Welcome to the Forever Julia Blog Tour!
Enter the giveaway and then read on down the page to learn more about the book and author, Jodi Carmichael~
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Giveaway Information: Winner will be drawn May 25, 2015
· One (1) winner will received a physical copy of Forever Julia by Jodi Carmichael
~About the Book~
Title: Forever Julia
Publication date: May 1, 2015
Publisher: Great Plains Publications
Author: Jodi Carmichael
Six months ago, Julia's life was perfect. Then her dad died. Now she lives with her grieving mother and sick grandmother in a puny apartment above their bookstore. After a dark bout of depression, Julia is fragile, and mourns both her father and her old life. But she has one thing to be happy about: Jeremy, the most popular boy at school, has chosen her. Jeremy's love for Julia is passionate, even obsessive. As she grows closer to Jeremy, Julia pushes her disapproving friends and family away. But Jeremy only becomes more controlling and Julia has to decide what lines cannot be crossed.
~About the Author~
JODI CARMICHAEL lives in Winnipeg where she can often be found dancing in the living room with her two wildly imaginative daughters, her patient and supportive husband, and a scruffy Border Terrier named Zoe. Jodi’s previous book for young readers, Spaghetti Is NOT A Finger Food, won numerous awards and has been a multi-week Bestseller.
Visit Jodi Carmichael at www.jodicarmicael.com.
Connect with the Author: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads
~Author Guest Post~
I asked Jodi Carmichael to tell me about the themes of Forever Julia and what inspired her to write it. This is what she said:
I didn’t set out to write a story that dealt with abuse. My original intention was to write a Rom/Com or some sort of YA Chicklit. The working title for this novel, for a long time was; Who Needs Romeo: A Tale of a Modern Day Juliet. In my first version, the abusive relationship with Jeremy was something in Julia’s past and my focus was on her new relationship with a mysterious boy who was struggling with very different demons than the sort that drive Jeremy’s actions.
Although it was an entertaining read, that first version had zero dramatic action and it fell flat in terms of character growth. Through intensive rewriting, I discovered I had hidden the heart of Julia’s story in the back story – the pre-story. Julia’s abusive relationship with Jeremy was the more important and compelling story to tell. Emotional abuse begins with stinging words, emotional blackmail, and controlling behaviour dressed up as attention and infatuation. Once that is working well for the abuser, the physical abuse often begins. Sometimes that includes sexual abuse – forcing someone to have sex when they don’t want to. Emotional abuse is sneaky, because it wears the mask of care. Those suffering emotional abuse can be blind to the real intention of their abuser. Often those abused excuse it away as, “It is just words. He/she never hits me. I’d leave if I ever got hit.” Words hurt, they bury deep into you, far beyond a surface bruise. They lodge themselves in your brain and wrap themselves around your self-confidence, squeezing the life out of who you believe yourself to be as an individual.
I purposely focused on showing how emotional abuse slowly creeps into a relationship; how it can be misunderstood as love and infatuation, how “smart” girls like Julia can be drawn in, and how “villains” like Jeremy pull it off.
It was also important that readers see the good qualities in Jeremy for a number of reasons. From a purely literary viewpoint, writers strive never to write flat one dimensional characters – either all good or all bad – and if Jeremy was too evil from the first page, readers would wonder, “Why is she with this moron? Can’t she see his is bad news?”
If we then look at Jeremy from a psychological viewpoint, abusers often come from a place of pain, neglect, and abuse. They are modeling what they have witnessed or suffered themselves. They often have a side that is truly loving and they are in need of healthy love. It was important to show this side of Jeremy so we could see how Julia could fall for him and understand her desire to support him.
Sadly, millions of women and girls around the world are abused. No one has the right to hurt another person and definitely not in the name of love. Real love supports and nurtures, it does not smother, control, or hurt. Forever Julia is a sort of cautionary tale for girls who are just beginning romantic relationships and if any readers are in a situation similar to Julia, I hope they gain the strength from her story.