She wanted to throw the cell, smash it. She rang the bell, then pounded the door.

No response. She called out, “Willow!”

Her fingers trembled as she jabbed Willow’s number one more time. Jeff in the drink tank all night, where was her daughter? The last time she saw her was yesterday afternoon. Anything could happen in that time span to a thirteen-year-old looking to be fierce—in a black leather jacket.

She fumbled the key ring for a duplicate key made from the one Jeff gave Willow for weekends. That’s what being a mom was all about. Grateful she’d taken the precaution, her shaky fingers eased the key into the lock. She was in, the door slamming behind her. Sprinting two steps at a time, she rushed the stairs to the bedrooms. The master was undisturbed. Willow’s room had been slept in, the rumpled bed unmade. She gulped a breath and raced downstairs to the kitchen. There was a bowl and spoon in the sink, a jar of chocolatey Nutella, Willow’s favorite, on the table.

Again she jabbed Willow’s number. Too soon to call police? They wouldn’t take the report yet, not enough time. What about an amber alert? Her mouth dried. Jeff wouldn’t have his phone in the drink tank and couldn’t help. Her legs weakened beneath her. She had to sit.

On the table beside the Nutella jar, a couple of fashion magazines caught her eye. Several loose pages of sketches were nested between them. Mimi recognized her daughter’s style. With the sketches, was a torn magazine page from a local vintage consignment shop. Did it connect in any way with Willow? She caught her breath and flashed-read the shop’s location. It wasn’t far.

Her heart took on a prayer-answered fervor that propelled her out of the chair, out of the townhouse and into the car. She almost passed the address, it was that nearby. Mimi checked her watch. It was late afternoon.

She could see the shop’s lights still on. As she ran to the door, a woman placed a Loving Vintage Closed sign in the door window. Mimi met her eyes and gestured she needed to come in, thinking she must absolutely look like a crazy person. Past the woman, and sitting at a low counter, she could make out a young girl, her head down, busy with something she couldn’t tell what. depositphotos_7711394_m-2015

“Willow!” A shout and gasp released from her chest as she recognized her daughter.

The door opened immediately. Mimi flew past the woman to her daughter.

Willow looked up. A radiant smile Mimi hadn’t seen on Willow’s face in a long time, changed in a split second to a flush that spread across her cheeks. “Mom!”

Mimi embraced her daughter as tears dropped from her eyes. “Thank, god!”

She pushed Willow’s shoulders back out of their embrace and placed her face close to her daughter’s. “No call, Willow! You know the ground rules. I’ve been so worried, you have no idea!”

Willow hung her head. “Sorry. Everything was such a mess.” She raised her gaze. “Then I met Annie, here.”

The woman stepped forward. She gave Mimi an understanding smile filled with compassion.

“I’m Annie Savone,” she clasped her hands in front of her. “I manage Loving Vintage.” Annie looked toward Willow and swept her hand at the designs Willow had drawn. “Your daughter has quite the eye for vintage.”

Mimi tilted her head and waited for more.

“Willow stopped by the shop the other day to look through our vintage wear and collectibles. She was interested in the stylist job I posted.”

Willow’s gaze hit the floor. She didn’t seem able to meet Mimi’s eyes.

Annie looked from Mimi to Willow and continued, “She drew a couple of sketches putting together some of the pieces we have for sale and I recognized her talent.” She paused, “If it would work with Willow’s school schedule, I’m looking for an intern, too. Flexible hours, only a few a week actually because this is a new position. And it comes with a small stipend.”

Willow’s head bounced up. “Could I, Mom? I’d love it.”

Mimi took a quick sweeping glance of the consignment shop. Over toward an area marked Consult, Willow’s black leather jacket slipped to the floor from where it had been tossed. The shop had a secure, established feel to it. No doubt business was good evidenced from the freshness of the tasteful displays, and orderliness. She returned to her daughter’s expectant face. The change she saw in the Willow before her was dramatic.

She looked at Annie who exchanged an almost telepathic message of understanding.  The warmth and kindness in the woman’s eyes were reassuring. Annie had somehow recognized Willow could benefit from having her talent recognized. A smile curled Mimi’s lip and the heaviness she carried lifted. She would back her daughter, formally support her talent, grow her confidence, and guide her along a path to wherever Willow’s talent would take her. Mean Elle would not have the last word.

Mimi nodded, “I think you’d enjoy that and learn a lot.”

Willow rushed a hug to Mimi, remaining in her arms longer than she had in quite a while. Mimi dropped her head to Willow’s and gave the softening hair-sprayed head a kiss before returning to meet Annie’s gaze.

“Thanks for this,” she sighed. Then she raised her chin and without hesitation, asked, “About that open stylist position—”

There would be no more mean girls for either of them.

Book Club selection

The thrill of the work, the writing, planning, drafting, revision … is in a reader’s reaction to the story. When my publisher releases it to the public I anxiously await feedback and reviews. Did the story move my readers; give them something to ponder, or wonder about; provide some new little piece of information my research enabled me to share?

Today I received affirmation of my work in the happy faces of a book club in Warrenton, North Carolina. To see their joy sharing the stories read over the course of a year moves me. This pic encourages me to wrestle through more plots and move forward with whatever work in progress piece I’m working on. It’s like a beautiful present that I can share with readers! And I’m so grateful! Ahhhh, the writing life.

 Thanks for reading! To return to the FICTION WRITERS BLOG HOP on Julie Valerie’s website, click here: http://www.julievalerie.com/fiction-writers-blog-hop-aug-2016