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Viewing Blog: Sweet Music on Moonlight Ridge, Most Recent at Top
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Alabama author, Ramey Channell, invites you to visit the magical world of Moonlight Ridge.
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1. Welcoming Carmen Agra Deedy to Moonlight Ridge



Welcome to the SCBWI
Springmingle '13 blog tour.

I'm so happy to introduce one of the keynote speakers at the upcoming 2013 Springmingle,
.
Carmen Agra Deedy 

Children's book author and storyteller Carmen Agra Deedy was born in Havana, Cuba, came to live in the United States as a child, and grew up in Decatur, Georgia. She has won more than a dozen awards for her work, including the 2001 Christopher Award and the 2001 Jane Addams Peace Association Honor Book Award .
.
1. Carmen, tell us a little about yourself. What made you decide to become a writer?

It wasn’t, in the strictest sense, a decision; I’d be more apt to call it a glorious moment of self-delusion. It lasted just long enough for me to cheerfully stamp, address, and post a manuscript to a regional publisher.

Watching the envelope irretrievably disappear through the Post Office slot, I instantly succumbed to the clammy hands, dry mouth, and heart palpitations that are the plague of presumptuous young writers. What had I done? And why did I do it?

Well, I did it because I had written a little story for my daughters and they thought it might make a fun picture book (pause for eye roll). Had I known how ridiculous the odds were, it’s unlikely I’d have ever submitted my story. To this day I bless Susan Thurman, then editor at Peachtree Publishers, for championing the sweet, but painfully unpolished, manuscript that would become Agatha’s Feather Bed. 



 2. What’s the best compliment you’ve ever received as a writer?

During a recent visit to an elementary school in South Carolina, a parent told me she did not care for Martina the Beautiful Cockroach. You expect (and even welcome) this kind of candid remark from children. Adults, however, are generally subtler when registering disapproval.
“Do you, um, hate cockroaches in general?” I asked.
“Nope,” she said, “Just this one.”
Oh, boy.
Then she presented me with a tattered copy of the offending book and explained, “This is my kid’s favorite book. I’ve had to read it every night for the past five months. I can’t even cheat and skip a page because she’s memorized all the words. You know I hate you, right?”
“Ah,” I said, blushing, “Thank you.”
“You’re welcome,” she said.


3. Where, and when, do you write? What are your writing rituals?

Travel and family life make it difficult for me to adhere to a strict writing regimen. I write when I can and where I can. Sometimes it’s in my studio, but often it’s in an airport terminal (when my flight has been delayed, yet again).

When I can wrangle a substantial stretch of time to write, which usually means gong away for a few days––that’s when I get real work down.
My rituals during that time?
Well, I write. Then I sleep. Then I edit. Then I snack. Then I write some more. This is followed by another nap. Then I write. Then I eat. Then I do a little research. After which I might go for a walk. More snacking, followed by more writing. Then I sleep.
Thus ends Day One.
If I’m lucky, I’ll have four or five days of this.

I love this schedule, Carmen!

4. Do you like to read adult fiction? What have you read recently that you enjoyed?

I’m going back and rereading some favorite books. I recently reread Nicholas Basbanes’ wonderful book on libraries, Patience and Fortitude (part of trilogy, and a must-read for book and library lovers). I’m now rereading Prince of Tides, by Pat Conroy. The man is a storytelling genius and master of the heart-shattering phrase.


 5. What is your favorite work of fiction, adult or children's, and why?

A Prayer for Owen Meany, by John Irving, simply because it’s the best book of it’s kind in the world. It’s very nearly the perfect story.

6. Do you have a favorite among the books that you have written? Tell us about it.

I can’t say I do. In any event, having a favorite book is akin to having a favorite child, isn’t it? If you had one, you could never tell.

7. What can you tell us about your story-telling performances? Can we find any of your live performances on the Web? Can you tell us a little about your favorite story?

Only that I love hearing a good story more than almost any other enjoyment I can think of. If I ever tell a good story, it’s because I want others to feel the wonder I’ve experienced repeatedly throughout my life as I’ve met, and listened to, great storytellers.

The only story of mine that I really like on the web is the 2002 National Book Festival presentation at the Library of Congress.
It’s about my favorite book (see question #5).

Well, my NEW favorite story is part of a collection of stories I’ve been telling children for several years now, titled Dill and Corky.
They are loosely based on my own blissfully feral childhood, a childhood that was shared with my best friend, Dill. The latest story, still on the assembly line, is about Dill’s Uncle Stubby, a marginally literate WWII vet who solemnly officiated at a snake funeral. You asked.

This sounds like a delightful story! I look forward to reading this one!

  
8. Did your parents tell you stories when you were a child?

Both my parents told us stories, but my father is a prolific storyteller with a gift for timing and an uncanny understanding of human nature.


9. What about illustrations for your book? Have you chosen any of your illustrators, or does the publisher do this? Do you have any favorite illustrations that you'd like to tell us about?

I’ve certainly asked to work with certain illustrators, but it’s ultimately in the hands of the publisher to acquiesce or deny such a request. Chocolate helps.

 10. What is the most important thing you feel you can accomplish with your writing?

I would love to one day write a story that a child found so irresistible that he or she (despite the dangers of parental discovery and possible confiscation of said contraband) read this book under the covers with a flashlight.
That would pretty much be the End All for me.

11. We are all looking forward to your Keynote Speaker address at SCBWI Springmingle. Can you tell us about your experience with SCBWI?

Thank you! And I’m looking forward to being with so many talented writers and illustrators––––one of the greatest benefits to a SCBWI membership!

Thanks so much, Carmen.
February 22-24
Atlanta, Georgia

                                        





9 Comments on Welcoming Carmen Agra Deedy to Moonlight Ridge, last added: 1/31/2013
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2. The Next Big Thing - Witches Are On Their Way to Moonlight Ridge

I was invited by Teresa Thorne, author of the highly acclaimed novel, Noah's Wife, and other upcoming books worthy of our attention, to participate in a book blog chain. The idea of The Next Big Thing is that I discuss my WIPs, works-in-progress, then invite other bloggers to do the same.

My first book, Sweet Music on Moonlight Ridge, introduced a pair of surprising, unforgettable characters, Lily Claire Nash and her famous cousin, Willie T. Nock. The story tells how Willie T. became a famous hero in their hometown of Eden, Alabama and Moonlight Ridge, the wooded mountain home where these eight-year-old mystery solvers live.


Sweet Music on Moonlight Ridge is Southern literary fiction with a touch of the supernatural, mystery, music, and humor. The story is set in a small 1950s Alabama town and surrounding woodlands, published by Chalet Publishers LLC in 2010. Recently Chalet LLC went out of business. A few copies are still available on Amazon and B&N. Now my book will be reissued as Book One of The Moonlight Ridge Series in January 2013. I can't wait!
Set in 1950s Alabama summer, this is the tale of  two young intrepid explorers who come to the rescue when an important member of their community is apparently kidnapped. Lily Claire and Willie T. use their wits, courage, and knowledge of the mountain to restore peace when tragedy threatens to destroy the harmony of their idylic community.

Here's what authors Cassandra King and T.K. (Teresa) Thorne said about Sweet Music on Moonlight Ridge:

"The antics of the delightfully eccentric Greenberry family had me laughing from the first page, and by the time I'd reluctantly finished their story, I wanted to pack up and move to Eden, Alabama.  I can't wait to share this charming and original book with friends and family!"
Cassandra King, author of 'The Sunday Wife'

“If you didn’t grow up on Moonlight Ridge, you will wish you had. Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn would be right at home. 
I promise you laughter and the sweet music of a place and time you will not soon forget.”
T.K. Thorne, author of “Noah’s Wife”
 
                                                                Witches are coming!
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Ten Interview Questions for the Next Big Thing:
1-What is your working title of your book?
The Witches of Moonlight Ridge. Lily Claire and Willie T. befriend a charismatic young teacher who comes to Eden Elementary, and the trio find themselves immersed in a haunting manifestation that will lead them into a truly mysterious adventure.

2-Where did the idea come from for the book?
As with my first book, I must thank my family, parents, grandparents, relatives, for inspiring me to write The Witches of Moonlight Ridge. My writing is a mixture of fact and fiction, and, like the first of the series, the most remarkable and unbelievable parts are the ones that are true.

 3-What genre does your book fall under?
The Moonlight Ridge Series is Southern literary fiction.

4-Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
I'll have to go back to my debut novel, first of the Moonlight Ridge Series, to answer this question. After watching the phenomenal Hatfields and McCoys TV series, I definitely want Kevin Costner to play Great-granddaddy W.T. Greenberry! I think for Lily Claire and Willie T. there would have to be a great talent search to find the right ones! And for this current work-in-progress, I would want to choose a young dark-haired beauty to play "the witch."

5-What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
In  Book Two, autumn comes to Moonlight Ridge, and with the changing seasons comes a spooky story that brings many changes out on the mountain, tranporting the reader into the realm of the supernatural.

6-Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
After the publisher of my first book went out of business, I have been considering what direction to take for publishing the entire Moonlight Ridge Series. I'll have an announcement concerning the publisher soon. I have a new option.

7-How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
I'm still in the middle of working on this new manuscript. I have chapters, notes, scraps of paper, notebooks, and print-outs all over my house! I expect to be finished by January 2013. That will make it about a year and a half that I've worked on the book.

8-What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
Reviewers compared Sweet Music on Moonlight Ridge to Because of Winn Dixie, Tom Sawyer, and most flattering, To Kill a Mocking Bird. I originally compared the series to an adult version of The Bobbsey Twins. My work-in-progress is much more gothic, a Southern gothic  Bobbsey Twins for adults.So I don't know for sure if there are other books to compare it to! It's a totally innovative idea.

9-Who or what inspired you to write this book?
I can't say much about this question without letting "spoiler" information out. I mentioned before that my family, family stories, and the mountain environment are the true sources of my inspiration. The tale I have to tell is wrapped up in the life and legacy of the real Moonlight Ridge.

10-What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
I hope everyone who read and loved Sweet Music will watch for the publication of The Witches of Moonlight Ridge early in 2013. You'll find some new characters, new-old songs, bewitching poetry and spine-chilling adventures as the witching season comes to Moonlight Ridge.

If you like adventure, strange beasts, Southern songs, friendly possums, precocious children, and scary stories, then please leave a comment!

.
Next on The Big Thing schedule is Robin Waldrop. Hop over to her blog and see what she's up to. She'll post her answers to The Ten Next Big Thing Questions on her blog in the coming week, Nov. 25 - Dec. 1st.
 http://www.robinpwaldrop.blogspot.com
.


Here's a link to super-talented Teresa Thorne's blog. Stop by and see what she's up to!


.

3 Comments on The Next Big Thing - Witches Are On Their Way to Moonlight Ridge, last added: 11/30/2012
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3. The Page 69 Test


Marshall McLuhan, the guru of The Gutenberg Galaxy (1962), recommends that the browser turn to page 69 of any book and read it. If you like that page, buy the book. I applied the Page 69 test to my novel, and found that it works! Browse powerfully and read page 69!



                                Sweet Music on Moonlight Ridge - page 69
                                                                       .
I woke up gradually, drifting in and out of sleep, the afternoon heat on me like a heavy wool blanket. My mouth was dry and I drowsily tried to remember the last time I’d had a drink of water.“Mama,” I mumbled, wanting to ask for a glass of water. But my lips barely moved and my voice didn’t work right because my mouth and throat were so dry.
My eyelids were heavy and hard to open, but finally I was able to focus my eyes on my mama. She was standing at the screen door with her back to me. She was talking to someone standing on the other side of the screen, and as I became fully awake I saw the uniform and heard the gravelly voice, and I recognized Clyde Tucker, the chief of police.
My mother’s hand was on the screen door, as if she intended to keep the tall, pot-bellied policeman out of her house.
“Well, Clyde, she’s been right there asleep in that chair all afternoon, right there where she is now,” Mama said.
Officer Clyde Tucker leaned a little to one side so he could get a better look at me, I guess. He looked right at me, his forehead wrinkled under the bill of his policeman’s cap.
“Don’t your sister have a little boy about that same age?” he asked, leaning a little further, his fat red face right up against the screen.
“My sister’s little boy is quarantined with the whooping cough! Clyde Tucker, don’t you come around here asking questions about our children! It sounds like you’ve got plenty to keep you busy without scaring our children to death. What in the world made you come here asking questions?”

*

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4. Sweet Music - Volume One of The Moonlight Ridge Series


What kind of music drifts across the mountain ridge above the tiny rural Alabama town of Eden, and what are the secrets hidden on the mountain paths, under the ancient trees, and under the mysterious moon of Moonlight Ridge?

Discover a family history filled with a legacy of curiosity, courage and delightful eccentricity, in a setting where the natural fauna and flora of the woods of Alabama create a wonderland for two unusual children.

Can you hear children's voices, singing and laughing as they dance beneath sweet gum, dogwood, and sycamore trees, with the gentle Alabama breeze murmuring leafy music around them?


















Wouldn't you like to see what these two precocious cousins see, hear the whispery secrets, and feel the ancient magic in the deep woods and on dusty red-dirt trails, as they look for answers and follow their hearts 'out on the mountain?'

All these secrets and mysteries come to life on the pages of
Sweet Music on Moonlight Ridge.

Read it and discover an enchanted world you'll not soon forget.

Sweet Music on Moonlight Ridge
by
Ramey Channell

New edition now available for all ebook readers
Kindle, Nook, Smashwords


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5. Latest News from Moonlight Ridge



Kindlers and Nookers take note!

I'm so happy to announce that my beautiful new VHP edition of Sweet Music on Moonlight Ridge is now available through Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

My new publisher, Vanilla Heart Publishers, have done such a great job! If you like mysteries, nature trails, Southern folk tales with a generous helping of humor and supernatural happenings, you'll love  the adventures of Lily Claire and Willie T. in the woods of Alabama.

From a family background filled with haunting images and delicious mirth, a couple of eight-year-old adventurers discover their own world of mischief, music, and magic in a special place called Moonlight Ridge.

Follow these two witty and wise youngsters as they find out that sometimes the greatest treasures are found in the most amazing and unexpected places.

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6. Evolution AND Creationism: Birth of a Southern Novel

"We had been walking about half an hour, following an old logging road through the lower meadow, up the side of the hill, then across the high meadow and into the woods."

That's the first sentence I wrote when I began creating my novel, Sweet Music on Moonlight Ridge.  Six years later, that sentence appears on page thirty-five of my published book. When I started writing, I knew the characters; I could see them in my mind, and I could hear their voices. I created a setting, a home for these two adventurous children. I could feel the summer heat, smell the grass and the pine trees and the honeysuckle, heavy and verdant. I watched the children toiling over rocky paths, under sheltering trees, and out into blazing sunlight, heard their laughter, felt the summer breeze on their sun-burned cheeks.

But I had no way of knowing what these two living, breathing creatures were about to do, how their story would evolve. That was still a mystery to me.

The creationism thrilled me; the evolution amazed me! When you turn a couple of wise and wonderful kids loose on the written page, you're in for some unexpected revelations!

And the book continues to evolve.. Here I am with the first edition, published in 2010.

And now Sweet Music on Moonlight Ridge will soon be available as the first book in a four-volume Moonlight Ridge Series from Vanilla Heart Publishers.

And what is all this excitement about possums?
Where do those marsupials fit into the grand scheme of things on the evolutionary chart?
Read Sweet Music on Moonlight Ridge and find out!

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7. The Best Sweet Potato Pie In the World

Sweet Potato Pie
 page 117 - Sweet Music on Moonlight Ridge

2 cups mashed cooked sweet potatoes
½ cup honey
½ teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup pecans chopped

Heat oven to 350.

Mix mashed sweet potatoes, honey and salt.

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8. Big Things Are Happening On Moonlight Ridge!

Spring has arrived, and beautiful changes are taking place out on the mountain. My new publisher, Vanilla Heart Publishing, will soon release Sweet Music on Moonlight Ridge on ebook, a new paperback edition and an enchanting brand new book cover, and other exciting announcements coming soon.  Watch for updates!


Here's my fabulous new BOOK TRAILER from VHP, and the music on the mountain has never sounded sweeter!

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9. Springtime Out On the Mountain

Oak Leaf Begonia on Moonlight Ridge


My Blood Kin



My cousin was named after our great-grandfather, William Theophilus Greenberry, who had been dead a long, long time when my cousin and I were born, and who had been a crazy man when he was alive.

I don't know why, but it seems like our part of the country just breeds crazy people. We're from Moonlight Ridge, out on the mountain near a little town called Eden, Alabama.

Great Granddaddy W.T. Greenberry was a naturalist; he went on excursions, into the woods on Moonlight Ridge and all around Alabama, and wrote about leaves and weeds and flowers that he saw. He'd bring home specimens and try to get them to grow in his yard, and make up names for the ones he didn't know the names of. He perfectly loved a trillium! He always took a bottle of whiskey with him, and he always came home when the bottle was empty.

And Great Granddaddy W.T. Greenberry purely doted on possums!




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10. Possum Love

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11. Sleigh Bells and Ink Wells on Moonlight Ridge

Welcome to all the Blog Hoppers and visiters! In this joyous season of celebration, I'd personally like to celebrate all the wonderful books being written and the talented authors who write them!


Let me introduce myself: I'm Ramey Channell from Leeds, Alabama. My debut novel, Sweet Music on Moonlight Ridge, was published in 2010 by Chalet Publishers LLC.


Here I am with my book, the first in a series of four Moonlight Ridge novels.


I'm currently working on the next installment.
Sweet Music on Moonlight Ridge is a work of fiction, based on remarkable real-life characters from my childhood and family history!
Filled with magic, music, laughter and a little touch of the supernatural,



it's a special story about two precocious children who take matters into their own hands,
solve a mystery, and save the day!


The next blogger after Moonlight Ridge is Leah Shalleda!

http://www.leahshelleda.com


Thanks so much to our sweet and talented Smoky Zeidel for all the work she did to pull this great idea together.

10 Comments on Sleigh Bells and Ink Wells on Moonlight Ridge, last added: 12/16/2011
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12. Autumn on Moonlight Ridge

Ramey and all the Moonlight Ridge Possums have been very busy during this changing of seasons. With speaking engagements, book signings, and book talks in Vestavia, at the Mountain Brook Emmett O'Neal Library, and with The Pensters of Fair Hope, Alabama, we have met so many sweet folks who are interested in the magic and music on Moonlight Ridge.



Hope to have pictures posted soon, and good news is just around the corner! The second volume in the chronicles of Moonlight Ridge is in the works! News about the upcoming sequel will be posted here.


Wishing everyone Happy Reading for the holidays!

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13. The Songs of Moonlight Ridge

A few weeks back, I hosted a contest here on Moonlight Ridge. Originally, I asked three questions about some of the songs featured in Sweet Music on Moonlight Ridge, with a free copy of the book, like a carrot on a stick, to the first person to get all three answers!

Then, upon considering the possibilities of short-term memory loss and the possible unfairness of excluding those who had not yet read the book, I changed the rules (It's my contest, I can do that) so that anyone who left a comment was entered in the drawing for the free book.

Kelley who blogs at
http://bookfare.blogspot.com/ was the winner and has received her copy of SMOMR!

So, for anyone who may still be curious about the songs in question, here are the answers.

1- After chasing the hunting dogs, Rich Man and Poor Man, out of the house, what song did Great-granddaddy W.T. Greenberry sing to his marsupials?
Great Granddaddy W.T. sang Dona Nobis Pacem,
but in his version the words were "Oh, don't I know this possum?"

2 - What is the origin, title, or some of the words, of the strange song the children heard while they were in the woods near Grind Rock Spring?
Lily Clair and Willie T. heard somone singing Desdemona's Song, also known as Willow, Willow, from William Shakespeare's The Tragedy of Othello, the Moor of Venice.

7 Comments on The Songs of Moonlight Ridge, last added: 8/25/2011
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14. Author Interview from Smoky Zeidel

SMOKY TALKS AUTHORS


It was my good fortune to be interviewed by Smoky Zeidel, an enormously talented writer and editor, on her website, Smoky Talks Authors. She is so easy to talk to, and such an interesting individual, she made the interview as easy as sweet potato pie!


Click the link beow to read the entire interview.

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15. Contest Rules, They Are a'Changin'



Hey, y'all! Since it appears that we are struggling to remember the songs involved (!) I'm changing the rules of the contest. I can do that!



Everyone who makes a comment on the Music on the Mountain post will be entered in the drawing for a free, autographed copy of Sweet Music on Moonlight Ridge.


So you guys stop running around in circles and scratching your heads. Just look at the three winsome pictures and say hi!



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16. Music on the Mountain


Welcome to all my friends and talented writers from SheWrites, and to all the bloggers in The Blogger Ball #5.


To celebrate today, I'm giving away a signed copy of my debut novel, Sweet Music on Moonlight Ridge. Below are 3 questions about the songs featured in my book, and everyone who gets all three (easy) questions right, will be entered in a drawing for the first free signed copy.


1- After chasing the hunting dogs, Rich Man and Poor Man, out of the house, what song did Great-granddaddy W.T. Greenberry sing to his marsupials?


2 - What is the origin, title, or some of the words, of the strange song the children heard while they were in the woods near Grind Rock Spring?

3 - What song did Willie T. sing when he was in the hole?

Place your answers in "Comments" for a chance to win a signed (and personalized) copy of Sweet Music on Moonlight Ridge. Everyone is eligible. I'll contact the winner for mailing address.


If you don't know the answers, ask somebody!




Here's the link to get back to 1st Books.


http://megwc.com/1stbooks/shewrites/


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17. Sweet Music at Springville Road Library

This is your personal invitation to join us at the
Springville Road Regional Library
Sunday March 27th at 3:00 PM
for a special book program, discussion and booksigning.

Check out the announcement on the
Birmingham Public Library's Latest News, Reviews & Info
Thanks to all my special friends and fans of Sweet Music on Moonlight Ridge.
I look forward to a fun afternoon with lots of smiling faces and maybe a few surprises.

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18. Springtime on Moonlight Ridge

Goodness, y'all, it's March already! And in just a few weeks, I'll be inviting everyone for an afternoon program at Springville Road Library in Birmingham. I'll be there for a Sweet Music on Moonlight Ridge event on Sunday, March 27 at 3:00 PM.

To check out the announcement, please visit Birmingham Public Library's Latest News at this address.

Watch for updates as plans are finalized for this special event; there may be a few surprises as well as a surprise guest or two!
And I'll have a red calico Drunkard's Path Quilt, just like Lily Claire's, on display. The magic quilt fairies have been working overtime to help me get this treasure ready for our March 27th program.

Every time Lily Claire was tired, tearful, or had some serious thinking to do, she found the perfect retreat, on the sweet soft quilt her granny Rilla had given her.


I look forward to seeing everyone at the Springville Road Library for this afternoon of discussion, fun, laughter, and a celebration of good Alabama story-telling!



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19. Merry Christmas From Moonlight Ridge

Christmas is coming
The possum's getting fat!

To order copies of
Sweet Music on Moonlight Ridge
please contact me at
[email protected]

Merry Christmas!


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20. Woni's Wonderful Bookshelf


Saturday November 20th was a fun day in Sumiton, Alabama. I signed copies of Sweet Music on Moonlight Ridge at Woni's Bookshelf, met some very interesting and friendly book lovers, and just enjoyed the beautiful day.



Here, pictured left to right: Rick Watson, Woni Lawrence, Grace Smith and Jilda Watson. I'm seated in the middle. Dale Short made the photo and we're all looking at him!

Woni's Bookshelf is owned by Woni Lawrence and located at 140 Hull Road, Suite 2 in Sumiton, Alabama. There's always something going on at Woni's: writing classes, book talks, visits from door-to-door veggie salesmen, etc. And the book selection is awesome, along with intriguing and irresistable gifts of all kinds. New books, old books, gift items galore!



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21. Book Review from Alabama Writers' Forum

Here we are, heading into the holidays, a perfect time for good books and good stories. Just out is a truly great review of Sweet Music on Moonlight Ridge, posted on Alabama Writers' Forum's First Draft website. I was thrilled by the comprehensive description, and the way the reviewer identified with both the story and the characters. I just had to share this!

First Draft Reviews Online, Alabama Writers' Forum, November 2010
http://www.writersforum.org/



Sweet Music on Moonlight Ridge
Reviewed by Perle Champion

In Sweet Music on Moonlight Ridge, Ramey Channell doesn't narrate as Lily Claire, she is Lily Claire.

For those of you who've had no children, and/or have forgotten what it's like to be one, buckle up. This is not a slow walk of a book. Lily Claire's breathless detailed telling of just about everything that happens in her small world is told as if it was the most important thing in all the world, and you should know it.

Channell steps into Lily Claire's very person and stays there throughout the entire book. You, the reader, are her confidant as she learns of ordinary heroes, and ponders the serendipity of life. You are privy to the secret world of a childhood whose freedom few have known and many today would envy.

Around the mysterious map to an imagined treasure she and Willie T. find in an unlikely place, she weaves her history and that of all the diverse and sometimes eccentric folks and topics that inform her world. All are treated with that light childish and non-judgmental matter-of-factness that is so refreshing and true to the nature of the very young.

There is no heavy hand here about the "Ku Kluxes' " quick-to-lynch mentality or the superstitious nature of rural peoples that make the white lies Willie T. and Lily Claire tell necessary. It's just plain necessary to protect the slow one and the black one in their midst, who are the most likely scapegoats for a crime that was no crime at all.

Channell has the sure cadence of a storyteller that is not only simple, sincere, and to the point, but it's part of the music. Is there music on Moonlight ridge? Yes, but it is not just played, sung, or spoken aloud. It exists in the steady pace of the story, the people, the laughter, the polysyllabic names, and the language.

Having lived in the south off and on for many years, I didn't need the handy glossary at the back of the book to tell me that "boocoos" means "lots." Just goes to show that being raised in the South is useful. This book was not just boocoos of fun to read, it is a gentle reminder of my own idyllic summers when every day held the promise of adventure, just like Lily Claire's.

Perle Champion is a freelance writer and artist.


Thanks so much, Perle, for this wonderful and greatly appreciated review!

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22. Book Program with Castalia Literary Club


Tuesday, September 21st, it was my pleasure to meet with the ladies of the Castalia Literary Club. After an absolutely delicious and abundant lunch in the Family Life Center of the Leeds First United Methodist Church, I talked about how I came to write Sweet Music on Moonlight Ridge, and the characters from my childhood who inspired me.

There were lots of questions, discussion and laughter after I read a chapter, Coming Into This World, which relates the surprising hi-jinks that took place the day the main characters, Lily Claire and Willie T. were born in the little town of Eden, Alabama. Several of the ladies present were so familiar with the rural mountain area near our hometown, which was the inspiration for Eden, we all felt like we were talking about our own childhood home. There were lots of shared memories and stories from the past.

There is truly nothng I like better than sharing a story that brings enjoyment, laughter and joy, and these sweet, gracious ladies were the perfect audience. And rest assured, there was ample discussion about the beloved possums of Moonlight Ridge!

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23. Alabama Author's Debut Novel

What kind of music drifts across the mountain ridge above the tiny rural Alabama town of Eden, and what are the secrets hidden on the mountain paths, under the ancient trees, and under the mysterious moon of Moonlight Ridge?

Discover a family history filled with a legacy of curiosity, courage and delightful eccentricity, in a setting where the natural fauna and flora of the woods of Alabama create a wonderland for two unusual children.



Can you hear children's voices, singing and laughing as they dance beneath sweet gum, dogwood, and sycamore trees, with the gentle Alabama breeze murmuring leafy music around them?


















Wouldn't you like to see what these two precocious cousins see, hear the whispery secrets, and feel the ancient magic in the deep woods and on dusty red-dirt trails, as they look for answers and follow their hearts 'out on the mountain?'


All these secrets and mysteries come to life on the pages of

Sweet Music on Moonlight Ridge.

Read it and discover an enchanted world you'll not soon forget.

Sweet Music on Moonlight Ridge
ISBN 9780984083688
by
Ramey Channell

Published by Chalet Publishers LLC


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