10 Quotes To Live By are highlighted today on the book tour for my novel Blackhorse Road! Thank you to Joanne for giving me the opportunity to share these from the characters in the book to use as fuel to power up your week https://joanneguidoccio.com/2020/08/17/10-quotes-to-live-by/#comment-95839
Since its release two weeks ago, I've been receiving emails and texts about readers' reactions to Blackhorse Road. A theme that seems to be running through the messages is that this is a compelling story that has something in it for everyone. The characters, events, location, and plot affect readers differently—but there is no doubt that each has come away being transported to an unexpected place within themselves.
Here is a place for readers to post their comments and reactions and to share their Blackhorse Road journey with other Blackhorse Road travelers.
Was I ever excited about the pre-launch virtual parties for Blackhorse Road. They sure lifted the web of mystery about the development of the novel!
I know that most readers of fiction aren't privy to the publication process—but they have a hunger for getting answers to questions about the story behind the story. And that's why I designed the pre-launch—to give readers at a peek at who the people are who made Blackhorse Road possible and to satisfy readers' curiosity by of things that are not usually disclosed about production.
Featured guests at the parties—Megan Shultz Grennan developmental editor, Kim Bookless, copyeditor, Pat Hertel, proofreader and copyeditor, and beta readers Marian, Sue, Carol, and Laurel—didn't hold back punches as they assisted me in unveiling the mystery of how a manuscript goes from the first draft to finished product.
The beta readers shared their insights into the story characters and their visceral responses that they had to portions of the novel. Each of them fielded questions and told the audience how they came away with different lessons, thoughts, and yes, there were questions about some unresolved issues among the characters. Perhaps there's a sequel in work?
The audiences were not shy about asking questions either!
· Why did you write the book?
· What was the hardest part to cut out of the story?
· How much research went into the story?
· How much of the story comes from your own family, including ancestors?
· Does the story touch on sensitive issues?
I have to say that the audience response has been overwhelming, and here is a sampling of comments:
· "I haven't had any interactions with developmental editors before . . . so it was great to hear about Megan's role and see your manuscript examples. That was excellent," said one attendee.
· "It was great to hear from your team and about the whole book process. Kudos to you for picking up the ball and scoring several touchdowns," said another.
My heart overflows with having such a great group of cheerleader.s
The official virtual launch party for Blackhorse Road is scheduled for July 21, 2020, at 7:00 PM CT. So, join the fun and registration visit www.MeridaJohnsAuthor.com.
It is said that authors write about what they know—I guess that might be true. In my novel, Blackhorse Road, I've included a place that resonates with history, memories, and spirits, and some of my own memories, too!. After reading the excerpt below from Blackhorse Road, click on the link and view the pictures to see why Luci loves Fort Malden so—I promise, you will feel its energy and vibration, and maybe even feel the spirits of long ago.
"Nevertheless, the manicuring and modernization could not destroy the resilience of the old fort's spirit. The fortification's life force emanated as strong as ever and rose from the earth and battlements like a quivering earthquake. The power of General Brock and Tecumseh, the soldiers, the French settlers, and the First Peoples, still cried out demanding acknowledgment. They will not be denied, Luci comforted herself. Time marches on and changes things, but it cannot eradicate the imprint of energy stamped on a place. Energy does not die. Its vibration, perhaps redistributed, continues. Memories are similar. They do not die; they are the waves that flow throughout a lifetime."
For more photos see the link here https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g793524-d1861821-Reviews-Fort_Malden_National_Historic_Site-Amherstburg_Ontario.html
Carousels play a significant scene between two sets of lovers, separated by sixty years, in my novel Blackhorse Road. One of the things I love about writing a novel is where the research takes me in tracking down specific facts—one of these journeys was locating an old carousel that existed on Bob-Lo Island in 1900 and one that existed in Fairmont Park, Riverside CA in 1966. Here is a picture of Mountain Dancer that Luci rode in Fairmont Park—a ride that changes her life. https://carousels.org/psp/CrossroadsVillage/LeafHorseRow.html
Book Reviews for my novel Blackhorse Road are coming in, and I'm over the moon!
Midwest Book Review's Senior Reviewer Diane Donavan has given the novel high praise. The full review will appear on the Midwest Book Review's website in March, but here's a peek at one part of the review: "Blackhorse Road, a story of romance, coming of age, betrayal, and recovery that moves from personal transformation to personal disaster in the blink of an eye….Novel readers seeking a tale that closely considers deception and forgiveness, love gained and lost, and family ties will welcome the multifaceted Blackhorse Road's ability to come full circle in a satisfyingly unexpected way."
The full review will be posted to the Midwest Book Review webpage in early March.....wait for more to come.
What genre is my novel, Blackhorse Road?
There was a robust discussion about that topic when my five enthusiastic proofreaders met over Christmas tea last month.
"It isn't just a romance," Marian said.
"It's self-help, but it isn't self-help either," someone else chimed in.
"But it's a love story although not a bodice-ripping romance," said one of them, and that remark caused a howled from all of us.
"Maybe it should be bodice-ripping," I joked, which produced some raised eyebrows and nods around the table.
Seriously, though, my friends had made an important point. Determining a novel's category is essential for many reasons, but from a practical point of view, identifying its genre helps readers find an author's book. While novels may cross over into several genres, having a home base helps to set expectations about the story and subject matter between the book's covers.
So where does that put Blackhorse Road? Read the synopsis and see if you agree with my choice that follows.
It's the turbulent 1960s, and eighteen-year-old Luci Bartolini is following her North Star and new beginnings. Her values are grounded in her Irish great-grandmother's grit, her Italian father's philosophy of choice and happiness, and the era's social justice ideals. A chance meeting at a street dance with a handsome air force cadet sets the stage for a romance that is filled with intimacy without bounds and is as thrilling as a roller-coaster ride. But lurking in the shadows is a powerful foe who robs Luci of her autonomy and shatters her love affair. Discovering the betrayal, Luci tumbles into darkness and a chasm of anger, hate, and despair. Can Luci free herself from the shackles of bitterness and resentment by walking down the forgiveness path? Does she have the strength to restore belief in herself and keep hope alive even as she believes she has lost her soulmate forever?
I believe the foundational home for Blackhorse Road is Women's Fiction. The novel is a story about a young woman on the brink of change who is searching for her place in the world. Her journey is one of personal growth and maturation spanning two decades and that details how she finds love, lives through sorrow and betrayal, struggles with doubt and forgiveness, and acts on her aspirations to achieve a flourishing life.
Cross over genres include Realistic Fiction, defined as stories about real life problems, Adult Fiction, defined as stories about and intended for adults, and for some of the audience, Historical Fiction (after all, the 1960s began sixty years ago) and, of course, Romance—a love story with a satisfying ending.
Publication now: March 2020