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
As most of my friends know, I began writing a novel back in the late winter of 2018. Writing fiction was always a dream—to use my creativity in imagining and writing about regular people and how they faced and overcame challenges. However, it wasn't until meeting and overcoming a significant medical challenge myself that I put a computer keyboard to a digital screen and started writing my first story, Blackhorse Road. Writing this novel has been a journey of fulfillment, personal introspection, insight, and, yes, a stress reducer.
During this chaotic and uncertain time, polishing off my novel during its last round of copyediting has given me a quiet place to hang out with the book's characters. And my characters, in turn, have provided me with a therapeutic escape and the energy to come back and face the real world.
I think all people have a gift of story-telling—after all, we share stories every day with our family and friends! Give yourself a gift of time to put the computer keyboard to a digital screen and write a story, creating characters that will give you a therapeutic escape and a quiet place to hang out for a while.
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