Picking up the Pieces as won in its category of Suspense/Thriller in the Reward of Novel Excellence Awards. Winners will be announced and awarded at the gala event, 2012 RONE awards ceremony and celebration, August 9th at the Golden Nugget Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada - in conjunction with the RomanceNovelConvention (http://romancenovelconvention.com/ )
Picking up the Pieces, Wendy Dewar Hughes Genre: Suspense/Thriller
Jill Moss is surprised when she receives her Uncle Neil Bryant’s Bible and discovers that it has certain, odd passages marked. Then she learns that her uncle has discovered an artifact in Mexico that consists of sixteen separate pieces that have been sent to people he knows and trusts. He needs her to travel all over the world to collect all sixteen pieces. Jill prays about it and listens when God tells her to help her uncle out. Thus begins a high speed adventure as Jill meets Marco Jimenez, a handsome Spaniard who helps her out as she is chased and stalked while traveling to collect the pieces of the artifact. The pieces are written in three different and distinct languages: Olmec, Mayan and Hebrew. How is this possible when these three cultures did not exist together and what is the significance of it all?
The adventures Wendy Hughes puts her heroine through are both thrilling and exhilarating, as are her captivating descriptions of the terrain and beauty of the countries that are visited. It is amazing how beautifully she marries such diverse points of view, taking passages from the bible and scientific knowledge and creating a story that makes a believer out of the reader. The fast paced adventures and love interest keeps the reader eager and unable to put this story down!
Rose Mary Espinoza, InDTale Magazine
In February, the Greater Vancouver Chapter of the Romance Writers of America held a Valentine's Lunch in Steveston, B.C. It was a lovely time, the sun shone, awards were handed out for writing and publishing achievements and many door-prizes were given away.
I received two awards. One was for "Pitching and submitting to an agent in Emerald City (Writers' Conference) and entering two writing contests in 2012". The second was "in recognition of independently publishing two books, Picking up the Pieces and Turning on the Light - Finding Your Sweet Place in the Spirit."
I met new people who do not regularly attend the meetings and got to know others better over a delicious lunch. The whole affair was grace and elegance. Many, many thanks to the organizers.
Picking up the Pieces opens with a short prologue so well done that we are anchored in its stellar writing and professional style. Immediately, readers pass through a portal, created with written words, transported into the living world of the story. Feeling a part of Jill Moss, we long to discover “how, who, what, where, when and why” as we begin chapter one, bracing for an emotional ride filled with suspense.
Jill Moss loves and respects her eccentric Uncle Neil, an expert and fearless archaeologist. He has discovered ancient artifacts in Mexico. Recognizing the danger if the artifacts fall into the wrong hands, he hides away. He deflects attention and involves his beloved niece, Jill—protecting her by telling her nothing, but trusting her to do as he asks. She suspects he is once again in danger and believes she has no choice. Uprooting her life, she embarks on Uncle Neil’s quest, one clue at a time.
Readers walk in the foreign streets, sit in the cafés, sleep in the dwellings, sweat in the heat, smell the food, and drop exhausted with Jill, when she is overcome. Our hearts thump as we run with her to keep up. We can’t wait to get to the next page, but the words are so compelling, we cannot skip. Pulling for her, we try to solve the mystery and decide what she should do to stay safe.
We are comforted when Jill’s trust in God along with her spiritual connection, guides her, allowing narrow escapes in a few of the many precarious situations. Biblical quotes augment the story, giving clues, as the reader slowly grasps the reason behind the intense desire of others who hunt the artifacts—at any cost. The plot keeps the story flowing, but jars us with surprises. Do we believe this story could happen? Absolutely.
The main characters are well drawn and feel like family or people we know or have met. We don’t want to say goodbye when finished with the last page. In many scenes, we wonder whether the players are friend or foe. Even the sweet romantic element keeps us guessing until near the end.
This reviewer looks forward to being captivated again by this author and will watch for a sequel to Picking up the Pieces, or to the next entertaining page-turner by Wendy Dewar Hughes.
I have spent most of my adult life trying not to be a writer. It is not that I don't like to write. I do. In fact, I love writing. Nor is it a matter of finding writing difficult. I don't. In fact, I can think of numerous pursuits that are far more difficult (or grueling, or insufferable) than writing.
No, the main reason that I have never, until recently, pursued writing is because of bad PR. Pick up any publication on writing and you will find lots of moaning about how hard it is to do, how difficult it is to get your work published, or how you will never make any money. That last one can certainly be a major deterrent to choosing a writing life - if you believe it.
The problem is that if you only think one way, then these naysayers might be right. If you believe them, like I did, then you will give up before you even start. Consequently, you might never string a sentence together for years. After all, what's the use? Publishers are just waiting to reject your work (and ultimately, you); pompous editors hang about like fifth-grade English teachers, red pens in hand, waiting to get their inky hands on someone's work just so they can slash it to ribbons.
At least, that's the way it seems.
However, if you choose not to believe those negative reports, your life might turn out to be entirely different. You can write with enthusiasm, knowing that your book, if it is good, will find its audience. You may have to take a different path than the traditional one, or you may find that what you write is exactly what a publisher is looking for at the exact moment you type "The End". You can write for the love of writing, improve your craft and skills, produce highly readable novels on subjects that you know and love, and let the chips fall where they may.
What do you think?
Picking Up the Pieces by Wendy Dewar Hughes awarded an INDIE 1st Place Blue Ribbon – Inspirational Romantic/Suspense Category By chanti On January 13, 2013.
In News Chanticleer Book Reviews & Media is pleased to announce that Wendy Dewar Hughes has won 1st place in the INDIE Awards, Inspirational Romantic/Suspense Category (a division of Chanticleer Book Reviews Blue Ribbon Writing Contests).
Picking Up the Pieces by Wendy Dewar Hughes
[Editor's Note: This gripping novel is well-crafted, well-plotted and suspenseful. It is not your typical "inspirational" novel. Hughes successfully blurs genres with her well-honed storytelling abilities. ] Chanticleer Book Review Blue Ribbon Awards Writing Contests recognize outstanding books and manuscripts. We are honored to announce the INDIE Awards First Place Blue Ribbon winning novels and their authors. Each winning INDIE novel was judged for the following qualities:
Let's face it - English is a crazy language.
There is no egg in eggplant nor ham in hamburger; neither apple nor pine in pineapple.
English muffins weren't invented in England or French fries in France.
Sweetmeats are candies while sweetbreads, which aren't sweet, are meat.
We find that quicksand can work slowly, boxing rings are square and a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig.
And why is it that writers write but fingers don't fing, grocers don't groce and hammers don't ham?
If the plural of tooth is teeth, why isn't the plural of booth beeth?
One goose, 2 geese. So one moose, 2 meese? One index, 2 indices?
Doesn't it seem crazy that you can make amends but not one amend.
If you have a bunch of odds and ends and get rid of all but one of them, what do you call it?
If teachers taught, why didn't preachers praught?
If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat?
In what language do people recite at a play and play at a recital?
Ship by truck and send cargo by ship?
Have noses that run and feet that smell?
How can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same, while a wise man and a wise guy are opposites?
Your house can burn up as it burns down, you fill in a form by filling it out and an alarm goes off by going on.
When the stars are out, they are visible, but when the lights are out, they are invisible.
Why doesn't "Buick" rhyme with "quick?"
Why do we say something is out of whack? What's a whack?
Why do we drive on a PARKWAY, and park in a DRIVEWAY?
Meet my friend, Raye, who read my novel, Picking up the Pieces, and loved it so much that he wanted to meet me.
So in July, when I was in Saskatchewan visiting family, Raye arranged to come by to say "hello" and have our photo taken together.
Thank-you, Raye, for your kind words and support. The sequel, called, The Glass Dolphin, is currently in the creation stage.
In my novel, Picking up the Pieces, heroine Jill Moss travels to numerous exotic locations in search of pieces of a peculiar Mayan artifact.
Many of these locations are based on places that I have either lived or visited. The house in this photo is one of them. An estate in the South of France, Bidaine was owned by an American couple when my husband and I and our two children went there to live in the late 80s. Originally an 18th century "hunting lodge" for the French aristocracy, this estate features water gardens, orchards, a swimming pool with a fountain in the centre, rose gardens, guest houses and a long "allee" of plane trees. The owners were collectors of 18th century antiques and costumes and the interior of the house had been converted back to the decor of the times.
In my novel, I patterned the home of Jill's mother's friend, Geneva, after this estate and describe some of its charms in the scenes that take place there. For more locations that appear in the book, take a look at my Pinterest board.
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