Saturday, February 1, 2014

"The Angel Connection" Joins the Book Lovers Giveaway Blog Hop

February 2014

Judi Barton is joining Shelf Stacker in celebrating the month of l'amour with a romantic giveaway and blog hop. 

Two winners will be chosen. US/CAN residents can choose from a signed print version or an ebook edition. Winners from all other countries will receive an ebook.

But first... please read a very special blogpost in which Judi describes the events that inspired her to write The Angel Connection.

What Inspired The Angel Connection
Authors are inevitably asked: “What inspired your book?” When I’m queried about The Angel Connection, my standard (and true) reply is that my own disillusionment with love spurred the longing to write the quintessential love story -- one that I could control! I was also enchanted by the historic village and environs that had recently become my new home. Finally, there was a fascination with the Pennsylvania Impressionist movement that had its roots virtually on my cottage doorstep.

But the real story behind the story is much less romantic and much more complicated. It began with fragments of relentless thought patterns triggered by two seemingly unrelated sources: a) a century old gravestone and b) a headline grabbing television news story. Initially I didn’t understand why I was obsessed with both, but I knew something important was brewing.

Shortly after buying a home in the village that’s the setting for The Angel Connection, I was exploring the local cemetery and came upon an obelisk at the highest rise of the graveyard. The carvings read as follows: “ETTIE SHAW… died on February 14 1874… age 22 years 6 months… 21 days. WILLIE… our only baby… died February 11 1874.” Immediately a vision of the tragedy appeared in my mind: the achingly young wife, giving birth to a child that lived barely a day, dying herself three days later, no doubt by hemorrhage, on Valentine’s Day of all days. I saw the bereaved young father whose world had been shattered. My imagination attached itself to the heartbreaking family drama that had played out one hundred and twenty years ago in this remote country village. I couldn’t shake the images. I played them over and over in my head, grieving as I revisited the grave countless times.

At the same time a tragedy was unfolding in the news media that similarly obsessed me. A married woman named Susan Smith was claiming that an African-American man had kidnapped her two little boys. She was all over the TV, granting countless interviews, sobbing and pleading for the return of her babies, her hapless husband by her side. The media was in frenzy, especially when the little boys’ bodies were dredged up from a nearby lake, strapped into their car seats in the back of Susan Smith’s own vehicle. The truth finally came out: she’d drowned them herself to be with her lover -- just drove the unsuspecting little boys into the lake before saving herself. The reporter in me was horrified and mesmerized by the story. How could she do it? Oddly, I found myself wondering how that murder would have played out one hundred years ago? Absent the pressure and unrelenting attention of modern media and the accompanying technology, would she have gotten away with it?  What kind of woman would sacrifice her own child over a love affair? What if she killed her child inadvertently and had to cover it up? How would she hide the body while simultaneously hiding her grief, her culpability?  Who is this woman who embarks on a course that can only lead to disaster?
Can she be a sympathetic character in spite of her deep flaws?

These human dramas, separated by more than one hundred years, were the bizarre, disparate seeds that took root in in the murky mysterious place where story incubates and, if we’re committed and lucky, ultimately blooms. 

And that’s the true story behind the story that manifested as The Angel Connection.


To enter the giveaway, please comment below and either like Judi's Facebook page OR follow her on Twitter

Facebook: /judithannebarton
Twitter: @jabartonbooks

... and please visit the other terrific blogs taking part in this giveaway!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Judi is a Quotable Author!

Judi's interview with Quinn Barrett for WiseBearMedia's "Quotable Authors Podcast" is live! Please have a listen and learn about how Judi came to write The Angel Connection and her daily writing regimen.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

... and a Very Paranormal Holiday to You! Bloghop & Kindle Fire HD Giveaway

Authors Kallysten and Tricia Schneider have organized a Very Paranormal Holidays Blog Hop to share their love for paranormal romance, help you discover new authors, win books, prizes... and maybe a brand new Kindle Fire HD! I am so thrilled to be invited to participate. Enter to win a copy of my debut novel The Angel Connection and a new Kindle Fire HD, 7", wifi, 16GB (no "special offers" aka ads)! Be sure to read to the end to find out how...

But first, please read about the true paranormal events that happened to me and made their way into my book.

There’s a scene early in The Angel Connection where paranormal happenings convince Morgan the protagonist that the old Rectory she’s impulsively moved into is haunted. The spookiest event takes place one evening in the living room.

Morgan has just discovered a series of charcoal drawings hidden under the floorboards upstairs. The drawings are now spread out on the floor; “a patchwork quilt of white squares resting silently on the carpet. Suddenly the segment of carpet nearest us begins to rise, creating a kind of tunnel effect. As the first tunnel dissolves back into the floor, a second one ripples and rises, then a third and a fourth until the entire carpet of sketches is undulating like miniature ripples on a lake, a subtle low-rise ballet of pale parchments breathing up and down, astonishingly alive.”

This scene didn’t come from my imagination -- it actually happened to me. Back in the '70s my young sons and I moved into an old converted schoolhouse in rural Chester County, Pennsylvania. Shortly after I signed the lease, the landlord casually mentioned that the house was rumored to have ghosts. As a single mother with two little kids in the middle of nowhere, I would have preferred this information be disclosed before the signing of the lease. Too late. My name was on the dotted line. Shortly after that, weird stuff began to happen. Strange shadows oscillating on the cathedral ceiling, a phantasmagoric vision of a woman folding clothes, inexplicable noises in the kitchen, faint footsteps across the floorboards.

One Sunday afternoon, I was hosting a small brunch and talking about the unsettling possibility that there really was a ghost. One of the guests playfully called out, ”Here Ghostie, here ghostie!” My sister-in-law, in her signature Milanese accent, warned: “Don’t call him! He come!” The next moment the carpet in the living room stirred and began to undulate across the floor, creating tunnels from one end to the other. We stood there, pop-eyed and jaws agape. The eerie spectacle continued for perhaps forty seconds. That was the first time the carpet moved, but not the last. It happened several times more over a two-year period and there was no explanation for it.

We eventually vacated the schoolhouse (which we adored, despite the poltergeistic activity!) when my work required me to be closer to Philadelphia.
About five years had passed when a new friend and I discovered in passing that we had both lived in the schoolhouse, though her stay there was a few years prior to mine. We got to talking about the cute little house and ghosts, and I related my own scary stories, with emphasis on the undulating carpet. What she told me next made the hairs on my neck stand at attention.

She’s been in the process of moving out of the schoolhouse. All her furniture was gone but she couldn’t get into her new place until the next day, so she was spending one last night at the house in a sleeping bag on the living room floor. As she lay her head down, she felt the floorboards under her begin to ripple. It felt as if the floor was rising and falling. She spent a sleepless night and couldn’t get out of the place soon enough.
The undulating carpet in The Angel Connection is the first in a series of spooky paranormal events that mysteriously connect two women born a century apart. The convergence of their lives and loves leads to an explosive karmic conclusion. Could such an eerie event as a carpet rising and falling happen in “real life”?

Yes Dear Reader, it happened to me.

Special thanks to Kallysten and Tricia Schneider  for putting this bloghop together and graciously inviting me to take part.

Now to the goodies!

In order to enter the Kindle giveaway, you must first enter to win a copy of The Angel Connection. Two winners will be chosen randomly. US winners can choose between a print or a digital version; international winners will receive a digital version. All the authors participating in this Very Paranormal Holiday Bloghop are offering their readers the same opportunity to enter the Kindle giveaway. You will increase you chances of winning the Kindle if you visit each author below and participating in their individual giveaways. Before the winner of the Kindle Fire HD is announced, the entrant's participation will be validated.

To participate in the Kindle and The Angel Connection Giveaway, you must:
1. "Like" my Facebook page at /JudithAnneBarton
2. Follow me on Twitter @jabartonbooks
3. Leave a comment below

After you've done that, you can enter the Kindle Fire HD giveaway by visiting

Contest ends 12/30/13.

Good luck everyone!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Upcoming Holiday Blog Hop

Judi will be writing a special blog post for A Very Paranormal Holidays Blog Hop from December 15-30, 2013. Please return here during that time to read a bone chilling incident that takes place in The Angel Connection which was inspired by true life events!

You'll have an opportunity to win a copy of The Angel Connection AND a Kindle Fire! How's that for a nice holiday treat for yourself?

Thanks to Tricia Schneider and Kallysten for making this possible!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Judi's Podcast Interview Tomorrow

Judi will be a guest on  The View From Over Here with Stan Weisleader tomorrow, Tuesday, October 12, 10-11am PT. Please visit CRN Digital Talk Radio and click on CRN1 to listen. If you can't listen live, the podcast will be available on the site.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The Broken Angel

Judi's guest post on Shelf Pleasure is a touching and tender story about her search for the angel statue that graces the cover of The Angel Connection. Please read about her journey and discovery during her recent return visit to Bucks County, PA.