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Birdie & Jude by Phyllis H. Moore - Book Tour

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Birdie & Jude
A moving novel of loss, regret, denial, and discovery on Galveston Island, from the author of Opal’s Story and The Ember Months.

Birdie has lived to regret many of her decisions, but she doesn’t regret offering a stranger, Jude, shelter from an approaching hurricane. Their serendipitous meeting will form a bond that will change their lives forever.
In a character driven story with memories of the protests and inequality plaguing the 1960's, Birdie’s reached middle age and questions her life. Jude is striking out on her own, but has been derailed by a fatal accident claiming her only friend. Although their backgrounds and lives are vastly different, they recognize something in the other that forges a friendship.

As their relationship solidifies, they share glimpses of their pasts. Birdie is a product of the '60's, an aging hippie, with a series of resentments. She had a sheltered childhood in an upper class family. Her parents longed to see her make the Texas Dip at the Mardi Gras ball. Jude, however, entered foster care as an infant. Her parents, victims of a murder/suicide, left her and her siblings orphaned and separated.
There is something about their connection that strikes Birdie as familiar. Can souls know each other in different lives? Birdie struggles with the awareness that she has had regrets and hasn't lived an authentic life, while Jude faces an uncomfortable truth about her own. It has all the feels.
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The Heartbeats at Our Feet
By Phyllis H. Moore

I stole that title and paraphrased an Edith Wharton quote: “My little dog, the heartbeat at my feet.” All of the novels I’ve written in the last few years have animals in them, pets. My protagonists usually have a dog. Some have cats, but most are dogs.
When I visualize the pets, I see the animals my family has had through the years. Like people, different animals have personalities unique to them. Two years ago, our Jack Russel Terrier, Ollie Bubba, had to be put to sleep. He had grown grumpy in his old age, grumpier. He always had a bit of an attitude. That’s what I liked about him. He didn’t have to explain himself and neither did I. But, he had recurring tumors, was blind, and could no longer walk. As people with pets know, it’s like losing a member of the family.
I use Pinterest for visual inspiration and have a board titled, the Heartbeat at My Feet. There are pictures of animals who have inspired characters and descriptions in many of my writings. In my mind, sometimes they know more about what’s going on in the story than I do. They wait patiently and never say “I told you so.” Except Ollie Bubba, he used to say that sometimes.
Birdie Barnes in Birdie & Jude had a dog named Ollie. He was her constant companion. The only living thing she thought really understood her. He, too, was much like Birdie, a curmudgeon. However, they both had a sweetness about them and were misunderstood. The reason Birdie could smile sometimes was due to Ollie. He tickled her, even with his indifferent attitude. She claimed to be able to hear his thoughts and interpret his complaints. My Ollie went to Dog Heaven while I was writing this novel.
In the Sabine series, the main character, Sabine, can indeed communicate with her dogs, especially when she’s a young girl. The older she gets, the more she loses her ability, but she always prefers the character of her animals to the people in her family, especially her mother, the notorious Josephine. And, it will be a wild bird, the kiskadee, that helps solve the mystery in the four book series.
In Opal’s Story, the cat’s name is Burt Reynolds. Opal, a seventy-something retired principal, likes to joke about sleeping with Burt Reynolds. Readers meet the pets of Opal’s childhood also, in flashbacks. It’s a tragic story, beginning with a murder/suicide in 1948. However, Opal and her brothers bond to support each other and their Thanksgiving celebration is filled with resolution and a dog named Biscuit.
Lucy makes a trek back to the town of her first job to visit an old friend and attend a memorial of a former client, Bessie Black. Bessie introduced Lucy to The Ember Months. When Lucy leaves her husband and sons for the short trip they don’t have a pet, but there’s something magical about Bessie Black and the ember months, and her boys have always wanted a dog.
LaRue, the cat, sits in Meg Miller’s kitchen most days. She even got to go on a trip to the beach and stay in a cottage behind the dunes on Galveston Island. Meg is my most recent character in a cozy series. There are two books so far, A Dickens of a Crime and Pelican Beach Murder, and a third mystery will be released in the fall, 2019, Mystery on Inheritance Ranch.
Teddy, Doris Marie’s awkward, deaf uncle, carries a little dog named Bob in his coat pocket. In And the Day Came, Teddy is one of my favorite characters, mainly because he was a real person. Everyone knew Teddy and remembers him to this day. This is historical fiction based on the childhood of my mother-in-law. She was orphaned in 1931, one of the youngest of six children, the only girl. Doris Marie depended on her maternal uncles to plan for her future, and they did, but they had a secret.
I know the people are the most important characters and the setting and plot must be captivating, but still the pets work their way into my stories and really are the heartbeats at our feet. Thank you, Edith Wharton for lending your beautiful words to that indescribable feeling.

Author Bio – Phyllis H. Moore wants to live life experiences more than once: doing it, writing about it, and reading about it. The atmosphere of the south draws her in and repels her. The characters are rich with dysfunction and redemption, real. She’s had two careers and two retirements. Both careers gave her inspiration for her novels: The Sabine Series, Sabine, Billy’s Story,  Josephine’s Journals and Secrets of Dunn House, Opal’s Story, Tangled, a Southern Gothic Yarn, and The Bright Shawl, Colors of Tender Whispers, The Ember Months, Birdie & Jude, and an anthology of spooky short stories inspired by real places and events, The Bridge on Jackson Road. In 2018 she also released a new genre for her, A Dickens of a Crime, a Meg Miller Cozy Mystery. She has authored one nonfiction book, Retirement, Now What? Phyllis has been published by Caffeinated Press in the anthology, Brewed Awakenings 2, Fifteen Tales to Jolt Your Mind Awake. She blogs on her web site Follow her on Pinterest and Facebook.
Phyllis is a retired social worker and former owner/operator of a small bed and breakfast. She’s lived in the rural areas and cities of south Texas. She currently lives on Galveston Island with her husband, Richard.

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