Tag archives: stories

Montecito — Chapter 49 & 50: Chasing Bytes and Bones
By Michael Cox   |   January 24, 2023

Take a sneak peek of Montecito by Michael Cox in this ongoing serialization of his yet-to-be-published book. This fictional story is inspired by “tales of true crime THAT HAPPENED HERE.” After the discovery of a bloody scene at the Wimbys’, Hollis unpacks what he saw and knows with Cricket, and later the FBI. Chapter 47 […]

Montecito — Chapter 47 & 48: Unknown Agents
By Michael Cox   |   January 17, 2023

Take a sneak peek of Montecito by Michael Cox in this ongoing serialization of his yet-to-be-published book. This fictional story is inspired by “tales of true crime THAT HAPPENED HERE.” After a shocking revelation from Agent Randall, the FBI continues to question Hollis. Chapter 46 is available here. – MJ Staff Chapter 47 As I […]

Montecito — Chapter 46: Another Visit From the Agents
By Michael Cox   |   January 10, 2023

Take a sneak peek of Montecito by Michael Cox in this ongoing serialization of his yet-to-be-published book. This fictional story is inspired by “tales of true crime THAT HAPPENED HERE.” After Hollis’s home visit from Agent Andrews, he receives another knock at the door. Chapters 44 and 45 are available online here. – MJ Staff […]

Let’s Travel
By Leslie Zemeckis   |   January 10, 2023

With the holidays behind us, if you’re like me, you long to travel. Well, this month’s list of books will send you from Havana to Singapore, and all from the comfort of your couch. In Armando Lucas Correa’s tremendously moving The Night Travelers, we arrive in Berlin in this story spanning three generations of women. […]

Editor’s Note
By Montecito Journal   |   December 27, 2022

The past few years have seen some world-changing events, but nearly five years ago, our area went through a community-changing one. The impact that the Thomas Fire and subsequent 1/9 Debris Flow had on the area can still be felt today. Yes, in the hardship it brought, but also the strength, tenacity, and heart that […]

Summer Reads
By Leslie Zemeckis   |   May 31, 2022

Time to load up those beach totes as June brings a tidal wave of captivating books.  The Scent of Burnt Flowers by Blitz Bazawule is a mystical, magical read. Set in the 1960s, Bernadette and Melvin, a young Black couple, flee a racially divided America for Ghana where they hope to obtain asylum from Melvin’s […]

Spring Travels
By Leslie Zemeckis   |   March 29, 2022

First off, let’s visit a small town in Texas. In Samantha Jayne Allen’s Pay Dirt Road, waitress Annie is drawn into her family’s private investigation firm after a fellow waitress disappears from a party they both attended. Allen slowly builds her characters and the atmosphere of a recession-hit town with hardscrabble characters in grimy honky-tonks […]

Must Reads for November
By Leslie Zemeckis   |   November 2, 2021

Truman Capote specialized in characters who weren’t what they seemed to be. Breakfast at Tiffany’s, a happy-go-lucky party girl who struggled with the “mean reds.” In Cold Blood about ruthless killers, who were more pathetic than masterminds. And in his unfinished Answered Prayers, society women, “swans,” as he called them, envied for their wealth, beauty, […]

September’s Scintillating Reads
By Leslie Zemeckis   |   September 14, 2021

Nadia Denham runs a curio shop in a “rundown Santa Barbara mall.” Mickie Lambert works for a company that creates “digital scrapbooks” for those wishing to preserve their precious trinkets. When Nadia dies, Mickie sets out to fulfill her last wish to curate twelve mementos that cause a dormant serial killer to surface. Mickie receives […]

Offset June Gloom with Some Great Storytelling
By Leslie Zemeckis   |   June 3, 2021

It is time to start our beach reading, even with June gloom hovering. Finding Tessa by Jaime Lynn Hendricks is a thriller with an unforeseen twist that will keep you turning pages. Tessa and Jace are in love. When Tessa goes missing, evidence against Jace mounts: blood, a gun, and an affair with a co-worker. […]

Storywalk Continues
By Kim Crail   |   May 20, 2021

We continue to offer the monthly Storywalk® program, which allows households to enjoy a story together while social distancing. This has been a wonderful way to encourage literacy and family time. Special shout out to the All Saints, Mount Carmel, and Montecito Union students and their grownups that came out, braving the mysterious helicopter situation […]

Finding Hope in the Dark
By Leslie Zemeckis   |   May 6, 2021

Deep in the sewers of Kraków dwell humans, hiding, starving, barely surviving.  NY Times bestselling author Pam Jenoff (The Lost Girls of Paris) has finished another taut historical fiction. Imagine living in darkness and filth for over a year? That is the premise – based on true events – of The Woman with the Blue […]

SBCC Stories Stream
By Steven Libowitz   |   April 7, 2021

Perhaps ironically, it’s SBCC – which has been largely shut down during the pandemic, thus allowing SBIFF to create its makeshift drive-ins down by the beach in the college’s parking lots – whose Theatre Arts Department has compiled stories written by the SBCC community, including students, staff and faculty, to create three separate performances of […]

The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah (St Martin’s Press)
By Leslie Zemeckis   |   March 4, 2021

“The four winds have blown us here, people from all across the country, to the very end of this great land.”  For those of us who live in Montecito we are all too familiar with the land we love. Though lush and verdant, it has on occasion betrayed us with drought, fires, and mudslides. Still, […]

A Great Montecito Neighbor is Making Stories Matter
By Sharon Byrne   |   December 31, 2020

Last Sunday, community godfather and Christmas Elf Dana Newquist organized the second Montecito-To-Unity toy and fundraising drive and caravan for delivery. A great group met up at the Upper Village in classic cars, ready to donate toys and funds for the second week in a row. Dana asked me to get up on the 1937 […]

Statistics vs Stories?
By Robert Bernstein   |   October 13, 2020

As a teen in the ‘70s I had very little money to pursue my many passions. So I was grateful for various suppliers of surplus electronics that I used to build my creations. I was surprised one day that one of my favorite suppliers was having a going-out-of-business sale. I showed up at the event […]

Personal Stories Perpetuates in Cyberspace
By Steven Libowitz   |   July 23, 2020

Despite complications from COVID-19, Personal Stories, Center Stage Theater’s popular series that features local authors and actors performing true first-person stories drawn from their own lives never actually went on hiatus. Sure, the PS performances were put on hold, but auditions and coaching continued in hopes that the theater would soon be reopening post-pandemic. Now […]

Online ‘Personal’s
By Steven Libowitz   |   July 16, 2020

Center Stage Theater’s daily Digital Arts Festival came to a close back in May, with the daily doses of videos, photos and interviews with local artists of all kinds to share  their creative processes and samples of their work perhaps set to return later this summer. In the meantime, a Quarantine Edition of Speaking of […]

Backbone is Back
By Steven Libowitz   |   March 12, 2020

There are a lot of opportunities for locals to compose, create, perform, and or just partake in storytelling, as evidenced by the ongoing Personal Stories series – the showcases that feature local actors and writers developing first-person true stories that fit a theme to share at Center Stage Theater in the periodic events that outlived […]

From Africa to Montecito
By Dalina Michaels   |   June 13, 2019

Fleurie Leclercq grew up in a little village in Cameroon, in Central Africa.  A village where she walked two miles each way – each day – to school. A village where she walked to the river to get water for her family. A village where her grandmother raised her ‘til she was 10 years old, […]