Author interview: Lori M. Jones, Author of RENAISSANCE OF THE HEART

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Today I’m interviewing debut novelist Lori M. Jones about her release of RENAISSANCE OF THE HEART – available on Amazon now! (*squealing*) I love speaking with writers, and hearing about the road they’ve traveled to publication. Never an easy road. Wrought with ups and downs and detours that seemingly lead to nowhere. But this writer made it happen. Here’s her story… Tell me – what’s RENAISSANCE OF THE HEART about? A woman’s journey to find forgiveness and to find love again after her husband leaves her for another man.

Leave her an eCrumb trail

eCrumbs When our kids used to nap, my husband would bike the back roads near our house on the weekends, but I always worried. Once, during a thunderstorm, I woke up my youngest from her nap, strapped the kids into the car, and went looking for him. He sometimes rides 50-60 miles, but he always (sometimes) tells me where. When we finally found him in North Park, drenched and happy, I was confused (and a little irritated). Because…

Because no other word will do

Once upon a time words like “upon” and “due to” and “utilize” crept into our language. I have no idea how they’ve managed to endure. Where most people rant on about politics or family dysfunction, for me it’s all about the words. The words we speak. The words we write. They’re powerful. I’m sure there’s a very good reason why a person would use “due to,” but for me, I fall strongly outside the line. Let’s look at the facts, shall we? (Add shall to my list.)

Disney bound? Don’t forget a trash bag!

Where can you go on vacation knowing an employee will console your screaming kid? A Chef will concoct rainbow grilled cheese for the pickiest eater? You never have to grow up? Nowhere, that’s where – but Disney. Disney remains my favorite family vacation. If your kids are ages 6-11, read this blog post for the skinny on today’s Disney — post stroller and character meal days. It’s a random list, but I hope you take at least one tip away. 1. FAST PASS App. This is sheer magic in the palm of your hand. Download the app onto your phone and choose your fast passes weeks in advance. I’d reserve the busier and hotter afternoon time slots when the lines are longest (if you go when we did–April/May).

Sunscreen Ninja, at Your Service.

I fry in the sun without sunscreen. Always have. When it comes to my kids and the sun, I’m like a sunscreen Ninja preparing them for battle. It’s a whole process. First, I slather them up head to toe, then I cover them with hats, shades, and swim shirts. Then I reapply obsessively. So far so good — fortunately, sunscreen is like seatbelts. Kids have grown up wearing them so it’s no big deal. And what kid could resist these cool bendable shades from Justice? But I have to tell you, it’s getting harder and harder to convince my tween daughter to wear the swim shirt. I don’t blame her for not wanting to cover up her cute swimsuit, but I have to stick to my guns here. I do – don’t I?

Not without that Bunny

I asked my kids to pack their own carry-ons for Disney. My daughter packed Bunny with his head poking out so he could see, of course. We arrived for our early flight, dashed to check in our luggage, and waited for my husband to park the car. We might have strolled through a gift shop or two and snapped a few giddy selfies. But when my daughter unslung her backpack for the security scanner, a gaping hole revealed no Bunny!

How American Girl magazine saved me from going pack-Nazi Kamikaze

I tend to think kids have the life of Riley. They live in the moment, inspired to play, pick their nose, run around naked, belt out songs, pinch their sister – just because. Not a care in the world when it comes to things as benign as rolling socks into pairs for an upcoming trip, right? Oh…you’d be surprised. I was! After lugging all of the summer clothes bins up from storage, I began the torturous process of figuring out what still fits each kid, what can be passed down, and what I need to buy (everything, practically). Everyone needs new shoes, new underwear, new socks that don’t pinch or bunch or whatever it is they do that creates meltdowns. You with me? So at some point while packing for Disney, I was about to have my own mommy melt down and go all pack-Nazi kamikaze – when my kids entered the picture and blew me away.

My Writing Process Blog Tour

The fiercely talented Jennifer Walsh, author of CAPTIVE, asked me to host this week’s blog tour featuring “My Writing Process.” Thank you, Jennifer! The idea of this tour is for writers to share what we’re working on and a little bit about our creative process. You can check out Jennifer Walsh’s writing process here. 1. What am I working on? Right now I’m polishing RETURN TO ME, my WWII-era women’s fiction. My vision for this project grew out of research regarding the staggering numbers of loved ones still missing in action from WWII. I was also moved by the grief-stricken unwed mothers forced to surrender their fatherless babies. I decided to set my story in the 1940s because I love that it was a time when patriotic duty outweighed capitalism, heroes emerged in everyday people, and holding hands meant something. And of course, I couldn’t help but adore all of the romantic trappings of the day—white gloves dirtied by Pittsburgh’s steel mills, a hidden hat box, a missed train that leads a tenacious soldier to the love of his life.

Is nothing private anymore?

My eleven-year-old found the diary I kept when I was her age. Here’s what it looks like. Fortunately, it was locked. I mean, who knew what ridiculousness I had written in there, never ever anticipating that one day I would have a daughter of my own—three in fact!—who would be interested in reading it. I panicked. Then I remembered the wonderful thing about a diary. It’s private. Yep, there are some things in our lives that are meant to be kept close to the chest. Or at least they should be. Can you believe I remembered the combination thirty years later? Sorry, I digress.

And the “Bloggy” Award goes to…

This morning after I got the kids on the bus, I clicked on PlayDatesOnFridays to read the daily post before jumping into the shower. You can imagine my surprise to see that PlayDatesOnFridays nominated me for the “Bloggy” award *dancing* Thank you! Thank you! Thank you PlayDatesOnFridays, whose posts I always look forward to reading. Because they’re that good. And they find a way of staying with me. And for those of you who write a blog, or have ever tried to write a blog, you know how hard it is. It’s terrifying. Like being naked on the internet but worse.  The rules for acceptance of this award are as follows:

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