In Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice there is a story about Portia whose father has set up a test for her many suitors to take whereby her husband would be determined. The willing candidate is shown three caskets (small boxes); one is gold, one silver, and one is made of lead. He is instructed to choose one. If he chooses correctly he may wed Portia, but if he chooses wrongly, he must remain a bachelor. One ambitious, vain suitor chooses the golden box and finds this verse:

All that glisters is not gold;
Often have you heard that told:
Many a man his life hath sold
But my outside to behold:
Gilded tombs do worms enfold.

The lesson is that if we make decisions based on outward appeal, or temporal rewards we may not find what we seek.

I just finished reading Michele Ashman Bell’s book A Modest Proposal in record time. It was a book that led me continually onward by building suspense throughout: Will Jace show up at the temple after all these years? Will Lauryn be able to pull off first one fashion show and then another? Will Molnar’s evil scheme sabotage her future?

But throughout the story is the lesson that “all that glitters is not gold.” Lauryn, immersed in the glamorous world of high fashion in New York City, is determined to stay true to her vision for modest evening wear. Her designs, which reflect a rare talent, hold the potential to launch her as a major designer.

It is Lauren’s 30th year, she is still unmarried, her job is going nowhere, and she is about to learn that the golden world of fashion can hide some very dark hearts. She is learning that success and happiness come in loving others and being loved in return. and that all achievement is founded on blessings from her Heavenly Father.

A Modest Proposal is also about the strong support and prayers of friends that are represented in a golden “butterfly box” that they entrust to each other. Though this story focuses on Lauryn, each of the five girls has her own challenges that they navigate through Bell’s books; the next one being her new release, Hometown Girl.

A Modest Proposal is for everyone, especially young women and young adult women who have doubts about their futures and whether it is worth it to maintain their values. Read more at http://www.micheleashmanbell.com/books/modestproposal.html

Be sure to get your copy of A Modest Proposal and enjoy a book that will keep you intrigued.

Michele Ashman Bell grew up in St. George, Utah. In fourth grade her teacher wrote on her report card that she had a tendency to daydream and would probably do well with creative writing. As a young girl, she developed a strong love and passion for reading and always had her nose in a book, even sometimes during important classes like math, science and history. (She’s paying for it now!)

Her passion for books and her love for keeping a journal helped her develop an understanding for the power of the written word, not only to express feelings and imagination, but to touch others and move readers.

Once the writing bug bit it took ten long years of submissions, rejections, workshops, critique groups, and community education classes, before her first book, An Unexpected Love, was published and she was able to make her teacher’s prediction come true.

Michele enjoys doing research for her books and feels that it is during this stage of development when the story really comes alive. As often as she can she will travel to the places she writes about so she can immerse herself in the history, landscape and culture of the area. Her goal is to provide an accurate reflection of people and places and provide the reader with an “armchair vacation”.

Michele is currently the author of 18 books and 4 Christmas stories. She is married to her college sweetheart, Gary, and is the mother of four children, and a grandma of one incredible granddaughter. Aside from supporting her children in all of their many activities, and teaching aerobics, she loves to travel and do research for her books. She also loves hearing from readers and promises to respond to everyone who contacts her. Her website is www.micheleashmanbell.com, her blog is www.micheleabell.blogspot.com and her email is micheleabell@gmail.com.

I will be interviewing Bell this next week and look forward to the opportunity of getting to know someone that has “been there done that” in the writing world.

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