Posted in reviews

Interview with Author Judy Fishel

1) What inspired you to write your book?

When I was very young and my mother read stories to me, I decided that someday, I wanted to write stories like those. As I grew older, I thought about the stories I was reading, and tried to imagine stories I might write.

Later, it was mysteries that I enjoyed reading so when I retired, (I’d been a math and science teacher).what I wanted to write was a mystery – not what I called a “shoot-em-up, but a mystery that made you feel good.

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2) If you could sit down with any character in your book, what would you ask them and why?

I’d like to talk to many of them, but most of all I’d like to talk to Jeenya Birdsong, the main character. She would greet me with a long, warm hug. Then she would offer me something good to eat. Finally, she would listen quietly to hear what I had to say. I’d want to thank Jeenya for helping me write this book.

How did she do this, you ask. Well, fifteen years ago I started to write the book – the way I thought a mystery should be written. It was really awful, so I put it away and wrote a couple books on study skills (Straight A’s Are NOT Enough).

Finally, last year, I went back to this book. This time, Jeenya appeared in my dreams. It’s hard to remember dreams, but after having these dreams, my writing improved. Sometimes I’d think about a problem I had, and in the morning, I’d know what to do. It was like letting a character decide what was best for them to do.

Sometimes, I say Jeenya Birdsong is my spiritual advisor.

3) What advice would you give to aspiring or just starting authors out there?

There are a lot of great books on how to write. Find one you like and read it at least once every year. As you read, take notes on things you need to do. Each time, you are likely to find new ideas that will help your reading.

4) What does the future hold in store for you? Any new books/projects on the horizon?

My son, Anthony, and I are working together on a book, “How Tony Learned to Read. For each chapter, I write my reflections and he writes his reflections. When Tony was 8 years old, and still not reading or writing, we visited a neurologist. After several hours of tests, the neurologist said, “Tony, you are extremely intelligent. You are also severely dyslexic. You might never learn to read or write.”  But he did say “Might.” Some people who are severely dyslexic do learn to read. Tony and I hope our book will inspire other dyslexic parents and students.

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About the Author

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Judy Fishel grew up in Florida, just across the river from Palm City. She and her grandfather often looked for wildflowers along the citrus groves. She also remembers the terrible freezes that killed the citrus trees. It made sense to set her story there. She started work on this book fifteen years ago but it just wasn’t working. She then wrote Straight A’s Are NOT Enough – study skills for college students. Finally, last summer she returned working on Murder of the Obeah Man. When one of her characters, Jeenya Birdsong, began appearing in her dreams, all the pieces began fitting together. Now, Judy likes to say that Jeenya is her spiritual advisor.

Posted in reviews

Murder of the Obeah Man by Anthony Avina

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

A local herbalist and healer finds herself imbedded into a local murder investigation in author Judy Fishel’s “Murder of the Obeah Man”.

The Synopsis

When the owl hooted just outside her window, Jeenya cringed. She knew what it meant. When she was a girl her Granny, up in the Blue Mountains in Jamaica, taught her the omens. This was a sign that someone was dying. It was probably MURDER.

They found his body in the morning. Josiah Overman had been the richest, the most important, the most respected and loved man in Jamaica Lakes. He had built Jamaica Lakes. He was also their Obeah Man. No Jamaican would dare kill the Obeah Man. They all knew that his duppy (a vengeful ghost) would come after them, torture them, and perhaps kill them. It had to be a stranger.

Jeenya Birdsong, herbalist, healer, and spiritual advisor knew her old friend wasn’t perfect but, even with her knowledge of the people in this Jamaican community, even with her ability to look people in the eye and know what they were thinking, she still could not imagine why anyone would do this.

Jeenya knew she would need to help the detectives find the killer. She remembered dreaming of being a detective but now she wasn’t sure. Would she really be able to help? Her husband would worry, thinking it was too dangerous. She worried about getting in the way or even making a total fool of herself.

The Review

A fantastic read! The author has crafter a wonderful story that really delves into the murder mystery genre. The atmosphere and tone of the tale immediately grab the readers attention, setting up that classic sleuth story fans of the genre love.

What really stood out to me was the author’s use of setting to bring more depth to the characters and story. The setting of Jamaica Lakes was a character all its own, breathing life into the cast of characters, including the protagonist Jeenya.

The Verdict

A breath of fresh air in the murder mystery genre, author Judy Fishel’s “Murder of the Obeah Man” is a must read novel of the summer! Engaging, thoughtful and full of rich characters, this novel will not only keep readers on the edge of their seat, but will educate readers on history and lore from the Jamaican culture and people. It’s a fun read that will not disappoint you, so be sure to grab your own copy today!

Rating: 10/10

About the Author

Judy Fishel grew up in Florida, just across the river from Palm City. She and her grandfather often looked for wildflowers along the citrus groves. She also remembers the terrible freezes that killed the citrus trees. It made sense to set her story there. She started work on this book fifteen years ago but it just wasn’t working. She then wrote Straight A’s Are NOT Enough – study skills for college students. Finally, last summer she returned working on Murder of the Obeah Man. When one of her characters, Jeenya Birdsong, began appearing in her dreams, all the pieces began fitting together. Now, Judy likes to say that Jeenya is her spiritual advisor.

http://www.judyfishel.com/