The Uncial Letter ~ January 2019

Lisa James reveals the source of her story…

We all do it. We writers we are always looking for the opportunity to do it. You know what I mean. We are always on the hunt for dialogue ideas, narrative ideas, scene ideas, even entire story ideas. They may be sparked by another book we’ve read, a movie we’ve seen and loved–or hated, a friend’s life story, or even a casual comment by a coworker. We may even get them by observing strangers at a mall, at a restaurant, or at a park. When we find them, we experience a moment of sheer bliss–followed by the knowledge that now we have to get it down on paper and then rewrite and rewrite and rewrite.

My latest ebook, Have Mercy, was inspired by an article in a women’s magazine that I read years ago when I was a teenager. My parents divorced when I was eight years old. My mother then married the man she had been having an affair with who had also been married at the time. This second marriage was even more unhappy than her fifteen-year marriage to my father had been and also resulted in divorce after nine tumultuous years.

As a result, I was fascinated by the “Can This Marriage Be Saved” articles in Ladies Home Journal because in less than fifteen minutes–the time it took me to read the article–a troubled marriage was saved. Wow. How neat was that?

I was drawn to similar type articles. The one I came across that gave me the idea for Have Mercy was by a psychologist whose own marriage had not survived. She wrote of how our childhoods can profoundly affect our adult lives. Yes, standard stuff. But for her it became a revelation because of what she had experienced over a period of years when she was a teenager. She believed that she had been drawn to psychology because subconsciously she was looking for help to cope with her own long-ago ordeal. Yet even after becoming a psychologist, it still took her years of analysis to figure out how her traumatic childhood had damaged her so terribly that she had deliberately chosen to marry an unloving and controlling man to punish herself for her perceived sins. Her divorce from an increasingly unhappy marriage of over ten years’ duration was necessary and liberating.

Of course, I couldn’t have my anguished heroine marry an unloving man. So I began, as we all do, with the big “What Ifs.” What if, just like the psychologist, she had no true understanding of how and why her past was still affecting her life? What if she married a loving man who, unaware of her trauma, was determined to keep their marriage together no matter what? What if, together, they realized their love for each other meant her past didn’t matter?

I wish all my fellow writers joy and success with their own “What Ifs,” and hope our readers delight in our efforts.


We’d like to believe that every wedding is the prelude to a Happy Ever After. Yes, we know life isn’t that simple, but still, we really want to believe that love will triumph over adversity, and that a couple who truly love each other will stay together until death does them part. Lisa James clearly believes this too, but she’s also realist enough to understand that something so wonderful, so worthwhile, won’t be easy. That’s especially true after a whirlwind courtship lasting only two weeks. The marriage lasted three months, before Rivie realized she could never tell Sean the truth about her past. But Sean won’t give her up easily, and six months later he embarks upon a campaign to convince Rivie that she can trust him, no matter what. Only time, and great trust on both their parts, can mend their marriage and give them that Happy Ever After. Lisa’s Have Mercy (ISBN 978-1-60174-246-9; $5.99) is the first book in the R & R Blues Duo, to be followed by Harper’s Chance in April 2019.

We’ll introduce a delightful new author to you in March. Alexandra Wallner’s Pinocchio Island is a mystery that’s  a satire, that’s a ghost story, that’s funny and poignant and appetizing and… well, you’ll just have to read it. Coming 15 March 2019.

If you are a US Government employee on unpaid leave, we owe you a free read. Browse through our offerings . And then write to us at  and tell us which one of our titles you’d like and what format you want (epub, mobi, or pdf). Only one apiece, please.

Live well, love well, laugh well,
Star & Jude

This entry was posted on Saturday, January 19th, 2019 at 2:50 pm and is filed under Coming Soon, eBook Readers, New Releases, Our Authors, Special Offers, Uncategorized, Uncial Letter. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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