Good Day Readers! I am very happy to welcome Author Jennifer Laurens with her new book Grace Doll. I have a lot to share today about this book starting with giving Jennifer an opportunity to chat with you about connecting with all of you!
Connecting With Readers = Making Friends
I admit, balancing writing, family life, life’s responsibilities and connecting with readers is a lot of work. But some of the most gratifying experiences I’ve had have been because I’ve extended myself to readers who’ve enjoyed my books.
I write because I want to, first. Second, I hope my stories will enrich the person who connects with them. When that reader reaches out to me, I appreciate the effort. Writing is so solitary, that one of the joys of writing is having a reader tell you how much your book touched them or made them laugh, or changed their thinking, or caused them to ponder something they hadn’t thought of before.
I used to send Heavenly out to all of my Facebook friends when it was their birthday. This was a great introduction to the series, but came at a serious cost to me. It didn’t matter. I could afford to do it, so I did – I met thousands of readers this way. One was a girl in in New York City. She started messaging me about how much she loved Heavenly and we started to chat regularly–one highlight was a birthday phone conversation we recently had. Someday, we hope to meet face to face. But until then, we email and text and keep in touch on a weekly basis. I’m so grateful to know her. She’s an outstanding young woman with direction and values that I admire.
Another dear friend/reader lives in Australia. I would never have met her if I hadn’t sent her a copy of Heavenly for her birthday. She fell in love with the book and after reading it, she reached out to me with a desire to get to know the person behind the book. ( Heavenly seems to illicit a lot of questions about autism, life after death, angels, etc. — which I’m happy to talk about with readers ) Since then, she has become someone I look forward to hearing from via messages and texts every day. We talk about EVERYTHING. I marvel that technology has brought special relationships into my life and am, once again, grateful.
I’ve had many readers tell me they appreciate that I take the time to connect with them. I hope my readers feel that I genuinely care about them because I do. It makes my day better when I think about my ‘friends’ all around the world, and how I’ve been a small part in bringing a bit of joy or magic or romance or light into their lives. That’s one of the reasons I write. There’s no substitute for friends, whether they are next door or around the globe–they’re important. I consider myself blessed to do what I do and have the opportunity to get to know a vast variety of people.
Is it worth it? Taking a few minutes to answer an email, to message a reader on Facebook, to tweet a “hello”, to respond to a blog post— definitely is. Connecting with readers can be an author’s way of acknowledging a reader’s ‘experience’ with their work.
Grace Doll by Jennifer Laurens
Grace Doll had everything a girl could want: Fame. Fortune. Beauty.
Everything except, of course, her freedom. So when a powerful movie producer forces an experimental treatment on Grace–one that’s purported to make beauty immortal–she stages her own death to escape him.
With the help of trusted friends, Grace slips into hiding. She’s forever flawless, forever young and forever pursued by her past.
But when a stranger arrives on her doorstep, holding the key to a life she thought she’d left behind, Grace must decide between the safety she’s known… and embracing the role she was born to play.
Excerpt from Grace Doll
My cell phone rings. Solomon. He wants more? Bring it on.
“You have something I want.”
“Good skin maybe?”
“Your father had something to do with Grace’s disappearance. I’ve spent the last sixty years putting pieces together and—”
“Look, if you want to spend your time chasing ghosts, go for it. My dad is dead. So is Grace. If you want to see her so bad, go walk into another fire.” I click off the phone, toss it into the empty seat next to me.
My hands shake. I’ve just thrown a log onto a blaze.
I have read numerous books by Jennifer Laurens and I have to say that this was by far my very favorite. It was just a different that anything I have read by her before. Grace Doll starts in a very Hollywood Glam way in 1949. Grace Doll is at the height of her career but she is crazy unhappy and trapped exactly where she is. From the very start of the book it was evident that there was something haunting wrong and I really wanted to know what it was. It seemed as though Grace was acting through every moment of her life. Rufus B. Solomon is seemingly Grace’s protector, keeping all of the crazy fans far from her, what the crowd doesn’t see is the abuse he deals her as they move along, he is controlling her every movement. And it is not just the movement but the words he says that no one else can hear. This is the first look at what is wrong in Grace’s life. This is after Rufus had discovered her as just a 13 year old girl on the boardwalk and swept her parents off their feet and changed everything about Grace down to her birth date. The abuse just continues and he subjects her to an experimental medication that will give her the ability to keep her beauty forever. As a rescue attempt to free her from Rufus goes horribly wrong, and everyone believes that Grace Doll is dead. That is everyone but Rufus Solomon, who will continue to search for Grace Doll. With the help of Grace’s makeup artist’s son the mystery of what happened to Grace Doll will be unraveled and her secrets will be revealed.
This was a powerful book full of pain and loss. I was haunted by Grace Doll’s pain and just the unraveling of all of the details of this story. It was a great read and I didn’t want to put it down.
About the Author:
I write YA books. Whatever my heart desires, I write. I don’t have someone over my shoulder, in some office somewhere telling me what I can and cannot write. Or should and shouldn’t write. I listen to my heart, the center of my muse, and trust my instincts.
I’ve written since junior high school. An only child, I grew up writing big stories about big families. I also write YA under the name of JM Warwick. My hometown of Palos Verdes, California figures in much of my work, as does my current home of Pleasant Grove, Utah and other favorite places. I love to travel.
They say “write what you know” and I do. I am a mother, I have six children, five cats and a huge doberman/dane dog. I have a supportive husband and we’ve been married 25 years. Our lives, though challenging with a handicapped child who has autism, are centered in our family.
My life experiences have worked into all of my novels. Some more heavily than others, but parts of me are in each story. I love stories rich in family drama, where family members overcome obstacles through love and miracles.
Copy of Grace Doll
(Paperback open to US only, Ebook Internationally)