Tag Archives: #SeasonofShadowAndLight

Blog Tour: Season of Shadow and Light ~Guest Post

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It is my pleasure to welcome Jenn J. McLeod to my blog and share a little about herself.  Noting her novels, I assumed that Jenn would have seen many places around Australia as she research them for her novels.  So, I asked her to share her ‘4 top spots’.  Here’s her response…

Jenn’s Writing On The Road

 

Writing on the road sounds kind of illegal, like graffiti. I mean, of course, I’m writing my novels (on a laptop) while travelling the country in a caravan.

Tien, you asked me about my “4 top spots on any road trip & why.”

Well, I bet you weren’t expecting this reply, but here we go:

My 4 top spots as I trip around the country are:

  1. a small town library
  2. a small town bookshop (especially if it has a coffee machine!)
  3. a small town book club (especially if it’s held in a café)
  4. a small town pub

 

Now for the ‘Why’.

I joke that my #WriteRoundOz odyssey is because I’ve run out of family and friends to fictionalise, but what I’m really doing (it’s early days) is incorporating small towns and regions that don’t see a lot of author activity.

Take Casino in the north (and a little west) of NSW, for example, where I spent six weeks over Christmas. What a friendly town and such a great experience when I dropped by the local library to say “Hi.”

Here’s how that went:

I walked up to the desk and asked the librarian, “Do you have any Jenn J McLeod books?”

“Let me check for you,” she replied with a smile. Then, her smile fading, promptly added. “We do. We have both House for all Seasons and Simmering Season, but I’m afraid they are all out on loan.”

“Oh, that’s wonderful news!” I said, beaming. “Because I’m Jenn J McLeod.”Casino-Library-staff-3

She greeted me so warmly and introduced the Assistant Manager and other staff, who agreed the locals might enjoy an in-person author event.

Fast forward to the end of January . . .

I spent THE best two hours talking to book loving locals about writing and publishing. I met a couple of budding authors and those present were delighted when I shared Casino-treatsthings about Season of Shadow and Light with them all.

Locals and librarians said my being there made them feel very special, and yet I was the one feeling special, especially when I saw the amazing display on the day of my chat. (Closest I’ve come to having my name up in lights!)

 

The reason for this travel tale is . . .

It’s that wonderful, warm, country welcome and connection I am hoping to experience in libraries, bookshops and book clubs around the country. I already have a couple of book clubs in QLD and WA keen for me to “let them know when I’m passing through town.”

I am slowly settling into this gypsy life—of having no home, no destination and no deadlines (other than writing ones, so I can get my next book written on time). This is my life now so I’ll take my time and savour every wonderful season this country has to offer.

Maybe in the comments you can tell me the best season to visit YOUR town/city. Maybe you can tell me why . . . and also tell me if you have a library . . . a book club . . . a pub! 😉

IMG_0067 P1000216I know, as I go, I’m going to find amazing characters. (Some people have already been written into the next book.) Authenticity is something publishers look for from their authors and readers demand it. I can’t think of a better way to maintain author authenticity than to become part of a community.

That’s where #4 on my list comes in, of course.

All work and no play would make Jenn’s characters far too cliché. (I also like the occasional rhyme.) So, going to the pub is now official research.

Maybe pub research should be higher on that list.  Here I am hangin’ at Port Broughton (SA) and reading at Ulmarra country pub in Northern NSW.  Life doesn’t get much better than beer and books!

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Please join me as I #WriteRoundOz.

­­­­­­­­­You can connect with Jenn on:

Website:        www.jennjmcleod.com

Twitter:          @jennjmcleod

Facebook:      Jenn J.McLeod -Author  &/or Readers of Jenn J McLeod Group

three books quartet

 

 

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Review: Season of Shadow and Light

seasonSeason of Shadow and Light by Jenn J. McLeod
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Source: Uncorrected Proof courtesy of publisher (in conjunction with blog tour ~check out my stop tomorrow with author’s guest post)

This is my first Jenn J. McLeod and I was a little intimidated with the size (almost 500 pages!) after finishing 2 books which were slow to pick up. However, I was hooked by Season of Shadow and Light by page 3 and I, seriously, said out loud, “thank God!” I don’t know if anyone else found this but I was intrigue by the randomly-kinda-creepy incident; it probably had something to do with the reference to ‘long lost love’. Yep, I’m another sappy reader 😉

Season of Shadow and Light is more than just romantic love. It is also a tale of familial love; of loving someone so much that you would do everything to protect them. But what does protecting them mean? Is it best to keep a secret as such? Is it best to manoeuver for a ‘normal’ family life to ensure the least disruption all around?

Paige has had a pretty tough time in the last 2 years; recovering from a stroke and a miscarriage which basically terminated her career, she’s no longer sure of her identity. There seems to be a conspiracy that drove Paige to go on a holiday in a small-in-the-middle-of-nowhere town but which found her in woop woop town instead. The most unlikely circumstance found Paige with her daughter, Matilda, and Nana Alice living at a place where the long-kept secret is threatened to unravel. You really can’t keep much of a secret in a small town.

Aiden was firstly introduced as a grump but surely, everybody’s entitled to a bad mood now and again. After receiving the biggest blow of betrayal, Aiden had no other choice but to return home. As Paige and Aiden are thrown in together more and more, it was patently clear that they found in each other a best friend. I’ve really enjoyed the easy interaction between Paige and Aiden.

Nana Alice was not enjoying this trip at all. She didn’t want to go but neither could she let Paige go without her. She was tense pretty much the whole time and her attitude with Paige was hot and cold. Alice always thought honesty is the best policy so this secret is weighing her down but yet she’s promised to keep it. I found Alice to be the most interesting character in this book; a very tightly-held together lady but this lady’s got some pluck!

There were a number of perspectives in Season of Shadow and Light, Paige’s primarily but there were snippets of Aiden, Alice, and another’s in the last part of the story. It was pretty easy to distinguish the perspectives by the feelings they exude –each of their voices were unique and their feelings real. I was quickly drawn into the story (page 3, remember) and it was told a good even pace until nearly the end. I found the ending a bit rushed but I guess after 450 pages, you need to wrap it up.

Season of Shadow and Light is a cleverly woven tale with each thread being laced tightly together, some with fancy knots, with no loose thread left behind (even the ‘random incident’ had a resolution!). If enjoy a story of self-discovery, of betrayal and healing, of lies and trust, I’d recommend Season of Shadow and Light.

Thanks to Simon & Schuster Australia for copy of book in exchange of honest review

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