Joseph Clay – Author

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What Happened – Writing is the Easy Part – So I Thought (WU #14-17)

UnGlued

What’s up friends? I have a couple of reasons for asking. The first, I want to know and the second, I have no idea what is up with me. So I’m hoping someone knows what is going on. I feel like I’m running in a hundred different directions and not getting nothing done at all. Most of the time my writing keeps me half way sane, but lately it’s driving me crazy, as the characters are taking over and taunting me.

I’ll start with the writing updates. Below is the progress made since the last blog was posted on 5-4-2017 titled “Want to be a Published Author! (WU #13-17). Reading it may shed some light on the updates and blog below.

Working Projects

Witch’s Dilemma Video Trailer: At last post I had no idea the status of this project. I’m happy to report it has been completed with the exception of the credits at the end. The video is awesome, Jayce Boynton owner of Capture Scratch Productions, LLC., did an excellent job. Since the restructuring and forming of ThunderHorse Publishing, the logo for the company will need to be added to the credits also. The Logo should be completed within two weeks. However the video will be held from public view till Witch’s Dilemma has been pulled from the retail market and republished under ThunderHorse Publishing.

Writing Projects

[No book will be released until after the Publishing company is up and running. My goal is to have all the projects ready for publishing when that happens. I uses a 7 stage system in my writing process letting me know at what stage each writing project is at.  Her is the numbering system explanations; 1-Write * 2 – Manuscript Review * 3 – Rewrite * 4 – Edit * 5 – Proofread * 6 – Book Cover Art /Illustrations/Format/Book Trailer Video * 7 – Publish. I have listed the projects below in order of expected release.]

Thunder Bear: (Stages/Completion Percentage – 1/100%, 2/100%, 6/25%, Book Cover Art is complet.) Clare at Human Voices and I are wrapping up the discussions on the changes that need to be made to the manuscript, this includes story line adjustments and formatting.

The Bet: (Stages/Completion Percentage – 1/75%). This will be a love story with an erotic twist that came out of no where after arguing with my characters. I’ll explain how it fell into place in the blog below.

The Erotic Tales of Joe: (Stages/Completion Percentage – 1/25%). This book of erotic short stories has been through same changes since the last blog. The word count of 76,770 has declined to 64,023 and the total of stories went from 7 to 6 but two poems were added. The reason for this will be covered in the blog below also. At this time the book contains these completed tales and poems. “To a Princes” (Poem) * “Masterful Tongue” (Poem) * “Across the Hall – One Door Down” * “Paula’s Second Chance” * “Professor Rothschild – Cougar 101” * “What Damn Day is it Anyway” * “I Love Them Both” * “Making a Last Ditch Effort”. I would like to have twenty stories in this book putting the word count somewhere around 150,000 and 200,000 words. I have seven more stories outlined, so will need to come up with another five or six tales and/or poems.

The Tales of Joe: (Stages/Completion Percentage – 1/20%). This book hasn’t got much attention. At this time the book contains six stories which are titled. “Bloody Waters of Wahoo Creek” * “Death of a Soul – Birth of a Killer” * “To Die in Peace is to Rest in Peace” * “Night of Dreams” * “The Birds of Peace” * “Cursed; To Be or Not to Be”. Like above I would like to have twenty stories in this book putting the word count somewhere around 150,000 and 200,000 words. I have two outlined, which means I need around twelve more.

Demons of the Jungle: (Stages/Completion Percentage – 1/100%, 2/100%). If that title looks familiar it should, it’s my first published novel. Demons of the Jungle will lead us straight into the blog.

Blog #14-17 Pic1

Writing is not easy, buy a long shot. But I feel compared to all the other hats an independent author wears it is the easiest part. But sometimes due to the authors ego and stubbornness it becomes difficult which leads to everything getting crazy.

[For more on what an independent author does read my post “A Glimpse into the Glamorous Life of an Independent Author”.]

Demons of the Jungle is my baby, as it’s my first published worked and is in eBook and Paperback format. There has already been one major revision to the book as I felt it was not my best work. Read “When is a second edition needed?” That blog will explain my line of thinking on that re-write. The second edition was an improvement over the first from book cover art to story. However people either like it or hate it, and the written reviews are harsh to say the least. The first and second editions were done by different editors. The editor I use now, Clare at Human Voices, who is not one of the two mentioned above, is top notch and the best in the business. As I have said a thousand times I trust her completely with my writing career. I had her do a manuscript review on the second edition. We will get into what she found in the next blog as we cover the rewrite in depth. Maybe the old saying, the third time is a charm will hold true here.

How The Bet came to life. I love Edgar Allan Poe and remember in his The Complete Tales and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe, the tale titled “The Murders in the Rue Morgue”, had a sequel to it titled “The Mystery of Marie Roget.” From the manuscript West on the East – Noon Judgment I had to cut a whole chapter due to content and I needed to also get rid of some characters. That chapter dealt with two lead female characters that played off each other and intertwined through the chapter. The chapter was too long to be a short story. Then my brain kicked in and I snapped my fingers as I thought, That’s it, I’ll break it up into two different stories, similar to what Poe did. As I was celebrating my genius of an idea, my gut was telling me, nope that will never work. “Learning to Please – Christina’s Story”, would be the first story with “The Secrets of Delilah” being the sequel. I finished “Learning to Please – Christina’s Story” and placed it into The Erotic Tales of Joe short story collection and began working on “The Secrets of Delilah”. The stories were tying in great and I was laughing at my characters as they were telling me I was no Poe and what I was doing wasn’t going to work as they needed to stay together. Laughing at them was a mistake. Once I got to the end of “The Secrets of Delilah” the struggle became real. Although the stories had meshed and “The Secrets of Delilah” was a sequel of “Learning to Please – Christina’s Story” the ending didn’t feel right or end the way I wanted it to. The characters started taunting me each day, to put it all back together and make it a novel. This battle went on for weeks until I gave in and reevaluated the situation as I realized they were right and one of the story’s endings had to change to make it work. I walked away leaving it to simmer for a couple of more days before returning to it. The characters had calmed down by then, but were ready to do battle again if I didn’t see the light. I was shaking my head in less than a minute. There, right in front of me, was a chapter that had all the components of a great erotic love story. All it needed was a few tweaks and the word count would come out around 75,000 words with the ending the way I wanted. “Learning to Please – Christina’s Story” was removed from The Erotic Tales of Joe leaving the book short a story and about 12,000 words. The writing process started over with the chapter intact bringing to life the love story titled The Bet.

[Note: To find out what happened with my first ever manuscript West on the East – Noon Judgment; read my blogged titled “Numbers to Words: My Journey from Engineering to Writing.]

Till next week,

-JC-

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Want to be a Published Author! (WU #13-17)

Hello my faithful readers. Time for a weekly writing update and blog. A lot of you are wondering, and I don’t blame you, why I haven’t been posting weekly updates? The last post was on March, 31, 2017 over a month ago. I normally don’t tie my writing blog with my personal one but since I also vanished from social media all together I wrote a blog explaining me and S.A.D titled Has S.A.D. Driven Joe to the Fiery Pit?

Now on to the writing the updates. Even though I suffer from S.A.D. I do get a lot of writing done in the winter months as I don’t venture out unless absolutely necessary.

  • Witch’s Dilemma Video Trailer: I have no idea of the status of this project. It is on my list of things to find out by the next post.
  • Thunder Bear: As of the last post Thunder Bear was headed to the editors for a manuscript review. Well as of this writing the review has been completed and returned. Clare at Human Voices  and I are in discussion of that review ironing out the story.
  • The Tales of Joe: One new story in the writing stage. Revenge or Justice is a dark and twisted tale. Status not changed Stage 1. This book has been placed on hold.
  • The Erotic Tales of Joe: This is where most of the writing time has been spent. Across the Hall – One Door Down which was in stage 2 of 3 as of last post is completeOther short stories that have been completed since the last posting. Paula’s Second Chance, Professor Rothschild – Cougar 101, and What Damn Day is it Anyway. The next three tales of heated passion come from the manuscript West on the East – Noon Judgment. (To read about that manuscript click here.) They include the following short stories.  Learning to Please – Christina’s Story is complete. Keeping the Unit Intact, I changed the name of this tale to I Love Them Both. The story has went from stage 1 to 2 and is near completion. Making a Last Ditch Effort is another tale that was written and completed since the last posting. The short story also comes from the manuscript West on the East – Noon Judgment. That gives me a total of 7 stories out of the twenty I would like to have. That will put the word count between 150,000 and 200,000 words.
  • One Date and Done. This erotic tale is on hold and will be a Novella or a Novel.

 

WU _13-17

Why am I putting One Date and Done on hold along with other projects such as the rewrite of my first book Demons of the Jungle and the Tales of Joe. All this and more is explained in my personal blog Has S.A.D. Driven Joe to the Fiery Pit?

The short version, all this is being done for legal and tax reasons. I will be pulling Demons of the Jungle and Witch’s Dilemma from Joe’s Book Store, Amazon, and Nook in the near future. They will be republished under the publishing company that is in the process of being formed named ThunderHorse Publishing. All my adventures such as the bookstore and others will be owned by one company and that company will be the publishing company.

ThunderHorse Publishing will not only be publishing my books, but other independent authors as well. ThunderHorse Publishing will offer a full range of services that will include; Formatting, Cover Design, and Illustrations. The publishing company will also offer Manuscript Reviews, Editing and Proofreading along with assistance in Marketing your book over Social Media and other marketing advice. These services can be purchased individually or in packages. At ThunderHorse Publishing we will assign your book an Unique ISBN number from Bowker allowing your work to be recognized around the world, something that the free ISBN numbers don’t do, if you choose that package.

[Writers Note: Tackling the subject of ISBN Numbers will be the first blog written by ThunderHorse Publishing. ]

With all that said ThunderHorse Publishing will be looking for new independent writers in the near future. If you think writing is for you ThunderHorse Publishing could be your guide. I will post all the updates from the publishing company here until the website and blog or functional. All of the companines post will be on my Facebook Author Page and Twitter Feed. Pass this along with anyone that may want to fulfill their dream of becoming a published author.

Till next week,

-JC-

 

Nope that’s not Flash Fiction! (WWU #12-17)

I got up this morning and “BOOM” it was Friday. Then it hit me like a sledge-hammer, Joe you going to post a blog this week?  That sledge-hammer has a name, Tiffany Miller, who owns The Marketing Mill and handles my marketing, and trust me I ain’t easy to market. Any who it was her text message that brought the hammer down. So before I get another knot on my head I present to you for your reading pleasure Joes Weekly Writing Update along with some writing tips that answer questions like how many words are in a novel, flash fiction or a short story. Maybe you have a desire to write a novella or maybe a novelette. I have included all the word counts and a brief description of each in this weeks blog.

Weekly Writing Update

  • Thunder Bear Cover Voting: Voting concluded March 26, 2017 and the votes have been counted. The winner is TB-5 with 94 votes, taking Silver was TB-3 with 89 votes and taking Bronze TB-1 with 77 votes. To see all the covers click  here.
tb-5

Copyright ©2017 Rick Chappell ©2017 Joseph Clay

  • Witch’s Dilemma Video Trailer: Due to no fault of Jayce Boynton owner of Capture Scratch Productions, LLC.. the video has ben pushed back at least a couple of weeks. Yep I know you are putting the puzzle together and thinking. If  it ain’t Jayce’s fault it must be Joes. Correct you are my friend and you have earned the title of Watson!
  • Thunder Bear the Novel: The manuscript has been completed. Total word count 91,109. Thunder Bear has a scheduled appointment with Clare at Human Voices  on Monday April the third and will arrive on time.
  • The Tales of Joe: One new story in the writing stage. Revenge or Justice is a dark and twisted tale.
  • The Erotic Tales of Joe: 4 – 1 = 3 are in the writing stages. Across the Hall – One Door Down is near completion, stage 2 of 3 and is a new story. The next three tales of heated passion come from the manuscript West on the East – Noon Judgment. To read about that manuscript click here. They include the following short stories.  Learning to Please – Christina’s Story, Keeping the Unit Intact, and One Date and Done. All the stories that were pulled from West on the East – Noon Judgment are in Stage 1 of 3 of the writing progress with the exception of One Date and Done, which is in stage two.
  • New Project – One Date and Done. This erotic tale is the minus one from above. I was going to included it in The Erotic Tales of Joe. However when it got into stage two of the rewrite the word count quickly escalated. I was well above the short story word count and was pushing the word count for a Novella. After reviewing  it I decided to pull it from the short story collection and make it a single book.  For more on word count and book categories read the blog below.

WWU _18

As you write you shouldn’t worry about word count. However once the manuscript is complete you need to know what type of book you have written. The type of book will  play into your marketing strategy, how you price it, and who to market it to. For example, The Erotic Tales of Joe is a short story compilation. According to definition a short story has a word count  between 3,500 and 7,500 words.  One Date and Done is pushing 30,000 words, which is a novella and to long for a short story. Why does that matter. The reader is expecting something they can read in one sitting, only a few characters, and one single episode. Below you will find a general break down of word count and a definition of each type of book or tale. Now these numbers are not in stone and each genre within each category has its on rules.

  • Flash Fiction (53 – 1,000 Words). Flash fiction also known as short, short stories, micro fiction or postcard fiction. These stories are extremely short and normally deal with a single event.
  • Short Story (3,500 – 7,500 Words). A short story is basically fictional prose, written in a narrative style. However, the narrative style may either be first person or third, or whichever the author chooses. The short story is one of the most common forms of writing and does not usually involve major twists and conflicts, and involvement of various sub-plots and multiple characters is not common. Traditionally, short stories were meant to be read in a single sitting. They are usually published individually in magazines and then collected and published in a collection.

The words “novel,” “novelette,” and “novella” come from the Italian word “novella,” feminine of “novello,” which means “new.”

  • Novelette (7,500 – 17,000 Words). A novelette is also a narrative fictional prose. Back in the day, the term “novelette” referred to a story that was romantic or sentimental in character.

[Writers note: Novelette’s are a thing of the past and the term is hardly used. This is where you can fudge on your numbers and expand the Short Story and Novella count.  The Novelette word count consist of 9,500 words. (17,000 – 7,500). If we divide 9,500 by two we get 4,750. We add 4,750 to the end count of our Short Story which was 7,500 and we come up with a new ending total of 12,250. As you will see the beginning count for a Novella is 17,000. From that we subtract the 4,750 and we get, 12,500.]

  • Novella (17,000 – 40,000 Words). Novellas have been called a long short story or a short novel. It can involve multiple sub-plots, twists, and characters. Its length constraints mean you’ll find fewer conflicts in a novella than you will in a novel, but there will also be more nuance and complication not found in a short story. Novellas are more often focused on one character’s personal and emotional development rather than with large-scale issues. Unlike novels, novellas are usually not divided into chapters, and like short stories, they are often meant to be read in one sitting. They are considered to be an awkward length and it may be more difficult to get a novella published. The internet is turning that around as an eBook really doesn’t take length in to consideration where traditional publishing (paper and hardback) do and use length to determine if it is feasible (price wise) to print. Most erotic tales are nothing more than Novellas.
  • Novel (40,000 – Plus Words). The novel is one of the more common works of fiction. A novel often involves multiple major characters, sub-plots, conflicts, points of view, and twists. Due to its considerable length, a novel is meant to be read over a period of days.

[Writers note: Here is where things get messy. The word count of a novel is really questionable. The only main rule that seems to be firm is the minimum word count needs to be greater than 40,000 words. This is also where the different genres came in to play. Some editors often consider a novel has a word count between 80,000 – 120,000. Romance novels, however, can be shorter than that and fantasy, horror, and science fiction usually see works of greater lengths.]

Remember there is a story in everyone’s soul begging to came out. What is your story and who better to tell it than you.

Till next week keep reading, writing and smiling,

J.C.

 

A Glimpse into the Glamorous Life of an Independent Author – Weekly Writing Update #3-17

blog-lofe-of-autthor

Like last week, this week’s update is going to be a little different. I’m going to focus more on the life of an independent author than my writing updates.

(Don’t worry, I’m still going to update you on the writing, so let’s get that out of the way first. Writing and interview status is the same as last week: more words written but nothing complete, nothing at the editor’s, and no new projects started.)

Now, on to the subject of this blog: the life of an independent author. On average, an independent author makes less than $10,000 a year. For that ten thousand, we get rejected and reviewed, not like a normal job where reviews may be quarterly, twice a year or annually from one or two bosses, but by several different people daily, and it’s posted for every Tom, Dick, Jane, Sally, and Spot to see.

[Side note: Some of the reviews are harsh and come out of nowhere. It seems the computer generation of ‘I’m braver on the computer than to your face’ will use reviews to vent their frustrations and shortcomings. The sad part is that if you reply to them, they never return your reply and/or have their friends who haven’t read the book post negative comments, only proving my point that they don’t want to go toe to toe alone. Now don’t get me wrong, I love constructive criticism about my writing, character development, plot, and structure. Hell, I don’t even mind a one-star review that says, ‘Didn’t like the book’. Those aren’t the reviews I’m talking about. No, the reviews I mean use clichés (which, by the way, as an author you should avoid) like, ‘Was forced to read this garbage’, ‘My two year old can write better than this’, and ‘Who in the hell do you think you are? A writer?’ This alone is sad, as independent authors live and die by reviews. Many authors give their work away in hopes of reviews. For every ten books that reach the hands of readers for free, the author may get one reviewnow that’s showing real appreciation for something the reader asks for and receives for free, and for your hard work.]

Ok, back to the blog. For $10,000 or less a year, independent authors wear many hats:

  • Creative writer
  • Editor/proofreader
  • Cover art designer
  • Illustrator
  • Formatter (for ePub and traditional publishing)
  • Website designer
  • Marketing and promotions manager

(There’s more, but I’m trying to keep this blog short!)

Most independent authors, on top of doing all the above, work another job, as ten grand won’t put a lot of food on the table, or keep the lights on and the car insured (if you can even afford to have one). Which brings us to the hours worked. A dedicated writer will be up to write two hours earlier than they need to be, before their other job begins, or they might wait until they get home from their day job, help with the chores and spend some time with the family, before retiring to some dark corner to write for a couple of hours before bedtime. Then, just like shampoo, rinse and repeat, day after day.

I consider myself one of the lucky ones. I don’t have another job so writing is all I do, and I have a team around me that helps with some of the jobs listed above, so I do get to spend a lot of my time just writing. (Check out my team at Joseph’s All-Star Book Team.) But my hours are just as strange and long. I have an office in my home on the ground floor, by the back door, which means I have an open door policy: open the door to let the dogs out, open the door to let the dogs in, open the door to see who is knocking, open the door… well, you get the idea. My editor, Clare, owner of Human Voices Editorial Services, lives in Bristol, England, six hours ahead of me here in Nashville, so she starts work at 3am my time. I do get 6 hours of sleep, in two 3-hour shifts. Most of my writing is done after midnight. Discussions with Clare are between 3am and 6am. Then to bed by 7am, and up by 10am to handle whatever needs to be done, from personal chores to author business. Nap time is between 3pm and 7pm. That schedule varies depending on the drama that is going on around me. Now you know why, if you have ever talked to me, I have no idea what day of the week it is, or the date.

So you are probably asking yourself why independent authors continue writing if the pay is so bad, the hours are strange and long, and we don’t get a lot of recognition. That one is easy: we love what we do. If the truth be told, we write more for ourselves than we do for the reader. Don’t get me wrong, we like people to read and enjoy our tales. When we meet people at book signings and they purchase our works, we get ecstatic. Then we become honored when they like our Facebook pages. We are floored when we become friends with that reader on Facebook, and understand it’s a privilege to be accepted as a friend. That is a real fan, and most of all a real friend. We are thrilled when someone acknowledges our work with a rating and/or a review. A five-star rating to me means that the reader enjoyed it; one star means the reader appreciated the effort but just didn’t like the work. But it all boils down to this: we like living in our own little world that we have created, and we hope you enjoy visiting our world through the tales we write. We wouldn’t have it any other way.

Till next week, keep reading.

Yours truly,

Joseph Clay

 

Blog edited by Clare Diston @ Human Voices.

Witch’s Dilemma: The Bell Witch Haunting

I decided way back in 2007 that if I ever wrote a book, which at that time I had no plans to do, I would tie it into the Bell Witch Haunting. Well, writing became my job several years later (to see how that happened, read ‘Numbers to Words: My Journey from Engineering to Writing’) and I had my chance to put this documented paranormal/supernatural encounter from Adams, Tennessee into a book.

Once the research began I was hooked and fascinated by the story. Several books have been written on the subject, so I came up with a different angle – what if the Bell Witch’s direct ascendants were alive today and still witches? As we get further into this blog, pay close attention to the names and you will see the bloodline for some of the characters in Witch’s Dilemma, which started to form when the feud began centuries ago. I’ll start at the beginning.

I moved to Tennessee from Georgia in 2000. However, it was not until 2007 that I learned about the Bell Witch. My youngest son had heard about it at school – yes, they teach about this haunting in school – in either his first year of middle school or his last of elementary. Anyhow, he wanted to know if we could go to where the haunting took place in Adams, Tennessee, located in Robertson County, which is a little northwest of Nashville in Davidson County. The drive up would take no more than an hour as it was only roughly 45 miles from Nashville but was located off the main thoroughfare. We decided to head up that weekend, if it was pretty; it was, and we did. This is where the research began.

adams-city-limits-sign

This is the sign that greeted us as we arrived in Adams, Tennessee. We knew we were in the right place, and began looking over our shoulders, just in case we were on the Bell Witch’s radar.

hisoric-marker

The next thing that caught our attention was a historical marker that gave some detail about the Bell Witch, and talked about Andrew Jackson – the same Andrew Jackson who was a general and a president, and who I hold partially responsible for the Trail of Tears and the deaths of thousands of American Indians. (That’s right, folks – we were not here first, they were, and this was all theirs until we showed up.)

This marker sits by the road, in front of a rustic type of general store. They sell Bell Witch souvenirs along with other items: Cokes (for those up north, I mean pop or sodas of all kinds), snacks, and a variety of other things. We had enough provisions to last us for a while, so we headed out in search of the Bell Witch. We drove a piece and ran across the Bell family cemetery. I figured if you were going ghost hunting, this was the place to start.

grave-yard

We found no ghosts there, so we loaded back up and headed to the Bell Witch cave and property.

entrance-to-bell-property

Once there, I came to the conclusion that, whether this haunting was real or not, it was certainly a moneymaker. For a fee you can get tours of the cave and the house, either by candlelight at night or, if you are a little chicken (you know what), by day.

cave-entrance

This is the entrance to the Bell Witch cave. They have seasonal hours and restrictions, so check on the link I have posted below for that information.

red-river

If you love to canoe or kayak, this is the place to do it; the Red River is right there and the scenery is beautiful.

port-royal-state-park

It’s time to wrap up the tour guide section of this post with these final thoughts. Whether you believe in ghosts or not, you really should think about taking a trip to Adams. There is more to see than just the cave, house, and cemetery. There is the Red River, as mentioned above, and one of the best state parks I have been to. It’s not huge by any means, but it is quiet and peaceful. The park also contains part of the original Trail of Tears, which has been maintained. They have a nice picnic area, hiking trails, and you can fish the Red River, and most of all experience the silence – sometimes an eerie silence. Adams also holds plays and other events, especially in October. My recommendation, since I’m a biker, is to roll the throttle open and head that way then, when the leaves are turning, the air is crisp, and the ghosts are about.

The Legend of the Bell Witch: Summarized

  •  John Bell, a farmer from North Carolina, settled with his wife and children in northern Robertson County, Tennessee in 1804. Their farm consisted of 320 acres of rich farmland that lay along the Red River. They lived a quiet, peaceful life here for the first 13 years. The family grew and became somewhat prosperous.
  • In the late summer of 1817, some members of the family began seeing strange-looking animals around the property. Then late at night they started hearing knocking sounds on the doors and outer walls of the house. Later, sounds were heard in the house – sounds of a rat gnawing on the bedpost, chains being dragged through the house, stones being dropped on the wooden floors, and then gulping and choking sounds.
  • It was not long before people were coming from miles around to hear and witness this unseen force that was terrorizing the Bell home. Before long it had gained enough strength that it had a voice. When asked who and what it was, it gave different identities. It once stated that it was the witch of a neighbor woman named Kate Batts. This is what many people believed, and from then on this unseen force was called “Kate”, the “Bell’s Witch”.
  • It seemed that Kate had two main purposes in visiting the Bell home. The main one was to kill John Bell. For what reason, no one knows, because Kate never gave one. The second purpose was to stop John’s youngest daughter, Betsy, from marrying a certain neighbor boy named Joshua Gardner.
  • Over the next three years, Kate tormented members of the Bell family almost daily. John and his daughter Betsy were the ones who received the worst of the physical abuse. Betsy had her hair pulled; she was pinched, scratched, stuck with pins, and even beaten. John Bell began suffering from spells of swelling of the throat and often had the feeling that a stick was being stuck sideways into his throat. Then came the twitching and jerking of the facial muscles. Kate would blast him with curses and hideous threats during these spells. As time went on John Bell became weaker and weaker.
  • Kate Batts finally accomplished her mission for coming to the Bell farm. On December 20, 1820, John Bell died. It was believed that he was poisoned by Kate, and Kate took full credit for his death. Then in March of 1821, young Betsy broke off her engagement with Joshua Gardner.
  • The original John Bell family graveyard is on private property and is off-limits to the public. It is not being taken care of and has been vandalized. One story has it that John Bell’s original tombstone was stolen; three days later the boy who stole it died.

There we go. Some of the characters in Witch’s Dilemma are direct descendants of the people listed above. Who are they? And are the ones who are kin to the Bell Witch (Kate Batts) just as spiteful as she was? Do the two families know one another, and if so, do they know they are kin to these people from Adams, Tennessee? The main question is: is the feud still going on between the Batts and the Bells?

Next week will be the last blog of the series. As we can see, strange things happen when there is a witch around, so next week we will get into what paranormal/supernatural events take place in Witch’s Dilemma.

For more information on the Bell Witch and things to do in Adams, Tennessee, follow the links below:

http://www.adamstennessee.org/

http://bellwitchcave.com/ghost_hauntings/bell_witch_tours.htm

http://www.canoetheredriver.com/

http://tnstateparks.com/parks/about/port-royal

bell-falls

 Bell Witch Cave Falls -1909

bell-cabin

John Bell Cabin – 1909

betsy-bell

Betsy Bell  Monument in Cemetery.

The other blogs in the Witch’s Dilemma series: Texas Witching HourBook Teaser/Cover ReleaseValerie and Associates Fort Worth Government LACN Investigations Rounding Out the Cast – Some Things Can’t be Explained.

Witch’s Dilemma and blog edited by Clare Diston @ Human Voices.

Witch’s Dilemma: Book Teaser/Cover Release

Before we get into the characters, I thought it would be nice to release the cover design and the book blurb, found on the back of the book or the inside jacket. This will help you put a face to one of the characters and give an idea of how they fit into the story.

WD Book Poster WS

 ©2016 Joseph Clay

Book Cover Design by: Rick Chappell ©2016 Rick Chappell

 “The devils you know are angels of mercy compared to the hell you are about to encounter.”

World-renowned paranormal psychiatrist and practicing witch Doctor Valerie Bell and her husband, computer genius and strip club-owner Adam Bell, have an unusual marriage, but when Adam goes missing and a mutilated body is found in his car, Valerie begins to fear for her safety. At first she uses her powers of witchcraft and her position as a profiler for the Fort Worth Police Department to help with the investigation, but when she receives a threatening ransom note from a madman she turns to a private investigator for help.

Levi West, mysterious, sharp-witted and sexy, has come to Texas to help two women, Debra and Patricia, who are in the care of the non-profit organization Basham House. The women have endured a terrible supernatural ordeal in the Congolese jungle, and Levi takes them to Valerie for psychiatric therapy. During their first appointment Valerie tells them about her husband’s disappearance and begs Levi for help. But with so many skeletons hiding in Valerie’s closet, how can he be sure that he can trust her?

With the clock ticking, Valerie faces a dangerous dilemma: come up with the ransom money or execute a risky plan to save her career and her reputation. Whatever she chooses, she must act quickly. Although she keeps the details of her past firmly locked away, unfolding events threaten to drop the key right into the hands of the wrong people, and Valerie only has one week in which to assemble an unstoppable team before somebody unlocks the door. Can she convince Levi to help her in time, or will her sordid past end up splashed across the six o’clock news?

As the investigation continues, connections are made between Adam’s disappearance and a series of brutal killings, the Salem Stake murders, which took place six years previously. The killer was never found, and the bodies of the thirteen victims were all discovered alone, in rooms locked from the inside. So when a message from the returned Salem Stake is found in Adam’s car, alongside the unidentifiable body, the police begin to wonder how he could be connected to the unsolved crimes.

Witch’s Dilemma is a novel filled with twists, turns and plenty of questions to keep you guessing. Will the mystery of Adam’s disappearance ever be solved? Who is behind the Salem Stake murders and is it too late to bring them to justice? And is there more to the police investigation than meets the eye? As loyalties change and sexual attractions burn sudden and fierce, every character learns the price that must be paid when confronting a life-changing dilemma.

Dive into Witch’s Dilemma for an explosive adventure packed with witchcraft, sex, betrayal and bloodthirsty vengeance.

Intrigued yet? Next week, since Monday is Labor Day and a lot of us will be on our last vacation of the summer, I will not make a post. The next post, which will dive into the characters, will be Monday September 12, 2016. Trust me, you don’t want to miss it.

The other blogs in the Witch’s Dilemma series: Texas Witching HourValerie and Associates Fort Worth Government – LACN Investigations – Rounding out the Cast – The Bell Witch Haunting – Some Things Can’t be Explained.

Book blurb written by Clare Diston @ Human Voices.

Witch’s Dilemma and blog edited by Clare Diston @ Human Voices.

A Deal Too Good To Be True

Debra Wright had been released from rehab once again after serving her time in the slammer. As the cold rain turned to sleet she stumbled off the concrete stoop and shifted her backpack, which contained everything she owned. The nightmares were still haunting her and she was tired of living on the streets, fighting for every scrap of food. Debra was determined to make it south so that she wouldn’t have to endure another Detroit winter…

 

Patricia Mitchell watched her graduation cap sail high into the air at her private Catholic school in Birmingham. She had accomplished what her parents wanted: Patricia was a true southern belle who had graduated at the top of her class. She had been waiting for this day for months, and tomorrow she would be on her way to the Gulf Coast with her friends to celebrate. For once she was going to experience real life and fun. But her dad had other plans, and they didn’t include her traipsing around on a beach half-naked with a bunch of drunk teenagers. That night Patricia took all she could and left via her bedroom window…

 

These two young women, total opposites, had the same goal: each wanted a different life. They met by chance and the bond between them was immediate. Together they set out on a journey that led from one adventure to another, but heartache, pain and trouble seemed to find them at every turn. In Texas Patricia and Debra shared the leading roles in an off-Broadway production. Their lives appeared to be on the right track until opening night, when all hell broke loose and murder put them on the run again. Patricia never mentioned it but she felt as if a mystical force was pulling them to a faraway destination which promised protection from the evils and troubles of the outside world. The organization STRFAA (Save The Rain Forest And Animals) offered them a deal that was too good to pass up and, they soon learned, too good to be true. They became prisoners in a jungle paradise, where The King of the Demons made his offer: drink the magic elixir or be subjected to torment and death, just like the ones who had refused to drink before them. Will Patricia’s vision of rescue come to pass? So far there is no sign of a knight in shining armor, and time is running out as one of the two holds the cup in her hands…

 

That’s a wrap readers! This was the last blog in the series Demons of the Jungle. The second edition is scheduled for release around the end of January/first of February. If you missed any of the posts all you need to do is click-n-go: “When is a second edition needed?”, “Birth of the Demons”, “Piecing it all together”, “Who is Debra Wright?”, “Who is Patricia Mitchell?”, “Who is Levi West?”, “The Demons”.

 

This may be the last blog, but it’s not the last of the posts. Next week is the unveiling of the new cover art by Rick Chappell – it uses the same concept as the original, with a few added touches. Make sure you don’t miss it.

 

Blog edited by Clare Diston @ Human Voices.

 

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