Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Unringing the Bell by Judy Higgins



I can’t quite comprehend the fact that not everyone goes around with story ideas constantly popping into their heads, yet a couple times a week someone asks me, “How do you think of what to write?” I’ve been writing in my head my entire life. Hardly a day goes by that an idea for a story doesn’t maneuver itself into my brain. Or a great title. Or an opening line. Or a situation. I’m not sure where they come from. Inside? Or maybe they float around in the air and my mind is just tuned to the right channel. Right now there are more novels crowding my head than I’ll ever be able to write.

Maybe this idea mayhem has something to do with my mother reading to me from a very early age. (My favorite story: “The Three Billy Goats Gruff.” There was also a great series done in “Jack and Jill” magazine about an Eskimo boy and girl who go floating off on an ice floe. Fabulous story!) My first efforts at writing began in second or third grade when I wrote Christmas plays for my cousins to perform on Christmas Eve for the gathered relatives. Years later my aunts and uncles laughed at my childish attempts at drama, but those plays were, to me, just as serious as anything I do now. They were also quite interesting. I managed to have Santa Claus and Baby Jesus in the same production. Later, when I and my cousins started playing musical instruments, I wrote scores for musical interludes before the plays. Now THAT was something to laugh at. There’s a good reason why I write instead of compose music!

Sometimes I think it was my background that gave me such a fertile imagination. For the first few years of my life we lived in a tiny village where I had no playmates to speak of. Sundays I went to Sunday School and saw a handful of kids my age, and we played together in the church yard afterwards. Once a month, I visited with my cousin who was two years younger. Eventually, I had a brother, but he was too much younger to be a real playmate. So I spent my days alone in a room at the back of the house which had been set up as a playroom. There, I had my dolls and imaginary friends. And I imagine that’s where the inclination to invent stories began to hatch.

Right now, I’m sitting in my dining room, looking out the window at the overgrown shrubs in a neighbor’s yard and imagining a story where a runaway hides from his evil stepfather.


Unringing the Bell

by Judy Higgins

GENRE: Mystery


In the small town of Goose Bend, Pennsylvania, people don't forget. Especially something as sensational as 12-year-old Jacob Gillis burning down the town. Nineteen years later, Jacob returns, hoping for redemption. Instead, he finds himself entangled in a murder investigation. The prosecutor, taking advantage of Jacob's involvement with the victim's beautiful sister-in-law, threatens Jacob with loss of career and reputation if he doesn't play by his rules. Only by outwitting the prosecutor can Jacob save his future.


When Jacob Gillis was twelve years old, he burned down the town of Goose Bend, Pennsylvania. The fire didn’t actually consume the entire town – only two blocks of the four-block business section went up in flames – but when the folks in Goose Bend spoke of the incident, they persisted in saying that Jacob Gillis, abetted by his friend Charlie Garrett, burned down the town.

Jacob watched Laskey walk back to the Sequoia, his limp barely detectable, and for the thousandth time he wondered why his friend kept what had happened to his foot a secret. But there were some places Laskey didn’t go – formidable Laskey with his gruff manner and hard-muscled body. He was a private person and sometimes a grizzly bear, but he had a goose-down heart which he tried like heck to hide. But Jacob knew.

Laskey grasped the arms of his chair and pushed his feet hard against the floor to contain himself. For a brief moment, the thought had rushed through his head that a jail term for assaulting a DA would be worth enduring for the pleasure of smashing Inglehook’s head against his desk.

Laskey squared his shoulders, turned around, and looked Jacob in the eyes. “Don’t get yourself in a mess, Jake. Extrication isn’t always possible.” He started for the door.
“Give back the painting,” he called over his shoulder. “And Jake,” he paused and twisted around. “Don’t ever mistake pretty wrappings for the quality of the gift inside.”

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Judy Higgins was born in South Georgia where she grew up playing baseball, reading, and taking piano lessons. To pay for her lessons, she raised chickens and sold eggs to neighbors. She attended Mercer University for two years, and then Baylor University from which she graduated with a BA in German. She received her MA in German literature from The University of Michigan. After teaching German for several years, Judy decided to become a librarian and earned an MA in Library Science at Kutztown University in Pennsylvania.
Judy’s life took an exciting turn when she left her teaching job in Pennsylvania to be Head of Library at the Learning Center School of Qatar Foundation. She lived in Qatar for eight years, enjoying the experience of living in a different culture and traveling to exotic places during every vacation. Recently, she returned to the United States and lives in Lexington, KY. Judy has two children, Julia and Stephen, two children-in-law, Jim and Erin, and four grandchildren: Kyle, Jon, Karina, and Addy.

Judy’s first book, The Lady, was a finalist in the 2012 Amazon Break-out Novel Award. The first two novels of her Bucks County Mysteries, Unringing the Bell and Bride of the Wind are available March 1, 2018. The series is set in an imaginary small town in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. Call me Mara, the story of Ruth and Naomi, is scheduled for publication in March, 2019.

In addition to writing, Judy’s passions include travel, tennis, elephants, and playing the piano.

Amazon Buy Link:  http://tinyurl.com/y99ad99s

Amazon author page URL:            https://www.amazon.com/Judy-Higgins/e/B00FZQOZPU


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Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thanks for hosting!

Nikolina Vukelic said...

I really enjoyed reading the guest post, thank you!

Lisa Brown said...

I enjoyed getting to know your book; congrats on the tour, I hope it is a fun one for you, and thanks for the chance to win :)

Rita Wray said...

Sounds like a good book.

Victoria Alexander said...

I'm looking forward to reading this one!

Gwendolyn Jordan said...

Nice cover

Daniel M said...

really liked the excerpt