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Calm Lake

Two Seasons Series

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"...Are you dumb all day long or does it wear off after breakfast..?"

Welcome to the Town of East Puddleduck, Maine, which many unique residents call home. Each with their individual eccentricities, there are several that stand out along with the main character of Wilomena Farnsworth.

An opinionated, cantankerous, and ornery old woman that everyone calls 'Ma'.

The town itself is situated in the northernmost point of Maine just before the Canadian border. A cul-de-sac and as some would say, "An island without any water." The one road in (and back out) takes you underneath Ma's "unwelcoming" sign and leads you to the tiny village where you'll pass by the aging municipal hall. Inside, you'll most likely find the mayor lounging about with his two selectpersons agreeing to everything he says. Smirnoff's General Store is across from Ruby Red's Beauty Parlor and just down the road from MkIntyre's Gas Station and Used Car Emporium. All just before you arrive at Ma's Diner, nearest the end of the Main Road.    

Please take a moment and meet a few of the residents below the reviews.

* Book cover artwork and character sketches performed by the author *

She's Baaaack!!!
Ma's up to her old tricks again, getting herself and others in trouble in the 3rd installment of the Two Seasons series!!!
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Judy Winchenback ~ ARC Reviewer

March 26, 2024

David Wilson captures both downhome Maine humor and the magic of small town relationships in Ma’s In Trouble Again.

Ma’s Diner is the hub of activity in East Puddleduck. Ma runs the diner and tries to run the town, getting herself in in humorous scrapes.  Her family and friends try to nudge Ma in the right directions (sometimes successfully) while the reader gets to know the residents of the small town. 

Although seeming to be tough on the outside, the author introduces the reader to the enduring side of Ma and the other characters as they interact with each other. El, Runyon, Cilla, Old Marmaduke, and Puut are some of the townsfolk you will come to know and laugh with as you follow the escapades in East Puddleduck.

David Wilson paints a picture with his words, if I ever find my way to East Puddleduck I will feel at home, especially at Ma’s Diner. The dialogue moves the story along and he knows when to add humor in just the right places, as well as when to add a gentle tug at the heartstrings. I look forward to reading more of his work.

Ma’s in Trouble Again – by David Wilson

~Mark Lieberman, Author

  March 27, 2024

I received this book directly from the author as he wanted me to read it and provide feedback before it’s published. It’s the third book in this series.


A year ago, he posted in the Goodreads Society Facebook page, if anybody would read one of his books, and share a review on Goodreads, Amazon, and any other platform. I know how hard it is to get people to leave reviews as I am also a published writer, so I replied, yes, I want to read your memoir of being a law enforcement officer. His other books were humor fiction. So, both genres appealed to me, and I am glad. Had it been science fiction or romance, I never would’ve reached out.


Obviously, I enjoyed his memoir and graduated to the humor fiction books. I was honored when I saw his email asking if I would read this one.


I am absolutely in love with all the characters, and all the things that happen to them. My favorite character is Ma, a descendant of the founding family and the owner of Ma’s Diner, where everybody in the town congregates to. She doesn’t put up with any crap, and her voice is loud.


I enjoyed all the stories and happenings, and can’t wait for next installment. One of my favorite stories was the farting contest, where she cooks up hot and spicy foods and then 4 contestants are judged on, well, you know what it! Oh, another funny one involved a trial where Ma is accused of shooting somebody. Wait, I almost forgot about shithead, the bear, getting shot and Ma taking him home to take care of him. The skiing accident that Ma got involved in was extremely funny. You can tell I had a lot of LOL moments.


I did ask the author how he came up with some of the names as they are really interesting.


"Ma was a nickname that I came up with early on when I decided to write the books. Originally, way back before I was a police officer I worked for a local municipality that put out a weekly newsletter. ‘Ma’ was created in a comic strip that I’d write regularly for the publication. Originally, her last name was ‘Scratchy’, but I changed it for the books. Puut Voisine is actually a real name, and a real ‘character’. He’s a guy that I was introduced to by a fishing buddy. I did a lot of fishing with the very same character that’s depicted in the books. Runyon was a kid in my neighborhood when I was a child, and just an unusual name so I used it. Smirnoff is from the vodka."


"The mayor’s name, Wiggleswort, is derived from a name I heard on a reality tv show and I tweaked it a bit. Father Winkin is from the children’s poem of Winkin, Blinkin, and Nod. Marmaduke was a dog in a newspaper comic strip. Other names are simply what I came up with when I was originally creating the characters from the books. The character of Bob, though, is a real cop that I worked with. Ma’s dead sister, Grizelda, is from a Monkees song by Peter Tork."


So, I then asked him who would play Ma? In one of my reviews, I thought Meryl Streep.

"There are a few that could play her. Unfortunately, some of them aren’t alive anymore. Nedra Volz would have been good. Clara Peller too. As far as who would play her now? I think we’d need to put a wig on Danny Devito!"

P.R. Infidel, Author

April 2, 2024

5-Stars!

"Ma's In Trouble Again" is a zany and heartfelt romp through a small Northeastern Town. Ma, the town's most notorious and cantankerous resident had me in stitches as she nursed wildlife, coordinated fart contests, and specialized in being...well, as outrageously comedic as humanly possible.

This is a book that pries you away from your troubles and invites you into a land of delightful, uplifting nonsense. It's the perfect brain dump and a great cure for depression which is why I declare with confidence:

"This year, say 'no' to prescription antidepressants and 'yes,' to Ma!"

Janet Damren on Ma's In Trouble Again

May 14, 2024

5-Stars

This book was just as great as the first two. All of the characters are wonderful. When I read these books I can actually picture the characters and the scenery around them. They are such a joy to read. Thank you very much Dave for creating all of these wonderful characters.

Aminta Jensen on Ma's In Trouble Again

May 23, 2024

My personal Favorite of the series!! I couldn't put the book down, I could have read it in one day if I didn't have other responsibilities (like work) LOL. Amazing writing another MUST READ!!!!!!! David has a way to make you feel like you are not reading but part of the story itself . PLEASE READ these books you will NOT be disappointed!!!!!

REVIEWS

I need a break from everything; so I'm going to East Puddleduck where I can count on Ma for stability and have life's priorities put in proper order.  I find your writing to be excellent, the stories fun and the flavor of style is in keeping of what one would expect of true Americana Folk Lore. I see Ma taking her place along side Paul Bunyan, Tom Sawyer and Davy Crocket.

                  - Jay Alden Bailey,                                     Author, Mudflap Series

I absolutely loved this book! The writing was superb! While I was reading the book I could actually visualize the characters. The happenings in that town was great! Loved every page of it! I would love to see more like this.

Thanks David!

-Janet Damren, 

  Reader Review, Two Seasons

  October 6, 2023

I am so glad that David wrote a continuation of Two Seasons. It was great!! What a hoot it was to read of their adventures on the cruise. I laughed a lot while reading this one. Thank you again David and I hope we get to read more stories of Ma and the gang.
 

-Janet Damren, 

  Reader Review, Ma's Diner

  October 6, 2023

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Susan Winters-Smith, 

Author - Vermont Seasonings

December 14, 2023

I loved reading Two Seasons and Wilson’s witty irony that flows along like the Androscoggin River. His style reminds me of Howard Mosher, whose last and best book, Points North tells a lengthy saga of a family who came from the West into Vermont. Wilson’s saga is about a family in rural northern Maine, who ended up there through an unusual twist of fate, one of many that happens to them in this story.


Wilson gives us a clear backstory and a detailed description of his well-developed characters that prepare us for the fast-moving chronicle of the inhabitants of the magical mythical town of East Puddleduck. The reader is swept along in the current of hilarious tales with no wasted words whatsoever and not one chance of getting bored. This is not a book that you would set aside for long as you really must know what happens next.


The main character, Ma Farnsworth is a strong though strange woman who owns and runs a diner and never backs down, a trait which draws her into one wild adventure after another. This is real backwoods Maine, where certain modern conveniences are lacking, which can easily set someone up to be sitting in the outhouse and having a huge moose pop it’s head in through the hole in the back wall.


Fishing, boating and ice fishing are great scenarios for dangerous situations like having a giant pickerel biting you in the backside, or a bull moose wading out into Pug Pond and grabbing a fish before Ma or her husband Elmer can catch one.
Hunting moose could cause someone to get lost in the deep woods, and be followed home by a friendly but hungry bear who enjoys hanging around town for a while.


The townspeople of East Puddleduck find plenty to do, with their own Town Fair creating an uproar of jealousy over whose farm animal is the best, leading to a chicken fight and a roll in the pig sty. Then there is the great pigeon hunt that comes about because of an infestation of rare, protected pigeons causing a mess on every surface of the town.


The town politics and town elections are full of the stories we hear a lot about from folks who grew up in the rural northeast, when town meetings were a lot of talk, complaints and arguments, with almost nothing getting accomplished. I won’t even try to explain what happens to foreigners from out of state who think they can speed through town ignoring Ma Farnsworth’s signs.


I guarantee that visitors to East Puddleduck will be looking forward to the sequel when they can learn what’s going on now in the woods or at the diner.

Here's a little video that I've put together to reflect the journey of the series that is set to a song that makes me think of the character of  'Ma' every time!

The Cast of Characters

Wilomena 'Ma' Farnsworth

Elmer 'El' Miller

Ma is the matriarch of East Puddleduck. She's an ornery, cantankerous, and opinionated older lady that owns and operates the local diner, 'Ma's Diner'. She's married to Elmer 'El' Farnsworth, her much quieter and more level-headed other half.

Ma's overly protective of the townsfolk and doesn't mind telling them how to live, act and breathe around her. Underneath it all, she has a heart of gold and would do anything for any one of them...although she complains about it all the while.

Bob Johnson and his wife,  Mable

Constable Bob is the one and only police officer for both the towns of East Puddleduck and the neighboring town of Skunksquirt. Bob keeps the peace while eating most, if not all of his meals, at Ma's Diner, and he considers himself to be one of Ma's favorite patrons. However, she'd most likely argue this fact.

Mable Johnson, Bob's better half and one of the town gossips, works occasionally for Ma at the diner.

Rupert and Eleanor Wiggleswort

Rupert is the town's mayor and considers himself the top decision-maker, even though Ma always has the last say. Rupert can usually be found in his tiny little office within the aging municipal building along with his two selectpersons if he's not in the diner eating a good meal and taking verbal abuse from Ma.

 

Eleanor, his boisterous wife, spends her time providing Rupert with the answers that the townsfolk want to hear when it comes to decision-making. That is when she's not having the gray taken out of her hair at Ruby's Salon. 

Jacob and Valerie Daley

Jacob is one of the two selectpersons to the mayor while his better half, 'Val', is one of Ma's most trusted managers and can usually be found working alongside her in the diner. 

Paul and Matilda Doody

Paul makes up the other bookend to the mayor. His outspoken wife, Mattie, is Ma's nemesis. Consistently in competition with each other, Mattie has no problem providing her thoughts and opinions, which is quite often.

 

Cicely and Smirnoff....umm...Smirnoff

(The truth is, no one can pronounce his first name).

Cicely owns and operates the one little general store in East Puddleduck along with her husband, Smirnoff. 

Cicely watches out for Ma and works in the diner when business is slow at the store, leaving her husband to operate the family business during these times.

 

Smirnoff enjoys poking fun at Ma by speaking in his native tongue, which Ma doesn't understand. In reality, Smirnoff also watches out for the old woman even though she appears to be pretty mean to him at times. But then again, she can be pretty mean to everyone.

Puut (pronounced Pu'ut) Voisine

Puut is our resident survivalist. He lives off-grid, even in a rural town such as East Puddleduck. He does eat at Ma's Diner quite often, however, it's believed this is primarily to spend time annoying the owner.

Ruby 'Red' Mayflower

Our resident beautician, her shop is gossip central. A lovely lady who acts a bit younger than her actual age.  With bright red hair, she's every man's, especially Puut's, dream lady. However, don't try catcalling her, or she may just lay you out, and rightfully so.  And it might just be Ma that lays you out, as she doesn't allow anyone to disrespect Ruby, other than herself.

Old Marmaduke

Old Marmaduke is arguably East Puddleduck's oldest resident and by far the wisest. When an answer can't be found by asking either Ma or the mayor, Old Marmaduke is sought out for his logic and guidance.

Marmaduke's Canadian heritage shows in his heavy French accent and he proudly lives in his old ramshackle house, and can usually be found sitting on his front porch watching cars, and life, go by if he's not enjoying a meal at Ma's.

Old Marmaduke is a wise, old soul and, for the most part, highly respected by Ma and the other townsfolk.

Runyon Farnsworth-Miller

Runyon is the only grown child of Ma and Elmer. A hard-working man in his early-mid thirties, he's the town's handyman. If there's a job that needs completing, and he's not out hunting or fishing with his buddy, Puut,  Runyon's the person to call. 

Joshua and Wally McIntyre

 The twins, who look nothing like each other, own and operate the local service station and used car lot. The naive, however trustworthy boys are hard working and watched over closely by Ma, who makes certain they behave at all times.

 

Father Winkin

Percible Winkin is East Puddleduck's spiritual advisor. With an air of pompousness about him, he provides a Sunday service that many of the town's residents attend each week. You may want to listen closely, though, as you might just hear a few quotes that aren't exactly taken from the good book, as Percible is an avid movie buff and he likes to quote film all too often.

 

Myrtle Watson

Myrtle Watson is the older sister of the mayor. A divorcee, she doesn't mind giving poor marriage advice to anyone who hasn't asked for it. The leader of the church's children's choir, and the one and only town clerk, is undoubtedly the biggest gossip in town.

Boris, Fluffbut, and the Bear

Ma's dog, cat, and the bear

Character Sketches & Artwork

Pencil sketch of Ma in familiar headgear from all three books. The colorized version became the cover for Ma's In Trouble Again.

Pencil sketch of Ma and her least favorite animal from a chapter in Two Seasons

Pencil sketch of Ma driving the old Chevy and yelling at someone

Pencil sketch of Constable Bob Johnson

Pencil sketch of Ma and 'the bear' that appears in all three books.

Pencil sketch of Ma for Ma's Diner

The original pencil sketch of Ma

Pencil sketch of Puut Voisine and Ruby Red

Pencil sketch of Ma and Elmer depicting a scene from a chapter in Two Seasons

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Acrylic on canvas of Ma's Diner, Bob's cruiser (complete with his hand-painted lettering), Ma's truck, and the bear. New cover design for 'Ma's Diner'

The cover design for 'Two Seasons' is a wood-burning on a plain, old cedar shingle.

The original cover design for 'Ma's Diner' is a wood-burning on a piece of pine board.

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