It's so great to have you on my blog today.
You have a new book to tell us about, and I'm very excited to read this one.
But first, settle back on the tiltback chair, have a cup of tea with me, and tell us where you get your story ideas.
Hello Lorrie. Thanks so much for hosting me today on my second stop on the virtual book tour for my mystery/sweet romance, Coda to Murder, just released by MuseItUp Publishing last Friday.
Readers, thank you for visiting today. Please leave a comment to win a $10.00 MIU Publishing gift card and free e-books in the random drawing at the end of the tour.
In the News by J.Q. Rose
Authors are famous for borrowing from their life experiences to use in the lives of their characters. So many of us include people we know as characters in our stories. Hopefully they don’t recognize themselves. I like to mix up several people’s characteristics into one person in my story. Perhaps I will use a gesture like my brother’s humming softly and a physical characteristic like my mother’s gorgeous blue eyes and an idiom I learned while traveling. Combining all these traits into one character makes for an easily identifiable person for the reader.
While waiting in the emergency room last week with my husband, I was amazed at the diverse people who sat or mulled around the room. I could see their exchanges with each other…laughing, arguing, or even just remaining quiet. That sent me off into making up a story about each one…perhaps a homeless man, a lady of the evening, a rich guy, a kind-looking old woman who was cheating on her husband of forty years?
Many times an article in the news will find a place in my stories.
In Sunshine Boulevard, the very real problem of the animal’s natural habitat disappearing to become malls and housing projects was very important to the story. In Coda to Murder Pastor Christine finds herself in the middle of a murder investigation, not something typically included in a pastor’s studies in seminary. But that is not the only unusual circumstance she faces as the spiritual leader at Dayspring Church. The one in the following excerpt from the book was drawn from a news story in the Tampa Tribune. This incident is a turning point in Christine’s life, but I can’t tell you why or how because it will ruin the ending for you!!
EXCERPT from Coda to Murder:
She welcomed the knock on her office door to get her mind off of Cole. “Come in.”
The door opened only halfway revealing a stocky man dressed in jeans and red plaid flannel shirt. He peeked around the edge of the door. “Hi, Pastor. I hate to interrupt you. Do you have a minute?”
“Oh, come on in, Jackson.” He ambled into the office. She stood up and offered her hand to greet him. After a firm handshake, he remained standing in front of the desk nervously twirling his baseball cap in his fingers. Christine tried to recall how she met Jackson. Oh yes, he was the kind man who helped her unload donations to the community yard sale last spring.
“Thank you for lettin’ me stop in. I have some folks I’d like you to meet. They’re havin’ some hard times. Can you talk to them? They’re out in my van waitin’.”
Christine glanced out her window at Jackson’s dusty navy blue van. Rust spidered its way around the bottom of the vehicle and outlined the doors. She imagined the van had seen a lot of miles and a lot of hunting trips.
“Well, what’s happened to these folks that you need to help them out?” She motioned to him to take a seat as she returned to her chair.
Jackson eased his round body into the chair across from her desk. “Well, ya’ see, I met these folks in the campground out there on White Lake, a few miles west of here. There’s a great fishin’ hole and this and that. Anyways, we were camped there, never knew them from Adam till we met a week ago. He’s a fisherman, too.”
She nodded, listening intently, wishing he could get to the point of the story.
“Well, this mornin’, ya’see, something popped in their motor home, and before we knew it, their motor home went up in flames. It couldn’t have took more than a minute, and now it’s a burned out wreck.”
“Oh, no. Did anyone get hurt?” Christine leaned forward in her chair.
“No, thank the good Lord, we was all outside at my place havin’ coffee. The problem is they lost everything. Their wallets, credit cards, clothes….you name it. All gone. They couldn’t save nothin’. They only have the clothes on their backs. I told ‘em we’d come and see you ‘cause you’d know how to help them get back home to Tennessee.”
Resigned that Jackson would not leave unless she agreed to meet with the distressed couple, Christine stood up from her desk and smiled. “I’d be happy to meet them.”
When the pastor and Jackson emerged from the church, an older man, short and paunchy, slowly climbed out from the passenger side of the van. He limped to the sliding door and opened it up. He helped a woman who looked as if she would have been as squishy as a marshmallow, soft and round, clamber out of the van. The bulky woman wore a brightly colored print shirt, neon green cardigan sweater, and pink polyester slacks with matching pink clogs.
She turned and reached inside the van. Christine blinked to make sure she was clearly seeing the lady gently lift what looked like a pig on a leash onto the asphalt parking lot. The man went around to the back of the van, opened the door, and a small kangaroo on a harness hopped out of the vehicle.
Christine stopped in her tracks. “Am I seeing what I think I’m seeing?” She looked at Jackson then back to the van. She closed her eyes and then re-opened them to look once more to convince her brain the scene was real.
“Pastor, this here is Harley and his friend, Iola.” Christine shook their hands getting a whiff of stale cigar smoke mixed with bacon grease.
“And who are these delightful creatures?” She wanted to pinch herself to be sure this was not a dream. What an odd assortment of pets. All in a camper?
“Oh, this here is Katy, our kangaroo, well, I guess she’s what ya’ call a wallaby, and Abraham, our pot-bellied pig.”
Christine stooped to pat the pig’s head and then scratched around his ears. The gentle swine as big as a medium sized dog grunted with pleasure. Assured by the sounds and smell of the pig this was not a dream, she couldn’t help but smile at the outrageous family.
“I’m sorry you’re having such a tough time. I hated to hear about your RV fire. I told Jackson about an agency that can help you.”
“Thank you, thank you so much, Pastor.” When Christine stood up, Harley pumped her hand again. “Iola is so upset. She’s practically hysterical. She’s so worried about how we’re gonna get back home. We can’t even rent a car without a proper driver’s license. Everything burned up in the fire.” Tears puddled in his gray eyes.
Suddenly the pig began grunting and straining at the leash, dancing around as if on a bed of hot coals.
“Oooooh, Harley, my nitro.” Iola clutched her chest and then fell to the ground like a limp rag doll.
“Darlin’, Darlin’!” Harley moved as quickly as a teen-ager to cradle his unconscious girlfriend in his arms. He began digging in his shirt pocket to find the medicine. “Iola, honey!” The pig moved into the scene grunting and prodding the supine woman.
Christine ran to the church door and yelled at Ella, “Ella, Ella, call 9-1-1. A woman collapsed in the parking lot.” She raced back to the scene where Jackson had already started CPR on the lifeless woman. Christine pulled off her suit coat and placed it under Iola’s head then shot a quick prayer to heaven.
Ella rushed out of the office with the handheld phone to her ear. She yelled to the group, “They’re on the way now!”
Harley returned the vial of nitro glycerin tablets, always kept close to his heart, to his shirt pocket. Unbelievably, the kangaroo stood next to his owner and did not try to escape.
Now available at MuseItUp Publishing- http://tinyurl.com/anax9x7
Amazon.com, bn.com, and major online booksellers.
ABOUT J.Q. ROSE
After writing feature articles in magazines, newspapers, and online magazines for over fifteen years, J.Q. Rose entered the world of fiction writing with her first published novella, Sunshine Boulevard, released by MuseItUp Publishing in 2011. Blogging, photography, Pegs and Jokers board games, and travel are the things that keep her out of trouble. Spending winters in Florida with her husband allows Janet the opportunity to enjoy the life of a snowbird. Summer finds her camping and hunting toads, frogs, and salamanders with her four grandsons and granddaughter.
Connect with J.Q. Rose online at
J.Q. Rose blog http://www.jqrose.com/
Girls Succeed blog http://girlssucceed.blogspot.com/
Author website http://jqrose.webs.com/
J. Q. Rose Amazon Author Page http://tinyurl.com/aeuv4m4
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