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Writing and Arts

What is a Cozy Mystery?

There are several kinds of mysteries and many times readers aren’t sure which one to read. We have the Caper Mystery that is usually humorous. The Investigator Mystery has a private investigator or amateur who tries to figure out the crime. Suspense Mystery has tension and keeps the reader guessing but it is slow paced. A Thriller is similar to Suspense except it is fast paced with constant action. In the Hardboiled Mystery, the detective is a professional investigator and it has violence and gruesome details. A Soft-boiled Mystery is the same as a hardboiled but is lighter and doesn’t have as much detail.

Then there’s the Cozy Mystery, which is G-rated, is in a small town and the sleuth is an intelligent woman who investigates the mystery. You find out about her life as she solves the problem and she becomes part of your world. This is slower paced but fun and has a bit of humor.

In my mystery series, it’s not a “who done it” mystery. Amelia Moore is the founder of the Moore Detective Agency and specializes in missing persons. With the help of Rick Bonito, her new business is doing well. This series is a romantic cozy mystery series that is for all ages. Why do I call it a cozy? Because the main character is an intelligent woman who lives in a small town and you find out all about her life and dreams as she investigates each mystery. A cozy is more about the character than other mysteries. This series is available as seven individual novels for paperback and ebook. It is also available in three volumes but only as an ebook called Amelia Moore Mysteries Volumes 1, 2, and 3.

“This is a cozy mystery, but there is also suspense, danger and, of course, romance. You have all the makings of an exciting novel.” —Library of Clean Reads

If you have longed to visit an exotic island, The Bali Mystery will take you there. When Mrs. Brody hires Amelia and Rick to find her missing brother, they find themselves in Bali, Indonesia. They are mystified why her brother quit his job, put his home up for sale, and ran off to this mysterious and exotic island without telling a soul.

Ireland is the next place you can visit with Amelia and Rick. When Amelia is hired to search for her client’s grandparents in The Shamrock Case, the case takes them to Ireland. Kate must learn about her heritage. Who are her grandparents and could they still be alive after all these years? Why did her parents leave Ireland suddenly and move to America? Is there more to this case than meets the eye?

The last place Amelia was thinking of visiting was Mexico. In The Missing Heir, Dell Murphy has passed on and left a fortune to his nephew. He wants his nephew to continue his work at the orphanage in Mexico, but there is one problem. Neal Woods is missing! If Amelia and Rick can’t find him soon, the fortune will be turned over to Dell’s brother and sister who intend to close down “Uncle Dell’s Orphanage.” If that happens, where will the children go?

In the next two stories, they stay in America to solve their cases. They travel to the haunted Stanley Hotel at Estes Park in Colorado and Color Country in Southern Utah where they visit Zion National Park.

In The Mysterious Doll, Pauline Jones is confused why her boyfriend took off without telling a soul where he was going. But that isn’t all. Sam Whitaker is accused of stealing a valuable porcelain doll from the museum. His disappearance makes him look guilty, but Pauline is convinced he is innocent. When Amelia finds Sam, she realizes they need to prove his innocence. Where is the antique doll and who has taken it?

In Her Lost Love, Julie Anderson feels a need to find the man she fell deeply in love with during her youth. That was twenty-five years ago. When Julie went off to college to become a lawyer, she lost contact with her high school sweetheart. She now wants to know what became of Joey and why he stopped writing to her? This is an assignment that intrigues Amelia. The thought of finding a long-lost love seems quite romantic.

After realizing their love for one another, Rick proposes to Amelia. In the next story, they travel to the beautiful Louisiana Bayous for their honeymoon.

In Mystery on the Bayou, Amelia is approached by a woman who is concerned about the son she gave up for adoption sixteen years ago. Millie fears he has inherited Marfan’s Syndrome from her side of the family. Not only that, but she has been having nightmares that make her fear he is in danger. She petitioned the court to view the sealed records but was refused. Will Amelia and Rick be able to convince the courts to help them? If her son is in danger, will they get there in time?

In The Lighthouse Secret, Rick Bonito’s uncle supposedly drowned five years ago and his body was never found, but something did not seem right about the report. Uncle Antonio was an excellent swimmer. His disappearance seems quite suspicious to Rick’s father. He never felt the complete truth had come out about his brother. It is now up to Amelia and Rick to find out the truth about his uncle.

“Amelia and Rick have the makings of being a lasting couple that readers will adore and root for. Clarke knows both her characters and locations well and it shines through each word she writes.” —Socrates Book Review

You can buy this series from Amazon at any of the links below.

Author Linda Weaver Clarke: https://lindaweaverclarke.wordpress.com/cozy-mysteries.

Cozy Mystery Blog: https://cozymysteryseries.wordpress.com

Audiobook Blog: https://familyfriendlyaudiobooks.wordpress.com

My Website: http://www.lindaweaverclarke.com/purchasebook.html

Writing and Arts

Intriguing Escapades

Have you ever gone on a REAL treasure hunt before? I don’t mean one that is put together by friends but one with valuable treasures that are worth a lot. In my research, I found one such treasure hunt. I read about an antiquities collector by the name of Forrest Fenn, age 89, who hid a treasure chest with artifacts, jewels, and gold dust that valued to around a million dollars. He hid the treasure in the mountains near Santa Fe, New Mexico. Then he posted a poem on his blog with nine hints where the treasure could be found. He said he created the treasure hunt to bring some old-fashioned adventure into people’s lives. He wanted people to get away from their computers and have fun. The search lasted ten years and thousands of hunters joined in the hunt. In 2020, the treasure was found and a photo of the small treasure chest was sent to Forest Fenn. What an adventure that was!

In Intriguing Escapades, I have four adventure stories. The Evans sisters have some exciting “escapades.” In the first story, April and Matthew decide to go on a treasure hunt with the family that his professor put together. This adventure will be one they will never forget. The inspiration for this story came from Forrest Fenn’s treasure hunt.

Have you heard of the infamous art theft at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum where thirteen masterpieces worth $500 million were taken? Art by Rembrandt, Vermeer, Degas, and Manet were stolen. On March 18, 1990 in the early hours of the morning, two thieves posed as police officers at the Gardner Museum in Boston. They told the guards that they were responding to a disturbance and had to check it out. After they were allowed to enter the museum, they told the guards there was a warrant out for their arrest and handcuffed them. They got away with several paintings. The FBI investigated the heist and not one painting has been found to this day. The thieves were never caught.

The inspiration for my second story was the Gardner Museum heist. When Sharlene and Faith, newly graduated agents, are asked to find the thieves who have stolen some paintings from several museums, everyone is surprised who is behind the theft.

Have you ever heard of a theme park being broken into and one of the animals was stolen? Well, it happened in Australia. In 2012, three young men got drunk and jumped over the security fence. They swam with the dolphins, awakened a Penguin named Dirk and took him home with them. The next day, they found Dirk in their room and didn’t remember taking him. When they realized the trouble they were in, they released the penguin in a canal, but some locals saw them and reported them to the police. The penguin was saved and taken to the theme park and the men were arrested. Since there was no malice intended and they wrote an apology to the owner, they were fined $1000 each and were let go. The inspiration for the third story was this hilarious experience.

The adventures don’t end there. When Devollyn, their nemesis from book one and book three, asks for a favor, they are shocked at his request. Feeling he may not live much longer, he asks Julia to protect some artifacts that he has stolen from Mexico.

This book was such fun to write. I patterned the Evans’ girls after my daughters. I have six girls and no sons. They are grown now and, among all the drama of raising girls, they brought me great joy. I love my daughters and we’re a close family. It was fun to put some of their personalities and experiences into my characters.

“These four short stories are clean, sweet, cozy mysteries,” wrote Socrates Book Reviews. “Readers of Linda Weaver Clarke’s books will recognize some old favorite characters making an appearance. I enjoyed catching up with them. The mysteries are not complex and are not gory murders. They are more like puzzles to be figured out. I enjoyed playing detective along with the Evans family. I especially enjoyed getting to know the twins, Sharlene and Faith, as we watch them grow up and become FBI agents. The author has a knack for telling stories and keeping me captivated. My one complaint about the book is that it went by too fast. I wanted more. This is a charming, delightful way to spend an afternoon.”

“The stories are mysterious and interesting and you will surely enjoy the mystery and perhaps some romance to keep things very interesting! These are clean and enjoyable stories and definitely entertaining!” –Sunnie Reviews

This book can be purchased at Audible audiobooks at: https://www.audible.com/pd/Intriguing-Escapades-Audiobook/B0973GJHXL

You can buy this series from Amazon at any of the links below.

Author Linda Weaver Clarke: https://lindaweaverclarke.wordpress.com/cozy-mysteries.

Cozy Mystery Blog: https://cozymysteryseries.wordpress.com

Audiobook Blog: https://familyfriendlyaudiobooks.wordpress.com

My Website: http://www.lindaweaverclarke.com/purchasebook.html

Writing and Arts

The Mystery Behind Superstition Mountain

Superstition Mountain

Superstition Mountain is believed to have great treasure hidden within. Many people have tried to find it but have never succeeded. It is difficult to explore because of its dangerous cliffs and plateaus. It’s a treacherous mountain and many adventurers never come back.

It is located east of Phoenix and is famous for the Lost Dutchman’s Mine where millions of dollars worth of gold are hidden. The history of this mountain would astound you. Those who discovered the mine were in grave danger, especially if they took any gold from this spot. This was considered sacred ground. People disappeared and mysterious deaths occurred. That was why it was called Superstition Mountain.

Those who discovered its whereabouts usually met with an accident. The men who escaped unharmed would plan to return but something always happened to them. They would get sick and die or get in a fight and get killed. Now you know how this mountain got its name.

In 1540, a conquistador by the name of Francisco Vasquez de Coronado went to southern Arizona, searching for the Seven Golden Cities of Cibola. When he talked to the Apaches, they admitted the mountain held an abundance of gold but refused to help because the land was sacred and they feared the great Thunder God. As the Spaniards explored the mountain, men began to vanish. The Apaches told them the great Thunder God had destroyed them. At first they didn’t believe it until they found the bodies of a few men who had mysteriously died. This frightened Coronado’s men and they refused to continue searching. When Coronado realized his men were right, he named it Superstition Mountain.

In 1845, Don Miguel Peralta went searching for the gold and discovered a large amount hidden in the mountain. He couldn’t believe his luck and named it Sombrero Mine. The area looked just like a sombrero. It had a point like a hat with a wide brim. But others thought the peak of the mountain looked more like an index finger pointing toward the sky, so they named it the Finger of God. But that’s not the name it goes by today. When an explorer named Paul Weaver scratched his name in the rock below the tall spire, its new name became Weaver’s Needle.

Peralta soon discovered the richest gold mine in all western history and began shipping it back home to Mexico. When the Apache noticed what was happening, they became angry because they had trespassed onto sacred ground and were stealing what was theirs. In 1848, they decided to drive the foreigners off their land. When Peralta found out, he quickly concealed the mine and headed home with his mules and wagons packed to the brim with gold. But it was too late. A battle pursued and the Apache warriors killed the Spaniards.

In 1870 Jacob Waltz became good friends with a Dutchman named Jacob Weiser and they went in search of this lost gold mine together. One day they showed up in Phoenix, buying whiskey for everyone, celebrating their great fortune with golden nuggets. No one knew where they’d gotten it. They wouldn’t reveal its whereabouts but many suspected they had found the Sombrero Mine. Some say that they stumbled upon it and others say a descendent of Don Miguel Peralta had a map and sold it to them. For the next ten years, they continued bringing in gold nuggets. When Jacob Weiser disappeared, Waltz became paranoid and took extra care to not allow anyone to follow him to the mine. What happened to Jacob Weiser? No one knows for sure. It may have been gold seekers trying to get information out of him.

In 1891, Waltz had finally decided to show his girlfriend where the mine was but never had a chance. He died during the night and took the secret with him. That is why it’s called the Lost Dutchman Goldmine. To this day, men still search for the hidden gold mine. In 1914 a man named Silverlocke discovered $18,000 worth of gold that was found in a rotted leather pack that had been on one of Peralta’s mules.

Legend says a Thunder God protects the mountain. Each summer the great Thunder God roars his loudest, creating thunderstorms like no other, announcing his control over the mountain.

The mystery behind Superstition Mountain was the inspiration for Desert Intrigue. When Julia’s brother announces that his dude ranch is haunted, she believes that someone is trying to sabotage his place and force him to sell. The mysterious happenings have to do with Superstition Mountain, the lost Dutchman’s goldmine, and the great Thunder God. Is it possible that the legend of the Thunder God is actually true? After a terrible thunderstorm, everyone begins to wonder. John and Julia quickly head to Mesa, Arizona and discover a few mysterious events. Will they find out who is behind these disasters before Uncle Kelly’s dude ranch is ruined?

“I loved the first three books in this series, but I actually loved this one even more,” wrote Socrates Book Reviews. “I didn’t think that was possible. The characters are so well written and I absolutely adore each member of the Evans family. They grab at your heartstrings and won’t let go. As for the story, talk about a fast-paced story. Desert Intrigue is that and more! It’s a book that will leave you with that warm fuzzy feeling. Linda Weaver Clarke has outdone herself with this book! I’m sure it comes as no surprise that it’s getting my Socrates’ Great Book Alert.”

From a man’s viewpoint, Rick Estep wrote: “As a guy, it was really great to see a man, check that men, being shown as strong not only physically, but emotionally as well. I’ve read a lot of books where the guy in the book isn’t shown as being connected to his wife/girlfriend through anything other than surface thoughts. With John and his brother-in-law Kelly, though, I saw them as men’s men, and ones that also were invested in the life of the women around them. The story moved quick enough, there were plenty of red herrings to keep me guessing, right down to the ending of the book.”

“Desert Intrigue is an entertaining and joyful book, my favorite in this mystery series by Linda Weaver Clarke. I love the sparks of romance in this adventure–they spice things up and add much interest to the story. The book has a handful of surprises that I did not anticipate, and the mystery fuels much of the action.” —Suko’s Notebook

This book can be purchased through Amazon or Audible audiobooks at: https://www.audible.com/pd/Desert-Intrigue-Audiobook/B07ZG557KD

You can buy this series from Amazon at any of the links below.

Author Linda Weaver Clarke: https://lindaweaverclarke.wordpress.com/cozy-mysteries.

Cozy Mystery Blog: https://cozymysteryseries.wordpress.com

Audiobook Blog: https://familyfriendlyaudiobooks.wordpress.com

My Website: http://www.lindaweaverclarke.com/purchasebook.html

Writing and Arts

Does Montezuma’s Treasure Really Exist?

Montezuma’s treasure has been on people’s minds for ages. The question is, does it really exist? When Cortez arrived in Mesoamerica in the early 1500s, Montezuma thought he was the Great White God who had promised to return one day. It didn’t take long for Montezuma to realize that he had made a mistake. Cortez was a cruel man and began treating the Aztecs abominably. The king, for his own reasons, refused to fight Cortez, but the people had had enough and decided to rebel.

After a great and terrible battle, the Spanish conquistadors were driven back, away from Tenochtitlan, Mexico. During this rebellion, Montezuma was killed. While the Spaniards were taking care of their wounded, the Aztecs quickly bundled up their treasure and took off with it. They had to protect it with their lives because it was sacred. For years, they kept the treasure in honor of their God when he returned. It was estimated at around $10,000,000 worth of gold and jewels.

In 1519, Cortez’s chronicler, Bernal Diaz, recorded what he saw in the village: “All the riches of the world were in that room.” Diaz said that he saw a golden wheel in the form of a sun that was as big as a cartwheel with pictures engraved upon it. There was a silver one, which was an imitation of the moon, and golden statuettes in the shape of jaguars. When Cortez finally won the battle and entered the room where the treasure was kept, he found nothing. After searching the whole village, he found a few small statues, which had been thrown in the lake. Apparently, the Aztecs tried to hide what they didn’t take with them. The archeologists figured the rest had been transported faraway where Cortez would never find the treasure.

The search for Montezuma’s treasure has intrigued many people. In 1914, an old prospector by the name of Freddy Crystal had a newspaper clipping of Anasazi art. It was a photograph of a petroglyph engraved on the side of a cliff located in Johnson Canyon, not far from Kanab, Utah. The petroglyph was similar to the etchings on a treasure map he had found years earlier. After searching the canyon for two long years, he left and returned in 1920 with another map he had obtained in Mexico. It was a copy of a four hundred year old maguey map that he found in a depository of a Mexican monastery.

Maguey is a fibrous plant that is cultivated in Mexico. Years ago they used it like paper and it lasted for centuries. Freddy said that he met a descendant of Montezuma who gave his interpretation of that map. It showed a canyon with seven mountains: four mountains to the north, one on the east side, one on the west, and another on the south. That described the topography of Kanab, Utah. The petroglyphs matched his first map, and the topography matched his second map. The map showed steps on the side of a mountain and marshland below. White Mountain just happened to have steps carved into the sandstone that ascended more than one hundred feet. The only exception was the marshland, which didn’t exist. According to Freddy, marshlands dry up so he began his search for the treasure.

Knowing it was a big task, he promised to share the treasure with all the townsfolk of Kanab if they helped him dig and search for it. For the next two years, at the bottom of White Mountain, a large tent city was created and townsfolk went everyday to help Freddy search for the gold. It was an exciting time for everyone. All the stores and businesses would shut down every day so they could dig.

The town of Kanab was unlike any other town in the United States. They had elected a mayor and a city council of all women, something unusual in 1920 because the eastern states did not recognize women’s rights yet. It was the first petticoat government in all of history. In fact, these good women made sure the county court opened and closed with prayer every time they met. A petticoat government! How awesome is that?

When the townsfolk agreed to help Freddy, Kanab’s city council voted to not have any publicity about the treasure because they didn’t want the word to spread. If that happened, people from all over the country would invade their little town. So if anyone uttered the word “treasure,” they were fined.

After much digging, they found a cave with a series of rooms. They actually found tunnels with booby-traps but no gold. Three boulders almost killed Freddy as they fell to the ground. He claimed they had been set on purpose by the Aztecs. When no gold was found, they figured the Aztecs had moved the treasure to another spot. After everyone gave up, Freddy left and never returned.

Every now and then someone will find the “Aztec Treasure Sign” but no treasure. Many tribes believe that the treasure is protected. Legend says that after hiding everything from Cortez, the tribe designated certain guardians to protect the treasure. If someone gets too close, they will do everything in their power to protect it and quickly move it to another spot. Many Native Americans believe their spirits still guard it today. Where is Montezuma’s treasure? Is it hidden among the Utah Mountains?

This subject was so intriguing to me that I sat down and began writing Montezuma Intrigue. This book is about mysterious events, the search for Montezuma’s treasure, a good-looking rogue, and family secrets. When a leather parchment of Montezuma’s map is found in great-grandfather Evans’ old chest, April and the twins know this summer is going to be a memorable one. With Julia’s help, she and the girls convince John to go on a treasure hunt. Does Montezuma’s treasure exist? Whatever the case, John insists on keeping their little treasure hunt a secret. If certain people find out about it, the family could be in danger. While searching for Montezuma’s treasure, Matthew is trying to find the courage to tell April how he feels about her. How does he tell his kindred friend that she means more to him than just a friend?

“I am charmed by Montezuma Intrigue. The mysteries continue as this author entrances us with life-like characters and electrifying adventures. The search for Montezuma’s treasure is both exciting and memorable. There are also a few romances, and some surprises as well, which kept my reading pleasurable and lively. I enjoyed the adventure and suspense in her latest novel, which kept me reading well into the night.” –Susan Ortlieb, Suko’s Notebook

“The whole Evans family is back for another wild and dangerous adventure,” wrote Socrates Book Review. “This time they have Grandpa along for the ride. As the search begins, Julia’s father tells the family of how he met their grandmother. A story he never told anyone before… not even Julia. The family is enraptured by his tale and eager to learn more about their family’s history, but the story comes to a crashing halt when their lives are threatened by treasure seekers. This story mixes adventure, suspense and romance into one captivating story.”

This book can be purchased at Audible audiobooks at: https://www.audible.com/pd/Montezuma-Intrigue-Audiobook/B07W6RWXBL

You can buy this series from Amazon at any of the links below.

Author Linda Weaver Clarke: https://lindaweaverclarke.wordpress.com/cozy-mysteries.

Cozy Mystery Blog: https://cozymysteryseries.wordpress.com

Audiobook Blog: https://familyfriendlyaudiobooks.wordpress.com

My Website: http://www.lindaweaverclarke.com/purchasebook.html

Writing and Arts

The Mystery of the Mayan Ruins

Chichen Itza

Researching the Mayan ruins was such fun and very intriguing. I needed to know some Mayan history before I could write my next novel, which would be a Suspense Mystery. Did you know that not one pyramid-type structure on this American continent reaches an apex like the Egyptian pyramids? The tops were cut flat and a sacred building was placed on top. In Egypt, the pyramids were used as burial tombs, but in America they were used to worship God. Since they were built for religious purposes, they call them Mayan Temples.

Scientists have found both Hebrew and Egyptian influences in Mexico. It’s puzzling, but it’s true. Dr. Marett, an archaeologist, excavated a tomb at Monte Alban in Mexico. He found two five-foot-tall stone carvings. One carving was Hebrew art and the other was Egyptian. They were both made from the same material and found in the same tomb. There are Egyptian and Hebrew influences here in America.

Dr. Spinden of Peabody Institute and Dr. Morley of Carnegie Institute deciphered the writings on a stone found in that region. What they discovered was amazing. Dr. Spinden wrote, “With records cut in imperishable stone, the Mayas suddenly made their appearance upon the historical scene on August 6, 613 B.C. Why on August 6, 613 B.C.? Where were the Mayas on August 5th? Nobody knows.” (Spinden, Ancient Civilizations of Mexico and Central America. Page 12.) Since there were no land migrations, such as tracks or markings left behind, Dr. Spinden was confused where they had come from.

An archaeologist by the name of Hyatt Verrill had heard about a “Golden Book” that the Mayans claimed to have. He wrote: “According to tradition, a complete history of the Maya was recorded in the Golden Book of the Mayas which, if it actually existed, as it probably did, was so carefully hidden to prevent it from falling into the hands of the Spaniards that it never has been found.” (Verrill, America’s Ancient Civilizations.) To his great surprise, plates of gold were found among the ruins in a cenote, which is a deep sunken hole full of water.

In one of the Indian legends, they say that a White Bearded God appeared to them from the sky and taught them to be wise as serpents and harmless as birds. As I learned about the Mayan culture, I was intrigued by their belief in God and their intelligence. Shortly before the White Bearded God appeared to them, there were “frightful earthquakes” and “volcanic fires” that struck fear into the Mayan people. Here are a few quotes from scholars, archaeologists, and historians that they got from Mayan history.

“The sun and moon were eclipsed, the earth shook and the rocks were rent asunder, and many other things and signs happened. This was in the year CeCalli, which, the chronology being reduced to our system, proves to be the same date when Christ our Lord suffered, 33 A.D.” (Bancroft, Native Races. Vol. 5, Page 210.)

“The land was shaken by frightful earthquakes, and the waves of the sea combined with volcanic fires to overwhelm and engulf it. Most of the inhabitants were destroyed.” (Baldwin, Ancient America. Page 176.)

“The lava swept down from Mt. Ajusco in some cataclysm, covering many square miles of territory to a depth of thirty or forty feet and burying such villages as chanced to lie in its path.” (Spinden, Ancient Civilizations of Mexico and Central America. Page 49.)

After all this destruction, Mayan history says the White Bearded God appeared. With determination, the Mayans rebuilt their cities and roads and began anew.

In Mayan Intrigue, the discovery of a priceless artifact puts Julia’s life in great danger. While on assignment for the newspaper, John and Julia Evans try to enjoy a romantic vacation among the Mayan ruins. When Julia sees a couple of suspicious men exchanging an item, she quickly turns and leaves but it is too late. The men have seen her. Before John and Julia realize what is going on, they are both in danger and find themselves running for their lives through the jungles of the Yucatan.

Mayan Intrigue has a blend of humor, romance, and suspense. This story is based upon the adventures of a married couple and their three daughters. While John and Julia are following some leads in Mexico, their daughters decide it’s time to retaliate when some fraternity boys take advantage of a few coeds. The girls are infuriated at the way the boys treat their friends. It’s Payback Time.

“This is an exciting follow-up to Linda Weaver Clarke’s Anasazi Intrigue,” wrote Socrates Book Review. “She takes us through Cancun and we get to visit the Mayan ruins. Ms. Clarke’s descriptions easily transport the reader to Mexico. You really feel as if you are part of the story. Her words flow beautifully through each page of the book. Readers learn more and more about the beautiful relationship shared by John and Julia. Their commitment to each other is stronger than ever.”

“What starts out as a romantic trip quickly turns into a dangerous adventure among the Mayan ruins and jungles, and the vacationers are on the run from thieves–and wild animals! Excitement prevails! This book is full of mystery and suspense. Linda’s writing is lively and down-to-earth; she has the ability to make you feel as if you’re in these stories, along with John and Julia, trying to decipher the truth and escape from harm.” –Suko’s Notebook

This book can be purchased at Audible audiobooks at: https://www.audible.com/pd/Mayan-Intrigue-The-Adventures-of-John-and-Julia-Evans-Audiobook/B07SJ974ZY.

You can buy this series from Amazon at any of the links below.

Author Linda Weaver Clarke: https://lindaweaverclarke.wordpress.com/cozy-mysteries.

Cozy Mystery Blog: https://cozymysteryseries.wordpress.com

Audiobook Blog: https://familyfriendlyaudiobooks.wordpress.com

My Website: http://www.lindaweaverclarke.com/purchasebook.html

Writing and Arts

The Mystery Behind Artifact Theft

Ancient American artifacts are being sold to the highest bidder. When an ancient ruin is discovered, it doesn’t take long for thieves to find out about it.

In my last blog post, I wrote about the challenge of writing mysteries. This time we’re going to talk about the mystery behind artifact theft. Archaeological thievery is becoming more and more of a problem every year but Utah’s vandalism is the worst in the country. Theft at the Four Corners area of Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona is still a big problem. The damage to these sites is estimated at almost $42,000 in two year’s time. An ancient funeral pit can be sold for as high as $60,000 on the black market, not to mention pottery, baskets, and pendants found by looters.

An article in the Las Vegas Sun Newspaper told about two men who were loading some artifacts in the trunk of their car. A ranger saw what they were doing and questioned them, not realizing he had accidentally stumbled upon the largest operation in the area. The men were arrested and they recovered more than 11,100 relics. That operation is only one out of many.

Archaeological theft has gone corporate. They even pay rent on private property in order to dig without being caught. When an ancient ruin is discovered, it doesn’t take long for thieves to take it apart. Archaeological thievery is becoming more and more of a problem every year. Did you know you could buy artifacts online on eBay? The Native American culture is being sold to the highest bidder.

What is the best way to preserve a culture? How about in a museum where it can be appreciated or in protected areas where tours can be given to the public?

This subject was so intriguing to me that I sat down and did some research for my next novel. The mystery of the Anasazi Indians has grabbed the interest of many archaeologists. Ancient dwellings, petroglyphs, and pottery in Utah are part of Anasazi history.

In Anasazi Intrigue, a mystery suspense, it all begins with a devastating flood, which takes out several homes in southern Utah. Julia Evans, the town’s newest reporter, is shocked when she finds out about a possible poison spill. Intrigued, she jumps into action and begins her investigation. It doesn’t take long until Julia realizes the story and investigation are much bigger and more dangerous than she thought. Julia and her husband find themselves on the run, trying to save their lives while finishing the story of a lifetime. She never imagined that being a reporter could be so dangerous.

“The first pages grab you right in and grab at your heartstrings as you read about the destruction caused by the flood,” wrote Socrates Book Review. “When Julia and John fight for their lives, readers will be on the edge of their seats for this one. There’s also romance in the mix. John and Julia’s marriage is strong and they are quite supportive of each other. Even when they have their ups and downs, it’s not for long and they get right back into each other’s arms. It’s nice to see a relationship portrayed this way. Very realistic and believable. This series is a ‘must read’ for me. And…my Socrates Great Book Alert Award!”

The Santa Clara/Virgin River Flood is part of this story. I bring out what really happened during the flooding in southern Utah. Lost homes can be replaced, but it’s impossible to replace precious treasures and memories that had no value to anyone but the owner. The stories of hope, charity, and little miracles seem to uplift others and have a wonderful effect on people during a crisis such as this.

“John and Julia Evans are a married couple with grown children. It’s nice to see a romantic element to a story that involves mature adults and a marriage that is not perfect, but one in which both people are committed to making it work. Add to that their grown children, a friend of the family, and a group of interesting bad guys, and you have a recipe for a great read.” –The Book Connection

This book can be purchased at Audible audiobooks at: https://www.audible.com/pd/Anasazi-Intrigue-Audiobook/B07Q41YVQN.

You can buy this series from Amazon at any of the links below.

Author Linda Weaver Clarke: https://lindaweaverclarke.wordpress.com/cozy-mysteries.

Cozy Mystery Blog: https://cozymysteryseries.wordpress.com

Audiobook Blog: https://familyfriendlyaudiobooks.wordpress.com

My Website: http://www.lindaweaverclarke.com/purchasebook.html

Find out more about “The Challenge of Writing a Mystery” on my blog at https://lindaweaverclarke.wordpress.com/2021/09/02/the-challenge-of-writing-a-mystery.

Writing and Arts

The Challenge of Writing a Mystery

Many people have asked me why I write in two different genres. I think it’s because I love a challenge. The writing process between romance and mystery has a completely different mind set. With romance, you plan out the plot around the meeting of a couple. As you develop your story, an attraction begins to grow between the characters. You, as the reader, know the outcome. With a mystery, the reader is usually in the dark. The author has to come up with a plot that no one suspects until the end of the story and hope they haven’t figured it out.

There are many types of mysteries to choose from such as a Cozy Mystery, Suspense, Hard Boiled, Soft Boiled, and a Thriller. What is the difference? A Cozy is a slow paced story with a bit of humor but not boring by any means. It always focuses on the main characters and you get to know them personally. This genre is supposed to be G-rated. Suspense has tension but is slower paced. It will keep the reader guessing what the outcome will be throughout the story. A thriller is fast paced and has you on the edge of your seat with constant action. Hard Boiled is a detective story with blood and violence and sex. Soft Boiled is between a Cozy and Hard Boiled, and it isn’t as violent as a Hard Boiled Mystery. Now since you know the difference, you can choose what type of mystery you would like to read.

In a mystery, you may or may not allow your reader to know who the bad guys are, according to what type of mystery it is. In a Cozy, the reader doesn’t know who the bad guys are until the end of the book. With a Suspense, the reader knows who they are and it makes for a more suspenseful outcome. For example: In a Cozy, the heroine hears someone knocking at the door. The person behind the door is a mystery to the reader. In a Suspense, the reader knows who is behind the door and is yelling to the heroine, “No! Don’t answer it!

When I wrote the Amelia Moore Detective Series, a Romantic Cozy Mystery, I tried to be as elusive as possible so the ending would surprise my reader. But I had to also make my characters fun and loveable so my readers would be interested in reading the rest of the stories. There are seven books in this series. My sister-in-law told me that I was the first author who was able to surprise her. (Whew!)

Amelia Moore, founder of the Moore Detective Agency, specializes in missing persons. Along with her partner, Rick Bonito, they are sometimes put in dangerous situations when solving a case. The blend of sweet romance and mystery will touch your heart.

When I wrote the Intrigue Series known as The Adventures of John and Julia Evans, I chose to write a Suspense Mystery. In these stories, my reader knows who the villains are, and this makes for a more suspenseful mystery. Julia is a newspaper reporter and her husband, John, is a professional knife maker. Because of her curiosity, Julia gets herself into a bunch of trouble. In this mystery series, you learn about artifact theft, the Mayan ruins, Montezuma’s treasure, and Superstition Mountain. There are five books in this series: Anasazi Intrigue, Mayan Intrigue, Montezuma Intrigue, Desert Intrigue, and Intriguing Escapades.

I have some rules for writing this genre, whether it’s a Cozy Mystery or a Suspense Mystery.

1. If you are writing a Suspense and are allowing your reader to know who the villain is, you must have villains that make us shiver from their unscrupulous actions.

2. Sometime in the story, the heroine or hero is thrown into chaos. His or her life may be threatened. At first, he or she doesn’t know why but eventually finds out.

3. Strange things happen. For example: the heroine or hero receives a mysterious letter, people are following them, or they are startled from strange sounds in the night.

4. Secrets are gradually being answered as the story develops. As they search for answers, they begin to find clues that bring them closer to their unanswered questions.

5. Emotions are up front. This makes the reader become part of the story.

6. The heroine or hero is pursued, captured, or in terrible danger. Now you have to figure out how he or she will get away.

7. The reader can easily be ahead of the hero and almost see the outcome as he begs, “No! Don’t go in there!” Remember: The reader knows who is behind the door in a Suspense. The reader won’t know who is behind the door in a Cozy.

8. The hero or heroine must have a certain skill so he or she can defeat the villain. If not a skill, an idea can come to his or her mind that will help them get out of the situation.

9. The Climax: The heroine or hero rides to the rescue. The bad guy gets what’s coming to him. The victims need to see the villain get his just rewards.

10. Resolution: All loose ends are tied up here. You must answer any questions the reader might have missed during the story or may not understand.

At the end of the book, you cheer when the good guy wins. You applaud as you watch the bad guy get his just rewards. You sigh when the hero takes the heroine in his arms and gives her a kiss. Then you close the book and hope to read another story that is just as entertaining as the one you read.

You can buy this series from Amazon at any of the links below.

Author Linda Weaver Clarke: https://lindaweaverclarke.wordpress.com/cozy-mysteries.

Cozy Mystery Blog: https://cozymysteryseries.wordpress.com

Audiobook Blog: https://familyfriendlyaudiobooks.wordpress.com

My Website: http://www.lindaweaverclarke.com/purchasebook.html

Writing and Arts

Fun Facts When Writing Historical Romance

Research is important when writing historical fiction. I had fun writing this series because I put some interesting facts in each of my stories. I will list one historical fact from each book so you will understand what goes into my research.

In Melinda and the Wild West, I found that Butch Cassidy robbed the bank in Montpelier, Idaho in 1896. I used every detail of the robbery in my novel. I found that Butch Cassidy referred to himself as the “Robin Hood of the West.” He wrote: “The best way to hurt them is through their pocket book. They will holler louder than if you cut off both legs. I steal their money just to hear them holler. Then I pass it out among those who really need it.” Cassidy never acted without a well staked-out plan. That was why he never got caught. Every year, Montpelier puts on a reenactment of the robbery for the public.

In Edith and the Mysterious Stranger, my heroine is a nurse. My great grandmother, Frances Davies, saved a man’s life who had been gored by a bull. Since the doctor was gone, the neighbors went to her for help. Every detail was recorded in her biography and I used it for my story. Finding that his abdomen was torn open, she washed away the blood and relocated the man’s protruding intestines. After she sewed him up with a violin gut string, Frances fixed a liniment of arnica burrs steeped in alcohol and then she applied some sterilized cloths to his wound, which was saturated with the liniment. The man lived for over 20 years after his accident. I knew that my heroine had to have this experience as a young nurse in my story.

For the subplot of Jenny’s Dream, the community has to deal with a vicious grizzly bear that is roaming the mountains. In the history of the Rocky Mountains, there have been many bears that roam the mountains, but none so famous as Old Ephraim. He roamed the mountains from Soda Springs, Idaho to the Logan Utah Canyon from 1911 to 1923. They called him Old Ephraim or Old Three Toes, since he only had three toes on one foot. As a subplot to my story, I added the actions and deeds of this vicious grizzly. Old Ephraim measured at exactly nine feet and eleven inches tall, and weighed 1100 pounds.

As the subplot for Sarah’s Special Gift, I added the story of the Bear Lake Monster. The mystery of the Bear Lake Monster has been an exciting part of Bear Lake history since 1863 and beyond. The Native American legend of the Bear Lake Monster made life a little more exciting for the pioneers. Some people claimed to have seen the monster and gave descriptions of it. Throughout the years, no one has ever disproved the Bear Lake Monster. Is it fact or fiction? It was fun to add accounts of those who claimed to have seen it in my story.

Elena Woman of Courage was such fun to research. I wanted Elena to be a doctor during the 1920s, so I did some research and found that Elizabeth Blackwell was the first woman to graduate with a doctor’s degree in 1849. Women were not allowed to attend a medical university until 1899. So how did Elizabeth get in? She hounded them until the faculty gave in and admitted her as a joke. They figured she would fail miserably. But she fooled the professors and graduated at the top of her class. After her graduation, she sadly found that no hospital would hire her because she was a woman. But this did not stop her. Elizabeth organized her own clinic in New York and helped many people. She also opened a medical college for women where they could have the opportunity to get an education.

The language of the twenties was so fascinating. Here are a few slang words I got from my research: Ah, horsefeathers! – An expletive; Doll – an attractive woman; Cat’s pajamas – How wonderful! Chassis – a woman’s body; Gams – a woman’s legs; Spooning – kissing or talking about love; Bank’s closed – There’s no kissing tonight.

A BEAR LAKE FAMILY SAGA SERIES

Melinda and the Wild West (Book 1): Melinda is a schoolteacher. She has many challenges but it’s a rugged rancher who challenges Melinda with the one thing for which she was least prepared—love.

Edith and the Mysterious Stranger (Book 2): Edith is a nurse. When a mysterious stranger starts writing to Edith, she gets to know a man’s inner soul before making any harsh judgments. Whoever he is, this man is a mystery but is he as wonderful in person as he is in his letters?

Jenny’s Dream (Book 3): Jenny is an aspiring author. She has a dream to fulfill, but the only thing standing in her way is an unpleasant memory, which has haunted her since childhood. She must learn to forgive before she can follow her dream.

Sarah’s Special Gift (Book 4): Sarah is a beautiful and successful dance teacher but she is not an average young woman. Sarah is deaf, but this does not stop her from living life to its fullest. And it does not stop her from falling in love with a man who needs her help.

Elena, Woman of Courage (Book 5): The Roaring Twenties was a time of great change, when women raised their hemlines and bobbed their hair. As Elena fights to prove herself as the town’s first female doctor, the town’s most eligible bachelor finds it a challenge to see if he can win her heart.

LEARN HOW TO GET A FREE AUDIO BOOK FROM AUDIBLE! Receive this audiobook free if you join audible.com. Membership includes two free audiobooks and you can choose from 150,000+ titles. Go to Linda Weaver Clarke’s AudiblePage and find the book you’re interested in and sign up for some free audiobooks. My Audible Page: https://www.audible.com/author/Linda-Weaver-Clarke/B004P47EWO

Writing and Arts

The Heroes of a Historical Romance Series

This is a family saga set in Bear Lake Valley. It was such fun to write. JUST FOR FUN… I’m posting a pic of what each hero would look like if he came alive on the pages of my stories. Let me know what you think.

Gilbert from Melinda & the Wild West

Melinda and the Wild West: Melinda Gamble is a schoolteacher in the small town of Paris, Idaho. She has many challenges such as trying to help a rebellious student, coming face-to-face with a notorious bank robber, startling a grizzly bear, and finding herself in a terrible blizzard that leaves her clinging to her life. No matter the trial that comes her way, she is ready to fight for what she believes in. But it’s a rugged rancher who challenges Melinda with the one thing for which she was least prepared—love.

Joseph from Edith & the Mysterious Stranger

Edith and the Mysterious Stranger: Edith is a nurse. She never gives a man a second chance because her expectations are so high. When a mysterious stranger begins writing to Edith, she wonders if he is as wonderful in person as he is in his letters? Whoever he is, this man is a mystery and the best thing that has ever happened to her. With Halloween, cattle rustlers, and writing to a mysterious stranger, there is always something happening.

Will from Jenny’s Dream

Jenny’s Dream: Jenny is an aspiring author. She has a dream to fulfill, but the only thing standing in her way is an unpleasant memory, which has haunted her since childhood. She must learn to forgive before she can follow her dream. Meanwhile, a legendary ten-foot grizzly is seen in the area and its boldness has frightened the community. How about Jenny’s neighbor? Is he more than a friend? After she realizes that Will means more to her than she thought, she must now choose between a career and romance. 

David from Sarah’s Special Gift

Sarah’s Special Gift: Sarah is a successful dance teacher, but she is not an average young woman. Sarah is deaf, but this does not stop her from living life to its fullest. And it does not stop her from falling in love with a man who needs her help. Meanwhile, David learns about the legend of the Bear Lake Monster and is determined to prove there is no such monster. Does the Bear Lake Monster really exist? Find out in this sweet romance.

John from Elena, Woman of courage

Elena, Woman of Courage: When Elena Yeates settles into a small western town as the newest doctor, a few problems arise. The town is not ready for a female doctor, let alone one so strong and independent. As Elena tries to prove she is a capable doctor, the town’s most eligible bachelor finds it a challenge to see if he can win her heart. When you mix a happy-go-lucky bachelor with a roaring 20s woman, look out!

“Clarke’s books are enjoyable to read, and although they’re wholesome, they’re never boring. Linda Weaver Clarke is outstanding at presenting the characters’ thoughts, especially when it comes to romance, and she captures the highs and lows of romantic life rather adeptly. The author also pays close attention to historical accuracy.” —Suko’s Notebook

Dear Linda,

 I just finished reading Melinda and the Wild West. Thank you for such a wonderful book! I have complained for over a year about not being able to read a really good, satisfying book. And believe me, it seems I have read EVERYTHING! When I walk into the bookstore or library I always ask if they would be able to recommend a morally clean, fun book without a bunch of swearing, sex or violence, but yet still attention grabbing right away and attention sustaining. I have truly gotten some looks with that request! Well, wouldn’t you know I finally found exactly what I was looking for in your writing. I try to be selective in what I read, therefore I end up going back to the classics. I can’t wait to read the next books in the saga. Thank you, thank you, thank you. 

Sincerely,

Jane Middlesworth, St. Louis, Missouri

LEARN HOW TO GET A FREE AUDIO BOOK FROM AUDIBLE! Receive one of my audiobooks free if you join audible.com. Membership includes two free audiobooks and you can choose from 470,000+ titles. Go to Linda Weaver Clarke’s AudiblePage and find the book you’re interested in and sign up for some free audiobooks.

My Audible Page: https://www.audible.com/author/Linda-Weaver-Clarke/B004P47EWO

Writing and Arts

The Roaring Twenties – A Time of Change and Independence!

The Roaring Twenties

The “Roaring Twenties” was a new decade of independent women, when they raised their hemlines and bobbed their hair. This new hairstyle brought about a lot of commotion. A teacher in Jersey City was ordered to grow her hair back by the school board. If she didn’t grow it back, then she would be fired. A prestigious department store actually fired all the employees who had bobbed hair. In the newspaper, a preacher warned his congregation that a “bobbed woman was a disgraced woman.” In fact, men actually divorced their wives over the new hairstyle. Can you imagine the conversation between a husband and wife, ordering her to grow her hair back?

Women raised their hemlines to their knees and wore long beads down to the waist. This new style accentuated the hips and beautiful legs of a woman. It was a new era for everyone. Jazz became famous and George Gershwin’s music was the craze. He was known as the “King of Jazz.” People would sit around the radio and listen to music, comedy shows, live performances, and the news.

In 1921, the first Miss America contest was held. In 1922, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches became popular. Dance marathons were the craze in 1923, and people danced until they dropped from exhaustion. There was the Charleston, Fox Trot, and the Shimmy. To dance the Shimmy, one held his body straight and then shook it rhythmically from the shoulders on down to the knees. In 1927, the first talking movie was released called “The Jazz Singer.”

During the Roaring Twenties, this new generation spoke a language that their parents didn’t understand. They used words such as: Cat’s pajamas! Horsefeathers! Baloney! Hotsy-totsy! It was popular among the youth to say “Ab-so-lute-ly”.

If you were “all wet,” you were mistaken. If you were a “sap,” you were a fool. When referring to a woman, they used doll, tomato, and bearcat. A woman’s legs were “gams” and her lovely shape was referred to as a “chassis.” If you were in love, you had a “crush,” were “goofy” or “moonstruck.” Some men hoped for a romantic kissing session on the porch after taking his date home. They were usually disappointed if she just happened to say: “Sorry, the bank’s closed.” That meant: No kissing tonight. What a fun expression to use!

Many parents were in the dark, wondering what their children were talking about. So the next time you decide to complain about the language, music, and strange dances of this generation, remember what the parents of the roaring twenties must have felt. I’m sure they worried and fretted about their children. Is that what we do today? Do we worry about our children?

The kids now days are hotsy-totsy. My daughters ab-so-lute-ly amaze me with their outlook on life. What do I say about this new generation? Cat’s pajamas! Definition: “How Wonderful!”

After researching this era, my new historical romance was born. In Elena, Woman of Courage, Elena gets her degree as a doctor and must struggle to make her practice a success. She is a courageous woman who went to college during a time when women were not encouraged to be educated beyond high school. As she fights to prove herself, the town’s most eligible bachelor becomes interested in her. When you mix a happy-go-lucky bachelor with a roaring 20s woman, you have Elena, Woman of Courage.

“John Roberts is one of the most eligible bachelors in town but when a relationship becomes serious, John takes off. The first time John sees Elena Yeates, he is amazed by her beauty. He feels a flutter in his heart every time he sees her. But Elena wants nothing to do with him. Elena Woman of Courage is a wonderful book full of passion and romance, as well as a touch of suspense and humor. The characters are matched perfectly and it is sweet to watch romance develop between John and Elena.” —Kim Atchue-Cusella, Book Loons

“Linda Weaver Clarke is outstanding at presenting the characters’ thoughts, especially when it comes to romance, and she captures the highs and lows of romantic life rather adeptly. The author also pays close attention to historical accuracy.” —Suko’s Notebook Reviews

This book can be purchased at Audible audiobooks at: https://www.audible.com/pd/Elena-Woman-of-Courage-A-Family-Saga-in-Bear-Lake-Idaho-Volume-5-Audiobook/B07JJJS87W.

You can buy this series from Amazon at any of the links below.

Author Linda Weaver Clarke: https://lindaweaverclarke.wordpress.com/historical-romances

Historical Romance Blog: https://historicalromances.wordpress.com

Audiobook Blog: https://familyfriendlyaudiobooks.wordpress.com

My Website: http://www.lindaweaverclarke.com/purchasebook.html

Writing and Arts

Is the Bear Lake Monster a Legend or Real?

The waves splashed gently upon the shore and the full moon shone brightly upon Bear Lake, making the water shimmer. A few feet from shore, the water abruptly parted and exposed a gigantic brown lump about 90-feet long. Water was trickling down its sides as it floated in the stillness of the night. At first glance it looked like an enormous log that had floated to the surface. After a few seconds, it slowly moved toward shore. A thunderous noise, like the roaring of an angry bull, pierced the night and was heard from the shores of Bear Lake and beyond. Immediately, the sounds of nature became silent and an eerie sense of foreboding remained in the atmosphere.

Scotland has the Lock Ness Monster and Bear Lake Valley has theirs. The mystery of the Bear Lake Monster has been an exciting part of Idaho history ever since the early pioneers arrived in 1863. The legend of the Bear Lake Monster made life a little more exciting for the pioneers. Some people claimed to have seen it and gave descriptions of it. Throughout the years, no one has ever disproved the Bear Lake Monster. A bunch of scientists said it was a huge codfish that was shipped in from the East. Does the Bear Lake Monster exist? Is it fact or fiction, legend or myth?

The legend of the Bear Lake Monster began with the Natives who inhabited this valley. When the settlers arrived, the Natives told them about the Great Bear Lake Monster. It had captured and carried off two of their braves while swimming. The legend came alive when people began reporting its existence.

Thomas Sleight and John Collings of Paris, Idaho, and Allen and M.C. Davis of St. Charles were taking six girls home after a party in Fish Haven when they stopped off at the lake. Some unusually large waves got their attention. They noticed four brown lumps and six smaller ones that were heading southward. They swam with incredible speed, about a mile a minute, until they were out of sight.

One summer day in 1868, S. M. Johnson was riding his horse alongside the shoreline when he saw an object floating in the water. At first glance, it looked like a man’s body. He was shocked and thought someone had drowned so he trotted his horse closer and watched the object. When the water didn’t wash the body ashore, he figured it must have been a tree that was anchored to the bottom of the lake with its roots still in tact. He was shocked when it opened a gigantic mouth and blew water toward him. Johnson said it had a skinny head, huge pointy ears, and three small legs that rose up from the water as it approached the shore. Without hesitation, he kicked his horse and they fled.

Some time later, a group of twenty people spotted the monster, which included prominent men of the community. Two outstanding leaders who reported the sighting were Wilford Woodruff and George Q. Cannon. All the reports have pretty much the same description. The monster’s eyes were flaming red and its ears stuck out from the sides of its skinny head. Its body was long, resembling a gigantic alligator, and it could swim faster than a galloping horse. It had small legs and a huge mouth, big enough to eat a man.

As I researched this subject for my next book, Sarah’s Special Gift, I became intrigued with this legend. I only lived about a half hour away, over the mountain from Bear Lake Valley. So… is the Bear Lake Monster real? Whatever conclusion is drawn, the legend still lives on and brings a great deal of mystery and excitement to the community.

In Sarah’s Special Gift, Sarah is a beautiful and successful dance teacher. She is deaf, but this does not stop her from living life to its fullest. While visiting the Roberts family, David finds himself entranced with this very special lady and ends up defending her honor several times. He finds that Sarah has gone through many trials as she teaches him the importance of not dwelling on the past and how to love life.

“The romantic friction between David and Sarah is central to a story that will have you cheering for them to get together! The fun part is wondering if there is truly a monster in the lake. It makes for an interesting adventure, with a surprise ending to the ‘tale’ of the monster. I love that the author based the monster on a local folklore in Idaho.” Allison King, from Allison’s Attic

“This is a heart-warming story of finding that right person to live the rest of your life with. It teaches us that people with disabilities are just like any other person who has dreams for their life. So, if you want to laugh, learn and live in the life of some wonderful characters…. read this book and enjoy the journey!” –Allison’s Attic

This book can be purchased Audible audiobooks at https://www.audible.com/pd/Sarahs-Special-Gift-Audiobook/B07G7H1HH7

You can buy this series from Amazon at any of the links below.

Author Linda Weaver Clarke: https://lindaweaverclarke.wordpress.com/historical-romances

Historical Romance Blog: https://historicalromances.wordpress.com

Audiobook Blog: https://familyfriendlyaudiobooks.wordpress.com

My Website: http://www.lindaweaverclarke.com/purchasebook.html

Writing and Arts

A Ten-Foot Grizzly in the Rocky Mountains?

In the history of the Rocky Mountains, there have been many bears that roamed the mountains and fields. There was one such grizzly whose story has been told at campfires to anxious young scouts who wanted to know about Old Ephraim, the ten-foot grizzly. He was commonly known as “Old Three Toes” because of a deformity on one foot. He roamed the mountains from Soda Springs, Idaho to the Logan Canyon in northern Utah from 1911 to 1923.

The evidence of the strength and power of this bear was frightening. At one point, he bit a thirteen-foot log, twelve inches in diameter, into eleven lengths as though they had been chopped. He also bit off a six-inch aspen limb in just one bite, which was nine feet and eleven inches above the ground. He even broke the back of a cow with just one blow of his gigantic paw.

For twelve years, he had been wreaking havoc in the communities. Old Three Toes did some major damage to the flocks, crippling the sheep owners financially. He was becoming a bolder and more ruthless killer as the years passed. Because of this one grizzly, sheep owners had a tough time hiring men to tend their sheep. Many of the sheepherders refused to stay on the job. At last, the community decided it was time to stop Old Three Toes and put an end to his killing. They set trap after trap at all his lairs and wallows. But it was all for naught. Many times his distinctive tracks were all around the trap as if avoiding it. Other times the bear trap was flung many yards away. He was the smartest grizzly anyone had ever encountered.

Frank Clark from Malad, Idaho had had enough and decided to stop Old Ephraim himself. When he saw how many sheep and other animals were being slaughtered, he made it his goal to stop the old grizzly. After a long and steady search for several years, he set a trap at the bottom of a pond where Old Three Toes bathed. He swished the water around to create a cloud of dirt. When it finally settled upon the trap, he took a branch and wiped away his tracks as he backed away from the pond and then headed for camp.

One evening, he heard an ear-piercing roar of the grizzly. When he went to the pond, the sight of the gigantic bear took his breath away. He had never imagined Old Three Toes would be so massive and enormous. Not only that, but he had broken the bear trap. He was angry and when he saw Frank, he rose on his hind legs—all ten feet of him—and headed for his next victim…Frank Clark.

At that instant, Frank froze where he stood. Fear wedged in his chest and he could not move an inch. When the bear was six feet from him, Frank quickly got his wits about him and did the only thing he could. Frank pulled his trigger and shot the grizzly, but it didn’t faze him one bit. Old Three Toes continued toward him. So Frank turned around and ran as fast as he could. When he realized the bear was catching up to him and there was no escape, he turned around and shot Old Ephraim once again but this time in a vital area. The bear fell to the ground with a thud on August 21, 1923. It measured at exactly nine feet and eleven inches tall, and weighed 1100 pounds.

The story of Old Ephraim still lives on, being retold at campfires today. Since I am from southern Idaho, I decided to write a historical romance with Old Ephraim as part of the story.

Jenny’s Dream is the story of a young girl’s desire to become a writer and how she finds love in her own backyard. The only thing standing in her way is an unpleasant memory, which has haunted her since childhood. She must learn to forgive before she can follow her dream. Meanwhile, the legendary ten-foot grizzly is seen in the area and its boldness has frightened the community. This book is about the miracle of forgiveness.

Jenny’s Dream tells a beautiful story that incorporates the value of loyalty, love, family and forgiveness into it. I enjoyed how the author put real experiences taken from her family into the plot. This is a great touch because it makes the story seem real. Jenny’s Dream is a wonderful story. It is a wholesome novel that will be enjoyed by family members of all ages. I think this series is destined to be a classic.” –Paige Lovitt, Reader Views.

“Linda Weaver Clarke has captured the essence of reaching for your dreams, no matter what happens to throw you off the path of getting there. Jenny’s Dream is a book for all ages that can wrap you up and make you feel all warm inside with the love and hope that dreams can come true if you believe hard enough.” –Allison King, Rebecca’s Reads

(Note to the reader: The story of Old Ephraim can be found under “Old Ephraim” written by Newell J. Crookston.)

This book can be purchased at Audible audiobooks at: https://www.audible.com/pd/Jennys-Dream-Audiobook/B07D9VP476.

You can buy this series from Amazon at any of the links below.

Author Linda Weaver Clarke: https://lindaweaverclarke.wordpress.com/historical-romances

Historical Romance Blog: https://historicalromances.wordpress.com

Audiobook Blog: https://familyfriendlyaudiobooks.wordpress.com

My Website: http://www.lindaweaverclarke.com/purchasebook.html

Writing and Arts

Is It Possible to Fall in Love Through Letters?

There are many websites where you can meet others and try to find your soul mate… your one and only true love. Is this possible? I’ve heard of stories about someone falling in love through letters, yet had never met in person. We’ve all heard of someone who met her sweetheart this way. The question is this… is it possible to fall madly in love through letters only…without meeting?

To me, it seemed strange. But yet, sort of romantic. One day I asked my mother how she met my father. They had been married for years and were still in love. I could see it in the way he treated her, the way he wrapped his arms around her waist while doing the dishes and the way he kissed her when he thought I wasn’t watching. So one day I asked my mother how they met. Low and behold, it was through letters. Really? I had to know more. I learned that her girlfriend was a teacher in southern Idaho and she decided to be a matchmaker. She knew a good-looking twenty-nine year old farmer that my mother could write to. So she gave his address to her and they began writing.

My mother told me that it was through letters she was able to get to know my father and who he truly was deep down inside. When writing a letter, it’s easier to write our innermost feelings on paper for some reason. I had never thought of it like that before. My mother said that it didn’t take long to realize how attracted she was to him and she began falling in love with him. After reading his letters, I soon found out how romantic he was. No wonder she fell in love with him. He wrote words such as this: Hello, You little thief! What have you done with my heart? Where did you hide it? I need it. I can’t get along without it. He was so romantic and that impressed me.

After realizing their feelings for one another, they decided it was time to meet. She told me about their first meeting. They had arranged to meet at a dance social. She had said: “When our eyes met, my heart leapt within me and a warm glow filled my soul, telling me that he was the man I was going to marry.”

My heart melted as she described her feelings that day. Her story and their love letters were so romantic. It touched my heart like no other story ever told. How many others had met and fallen in love this way? This became the inspiration for my next novel, Edith and the Mysterious Stranger. I gave Edith the same feelings and struggles that my mother had while searching for her soul mate. There is one difference in my story, though. I don’t let my readers know who encouraged the “mysterious stranger” to write to Edith until the last chapter.

In this Inspirational Historical Romance, Edith is a nurse and has gone home to assist her cousin who is “with child.” Edith has wonderful qualities but never gives a man a second chance because her expectations are so high…just like my mother. However, all that changes when a mysterious stranger starts writing to her. For the first time, she gets to know a man’s inner soul before making any harsh judgments…just like my mother. Whoever he is, this man is a mystery and the best thing that has ever happened to her. The question that puzzles her is whether or not he is as wonderful in person as he is in his letters… letters that were given much thought… letters written so eloquently… letters that touched her heart!

(Note to the reader: Years after I had written this novel, my daughter begins writing to a young man and falls in love through email and talking through the Internet. Yes, they got married and are very happy.)

The Amherst Bee Newspaper of Buffalo, New York wrote: “Clarke draws the reader into a world full of color and intrigue right from the first page. The end is uplifting. I would highly recommend Edith and the Mysterious Stranger to anyone looking for a novel that just makes you feel good.”

“The Power of the Written Word — this is the life lesson I took away from Linda Weaver Clarke’s book Edith and the Mysterious Stranger. I would definitely recommend this to anyone interested in a good inspirational read from beginning to end. You won’t be disappointed.” –Wendy Cleveland of Reader Views

This book can be purchased at Audible audiobooks at https://www.audible.com/pd/Edith-and-the-Mysterious-Stranger-Audiobook/B07BN2MJT3

You can buy this series from Amazon at any of the links below.

Author Linda Weaver Clarke: https://lindaweaverclarke.wordpress.com/historical-romances

Historical Romance Blog: https://historicalromances.wordpress.com

Audiobook Blog: https://familyfriendlyaudiobooks.wordpress.com

My Website: http://www.lindaweaverclarke.com/purchasebook.html

Writing and Arts

The Inspiration Behind Award Winning Historical Romance

It is interesting to know the inspiration behind a book that authors write. Some authors are inspired by an event in their lives or by something they’ve read in a newspaper. Others have dreams that motivate a new story. In my case, it was personal. I had a heartrending experience that I never forgot. This experience was the inspiration for my award winning historical romance, Melinda and the Wild West.

I was a substitute teacher for an elementary school and had subbed for this class before, but that day was different. Something was definitely wrong and I was not sure what it was. As I moved toward the back of the room, I noticed a desk that was hidden behind a bookshelf. I peered around the corner and saw an eight-year-old girl resting her head against her arms. I was surprised. Why was this student separated from the rest of the children? Why was she hidden behind this bookshelf… alone?

One of the students volunteered, “She has to sit there because she’s a trouble-maker. She doesn’t do her schoolwork and fights with the boys at recess.”

She was a slender and pretty young girl. After excusing the children for recess, I talked to her. I couldn’t seem to soften her angry eyes and her rebellious attitude. So I decided to compliment her. I told her how pretty her dress was and how nice her hair was fixed. After a while, I had the young girl smiling. I didn’t like where she was seated, so I moved her desk beside my own where she could be near me and I could help her. When the students entered class and noticed what I had done, they complained but I told them I was in charge that day. Her desk would remain by mine.

As the day wore on, I spent much time with this young girl, helping her, talking to her, having her pass out papers to the students. I even sat beside her during a music class they were supposed to attend. By the end of the day, I had grown to love this young student and my heart went out to her. She had been bullied by her peers and misunderstood by her teacher. As a result, the teacher had labeled her as a troublemaker in front of the students. At the end of the day, I was supposed to write a note about the young girl’s behavior so she could give it to her parents. After the class was empty, I packed up and walked out the door.

To my surprise, the mother of the young girl walked up to me with the note and asked, “Did you write this?” After acknowledging that I had, the young mother’s eyes welled up with tears as she said, “Her teacher has never written anything positive about my daughter. I want to thank you very much. This means a lot to me.”

A teacher’s job is a difficult one and I appreciate what teachers do to educate our youth. But many times we make mistakes and have to apologize when we say something unkind. Children tend to forgive so easily.

This experience affected me quite a bit and I never forgot it. I remember when my own eight year old daughter was labeled as a troublemaker, simply because she was an active child. Angela’s teacher didn’t know how to cope with a lively child and had given her a negative label. This broke my heart. I realized that my daughter’s self-esteem was being hurt. The following year, Angela’s new teacher was an elderly woman who understood my little girl. She realized my daughter had a tough time sitting still, so she allowed her to stand at her desk as she did her work. Because of the love of this teacher, my daughter wanted to learn. This sweet teacher helped to boost my little girl’s self-esteem.

Negative labels tear our children down in front of their peers. My husband told me about a young classmate of his, whom the teacher called “dummy” whenever he did something without thinking. The students soon picked up on it and the boy lived with this label until he left school. How would he have turned out if the teacher had labeled him something positive? What if he was labeled as “one who can create with his hands” or “one who is kind to others?”

I soon realized that negative labeling was something that had been going on for years. A few months later, I sat down and wrote Melinda and the Wild West: A Family Saga in Bear Lake, Idaho. This story is about a teacher who helps a rebellious student, but it’s a rugged rancher who challenges Melinda with the one thing for which she was least prepared—love.

This book won an award for Reader Views “Reviewers Choice Award.” Debra Gaynor from Reader Views wrote: “From the first page I was captivated by this book. I had to continue reading, rushing to turn the page, I had to see what next adventure would catch up with Melinda. The plot is interesting: mixing history with fiction, adventure with romance. It is a great honor to highly recommend this book to readers of historical fictions and romance. Ms Clarke, this is a piece to be proud of. Well done!”

When a rugged rancher and a determined schoolteacher meet, they tend to butt heads and clash with each encounter, but at the same time there seems to be an underlying interest in one another. Page One Literary Book Review wrote: “Linda Weaver Clarke displays an easy and excellent style of writing, blending adventure/romance/history/humor and courage. Melinda and the Wild West is an instant classic and should put this author on the literary map all over the world.”

“Melinda and the Wild West” can be purchased at Audible audiobooks at: https://www.audible.com/pd/Melinda-and-the-Wild-West-The-Award-Winning-Original-Version-Audiobook/B07M62GL6S.

You can buy this series from Amazon at any of the links below.

Author Linda Weaver Clarke: https://lindaweaverclarke.wordpress.com/historical-romances

Historical Romance Blog: https://historicalromances.wordpress.com

Audiobook Blog: https://familyfriendlyaudiobooks.wordpress.com

My Website: http://www.lindaweaverclarke.com/purchasebook.html