Super Bowl and a Super Deal! – Book Give Away

February 3, 2014

I was asked today which team I was rooting for. I asked who was playing. Yes. I did.

To be honest, I don’t pay much attention to sports. I enjoy watching a football game if I’m watching with a group. I usually root for the underdog.

Why? Because, I want people to win. I always feel bad for the loser. It’s as simple as that.

So, I have a deal for you! My new website at www.miriamjonesbradley launches tomorrow, February 3rd. I am delighted to share this beautiful new site with you. It is user-friendly, full of information, and you can order my books straight from the site–either via links to Amazon, or directly from me! You can also learn more about my speaking opportunities, and where I’m going to be.

“What’s the good deal,” you ask?

It’s a contest! You have the opportunity to win one of my newly released books! Below you will find the rules for entering. I hope you will visit and explore my new website and tell your friends and family to check it out too!

Miriam Jones Bradley Website Launch Official Book Giveaway Rules! 

 

I will give away five copies of my latest book, The Double Cousins and the Mystery of the Rushmore Treasure.

Entries will be collected from February 3 -11, 2014.

Winners will be announced on my blog post Thursday, February 13, 2014 and will have one week to notify me of their mailing address.

In order to enter you must:

  1. Sign up for blog posts on my website.
  2. ONE of these three: Comment on this blog post, Share this message – Enter to win multiple copies of @AuthorMiriam’s new release in the #doublecousins series at http://ow.ly/tcQnz – on your twitter account, or Share this message – Enter to win multiple copies of Miriam Jones Bradley’s new release in the Double Cousins series at http://ow.ly/tcQnz on your Facebook page (tag Miriam Jones Bradley for verification).

Entries will only be accepted from United States due to shipping cost.

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To Learn and Remember-The Flood of ’72

January 22, 2014

When I wrote my first book it had a definite historic aspect and I used little flashbacks to show that part. So, when one book became two and the dream of a series became a reality I decided to continue that pattern. I know flashbacks aren’t necessarily the rage; not even really encouraged. But, I don’t always aspire to do it the “normal way” do I? For the flashback scenes in my latest mystery—The Double Cousins and the Mystery of the Rushmore Treasure—I chose the Flood of 1972.

This is the portion of author’s notes from the book that relates to the Rapid City flood.

On June 9, 1972, a flood tore through Rapid City, SD and 238 people lost their lives. My first memory of the 1972 flood was when my daddy got up in church one Sunday and asked the people to pray for a Pastor Onstott and the people of Rapid City. I was ten. He explained that there had been a bad flood in Rapid City, and many people died. At the time, we lived in Nebraska and I had never been to South Dakota. Little did I know that two years later Pastor Onstott would become my step-grandpa and our lives would be forever connected with Rapid City.

Over the years my family has migrated to the Rapid City area, and I lived there for ten years. During all of those years I heard many times of the “Flood of 72.” The park system that runs through town is a constant reminder of that day. Every year it is remembered and in 2012 they had many special events memorializing the lives that were lost. I had seen news clips, first person accounts, and even read part of a book. But, when I began doing research for this book I gained a new appreciation—or maybe horror would be a better word—for the events of that night in June of 1972.

The events I wrote about in my book are true in their generality. People did find themselves clinging to trees. Some rescuers died. Entire families perished. Five bodies were never recovered. However, the characters I created are just figments of my imagination based on stories I read and saw in videos. None of the characters in this story are meant to portray any real person, or groups of people.

As I said above, I lived in Rapid City, SD for ten years. For five of those years I lived on “The Avenues”; first on 6th where I bought my first home, then on 4th. I grew to love this little neighborhood of one block streets. I have family that lives there still. I loved the fact that I could walk through that neighborhood and behind it and no two houses were alike. I loved the history of the neighborhood; the fact that it was so close to Jackson Blvd; the close proximity to the bike path and parks; and the fact that it had survived the flood.

So, when I needed a neighborhood in which to place my third mystery that was it. (I admit I did create a street. There is no actual 8th Avenue. )

I wrote the rough draft of this book in November of 2007 or 2008. I’m not sure of the year, but I’m positive about the month. I wrote it and another rough draft for NaNoWriMo one year. NaNoWriMo—standing for National Novel Writing Month—is a challenge to write a 50,000 word novel during the month of November. Since my books were approximately 25,000 words, I needed to write I chose to write books set in very familiar places and this was one of them.

However, as is typical once I started working on revisions some of the plot elements completely changed and the flood became more important to the story. I admit I cried during the flashback scenes that dealt with the flood, especially one where a survivor recounted her night of terror.  My heart broke for the people who suffered through this horrific event. I KNEW my characters weren’t real, but they were based on stories of REAL people.

On my facebook page I’ve begun to get a few comments from people who survived the flood. I hope that they find my story true enough to life that it is a good depiction of what really happened.

My hope is that through this story more people will gain a new appreciation of the history of Rapid City and the amazing come-back that has taken place there. It is a story of overcoming, working together despite differences, and doing what is needed to get things done. I look forward to hearing stories from people that were there. You see, that’s how I learn—by hearing real people tell real stories! What about you?

For a first person account I would recommend this book: Some Through the Flood: A Story of One Family’s Loss, Survival and Recovery From the 1972 Rapid City Flood, by Ronald W. and LaVonne Masters. It is available on Amazon in paperback and kindle.

To order the latest Double Cousins Mystery click the picture below!

Click to Pre-order!

Click to Pre-order!

Storybook Island–A Bucket-List Worthy Place!

January 19, 2014

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If I had a bucket list one of the items would be to spend the day with my whole family at Storybook Island in Rapid City.

No, I’m serious. Storybook Island is a very special place, as anyone who has been there with a child age two to eight can attest. Oh, kids younger than that can enjoy it. Children older, even those MY age can also enjoy it. But, if you want to get the most entertainment out of the experience,  you need a two to eight-year-old and a camera.

The first time we went I was a teenager and my baby sister was two or three. Oh what fun we had watching her dash from one Storybook character to another! Grandpa and Grandma Onstott took us and when we realized how close it was to their house—walking distance—and that it was free (they happily take donations), we went over and over

Storybook Island was first built in 1958 by the Rotary Club. It was on an island in the middle of the park and there was a nifty bridge entering the park called London Bridge. I don’t remember that part because in June of 1972 the flood tore through the park destroying almost everything. A few of the storybook displays were discovered downstream, but the entire park had to be rebuilt.

At that point they moved the park to its present position which is where I’ve always known it to be.

When I moved to Rapid City in 1995 I was a new aunt of three nieces, all under six months old. For the next ten years I lived right there in the middle of my growing brood of nieces and nephews. By 2005 there were ten. At least once a year we converged on Storybook Island with cameras, picnic food, and kids!

Two days before my wedding my personal attendant and I took the kids for one last trip. It was bittersweet. I knew it would never be the same, because they just have this awful habit of growing up!

Thankfully, I’ve had another niece and nephew come along, and when I’m home I get to visit the park with them.

The great part is this: even the older ones still like to go. I can see in their faces the memories of previous visits. They laugh at the antics of the little ones. They encourage them towards the spot that was THEIR favorite. I’m sure in another ten years we will still be going. Only it will be another generation of nieces and nephews!

It’s a neat place. A special place. One worth picking for your bucket list! At least, that’s my opinion.

Click to Pre-order!

Click to Pre-order!

Mount Rushmore from My Perspective!

January 17, 2014

Whenever I tell people that I am from Rapid City, the topic of Mount Rushmore comes up. Sometimes they mention it first, but often I’ll say “Rapid City, where Mount Rushmore is.”

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Now, I know that it is technically outside of Keystone, SD but for most of the country Rapid City is the more recognizable name. I’m thinking after this present Geico commercial I’ll have more people commenting when I mention Mount Rushmore.

Have you seen the commercial? The gecko is walking along talking when all of a sudden he comes out on a ledge overlooking beautiful mountain scenery. The first time I saw it I thought, that looks like home, just as the camera panned around showing the gecko standing in George Washington’s eye!

Then he says, “Do you think I could see Mount Rushmore from here?” I like the commercial, admittedly because it reminds me of home.

I love Mount Rushmore. I don’t remember the first time I ever saw it, but it is my opinion that it is the most amazing National Monument I’ve ever seen. The size, the natural beauty, the work involved, and did I mention the size? I try to go at least once a year but sometimes it is longer. It never fails to take my breath away. I especially love going for the lighting ceremony in the evening. Sitting there among people from all over the world while hearing again the history of the mountain always inspires me!

When I talk about Mount Rushmore I encourage people to go visit. One co-worker in Florida told me that she had heard that Mount Rushmore was falling apart so she didn’t go! I assured her that it was still intact and would be for, well. . . for a long, long time!

I wish every American could see Mount Rushmore at least once. Of course that isn’t possible, and none of us will ever see it from the perspective of the gecko!

So, as you can imagine, when I decided to set my latest book in Rapid City it had to have a connection to Mount Rushmore. Maybe you can’t get to Mount Rushmore, but you can get a little flavor of Rapid City and learn more about the history of the carving of the mountain by reading the latest Double Cousins Mystery, The Double Cousins and the Mystery of the Rushmore Treasure.

Maybe, just maybe it will even inspire a family road trip!

Click to Pre-order!

Click to Pre-order!

My Mr. Crosby

January 13, 2014

At last count I have lived in twenty-two houses over the course of my lifetime. That’s a lot, really. Maybe that’s why I remember with greater fondness the ones that I lived in the longest.

 

One of those was the house on 5th and Elm in North Platte, Nebraska. We lived there from the time I was in first grade until the summer after seventh.

 

The house was a rental property sitting right next to the owner’s home. It was one of the smaller homes on the block and it wasn’t small. There were five rooms on the main floor plus the bathroom. There was an upstairs with two huge rooms, one tiny room, and a walk-in closet. There was an unfinished basement underneath.

 

Our landlord lived next to us. Mr. Maynard Crosby—a lawyer—was my mother’s boss and one of the kindest, gentlest people I ever met. At one point, his son Robert—once governor of Nebraska—lived in the little house next door, our house.

 

Mr. Crosby lived all alone in that big house. There were four bedrooms in the upstairs of his house and he slept in a different room each week. That way his housekeeper could come in once a month and change the sheets. That fact greatly impressed me as a child! As my dad said the other day, “He had his systems.”

 

The basement of the house was a little apartment which he used as a guest house. I remember at least one occasion when my grandparents stayed in the apartment and I got a tour. It was really cool!

 

The backyards of the two houses were undivided. There were no fences and Mr. Crosby loved having the neighborhood kids play in his yard. There were a lot of us. Behind us was a family with ten children. Across the street was another with eight. On the other side of Mr. Crosby was a family with three. There were three of us. So, as you can see, Mr. Crosby was a generous man.

 

He had a fish pond in his backyard which he kept stocked with gold-fish. There were snails and in one end were cattails. I asked my sister what he did with the goldfish in the winter. She says he left them there and they hid out under the cattails when it got cold. We both remember one year when we tried to bring them in for the winter and they all died. We put our fish in there a couple of times, then had the best time at the end of the summer trying to decide which HUGE fish was ours.

 

Mr. Crosby also was hospitable and I’m afraid many of us kids took advantage of his hospitality. He kept a dish of candy on his table and pop—or soda if you prefer—in his fridge. It was known that he didn’t lock his back door that opened into his kitchen. Now, WE knew we were NOT allowed to go there when he wasn’t home and we were to WAIT for him to OFFER us something. That was hard sometimes, and I’m pretty sure I didn’t always properly express my gratitude. To this day, though I can’t eat hard peppermint or butterscotch candy without thinking of him.

 

He was Presbyterian. I wasn’t sure why anyone would want to be THAT. It was too hard to say and spell, but Daddy told me that Mr. Crosby loved Jesus just like we did. Sometimes he would come to our church because his didn’t have evening services. That was another strike against his church in my book. The evening services were my favorite.

 

So, when I decided to write a book—The Double Cousins and the Mystery of the Rushmore Treasure—about a small town community store much like the one in our neighborhood in North Platte, it seemed the obvious choice to give the owner Mr. Crosby’s name.

 

Someday when I get to heaven I’m going to give him a big hug and properly thank him for the part he played in my life. And for all of that candy. It wouldn’t surprise me one bit if he’ll have a bowl of candy on the table of his mansion.

Click to Pre-order!

Click to Pre-order!

A Letter From Max and Carly!

January 4, 2014

Dear Fans,

We were looking through some old photos at Grandpa Johnson’s house this Christmas and look what we found! As you will see it’s us in Grandpa’s barn a couple of years ago. It was chilly that day!

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We were getting ready to go riding and Dorie came around with Grandma’s camera. Boy, was that a fun day.

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Here’s another picture. This one is of the front cover of our latest adventure!

Click to Pre-order!

Click to Pre-order!

We are so excited that you can pre-order now on Amazon! Click the photo if you want to get your copy as soon as possible!
Happy New Year!
Love,
Max and Carly
P.S. I told Carly it’s ok she gets the cover. Next time it will be MY turn!  BYE,  MAX

The Double Cousins Strike Again!

December 4, 2013

DC3 Front Cover

I am delighted to announce that the third in the Double Cousins Mystery Series has gained final approval and is being sent to press! I do not believe the books will be available for Christmas, as hoped, but they certainly will be available soon online for pre-orders on Amazon etc. They should be in your hand in about one month.

This time the Double Cousins are solving mysteries and learning lessons about the value of helping others in Max’s hometown of Rapid City, SD! With Mount Rushmore, Storybook Island, and the Flood of ’72 there is plenty of historical interest in this new mystery!

Stay tune! In the meantime. . . have you read the first two books in the series?

Click here to buy!

Click here to buy!

 

 

Growing Pains Bring Good Deals!

November 29, 2013

Every once in a while one of my siblings will mention that a niece or nephew is suffering from growing pains. Their legs hurt and Mom knows it is probably related to the fact that her son or daughter has just grown an inch in the past week. No kidding.

 

Growing is great, isn’t it? But it can cause difficulty, even pain.

 

The third in my Double Cousins Mystery series is in the final stages of design. Within a few days we hope to have it off to the printer and while I don’t expect to have it out in time for Christmas it will be available shortly thereafter.

 

In addition, my first book for adults was released this summer. All I Have Needed-A Legacy for Life has been a delight to produce and share with others. It is opening up new opportunities for speaking. My writing and speaking ministry is growing.

 

However, with that come some growing pains. The main one at this point is the website. My wonderful husband built my website himself back when I had one book. When the second book was added he revised the site. He has worked hard to maintain an up-to-date site but it is now getting more time-consuming than he can handle.

 

For one thing, it needs to switch focus to encompass the entire scope of the ministry, not just the Double Cousins Mysteries. So, we are in the process of finding a web designer to help us build a new, long-term solution to the web-page need!

 

Now, Christmas is right around the corner and I have books to sell. I have the perfect gift, whether you are buying for a child, a teen, or an adult. The two Double Cousins Mysteries are written for ages 7-13. The Legacy book is written in such a way that pre-teens and up would enjoy the short pieces.

 

But, all of the books are not listed on my website for sale! What should we do?

 

I have decided to run a Social Media Sale this year. If you are connected to me through social media YOU will be made aware of the sale. So, here goes.

 

For the rest of the year I am offering a copy of each of my three books for a total of $25.00 plus shipping. That is a value of $35.89 for only $25.00 plus shipping. You will save over ten dollars for the three books! Of course, if you want bulk numbers of any of the books they are available at $10.00 per book plus shipping.

 

So, if you wish to order you can send a message via facebook or email to doublecousins.net@gmail.com and I’ll be happy to mail you the books and send an invoice with it which you can then pay. If you live close to me I would be happy to deliver and avoid the shipping charges.

 

Please include in your information the names you want inscribed in the books and I’ll be happy to personalize them and sign the copies for you!

 

As always, the books are also available on Amazon and through your local bookstore. They just need the name of the book and the author and they should be able to order them for you!

 

Read on!

Learn more about Miriam Jones Bradley's books

Learn more about Miriam Jones Bradley’s books

The Next Thing

November 14, 2013

“Just do the next thing you have to do.”

 

I’m sure you’ve heard this quote also. I depend on it often. It is a great reminder when I am stressed, depressed, overwhelmed, or busy! Sometimes it’s all you can do.

 

So the past few weeks that has been my motto.

 

Now, I don’t want to imply that I’ve had a depressing or stressful few weeks. Stressful at times, but stress CAN be good.

 

The truth is, much of my last month has been awesome! But, it has been busy and it did require many days of just doing the next thing on the list.

 

Blog posts were on the list—but obviously—they were never the next thing.

 

I have at least one encouraging friend who would tell me—and has before—that writing will come. When it is all over, I’ll have many wonderful things to write about!

 

I know for a fact that I have been inspired to write many times over the past month. After all, I had my twin nieces here for three weeks and we traveled all over the Southeast visiting family, saw the ocean, and just spent wonderful time together.

 

There were many blog-able moments. The problem is they slip away, don’t they? It flits through my head, I should blog about that, and then it is gone. Oh, I know. I should write it down. But, often those thoughts flit through my mind while I’m driving, as I doze off to sleep at night, in the middle of a conversation. Never when I can write them down.

 

I sometimes am sad at the stories I am not writing down. They could be lost forever.

 

Ah, but not forever. God remembers. If He reminds me of them, then I’ll write about them! How’s that for a plan? It works for me!

 

So, the next couple of months doesn’t look any less busy. I have work, a conference, a book signing, Thanksgiving, travel for Christmas, and hopefully the release of the third in the Double Cousins Mystery series with all of the hoopla that requires!

 

So, I’m going to put the blog posts on the to-do list again. This time closer to the top. We’ll see how that goes!

Peace and Desist

September 20, 2013

Monday I was driving up the mountain, listening to music and enjoying the gorgeous scenery. The trees have hints of the glory to come with the fall colors, yet the summer wildflowers are still riotously blooming in the ditches.

As I drove, I listened to a CD. Music calms me and keeps me awake and Monday I needed both. After working all night Sunday and sleeping most of the day I was intent on safely getting up the mountain. As to the calming aspect, let’s just say these past weeks have not gone as I planned. At all.

Instead of the schedule I put together, there has been one put together by God. Or rather, let me put it this way. There hasn’t been one. I like to say that “I must have a plan. Now, the plan can change many times and I can adjust, but I must have a plan.”

God seems to be testing this.

Not only has the plan I planned not happened, but I’ve been forced to live day by day. Believe me; it’s not been very pretty.

So, here I was focusing on safe driving, music, and beauty when a song wiggled its way into my brain and brought back a memory.

The song is “Don’t Be Afraid” by Roger and Debbie Bennett. It starts out with the story of the disciples and Jesus in the boat during the storm. Immediately, a memory popped into my head and I giggled.

I was instantly back in a Sunday School room in Rapid City with my class of 4-6 year-olds. That Sunday it was just my niece and nephew. As a way to review the previous week’s lesson I asked them if they remembered what Jesus said to calm the storm.

Their little brows furrowed, they stared into space, and tipped their little heads, then my sunshiny niece jerked upright and she offered this answer:

“Peace and desist?”

Now, what I wanted to do was sit down on the floor and laugh. But I chuckled to myself and answered something like, “Close. I think it was ‘peace be still’.”

Later, I discovered that when the children at their house got too noisy, my brother-in-law would say “Cease and Desist.” So, she wasn’t far off and she certainly had the right idea.

Then, another phrase from the song crossed through the post night-shift fog.

“So when the world says it’s over, the Master says, ‘No, I’ve just begun’”

That phrase took my breath away. There are some big requests for which I continue to pray. There are those seemingly impossible situations for which I have to trust Him. Then there are the ones I’m facing now. Not so big. Just normal life tests and trials, but believe me, when it messes with “my PLAN” it seems bigger than it is.

But, the truth is this: the same God who calmed the storm and said “Peace and Desist” still calms the storms in my life. WOW!

When I arrived at our house in the mountains and looked at Facebook I found one of those posters with an inspirational quote.

“Sometimes God calms the storm and sometimes He lets the storm rage and calms His child.” 

So there you have it, “lesson of the week from God to Miriam”. . . pretty sure!

Buy me, now!

Buy me, now!