Saturday, October 5, 2013

Barbara Silkstone Unveils Cairo Caper and a Wild Good Time It Is!

On Amazon
Author Barbara Silkstone fits all my criteria for nerd-girl, romantic, and time-traveler. Though the genre she writes in is classified as comedy-mystery, her main character, Wendy Darlin, based on herself, is clutzy, brainy, adorable nerd-girl personified. There's no doubt Barbara's a romantic too: her Wendy Darlin mysteries sparkles with clever romance between Wendy and the charming, but also nerdy, Johnny-Depp look alike, Roger Jolley. She could even be a time traveler since she writes about adventures that have to do with archeaology and recovering ancient treasure, sending the reader back in time if not in actuality, at least in essence. As a result, I'm thrilled to host her on my blog with a review of the latest in her series, Cairo Caper, a quick interview, and a rolicking excerpt from the book.

Having loved the first two in her series, Wendy and the Lost Boys, and London Broil, I couldn't wait for Barbara to unveil the third, and was not disappointed. Silkstone has an amazing way of creating characters you love to love and love to hate. One of the new characters that appears in Cairo Caper that really tickied my funny bone was Fiona Feelgood, the clueless librarian. She kept me laughing throughout the whole book. But I also came to feel even more affection for Wendy and Roger. Even though they're officially an item in Cairo Caper, Silkstone still manages to create plenty of sexual tension between them. Plus there are a slew of lesser characters, each so distinct, each so well drawn, all of whom keep you laughing. Not only that, but she has a great way of using words, phrases and images in ways you've never thought of before to create an endless flow of wit. Let me also add that Silkstone manages, while filling the book with action and thrills, to remain sensitive to the terrible political unrest currently happening in Egypt. I appreciate that. I like this book SO much. Hilarious story, clever writing, great characters. The perfect comedy mystery thriller.
On Amazon

And now let's find out some things we didn't know before about Barbara Silkstone and her writing. Here's a short interview I recently did with her:

What’s one thing that readers would be surprised to find out about you?
I work out my phobias through my characters – Wendy Darlin in particular.
My fear of escalators drove Wendy to learn how to fly a helicopter and drop down from the sky onto the deck of a super-yacht. I can’t stand to get my face wet; neither can Wendy. I’ve had her perform more than one water rescue grousing through the entire operation. I have to admire her gumption.

My biggest phobia is one I cannot bring myself to inflict on her. I can’t stand seeing holes in fabric. It freaks me out. Both my hair and nail salons know to hide holey towels before my appointments. When checking into a hotel I strip the bed to check the sheets for HOLES. If I find one I ask for another room. I just can’t slam Wendy with holes. Too icky!

Where do you get your inspirations for your books?
They are all taken from my real life experiences… shaken not stirred.

Who are some of your favorite characters in your books?  Why?
I guess Wendy Darlin sits at the top of my list because she is willing to take lots of physical chances and laugh at herself when she messes up.
I love Kit. He is a famous Miami Beach drag queen and nail-tech for a number of my heroines. He makes a great best friend for the gals and he’s a hoot to boot.
Fiona Feelgood tickles me. She showed up in Cairo Caper. Fiona is a virgin librarian attempting for make a name for herself by writing Erotica for Dummies.

What are some of your current and future projects that you can share with us?
I’ve just begun to write Miami Mummies. I know where it’s going and I have a general idea of the challenges Wendy Darlin will encounter. But once she gets started chaos always follows.

Where is the best place in the world you’ve been?
I love the graveyard of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Upper Slaughter in the Cotswolds. I could spend eternity there but I think it’s a closed club.

The following is one of my, and Barbara's, favorite excerpts from Cairo Caper: 
A room filled with cat mummies caught my attention. Fiona marched ahead, but I was drawn inside. Cats were considered guardians of the underworld and protectors of those in the afterlife. The dried feline bodies caused a wave of sadness to wash over me.

I moved to the middle of the room where the weight of a stare on my back caused me to spin around. I locked on to the dark eyeholes in the head of a long-necked cat mummy standing next to a wooden cat coffin. The plaque under the cat noted it had been entombed with its master, one of Cleopatra’s guards who had been slain protecting her in the early days of her reign. A tear ran down my cheek. I shook my head to break the strange connection I felt with the tiny figure.


Fiona’s shrill voice snapped me out of my mystic fog. She was standing cross-legged in the doorway, frantically beckoning to me.

Before I could move, a cat brushed my ankle. I jumped and looked down. No cat there. As crazy as it seemed I swiveled my head toward the cat mummy. I could have sworn it winked. My imagination was working overtime.

“Wendy, I really have to go.”

I barreled through a door marked with a drawing of a woman in a long skirt with a scarf over her head. The lights were a notch down from the gloomy hallway. Fiona managed to squeeze by me and race into the nearest stall, I grabbed a potty two doors over.

I locked the door then wrestled with my long skirt and the weight of two mummy-ashtrays in the pockets. I swathed it around my thighs and lifted it just as someone pushed on the stall door.

A gravelly male voice, heavily accented in Arabic said, “Open the door!” I dropped my skirt, dragging the hem in the toilet. Ick. The curse of wearing a long skirt.

“Wendy! Who is that?” Fiona called. “Is that a sex-maniac?”

“Don’t sound so excited,” I said pressing against the door as it shuddered from a fist bashing on the other side.

“Open up! I have something for you.”

“Go away.” I fought to keep my voice from quavering.

 “Open up or I’ll… put it under the door.”

“You do and I’ll step on it,” I yelled. He damn sure wasn’t delivering a pizza.

Something let loose with a high-pitched howl. It sounded like a cat but meaner.

I adjusted my skirt, bent down, and peeked under the stall door. Nothing. No male feet. No feet at all. Only the shadow of a cat. What happened to Gravel Voice?

“Fiona, on the count of three hit your door and start running. I’ll be right beside you. One!”

“I can’t get my Spanx up. I’m too sweaty!”

Spanx, my foot. A girdle is a girdle, and a girdle in this heat is ridiculous. “Fiona, drop ‘em and start running!”

“It’s the only pair I brought with me…”

“Two. Three!” I kicked open the door. No one was there. I didn’t bother checking the shadows. “Run for it!”

I imitated Fred Flintstone powering his stone-age car as I paddled my feet for all I was worth.

Fiona galloped alongside me. “Was he good looking?”

“Shut up and run!”

We slip-skidded down the hall and onto the slick-as-glass stone staircase.  We shot down the stairs like supercharged Slinkies.
Thank you, Barbara! 

Please visit her Amazon page to pick up Cairo Caper:
or a boxed set of the Wendy Darlin mysteries: