Thank you Kathleen, for being part of the blog tour for Chasing Rainbows. Being something of a Jersey Girl myself, I'm honored to be here today at Jersey Girl Book Reviews!
Each time I'm asked to write a guest blog, I focus on one important question. What can I talk about that won't put your readers to sleep? This morning I thought of two things that seem to draw the most reader comments about Chasing Rainbows - the cryptograms and the ending. So, I thought, why not talk about both?
"T PAFY FG T ATLWBL FP PTHK, WIU UATU FP GBU DATU PAFYP TLK WIFQU HBL."
You might be thinking, 'What the heck?' Or, you might be thinking, 'Oh, a cryptogram.' Exactly what is that jumble of letters? The trick to solving a cryptogram puzzle is to slowly break the code. Does the T stand for A? Does the U stand for T? In this case, yes ... and yes.
My father and I used to open the newspaper each morning and race to see who would uncover the cryptogram solution first. I loved the challenge, the shared moments and the revealed quotes.
In Chasing Rainbows, Bernie's journey is framed by quotes - in the form of cryptograms - left behind by her father. With that said, I'll leave you with the puzzle above while I talk about the book's ending and her journey.
In my other life, I write romances. Romances have tidy endings. The girl gets her guy. The good guy defeats the bad guy. Lives are saved. Broken hearts are healed. Love conquers all. I love writing romance. When I wrote Chasing Rainbows, however, I wanted the ending to be reflective of the main character's journey. My goal was to leave readers with a sense of encouragement and hope for the future.
At the end of the book, Bernie's not finished learning and growing. She's a work in progress. Aren't we all? Will Bernie find joy? Will she experience additional heartache? Will she backslide? Will she make more unfortunate haircut decisions? Undoubtedly. She wouldn't be Bernie if she didn't.
I suppose that's where my faith in the reader comes in. I have faith that the reader can imagine what happens next. Just as I don't go overboard in describing characters, because I want the reader to develop her own mental image, I don't go overboard on detailing the what-comes-next of Chasing Rainbows. Some readers like this. Some readers don't.
For Bernie, the last scene represents a turning point in her thoughts, beliefs and self-confidence. I don't want to give away the plot or her story, so let me instead give you the solution to the cryptogram above.
If you want to break the code and figure out the quote for yourself, now's the time. Otherwise, here it is, one of my favorite quotes from Chasing Rainbows and one that sums up Bernie's life and choices beautifully.
"A ship in a harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for." - John A. Shedd
Thanks again for letting me visit with you today, Kathleen! And thank you to everyone who's picked up a copy of Chasing Rainbows and shared Bernie's journey.
About The Author:
A long time ago, in an elementary school, far away, a very young Kathleen scribbled a story in her journal. Then she wrote another, and another. She added several poems, the lyrics to a song or two, a love letter to David Cassidy, and so on and so on. While her early writings never saw the light of day, many of her later works did. And while she did not marry David Cassidy, Kathleen did marry her own Prince Charming. Together, they are raising one drama queen and one obedience-challenged border collie mix in a kingdom divided between suburban Philadelphia and the Jersey Shore.
Kathleen is the RITA nominated, RIO Award and two-time Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence winning author of fourteen novels of contemporary romance, romantic suspense and women's fiction. Her additional honors include National Readers Choice, Holt Medallion, and Booksellers Best award nominations.
She divides her time between plotting her next book, bribing her little one to pick up her toys, and begging the dog to heel. Life is good. Very, very good.
Kathleen Long's Chasing Rainbows Tour Page on Chick Lit Plus
BUY THE BOOK: Chasing Rainbows
BARNES & NOBLE
Book Description: Chasing Rainbows
Bernadette Murphy likes her life. Really, she does. What's wrong with carrying around an extra ten pounds from fertility treatments? Or having your dog kicked out of obedience school? Again? What's that saying about the devil you know? For Bernie, it's the devil she never expected that changes everything.
Her father's sudden death leaves a gaping void in her life and is one in a series of events that rock her world. Her husband leaves for another woman, and her best friend announces an unplanned pregnancy at the age of forty-one. Bernie's behavior goes from acting out to out-of-hand, and she finds herself in trouble at home, out of work and banned from the mall after a confrontation at the cosmetic counter.
When her mother discovers her father's book of cryptograms, Bernie realizes his encoded lessons in living might be exactly what she needs to survive. From dealing with her family's grief and bonding with her best friend's thirteen-year-old daughter, to dieting, dating and mindless almost-sex with the landscaper, Bernie discovers what her father always knew.
In life, you either choose to sing a rainbow, or you don't.
For Bernie, the singing is about to begin.
To enter the contest, click on the above link and leave a comment on Kathleen Long's Chasing Rainbows Tour Page on Chick Lit Plus, to win a $25 Amazon gift card. If you purchase your copy of Chasing Rainbows before March 12th and send your receipt to Samantha@ChickLitPlus.com , you will get five (5) bonus entries!