Monday, August 23, 2010
Book Review of “Hometown Girl” by Michele Ashman Bell
Humor isn’t the only element in this story. With a house falling apart, loneliness, frustration, and mysterious nightmares, Jocelyn learns what charity really is and learns to accept her trials. She also has a deep secret that she has kept hidden for fourteen years that seems to haunt her.
Jack is a fun character. He’s a good-looking young man who owns his own repair shop. I love his description. He’s a “scruffy bearded, pony tailed man wearing a plaid flannel shirt.” I loved him right away. Even though he and Jocelyn don’t hit it off at first, I knew this couple would get together eventually. Between these two characters, Michele has her readers thoroughly entertained. This is an excellent novel. Bravo, Michele! I would recommend this book for teens and adults.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. Michele travels to the places she writes about so she can immerse herself in the history, landscape and culture of the area. Her goal is “to provide an accurate reflection of people and places and provide the reader with an armchair vacation.” This intrigued me, so I asked Michele where she got her inspiration for her novels. This is her reply.
Before A Modest Proposal came out I held a contest and asked for people to submit their proposal stories. The contest was posted in several newspapers and even put in a publication through BYU, so I got tons of response (too many actually - made the decision so hard). I was so impressed with so many of the variety of approaches to proposing. Some were very romantic and sweet, some were crazy and unbelievable, and some were so touching and emotional. This winning proposal was by far the most creative and amazing because of the timespan it covered and the way it all worked out. Part of the prize for winning was having the story put in a book.
I think writers are constant observers of life; listening, watching and learning about everything around them. To a writer, everything has potential to become a plot line, a character, a quirk, a detail in a setting, or the whole basis for a book. You can tell what's going on in my life by what I write. I put a lot of myself into my stories, but try not to make it personal--mainly because I'm just not that interesting. It's more exciting living through my characters.
My books are driven from three sources; a setting, a character or a situation. 1) I've written books about places I've visited or am intrigued with and then the challenge is coming up with a story that takes place in that setting. (Finding Paradise and Love Lights the Way are books I've written from settings) 2) I've written many books about people who are facing challenges that I think will connect with readers and that I feel passionate. (Without a Flaw, Perfect Timing, The Butterfly Box series are examples of books inspired from this) 3) And some of the books I've written based upon interesting situations that go along with the genre I'm writing at the time, i.e., romance, suspense, mystery, etc... (Timeless Moments, Without A Flaw).
Visit Michele’s website: www.micheleashmanbell.com
Visit Michele’s blog: www.micheleabell.blogspot.com
For a $50.00 gift card, go to Michele's blog and enter.