Hope & Joy in a Classic Tale

By Janice McCaffrey      a christmas carol

While pondering the upcoming holidays my stream of consciousness meandered over past memories and future dreams. A few quiet moments of reflection led of course to Dickens’ ghosts.  My favorite version is The Muppet Christmas Carol with Michael Caine.

I love the little mice bookkeepers working dutifully and diligently in the cold office under the supervision of the kind-hearted Bob Cratchit performed by Kermit. Best of all though is the interplay between Rizzo the Rat acting as sidekick to Gonzo while he narrates the story as Charles Dickens himself.

My thoughts bumped over the moral of the story and what it means in today’s world. I got stuck on ‘don’t be stingy’ but wanted more. So what else is Dickens telling us?

On enotes.com’s website where they proclaim “We’re the Literature Experts” I found an article by Christian Themes (literary essentials: Christian fiction and nonfiction) titled     A Christmas Carol Themes. Let me paraphrase:

Scrooge’s initial penny-pinching reflects the values taking hold during the Industrial Revolution. Dickens illustrates what happens when individuals view relationships and other people through their financial worth. The author exposes the tremendous gap between the rich and the poor.

Then he illustrates a solution, individual redemption. The world becomes a better place almost immediately after Scrooge changes his outlook. The story implies that a renewed connection to humanity is, in fact, the very essence of redemption. His change is not introspective and personal; it is outward-looking and social.

While the results of Scrooge’s change didn’t alter the social structure itself, the compassion he showed to individual people did change the social relationships they shared. Despair turned to hope. isolation to belonging, and unhappiness to joy.

Wow! And I thought it was just fun to watch.

Yes, it’s a Christian based tale, but certainly can be applied to all of us no matter our beliefs. Let’s follow Scrooge’s example, enhance our relationships, and join Tiny Tim in his prayer.

tiny tim 2

 

“God bless us, every one!”

 

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February Book News

candy conversations

 

Once in a Blue Moon news!

Once in a blue moon means it’s a rare occurrence. How about once in a blue blood moon? January 31, 2018 not only brought us a lunar eclipse during a blue moon, it was during a blood moon when the moon is closest to the earth. As of Jan 31, my three new e-books became available on Amazon. It’s my once in a blue blood moon event.

The books were brought to completion with the help of my dedicated critique group, my husband Tom who formatted and uploaded the books, my sister Bev for cover design, and a wonderful professional editor, Kathy McKay. Her last name is the same as the protagonist, Kelly McKay, who lives in my medical thriller series. It must have been destiny for them to meet.

A romantic medical thriller set in Alaska and two books in my medical thriller series are now available.

 

 

 

A fourth book, Fatal Feast, will be submitted to Kindle Scout publishing contest later this month.

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B007BI6SW8

I thank Montana Women Writers and Authors of the Flathead for their support.

Betty

January Book News

2018 bk news
Montana Welcomes 2018

January Book news from Betty Kuffel

Happy New Year to all!

After writing diligently for many years, I’ve made progress toward completion PyreCoverKAand final editing of three novels. The first is Deadly Pyre, book one in the Kelly McKay medical thriller series. With Debbie Burke’s success and assistance, I submitted Deadly Pyre to the Amazon Scout program.

Kindle Scout is a reader-powered publishing contest for new books. If a book is selected, it will be published by Kindle Press with favorable royalties and a small advance. You can check out my book and see how the program works by clicking on this link: https://kindlescout.amazon.com/p/UP3KDBM7PVVU

I would appreciate your nomination. It would help my success, and if chosen, you’ll receive a free e-book copy.

My second book in the series, Deadly Spin is set in Alaska and is also ready for publication. If Deadly Pyre is not chosen, my plan is to indie-publish both of them later this month.

AKFlilghtCoverK7In a few days, Alaska Flight, a romantic medical thriller will be available on Kindle. My husband is in the process of formatting and uploading the manuscript to Kindle. When it’s ready, I will let you know.

 

My fourth book is Fatal Feast a biological thriller set in Montana. I have nearly finished a major rewrite following input from two beta-readers. I will be submitting it to a professional editor in about a week, so watch out! It will be finished soon, too.

Deb Burke blogs regularly on Kill Zone and wrote an excellent article about Kindle Scout that you may be interested in reading. https://killzoneblog.com/2017/04/kindle-scout-a-two-year-performance-review.html

I would also suggest you follow her blog at: http://www.debbieburkewriter.com

Deb’s Scout winner, Instrument of the Devil is on sale for the month of January for $.99. It’s action-packed. Her second book in the series is ready to publish. Both are great reads.Instrument of the Devil

For more information on Kindle Scout check out this link: https://kindlescout.amazon.com/about

Note: Tom will format and upload manuscripts to Kindle and Create Space for paid members of Authors of the Flathead. He does not do covers, so you need to have one ready if you want him to help you indie-publish.

Join Authors of the Flathead at: https://www.authorsoftheflathead.org

Check out the weekly meetings and join the group of writers helping writers.

Best wishes and happy writing in 2018.

Betty

December Book News

dec holidays

LESLIE BUDEWITZ:  ‘Tis the season for sharing books we love with people we love, right? I’ll be sharing mine at the annual Kalispell Art Walk Holiday Stroll, signing books at Montana Marie, a delightful shop on Main Street carrying work by dozens of local artists. (You may remember it as Think Local.) The Stroll is Friday, December 1, from 5-8 p.m. Come by and try a sip and bite of something delicious, and browse everything from candles to terrariums (terraria?), all locally made. And take home signed copies of my Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries and Seattle Spice Shop books, all made for you in a little house in the big woods outside Bigfork!

Happy Holidays!

DEBORAH EPPERSON: The home of a Texas friend flooded during Hurricane Harvey. Debby lost almost everything, including her beloved books. After months of hard work work and many tears, Debby recently was able to move back home. But I think the Montana Women Writers would agree that a home without books is unthinkable. So several MWW authors stepped up and Debby will be getting two boxes of new books for Christmas. Thank you Betty, Marie, and Leslie!

In this time of giving, I am giving away Kindle eBook copies of  Shadows of Home from Dec. 22-26. Also, Breaking TWIG will be on sale for $0.99 Dec. 22-26, 2017.

Wishing you and yours a blessed holiday season.     ~ Deborah

SOH ad teaser banner #1BT Banner Author Shout#1

 

December Book news from Betty Kuffel 

I am excited to report Amazon Scout accepted my medical thriller Deadly Pyre submission to the contest for publication. Their acceptance came in yesterday!

<Approved!

Hello Betty Kuffel,

Your Kindle Scout submission has been approved for launch! Your campaign for Deadly Pyre will launch on December 8, 2017 12:00 AM EST and last for 30 days.

This will be the URL for my Kindle Scout campaign once it launches:
https://kindlescout.amazon.com/p/UP3KDBM7PVVU

The Kindle Scout campaign for Deadly Pyre will launch on December 8, 2017 12:00 AM EST and end on January 7, 2018 12:00 AM EST!>

Please click on the link when it goes live, read the excerpt from my book and vote! This is sort of a Dancing with the Stars for authors. Votes for the book count in the final determination of a winner.

If you’re interested in the Scout contest, here’s a link to a blog post written by Debbie Burke, long time member of Authors of the Flathead whose thriller won a Scout publishing contract and is now available on Amazon.  Deb’s website: http://wp.me/p7O7QO-6A

JOIN MONTANA WOMEN WRITERS

& INVITE YOUR FRIENDS

to the

Holiday Tea and Book Sale

Downtown Columbia Falls at Business Locations

Saturday December 9th 1-3 P.M.

Montana Women Writers will be participating in a community event in Columbia Falls on Saturday December 9th. Authors will be at numerous businesses greeting shoppers. They will be selling books and serving tea with cookies.

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STATION 8

Phyllis Quatman

WALLFLOWER

Betty Kuffel and Patti Dean

TEA KETTLE CAFÉ

Nan Garrett

NORTH FORK PIZZA

Dina Woods

COLUMBIA FALLS LIBRARY

Marie Martin and Becky Palmquist

ODD FELLOWS COFFEE SHOP

Ina Albert

VAQUEROS (formerly Los Caporales)

Open- Need another author

BAD ROCK BOOKS

Karen Wills

FOR MORE INFORMATION CALL NAN MCKENZIE 406-892-0055

Confessions of a Historical Fiction Fanatic

By Janice McCaffrey

Lately I’ve been thinking about the ramifications of reading historical fiction. Does it smother history under make believe? Or does it inspire readers to reach outside of their comfort zones.

For me historical fiction often whet’s my appetite for facts. That curiosity leads me to research and of course to Google. Over the years I’ve collected eclectic facts from around the world.

But last year a seemingly innocent choice took over my life.

I watched an international historical fiction TV series, Magnificent Century(Netflix.com). And now my family and friends roll their eyes if I so much as mention the word “Turkey.” Even during this holiday season.

I can’t help it!

I fell in love with Sultan Süleyman I   suleyman

. . . of course the actor who portrayed him, Halit Ergenç didn’t hurt.

Süleyman was the Ottoman Empire’s longest reigning Sultan (1520-1566). He set fair taxes and protected ethnic and religious minorities. He updated the Empire’s code of law and instituted free education for boys. He’s responsible for the Empire’s unique artistic legacy. He wrote poetry, was an accomplished goldsmith, and led the world in architecture building mosques and public buildings. In Jerusalem he restored the Dome of the Rock and the city walls (still the Old City of Jerusalem’s walls) and renovated the Kaaba in Mecca.

And what a romantic! During the same era Henry VIII was arguing with the Pope about a divorce, Süleyman changed the law so he could not only marry his favorite concubine, Hurrem, but also live with her. He even bent the mores of the day inviting her to council meetings and taking her advice on matters of state. She was an important diplomat especially between the Ottoman Empire and her native Poland.

Fascinated with the Ottoman Empire and Halit I’ve gone on to an array of historical and contemporary movies, TV shows and books, both fiction and non-fiction. I highly recommend The Butterfly’s Dream (Netflix) a touching story based on two lesser-known Turkish poets, Rüştü Onur and Muzaffer Tayyip Uslu.

Over the past several months I’ve experimented with traditional Turkish recipes and learned lyrics to a few of their popular songs. And, yes, I’m working on the language (thanks Free Turkish Lessons Online or I should say soğul (pronounced sowl).

I guess the answers to my original questions can be both yes and no. It depends on the person doing the reading.

This personal admission of my fanaticism is just one example of historical fiction’s ability to promote a readers’ expansion of knowledge. I’m thankful for authors who give us the facts blended with imagination.

And I wish all of you a very Şükran Günü kutlu olsun (Happy Thanksgiving)