February 14, 2013

Allen McGill on Vicky Banning

Guest post by Allen McGill

Welcome to the wacky, wonderful world of Vicky Banning, deemed a new Auntie Mame; a little older perhaps, certainly wiser, and undeniably more outrageous.

From the lavish mansions of the ultra-posh Newport scene, to entertaining on luxury liners with her husband en route to war-threatened Europe, smuggling endangered children to safety on board the ships' return, Vicky is a force majeure.

Interior decorator, Roger, and his hunky coal miner lover, Steve, become Vicky's closest friends, allies and partners in shenanigans.

Political skullduggery is foiled -- with the aid of a Streisand-like "Noo Yawk" accent -- a strip tease for charity is wildly successful (from some POVs), and the results of her entertaining from atop a piano in a gay bar during a leather-and-feather Halloween costume party, leads to Vicky being threatened with arrest.

A drug bust sting is another of Vicky's ventures into delicate situations, as are portrayals of Madame deFarge with her knitting needles and La Contesa dei Strioni (actors or clowns -- certainly Vicky's milieu). Her gambling casino Vegas night for charity bends all the rules of the Pennsylvanian prohibition laws -- with the governor in attendance.

But within Vicky lies the logical reasons for her peculiar behavior, reasons dating far back into her life, her loves, her longings -- and the secretive nightly letters. All of which comes to light -- along with a new adventure -- at the end.

Winner of El Ojo Del Lago's Pamala L. Hall Award for Best Novel of the Year, Vicky Banning has charmed her way on-line to debut, newly-polished, newly-covered, and newly-invigorated. Minnie, another of my works, won the same award for Best Short Story of the Year. Both are now available online from JMS Books.

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