As mentioned before, I’m bailing out this canoe with a teacup – a metaphor (or is that a simile?) for my computer is near death and I’m sorting what to keep and deleting things I don’t need while I wait for the new one to arrive. My son dug around in the registry last night and it seems to have helped. At least my screen isn’t freezing this morning. That’s one of things that has bugged me the most about this slow demise. When it decides to freeze, you can’t even save what you’re working on. You lose it all when you reboot. Not good for a novelist. *grumble*
I’m currently recycling posts for my blog from the files I’m finding. Lots of good stuff. It’s a time saver for a busy month, I hope you’ve enjoyed them. Here’s another oldie from my first year as a published author. Again, I can’t recall where it posted first. I’m much better at keeping track now. This old dog does pick up a new trick now and again.
You know the story. It begins with ten people, each with something to hide and something to fear. They’re invited to a remote mansion on an island, but their host curiously fails to appear. Alone with the small household staff and the inescapable demons standing in the shadows of their pasts, the guests are cut off from the outside world. One by one, they share these darkest secrets. And one by one, they die. Perhaps you’ve read the book or seen the five iterations in film — Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None (or Ten Little Indians).
Considered by many to be her most famous work, it ranks as the 7th bestselling book of all time. And Then There Were None was the most adapted of all her stories in film, theater, radio, and even video games. From its first publication in 1939 when the title included a racial epithet, to the more recent 2010 radio adaptation, it’s a novel with staying power. Why? It was summed up in the 1940 The New York Times Book Review:
“When you read what happens, after that you will not believe it, but you will keep on reading, and as one incredible event is followed by another even more incredible you will still keep on reading. The whole thing is utterly impossible and utterly fascinating. It is the most baffling mystery that Agatha Christie has ever written, and if any other writer has ever surpassed it for sheer puzzlement the name escapes our memory. We are referring, of course, to mysteries that have logical explanations, as this one has. It is a tall story, to be sure, but it could have happened.”
Agatha Christie is one of my literary heroes. On my shelf of favorite fiction, her works sit side by side with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Diana Gabaldon, Charlotte Brontë, Michael Crichton, and JK Rowling. I like reading novels that make my heart pound in anticipation with each anxiously turned page. And Then There Were None was my first encounter with suspense. It was also my first exposure to Agatha’s works.
My older sister was a passionate book lover who eventually got me reading romance. She recommended And Then There Were None as her all-time favorite Agatha Christie story. At age eleven, I didn’t understand the broader adult nuance of the story, but I did enjoy it. Several years later, I saw an old black and white movie entitled Ten Little Indians. I thought, hey wait a minute, that’s an Agatha Christie story! Inspired to reread the novel, I saw what my younger self had missed. The plot was literally peppered with clues that pointed to the murderer. I already knew who the murderer was so picking out the clues was easy.
So all these years later, I decided to write a book in homage to that amazingly creative author. Like Agatha’s famous story, Dreamscape is a literary puzzle as well. I crafted it to be a story within a story filled with clues scattered along for the avid reader to catch.
In this tale, I introduce readers to Dr. Lanie O’Keefe: a confident, independent, woman who’s just bought herself a Mid-Victorian mansion. This is a dream house in the truest sense, for Lanie has been dreaming of the Bowen mansion since she was a child. The locals say the place is haunted and it certainly looks the part with its overgrown weeds and decades of vandalism. Undaunted by ghost stories, Lanie moves in with grand plans to refit the old coach house into a free clinic. Little does she realize the local legend is true.
For nearly one hundred and twenty years, the ghost of Doctor Jason Bowen roams his house contemplating the treachery that took his life. His brooding thoughts are interrupted when a woman arrives with valise in tow. Not only is she moving into his house, but she’s sleeping in the master bedroom as well – his bedroom. As a gentleman coming from a time of social propriety and impeccable manners; Jason tries to give his houseguest space, but soon becomes infatuated with her. Once he discovers the electric signature of his ghostly essence can ride Lanie’s dreams, he follows where they take him and finds himself back in his time period as the date of his murder draws near.
Yes, I planned the suspense carefully. Like Agatha Christie’s works, uncovering my trail of breadcrumbs isn’t necessary to move the tale along. When taken as a whole, they offer an insider’s peek at the truth long before the truth is revealed. Dreamscape is complex, richly detailed, and sensual, and I’ve scattered enough crumbs that even Hansel and Gretel might see the story hidden within! Writing it I learned something about myself. Not only do I like taking the path less traveled, I enjoy making the implausible plausible. I really like offbeat turn-things-on-their-ear scenarios where the writer finds a box he/she must write themselves out of. To me, the insurmountable prospect is a curiously locked door — the next weeks or months trying to make the unlikely likely and the impossible possible is akin to finding the fat ring of keys to try the lock with.
What readers are saying about Dreamscape ~
5 Stars ~ Author Jane Leopold Quinn
What a lovely story! A young girl falls in love with a house and grows up to buy it. Haven’t you ever seen a building that just captured your imagination and your heart? The whole town knows the old mansion is haunted, but Lanie O’Keefe is about to find out for sure. Jason Bowen has watched the town grow around his house for 120 years — all the years he’d been dead. Dead since just after the Civil War. Jason knew he’d been murdered by his wife and her evil friends but had no memory of how the deed occurred. In the Twenty-first Century, when the beautiful Lanie moves into his house and proceeds to restore it to its original glory, he knows this will be a new chance at “life.” How does a ghost physically touch the woman he loves? How does a flesh and blood woman come to realize that she’s falling in love with an ethereal being? Humor and sensuality shine through in this story. Believe me, Ms. Anderson created some delightful ways for Lanie and Jason to communicate their feelings. Lush and lyrical describe the prose — hot and sumptuous the love scenes. While you’re reading Dreamscape, you’ll come up with happily ever after theories. You’ll desperately want to so these two people can triumph over death. My advice? Just read and enjoy the ride to the end. I had my thoughts, and they were wrong. The real ending is a wonderful surprise. Just let it be, and live in the Dreamscape.
5-Stars ~ Dr. Judith at the Book Binge
OMG — what a novel!! This is one of those books that lures the reader in with its mysterious scenario of dreams and a woman who has always romanticized this wonderful house–literally falling in love with a house as well as the gorgeous man occupying the house a century before. “It is all here and Ms Anderson has woven it all into a novel that is beautifully written, well-edited, and put together so that the parts of the story flow together seamlessly.” “It is a novel I have no difficulty calling a work of art.” “So readers who love erotic romance wrapped in the mists of dream and fantasy and time-travel will find this to be a delightful reading experience, an entertaining way to spend some time, and an exercise of the mind and imagination. This novel is already on my favorites list as well as my “to read again” list.” “This is not a story that should be missed. I feel it has been a true delight and privilege to read this tale.”
5-Stars ~ Manic Readers
Loved Dreamscape! Anderson has woven a 150 year old mystery with a 21st century ghost story, along with a few jealousies, murders, and assorted other intrigues to make a fascinating story. You could call this a time travel, a love story over the ages, or whatever, but it’s well done no matter what you want to call it.
Lainie seemingly exists in the 21stcentury where she’s renovating an old painted lady Victoria house that once belonged to Dr. Jason Bowen, who was murdered 150 years ago. She also seems to be able to exist in one form or another in Jason’s time. Jason and Lainie are in love in his time, but how will they manage to be together in hers? I wondered as I read this how the lovers were ever going to solve that problem, but was totally surprised at how Anderson arrived at the HEA ending I was hoping for, as I read far into the night. Great read with a surprising twist ending.
Two and a half years later and I’m still smiling over their reviews. 😀
Love Waits in Unexpected Places – Scorching Samplings of Unusual Love Stories
Sample Dreamscape & the rest for free!
If you’re here for the first time, my husband and I are building a vintage holiday postcard scrapbook one card at a time. I’ve been posting one or two each day and plan to keep it up from now until January.
Here’s another fun recipe selection from the mountain of files ~
Instead of giving that godawful can of stale flavored popcorn, try this recipe. Easy to make and only three to four ingredients.
9 cups popped popcorn
20 finely crushed Oreos
24 oz. White Vanilla Almond Bark OR 2 cups salted almonds and 12 oz. white chocolate chips
Completely melt almond bark according to package directions until melted and smooth consistency (Use a double boiler). Drizzle over popped popcorn (and almonds). Sprinkle finely crushed cookie crumbs evenly over the popcorn. Lightly stir to distribute. Wait for chocolate to firm and enjoy.
I haven’t made this one yet but it sounds yummy. Curiously I didn’t save the name of this gluten-free recipe. It did have a link though. I think I gained 5lbs. just reading the page.
2 12.8-oz boxes Rice Chex cereal
1 7-oz bag shredded coconut
1 4-oz bag slivered almonds
3 sticks of butter (yep, you did ready that right)
2 cups sugar
2 cups corn syrup
Combine cereal, coconut, and almonds in a large mixing bowl. In a large sauce pan, cook butter, sugar and corn syrup to the “soft ball” stage. This takes place at approximately 234º on a candy thermometer. It can also be determined by dropping a spoonful of hot syrup into a bowl of very cold water. If you can gather the cooled syrup into a ball with your fingers, it’s ready. Pour over cereal mixture and stir until all is well coated. Pour mixture onto 2 large cookie sheets to cool. Stir occasionally to prevent clumping. Store in an airtight container.
Author Jean Hart Stewart’s blog day.
RB4U is participating in author Nikki Barrett’s READER APPRECIATION GIVEAWAY — Lots of prizes. Enter today!
Our December contest has approximately 30 prizes for one winner, including a $75 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card. I’m adding a free book from my backlist to the loot. Read the pages and find the dancing Santas.
First Kiss Wednesday ~ share your best 300 word kiss.
Set the Scene in Six ~ share your backdrop or lead-up on Sundays.
The Genesis of the Story ~ share the spark that ignited your novel
Author Interviews ~ We’re booking 2014 now.
* FREE * FREE * FREE * FREE * FREE * FREE * FREE *
Exquisite Quills presents A Holiday Anthology Vol. 1
Many holiday short stories in several styles written
by more than a dozen authors. And it’s FREE!