Everyone wins a free book!

I value my subscribers and I’m thankful for each one who continues to follow Deb’s Book Blast. Some of you have followed me throughout a year of featuring ten other Christian authors who joined me as we promoted each other’s Faith Filled Fiction. Throughout that promotion I’ve promised to offer you one of my own books for free. This is the month you can claim a free copy of Broken Windows, Book One in my Art Spotlight Mysteries.

Get Broken Windows for free!  

 The free link given above is only meant for subscribers. If you want to gift a book to a friend, recommend that they buy it, or buy a print book, please use this link.  https://www.amazon.com/Broken-Windows-Keyhole-Mystery-1/dp/1505602041

Anyone may subscribe to Deb’s Book Blast.

Have you ever read a book that was so well written that you felt you were there, living in the scene with the characters? I once gasped out loud in a Bible college library while reading a scene that happened in Narnia. In a similar way, an author often immerses herself so completely in the setting of her book that she may worry about, or even pray for, a character she’s writing about. At times in my writing process, I’ve had to remind myself what country I’m physically in.

While writing my Art Spotlight Mysteries, I immersed myself into the art world so much that the line between reality and fiction was seriously blurred. Some of the art mentioned is real art that you can physically see if you go to the right destination. Some of the art was only in my head, described clearly enough for the reader to get an idea of what it looks like. Though I’m not an artist, I actually created some of the art in my books, then blamed the final product on the characters in my books. Each book contains a mix of real art, fictional art, and real fictional art.

Book 1: Broken Windows

In Book 1, Jordan finds running away to Boise makes sense until a shadow from the past commits weird crimes to destroy Jordan’s credibility in the art community. This light hearted mystery dares you to dig through surface issues and examine the broken windows in your own faith. It also causes you to wonder: When does graffiti shift from nuisance status to art form?

I chose graffiti as the predominant art form for Broken Windows partly because I figured graffiti would be the ultimate insult to any serious artist. While not always true, it was true for Jordan. For artistic inspiration I studied the work of Banksy, the foremost graffiti artist on the planet. Then I designed a character, Zaxx, a Banksy copycat, to make Jordan’s life miserable.

Deb playing “Keepsies” with the statue kids

In the photo above you’ll find me visiting “Keepsies” one of Ann LaRose’s beautiful statues. Even though I’m not an artist, that didn’t stop me from creating Zaxx’s art, with a little help from silhouettes which were available online. You can find Zaxx’s fictional graffiti art and Ann LaRose’s beautiful and real Boise sculptures in Broken Windows on this Pinterest page.

Don’t forget to get your free Kindle copy of Broken Windows!

Book 2: Déjà Who?

In Book 2, Jordan never dreamed an innocent promise could cost him his career, but new accusations pull him into the past forcing him to ask, “Who am I?” all over again. Déjà Who? challenges you to ask yourself, “What do I let define me?”

Forgery is sometimes called a victimless crime. Does it matter if a painting is a forgery if the viewer doesn’t know? What’s the harm in a forgery if everyone wins? Writing and researching Déjà Who? drew me into the fascinating real world of forgery and challenged my thinking about it.

Deb and “Bronc Buster” by Andrew Wyeth

You can see some of the real paintings mentioned in this story in the Minneapolis Institute of the Arts. Fictional Felipe fell in love with art at MIA. Andrew Wyeth’s “Bronco Buster” inspired him to become an artist. Among the illusions in MIA, Jordan found a peculiar exhibit, a historical office filled with real objects that told a fictional story. The exhibit really existed at one point in MIA’s history, but the character it represented was mere fiction. Inside MIA in my book, Jordan meets the redheaded Rafael Romero, an FBI agent who himself “fooled the eye.”

You can find some of the art mentioned in Déjà Who? on this Pinterest page. It includes Lego art that mimics M.C. Escher’s work and other fascinating artistic illusions.

Buy Déjà Who? 

Book 3: I Scream

In Book 3, a six-year-old’s simple painting enters the world of contemporary art, challenging Jordan to re-examine his principles and to market art he can’t understand.

 If you’ve ever visited a contemporary art exhibit, maybe you’ve shaken your head in wonder that anyone would call some of the pieces true art. When even artists find it hard to define contemporary art, what criteria is objective enough to judge it fairly? Jordan faces the dilemma of representing a child artist when even he struggles to call her work serious contemporary art. His integrity is tested as he works to market art he can’t understand.

After creating Destiny Champion, my child artist, I had to come up with her art—art that could possibly be painted by an unusually talented child and would challenge the definition of contemporary art. The real digital form of Destiny’s first painting was a stock photo by a real artist. For the second I resorted to cutting out a silhouette and pasting it over a stock photo of bright circles. For the third, however, I started with a blank canvas and a few tubes of acrylic paint. I spent hours ogling Edvard Munch’s “The Scream,” blending colors, and trying to figure out how much of what I was doing would be able to be produced by a six-year-old art student. In case you wonder, the image on the cover of I Scream is a stock photo altered by a designer, and was not intended to reproduce Destiny’s image. I’m not silly enough to use a painting I produced for a cover of a book I actually want readers to buy!

“Feline Guardians” by Destiny Champion

“Beyond Childhood” by Destiny Champion

“I Scream” by Destiny Champion

You can find some of the art mentioned in I Scream, on this Pinterest page along with pins about Marla Olmstead and Aelita Andre, two child prodigies who rocked the art world. I’ve even added some appropriate art humor, just for fun.

Buy I Scream.

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