Posted by authorcamilson
Unringing the Bell
by Judy Higgins
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 author page URL: https://www.amazon.com/Judy-Higgins/e/B00FZQOZPU
Barnes and Noble Author URL: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/unringing-the-bell-judy-higgins/1128014473
One randomly chosen winner via rafflecopter will win a $50 Amazon/BN.com gift card.
- Favorite ice-cream flavor
Vanilla. When I was growing up, one of my favorite meals was when we’d have something light for supper (e.g.: grilled cheese sandwiches), and then a churn of homemade ice cream for dessert. I loved that homemade ice cream! We’d take turns churning it, and then when it was done, my father would cover the churn with towels to keep it cold while we wolfed down our supper. I also like almost every flavor of Italian ice – the real kind that you get in Italy. I made a wonderful discovery while spending three weeks in northern Italy a few years ago: if you buy the same flavor in the morning and the same flavor in the afternoon, it only counts as one ice cream instead of two! How nice is that?
- Which mythological creature are you most like?
Most of those mythological creatures seem and look pretty awful. I don’t want to think that I’m at all like any of them, so I’m choosing Pegasus. At least he isn’t so grotesque looking. And he flies around, which I do. Say “go,” and I’m ready. I looooove traveling. And Pegasus didn’t have to endure
- 1st book you remember making an indelible impression on you.
The books that were read to me as a young child, the ones that gave me a love for reading, are the ones that made an indelible impression on me. I loved all the fairy tales. “The Three Billy Goats Gruff” was one of my favorite stories. My mother got so tired of reading it to me that she’d hide it. I always managed to find it, however. One story, that really made an impression was a series done in “Jack and Jill” magazine. It was the story of an Eskimo brother and sister who drifted away from their village on an ice floe. They had been standing near the shore in the spring and the floe broke off and they drifted away to an uninhabited island. They had to survive for the remainder of the spring and the summer alone. Only when the seas began to freeze again, were they able to find a floe and paddle back to their village. This story ignited my imagination and fueled a budding love of adventure!
- How do you develop your plot and characters?
Now, that’s a good question! My best answer: With a great deal of struggle, rewriting, and hair-pulling. Getting in backstory is a major headache. I have begun a historical novel based on Naomi in the Bible. The plot is already there, so it’s just a matter of speculating and then expanding and filling in the details. But the details are fun. In my mind, I’m moving past seeing Biblical women as people who have a long, hard day laid out for them and who operate according to preconceived ideas we have about them. Like modern women, I’m sure they had individual interests, dreams, problems with their children and husbands. They had to deal with jealousy, envy, financial ups and downs, bad weather. At least they probably didn’t have to worry about bad hair days! In my book, Naomi will reach a point that might surprise my readers. (See http://www.callmemara.com)
- Describe your writing space.
I lived in the Middle East (Qatar) for eight years before I moved to Kentucky. Because I worked at Qatar Foundation, the Emir’s educational foundation, I earned a salary that allowed me to come home and design a work space that I love. I turned a bedroom into my writing den, had a carpenter construct built-in shelves, a built-in desk, and a space where my printer is hidden from view. The room is the perfect size and has a window that looks out over my backyard which, in the spring and summer, is a nice view. Along with books on writing, I have all my German books here, plus a few knock-knacks I’ve gathered in my world travels: old brass scales from England, a set of monks from Burma, antique school bells. There are built-in cabinets for me to store paper, old manuscripts, pens, envelopes, and all those other things usually found in a writer’s work space. On the bulletin board above my computer, I have a big sign that says “A Writer is a person for whom writing is hard work.”
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