I’m happy to welcome author Merida Johns. Today, Merida shares ten inspirational quotes from her new release, Blackhorse Road.
Values, beliefs, and life philosophy form the backbone of Blackhorse Road characters. Book reviewer, Gayle Scroggs, PhD, PCC, suggests that “The exceptional self-awareness that the characters show is what stands out in Blackhorse Road.” Here are ten quotes that give a hint about the characters in Blackhorse Road.
1. Lucinda—Chapter 1: What defines a person are not one’s financial or physical attributes or beliefs. Instead, it’s the choices that one makes in surmounting life’s challenges.
2. Luci—Chapter 1: “Conformity may make life seem more comfortable. But blind obedience, in time, frustrates and disappoints us. It is conformity that robs us of our hope and deprives us of improving ourselves and creating a better and fairer world.”
3. Sam—Chapter 2: “You have three options when you hit a brick wall and can’t get what you want. You can be complacent and accept the situation and endure it. You can live in a fantasy world and pretend everything is fine. Or you can persist and find a way around the wall.”
4. Sam—Chapter 6: “Given the relevant facts and the chance to think things through, most people are smart, creative, and resourceful enough to make the right decisions.”
5. Luci—Chapter 14: Wallowing in self-pity is a waste of energy. Pessimism robs people of their freedom. It closes your mind to possibilities and opportunities. It makes you a victim of your own behavior.
6. Chris—Chapter 15: “. . . You know, there’s that old saying, ‘Better safe than sorry,’ but I like saying ‘Safe but sorry.’ I think my version is better. I don’t want to end my life, Luci, dwelling on all the should-haves or could-haves that I didn’t do because I was afraid.”
7. Barry—Chapter 15: “If you are going to get what you want in life, you have to have a contingency plan in your back pocket.”
8. Geneviève—Chapter 16: If you want to change people’s behavior, it’s best to give them a plausible option.
9. Geneviève—Chapter 17: “Live in the present, and you won’t be anxious or worried.”
10. Chris—Chapter 21: “You cannot contract out responsibility for exercising your conscience to religion, government, or other authority. To mindlessly follow authority thwarts one’s autonomy. After all is said and done, you are accountable for your choices. Those who believe that following the rules will excuse them from moral responsibility are living in fantasy land.”
Under another hand, Blackhorse Road could all too easily have been a singular romance. Johns provides more as she follows Luci down the rabbit hole and out the other side of life experience, bringing readers into a world where . . . transgression changes everything and challenges carefully-constructed foundations of belief and values. As Luci lets go of her lifesavers and navigates obstacles to happiness, her story becomes a vivid portrait of hope and self-examination which ultimately moves into unexpected territory. 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. – D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review
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.
Merida Johns will be awarding a $25 Amazon/Barnes & Noble gift card to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour. Find out more here.
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