Monday, October 19, 2020

Judi Phillips and her New Novel

Judi has had stories in her head as far back as she can remember. However, being lazy (her friends like to point out that she’s efficient), and being a legal assistant, she knew she could never complete a manuscript if she had to write it on a typewriter. Then, along came word processors, and those magic cut and paste and delete icons. There was no stopping her after that. Within a few weeks of her first job with a computer, she started her first story, a house-beautiful, vogue thing about lawyers. Needless to say, it will never be published — but she honed her description skills on that project, so nothing is ever wasted.              Judi has recently relocated to New Mexico and is living in the foothills of the Sandia Mountains at the southern end of the Rockies.  No more Februarys in Maine for her. She lives with two dogs, a Yorkie, Mishka, and a MinPin, Gizmo, --who lives up to his name. Both have acclimated easily, although Gizmo does miss eating snow in the winter. Despite their small size, they rule the house.

First of all, I want to thank Beverly for inviting me to her blog.

I thought I'd share about a favorite character.  Well, really, I have two. My first favorite character is Aerial BonnĂ©.  She first appeared in her daughter's book, Ghost of a Chance, where her daughter, Wynter Storm, is denying she has any psychic abilities.  Then Aerial comes to visit over the holidays, and begins to take over the book.  I had to sit down and have a chat with her, promising I would write her story, but this was her daughter's story.

Ghost of a Chance – Chances Are … Book 1:  A logical engineer, a psychic in denial and a mischievous little boy ghost equal a recipe for trouble. Available from Amazon Kindle and KU:  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01KVRC9VE  Link to Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tlya7 CoPNH0&t=1s

Excerpt from Ghost of a Chance

Late that afternoon, Trace climbed the stairs to his study. At the moment it was a work in progress. A sheet of plywood, confiscated from the site, resting across two filing cabinets, imitated a desk. A bookcase created from more boards and cement blocks housed engineering books. He'd ask Wynter to work on this room next. Before the living room.

He set a bottle of beer on the end table and settled into an overstuffed chair in one corner of the room. He'd catch up on professional reading before looking over a batch of blueprints to get a head start on work the next day.

The sun had set, and dark filled the corners of the room. He reached over and touched on the lamp. Suddenly, a chill wafted across his arms. He got up to check the window. Perhaps Gertrude had opened it a crack to air out the room and forgotten to close it.

The window was securely latched.

He returned to his chair, settled himself, opened the journal he wanted to read, and the light shut off. "Must've bumped it when I turned the page," he muttered. He touched it back on. He read a paragraph, grabbed his beer and took a sip. The light went off again. Guess I hit it on accident, he decided. That was the only logical explanation. He turned it on once more and continued reading. Five minutes passed and it shut off again.

"What the devil," he muttered. He hadn't moved. He touched it on for the third time. In no more than a minute or two, it turned off. Grinding his teeth in frustration, he touched it on. It went off.

He got up, unplugged and plugged in the lamp, and turned it on. It immediately went off again. Was there an echo of childish laughter? He dismissed it. Sara was gone, spending the night with his mother. Had to be kids down the block, playing outside. 

Then came Aerial's story that I promised her, Taking a Chance.  While her daughter is on her honeymoon, Aerial stays in Hidden Falls to run Wynter's shop and take care of her pre-teen granddaughter.  And starts hanging out with a local detective, Frank O'Malley, and spends time with her new BFF, Betty.  Come to find out, Betty's daughter was kidnapped years ago when she was two.

Taking a Chance – Chances Are … Book :  A psychic, a skeptical cop, a cold-case kidnapping and a hard-core conspiracy-theory lover.  Who will take a chance?  Available from Amazon Kindle and KU:  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01MY5D8TK  Link to Trailer:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aLUhIBbtA1E

  And now we come to my second favorite character, Guy Beadie, who shows up in Taking a Chance, and there isn't a conspiracy theory he doesn't love.  Which is why I find him fascinating.  He's based on a date I had, where the guy talked about chem trails (which I had never heard of at that time) and discussed in detail seeing a bank blocked off with tape that he drove by to meet with me and how they were conspiring to keep people away.  So, the husband of a friend of mine is a police officer.  I immediately called her and discovered that there had been a bank robbery at that exact location.  I was fascinated by him, but clearly my responses were not enthusiastic enough.  I would have gone out with him again for research purposes, but he said bye and that was it.  However, Guy thanks him. 

Excerpt from Taking a Chance

"I know you're off-duty, but do you mind if I ask you a possible work-related question."

Frank was thankful for the change of topic. "Another missing music box?" he asked with a smile, remembering the first time they'd met. She had insisted the police department be called about Sara's missing music box.

"No, this time it's about a missing girl."

His smile faded at the solemn expression on her face. "What about it?"

"I had the oddest dream last night."

He folded his arms across his chest. "Oh?"

Aerial waved her hand dismissively.  "Never mind. Probably just my overactive imagination. I won't bother you with it."

"It's no bother."

"No, it's nothing. Just a silly dream."

"Are you sure? I'm a good listener."

She shook her head.

"You've probably watched one too many reruns of Without a Trace."

She stared at him a minute as if she intended to say something, then closed her mouth firmly. "You're probably right."

Son of a gun. He'd obviously said something wrong. "Look, I'm sorry for teasing you. I do want to hear what you have to say."

"It's okay. I know. It was a crazy question."

Her reluctance to say anything more tweaked Frank's interest. What had stopped her? No matter the situation, he always wanted to pull the loose thread to see what unraveled. She'd given him an opening, and he decided that was a good excuse to see her again. "How about we go out to dinner? I can check around, and we can talk about this more."

She hesitated a moment, just long enough for him to realize he really wanted her to say yes. "I'd like that. When are you thinking?"

"How about Saturday?"

"That will work. I'll ask Betty if she can watch Jenny. My granddaughter," she added in response to his raised eyebrow.

"Great." What a doofus. Couldn't he come up with something better to say? He couldn't believe how tongue-tied he was around her. Good thing he wasn't in the dating market. And he hadn't just asked her for a date. He merely wanted to satisfy his curiosity about her.

"I'll let you know for certain. I'm sure we will see each other at the Bean."

Looked like she'd learned the locals' nickname for the coffee shop. "Looking forward to it." Frank turned, grinning like a detective who'd just closed a cold case. It had been a long time since he'd met a woman who intrigued him as much as Aerial. Sure, she was attractive, even if she might appear to be a little offbeat. After all, she was from the land of flakes and nuts. But he suspected there were deeper layers. And he definitely wanted to investigate them.

As he exited the door, he nearly bumped into a guy loitering outside. Frank quickly assessed him. Middle-aged, mussed hair, rumpled clothes, refusing to meet his gaze. Might mean something — or nothing at all. The guy didn't smell like a homeless person. Likely just lived on his own. Probably not a threat. But he didn't look like the usual kind of customer Frank expected to see at The Herbal Emporium. He'd keep an eye out for the guy, see if he showed up here again.

You can find Judi at:http://judiphillips.com/

on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/judi.phillips.50

Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/judi.phillips.writes/?hl=en  

blog at:   http://sugarspice-judi.blogspot.com/

Twitter:  @judiphil

e-mail her at: judi.phillips.writes@gmail.com

You can watch trailers for her books at

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTUJo-C1MCZhbjIEsC_8vHg 

7 comments:

  1. I remember reading Ghost of a Chance, and loving it! Can't wait to put Taking a Chance on my TBR pile! I love eccentric older characters!

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    1. Thanks. Taking a Chance has several more quirky characters ;-)

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  2. I've read and loved both books. Best of luck with your new release too!

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  3. I loved the interplay between Frank and Aerial in Taking a Chance - such a fun story!! Good luck with your latest release.

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  4. Thanks, Luanna. I need to blog about Fears next time.

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  5. This was a fun recap of your books - which I enjoyed. Definitely a hunky hero and a heroine who gives him a run for his money. I do remember discussing Guy stories (both the book character and the real "guy" - get it?!?!?) Maybe a short "Back-story" about the character Guy - that would be quite interesting.

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