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Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Mona Lisas and Little White Lies by John Herrick - Book Tour - Guest Post - Giveaway - Enter Daily!

Hi lovelies!  It gives me great pleasure today to host John Herrick and his new book, “Mona Lisas and Little White Lies”!  For other stops on his Goddess Fish Promotions Book Tour, please click on the banner above or any of the images in this post.

Be sure to make it to the end of this post to enter to win a $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble Gift Card!!  Also, come back daily to interact with John and to increase your chances of winning!

Thanks for stopping by!  Wishing you lots of luck in this fabulous giveaway!

Mona Lisas and Little White Lies
by John Herrick


GENRE: Romantic Comedy



She’s America’s hottest new celebrity. But her identity remains a secret.

Lily Machara is a wisecracking auto mechanic. She’s never cared for glitz or drama. But when Ryder Flynn, a rising star in the world of commercial art, adopts Lily as his muse after a random sighting, Lily discovers herself painted into his hot new pieces … and becomes America’s newest — anonymous — celebrity.

The only problem: The woman Ryder imagines isn’t the true Lily.

Or is it?

Now, as Lily and Ryder give in to mutual curiosity and a budding romance, Lily’s life — secrets and all — fall victim to a pop culture with one question on its mind: Who is the woman in Ryder Flynn’s art?

In the spirit of Cyrano de Bergerac and Pretty Woman, MONA LISAS AND LITTLE WHITE LIES is a delightful new romantic comedy from John Herrick, bestselling author of Beautiful Mess.



By three in the morning, Ryder had left Lily with her relatives and parted ways with her. The thought of never seeing her again chafed his heart as he walked down the hotel’s ninth-floor hallway and stuck his key card into the electronic lock of his own room. As he walked inside, his eyes moved toward one side, where a table lamp kept everything aglow.

He wouldn’t sleep at all tonight. He couldn’t. The thought of Lily lingered in his mind and swayed within his soul. Even at her low point that evening, as dismal as she’d appeared, Ryder had seen an angel when he’d gazed into her eyes.

In his room, he plunged into a sea of plush cushions on the sofa and grabbed a tiny, five-dollar bottle of mineral water from the mini bar. As the carbonated liquid tickled his throat and settled into his belly, its bubbles danced and brought a grin to his face. An unexpected end to the evening. Ryder hadn’t stepped foot in his room since morning and noticed he’d left the curtains open. From his vantage point on the sofa, he gazed out the window at the Cleveland skyline, where he noticed lights glowing from a nearby office tower.

Something stirred in his soul, but he couldn’t identify its source. Invigoration, perhaps? No, on second thought, he felt…alive. Alive, fueled by the memory of her.

Something about her had created in him a longing.

The stirring wouldn’t cease. An artist’s vulnerability. An abstract impression that begged manifestation.

She had disappeared from his life. Dejected at the realization, Ryder sought to keep her memory alive.

With a beckoning in his heart, he moved to the writing desk. From his satchel, which he’d placed beside the desk when he’d arrived that morning, he retrieved a small sketchbook and his favorite pencil. After flipping through the book in a hurry, he found a crisp, white page and focused his attention. With soft, careful strokes, he sketched a figure on the paper.




4 Ways I Connect with Readers in My Books

Reading is a solitary activity. It involves some degree of quiet and concentration. But I’ve long believed reading is an opportunity for the reader and author to have an interactive experience. For that to occur, connecting with my readers is a must. I seek for ways for the story to become theirs, too.

Here are 4 ground rules I set for myself to facilitate the process:

1.) Develop the characters down to their souls. Oftentimes, while developing a major character, I will fill out a biography sheet. I also like to give the character a 15- to 20-question interview that captures their beliefs, their secrets, their favorite childhood memory, their insecurities—everything. Some of these things make it into the story; others don’t. But the purpose isn’t to create content for your book—it’s to get to know my character inside and out, to understand how they think, how they might make decisions. And although I get to know my characters better after sketching the full novel, the interview offers my first glimpse into how each character speaks, along with the attitude that lies underneath. This enables my readers to know my characters inside and out, to understand why my characters behave as they do.

2.) Make yourself vulnerable. Surprise, surprise, I don’t write naked. However, if I don’t feel like I’m naked when I write, then I haven’t invested myself in what I’m writing. I’m not my characters. Their views and struggles are not necessarily mine. But I should write as if they are mine. I should write with such heart and soul, the reader will mistake it for a true story. If I do this well, then by the time the story ends, the readers have found such a genuine character, that character has become a friend—a friend in whom the readers could see themselves confiding.

3.) Respect the reader. From the Dead was my first novel to hit shelves. I learned a lot from my editor, Emma. I also learned a lot (and continue to do so) by reading customer reviews. And what I learned is this: Readers are savvy. The first time you write a novel, you feel like you need to explain everything to the reader, describe every detail. But the truth is, your readers are smart enough to deduce what you don’t provide. They can fill in gaps in the description once you point the way. If you’ve developed your characters well, you don’t need to explain why they say everything they do—or how they say it, for that matter—because you’ve given your reader enough information to connect the dots. And I’ve tested this, too. I write my stories in a way that anyone can enjoy them. But for those who pay close attention, I plant extra pieces of information or nuggets in my book—things I don’t specifically mention in the narrative—for savvy readers to find. And sure enough, I’ll read a blogger review or a customer review and see that they did indeed find the nugget and they did indeed connect the dots. This story belongs to them, too.

4.) Leave a few loose ends. This is related to #3, and some people would disagree with my choice to do this. But how often have you read a story and been a tad disappointed in one of the details of how it ended? How many times have you thought, “I wish the author hadn’t mentioned that” or “I wish the author would have done this instead”? No reader wants a novel to end with holes in the plot or significant questions unanswered. However, some unanswered questions won’t impact the plot resolution or change the overall story: The couple has reunited as the final chapter ends, but do they have a romantic evening? Do they stay together long term? Does he write her another song? I like to leave a loose end or two unanswered, because, as I said, I want my stories to be an interactive experience. I want my readers to have a choice in the matter. And when I respect them enough to do my job without overdoing it, it gives each reader a chance to add to the ending. It leaves the door open for the reader to draw the next conclusion, to imagine the characters’ future together, or even to remember the characters a certain way. The readers help me end my stories, and I believe that makes my stories unique.

My latest novel is called Mona Lisas and Little White Lies. I hope take a few minutes to check it out. You can find more about that novel and all my books at www.johnherrick.net.

Thanks for letting me stop by. And thanks for being an important part of what I do as a writer.



John Herrick is best known as a chronicler of the human heart. His complex characters and earnest tone prompted Publishers Weekly to write, "Herrick will make waves." When he is not writing, he loves long drives on the interstate. He is a sucker for 1990s music. Herrick lives in St. Louis.

In addition to novels such as BEAUTIFUL MESS and FROM THE DEAD, he authored the nonfiction bestseller, 8 REASONS YOUR LIFE MATTERS.









BookBub Author Page:

BookBub Book Page:

Goodreads Author Page:

Goodreads Book Page:

Amazon Author Page:



Amazon Kindle eBook:

Amazon Paperback:

Barnes and Noble Paperback:

The Book Depository Paperback:

BAM! Books-A-Million Paperback:



John will be awarding a $10 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour.

**This post contains affiliate links and if clicked and a purchase is made, I may receive a small commission to help support this blog.  This does not cost you anything, it just helps pay for all those awesome giveaways on here.**

This contest is sponsored by a third party. Fabulous and Brunette is a registered host of Goddess Fish Promotions.  Prizes are given away by the sponsors and not Fabulous and Brunette. The featured author and Goddess Fish Promotions are solely responsible for the giveaway prize.


  1. John ~ Welcome! It is so great to have you here! Congrats on your new book and good luck on the book tour! :)

  2. Thanks so much for sharing a book description and giveaway also. Sounds great!

  3. Did you help design the cover? Bernie Wallace BWallace1980(at)hotmail(d0t)com

    1. Hi Bernie. Yes, I try to play a role in all my book covers, seeing which images jump out at my subconscious after writing the story. That said, the designer found the image that you see on the cover. As soon as I saw it, I thought, "That's her! That's Lily's whole attitude, wrapped up in a single image!"