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Thursday, August 27, 2020

Blackhorse Road by Merida Johns - Book Tour - Guest Post - Giveaway - Enter Daily!

Hi, lovelies!  It gives me great pleasure today to host Merida Johns and her new book, “Blackhorse Road”!  For other stops on her 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 $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble Gift Card!!  Also, come back daily to interact with Merida and to increase your chances of winning!

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

Blackhorse Road
by Merida Johns


GENRE: Women’s Fiction Romance



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.



Check out what readers are saying about Merida’s new book, “Blackhorse Road” below:

“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



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.”



Where Do You Find Inspiration?

I like to write about the human experience, showing how ordinary people tackle challenges, live through sorrow and betrayal, struggle with doubt, and act on their aspirations to achieve flourishing lives.  I love to raise readers’ awareness and curiosity and transport them to the most unexpected places within themselves.

When I started writing fiction, I took two pieces of advice before pounding the keyboard—write about what you know and know what you write.  Blackhorse Road blossoms from my imagination and is influenced by my experience, perspectives, and observations to give the story authenticity and sensitivity, helping readers connect with the characters and feel their joy, disappointment, sorrow, and happiness.

But Blackhorse Road is enriched by the backstories that set the context for the characters and events in the story—historical incidents, politics, economics, philosophy, religion, and psychology that influence the values of the characters and ultimately the consequences of their actions.  I uncover these backstories from usual fact-checking and readily available historical references.  But the sources I like best to enhance the pallet of my novel are diaries and letters and mementos from special events such as graduations, weddings, funerals.

Diaries and letters are first-hand accounts that describe the real challenges that people face and their sorrows, regrets, happiness, joy, and yes, secrets.  Some of these records are published, but others are not.  Regardless of their pedigree, they are fascinating accounts of people who had hopes, fears, ambitions, and experienced love gained and lost.  They vividly describe people’s emotions and the details of everyday living that raise my curiosity to ask powerful questions:  What was difficult for them? What did they want? What was hard for them to do? What were their choices? What was the real challenge for them? What is the truth underlying the words?

Envision what the author might construct in her imagination from the following lines of a diary:

·         Monday, November 4th, 1895.  Today I am nineteen years old.  I am attending the Windsor Normal School…
o   I might ask myself:  What were the hopes of this young woman?  What norms was she challenging or breaking by seeking a career? What was life like for a single woman in 1895 trying to chart her own path?

·         Monday, December 14th, 15 minutes past 7.  184 hours, 45 minutes before 4 o’clock Tuesday, December 22nd, 1891….
o   I might ask myself:  What was so important about December 22nd? What was so troubling about this person’s circumstance that she was counting down the minutes to a specific date?  Or what was so exciting that she placed herself in the future?

·         Tuesday:  Sister Superior found out about the novels and, and she preached a little—all have to go and tell her if they had read any….
o   I might ask myself:  What novels were these?  What did the nun preach about? Did the writer of the diary confess or lie about reading the novels?

Imagine how an author might be inspired by the following passage from a letter:

·         My Dear Miss…  You were certainly justified in not bowing to me and I acknowledge I was to blame but I trust you are not offended by my actions. It was all joke with me and far from meaning to offend you.  If you knew how much I think of you and always did you would…

I treat each of these first-hand accounts with gratefulness and reverence.  Using them only as context, I take my curiosity and unite it with my imagination and construct stories of the human experience—experiences that connect the reader with the characters and their environment, creating a bond, a unique understanding, and empathy with them.



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.







The Book Shop Author Page:

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Amazon Kindle eBook:

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Merida will be awarding a $25 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. Merida ~ Good morning! Welcome to FAB! It is so great to have you here! Congrats on your new book and good luck on the book tour! :)

    1. Thanks so much for hosting me and giving me the opportunity to share how diaries and old letters fan my curiosity and fuel my inspiration for creating characters that live with readers long after they have finished the last chapter of the book. I loved the interview.

  2. Sounds like a good book, thanks for sharing!

  3. I encourage reading so having a family who loves to read I sure support.Thanks for sharing your terrific read with us.

    1. Thank you, James, for commenting. An author always enjoys hearing thoughts from readers.

  4. I enjoyed the excerpt, thanks for sharing

    1. I'm happy you enjoyed. It's always difficult to choose just one small piece of a story to share, but I believe that this one provides a good look into an important theme in the story. Thanks for commenting.

  5. What do you want readers to take away from your novel?

  6. It sounds like an intriguing book. Thanks!