Guest Post: Jaded Love Tour

Today I’m pleased to host fellow Anaiah Press authors, Kara Leigh Miller and Jody Holdford. Last year I enjoyed the first book in The Mending Hearts series, Dangerous Love, and now they are celebrating the release of book two: Jaded Love.
JadedLove_Holford-Miller_KINDLE-NOOK

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

by

Kara Leigh Miller & Jody Holford

 

“A Picture is worth a thousand words” is a phrase originally credited to Frederick R. Barnard in reference to the effectiveness of graphics in advertising. Later, he then attributed it to a Chinese proverb. Regardless of who first said it, this is really a very powerful sentiment, even for writers.

 

As authors, words are our currency. We spend our days, nights, weekends, (every spare moment) make our living by playing with words. We string them together to create new worlds and people, to create situations and invoke emotions that will (hopefully) resonate with readers. We agonize over each word choice, each sentence, each paragraph until we feel it’s the absolute best it can be. But what people might not realize is that readers are also very visual people. We have the ability to visualize our characters, our settings, our books! They often play out like movies in our minds.

 

Sometimes, seeing an image can spark an idea for a new scene or some new dialogue. So, to help keep us motivated, to stave off writer’s block, and to assist in our promotional efforts, we utilized a lot of visual aids — namely, stock photos of our characters and our settings. It helped us solidify them in our minds and they worked wonders in keeping us both on the same page as far as writing descriptions. Jody even created a Pinterest board for Jaded Love, which you can visit here: https://www.pinterest.com/jholford/jl/

 

Today, we’re sharing some of these pictures with all of you so that you can see how we’ve always envisioned Jackson, Kristy, and the world that is Jaded Love. Hopefully they’ll resonate with you as they did with us.

 

Meet Jackson Reed… We always imagined him as this tall, somewhat imposing, closed off tough guy detective. He’s generally sporting some days’ old stubble because he’s a workaholic, but deep down, he’s got a heart of gold. The snippet is Kristy’s first impression of him.

 

Jackson darker

This is Jackson and Kristy’s first kiss, which takes place during a singles dance hosted by Pastor Ethan and his church. When the evening started, neither of them expected a kiss, so it certainly took them by surprise, but as soon as it happened, they knew there was no going back.

 

SSUCv3H4sIAAAAAAAEAJ2RwWrEIBCG74W+Q/AcQWPimr5K6WE000XqrhDNlrLk3avRFM+9iPON//j/+nx96TqiIVhD3rpnrlJtndtCXCFaf0+Y9ZXjYqNfLbgMM9uPDgkR4hYw5BEVGYh4TWcLrPrznvdSd2fjaCZFahHSNyxs+mAn2vt/K8vm44wCV7ybn8NwE2RFh1CCVI/kcxYDw5lT0HKho+GcziotE5vkRTKFeJHkb+qg9Ki5otMgJjpyVFSBVHSZOWg2MiGNOCwVH+TrO+J6a9/tYRf0TQ3bYn3zhA9vwGWBaGyb9Fv+VsPsv5BWynXUAQAA

 

An important part of Jaded Love is the group therapy sessions that Jackson and Kristy attend in the basement of the church. Even though it’s an emotionally intense thing that they go through, we’d always envisioned it as a small, close-knit, supportive group.

269899

Even though we deal in words, pictures are often just as important, and to us, they really do speak a thousand words.

Jody Holford_ Author Pic

Jody Holford

 

Kara Leigh Miller

Kara Leigh Miller

Thanks for stopping by, ladies! I loved visuals, too. As a bonus, this tour is hosting a giveaway. ENTER TO WIN A $25 Amazon Gift Card: https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/527093932/

Find Jaded Love on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Jaded-Love-Mending-Hearts-Book-ebook/dp/B018HS72VG/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1453766083&sr=1-2&keywords=jaded+love

And on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28378045-jaded-love?from_search=true&search_version=service

To see more posts about Jaded Love check out the full tour: https://anaiahpress.wordpress.com/2016/01/25/follow-the-jaded-love-blog-tour/

Spotlight on Jacqueline

Today I’m happy to share a Question and Answer session I had with another Anaiah Press author, Jackie Minniti. Her middle grade historical novel, Jacqueline, was one of my favorite reads in 2015. It’s now available in print as well as e-formats.

JacquelineWere you nervous about how family/friends would feel about reading a fictionalized account of a treasured family tale?

No, not at all! In fact, my dad, a 99-year-old WWII veteran whose experience inspired the story, had been asking me to write a book about Jacqueline for years. It was the only war story he was willing to share, and it became part of our family lore. I tried to explain to him that although our family loved the story, there wasn’t enough material for a book and no general audience for it. Then a chance encounter with a guest at my son’s wedding sparked a “Eureka!” moment. A man who’d been sitting with my dad came up to me. “I hear you’re a writer,” he said. “Your father’s been telling me the most amazing story. You should write a book about it.” I began to tell him why it couldn’t be done, but he interrupted me. “I have a daughter in 6th grade. She doesn’t know anything about WWII. She’d love to read a book like this, and it would help her learn history.” To this day, I don’t know why it never occurred to me to write the story for younger readers, especially since I’d taught middle school reading for so many years and Jacqueline was the same age as my students. But once I started looking at the story from that perspective,the plot began to form and I couldn’t wait to start writing.

 

Which character was the hardest to write about? Why?

I’d have to say that it was Yvonne Jamet, the young French “collaborateur” who was keeping company with the Nazi soldier. She was a controversial character because she was considered a traitor and was hated by Maman and the adults in the story, but Jacqueline saw her softer, more vulnerable side and had conflicted feelings about her. Since younger readers tend to see characters as either good or bad, I tried to present Yvonne as more of a “gray” character so they’d have to make their own decisions about her. It was a real effort to keep my personal feelings about Yvonne from leaking into my writing.

 

What are some of the most interesting historical tidbits you came across in your research?

As a Baby Boomer, just one generation removed from WWII, I was surprised at how little I really knew about this historical period. I’d read a lot about the Holocaust and the plight of the Jews in Germany, Poland, and Austria, but there wasn’t as much written about France during that time. I learned that there was a sizable Jewish population in Rennes, and that many French Jews were sent to Drancy, a “transit camp” outside Paris that was actually a temporary stop on the way to the death camps in Auschwitz and Buchenwald. I was also amazed at the hardships the French endured under the occupation – food rationing, curfews, censorship, air raids, constant surveillance. It renewed my appreciation for the freedom we enjoy here in America. And I can’t express the depth of my admiration for the bravery and sacrifice of the American troops who fought so valiantly to defeat the evil that was Nazi Germany. Most of them were mere boys, many away from home for the first time, and yet they transformed history and secured freedom for millions of people. They truly were the Greatest Generation.

 Jackie

Did the story go as planned or did you write some surprises?

Since Jacqueline is based on a true story, most of it went as planned. But some of the characters took unexpected turns. The biggest change from my original vision was the fate of the Bergiers. Since I don’t want to spoil the ending, I’ll just say that I originally planned something more catastrophic but decided it might be too intense for the younger readers.

 

What’s been the most rewarding part of Jacqueline being published?

I’ve dreamed of becoming a published author for as long as I can remember. The submission process was difficult and stressful, but it was all worth it when I was offered the contract from Anaiah Press. They’ve been extremely professional and a pleasure to work with. But the most rewarding part of the entire experience was putting that first copy of Jacqueline in my father’s hands. It was definitely one of the proudest moments of my life.

 

Ready for more?

Check out http://www.jackieminniti.com/

and

For More Stops On The Tour, Click Here.

Fortitude is Almost Here

A week and a half to go until Fortitude is out in the world. It’s an exciting, frightening, emotional time but being surrounded by encouraging family and supportive friends make it all easier. So does having a gorgeous cover and awesome professional team.

Fortitude cover

If you’re interested in a Kindle copy, Amazon has the pre-order link up. I’ll be sure to share other sources as they become available.

For now, have a blessed Thanksgiving weekend!

Next Month

2015 has been an exciting year for me and it’s becoming more so by the week. First, after waiting over two decades, I experienced my favorite band in concert (front row, center!) in the spring.
100_7333
Then I visited the largest home in America late summer. https://carriedalby.com/2015/09/01/adventure-ahead/

100_8152

But the year isn’t done with me yet. 2015 will afford the experience of my third bucket list item: the publishing of my first book.

Yes, the release date for Fortitude (Surge imprint, Anaiah Press) has been moved from January 2016 to December 8, 2015. Thirty-four days to go! I’ll be posting more about this historical novel in the days ahead.

Also, last month Europe (favorite band, as linked above) announced the second half of their U.S.A. tour to promote their newest album “War of Kings” and they are coming to one of my favorite venues on the Gulf Coast. I bought my tickets and will be seeing them for the second time in less than a year in 93 days!

One of the best years ever! How are things looking from your perspective?

Grace and Guidance

It’s been a surreal week of reading through Fortitude’s galley (early e-version of the book.) One hundred forty days until it’s out in the world! On top of proofing the galley, I need to turn in the dedication, acknowledgements, and biography sections.

Freak out time!

This is getting real, people!

100_8270

Granted, I’ve been working notes for an acknowledge section for a couple years—probably since the first draft was complete—it feels odd to have to finalize it. The journey is getting close to the end, but at the same time, it’s just beginning. I thought I had it all worked out, but about an hour after getting into bed last night, I was up again, altering the list of thanks.

Adding to it.

Because there have been so many people along the way who have helped, inspired, and answered questions.

The dedication remains the same, but how to fit all those who’ve touched the story… that’s a difficult question. But I think I found the answer. Come January 12, 2016, you’ll be able to see for yourself.