A special thank you to author, Libby Rice, for today’s guest post. To find out more about Libby and her book, Art-Crossed Love, see below.

Guest Post: Oh The Allure of the Artist

Art-Crossed Love’s hero and heroine are artists—he’s a photographer, and she’s an abstract painter, each struggling in a very different way. Cole is bound by a grief that seems to have clenched his tendency towards strict representationalism, while Lissa merely skirts true success by refusing to believe in her own wild talents.

I have to admit there is something inordinately appealing about the fictional artist. Under the keys—or at least under mine—these inspired souls tend to be brooding and emotional, yet also sufficiently contemplative as to be changeable. The elusive heart of an artist provides fodder aplenty for pain, both difficult and necessary, and also the sweet, sweet gain that comes from a true character transformation.

Beyond emotionally gratifying, I find writing visual artists especially interesting because these are people who choose to surround themselves with the beauty they create. I find an immense challenge in convincing the reader that the characters’ ideas of beauty, and thus their struggles to create it, are worthy.

And what’s more worthy than love? Especially when that love comes at a high price—braving clashing temperaments and diverging priorities before two unique people can have what they really want: Each other.

They say once you’re done torturing your characters, torture them a little bit more, so with Art-Crossed Love I doubled down. Rather than highlighting a single artistic medium, Lissa and Cole formidably pit two approaches against each other. Each wants to take a different path to the same place, and those diverging roads are tough taskmasters since abstract expressionism and realism are ideological enemies.

While I love looking at art, I paint like a toddler scrawling pudding across the fridge, and my photography skills are limited to the camera on my smartphone. That meant research: museums, galleries, books, interviews. Those steps taught me much about the evolution of various artistic disciplines and, oftentimes, the evolution of many of my favorite artists. I learned that artists often evolve radically over the course of a long career. For example, Clyfford Still’s early works were entirely representational, oftentimes depicting the poverty of rural life in the 1930s. In the 1940s and 50s, he morphed into one of America’s preeminent abstract expressionists, leading the charge for later household names like Jackson Pollock and Mark Rothko. Vincent Van Gogh began his painting career with somber earth tones that showed no sign of the vivid coloration and texturing that distinguished his later work.

This type of metamorphosis played out again and again in my research. I learned that artistic inspiration is a living thing. Artists are human, and they change. With that in mind, I loved the chance to let both Lissa and Cole believe they were wholly and unequivocally right, only to be proven wrong after crashing against a mutual refusal to concede. For them, artistic integrity had to be about give and take—growth, not compromise. Once that shell cracked, they revealed the sensitive natures hidden beneath the armor of idealism and the fear holding them back.

And then something wonderful happened—they got a whole lot better at both art and love.

At first I wondered if two artists could rise above the cerebral to the sexy. Could Lissa and Cole burn up the pages in their quest for good art and great love?

Yes, I discovered.

Desire lives in the mind. It’s expressed by the body. And, lucky us, there’s nothing quite like tapping into the heart of an artist.


Art-Crossed Love (Second Chances #2) by Libby Rice

Art-Crossed Love (Second Chances #2) by Libby Rice

About the Book
 Art-Crossed Love
Series: Second Chances #2
Author: Libby Rice
Release Date: January 26, 2015
Publisher: Gateway Publishing, Ltd.
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Links: GoodreadsAmazon | Barnes & NobleAll Romance eBooks | iBooks | Kobo

Can love be more than a four-letter word?

Lissa Blanc is a painter on a mission. She filters the world through a lens of color, line, and form and hides her ambition behind a delicate smirk that lets her critics believe life comes easy. To her, art isn’t what she sees. It’s what she feels. Few know that behind the glitz of a prodigious upbringing, she’s driven to emerge from the shadow of painful memories that insist she’ll never be a renowned talent in her own right.

Cole Rathlen is a photographer on the mend. A crippling grief has stifled his once-rising career and compromised his creative instincts. Knowing he can’t stagnate forever, he seeks a twisted absolution in the form of a woman whose paintings give life to the emotions he won’t let himself imagine, let alone feel.

When the two partner for a prestigious project that will pull them from the mountains of Colorado to the palaces of India, Lissa quickly realizes that more than diverging ideals hinder their search for success and salvation. Was Cole’s life upended by a tragic but unavoidable choice or something more sinister? While Lissa can’t delve into the mystery but not the man, Cole can’t resist a tenacious soul that refuses to leave him chained. As the truth closes in on a project finally sprouting wings, will Lissa sacrifice her chance at success to set Cole free? Or will Cole shrug the chains of lingering regrets to prove that those who love the most, love again.


Author Libby Rice

Author Libby Rice

About the Author
Before becoming a writer, Libby was first a mechanical engineer in the data acquisition industry (voltmeter anyone?). Preferring writing to technical design, Libby headed to law school and eventually practiced patent law for several enterprising years (patent application covering a voltmeter anyone?). Finally realizing that technology just wasn’t her bag, she traded the voltmeters for alpha heroes and the women who love them.

Today, Libby writes contemporary romances from the foot of the Rocky Mountains, where she lives with her husband, a bona fide rocket scientist (he stuck with the voltmeters!). When not writing, Libby loves good food, even better wine, and traveling the world in search of the next great story.

ibby loves hearing from readers! Join the fun at www.libbyrice.com, where you can sign up for Libby’s new-release e-newsletter, or on Facebook, Twitter, and/or Instagram.

Where to Find Libby Rice
GoodreadsWebsite | Newsletter | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram


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