19
Feb
18

taken by surprise

1105171735-00

The weather took a surprising turn this weekend, here in Southern Ohio. Saturday started out misty, and I assumed we were in for another day of rain. My sister stopped by for a cup of coffee, and as we sat at my table, big, fat snowflakes began to fall. Within twenty minutes the ground was covered. It was absolutely lovely.

Within a couple of hours, many of the county roads were closed. It reminded me of the good, old-fashioned snowstorms I grew up with in Western New York, my family tucked inside our big, loud house, safe and warm.

I love the weather, don’t you? I love big, fluffy clouds and gentle spring mornings, crisp autumn walks and fat drops of rain that fall in the middle of a summer day.

I’m noticing lately how often the weather plays a part in my stories. After all, there’s no better way to squash someone’s plans than a winter squall, no more romantic a kiss than one given in the rain.

27629394_10215166432049964_7942891799540919614_o

In writing, snow can symbolize a fresh start or a cold heart. Rain can make a character feel pessimistic, or cleansed. People are baked as often as bathed in sunshine, and a thunderstorm can set the stage for something sinister, or something very sensitive.

Any way you look at it, weather changes things. And that’s a good thing. Because in life, as in fiction, there’s a lot to be said for being taken by surprise.

Resize_1023171136-01_01

 

Advertisements
07
Feb
18

Midwest Book Review Loves ‘Love’s Hidden Promise!’

Love’s Hidden Promise just received this wonderful review from Midwest Book Reviews. I couldn’t be more thrilled!

Love’s Hidden Promise is about endings and beginnings. Even more importantly, it’s about life’s challenges and who stays and who leaves. Themes of abandonment, pain, and friendship lead to greater stories of survival, commitment, and love. Fantasy elements and a subliminal Christian tone wind into the tale while the paranormal elements contain somewhat of a surprise as they enhance the underlying theme of the story.

The result is as much a story of evolution as it is a romance, offering a few surprises and much food for thought to delight readers who like their drama psychological and their insights connected to affairs of the heart and deeper concerns about adversity, choice, and life’s deeper meaning even in an isolated Garden of Eden carefully crafted by two hurting individuals. Genre readers who appreciate passion entwined with these wider-ranging philosophical and spiritual elements will love the winding story of Willow, Darby, Patrick, and life’s surprising opportunities for transformation.

MIDWEST BOOK REVIEW

D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer

 

Love’s Hidden Promise is available now at Amazon!

 

 

04
Feb
18

Putting the pieces together

0319171823-00 (1)

All my life, I’ve loved jigsaw puzzles. One of my favorite things to do on a winter evening is to pour a cup of coffee, put on some music, and open a brand new, unspoiled puzzle. In some ways, its a lot like starting a new writing project.
First I consider all my choices for story ideas, and when I find one I love, I sit down and begin.
My characters are always my framework, my “edge pieces.” I might spend weeks getting to know them, turning them over in my mind until I understand their shapes, sizes and complexities. When I have a pretty good idea of who they are, I start to build on their personalities and create their houses, their jobs, their cities or villages. And all the while, I’m thinking of the ways my people fit together.
Sometimes I get as far as ten chapters into a story and realize I left out a key piece of the puzzle back in chapter three. Sometimes I discover that whole blocks of texts are wrong, and the puzzle must be taken apart piece by piece and put back together so that everything fits properly.
The middle is always the hardest part. The part where all of the pieces start to look the same and nothing makes any sense. Then I have to go back and look at the big picture again. And again. And again.
The process of putting together a novel has taken me as short as eight months, to as long as three years. Like puzzles, each of them is different. I have scrapped entire novels because I just couldn’t put them together the way I wanted to, or I realized halfway through that it wasn’t a story I really wanted to tell.
Other times, I get lucky, and end up with something beautiful.

27
Jan
18

The Porch

One of my greatest pleasures, on a summer evening, is to sit on my front porch. Whether I’m reading a book, sharing a cup of coffee with a friend, or just watching the world go by, it doesn’t matter. Life is better with a porch!

When I started looking for a house to buy, almost four years ago, a front porch was at the top of my “must have’s” list. My 1920’s cottage was the second house I looked at, and you could say it was love at first sight. After seeing it, I didn’t feel the need to look any farther. One of the things that sold me on it was its wide, welcoming porch. That and the big, shady apple tree in the front yard — and I didn’t even know then how hot Southern Ohio summers would be!

So when thinking of home repairs for the protagonist in my current work-in-progress, like me, Frankie Bonetti started with her front porch. Like me, she had rotting posts to deal with.

 

11127699_10206357571993968_1599997935561509023_n

 

And like me, she was willing to pay whatever it cost to save it. Because in fiction, as in life, good things happen on the porch!

Frankie ended up replacing the rotting wooden posts with aluminum columns. She added window boxes and big leafy ferns, a couple of comfy chairs and some colorful cushions. In the end, she was quite pleased with how the space came together. And I must admit, I was too!

13179002_10209101120540967_4197217570300969972_n

21
Jan
18

Works in Progress

Looking back through the pages of my blog, I realize just how neglectful I have been about keeping it up. Some big life changes in the last three and a half years have rather knocked me for a loop and directed my attention elsewhere. They have caused me to stop and reevaluate myself and my writing.

Long story short, I’ve relocated from my lifelong home of Western New York to Southern Ohio — which is change enough in itself, but overall, a positive one.

The recent rerelease of my paranormal romance, Love’s Hidden Promise (formerly Waiting for the Rain) has got my wheels spinning on a new story idea.

Love's Promise 11

When I sat down to get started, I realized I didn’t have to look any farther than my own 1920’s fixer upper for a setting for my story.

 

My female protagonist’s house, with all of its charm and challenges, bears a striking resemblance to my own, with its cloudy windows, water stained ceilings, and hardwood floors hidden beneath old, frayed carpeting.

DSCN2156

DSCN2155

And what old house doesn’t need one of these?

DSCN2144

My story house, like my protagonist… like me, is a work in progress. But then, we’re all works in progress, aren’t we?

I’m five chapters in and I’m having a lot of fun! God willing, I can keep the momentum going and the words flowing and have something new to show you at this time next year.

–Jean

 

11
Jan
18

Love’s Hidden Promise — Coming February, 2018!

If you missed WAITING FOR THE RAIN the first time around — And even if you didn’t– Wait ’till you see it now! Same beautiful story. Awesome new publisher. Sleek new cover. Updated content. New title. And the best part is, it’s available NOW for pre-order for just .99!
Order your copy here:

29
Jan
13

Echoes

Jean's ECHOESJean's ECHOES

Echoes is a collection of short stories that celebrates love in all its forms and complexities. With a blend of warmth, humor and brutal honesty M. Jean Pike illustrates the love between a mother and daughter (Echoes) between a teenaged girl and her mentally retarded brother (Muddy Sneakers) and between a husband and a wife (The Box.) From the first stirrings of romance (Funnyman) to its last dying embers (All of August) and every challenge in between (Crossoads) this collection of love stories warms the heart and touches the soul.

AVAILABLE NOW AS AN AMAZON KINDLE BOOK FOR JUST $1.99
http://www.amazon.com/Echoes-Collection-Stories-ebook/dp/B00B1JUK9U/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1359423559&sr=1-1&keywords=echoes+m+jean+pike
——————————————————-




February 2018
M T W T F S S
« Jan    
 1234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
262728  
Advertisements