J.J. Hebert is touring in May 2011 with his inspirational/Christian fiction novel, Unconventional. YOUNG JAMES FROST just knows, deep in his bones, that he’s a writer. He writes far into early mornings, after his wearying hours of scrubbing toilets and sweeping floors. He loves writing that much. But it’s not only the joy of words that keeps him grinding; it’s his desire to retire the janitor’s mop. He sees being published as the key to living an improved life. James has another deep-seated conviction: that he’s not good enough. He secretly longs to be accepted. However, the conventional others in his life seem all too willing to remind him that he’s wasting his time. Then he meets and falls in love with Leigh, the one bright spot in his endless misery of self-doubt. A quiet but resolutely religious girl, she has to fight off disapproval of her own from overly critical parents, whose insults are countered by James’s often-voiced admiration of her. Likewise, Leigh’s faith in his talents begins to build his confidence, eventually allowing her to introduce him to a different way to help himself: relying on God. Ultimately, James’s newfound faith is sorely tested to the point of doubt when his dream to be published seems to melt into a mirage, smothered by countless rejection slips from agents and publishers. His faith is also battered by having to fight highly emotional battles and suffer fear and loss. Just when James appears hopelessly sapped by devastating events, one last door opens, and he’s rocked by an epiphany. UNCONVENTIONAL is designed to inspire readers to reach for their dreams. Buy this book. Read it. Share it with everyone you know. You—and they—will be glad you did!
“The greatest and most inspiring achievements are not produced by those who conform to society’s idea of normal, but by those who courageously adopt the unconventional.” Mitch’s eyes brighten behind oval-shaped glasses, then he smiles the way he used to when I got a hit or struck someone out when I played on his Varsity team a couple months ago.“Tell me, James,” Mitch continues, “have you adopted the unconventional yet?” Grinning, Mitch takes the first step toward Robert Frost’s house, the white museum, leaving his Cadillac behind on the gravel driveway.
I follow Mitch as a shadow, and two long strides later, I’m walking alongside him. As Mitch repeats the preceding question, I feel like he’s the teacher, I’m the student, and he’s giving a pop quiz. At the rusty metal mailbox affixed atop a tree stump, Mitch stops and faces me, waiting for a reply.
I come to a halt, and instead of keeping my eyes on Mitch, I examine the mailbox to his left. R. FROST, painted in black, decorates the box’s side. The flag is down, the lid open a crack. “I think I’ve adopted the unconventional,” I say, the words ambivalent, then I turn my gaze to his aged face.
“You think?” Mitch’s eyes show hints of disappointment. “James, are you unconventional or not?”
I consider the question. His face blurs as I focus on the house behind him. “Yeah, sure, I’m unconventional.”
You can visit J.J.’s website at www.jjhebert.net.
If you would like to review Unconventional, email us by clicking here or email Dorothy Thompson at firstname.lastname@example.org. Deadline for inquiries end April 25 or until the tour is filled. Thank you!