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As usual I enjoyed Miranda James’ mystery with Charlie Harris and Diesel; this was truly a knotted mystery with many strings tied up in confusing patterns. Also as usual I enjoyed the setting Mississippi town and all the southernisms. However one word yanked me out of the story “bade.” I realize of course that is the past tense of “bid.” But it is such an unusual word to find in a modern story, that it jarred me each time it was used. That is my only criticism of this book. Otherwise it was great, great mystery and kept me wondering till the end. I also liked the short story at the end about how Charlie and Diesel met so another great mystery but Miranda James, please don’t fall in love with odd words. Please.
For more info or to purchase, click cover above.–Lyn
Yes, I need your help once again choosing 2 cover models. I am going to update two of my book covers and need reader feedback. Both stories are Christmas novellas and I need two models. One story is more serious than the other but both include a romance and mystery. Ready?
Here are four choices: I need two!
Model # 2
So do any of these catch your eye? Remember that I’m looking for two models who catches your interest–who makes you want to read her story. So please share your opinions with me! And thanks in advance! BTW, I will gift a copy of each novella to one commenter. So don’t forget to leave a comment to be entered into the drawing!-Lyn
Every month I ask a question. Here’s July’s Question:
What do you most value about America
or being an American?
Please leave your comment on my blog and I’ll be holding a drawing and giving away a free ebook to a few responders. I look forward to reading your ideas!–Lyn
Here’s another chance to win a gift card to the digital bookstore of your choice in the Poolside Romance Books Promotion. Click this link and find out exactly how large the gift card is!
And sample new authors. My book Only Her Heart at a bargain price is included under Sweet Romance!
Click here.–Happy reading. Hope you win!-Lyn
I’m happy to feature a dear writing friend Janet Bly and her latest book.PLEASE BE SURE TO LEAVE A COMMENT as Janet is giving away one paperback copy (US ONLY) to one commenter. Here’s the scoop!
I Learned From My Fiction Characters
Janet Chester Bly
We’re all on a journey. I certainly know I am. And so are my fictional characters.
In Beneath a Camperdown Elm, three generations of women travel separate journeys of the heart. And as the writer of their stories, I walked through each of their joys and sorrows, trials and troubles, as well as triumphs with them.
Looking back, I’ve endured so many different seasons over the years. I’ve been young and looked for love and struggled with family hurts similar to Reba Mae Cahill. I relate to Reba’s chosen career becoming her main identity. When threatened with the loss of the Cahill ranch, she fights to not only regain it, but also to know who she is without it.
In addition, my parenting and life choices haven’t always been perfect, like with Hanna Jo Cahill. And I relate to Grandma Pearl Cahill’s struggles with aging and guilt for failures, health issues and finances, and finding purpose for the rest of her widowed existence.
One of the thrills of being a writer is to get characters into deep troubles and go on a mission of discovery to find the way out for them. The Cahill women deal with lies, deception, and betrayal. In the real world, we all have many trials and troubles. We so long for some wonderful resolution. To make sense of it all. To know our sacrifices and attempts to do things right will all be worthwhile. Our heart cries out that justice will rule over unfairness.
I find that the trek through my characters world, with each of their faults, quirks, and viewpoints, helps to build my own character. I’m inside their come-to-life-in-my-mind skin for a while. What they think penetrates me. I dig deep to find out why they act like they do and understand myself a bit better. When they agonize or shout ‘hooray,’ we weep and rejoice together. Who they become shapes me too.
Walking with the Cahill women has increased my faith by dealing with their fears and looking at the full overarch of a family’s history. For instance, they must live with hurts and wounds from choices other people made that impacted them. Their own decisions brought consequences too. Divine providence worked in it, through it, and in spite of it. I trust God is doing the same for me and mine.
Writing dramatic fiction can be emotionally traumatic work, if you do it right. In a few days or hours, in a moment, something happens to change the whole course of a character’s future. That’s when art imitates life.
Writing fiction helps me to work through the fortunes and failures of others. Enduring their miseries provides catharsis for reckoning with my own. Finding surprise solutions for them reminds me God has many more resources from which to provide for my needs. I’m encouraged to release Him to write my own story.
We can be assured of this:
God, who knows all and sees all,
will set all things straight in the end.
Even better, he will dry every tear.
In the meantime,
He mysteriously takes our sorrows
and uses them to heal the world.
Richard J. Foster
Question: How did a fictional character impact your personal life?
Leave a comment and your name will be entered into the drawing for the book. Thanks, Janet!–Lyn
Copyright©2019 Janet Chester Bly
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Janet Chester Bly is a city girl with a country heart who doesn’t corral horses, wrangle cows, or even mow her own lawn. She’s not a womba woman, but she loves to write about gals who are. She followed her late husband, award-winning western author Stephen Bly, to country living in north-central Idaho at 4,200 ft elevation to write books and minister to a small town church. When she lost him, she stayed. She rakes lots of Ponderosa Pine needles and cones and survives the long winters, one snowstorm at a time. She authored and co-authored with Stephen 40 fiction and nonfiction books for adults and kids 8-12 years old. For more about Janet and books by the Blys, check website: www.BlyBooks.com
Janet can also be found here:
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/BlyBooks/
Facebook Personal: https://www.facebook.com/janetchesterbly/
Beneath A Camperdown Elm, Book 3, Trails of Reba Cahill Series, is a contemporary western romance with a zing of mystery.
It’s August 1991. Reba’s scary stalker is locked up in jail. She finally snatches a rancher fiancé. Her runaway mother returns home. She has everything she ever wanted. But Grandma Pearl has disappeared! Is Reba about to lose it all? Three generations of women travel separate journeys of the heart while a mystery lurks under an old, mutant Scottish Elm tree.
Hubbert & Lil: The Complete Series by Gallagher Gray
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
In a sea of baking sleuths, magical cats, therapy dogs and women dumped by their dreadful spouses and moVing back to hometown comes HUBBERT AND LIL. Loved this series. I wish there were more. We’re not in a small town with Amish buggies in it, we’re in NYC, the Big Apple. I learned a lot about NYC and enjoyed the tour, peopled with quirky and memorable characters. Theodore S Hubbert–who has just retired from his job on Wall Street–and his Auntie Lil who at 84 should be slowing down but isn’t–are a force to be “feared” if you’re a murderer..
Each mystery progresses our knowledge of this unlikely couple. And we pick up new characters too like the rich Lila Cheswick and Herbert Wong. The only fly in my ointment was that I skimmed some pages with graphic details that I didn’t want to picture in my mind–I have along memory. But each story rang true and I devoured these UNUSUAL, WITTY, AND CAPTIVATING mysteries. I just wish there were more than four! I looked at the other books by this author under other names and was warned by the reviewers of the foul language. Sigh… To each his own I guess. But I may re-read this collection. You may enjoy it!
To learn more or puchase, click this cover.–Lyn
I have! I love seeing how many National Parks I can visit. So far I’ve visited Yosemite, Grand Tetons, Yellowstone, Rocky Mt, Mt Ranier, Jean Lafitte’s, Apostle Islands, Skagway, and San Marco Fort. And maybe some I don’t recall! Oh, the Everglades too!
Mt. Ranier, Oregon
Apostle Islands, Wisconsin
So have you visited a national park? Which one impressed you most or at which one did something funny or memorable take place for you and your family? I’m about to go to another one in June. I will tell you all about it when I return. Leave a comment today and drop back in a month to see what I have to relate!–Lyn
Out of Circulation by Miranda James
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I’ve finaly figured out why Miranda James has captured me as a faithful reader. She begins with the portrayal of the murder victim so we see someone who forgets that actions have consequences and people who make others suffer often get what’s coming to them. It’s as if we’re prepared and waiting to see the hateful person killed. That’s interesting because we usually are more concerned about making the guilty party pay. However, Miranda James also satisfies our need for justice. And I love Charlie Harris and his Maine coon cat, Diesel!–Lyn
For more information or to buy, click cover.