Book Jacket

 

rank 3140
word count 34992
date submitted 20.08.2010
date updated 08.12.2011
genres: Fiction, Literary Fiction, Christia...
classification: universal
complete

Jeremy's Bell

David R. Downing

A story of Christmas in a small New Mexico church struggling with unresolved conflicts. May it be the best present you have ever received!

 

Mountain View church is falling apart. Deep-seeded resentments and long held rivalries tear at the fabric of the congregation, dividing the pews and creating a no-man’s land of unspoken rivalries. Into the crumbling church comes Stephen, a new pastor fresh from seminary and unaware of the problems that plague the congregation. Stephen's only mentor is Jeremy, a young boy who introduces him to a mysterious set of antique hand-bells and who shares his belief that the bells may hold the secret to reuniting the divided congregation.

Jeremy gradually reveals his knowledge of the bells' healing potential. He encourages Stephen to re-form the bell choir and hints that the bells also have the power to draw his ailing father back to the church he once loved. Stephen, meanwhile, is unaware of the deeper mystery behind Jeremy’s afternoon visits.

Using the central components of music - rhythm, pitch, melody, and harmony, Jeremy's Bell paints a picture of what Mountain View Church can become. In a powerful climax, the music of the bells, and of Jeremy’s bell in particular, sounds far beyond the confines of the small church. The message of Jeremy’s Bell rings with the spirit of Christmas for all to hear!

 
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tags

albuquerque, angels, bell, bell choir, bells, challenge, choir, christian, christianity, christmas, christmas choir, church, december, discord, downin...

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41 comments

 

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CMTStibbe wrote 1235 days ago

David, thank you so much for backing my book. I really appreciate the time you took to read it. Bless you for your input. In turn, I went to your page to read Jeremy’s Bell. I love the way you start the book with the memories of the elderly Pastor Steve. This is beautifully told. The high elevations and the harsh winters, the Sandias down to the Rio Grande. The New Mexico christmas feast of Enchiladas, fresh corn maza, and posole is visually delicious. I can smell all the flavors you have described so well. The Christmas bells are intriguing from the start and the relationship between the ever helpful Jeremy; optimistic and prayful, and Pastor Steve is exceptional. This book has a remarkable quality; undescribable actually. You really can’t put it down. There is an expressive mood throughout . You have a great gift David. I am excited about this. Especially the message. Backed and Starred. PTL. Claire~ Chasing Pharaohs

jensnewfs wrote 1238 days ago

This is a wonderful story that had me enthralled from beginning to end. I couldn't stop reading until I finished the last word. Beautiful.

CarolinaAl wrote 1314 days ago

An beautiful, wholesome true story enriched with striking imagery and evocative narrative. Atmospheric. Thought-provoking. Sympathetic characters with real emotions. Believable dialogue. Well conceived. Well written. An inspiring read. Backed.

andrew skaife wrote 1322 days ago

One of those mild stories that carries its themes in quiet and understated terms. A small vignette of pleasantry set amongst the detritus.

Well done.

BACKED

zan wrote 1343 days ago

Jeremy's Bell

David R. Downing

There is a lyrical quality about this story which stands out. So, Mountain View Church is falling apart. Deep-seeded resentments and long held rivalries tear at the fabric of the congregation - sadly dividing the pews and creating a no-man’s land of unhappy, unspoken resentments. Reassuring to know that there is no real difference between those within and without of the church. One of your strengths is in your descriptive abilities - I really enjoyed those. "The evening winds had kicked up clouds of dust that colored the last rays of sunlight a ruddy brown." Beautiful writing. This reads like a heartwarming Christmas story, as promised, and I look forward to reading more when I can.

PCreturned wrote 1079 days ago

Hi David,

I just spotted your book for the 1st time, so I popped over to have a good read and leave a comment. :)

I'll comment as I read since I find that the easiest way to keep track. Please don't be offended by any suggestions. After all, they will just be my thoughts. You can always ignore me if you think I'm wrong or stupid. ;)

(Sorry in advance for any typos, but my keyboard’s a bit knackered :()

Chapter 1:

Good start. At once, I want to know what this unbelievable story is. I almost have to read on and find out ;). Hmm I like the hints you drop that the current Mountain View Church is v different to the past. I wonder what happened. The happiness of the occasion really comes through in your writing, especially when it comes to the kids. :)

I’ve 1 tiny suggestion here. Occasionally, I think some of your paragraphs feel pretty long. They could make for intimidating blocks of text on printed pages. Is there any way you could paragraph a bit more often to make the reading easier and quicker for thickos like me? ;)

Reading on…I was surprised when your character addressed me directly, inviting me to sit. I didn’t expect that. I liked that. I think it added to the easy, conversational style of your writing. Oh and the description of the food’s making me hungry. :(

Ah I soon learn why your character’s out here. Seems he was desperately looking for work after the seminary. No wonder the church wanted him so much, having been pastorless for years. I think at that point he should have wondered why this church was pastorless for so long, but his desperation obviously eclipsed analytical thought. ;)

As I suspected, the 1st sight of the place was less than inspiring. Nowhere near as picturesque as hoped for. And the church looked like a wreck. The note in the door’s an abrupt intro. Good job he has prepared sermons. I’m surprised he’s so upbeat at this stage. I think I’d be nervous as hell.

I laughed when I learned the trains were the reason for the v precise service time in the morning. I had wondered when I read that why you’d picked such a peculiar time. ;)

Sounds like the church has come a v long way under his care. I can really picture the pitiful state it used to be in. V well described. By the end of the chapter, I think he was torn about his new church. He clearly wanted the work, even if it wasn’t exactly what he expected.

Chapter 2:

I loved the comment from Mrs Welch. I almost laughed out loud when I read it. It’s clear from this section that Jeremy was instrumental in helping Steve adjust to this strange new environment.

I've a small suggestion here. I think you don't need to explain your dialogue quite so much. eg in " “Hello, who’s there?” I asked, eager to meet my visitor…” I don't think you need any of the explanation as the dialogue does such a good job of letting the reader know what's going on. We know he’s eager to meet his visitor. I think just “Hello, who’s there?” I asked…" would read better and faster. Your dialogue's good. Let it shine on its own merits. ;)

Reading on…I was surprised at just how confident Jeremy was during their 1st meeting. Rare for his sort of age. Despite all the attitude, he comes across as a likeable character. I can see why his innocent enthusiasm would have been touching for Steve.

I was surprised when it turned out Jeremy was shy around other adults and kids. He seemed so confident. Maybe he’s just wary of crowds as he seems to have to spend a lot of time on his own. Looks like Jeremy’s visits were genuinely useful, though. Jeremy was Steve’s quizmaster on the community. ;)

I can see why Steve started to worry about Jeremy’s family+ the care that was taken of him. Was the boy neglected? Sounds like the father was really busy more than anything else. Sad, but I fear that sort of situation’s all too common. :(

Ah now things get really interesting. The state of the building is only the most obvious problem. Potentially far more serious are the divisions between sections of the congregation. By the end of the chapter, I wonder how on Earth Steve ever pulled everybody together…

Oops I just saw how long this comment's getting. I guess I better stop before it grows to a ridiculous size. I'll sum up now, and then shut up. :)

I think you have a great story here, beautifully described. The easy style of writing is v appealing and really helps draw us into Steve’s mindset. And I find myself v curious about how Steve wrought such a miraculous change on the church and community. I’m v tempted to read on, and would happily do so if I just had enough time. :)

I've rated your book as highly as possible, and hope you get noticed by an agent. I’d love to see this get published. :)

Best of luck,

Pete

CindyGrace wrote 1215 days ago

David, I'm loving your back. I put it on my bookshelf. I kept trying to stop reading and back it, but I couldn't resist reading on first. Thank you!

EMDelaney wrote 1225 days ago

w-listed this book for later review /

Emmett
(E M Delaney)
-- THE VIRUS

Coming Soon:
MIRACLE IN THE SWAMP

eurodan49 wrote 1234 days ago

Hi. I read a little from your book, enough to enjoy the voice voice. I’m backing it and will return, when I have more time, for a more profound comment.
Could you please take a look at mine?
Dan

CMTStibbe wrote 1235 days ago

David, thank you so much for backing my book. I really appreciate the time you took to read it. Bless you for your input. In turn, I went to your page to read Jeremy’s Bell. I love the way you start the book with the memories of the elderly Pastor Steve. This is beautifully told. The high elevations and the harsh winters, the Sandias down to the Rio Grande. The New Mexico christmas feast of Enchiladas, fresh corn maza, and posole is visually delicious. I can smell all the flavors you have described so well. The Christmas bells are intriguing from the start and the relationship between the ever helpful Jeremy; optimistic and prayful, and Pastor Steve is exceptional. This book has a remarkable quality; undescribable actually. You really can’t put it down. There is an expressive mood throughout . You have a great gift David. I am excited about this. Especially the message. Backed and Starred. PTL. Claire~ Chasing Pharaohs

jensnewfs wrote 1238 days ago

This is a wonderful story that had me enthralled from beginning to end. I couldn't stop reading until I finished the last word. Beautiful.

eric.swanson wrote 1239 days ago

Love the book! It made me think of my own days at seminary at Moody Bible Institute, but after about seven years I have yet to be called by a church to be their pastor. But enjoy your details and I feel like I'm in New Mexico. I will back it.

Eveleen wrote 1249 days ago

Jeremy's bell
The pitch is intriguing, the story well written, the MC believable
Backed
Lenny Harry
(Like a dot on the horizon)

Kaimaparamban wrote 1251 days ago

Christmas, whenever it appeared in the English literature it represents the spring season of joy and reunion. Likewise, your novel is also holding up a relevance of the message giving to human beings. The ring of bell, I think, is representing a call for reunion and brotherhood.

*** rated.

Joy J. Kaimaparamban
The Wildfire

ThePauleman wrote 1312 days ago

God inspired and a truly Christmas classic. Best wishes to you and yours.

ThePauleman wrote 1312 days ago

God inspired and a truly Christmas classic. Best wishes to you and yours.

Pia wrote 1313 days ago

David -

Jeremy's Bell - the Christmas atmosphere evoked stirs all the senses, and is very inviting indeed. Steve's account of the past starts out bleak, the add for a new pastor stated about the church ... in need of some repair, a handyman preferred. Steve accepts since he has not much choice. The deacons welcome - an envelope stuck to the door. The writing flows. Re: the pitch, maybe replace the second mentioning of resentment with 'misgivings' or some other term. The story is magical, and beautifully told.

Backed yesterdat, Pia (Course of Mirrors)

JD Revene wrote 1313 days ago

David,

Well, this is a gently written story with a relaxed voice that invites the reader to relax and enjoy.

Little to offer by way of constructive criticism I'm afraid. Backed.

Oh, by the way, I'm intrigued by the fact that you've marked this both as fiction and Harper True Life, which I would have thought was contradictory.

CarolinaAl wrote 1314 days ago

An beautiful, wholesome true story enriched with striking imagery and evocative narrative. Atmospheric. Thought-provoking. Sympathetic characters with real emotions. Believable dialogue. Well conceived. Well written. An inspiring read. Backed.

Shigley wrote 1317 days ago

I truly enjoyed reading this book. It reminds me of my own home Church in Mentone, Alabama.

I backed this book with pleasure.

Len

SingingOwl wrote 1322 days ago

Oh boy, so far I LOVE this. Backing, but will be back to read more and maybe leave a coherent comment! VERY best wishes!

andrew skaife wrote 1322 days ago

One of those mild stories that carries its themes in quiet and understated terms. A small vignette of pleasantry set amongst the detritus.

Well done.

BACKED

yasmin esack wrote 1327 days ago

David,
This a lovely story. told well. i find it refershing and enlighteneing teeming with the joy of christmas. I like your style, it is easy to read and your descriptions are fine, placing the reader in the appropiate setting.

Many thanks
The Mid setter

Herschel Shirley wrote 1332 days ago

This has all the makings of a Hallmark movie. Good start, well written. Will put this on my watch list to read more later. Backed with pleasure.

EltopiaAuthor wrote 1333 days ago

Refreshingly wholesome, good storytelling, and homey feeling. I liked what I read of this book -- Chapter 1.

F. Ellsworth Lockwood
"The Final Cruise"

Walden Carrington wrote 1333 days ago

David,
Jeremy's Bell is a delightful story with positive Christian messages. Backed with enthusiasm.

SammySutton wrote 1334 days ago

David,

Beautiful story well-written, very moving.

Backed!

Sammy Sutton
King Solomon's '13'

Christian Piatt wrote 1335 days ago

David:
i was drawn to this story not only because I'm a music minister, but also because my six-year-old son, who plays the ukulele, has begun playing with me at church. It's pure joy to watch him, and to see the happiness he brings to others through his music. For me, music opens wide a spiritual door, and to see that being done by a child is especially sacred.
I enjoyed your story on a very personal level and expect others will as well.
Best of luck with your book. Backed.
Peace,
Christian Piatt
PULLING THE GOALIE

soutexmex wrote 1338 days ago

David: do apologize for this spam comment but I did BACK your book. Though my book is currently on the Ed's Desk, I can still use your comments on my book before the end of this month. Thanks - cheers!

JC
The Obergemau Key

Elizabeth Wolfe wrote 1339 days ago

Dear David,
The music of the bells is indeed magical and beautiful! Lovely story!

BACKED
Elizabeth Wolfe (MEMORIES OF GLORY)

klouholmes wrote 1340 days ago

Hi David, Very atmospheric with the southwest Christmas cuisine at the outset. The narrator's voice being the new pastor and his telling about the neighborhood around his new church and its interior is warm and real, a protagonist who sees his mission. This promises with the synopsis to be an involving story, redolent of the region and the mysticism of Christmas. Shelved - Katherine (The Swan Bonnet)

Andrew Burans wrote 1340 days ago

You have written a very interesting and compelling storyline and created memorable characters in Stephen and Jeremy. I really like your use of the first person narrative voice for not only is it descriptive it also helps to keep the pace of your story flowing well. This along with your strong writing skills ensures that your work will appeal to the youth audience, Backed with pleasure.

Andrew Burans
The Reluctant Warrior: The Beginning

BJ Otto wrote 1341 days ago

not much to add to what has already been said. Enjoyable read. Backed

Eunice Attwood wrote 1342 days ago

A beutiful story. I am delighted to back your book. Eunice. The Temple Dancer.

celticwriter wrote 1342 days ago

Hey, David! Nice, nice story. You paint a wonderful journey. I'm not a critic, just a screenwriter jumping into the novel world for the first time - however I can spot a good visual, and yours is terrific. Nice flow, good structure, which is consistent and refreshing. Many blessings!

jim
jack & charmian london

cat5149 wrote 1342 days ago

This is a wonderful Christmas story and I enjoyed reading it very much. Backed, with pleasure.

Carol

Barry Wenlock wrote 1342 days ago

A beautiful Christmas story. I wish it was Christmas.
Backed with Yuletide jollity,
Barry
LITTLE KRISNA AND THE BIHAR BOYS

PATRICK BARRETT wrote 1342 days ago

An inspiring Christmas tale which could take many forms. From a book to a TV slot and even a cartoon. Well done. In the short pitch should 'Deep seeded resentments' be 'Deep-seated resentments?'

fh wrote 1342 days ago

JEREMY'S BELL
Hi David and welcome to authonomy. This is a delightful story. I particularly enjoy your charming descriptions and the interplay between the main characters. Exactly portrayed as in everyday life. This would make an admirable Christmas gift amd I'm happy to back this.
If you have a moment, would you please look at my book? Thanks
Faith
THE ASSASSINS VILLAGE

Burgio wrote 1343 days ago

JEREMY’S BELL
This is a charming story. The description of the church brought back memories for me (I stayed at a motel in Albuquerque one night right beside that train track). Both Stephan and Jeremy are good characters. The idea of bells having this much influence creates an intriguing plot. I’m happy to add this to my shelf. If you have a moment, would you look at mine (Grain of Salt)? I’m in 3rd place but only holding on by my teeth. Burgio

zan wrote 1343 days ago

Jeremy's Bell

David R. Downing

There is a lyrical quality about this story which stands out. So, Mountain View Church is falling apart. Deep-seeded resentments and long held rivalries tear at the fabric of the congregation - sadly dividing the pews and creating a no-man’s land of unhappy, unspoken resentments. Reassuring to know that there is no real difference between those within and without of the church. One of your strengths is in your descriptive abilities - I really enjoyed those. "The evening winds had kicked up clouds of dust that colored the last rays of sunlight a ruddy brown." Beautiful writing. This reads like a heartwarming Christmas story, as promised, and I look forward to reading more when I can.

paperbat wrote 1343 days ago


David. A couple of books' prologues caught my attention easily tonight - yours was one of them. so I felt I must read some of it. As a short novel it apprears to be working well. Plot's pace was good, as was the description. Well done. will read some more and get back to you. BACKED.
I would appreciate you looking at my childrens' book - Paperbat Adventures. Thanks
Jerry - paperbats

name falied moderation wrote 1343 days ago

Dear David

I would like to commend you on the skill you have and the imagination and the talent in writing this work of art
of yours. I wish I had half of your talent. Where does one get such original work like this, such a gift. I feel sure you
feel like me that it is your baby and you so want to see it succeed. I do wish you all the best in rising and also
getting this book of your published

BACKED BY ME FOR SURE.
Please take a moment to look, COMMENT which is important to me, and BACK my book. if not that is OK
also

The VERY best of luck to you

Denise
The Letter

lizjrnm wrote 1343 days ago

Excellent! Backed 100% - I'd buy this book and give it to people as a gift for the holidays.

Liz
The Cheech Room

TalulaJane wrote 1343 days ago

I could see my family reading this chapter by chapter during the holidays. Loved it.
Carrie
The Darkwood Tales: Demouri's Defeat

SusieGulick wrote 1343 days ago

Dear David, I love your joyous Christmas story & the ringing of the bells being the key to harmony & return to God. :) Your pitch drew me in to read your book & your crisp paragraphs & dialogue kept me reading. :) Great write. :) Hope you write many more books. :) I have backed your book :) - hope you'll take a moment to back my 2 memoir books. :) Thanks. :) Love, Susie :)

This is information from authonomy (so beware of any other untrue information you may receive that is spam & not quotes of authonomy):
"When you back a book, it only improves the ranking of that book, not yours. However, the author whose book you are backing may decide to back your book also, in which case yes, your ranking would be improved"
"Every time you place a book on your bookshelf, your recommendation pushes the book up the rankings. And while that book sits on your bookshelf, your reputation as a talent spotter increases depending on how well that book performs."

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