By the Fright of the Silvery Moon – Blanche Manos’ latest novel!

Blanche Manos, one of our favorite authors, gives us an insight into her latest mystery!

 

Everybody knows silvery moonlight is peaceful, serene, and lovely, but frightful? How could it be scary?

The answer to that question is found within the pages of the second cozy mystery in the Ned McNeil series, By the Fright of the Silvery Moon. First, there is the absolutely petrifying nightmare that wakes Ned in the wee, small hours of the morning, then, a dog or a wolf howls in her yard and almost scares her stiff; however, these are only the beginning of other strange and frightening events.

In the first Ned McNeil book, Moonlight Can Be Murder, Ned arrives in her hometown of Ednalee, Oklahoma after an absence of forty years to find her uncle dying. His death is a murder and is the start of a terror-filled month for Ned. Before the identity of the crazed killer is discovered, she nearly loses her own life.

By the Fright of the Silvery Moon takes place almost a year later. Although Ned loves the old Victorian house she inherited from her uncle, she is alone except for the company of a small, gray cat named Penny. She feels that loneliness keenly when more than one attempt is made on her life.

Bolstered by the love of Ednalee’s chief of police and encouraged by her two childhood friends, Ned sets about finding out why there is a sudden interest in her home and what secrets the old house holds within its walls. The life of a long-ago outlaw seems somehow mixed in with present-day danger. In solving the riddle of who is a murderer and why, Ned calls upon courage she didn’t know she had. The silver moonlight shining down on Ned’s house seems not serene, but terrifying, as she sets about bringing a murderer to justice.

 

 

Blanche also writes the Darcy and Flora series. More about all her books at: http://penl.com/Mystery.html,

http://www.blanchedaymanos.com/

https://www.amazon.com/Blanche-Day-Manos/e/B0090018EI/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

and https://www.facebook.com/blanchedaymanos.author

 

 

 

Where I’m at…

After being in Texas for a while, you begin to pick up some of the jargon. Obviously, I find myself saying ‘y’all’ instead of ‘all of you,’ as if three words were too difficult to say. And instead of saying, ‘where are you?’ for some reason, ‘Where’re you at?’ pops out of my mouth. I do realize that after returning to Canada, I have to let go of my Texas talk. Not that anyone would say anything; folks are much too polite but they might secretly roll their eyes. Canadians are proud of their British roots, which means finishing each word properly and not leaving anything off – like the ‘g’ in words that end with ‘ing.’ It also means speaking slowly and pronouncing each syllable. To Texans, this is a foreign language.

However, I digress. I really do want to tell you where I’m at.

Where I’m at with my writing, that is.

A couple of months ago, I was not pleased with how my writing was going. Basically,  that is because it was going nowhere. It wasn’t that I wanted or had the desire to become a well known author or even make tons of money. I wanted to enjoy what I was doing but I was not. That’s where I was at then.

I decided to change my whole outlook about writing. Writing should be fun. I did not want it to be stressful in any way. When I’m not writing, there is something missing in my life. It’s good for my brain. It forces me to widen my vocabulary. In other words, it’s healthy. Especially as we age.

I was never satisfied with two of my books and I always thought that if someone read one of those books first, they would never want to read another. It feels terrible not liking your own books. However, they were there for anyone to buy. Overnight, I made the decision to republish all my books. It was as if a weight lifted off my shoulders. When you decide to do this without any premeditation, it is like plunging into a pool of cold water!

While family members worked on covers, I edited one book at a time. After publishing my books the first time, I never picked one up to read. I was too afraid they might be as bad as some reviewers wrote. Well, guess what? I read, I edited, I did some rewriting, and in the end, I thoroughly enjoyed every book! Creating covers was a bit of a challenge but I have a very talented daughter, and together with her dad’s finishing touches, I was very pleased with the end result. They were ‘me.’

I now have all my books on Kindle for 99 cents and they will stay that price. These I write for friends and family and for anyone else who would enjoy reading them. Every few weeks, I will pick one book and do a free promotion. I feel happy doing this.

And, that is where I’m at.

The Review

This is one of an author’s favorite topics (or not). We wait and watch for them. At least, those of us who are still unsure of our writing capabilities do.  If we are favored with a five star, our feet don’t even touch the ground. We never doubted that our book was anything less than five. Without saying it aloud, we are reassured that we are writers.

“It deserves a rating of 5 stars. Could not put it down!”

 

On the other hand, there are those nightmarish one star reviews. Has this reader even read our fifty thousand-plus word novel that took us almost a year to write? A year of struggle and loneliness? Days spent bent over our computer trying hard to overcome a writer’s block?  What’s wrong with these people anyway? Even if my story wasn’t as great as John Grisham’s latest novel, it certainly doesn’t deserve one star!

AVOID THIS MESS!” (one star!)

That got me thinking – how did writers in the past feel about book reviews? Were they as emotionally affected by what other people said or wrote about their work? I discovered that we are pansies when it comes to expressing our thoughts and feelings about book reviews or the publishing industry as a whole for that matter.

In 1846, Sir Edgar Allen Poe said that book reviews were a sham and riddled with nepotism. In his own words, he wrote, “We place on paper without hesitation a tissue of flatteries, to which in society we could not give utterance, for our lives, without either blushing or laughing outright.” Now I really can’t say I understand exactly what Sir Edgar was trying to tell us because no one has been quite that flattering to me; I just know he didn’t think much of book reviews. Several years later, H.L. Mencken spoke of the “inconceivable complacency and conformity” of journalistic criticism.

In 1891, Henry James, complained that we publish too many reviews and none of value. (I like his way of thinking!) Reviewing, he said, was all chatter and lacked ‘concrete literary fact.’ In 1928, Edmund Wilson wrote, “It is astonishing to observe, in America, in spite of our floods of literary journalism, to what extent the literary atmosphere is a non-conductor of criticism.”

As the years go by, I seem to reflect on some of my reviews with much more tolerance and humor. For example, one reader felt that reading my book was as painful as sticking a needle in her eye! (Personally, I have never tried that but I imagine the reader has!) Actually, I have had a similar feeling about some books that I’ve read but would I write a review saying that? Never! I know how much work goes into writing and even if it isn’t ‘my kind’ of book, I give the writer credit for the many hours of hard work he or she put into it. No one spends that amount of time writing simply to irritate readers. Not that I would give five stars for a book that I absolutely disliked; however, there is always something positive to say about any book – even if it’s only to commend the writer for the character names!

So, when all is said and done, reviews are always someone else’s viewpoint and that’s all it is – their viewpoint. We always hope everyone will love our books but that isn’t reality – some will give us five stars and some (unfortunately) will give us the dreaded one star! Let’s humbly learn from both.

http://www.amazon.com/Sharon-Rose/e/B00BL8HTZY/ref=dp_byline_cont_pop_ebooks_1

 

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