Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Virtual Tour + #Giveaway: Unringing the Bell by Judy Higgins @JudyHBooks @GoddessFish

Unringing the Bell
by Judy Higgins
GENRE: Mystery


In the small town of Goose Bend, Pennsylvania, people don't forget. Especially something as sensational as 12-year-old Jacob Gillis burning down the town. Nineteen years later, Jacob returns, hoping for redemption. Instead, he finds himself entangled in a murder investigation. The prosecutor, taking advantage of Jacob's involvement with the victim's beautiful sister-in-law, threatens Jacob with loss of career and reputation if he doesn't play by his rules. Only by outwitting the prosecutor can Jacob save his future.


When Jacob Gillis was twelve years old, he burned down the town of Goose Bend, Pennsylvania. The fire didn’t actually consume the entire town – only two blocks of the four-block business section went up in flames – but when the folks in Goose Bend spoke of the incident, they persisted in saying that Jacob Gillis, abetted by his friend Charlie Garrett, burned down the town.

Jacob watched Laskey walk back to the Sequoia, his limp barely detectable, and for the thousandth time he wondered why his friend kept what had happened to his foot a secret. But there were some places Laskey didn’t go – formidable Laskey with his gruff manner and hard-muscled body. He was a private person and sometimes a grizzly bear, but he had a goose-down heart which he tried like heck to hide. But Jacob knew.

Laskey grasped the arms of his chair and pushed his feet hard against the floor to contain himself. For a brief moment, the thought had rushed through his head that a jail term for assaulting a DA would be worth enduring for the pleasure of smashing Inglehook’s head against his desk.

Laskey squared his shoulders, turned around, and looked Jacob in the eyes. “Don’t get yourself in a mess, Jake. Extrication isn’t always possible.” He started for the door.
“Give back the painting,” he called over his shoulder. “And Jake,” he paused and twisted around. “Don’t ever mistake pretty wrappings for the quality of the gift inside.”

Interview with Judy Higgins

Any weird things you do when you’re alone?

I play solitaire. It relieves me from having to think. My grandfather played Solitaire every day of his life, I believe. I didn’t understand the attraction until I finally figured out that it’s a way of giving your mind a rest. Sometimes, I listen to music while I play – mostly Mozart and Chopin.

What is your favorite quote and why?

Writing quote.
Before I tried it, I thought writing was easy. It had to be. I wrote such marvelous things in my head after all! Didn’t writers just sharpen their quills or turn on the computer and have a string of well put-together words come out along with a viable plot and scintillating characters?  Then I tried writing and learned the truth.

My second favorite quote: “If it were easy, then everybody would do it.” This one goads me to keep working.

Who is your favorite author and why?

Jane Austen. I love her wit, her repartee, her ability to construct a fabulous sentence. I love her characters and her plots. I love being in a world where I can escape “fake news” and twitter wars. And I love it that the girl always gets the man.

I haven’t read Thomas Hardy for many years, but he was definitely one of my favorites. More recently, I like Amor Towles and xxxxxxxxx.

What, in your opinion, are the most important elements of good writing?

A flawless plot intertwined with great character development.
An ability to make the reader empathize with the protagonist.
A unique voice.

Where did you get the idea for this book?

One morning, many years ago when I still lived in Bucks County PA, I lifted my head from the pillow and there was the idea sitting in my brain, waiting to be dealt with. I tried to deal with it, but it didn’t work. I set it aside and then tried again later. It still didn’t work. I moved to the Middle East (Qatar) and forgot about it for eight years – well, I didn’t exactly forget about it, but I just shoved it aside and began a new project. When I left Qatar and moved to Kentucky, I finished writing The Lady which was the new project I had begun working on. I entered The Lady in the 2012 Amazon Break-out Novel Contest. When it was named a finalist, I was thrilled and encouraged to continue writing. I dusted off the manuscript for this book which I had begun so many years ago, reworked it, added some elements and finally . . . . It worked! I got the name, Unringing the Bell from an attorney who had graciously offered to spend a couple mornings with me, answering my questions about legal issues in the book. The second morning he said something about a bell once rung, can’t be unrung. As soon as it was out of his mouth, I knew that was my title. In the book, Jacob Gillis, as a twelve-year-old, accidentally caused a catastrophe in the small Pennsylvania town he lives in. When he returns nineteen years later, his greatest wish is to redeem himself. Instead, he finds himself entangled in a murder investigation and the outcome of his meddling might mean that he will both lose his reputation forever as well as his career as a promising attorney.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Judy Higgins was born in South Georgia where she grew up playing baseball, reading, and taking piano lessons. To pay for her lessons, she raised chickens and sold eggs to neighbors. She attended Mercer University for two years, and then Baylor University from which she graduated with a BA in German. She received her MA in German literature from The University of Michigan. After teaching German for several years, Judy decided to become a librarian and earned an MA in Library Science at Kutztown University in Pennsylvania.
Judy’s life took an exciting turn when she left her teaching job in Pennsylvania to be Head of Library at the Learning Center School of Qatar Foundation. She lived in Qatar for eight years, enjoying the experience of living in a different culture and traveling to exotic places during every vacation. Recently, she returned to the United States and lives in Lexington, KY. Judy has two children, Julia and Stephen, two children-in-law, Jim and Erin, and four grandchildren: Kyle, Jon, Karina, and Addy.

Judy’s first book, The Lady, was a finalist in the 2012 Amazon Break-out Novel Award. The first two novels of her Bucks County Mysteries, Unringing the Bell and Bride of the Wind are available March 1, 2018. The series is set in an imaginary small town in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. Call me Mara, the story of Ruth and Naomi, is scheduled for publication in March, 2019.

In addition to writing, Judy’s passions include travel, tennis, elephants, and playing the piano.

Buy Links:


$50 Amazon or B/N GC

Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning.


Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thanks for hosting!

Unknown said...

I enjoyed getting to know your book; congrats on the tour, I hope it is a fun one for you, and thanks for the chance to win :)

Gwendolyn Jordan said...

Nice cover

Victoria Alexander said...

Really great post, I enjoyed reading it!

Mary Preston said...

Such a great story line.

James Robert said...

Congrats on the tour and I appreciate the excerpt and the great giveaway as well. Love the tours, I get to find books and share with my sisters the ones I know they would enjoy reading and they both love to read. Thank you!

Jodi Hunter said...

Sounds So Good, Did You Ever Get Stuck While Writing It?

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