Sunday, March 17, 2013

The Next Big Thing - featuring Beryl Singleton Bissell

Hi, folks.

I love featuring authors on my blog, especially when I am enamored by their writing. And this woman who I'm featuring today -- Beryl Singleton Bissell --  is one of my all time favorites, as a person who you can't help but admire and love, and as a true-hearted, lovely writer.

I highly recommend Beryl's first and second books. Here's a bit about them. Click on the images to buy them on Amazon.

The Scent of God
by Beryl Singleton Bissell

The Scent of God by Beryl Singleton Bissell is a work of fine art, reminiscent of a painting by Rubens or a haunting Saint-Saëns melody. The beautifully crafted memoir offers words that glisten like gems on each page. Lush imagery, dripping with heady scents and vibrant color, transports the reader to locales ranging from the sanctified to the exotic. Readers will savor every chapter of this alluring tale.

A View of the Lake
by Beryl Singleton Bissell

A View of the Lake, by Beryl Singleton Bissell, is a vibrant collection of reflective essays centered on the North Shore of Lake Superior, Minnesota. Each slice-of-life chapter transports the reader into Ms. Bissell’s life in this majestic country, as well as connecting us to her gentle spirit.

You may read about Beryl's "Next Big Thing" here on her blog. 

I will add links to addition folks on this blog tour in the near future, stay tuned!

And now, for my portion of this event, here are my answers to the questions that are propagating around the blogger world. This time I've changed my answers to reflect the newest book I've just started writing, MURDER ON THE SACANDAGA.


1-What is your working title of your book? 

MURDER ON THE SACANDAGA, book 4 in the Tall Pines Mystery series.

2-Where did the idea come from for the book?

The first book in the series, FOR THE BIRDS, came from a dream. Really, it did! But this one is number four in the series, so the characters were set and well-established. The idea of the Sacandaga River playing a major part in a murder investigation came about as I sat overlooking it’s murmuring waters while visiting my favorite place in the world, the Tall Pines cabin in Hope, NY.

3-What genre does your book fall under?

Contemporary mystery from a women’s POV. These are fresh, fun, and packed with romance and suspense, but they also have plenty of heart pounding chase scenes through the beautiful Adirondack Mountains. ;o)

4-Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

Female lead –  Jessica Brown Findlay (she plays Sibyl in Downton Abbey)  as Marcella Hollister. 

Thelma would be played by Doris Roberts (Ray’s mother in Everyone Loves Raymond), since my grandmother Lena isn't alive to play the part she would have been perfect for! 

Quinn  Black Eagle Hollister would have to look a bit like this guy I just randomly found on the net. I assume he’s an actor, but maybe not? Anyone have ideas for Quinn’s Hollywood alter ego?

I can't seem to get the photo to copy and paste, but here is a link to an actor who might work for Sky Lissoneau - his name is Alex Pettyfer.  He'd had to grow his hair out longer for the movie.

5-What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

When a serial killer snatches a young leukemia patient from a small Adirondack town, Marcella Hollister and her ex-lover, Sky Lissoneau, try to find her along the wooded banks of the Sacandaga River in the midst of a raging snowstorm.

6-Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

All of my books are represented by Lida Quillen at Twilight Times Books. I love my publisher! Please check out the great selection of award-winning books on the TTB site. (

7-How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

I’ve spent the last month writing about 25,000 words. I usually write a chapter a day, about 1500-2000 words. This is usually accomplished from 5:30 to 6:30 every morning!

8-What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

The first three books in the series are really the only other books I know of that feature suspense/mystery/thriller combined with a bit of spiritual/paranormal themes based in the deep woods of the Adirdondacks. Check out For the Birds, Essentially Yours, and Sanctuary at

9-Who or what inspired you to write this book?  

 My love of all things Native American and my own heritage from the Metis tribe in Canada.

10-What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

Marcella and Quinn have their first falling out. It’s tough on both of them, and Marcella is constantly driven into the arms of her high school lover, Sky, who still loves her, 19 years after she turned down his marriage proposal. Also, these books feature Young Living Essential Oils. My characters “discovered” the oils about the same time I did, and we learn about the applications and uses of them throughout the series. ;o)

Here's the first page:

Losing a child is like losing your soul. Only worse. Especially when you’ve waited your whole life for her.

The judge let me keep Kimi for one month, then abruptly decided there was someone more suitable to raise her: her dead father’s sister, who’d come out of nowhere to drop the bomb on us.

I still couldn’t believe it.

One month of cuddling, nurturing, bathing with no-more-tears shampoo, washing her tiny outfits with special detergent. One month of watching her toddle uncertainly toward her favorite black bear teddy, listening to her squeals of delight when Quinn dropped on all fours to play with her.

I pulled the child closer to me, nuzzling her soft curls and holding her chubby hand in mine. She lay against me, completely relaxed, her dark eyes turned up to mine as if she knew something was wrong.

I held back the sobs.

One month was not enough.

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