Thursday, December 23, 2021

Book Tour + #Giveaway: My Name is Mary Magdalene by JC Miller @RABTBookTours

African American Christian Fiction, Women’s Fiction, Women’s Mental Health

Date Published: December 7, 2021

Publisher: Jess, Mo’ Books LLC

Stepping away from her comfort zone, author JC Miller orchestrates a written tapestry chronicling the fragile state of a woman on the edge of insanity.

Plagued by a lifelong curse of mental illness, Mary Magdalene finds herself spending her golden years in a mental asylum. Her once zealous life becomes minimized to an endless routine of over-stimulating antipsychotic drugs. That is until Salmone Abrams, a hidden jewel from her past, resurfaces and helps her remember who she once was—The Queen of Harlem. Madame Mary Mags.

Inspired by her jazz playlist, JC Miller's current novella, My Name is Mary Magdalene, shakes the family tree while exploring the often-stigmatized topic of mental health. This fictional spin on the biblical account of Mary Magdalene and her seven demons travels from the late 1940s into the mid-1990s as Mary recalls the battles that tore her life apart. Fear, Lust, Entitlement, Greed, Misery, Dependency, Guilt—emotional baggage that once achingly held her down propels her to victory.

Interview with JC Miller

    For those interested in exploring the subject or theme of your book, where should they start?

    In creating My Name is Mary Magdalene, we were very intentional about supplying resources at the end of the book. If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with a mental illness or if you have concerns about your mental health, there are many ways to get started. The available links are an excellent start to search for information and seek help if needed. One of the resources is the Crisis Line. I would suggest that anyone facing a crisis or searching for information Text "HELLO" to 741741

    The Crisis Text Line is available 24-hours-a-day, seven days a week throughout the U.S. The Crisis Text Line serves anyone in any crisis, connecting them with a crisis counselor who can provide support and information.

How did you become involved with the subject or theme of your book?

During last year's lockdown, I, unfortunately, contacted Covid 19. At that time, My Name is Mary Magdalene was in development. I experienced brain fog and fatigue for months after my initial diagnosis, which challenged my writing; it was gravely affected. Retaining thoughts and information was problematic, and my attention span was low. This experience lent to the creative process of Mary Magdalene. Mary was a woman afflicted by trauma. So much so that her mental state was compromised. As I reached out to different resources to understand my situation, I grew compassionate for those suffering from mental illnesses.

What were your goals and intentions in this book, and how well do you feel you achieved them?

My goals are always the same in these series of books - to reach someone's heart for Christ through relatable biblical characters who have lived out age-old problems. I had no idea that I would reach my own heart this time around. My faith grew leaps and bounds as Mary, and I leaned on God for healing and understanding.

Anything you would like to say to your readers and fans?

Yes, thank you all for your continued support and love. I could not do what I do without you. And for those going through any mental health issues - you are not broken, and acceptance does not equal spiritual failure.

What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

I love how writing takes me to another place and time; drawn to an imaginary world where it's just the Word, me, and the characters. In the past, this was how I could write by the seat of my pants. My spirit related Mary's story in glimpses that I had to puzzle together this time around.

Can you tell us a little bit about your next books or what you have planned for the future?

My next book will come from my favorite bible story-- Ruth. Perhaps the most extraordinary love story ever told. The love between two women as they journey through the greatest challenge of their lives.

How long have you been writing?

I've loved telling stories and writing all my life. More recently, I've started sharing my passion for words with others. My first novelette was published in 2018 and quickly became a trilogy.

Can you tell us a little bit about the characters in My Name is Mary Magdalene?

Mary (nicknamed Mags) was a woman on the brink of insanity. The story follows her life and details how she ended up in a mental institution. Along Mary's path, she met people who helped to develop the story while following the original story of Mary Magdalene's walk with Christ. I introduce Simon Peter, Thomas, Levi, and other characters from different Bible sections whose stories meet in unlikely ways-- like Salmone, Rahab, Puah. And what would a story be without love and romance? We introduce Mary's suitors Richard and Tiny.

If you could spend the day with one of the characters from My Name is Mary Magdalene who would it be? Please tell us why you chose this particular character, where you would go and what you would do.

I would love to have a day or more at the asylum with Mary, the main character because that's where she initially told her stories. Mary's life was full and colorful-- from the era she lived in, the places, the music, and dance-- you want to be there with her. She vividly draws you into her mind space and allows you to relive her stories with her. Mary saw and did it all. We would sit and talk and daydream, just as she did with Salmone and Martita.

About the Author

JC Miller lives in the scenic Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania with her husband, children, and floppy-eared Bassador pup.

Raised by a single mother in the Bronx, JC pulls from early experiences to showcase the soul of urban survival through faith-based novels. She also dedicates much of her time uplifting women via her blog and creating content with partner and friend, MR Spain, through their publishing company, Jess, Mo’ Books LLC.

On her days off, you can find JC whipping up her famous Red Velvet cake and listening to songs from her impressive vinyl record collection.

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