Monday, January 12, 2015

Feature: Wind in the Wires by Janet Chester Bly (Author Story & Giveaway)

Today I'm happy to feature an author who I have admired for a long time. I've read several of the books that she has coauthored with her husband and have enjoyed them immensely! I've been apart of her and her husband's book group as well and it has been a blessing in my life.

Janet Bly has recently released a new book and it is an honor for me to share it with y'all today.

Title: Wind in the Wires
Author: Janet Chester Bly
Pages: 320
Publication Date: November 20th, 2014

Synopsis: 
It’s 1991. Reba Cahill loves ranching with Grandma Pearl in north central Idaho. But there’s a lot of work and only two of them. Reba decides she needs a husband to help her run the ranch. But she finds few prospects in the small town of Road’s End.  

But Reba is also missing something else: her mother. Deserted by her at three-years-old and never knowing her dad, she feels a sense of longing and loss. And bitterness.  

When elderly, quirky Road’s End citizen Maidie Fortress dies, Uncle Seth presents Reba Cahill with an expensive piece of jewelry that turns Reba’s world upside down and leads her down unexpected paths and toward unsuspected admirers. Will the facts also ruin all hope for romance?
Author's Story:
Writing Wind in the Wires: Author’s Story
Janet Chester Bly

My late husband Stephen and I enjoyed so much researching and creating fiction together. For instance, we co-authored The Crystal Blake Series mysteries for kids. The contemporary Hidden West Series with Tony and Price Shadowbrook, a husband and wife writing team and mystery solving partners. And the historical cozy mysteries, the Carson City Chronicles, set in the 1880s, with Judge Hollis Kingston and his spunky wife Judith.

For many years I started and even completed some rambling, stumbling stories of my own. However, other Bly book projects took precedence and these attempts piled in the file drawers.

Finally, in 1991 a cowgirl named Reba emerged in my mind and never quite went away. I knew she had red hair, loved horses, would go on adventures, and dealt with troubling family issues. In one version, she lived in the nineteenth century in England and wrote copious letters. This was in an epistolary format. In another, she joined her husband on a whaling ship out of Scotland. One time she lived in modern day Missouri. In another episode, she dwelled along the coast in California.

As I traveled with Stephen on research trips for his projects to places like Goldfield, Nevada, I imagined her taking a trek there too. I even took a side trip by myself to Tonopah and Silver Peak. I wrote scenes and recorded descriptions as fast as I could. Then tossed them in the drawer.

Last year I determined as my 2014 New Year’s resolution, “Just do it!” I would complete at least one Reba story.

So, I spread out on a large table all my rabbit trail story lines through the decades. Would they make into short stories? Or perhaps novellas? Where would I start?

After a number of weeks of reading, sorting, and thinking them through, I settled Reba in my state of Idaho, in a small fictional town of Road’s End, much like the one I live in. At twenty-five and single, she would run a ranch with her widowed grandmother. But she’d also take a journey to the desert of Nevada. In 1991. So I could do fun things like use Walkie-Talkies rather than cell phones. And the old man in a Ford Model T she traveled with could have lived in Goldfield, Nevada during its gold rush days.

I began a cut and paste process from the original scenes and expanded on them. I asked for advice from some pro editors and mentors like Rachel Hauck and Kathy Ide. I also enlisted volunteers from among some of our willing fans, to get the reader’s perspective. Every suggestion was taken to heart, even when it meant big changes. They helped me decide on the final title too. The spiritual theme began to flow too.

After a number of months of persevering, the full story developed. The completed project turned into a full-length novel of 97,000 words. And there are plenty more ideas for stories left for a series of at least two more books.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~
What project of yours has taken years to complete?
What was the determining factor in finally getting it finished?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Author Bio…
Janet Chester Bly is a city girl with a country heart. She doesn’t corral horses or mow her own lawn. “I’m no womba woman,” she says. But she followed her husband award-winning western author Stephen Bly to the Idaho mountain top village of Winchester to write books and minister to a small church. When she lost him, she stayed. She manages the online Bly Books bookstore, rakes lots of Ponderosa pine needles and cones, and survives the long winter snows one blizzard at a time.

Janet Chester Bly has authored and co-authored with Stephen 32 contemporary and historical fiction and inspirational and family-themed nonfiction books. He also published 100 books of his own. She and her three sons—Russell, Michael and Aaron--completed her late husband’s last novel, Stuart Brannon’s Final Shot. The story of that family project can be find on her website blog under the series topic “Finishing Dad’s Novel”: http://www.BlyBooks.com/blog/.

Wind in the Wires is Janet’s first solo adult novel, a contemporary western mystery, a road adventure with a touch of romance. It’s Cowgirl Lit. Reader's Guide for Group Discussion included. 

Giveaway:
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Giveaway is open to US & Canada residents.

For further information on where to buy Wind in the Wires or any other books by Janet Chester Bly, please check out the links below.

Wind in the Wires, Book 1, A Trails of Reba Cahill Novel 
Contemporary Western Mystery.
A road adventure with a touch of romance.
It's Cowgirl Lit.
Paperback & eBook: http://amzn.to/1tnpHpr
Blog Tour & Giveaways Info: http://www.blybooks.com/2014/11/new-novel-release-2014/

4 comments:

Sheila Deeth said...

I started my "project" as a teen then quit, studied math, had kids, had jobs... then I restarted a few years ago and still dream of finishing one day.

Kate said...

Shelia, You have a very similar story to mine! :-) That's awesome you got it started.

The Bateman Farm said...

I love all Stephen Bly books…and Janet Bly has always been an inspiration to me. I really miss our yahoo group page. Even if I don't win, I want to buy this book!!

Kate said...

TBF, I miss the Yahoo group too. It was a wonderful group to be apart of. This books sounds great! It's one I'm anxious to read. :-)