Sunday, August 30, 2020

Book Blog Tour and Giveaway: Slanted Light (Jackson's Pond Texas Series #2) by Teddy Jones

Jackson's Pond Texas Series, Book 2
Teddy Jones

Genres: Literary Fiction / Family Saga / Western Women / Rural Fiction  
Publisher: Midtown Publishing 
Publication Date: August 21, 2020 
Number of Pages: 275

 Scroll down for the giveaway!
Teddy Jones’s earlier novel, Jackson’s Pond, Texas, began the saga of the Jackson family. Now, Slanted Light continues their tale. 

Claire Havlicek’s late night call brings her brother Chris Banks from his home in New Mexico back to the town that bears their family name, Jackson’s Pond. She’s collapsed under the weight of threats to her thirteen-year marriage that have undermined her confidence and her will. Her husband, J. D., responds to seduction by a woman in need; theft and the threat of a forced buyout jeopardize Claire’s two medical clinics; drought imperils their ranch and cattle business; a teenage daughter turns to bulimia. 

When Claire admits her limits, her grandmother, Willa Jackson, and the other members of her family help her learn that being human, weaknesses and all, can be a source of strength and joy.
Teddy Jones is the author of three other published novels, Halfwide, Jackson’s Pond, Texas, and Well Tended, as well as a collection of short stories, Nowhere Near. Her short fiction received the Gold Medal First Prize in the Faulkner-Wisdom competition in 2015. Jackson’s Pond, Texas was a finalist for the 2014 Willa Award in contemporary fiction from Women Writing the West. Her as-yet-unpublished novel, Making It Home, was a finalist in the Faulkner-Wisdom competition in 2017 and "A Good Family" was named a finalist in that contest in 2018. 

Jones grew up in Iowas Park, a small Texas town. She has worked as a nurse, a nurse educator, a nursing-college administrator, and as a nurse practitioner in Texas, Colorado, and New Mexico. For the past twenty years, she and her husband have lived in the rural West Texas Panhandle, where he farms and she writes.

This Writer’s Journey
by Teddy Jones

It seems I’ve been writing, in one form or another, since the time my seventh-grade English teacher, Mrs. Brownie Tanner, complimented my writing and encouraged me. But I only began writing fiction in earnest around 2001. Before that, all my writing had been on academic topics, either in nursing or higher education. None of that was wasted effort in regard to polishing writing skills. It’s necessary to write clearly, to be aware of the reader’s perspective as the other party to the communication, and to weave the key ideas into a narrative regardless of whether the form is a research report or a piece of fiction.

During those years between Brownie Tanner’s kind comments and the time I gave myself permission to concentrate on fiction, I had filled notebooks with observations, descriptions, fragments of ideas, and quotations from fiction I read, all with the intent that eventually I would try to write fiction.

A friend and colleague, Dr. Edwina McConnell, volunteered to be my reader as I began my first efforts at fiction. In exchange, I read and commented on the biography of Elinor Gregg that was her long-term project. She had first begun the research when she was an undergraduate. More than twenty years later she allowed herself to dedicate her time to creating Elinor Gregg’s story, the tale of the woman who was the first supervisor of nursing for the Indian Service.

In the midst of that work, Edwina was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. When she died shortly after the diagnosis, her will named me as the person to receive her research material and the ten chapters she had completed. I had promised to finish the work she began. But she had left no outline and no instructions. She trusted me to tell Elinor’s story. I put aside my fiction, and after several months spent reading all of her research documents and the completed chapters, I decided the best way to attract the audience Edwina hoped would read about Elinor was to make it a biographical novel. Finally, in 2005, A Stone for Every Journey was published.

That experience convinced me that writing was then the main thing I wanted to do. I returned to the work I had begun and soon realized that to reach the level of skill I aimed for, I needed formal education in the craft of writing. I entered a graduate program in creative writing at Spalding University in Louisville, Kentucky. That intense program made all the difference in that I not only learned the techniques of fiction, but I also learned the benefit of revision based on feedback gained in critical workshops. Since graduating with my Master of Fine Arts in 2012, I have thought of myself as a writer. I dedicate myself to creating literary fiction—novels and short stories—as my full-time occupation. Nothing could suit me better at this point in my life.

I imagine my fiction will always have traces of Texas in it. A reader will find those traces in the dialogue, in the descriptions of places, and in the yearnings of the characters. I grew up in a small Texas town and have lived most of my life in Texas. Except for the period in Austin, I’ve lived in West Texas most of those years. The voices I hear when I imagine my characters often have West Texas accents; their speech is marked by the rhythms and languages of the region. Whether one of my stories is contemporary or historical or a hybrid, the physical environment and the local cultures are vital to understanding the characters and their stories.
Grand Prize: $25 Amazon gift card and signed copies of both books in the Jackson's Pond, Texas Series by Teddy Jones
Two Winners: Signed copy of Slanted Light by Teddy Jones
(US Only)
August 25-September 4, 2020

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