Thursday, July 2, 2015

Book Tour & #Giveaway for Black Canvas by Mere Joyce

Welcome to my stop on the Book Tour, presented by Bridging the Gap Promotions, for Black Canvas by Mere Joyce.  Please leave a comment or question for Mere to let her know you stopped by.  You can enter her tour wide giveaway by filling out the Rafflecopter form below.

Top 10 Paintings Every Teen Should Visit by Mere Joyce 

  • The Birth of Venus, Sandro Botticelli (Uffizi Gallery, Florence) - This painting, done in the 1400s, is full of beauty and sensuality. It is revered now, but when it was painted it was controversial because of its pagan subject and the nudity of Venus herself - surprisingly similar to some of the scandals we still see in the media today!

  • Ophelia, Sir John Everett Millais (Tate Britain, London) - Many teens study Hamlet in school, but sometimes a picture makes more sense than Shakespeare’s language. This is a pretty yet tragic painting that showcases a pivotal moment of the story in a way that’s easy to understand and easy to feel. 

  • Death Blossom, David Choe (Originally on display in PYO Gallery, Beijing) - David Choe is a modern painter and graffiti artist who uses a so-called ‘dirty style’ of street art. Painting is not always about centuries-old works or textbook-style creation. “Death Blossom” is a stunning piece that is frenzied and wild but calming and pensive at the same time.
  • The Nightmare, Henry Fuseli (Detroit Institute of Arts) - The name of this work gives a good indication of what the woman in the painting is going through. Dark and creepy, this is a fantastic painting for anyone who has ever been prone to nightmares.
  • A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte, Georges Seurat (Art Institute of Chicago) - Aside from the artist merit of the work itself, this is a crucial painting simply because of its inclusion in the famous museum scene of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. This is the painting Cameron stares at during what is, in my opinion, the best scene in the entire film.
  • Judith Slaying Holofernes, Artemisia Gentileschi (National Museum of Capodimonte, Naples) - Art doesn’t always have to be pretty. Artemisia Gentileschi was a woman subjected to a lot of violence in her youth, which makes her already unsettling rendition of the biblical Judith tale that much darker and full of grisly emotion.
  • Guernica, Picasso (Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid, Spain) - This mural-size painting shows the sufferings of war, and is considered one of the most moving anti-war paintings ever created. It depicts humans and other animals in anguish, and is worth serious contemplation for anyone who feels passionately about anti-war sentiments today.
  • Drowning Girl, Roy Lichtenstein (Museum of Modern Art, New York City) - Pop art brings something totally different to the world of paintings. This work, taken and altered from an old comic book, highlights the pop art style while simultaneously being a very interesting piece worthy of discussion. It seems like a simple work upon first glance, but there are a lot of questions to be asked about the mysterious Brad and his relationship with the drowning girl.
  • Mona Lisa, Leonardo da Vinci (The Louvre, Paris) - This is probably the most famous painting in the world, and for that reason alone its worth a visit. To think of how many people have studied this portrait, how many have wondered at her smile or remarked on the many theories of its true origins...taking part in the wonder of this painting is taking part in a remarkable aspect of human history, and that’s pretty cool.
  • The Starry Night, Vincent Van Gogh (Museum of Modern Art, New York City) - Any teen who has ever felt unappreciated should spend some time with Vincent Van Gogh. Painted through the bars of an asylum window, “The Starry Night” perfectly demonstrates how Van Gogh turned the pain of his existence into pure beauty. It’s a remarkable work, from the hand of a remarkably tortured and talented man. 

Blank Canvas
Mere Joyce
Evernight Teen Publishing
@50K ~ Romance/Suspense/Contemporary

Three years ago, sixteen-year-old Maddie Deacon was abducted on her way home from her school’s Art Showcase. Five months ago, she escaped the madman she calls The Painter. Before being taken, painting was Maddie’s life. Now, it’s her nightmare. 

Maddie wants to forget her years in captivity. She’d rather spend her time getting reacquainted with her parents and her sister, not to mention her cello-playing, beautiful boy next door and childhood best friend Wesley. But paint is everywhere, and tormenting shadows linger in every portrait she encounters. 

When the yearly Art Showcase once again approaches, Maddie has the chance to win a scholarship and start planning a future far away from the horrors of her past. She knows she has to make a choice–confront her memories of The Painter and overcome her fear of the canvas, or give up painting forever. 

Buy Links:      Evernight Teen       Amazon     ARe     Bookstrand      Smashwords


“Hello, Maddie,” Tim says, taking a sip from his Healing Expressions coffee cup. I’m glad he and Juliet call me Maddie instead of Madison, like Klara does. I’ve gone by Maddie since my days in preschool, and being called it here makes the office seem slightly less institutional.

Of course, it doesn’t make this moment any less awful.

“H-hi,” I stammer, my voice thin. My feet ache as I force them across the threshold. Tim prefers it if I close the door behind me, but I need to see my escape route. Shakily, I cross the room and sit on the bench along the wall of windows that look down over the parking lot. The cushions are soft, bright orange, and there are pink and green and blue throw pillows scattered along the seat. I grab the blue one, and hug it to my chest as I stare at the world on the free side of the glass panes.

It’s a strange sensation, watching the world like this. In elementary school, at recess, I would sit by the fences backing the neighborhood houses. With my head tilted into the cool fall or warm spring breeze, I would close my eyes and picture the people in those houses: people not working, people working from home, people driving the streets or watering their lawns or relaxing in front of the TV, while I remained stuck at school for another several hours. I have the same thoughts now as I gaze over the parking lot, far out to the park, the townhouse complex, and the streets beyond. So many people sleeping, reading, shopping––all while I’m here, trapped behind a wall of glass.

It helps to keep my back to the easel. Slowly, the panic of my arrival subsides, and I take full gulping breaths until I’ve settled into muted unease.

“How are you feeling today, Maddie?” Tim asks. He remains seated. I get antsy if his six-foot-three inch body looms over me.

“I’m fine,” I lie. I’m never fine. Not anymore. But declaring it is like stating the obvious.

“How’s school?” I can hear a smile in his voice. I like Tim’s voice, with its deep, quietly enthusiastic tone. I’m fairly certain I like Tim, too. Or at least I would, if the circumstances were different. If he didn’t have the task of prying, of guiding me into frigid, infested waters every time we meet.

“It’s fine,” I say, shrugging my shoulders.

Tim’s chair scrapes across the floor as he stands. I keep my eyes fixed on the parking lot outside. I’ve found Wesley’s tiny van, and I watch it intently.

Tim approaches, sits on the bench a ways off. “Did you read any papers this week?”

“No.” The tension I nearly shed on the ride over here is creeping back again. I hate therapy. I don’t understand how digging into every unpleasant crevice of my subconscious is supposed to make my life easier.

“How about the news? Did you watch any?” Tim asks, even though I’m already shaking my head.

“Y-You know I didn’t,” I reply, and Tim breathes out, the resulting sound just short of a sigh.

“How many times have you had to avoid his picture?” he asks, and I squeeze the pillow until my fingers are white.

“S-Seventy … S-Seventy-two,” I choke out.

It’s become a habit keeping track of the number of times I stop myself from seeing him. When I go to the drugstore and see the papers lined in a hideous row. When the news comes on, and reporters rehash what happened.

In the beginning, it was far harder. There were articles all over, news stories, constant threats to my sanity. Five months on, most of my count comes from the personal attacks, the times I remember something, imagine something, and his face almost manages to push its way in.

“Good. An improvement on last week,” Tim says, the pleasing smoothness of his voice giving the achievement a more respectable air than it deserves. Last week there were seventy-eight occurrences. Having six fewer episodes means nothing, except Tim is trying to be as positive as possible.

Plus, there’s the phone call to consider. Last week might have been an improvement, but I’m certain my methods of diversion will fail to keep me from replaying the conversation I wasn’t supposed to hear this morning.

Author Bio

Mere Joyce lives in Ontario, Canada. As both a writer and a librarian, she understands the importance of reading, and the impact the right story can have. She is a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, and holds a Masters of Library and Information Science from the University of Western Ontario.

When she’s not writing, reading, or recommending books, Mere likes to watch movies with her husband, play games with her son, go for walks with her dog, and drink lots of earl grey tea with orange chocolate on the side.

Twitter: @MereJoyceWrites

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Tourwide Giveaway:   $20 Evernight Teen GC

1 comment:

  1. A great feature and giveaway. Love to hear that the author is from Ontario where I lived and enjoyed. Being Canadian from Mtl. and then Ontario. Best wishes. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com