Mom and Dad’s Martinis by Jacelyn Cane – Spotlight and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Jacelyn Cane will be awarding a $10 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Jacelyn Cane’s mom and dad liked their martinis dry: straight gin on the rocks with a dab of vermouth and a hint of water – and they liked them often. They also liked to party; they danced, socialized, and drank – they were good at all three. Sometimes this behaviour led to humorous situations – antics in the pool, at the club, the cottage or in the car, for example. Other times, however, the experiences were not so funny – family fights and times of neglect, trauma, and abuse. By weaving together a series of episodes that take the reader to light and dark places, author Jacelyn Cane tells a poignant cautionary tale for anyone affected by alcoholism and/or family struggles. The author is using a pseudonym and most of the names in the book have been changed to protect people’s identities. “Mom and Dad’s Martinis: A Memoir” is a great read for anyone who has experienced a childhood mixed with joy as well as sorrow. It is a story of love, acceptance, forgiveness, and hope.

Enjoy an Exclusive Excerpt

I am allergic to wine.

But I once tried an old ’39.

Besides getting smashed

I broke out in a rash

So now gin and tonic does fine.

That’s my favourite of eight limericks I wrote for an assignment in grade six. Every one of them dealt with alcohol.

The first time I got drunk was on New Year’s Eve when I was fourteen. My parents were at a party, so Duncan and I helped ourselves to the fully stocked bar, adding water to the bottles so they looked full. It was fun at the time.

“Duncan, pour in a little rum,” I said. “They’re not big rum drinkers, so they won’t miss that.”

“Okay.” He poured a bit of rum into the pitcher. “And how about some rye?”

“Yah, that’s good. What about a bit of gin?”

“No way,” said Duncan. “They know their gin like the back of their hand. Here’s some bourbon. That hardly ever gets touched.”

A year later, my friend Stephanie Mortimer and I raided my parents’ liquor cabinet one night when my parents were out. We took a bottle that was almost empty and added a little bit from several bottles until it was full. Then we went out in a field and drank the entire bottle. We sat on our jackets because the ground was cold. I plugged my nose as I took swigs of the gross mixture. Tall grasses surrounded us and rubbed against our cheeks. Stephanie was petite. She got so drunk that she passed out in the middle of a road while we were walking to a party. A man in a station wagon drove by and picked us up. He was an elderly gentleman wearing horn-rimmed glasses. He laid Stephanie in the back seat, and I sat beside her. I gave him the address of the party. “Can you drive us to 49 Burdock Road? That’s where Stephanie lives.” Out cold in the back seat, Stephanie started foaming at the mouth.

The man looked back and saw the foam. “Your friend is very sick. I’m taking her to the hospital.” He turned the car around and headed for North York General.

“No, please. Just take her home,” I begged. “She’ll be fine.”

The man sped to the Emergency entrance, made sure she was safely in the hospital and drove off. Stephanie lay there with white bubbles oozing out of her mouth. My heart started racing, and I could hardly breathe. A doctor came out to talk to me.

“Can you tell me what your friend has injected, inhaled or ingested?” He ran a hand through his grey hair.

I pictured the look on my mother’s face. “She hasn’t had anything that I know of. We were just on our way to a party, and she passed out on the road.”

“Come on, now,” he said. “Tell me the truth.”

“Like I said. She’s had nothing that I know of,” I said, feeling sick to my stomach.

I waited and waited. The doctor came out again.

“I know your friend has had something. You’d be helping us a lot if you could shed some light on the situation, so we can help her.”

This time, I flashed on my father, and the look he got when he had three or more drinks, and one of us kids answered him back. “I’m telling you, I don’t know anything.” Finally, the doctor called me into the room where Stephanie lay motionless.

About the Author Jacelyn Cane was born and raised in Toronto. She lives with her husband, and near her three children and step-daughter. She is a retired elementary school teacher who also worked in social justice education with the United Church of Canada. She has worked in theatre and as a reporter. She was educated in Toronto, earning a B.A. in Political Science and an M.A. in Canadian History from York University. Later, she earned a B. Ed. at the University of Toronto. She is passionately involved in numerous social justice issues such as climate crisis concerns and Indigenous rights. She loves meditating, writing, reading, music, laughing, and being around nature. She is motivated by a deep sense of spirituality. Her number one love, however, is being with family and friends.


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  1. Thanks for hosting!

  2. Sounds emotional!

  3. Thanks for hosting. I hope you check out this book!

    “Mom and Dad’s Martini’s is a powerful and deeply honest memoir that opens the door for families to talk openly about the insidious impact that alcohol can have on every small and big moment in life. The book is chocked full of stories filled with shenanigans, music, nature and affluence and, of course, alcohol. Although trauma and pain are pervasive themes, deep love, commitment and the promise of healing are always present.
    A must read! Bravo Jacelyn Cane!” – Valerity, Goodreads Reviewer

  4. Sounds like a good book.

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