Tuesday, April 24, 2018

The Impact of Books at Different Times in Our Lives

Have you ever read a book at a young age and didn't like it, but then you re-read it later in life, and suddenly it resonated so powerfully that you couldn't imagine not liking it before?

This happened to me when I re-read Kate Chopin's The Awakening.

It impacted me so much as an adult that I integrated it briefly into my novel The Art House.

If you've never read The Awakening, it's about a woman who is constricted and conflicted by the societal roles placed on her as a female. She wants her freedom and wants to feed her soul, not just play a role that the world tells her she needs to play. In short, it's a feminist novel. This is a concept that I somewhat grasped as a teenager. I think I was 17 years old when I read it in high school, but the overall theme was still too deep for me to fully appreciate at such a young age. In fact, I skimmed the book, read the Cliff Notes, and didn't do well on the exam. It's funny because I fancied myself a rather mature 17-year-old; however, I see now that I was still pretty much an ignorant kid with so much left to learn.

Then, lo and behold, over a decade of life experience and some years as a married woman later, I picked the book up at the library. It was almost like it was calling to me from the shelf. So I gave it another shot. And wow. I totally got it the second time around. 

It was a really cool experience for me, and it made me wonder what other books I might have read in high school or college that I didn't care for, but that I might possibly really like now.

Has this ever happened to you before? If so, what book did the trick?



Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Unicorns and Bisexual Monogamy: 'The Art House' Turns Two!

This month marks the second birthday (aka publishing anniversary) of my contemporary novel The Art House. In honor of this book's special day, I wanted to do a blog post about it and include one of my favorite unicorn images. This is from the cover of Heavy Metal Magazine, which I love:

The Art House is a contemporary novel, not a paranormal novel, but it does include lots of unicorn imagery. The main character, Janelle, used to have a recurring dream about a unicorn. This is due to seeing a sculpture years ago done by the mysterious artist (and main love interest in the story), Edgar. In the novel, she meets Edgar when she stays at his famous "Art House" to do a feature story on him, and those interesting unicorn dreams start happening again while she's there. The dreams ultimately end up having a deeper meaning, which you'll find out if you read the book (**wink, wink!**)

The other thing I wanted to have a quick chat about is the bisexuality of Janelle. In this story, she is a bisexual woman who has repressed her bisexuality all her adult years. The circumstances that happen in the tale encourage her to finally embrace it. This is in part due to the gentle nudging of her new friend and associate of Edgar's, the beautiful model Trixie.

But believe it or not, there is no threesome action in this book. No FFM scenes at all. The experiences that Janelle has with Trixie and Edgar are totally separate. This is an issue I wanted to bring up, concerning bisexuality, especially bisexual characters in fiction, and the assumptions people may have about them.

It seems like most erotic bisexual fiction involves threesomes. And it's true that some bisexual people are polyamorous and/or have threesomes and are perfectly happy with it. My character Trixie is in an open relationship. But there are plenty of bisexuals out there who are simply attracted to people of both (or all, if we're talking about pansexuality) genders. It does not mean that the person needs to be with multiple genders at one time. It simply means that the person is open to having a relationship with someone of either sex.

A lot of people who have read The Art House have told me they were surprised at the novel because it ended up being a very different book than they originally thought it would be. Not only is there no BDSM as one might assume from the sexy mask on the cover, it is a story about a monogamous bisexual rediscovering her soul, or in other words, a woman rediscovering what makes her heart truly sing. And it isn't just about rediscovering love and lust. There's also artistic passion and overall life's purpose. There's a lot more to the story than just sex.

Don't get me wrong. There is a lot of steamy sex in this novel... (**more winks**)...but it's not only a story about that.

If I have succeeded in piquing your curiosity, The Art House is available at multiple online retailers:






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