Tuesday, June 12, 2007

The Chair III and My First Review

Before I finish my story about The Chair, I have some good news to share with you. A writer for a monthly Outer Banks publication sent me her review for my novel, Murder at Whalehead. Gee Gee Rosell's review will appear in the July issue of Island Breeze. Here's what she had to say: “Murder At Whalehead,” Joe C Ellis. Upper Ohio Valley Books, $15.95
A rip-roaring murder mystery set in Corolla (NC). Mr Ellis does a great job of setting a sense of place on the Northern Outer Banks. Featured heavily in the story are the Currituck Lighthouse, the wild ponies and the humid sandy vacation atmosphere. The plot twists and turns like the two lane roads and the story is convincing. The characters keep you guessing until the very end to find out who done it. Joe Ellis lives in Martins Ferry, Ohio. This is his second novel.

Another encouraging email I received today came from Outer Banks Press. They are interested in distributing my novel. I'll be meeting with the president of the company next week. I'll let you know what happens.

Lots of good things are falling into place right now. I feel like I'm standing on the edge of a new beginning, a window of opportunity. I want to leap through it now before it closes. Of course whenever you jump into something new, something challenging, something out of your comfort zone, Fear always makes his swaggering appearance. Fear of financial loss. Fear of failure. Fear of contacting people. Fear of criticism from others. That night when I left Bruce and Mike behind on that dirt road amidst howls, barking, and screams, my heart filled with fear.

When I saw those eyes flash in the darkness and heard the growls, fear overwhelmed me. I ran faster than I'd ever run in my life. If my track coach would have been there with his stop watch, I'm sure I would have set a new school record for the 440 yard dash. Unfortunately Mike and Bruce didn't run with me. With every stride I distanced myself from the screams and barking. After about a quarter mile I stopped, caught my breath, spun around and stared down the road into the darkness. The barking and screams had stopped.

Should I have run? Should I have stuck by my friends and fought off whatever attacked them? Will I ever see them again? Why did they sit in The Chair?

Three minutes went by. I was ready to give up hope when I heard voices and footsteps. Bruce and Mike emerged from the blackness, laughing and talking.

"Well, looky there," Bruce said. "Mr. Chicken himself. If you'd run that fast in our races, we'd win more cross country meets."

"What happened back there?" I asked.

"A pack of wild dogs attacked us," Mike said. "We had to fight them off with rocks."

"Thanks for helpin'" Bruce said.

"I thought the curse got you."

"It almost did," Mike said. "Let's get on home before something else happens."

Looking back, I'm glad I ran to The Chair that night. I'm not too proud of my cowardly sprint to safety, but fear's a funny thing. It makes you fight or flee. That experience inspired a novel that started me on my writing journey. With this new opportunity to self-publish Murder at Whalehead before me, I've decided to fight, to give it my best, to take a chance and put myself out there--financially, artistically, socially. I just hope there's not too many wild dogs waiting in the woods.

Talk to you later,

Joe C. Ellis

Here are some links to my novel, Murder at Whalehead:

CLICK HERE to view video trailer

Link to front cover: CLICK HERE (Click on cover to enlarge)

Link to back cover: CLICK HERE (Click on cover to enlarge)

Link to first eleven chapters: CLICK HERE

Visit my website at http://www.joecellis.com/

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