‘A Rave Review for “Cellar Beneath the Cellar”‘ (2015)

The Cellar Beneath the Cellar (Bell Mountain, 2) by Lee Duigon | eBook |  Barnes & Noble®

Things are not so pleasant here, just now–Patty’s hernia, we really need to get that operation–so please pardon me for blowing my own horn a little.

Here’s a review of The Cellar Beneath the Cellar–No. 2 in my Bell Mountain series–by a reader in Australia. He really liked it! Well, why not? The book won a silver medal for fantasy.

A Rave Review for ‘Cellar Beneath the Cellar’

While you’re at it, please send up a prayer for us. We need one.

Your Favorite ‘Bell Mountain’ Character (Take 2)

Review of Bell Mountain by Lee Duigon – Allison D. Reid

What–only four votes cast? Well, maybe yesterday was the wrong day for it. Risking reader displeasure, I’ll try again.

Your Favorite ‘Bell Mountain’ Character

Let’s have some fun with this–why not? It’s got to be almost as dreary to read the nooze as it is to write it.

I’m supposed to write a Newswithviews column today, and I haven’t got the ghost of an idea. Maybe some chance remark here will set me off.

Your Favorite ‘Bell Mountain’ Character

Bell Mountain (Bell Mountain, 1)

It’s time to check on my books’ impact on their readers. I could wind up, here, with a lot of egg on my face if hardly anybody responds to this question:

Who is your favorite Bell Mountain character?

I remember, when I was writing The Temple, how upset my wife and my editor were when they thought I’d killed off Chief Uduqu. I had no idea how much they liked him. I thought of Sir Walter Scott, whose printer rebelled when Scott (in Ivanhoe) killed off Athelstane. He had to write a new scene bringing the old duffer back to life. Happily, Uduqu wasn’t dead: he’d just fallen asleep on the battlefield after tremendous exertions.

Anyway, so who’s your favorite character in these books? There are a couple hundred to choose from!

I can’t guess who will get the most votes… although I do have one pretty strong suspicion.

‘Ozias, Prince in Peril’–Nearing the Finish Line

1,449 Child Armor Photos and Premium High Res Pictures - Getty Images

Will King Ozias finally claim his throne? How hard will Maressa fight him for it?

I don’t know if I can do it in a week, but I’m this close to finding out. Traitors have been betrayed, civil war looms, and I know how the story ends but of course I dare not tell you. I’m working hard to get there.

I offer a tip of the hat to Thomas B. Costain, whose histories of the rise and fall of the Plantagenet dynasty have guided me along the way; and to Jack Pullman and his brilliant screenplay for I, Claudius. Edgar Rice Burroughs taught me how to keep the chapters flowing.

The lesson for aspiring writers is easily stated: read. The more you read, the more you can write. I’d be here all day if I saluted all the writers whose work has inspired my own.

Lee’s Homeschool Reading List (8): ‘Bell Mountain’

Bell Mountain (Bell Mountain, 1) - Kindle edition by Duigon, Lee. Religion  & Spirituality Kindle eBooks @ Amazon.com.

Bell Mountain: Ages 10 and up

My stars! I’m recommending books for homeschoolers, and it never enters my mind to recommend my own books! I’ve only just realized that I’ve  left myself out.

I’ve been surprised, over the years, at how much Bell Mountain has been enjoyed by children whom you’d think were too young to read a novel. Most of the time it’s Daddy or Mommy who’s read the book to them. I’m very happy that my book can be read aloud to 8-year-olds–or even younger–and give them pleasure.

And of course it’s just the first book of a series… and the series has now grown to 13 books, with two more yet to be published… so it should be able to keep you interested for several years. Somehow the books have proved equally appealing to children and adult readers.

In Bell Mountain, a boy named Jack dreams a distant mountain is singing to him. Scripture says there is a bell on the summit of the mountain, waiting to be rung; and God will hear it. Jack believes he has had this dream because God wants him to ring the bell. He sets out for the mountain, accompanied by his friend, Ellayne. The story tells of their perilous journey to the mountain-top–along the way encountering strange beasts, strange people, miracles, treachery: everything that makes life worth living. Or at least worth reading about.

Click “Books” on our home page for descriptions and sample chapters of all 13 books in the series. Available from the Chalcedon Foundation Store at http://www.chalcedon.edu/ .

Yes! Yes! Yes!

A Cradle Held Him but a Tomb Could Not​ - This weeks church sign Saturday is located in Harrogate, TN to First Baptist Church of Harrogate. ​

“Courageous Christian Father” posted this picture a sign at the First Baptist Church in Harrogate, Tennessee:

“A Cradle Held Him But A Tomb Could Not”

Let’s keep that in mind, very much in mind, shall we! Not that we mean to ignore the world nooze–but the real news, the Good News, is the birth of Jesus Christ… which we mark as a historical event a week from now.

Up against the evils and stupidities of a fallen world, we plead Jesus Christ the Son of God, who was and is and shall be, Amen.


Writing Tips: Minor Characters Are Not So Minor

Bell Mountain (Bell Mountain, 1) - Kindle edition by Duigon, Lee. Religion  & Spirituality Kindle eBooks @ Amazon.com.

If you’re writing a novel, you might want to have the whole thing planned out in advance before you start to write it. But I don’t do it that way.

Ask yourself this: Are you a “minor character”? Your book will be full of them. Maybe it’s someone who comes onstage for just a moment to say “Here are the gum boots that you ordered, madam,” and then exits, never to be heard from again. It’s a minor character, and you don’t even need to provide him with a name.

But he has one. He has a life. In his own way, which may never show up in your novel, he has importance.

And if it turns out that you’ll need him again–well, there he is.

This happens a lot for me, in my books. A character has a walk-on, but it turns out to be much more than that: he may even develop into a major character. Orth started out as just a henchman of Lord Reesh; but now he’s Lord Orth, the First Prester. Duke Esdras, confined to a wheelchair, will produce the climax of my current book, Ozias, Prince in Peril. I needed someone to do that, and there he was. Most of your minor characters will remain minor–but you never know. Don’t be too quick to dismiss them!

[And yes, I still have no access to my stats page, no idea of how many views I’ve got today, and heaping piles of frustration.]

‘Christian vs. Almost Christian Fantasy’ (2015)

Pax Demonica by Julie Kenner (2014, Trade Paperback) for sale online | eBay

Some of us will be giving our loved ones books for Christmas. Some of us will want to give books that are clearly Christian in tone and content.

It’s not as easy as it looks.

Christian vs. Almost Christian Fantasy

We have to be careful of books and movies etc. that bill themselves as “Christian” but aren’t, not really. There’s an awful lot of stuff like that floating around… and you can’t always go by customer reviews because there are so many readers who can’t tell tche difference between “Christian” and “almost Christian.”

Come to think of it, there are whole churches that have forgotten that there even is a difference.

‘When You Hear the Bell, Come Out Writing’ (2019)

the Bell Mountain series – Spread the Word

This is an article about how my Bell Mountain novels came to be written. Hopefully it will ignite an irresistible desire to buy them–and read them.


I was hoping Behold! (No. 12 in the series) would be published in time for Christmas, but it doesn’t look like that will happen. Well, by the time you finish reading the others, it should be ready.

Come on, now–isn’t it time you met Jack and Ellayne, and squirrel-sized Wytt, who climbed the mountain? Obst the hermit, and Martis the assassin-turned-protector; Helki the Rod, the personification of the forest; Lord Reesh the villain (boooo! hiss!); King Ryons, born a slave; Gurun the queen, who came to Obann on a raft–they’re all waiting to do their stuff for you.

I mean, if you want to watch Law and Order reruns, that’s your business and you’re welcome to it…

If wonder what kind of response I’d get if I asked readers who’s their favorite Bell Mountain character. I just hit the wrong key and the whole screen went black for a moment. I wonder what that means.

‘I, Claudius’ to the Rescue

First episode of I, Claudius - BBC 100

Derek Jacobi in the title role

You know, it’s amazing the way things somehow work out without your having planned them that way. I think we can attribute that to God’s providence.

Trying to finish writing Ozias, Prince in Peril before the cold weather sets in, I hit another snag in the story and didn’t know how to proceed. At the same time, my wife and I bought I, Claudius, the award-winning series that tells the story of the Roman emperor who tried to restore the Republic.

Voila! Inspiration! I, Claudius was just what I needed to move me along within the story I was telling.

Not that I copy from it, mind you–it doesn’t work that way. But the shenanigans and machinations of Rome’s imperial family–which are, after all, history–shed light on the situation in my fantasy kingdom of Obann. This is not easy to explain. Once upon a time, writers called it “following the muse.”

Inspiration comes from many sources. Shakespeare’s Richard III, for instance, often reminds me of our own day’s politics. Certainly I, Claudius does. We used to laugh at it, when it came out in the 1970s. But in 2022 it’s a little bit too close for comfort. Not so funny anymore.

Anyway, I’m out of the snag and back in action.