Saturday, February 21, 2015

Is Harper Lee Pleased with the Release of Mockingbird's Parent? by Sandy Semerad


When I heard the news, I couldn’t believe it. It's been more than half a century since To Kill A Mockingbird came out. 

I don't know about you, but I'm looking forward to reading “the parent book,” of Mockingbird, even though this book, called Go Set a Watchman, is not new. Harper Lee wrote it in 1950, before  she wrote the masterpiece that earned her a Pulitzer Prize, according to reports. 

Mockingbird continues to be a bestseller. The movie adaptation won Academy Awards in 1962. Gregory Peck won for best actor. Lee gave Peck her father's pocket watch, a friend in Monroeville, Alabama told me.

Lee's old/new book examines racial unrest in the South and the relationship between an adult Scout and her father.

It has been reported, Lee put Watchman aside to write Mockingbird, after an editor suggested she rewrite the manuscript from the viewpoint of Scout as a girl. Lee followed the editor's advice and produced Mockingbird.

She thought the draft of Watchman had been lost until her friend and lawyer Tonja Carter found it. The draft had been attached to the original typed manuscript of Mockingbird. Carter didn’t know what she’d found at first. 

Tonja Carter is a charming woman, despite what some reporters have written. I had the pleasure of meeting Carter during one of my business trips to Monroeville, Alabama, where both books are set. 

Through my day job with a national publishing company, I've traveled quite a bit and worked with the Monroeville-Monroe County Chamber of Commerce on community profile projects. I always enjoy returning to this lovely, literary town, population about 7,000.  Sandy Smith, the Chamber's executive and I have been friends for almost 20 years.

But in all my years of traveling and working there, I’ve never had the pleasure of meeting Harper Lee. Locals call her “Miss Nelle,” and they respect her need for privacy.  She now lives in an assisted living home in Monroeville.

Thankfully, I've had the privilege of meeting her older sister Alice Finch Lee. She practiced law until she was almost 100. She has since passed, but she lived to be 103.  She never married, nor has “Miss Nelle.”

Alice Finch Lee was "Atticus in a skirt,” the Rev. Thomas Butts said. He was referring to Mockingbird’s hero Atticus Finch. Rev. Butts has been a close friend of both Alice Finch and Harper Lee. "Miss Nelle" dedicated Mockingbird to Alice and their father, Amasa Lee.

The father defended two black men who were hanged in 1919 for murdering a white shopkeeper in Monroeville.

In 1934, when “Miss Nelle” was only eight, a black man (Walter Lett) was tried in Monroeville for allegedly raping a white woman. Lett was sentenced to death until a group of progressive white citizens had his ruling reduced to life.
The character Tom Robinson in Mockingbird is thought to be patterned after Lett.

Through the years, I’ve heard a few people say they think Truman Capote wrote Mockingbird. These accusations are false, which I discovered after reading Capote’s letters at the Monroe County Courthouse. In one of those letters, Capote writes about Lee authoring the book and compliments her skill as a writer.

It is widely known that Lee helped Capote interview and type notes for In Cold Blood. She and Capote were childhood friends in the 1930s. Capote spent his summers with his cousins in a house next to where Lee grew up. (The character Dill in Mockingbird is Capote, it is believed).

Both houses have since been torn down, but there’s a plaque, marking where Capote stayed. Lee would not allow a plaque on the property where she once lived.

The homes were located about two blocks from the old courthouse, which is now a museum. (The courthouse is in the center of town square).

Many of my Monroeville acquaintances have generously shared their stories of Harper Lee with me. One of those friends is Rev. Butts. He hung out with "Miss Nelle" when she used to venture to New York. 

While in the city, she preferred to take the bus, rather than a taxi, he said, and despite her success, she and her sister didn’t own a television or air conditioning until their elderly years when a caretaker required those comforts.

Butts said “Miss Nelle” is shy, but not a recluse. Every couple of weeks he picks her up and takes her where she wants to go. I’ve been tempted to ask him to introduce her to me, but decided it would be wrong to ask him to betray her request for privacy.

One day, while in Monroeville, I took Rev. Butts to lunch. He wanted to go to a restaurant in Repton, Alabama, near where he grew up. Repton is on the outskirts of Monroeville.

He asked me to drive.

When we arrived in Repton, he told me to “slow down.”

Then he proceeded to tell me about the time he and “Miss Nelle” were on an excursion. He was driving and failed to observe the speed limit.

A patrolman pulled them over.

Lee said, “Put on your collar.”

Rev. Butts did as she instructed, he said.

And he didn’t get a ticket.

Harper Lee is almost blind now, and deaf and bound to a wheelchair, he said. Her short-term memory isn’t good, but she remembers him. They have much in common in their battle against racial prejudice. Butts had the misfortune of having a cross burned in his yard. 

His recounts of that time, helped me imagine a burning cross, which I included in my latest novel, A Message in the Roses.

Butts said Lee once asked him, “You ever wonder why I never wrote anything else?”

“Maybe you didn’t want to compete with yourself,” he offered.

“Bullshit,” she told him. “I wouldn’t go through the pressure and publicity I went through for any amount of money. I have said what I wanted to say and will never say it again.”

Makes me wonder what she thinks about the rediscovery of Go Set a Watchman. It has been called “brilliant” enough to print two million copies. 

After the news about Watchman came out, there has been controversy, as to whether Lee actually made certain statements and approved of the book's publication. 

In a separate dispute, a lawsuit was filed, a year or so ago, on Lee's behalf, against the son-in-law of her former agent, who is said to have assumed the agenting responsibilities for Lee. The suit stated he attempted to steal the copyright to Mockingbird. 

Another suit was filed on Lee's behalf against the old courthouse museum in Monroeville over merchandise sold in the museum's gift shop.  

But the question remains: Is she pleased with the release of Watchman?

I hope so. It's been a long time in coming. 

In the meantime, I hope to locate my copy of To Kill a Mockingbird and reread it before Watchman comes out.

If you'd like to know more about my writing and novels, visit my website:   www.sandysemerad.com and my publishers site:

http://bookswelove.net/authors/sandy-semerad/

My latest novel, A Message in the Roses, is free today and tomorrow, Feb. 21-22. Snap it up: http://www.amazon.com/Message-Roses-Sandy-Semerad-ebook/dp/B00LROV17O/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1405896778&sr=8-3&keywords=sandy+semerad





Friday, February 20, 2015

Sharing the Impetus to Write Ellie's Legacy by Ginger Simpson

The Courthouse
I lived in Sparta, TN when I first moved to the state.  I was so inspired by the old architecture and history that surrounded me, I was inspired to write Sparta Rose...which has  been renamed and re-released by Books We Love as Ellie's Legacy.

 It appears more and more authors are writing about the historical west,  because readers want more about
Cowboys and Indians...and even romance. There are some who consider TN to be on the wrong side of the Mississippi to be western, but the lifestyle was one and the same. To me...it's definitely a western historical romance, and a key factor in writing historical novels is to pepper enough history throughout  to help the reader learn something aside from your fictional story.

In Ellie's Legacy, my heroine, Ellie Fountain, lives in Sparta TN...actually an unincorporated area above called Bon Air, but Sparta was where the stores, churches, and civilization existed..  I've tried adding facts throughout the story to help describe the period.  Today, I'm adding some more that people from TN might not know.

Sparta became the county seat in 1809, and was the first capitol of Tennessee.  When state legislators decided to change the location, Sparta lost to Nashville by one point.

I loved living in Sparta.  It's a small community that really gave credence to "Southern Hospitality."  I think forming friendships is a main benefit of living in a place where the population isn't inflated.  Unfortunately, we were forced to move because the median wage there is just above poverty, and employment benefits died when most of the businesses went to Mexico.  Those who remain are employed by the retail stores and few business that stayed or residents farm the land.  I can't believe I made a whopping $7.55 per hour to be correction's officer at the local jail...but that conjures up a whole different story...one I wrote in another genre...and I'll blog about that another day.

The Rock House
Situated between, Knoxville and Nashville, Sparta was a hub for travelers. The historic Rock House, nestled in the incline to Bon Air,  was built as a stage stop to allow passengers a rest during a long  ride and still stands today as a monument and testament to the times.

Beautiful Fall in an Orchard in Sparta
The Calfkiller River was also something I mentioned in the book as it winds through Sparta and joins with the Caney Fork River.  The White Mountains provide a beautiful display of red, oranges, yellow, and green during the fall, when the trees display nature's pallet, and even more beautiful, nearby you can travel to a place called Fall Creek Falls..even camp is you wish.

Sometimes authors have an uncontrollable urge to respond to those less than favorable reviews left on Amazon.  I had one that questioned the accuracy of mining in Sparta...claimed she knew better.  To her, here...I offer this proof:

White County was the site of a very large saltpeter mining operation during the Civil War. The Cave Hill Saltpeter Pits (No. 1 and No. 2), located on Cave Hill near the mouth of England Cove, were intensively mined and still contain numerous relics from that operation. Saltpeter is the main ingredient of gunpowder and was obtained by leaching the earth from these caves.   Note: I used creative license to make the deserted caves old coal mines, instead of explaining saltpeter.  I should have stayed true to history and made sure readers understood what was mined and what it was used for.   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_County,_Tennessee

Back to Sparta:  For those of you who are a fan of old country music, one of the first things you'll see when you enter the city, is a memorial to Lester Flatt of Flatt and Scruggs fame.

Anyhow, I'm doing an interview here...so let's get on with it.  But you can bet, I offer up historical tidbits throughout my novel...and doing accurate research to assure your facts are correct is essential...I made one faux pas as I mentioned.

INT – So, Ellie, tell the readers a little about Ginger's story.

 RF – *Smiles and smooths her hands down her pant leg.* Well, I can’t give away too much. Ginger would skin me alive, but I’m sure she won’t mind me tellin' you the story's got a little romance, a lot of western, and even more feistiness than her last historical romance. My problems begin when Pa hires Tyler Bishop as the ranch foreman. I kinda figured Pa always wanted a son, and Ty proves me right. Their relationship gets me pretty riled up. I have a bad temper at times… I think it comes from this red hair. *pulls a strand forward and grins*.

INT – So, besides your jealousy of Ty, is there any adventure involved.

 RF – Oh, you bet. *Squares herself in her chair*. The polecats livin' on the neighborin' ranch are aiming to get Fountainhead away from Pa. Dude Bryant and his twin boys are meaner than snakes… well at least Dude and Jeb are. Joshua comes across as quiet and a follower. But, *balls hands into fists* I’ll be danged if they’re gonna get my legacy. I actually bought a gun and taught myself to shoot.

 INT – A gun?  What for?

RF – Protect Fountainhead of course. I’m aim to show Pa he don’t need Tyler Bishop around when he has me. I just wish Ty wasn’t so dang good lookin’.

 INT – I haven’t heard you mention your mother. How does she feel about you owning a gun?

RF - *Lowers her eyes*. My ma died when I was very young. I suppose that’s why I took up with the ranch hands and spend so much time workin’ outdoors... and dress like this. *Raises a steely gaze*. But, now that Ty’s in the picture, Pa wants me to spend more time in the house doing womanly things and actually wear a bunch of petticoats under an ol' stiff, uncomfortable gingham.

 INT – Would that be such a bad thing?

 RF – Of course it would. I don’t much care for makin' vittles and cleanin’. We have Cook for that. I’d much rather brand a cow as fry one.  And wearin' dresses? *gives a dismissing wave*  Pshaw...that's for goin' to church and such.

 INT – So what about the romance part of the story?

 RF – *Chews her bottom lip for a moment* Well, I accompany Ty to a dance in Sparta, and as usual, he gets my dander up there, too. I never should have gone, but those eyes of his make my knees weak. My better judgment flew right out the window. *Takes a deep breath* What happens from then on, you’ll have to find out for yourself. I may look and act young and naïve, but I’m sure not silly enough to give away the whole story. Miz Ginger is countin' on sales to help pay for some sort of operation to make her look younger  *cocks head and wrinkles forehead*  Can they do that?

 INT – I don't know anything about that, so let's get back to story. I've read the book and know the dance holds a key to the suspenseful part of the story, but I certainly wouldn’t want you give away too much. You’ve already given us enough of a teaser to stir some interest. Hopefully we’ll see you on a best seller’s list somewhere.

 RF – That would be right nice. It just may happen cause remember, I have a gun. *Slaps hip and fakes a draw*.

 INT - Well, here’s hoping you don’t have to use it. *laughs*. Thank you so much, Ellie for being with us today. And good luck in the future.

 RF – Oh, yeah. I almost forgot to tell you that Ellie's Legacy is on something called the “Innernet” at, *reaches in pocket and pulls out a slip of paper; reads it* http://www.bookswelove.com/gingersimpson.php *looks up*.  Boy, ain't that a mouthful. *looks back a paper*.  Oh...and her publisher is called Books We Love *stuffs paper back into her pocket*.  Boy, I don't understand all this http stuff, but I'm hopin' everyone else does.

 INT – I've sure they do, Ellie. Thanks again for being here and sharing information about Sparta and your legacy.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

What's Hot at Books We Love

Check out these brand new releases, hot off the Books We Love press:


http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00TD41XZK
No Absolution by N.M. Bell

Jake Winncott has a troubled past and living in the cesspool of London’s East End during the Victorian era isn’t helping to ease his mind. Bedeviled by his dead father’s evangelistic shade, Jake sets out to do his father's bidding and cleanse the tainted women of Whitechapel in their own heart’s blood. This is Jack the Ripper as he has never been portrayed. The author takes the reader deep into the tormented heart of the man he might have been and explores a fictional past that might explain his savagery. While the text is gritty at times, and roughly follows the historical timeline of the facts, Jake Wincott is purely a figment of the author’s imagination. N. M. Bell gives the infamous mad man a human face.




http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00TEHMHJWThe Doppelganger Gambit by Lee Killough
Brill/Maxwell Book 1

It looks like straightforward suicide to Detective Janna Brill. Starship outfitter Andy Kellener locked himself in his office after hours and took a fatal drug dose. But Brill’s exasperating new partner Mama Maxwell thinks it’s murder, and his chief suspect is Kellener’s partner Jorge Hazlett. The trouble is, Hazlett has an airtight alibi. In 2091's cashless society, every purchase is made with a data chip implanted in the individual’s wrist...and Hazlett’s bank records put him in a shopping mall clear across town at the time of his partner’s death. To get their man, Brill and Maxwell have to prove Hazlett faked his shopping spree...and possibly destroy law enforcement’s best tool since DNA for tracking suspects!

“This is a grittily realistic police procedural set in the 21st century. Don’t miss this one.” Analog Magazine

 

“Like many procedurals the novel’s strength rests as much on the personalities of the cops as in the solving of the crime, and Brill and Maxwell make an entertaining pair.” Locus Magazine
 

“Police Procedural SF is rare — that makes Ms. Killough’s fun romp all the more appreciated. The characters, plot, indeed the whole future society are very well developed in this novel.” SF Review 34  





http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00TNCZ9CU
Roses Are Red by Kelly Janicello

Jain Ryan moved to New York City to pursue a career on Broadway. What she didn't figure was falling for and under the watchful eye of NYPD Detective Marcus O'Boyle, her brother's best friend. When Jain scores the role as an understudy for the lead in a Broadway revival, one kiss alters their relationship.
 
Marcus O'Boyle had always been a surrogate big brother to Jain Ryan. When evidence suggests Jain might somehow be involved with the acts of a serial killer targeting Broadway actresses, Marcus is caught between duty and desire for his best friends baby sister.
 
Will Marcus discover who is behind the murders before the killer targets Jain? Or will he be too late to save the love of his life when a psychopath inflicts his final revenge.


http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00TNCZ9CU



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http://books-we-love-online-ebookstore.myshopify.com/



While you're there, spot the FAKE BOOK COVER and follow the directions to enter our contest. You might win a Kindle Fire HD 7!







Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Stonehenge and other things By Nancy M Bell

Wow, it's February 18th already. Time flies, it seems like only a few days ago I was posting my January offering to the Books We Love blog. I have started an online course with the University of Buckingham on Stonehenge. It is delivered via iversity.org. The information is relayed via video clips followed by a quiz and it very informative. There is a discussion page where students can interact and share thoughts and ideas as well as ask questions. I'm in the fourth week right now and have just completed the first Project which will be judged by my peers in the group and then issued a grade by the course facilitator. I find the topic terribly interesting and intriguing. I've always been fascinated by the huge stone constructions in England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland. There are so many theories of how they were built and why. When I was researching my first novel, Laurel's Quest, I had the opportunity to delve deeper into the reams of data available on stone monuments, structures and effigies. The more I read, the more it seemed there was to find out. Research can suck you in and make you forget you should be writing. I became enamoured with the stones in Cornwall which led me to source a couple of books by Ithtell Colquhoun which have been out of print for decades. The Living Stones deals with Cornwall and the author wrote it while living in Lamorna Cove which figures prominently in my Cornwall Adventures novels, especially my current work in progress, Arabella's Secret. The second is The Crying of the Wind which she wrote while visiting Ireland.


Her writing style is very similar to Canadian west coast author Gilean Douglas.


But back to Stonehenge... the bluestones in the smaller horseshoe have been sourced to the Preseli Hills in Wales.


The mind boggles at the size of the stones and how far they were moved. It is thought they were taken over the steep, rough uneven ground to the sea and then brought by boat up the Bristol Channel and then overland to the Salisbury Plain. The huge sarcen stones were brought from the Marlborough Downs, with the largest weighing more than 40 tons there has been much speculation on how they were moved. Personally, I believe that ancient man, or at least a segment of the society, had an advanced understanding of engineering and of the movement of the stars and planets. There are others who will refute this opinion quite strongly. Buy hey, everyone is entitled to their own opinion.
From Cornwall's multitude of stone circles and Stonehenge I found myself following the earth energy lines across Cornwall and southwest England. From Carn les Boels to St. Michael's Mount to the Cheeswring on Bodmin Moor to Glastonbury Tor and the Vale of Avalon. My research took me to Avebury, which I still have to visit in person, and the huge stone complex there. It covers much of the landscape and is watched over the flat topped conical presence of Silbury Hill. William Stukeley called the whole arrangement the Serpent Temple and believed it had been built by the Druids. I think these stone arrangements are much older. Interestingly, there are stone circles scattered across the prairies of Albert and Saskatchewan. One of the most enigmatic and hard to find is what is known as the Majorville Medicine Wheel. In reality, it is closer to Bow City than Majorville and sits high on a cliff overlooking the Bow River. It is not often visited but is still used by members of the Blackfoot Nation for sweats down by the river and as a sacred place. The stone arrangement sits on the same latitude as Stonehenge. 51 degrees north. The stones and lichen have been dated to before the building of Stonehenge and the pyramids of Egypt. Gordon Freeman has devoted many years to studying the sun dial as he calls it and has drawn many parallels with Stonehenge and it's solar and lunar alignments. His work can be seen in his book Canada's Stonehenge and his later work Hidden Stonehenge. It seems the more answers we find, the more questions and mystery there is.

Majorville Arrangement from the air


Standing on the central cairm and looking toward the Bow River


If you are interested in where all this research led, pick up a copy of Laurel's Quest and A Step Beyond. There you'll find all kinds of things woven into the fabric of the story. My current WIP, Arabella's Secret utilizes more Cornish myth and legend and Lamorna Cove and the cliffs near Land's End feature prominently. You can find Laurel's Quest and A Step Beyond by clicking on the title.

A bit about me;

Nancy M Bell has publishing credits in poetry, fiction and non-fiction. Nancy has presented at the Surrey International Writers Conference and the Writers Guild of Alberta Conference. She is currently working on Book 3 of her series The Cornwall Adventures.
Please visit her webpage http://www.nancymbell.ca
You can find her on Facebook at http://facebook.com/NancyMBell
Follow on twitter: @emilypikkasso

Monday, February 16, 2015

Casting Characters Part 2 - Aquarius


The Sun is the inner self. Here's what the Aquarian hero or heroine's inner self shows. A quiet, patient and determined person with a faithful nature. They are usually refined and humanitarian. They have a cautious intellect with strong likes and dislikes. They often have radical and advanced ideas. While they are easily influenced by kindness they are slow to anger and will not be driven.

The Ascendant is the face shown to the world. The Aquarian hero or heroine will be determined and try to be unnoticed. As a rule they are faithful. The mental world holds a great appeal to them. They can become an active reformer with progressive ideas. He or she is unusually sociable with many acquaintances. They may exhibit eccentric ways.

The moon shows the emotional nature. A hero or heroine with an Aquarian moon will be friendly and courteous. They are sociable but independent. There is an unconventional side to this hero or heroine. He or she likes strange and curious things and events. An interest in the occult and secret societies.

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Ddigital-text&field-keywords=Janet+Lane+Walters

The Man With the Hat by Roseanne Dowell


I remember moving into our first home. I was so excited it was difficult to sleep the night before. It didn't matter that it was an old house and needed work, it was ours.  My husband worked nights and had taken his vacation to start preparing the house for us. I was six months pregnant, but raring and ready to work and we got the keys on my birthday. Couldn't have gotten a better birthday gift. We spent two weeks scraping wall paper and painting. Moving day couldn't come soon enough. We moved in the first weekend in June and spent the weekend putting things away. Things were quiet over the weekend. We fell into bed exhausted.
It all started the  night Roger went back to work.  We put our children to bed and sat down to watch television until it was time for him to leave.   I had the most uncomfortable feeling someone was staring at me, but ignored it.  Roger didn't seem to notice anything. Our dog curled up next to me and seemed quite content.  About eleven o’clock he left for work, and I went to bed.
Just as I dozed off I heard a noise in the basement.  Our dog started barking. Not sure what to do, I picked up the phone and called my sister, who lived two streets away. She sent her husband, Doug, to check things out.
Doug looked around the house and of course didn't see anything. However our dog refused to come into the dining room.  She remained in the hall growling and barking. Doug went into the kitchen and called her. She didn't move. I went into the living room and called her. She refused to enter the dining room and wouldn't come to either one of us. 
Seeing my fear, Doug suggested we pack up the kids and spend the night at their house. I’m sure he just wanted to go home to bed.
In the morning we returned home and all seemed well. All day our dog ran through the house with the kids like normal..
That night the same thing happened.  I hesitated calling my brother in law again, but the noises wouldn't quit. This time, however, as Doug started down the basement steps, he stopped, came back, and took a knife from the drawer.
I must have looked confused; because he told me he had an eerie feeling like someone was watching him. He checked out the basement and everything seemed normal. And, again, we spent the night at their house. 
This went on for several nights. Doug came over and took us all to his house.  The nights Roger was home we didn't hear anything and the dog stayed calm.
The next night Roger went to work it happened again. This time Doug brought a tape recorder over and set it up in the dining room before we went to his house. I’m sure he was sick of coming over and set it up to prove to me there weren't any noises. Yet, he admitted to having strange feelings especially in the basement. 
The next morning, we played back the tape.  Sounds of our dog growling and barking were predominant, but in the background were sounds we couldn't identify. Sounds like something being dragged across the floor and others noises sounded like scratches and moans.
I knew I couldn't spend every night at my sister’s house so I made up my mind to stay home. Every night the same thing occurred. Somehow I tuned out the noises, quieted the dog and managed to sleep. After all it was my house.
One day, a few weeks later, my three daughters were playing upstairs in their room.  They screamed and ran down stairs.  “There’s a man up there,” they cried in unison.
Since we’d been home all day, I knew that couldn't be. But I went up to check out their story to appease them.  They pointed to the alcove where they said a man with a hat had been watching them.
Of course no one was there.  I explained it was a shadow of a bird going past the window.   Although I had an eerie feeling and the room felt extremely cold and it was a warm June day.
My daughters refused to accept my explanation. They knew what they saw and described him clearly.  He was a tall man, in a brown suit jacket and wearing a hat. They couldn't make out his face, but they said he watched them play.
Of course, hey refused to play upstairs, and I often had a hard time getting them to go to bed at night.
Up until then things remained normal during the daylight hours. Now it seemed our nightly visitor had decided to appear when it was light out, too.
Also until then, Roger thought it was my vivid writer’s imagination working overtime.  That is,  until one day he was working in the basement.  He came upstairs, white faced.
“What’s wrong,” I asked.
“I just saw a man wearing a hat in the basement. At first it was a shadow. But as I stared at it his form became clearer, and I could see the outline of his hat.”
That shook me up. When he described the man the same as the kids, I knew we had a ghost. Roger wouldn't lie about something like that. Now he realized the noises weren't my overactive imagination after all.
About a month after we moved in, I met some of the neighbors. I hesitantly told them of my feelings of being watched.  I didn't mention that my kids or Roger had seen a man.
The woman across the street laughed and said it was probably our nosy neighbor looking in the windows. She went on to explain how when they moved in the woman actually walked in and looked around.  I knew that wasn't the case but hesitated to tell her anymore of our experiences. After all I had just moved in and didn't want people to think I was crazy.
I asked one of the neighbors about the people who had lived in the house before us. It had been sold as part of an estate sale.  So I knew they had died.
“Oh, a nice old couple lived there. The wife died a long time ago. And John lived alone for a long time,” she said.  “He died in the house and it was several days before they found him because he didn't have a phone. When we didn't see him for a few days and his newspapers stayed outside we called his son.”
Later, I found out John died in the very bedroom I slept in.  Eventually I told my friend about some of the things we experienced, but didn't tell her about the man with the hat. I asked about John and she said he was a nice old man, kept mostly to himself. “He loved to work in his garden and yard. Funny,” she said. “He always wore a brown suit coat and a hat.”
So that explained a lot.  John was our ghost. He appeared many times after that. Roger often saw him in the basement, especially when we were remodeling the kitchen. One of my sons said John used to sit on a chair upstairs and watch him play.Strangely enough, my son wasn't afraid of him. 

I never saw John myself, but I sure heard him and sometimes smelled a sweet smell, like aftershave. One day he simply disappeared. I figured he must have approved of us and went on to a better place.







You can find Roseanne's books at Books We Love or  Amazon 

Sunday, February 15, 2015

February Author Art Challenge

For this month, I challenged the authors of BWL to take the art process and reverse it.  Rather than me trying to put a picture to their words, I wanted them to draw inspiration from pictures.  To keep things fair and not have a massive time drain, I chose artwork rather than creating a cover mock-ups.

THE RULES:

Authors were instructed to ...

Select one of the suggested images, and tell us what is happening.  

Create a brief backstory, include needed dialog, etc.  

DO NOT FOCUS ON THE TITLE OF THE PICTURE!  

If you need to change the time period - do so, you don't have to keep it as a historical.  The focus should be on your interpretation of the characters, their emotions, etc.  

Now - the challenge?  Keep it to 1000 words or less!

THE INSPIRATION: 




 I am really excited to see what the creative minds at BWL come up with.  Who knows, I might try my hand at one of them as well.

Brides of Banff Springs by Victoria Chatham

AVAILABLE HERE   VICTORIA CHATHAM is a young-at-heart senior who has written short stories, newspaper and magazine articles on a...