Old couple watching TV

“Would you like to go to NYC for New Year’s Eve?” he asked.

“Sure. Why not,” she said.

And so,  they held hands.

“What is your favorite color dead leaf?” he asked.

“Orange,” she said.

And so,  they dated.

“Will you marry me?” he asked.

“Have another beer,” she said.

And so,  they laughed.

“He asked me to marry him, is that okay?” she asked.

“About time. It’s your life,” her children said.

And so,  she said yes.

“Does Bastille Day work for you?” he asked.

“Definitely,” she said.

And so,  they were married.

“Will you hand me the remote?” he asked.

“Here ya go,” she said.

And so,  they smiled and grew old together.



Excerpt from my book, Bosses and Blackjacks: A Tale of the “Bloody Fifth” in Philadelphia:


It only took Dave five minutes to walk from the station house at Third and Delancey,  but the August heat took its toll. His collar and hatband were soaked through with sweat when he arrived at Deutsch’s shop.

“Mayor Smith told me to come and talk to you about how I can help with the election,” Dave said. He looked over his shoulder to make sure nobody saw him go in.

“Yes. Yes. Good. Come in, Lieutenant,” Ike Deutsch replied. The butcher wiped his palms and the backs of his hands on his blood-splattered apron, and they shook hands. He locked the door to the shop and flipped the “Open” sign to “Closed” after Dave entered. “Let’s go to the back where we can talk in private.” As he pulled his apron off over his head, he added, “You never know who’s peeking through the glass.”

Dave removed his cap and followed the butcher. They walked past the dead chickens hung by their ankles, beneath the fragrant sausages hanging overhead, past the glass case of roasts and chops on the left with the big roll of brown paper and large spool of twine on top. The sawdust on the floor puffed up with each step as they snaked between the carcasses hanging on heavy iron hooks, past the bloodied butcher blocks strewn with dangerous-looking implements, until at last they entered a small, dank room off to the right.

“I call this my office. Not much, I know—but it gives me some privacy.” Deutsch closed the door, threw the apron into the bin to his left, and pointing to a stool in the corner, said, “Sit, please, sit.”

Dave settled onto the stool.

Ike Deutsch plopped himself down on the chair behind a rickety wooden table serving as his desk. He whisked aside a pile of stained bills and receipts and simultaneously pulled the dirty ashtray from the side of the table to himself. He lit a fat cigar and tossed the charred matchstick into the ashtray “So, Lieutenant, I think we’re about to become partners in an exciting adventure.”

Dave tried not to choke. He wasn’t sure if it was being closeted with the cigar smoke or the thought of politics again gripping his life.


Hope you enjoyed this tidbit. If you’re tempted to read more, please order Bosses and Blackjacks, available from Amazon in ebook or paperback: https://www.amazon.com/Bosses-Blackjacks-Bloody-Fifth-Philadelphia/dp/1523349093


Gilbert Speaks to L.C. Bennett Stern On Her Book, Mae’s Revenge


Linda on the porch

As a writer, I get to meet the most amazing and talented people when attending book signing events. A few years ago I had the pleasure of meeting L.C. Bennett Stern at the Collingswood Book Fair and, we’ve been friends ever since. I did an interview on Linda about her novel, Bosses and Blackjacks, and you can read about it here. This year, Linda published another book, and like the first one, this story takes place in Philadelphia. Join me now as I learn more about Mae’s Revenge.

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A friend of mine posted this fun piece on Facebook, and I thought you, Dear Readers,  would enjoy playing along. The link is at the bottom of this post.

Below, is the result I received when I entered my birthdate:

Waning Crescent in Capricorn —

This Birthday falls on a Waning Crescent in the constellation Capricorn. Sometimes called the “Old Moon”, this phase is visible in the Eastern sky just before dawn. Each day of the Waning Crescent the Moon’s bright side is getting smaller until the New Moon.

Individuals born during this Moon Phase are extremely imaginative and creative. They also are very spiritual and attuned to the unseen forces of the Universe.

Waning Crescent Moon

The Waning Crescent Moon is the very last Moon phase, where the Moon is nearing the completion of its cycle. Individuals born under this phase are influenced by the energy of an aged, wise Moon, and are gifted with a kind of energy that isn’t necessarily reflected in personality or even in the physical world.

In other words, you are likely a talented psychic who is closely in touch with your spiritual side, even if you may not realize it. Through dreams and daydreams, you may receive insights or even visions that help you to be more successful in life. In line with this tendency, you may also have an extremely active imagination. This is because human imagination is the most active under low light conditions – near-darkness, with just a hint of what’s around us, is a very fertile ground for the imagination.

Your deep insights can make you seem mystical, like you exist in a different dimension from other people. Combined with your tendency to have unconventional hobbies, behaviour, and opinions, this can make you somewhat of a loner. Many people may find you too eccentric to relate to on a deeper level, even if they appreciate your wisdom and advice.

Your best bet is to find people who are just as imaginative as you are, and who appreciate you in your entire glorious, weird self.


(I’m guessing some of my friends here fit this mold!)






Her heart stopped. And my heart broke.

“Is she gone?” I asked.

“Yes,” the doctor said with tears cascading over her pale cheeks to drip from her chin.

I threw myself over her soft body like I had seen women of the Middle East do in the midst of bombings, while mourning their dead children.

I wailed like them for our little girl, Katie Scarlett. Only ten years old.

I kissed her head and said, “Good-bye my little girl.” I thought I might not be able to stop sobbing. My adult daughter and my husband moved back to let me hold her close one last time.

I’ve seen death up close before. But, for some reason, this was different.

I asked the doctor, “What happens now?”

She said her body would be picked up and her ashes should be available for us to pick up by the end of the week.

I cannot reconcile myself to this loss. There are so many holes in my life now. Our beautiful Irish girl was gone from us. Our beloved Soft-coated Wheaten Terrier, was not coming home.


Katie Scarlett at one year old
Katie Scarlett at ten years old.



On the Science of Bibliosmia: That Enticing Book Smell

Interesting Literature

In this week’s Dispatches from the Secret Library, Dr Oliver Tearle ponders the strange pull of bibliosmia by getting his nose literally into a book

‘There is no future for e-books, because they are not books. E-books smell like burned fuel.’ So Ray Bradbury, author of the nightmare dystopian novel Fahrenheit 451 about a world where books are burned, dismissed the long-term future of electronic books. And certainly, recent sales figures suggest that the traditional book is holding its own: as Rick Rylance points out in his detailed study of the value of books, Literature and the Public Good (The Literary Agenda), a UK Reading Habits survey conducted in 2015 showed that 71% of respondents didn’t use e-boos at all, and 76% preferred the traditional book to its electronic equivalent. Just 10% preferred e-books, with the remaining 14% presumably neutral. In the same year, sales of e-books dropped…

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Well, folks . . . I did it!


Mae’s Revenge is available just in time for your first weekend of Summer, 2017!


The lovely ladies (pictured above) simply could not wait another moment to find out exactly what goes on inside this historical novella.


And now — you don’t have to wait, either!

Available on Amazon.com: 



Thank you, dear readers, for sharing this adventure with me, and I hope you enjoy Mae’s Revenge! (Available in E-book and paperback versions.) Please don’t hesitate to use the “comment” option, above.

For Love

The Magic of Stories

by L.C. Bennett Stern

Tears streamed down the old man’s face as the policeman placed his hand on top of his head to help him duck as he got in the back of the patrol car. He flopped back in the seat and continued to sob. “I’d do it all over again. I’m not sorry. The children will understand…I know they will.”

Patrolman Shaw looked over his shoulder at the frail figure behind the cage-like screen as they pulled away from the shabby house on Thomas Avenue. “That doesn’t change the fact that you’re going to jail, old timer. Murder is murder.”

“Not when it’s for love,” the white-haired prisoner whimpered. He closed his eyes and replayed the last fifty-seven years in his tired mind. Ah yes, she was quite the looker. However, the first thing he’d noticed about her was her laugh. It had a lilt to it that…

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