Monday, March 28, 2016

QUIMBY POND - Bruce Judisch - One Free Book or Ebook

Welcome back, Bruce. Why do you write the kind of books you do?
I enjoy reading and writing historical fiction and contemporary fiction that has historical roots, such as novels with paralleling contemporary and historical storylines. Aside from the fascinating research, I love sharing what I’ve discovered, because I believe it’s as important to learn something from a book as it is to be entertained by it.

Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life?
On December 27th, Jeannie and I celebrated for the 43rd time the best day of my life—and she has done everything in her power to make every day since our wedding another best-day-of-my-life. The days she failed to do so were completely my fault.

How has being published changed your life?
It’s made me a lot busier. J It has also immensely elevated my respect for those intrepid souls who have done it so much better than I.

What are you reading right now?
Fiction: I just finished Sibella Giorello’s latest release in her Raleigh Harmon series. (You all really need to read Sibella’s work—she’s one of those intrepid souls.)
Non-fiction: The Rhetoric of Revelation in the Hebrew Bible, by Dale Patrick. Fascinating perspective on how God communicates through the Scriptures.

What is your current work in progress?
I’m working on the “The Marble Falls Legacy – Part 2,” the sequel to Quimby Pond which is featured in this blog interview. How fun! There’s a sneak preview at the end of Quimby Pond for the more curious among your readers.

What would be your dream vacation?
A river cruise in Europe. Okay, so while we’re dreaming, an all-expenses-paid river cruise in Europe.

Good luck with that. J How do you choose your settings for each book?
The historical hook chooses it for me. I’m more interested in a really interesting premise for the story than I am where it takes place. For example, I would never have thought of Rangeley, Maine, as a setting for a novel (Quimby Pond) if such an intriguing historical event had not taken me there.

If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why?
The same person I spend every evening with—that 43-year helpmate I mentioned earlier. But then, I don’t think that’s what you meant, so I’ll try to be a little more innovative. I’ll also assume you don’t include fictional characters—who are very much alive—because I’ve created some whom I’d love to spend an evening with just to see what they’re really like. J So, given those constraints, I suppose it would have to be Peyton Manning. He has nothing to prove to me, so he can be genuine (i.e., no need to force any “image”). I appreciate his work ethic and what I understand to be his perspective on living his faith.

What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?
I enjoy camping, prospecting for gold, and playing the 12-string guitar. Sometimes all at the same time, which can get a little confusing. But it’s still fun.

What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?
Finding consistent time to write. I have a full-time job and a home life that I must prioritize. Writing sporadically hinders growing in the craft. I do edit manuscripts, though, so I’m able to stay in the discipline from that perspective, although creating my own work sometimes suffers.

What advice would you give to a beginning author?
Establish your goal as a writer up front. What do you really want to do? Do you want a writing career, an avocation, a one-time work to share with family and friends? If you don’t decide that up front, you’ll waste a lot of time, money, and frustration in seeking the proper path to publication (sorry about the alliteration, but hey, that says it all. J) Can you change your mind at some point? Sure, that’s the stuff of life. But in the publishing industry, making a drastic change in trajectory can be ungainly.

Tell us about the featured book.
Ah! J I absolutely love Quimby Pond. It’s my first contemporary mystery/suspense—but still with that true historical hook—and so the genre is a little new to me, although I’ve written elements of mystery in previous works. Quimby Pond takes place in northern Maine. It centers on a young woman who has come to Marble Falls (a fictitious representation of the lovely town of Rangeley) to escape her past. When she begins to restore an antique trunk for a friend, her past resurges, thrusting her and her friends into mortal danger.

Please give us the first page of the book.
This is the Prologue, which sets the historical backdrop for the story. It’s actually 1-1/2 pages, so be advised that I’m going to cheat. J

Thursday Night, August 20, 1896. Marble Falls, Maine. The Train Station.
Arthur Dunsley, reporter for The Lakes newspaper, tapped a stubby pencil against his chin as he circled the abandoned steamer trunk. It seemed sad, lonely, if such a thing could be. A bridal trunk with no bride? Just wasn’t right. He stooped and fingered a delicately inscribed card affixed to the lid, then jotted a word or two in his pocket notebook.

“So, what ya make of her?” Stationmaster Charlie Turner tipped up his billed cap and scratched behind an ear.

“Dunno. Suppose it was loaded on the wrong train?”

“On the line from Phillips?” Charlie shook his head. “Came off the one o’clock, nobody with it. Word got around town. Folks came for tonight’s train too. Still nobody.”

Arthur tugged on the hasp. “Locked.”

“Aye-uh. Already tried that.”

The reporter closed the notebook and rose with a half-smile. Finally, something more exciting than who-is-visiting-whom-in-the-lakes gossip and depressing obituaries. “I’ve got an empty corner in today’s edition. This oughta add a little mystery to the humdrum.”

“And I got an empty corner in the stationhouse where she’ll go ’til somebody comes ta fetch her.”

“Let me know if they do, would ya, Charlie?”

“Surely.” Charlie grasped one of the trunk’s leather handles and dragged it toward the stationhouse door.

Arthur pocketed his pencil and notebook, and strode toward town.


The dim glow of a cigar ember flared beyond the empty train platform. Among the shadows, a lone figure leaning against a knobby evergreen hacked a hoarse cough into his sleeve. A flick of his finger, and the stogie’s chewed stub arced onto the narrow-gauge railroad tracks, erupting sparks over their rough-hewn wooden ties.

The man pushed away from the tree and set a stealthy course toward the station. He drew up at the platform as the stationmaster’s bulky silhouette appeared in a window against the yellow glow of an oil lamp. The stranger backed against the station’s turret, one hand pressed against the rough stone, the other reaching toward his belt. When he withdrew it, the pitted steel blade of a hunting knife flashed in the weak lamplight.

The stationmaster moved from view.

The man palmed the knife and edged toward the door.

Nice hook. I am eager to find out what happens next. How can readers find you on the Internet?
I have a blog and a Facebook author page. I’d love to interact with any of your readers on either of those venues.

Thanks so much for the interview, Lena. It’s been fun!

Thank you, Bruce, for sharing this new book with us.

Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
Quimby Pond - paperback
Quimby Pond - Kindle

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. You must follow these instructions to be in the drawing. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)

Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.

The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 4 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

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Connie said...

I enjoy both mystery/suspense and historical fiction. Quimby Pond seems to fit both. Thanks for sharing!
Connie from KY

Bruce Judisch said...

Hi Connie -

Thanks for stopping by and commenting. We seem to share the same joys in reading/writing. :-)

Wish you the best of luck in the drawing.

Cheers! Bruce

(Secret: In my earlier novel, Katia, I managed to get 13 of my 14 grandchildren's names into the story in one form or another. Little Gwen didn't arrive in time to get in that story. So, you probably noticed the name of the heroine in QP... :-) )

Anonymous said...

Hi Bruce!
So happy to see that you have a new book out. And suspense is my favorite genre! Can't wait to get this one.
Donna Robertson
Pocahontas, AR

Anonymous said...

would love to win angela in ky

Caryl Kane said...

Hey Bruce, I enjoyed "meeting" you. You are a new author for me. Mystery/suspense is my favorite genre. I'm intrigued by the "abandoned" steamer trunk.

Caryl K in TEXAS

Trixi said...

Nice story hook for have me curious as to what's in the steam trunk & who it belongs to :-) You're a new-to-me author but I love discovering new writers. I also enjoy suspense/mystery and then you add history to it, definitely something worth a read! Thanks for the interview & giveaway chance.

Trixi in OR

Anonymous said...

Am reading Ben Amittai, and giving it a thumbs up. Looking forward to A Prophet's Tale, Books One and Two. Glad summer is almost here; I'll have more time to enjoy your books. The 'abandoned' steamer trunk is interesting. Agatha Christie is one of my favorite authors; seems I'll add another name to my list. Thank you!

Shirley Colton

Mary Preston said...

Quimby Pond sounds intriguing.

Mary P


Vera Godley said...

Intriguing. Sounds like a good read and I love the cover. Maine is not a setting frequently used for novels and I'd enjoy a venture and adventure there.

Vera in the middle of southern North Carolina.

Sandy Quandt said...

Historical fiction and contemporary fiction with historical elements are my favorite reads. Looks like you've mixed both in an intriguing way. Quimby Pond sounds like a must read.

Sandy Q in TX

Beth Gillihan said...

Great first page! I will have to put this book on my wish list! Thanks for the chance to win!

Beth in Montana

Bruce Judisch said...

Hi Caryl!

Great to hear from you again. Thanks, this was a really fun book to write. I love the historical seed too. My last two novels were also seated in true historical settings, although the stories were (mostly) fiction. And the earlier series is set in 8th-century BC. Hard to get much more historical than that. :-)

Hope you get a chance to enjoy the story.

(Secret: I share a quirk with the hero, Brent Newcomb. It's a hang-up with a certain medical procedure, and I long ago resorted to his method of avoidance. Maybe you'll catch it in the story. ;-) )

Cheers! Bruce

Bruce Judisch said...

Hi Trixi,

Thanks for your comment and your interest. It was a lot of fun to see what opportunities that trunk might hold. I hope you enjoy the story.

(Secret: You'll see something fun between the hero and a good friend of his regarding the way his friend likes his coffee. I confess that I've been accused of making my coffee the same way... :-) )

Cheers! Bruce

Bruce Judisch said...

Hi Shirley!

Glad you're enjoying BA. There's a fun story behind the writing of that one, too, that kicked off my whole writing career. :-)

(Secret: In QP, I share the heroine's childhood memory of her church experience. I have to confess I kind of wrote my history into that spot as well. :-) )

Cheers! Bruce

Bruce Judisch said...

Hi Mary,

Thanks for the comment. I hope it will live up to that impression for you. :-)

(Secret: My wife and I spent our 40th anniversary in Sydney. I did a lot of people-watching there while developing the story to lend attributes to my characters. I promise I only used them for the good guys. :-) )

Cheers! Bruce

Bruce Judisch said...

Hi again Vera! :-)

I love the cover too. As soon as I came across that background, I knew I had to use it. It took a long time to find just the right face to use, though. I think she's a great representation of my heroine.

(Secret: Speaking of the cover, originally the background scene was flipped, with the cloudy moon at the left where the model's face covered part of it. But I loved the mood it sets so much that I asked the graphic artist to flip the image so the moon would be to the right. Since there's also the pond and hillside in the image, I guess you could say we moved heaven and earth to get that cover done. :-) :-) )

Cheers! Bruce

Bruce Judisch said...

Hi Sandy (are you anywhere near San Antonio?),

Yes, the research on this one was very interesting to do. I also discovered that, even with all the information available in literature and online--as well as contacts in the area I could interview--there was no substitute to visiting the area personally. I'd already finished the first draft when I made my "boots-on-the-ground" research trip, and I discovered some things that completely changed how I wrote a couple of the scenes. I would never have thought to ask about these things of my contacts. It was well worth the investment to visit Rangeley--even during mud season. :-)

(Secret: The train station where the above excerpt takes place still exists, but, since the narrow-gauge line to Rangeley was discontinued in the early 1900s, the old station house is now a B&B.)

Cheers! Bruce

Bruce Judisch said...

Hi Beth!

Thanks so much. That Prologue is the only chapter of the book that actually takes place in the historical setting. The rest of the book is set in present day. However, that might not be true of "The Marble Falls Legacy - Book 2"... :-)

(Secret: The town Marble Falls is based upon is Rangeley, named after Squire Rangeley who figures prominently in the early history of the region. I chose "Marble Falls" for my story as there was a John Marble who also figured strongly in 19th-century Rangeley [the actual name of the train station was the Marble Train Station] and "Falls" comes from nearby Angel Falls.)

Cheers! Bruce

Trixi said...

Bruce I'm loving all the secrets you are sharing about your book & how you've incorporated some of your own life experiences in it! Makes me want to read it even more :-)
And since I consider myself a coffee snob....I'll have to check out how you fix yours!

Edward Arrington said...

I have not read any books by Bruce but this one certainly sounds interesting. I would love to read it. I just finished three books by another author who uses historical settings for her books and creates some of her fictional creates based on information gleaned about real people from that time period. A lot of the details are changed as well to fit the story. I enjoy books like that.
Edward A in VA

Sharon Richmond Bryant said...

Enter me for the book copy!!
Conway, SC.

Brenda Arrington said...

Bruce is a new author to me. This book certainly sounds interesting. Thank you for the chance to win a copy. Great first page.
Brenda in VA

Bruce Judisch said...

Hi Donna!

So sorry I passed you up in my replies. (yikes!) It's always great to hear from you. Trust all is well with you and yours--and say hi to your book club for me too! :-)

(Secret: The sneak preview of "The Marble Falls Legacy - Part 2" takes place in an attic. The description I give is identical to the attic of the house I grew up in--a perfect setting for the scene.)

Cheers! Bruce

Bruce Judisch said...

LOL, Trixi! Great to find a kindred spirit in the coffee realm. There are some things that you just don't mess with. ;-) And I'm glad you're enjoying the behind-the-scenes glimpses. They're fun to write, but a little challenging to make sure I don't pick one that reveals too much.

('Nuther Secret: Another nuance I discovered while in Rangeley was the quirky cell phone coverage in the rural environs. I had zero connectivity at a small café where I ate lunch, but four bars a quarter mile down the road. Inside my motel room, I had one weak bar, but outside in the parking lot, I had three. So cell phone coverage becomes a subtle, but significant, factor in the story.)

Cheers! Bruce

Bruce Judisch said...

Hi Edward!

I wonder if you're referring to Susan Meissner. If not, you need to read her. She's a master of the dual contemporary-historical motif. :-) As I mentioned in another post, two of my earlier books (Katia and For Maria) include the two parallel storylines. Katia is based on the Berlin Wall (I was in Berlin in 1989 when the Wall fell) and For Maria features the Kindertransport. I think you'll see some of that in the sequel to Quimby Pond too. ;-)

(Secret: A featured location in QP is "The Lodge," which is patterned after Rangeley's Loon Lodge on the shore of Rangeley Lake. Loon Lodge has a large set of stairs leading down to a dock on the lake. In summer, you can take your boat across the lake to the property and tie up to enjoy dinner at the inn's excellent restaurant. In the winter, they lay planks up the stairs where snowmobilers can come across the frozen lake, shoot right up the stairs, and park outside the back door for the same reason.)

Cheers! Bruce

Kim hansen said...

SOunds like a good read. cheetahthecat1986ATgmailDOTcom. North Platte Nebraska.

rubynreba said...

I've never been to Maine but think it sounds so pretty. I love reading books with Maine as the setting.
Beth from IA

Bruce Judisch said...

Hi Kim,

I certainly hope it is! :-)

Cheers! Bruce

Bruce Judisch said...

Hi Ruby,

Before my research trip for the book, I'd only been there once on a camping trip through New England m-a-n-y years ago. It's a beautiful state. You should go. ;-)

(Secret: When I went on that trip to Maine, I couldn't take my wife with me. :-( So I resolved to bring back a peace offering--some genuine Maine Tourmaline--which I took time out to shop for (I am *not* a shopper...) in Farmington, a town that figures strongly in Quimby Pond. What a great little town! Put it on your itinerary when you visit Maine.)

Cheers! Bruce

kam110476 said...

Hi Bruce & Lena!I love The Lost Loves of WWII book and I'm super excited to read this new mystery/suspense of Bruce's!
Kristen in OK
Kam110476 at gmail dot com

Bakersdozen said...

This book sounds really interesting. I am in the mood for a good mystery/suspense book.


Bruce Judisch said...

Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Kristen. And glad you enjoyed LLWWII. QP is a bit different, but still has that historical hook. And I think you'll recognize some of the format for Book 2, if you read Katia. ;-)

(Secret: There's a university professor in the story whose background shares some similarities with my son's--a real-life university professor. The character's personality, however, is nothing like my son's, a fact I felt necessary to assure him of before I released the book. :-) )

Cheers! Bruce

Bruce Judisch said...

Hi CA,

I hope Quimby Pond will fit your mood perfectly! :-) Thanks for commenting.

Cheers! Bruce

Melissa M. said...

Sounds like an intriguing novel!

-Melissa M. in TN