This looks like a powerful story we can all learn something from.
Blackhorse Road by Merida Johns released in July in the Women’s fiction romance genre.
It’s the turbulent mid-1960s, and Luci, an eighteen-year-old Southern California girl, is on the quest for self-determination and new beginnings. Three powerful forces influence her values: the grit of her Irish great-grandmother, Lucinda McCormick; the philosophy of choice of her father, Sam; and the 1960s ideals of equity and altruism. But potent foes thwart Luci at every turn. Her budding romance with a handsome United States Air Force Academy cadet sets the stage for conflict and deception that last for two decades. When Luci discovers how her autonomy and her love affair were hijacked, she struggles with anger and bitterness. But from a surprising source, she finds a forgiveness path that restores her well-being and hope and, in the end, faith in herself.
Uncertain what to make of Luci’s stillness, Barry brought his head close to hers and asked, “What are you thinking?”
Luci held back, still gazing ahead. She turned and drilled into Barry’s blue eyes. “I guess, using an Irish term, I could say, ‘What a bunch of malarkey!’” She drew back her lips in a saucy grin and weighed his reaction.
Luci’s response was unarming but charming. Barry laughed. “No one has ever told me in such a nice way that I’m full of bullshit.”
“Well, I guess there’s that!” Luci chuckled, then turned thoughtful. “Putting the ‘BS’ aside, I’d say the story is about choices, not a lovestruck fairy tale. It’s about risks and consequences and being true to your values. It’s about living who you are and not how someone else expects you to live.”
AUTHOR Bio and Links
Merida Johns takes her experience as an educator, consultant, and businesswoman and writes about the human experience. In 2018 Merida took an unlikely off-ramp from writing textbooks and motivational books to authoring women’s fiction. Her stories are learning lessons where awareness and curiosity transport readers to the most unexpected places within themselves. Merida hails from Windsor, Ontario, Canada, grew up in Southern California and has lived from coast-to-coast in the United States. Besides writing, she enjoys fabric arts, including weaving and knitting. She makes her home in the serene Midwest countryside that gives her the inspiration and space for storytelling.
I often read, and ask, about the inspiration behind the book. This story seems to dig a bit deeper than a love story. So, what I want to ask you is why did you write it? And why should a reader hop on for the journey?
You are spot-on, Viviana. Blackhorse Road is more than a romance, and there’s an interesting behind the scene story about what propelled me to take an offramp from writing nonfiction, mostly textbooks, to authoring fiction.
After I retired from academia, I started my practice as a leadership coach to focus on helping women break the glass ceiling and fulfill their leadership and economic potential. During the past ten years, I transitioned from writing textbooks to motivational books on creating environments where people flourish through better leadership.
About three years ago, I was on a conference call with fellow life coaches, and we were discussing concepts of what makes a fulfilling life. Bang! Like a thunderclap, I had an insight. What would it be like to help people understand the concepts of a flourishing life in a story instead of through a motivational book or text? After all, I thought, storytelling has been the most compelling form of communication for thousands of years. As far as I could recall, none of the great Profits fed up learning objectives and multiple-choice questions to their followers. No! They got their message across through stories.
To be honest, I was tired of writing motivational books and textbooks that give frameworks, theories, and ideas but don’t immerse readers in the human experience. Since I was ten-years-old, I had wanted to write fiction, but my professional career steered me in another direction. Now, I saw an opportunity to follow the dream I had had as a child.
If readers like stories about how ordinary people tackle challenges, live through sorrow and betrayal, struggle with self-doubt, and act on their aspirations to achieve flourishing lives, then Blackhorse Road is the book for them.
Blackhorse Road blossoms from my imagination that is influenced by my experience, perspectives, and observations that give the story authenticity and sensitivity, helping readers connect with the characters and feel their joy, disappointment, sorrow, and happiness.
But Blackhorse Road has more—it is enriched by the backstories that set the context for the characters and events in the story—historical incidents, politics, economics, philosophy, religion, and psychology that influence the values of the characters and ultimately the consequences of their actions. As Connor, one of the characters in Blackhorse Road says, “Time and place shape a person.” It’s the intermingling of these forces that creates a complicated explosion and tension within and among the characters.
I uncover these backstories from usual fact-checking and readily available historical references. But the sources I like best that enhance the pallet of my novel are diaries and old letters that are first-hand accounts about relationships and peoples’ challenges, and their feelings of sorrow, love, hope, sadness, and happiness. These are the special elixir in Blackhorse Road that connect readers with the characters and allow them to become one with the story. If readers enjoy that experience, then Blackhorse Road is for them.
This post is part of a Tour. The tour dates can be found here: https://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2020/07/vbt-blackhorse-road-by-merida-johns.html
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