Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Meet Cassandra St. Cloud, the heroine of An Affair with Mr. Kennedy.



Cassandra St. Cloud
Self Portrait
(Actual portrait by John Abbott Whistler)



Today I'm blogging about Mr. Kennedy's free-spirited new tenant, Cassandra St. Cloud.

She's the intriguing young widow who pulls Detective Kennedy unexpectedly close to the heart of his case. And Cassie is no Victorian prude, she's an Impressionist painter with very modern ideas about 
life and love. Eager for a romantic escapade that is both daring and discreet, Cassie sets her sights on her dour but handsome landlord, Mr. Kennedy. And it isn't long before their passionate affair catapults them both into a perilous adventure.


Cassandra is a romance heroine and she's also an accomplished Impressionist painter.

Early on, when I was developing the character of Cassandra, I knew I wanted her to be an artist with a serious ambition to become a recognized Impressionist painter. Here are some of the artists I selected as her influences. 


Edgar Degas
The oils and pastels of Degas. His ballet girls, and his wonderful drawings of women bathing are some of my favorites and they are Cassie's as well!


Henri Toulouse-Lautrec
I have always admired the strong graphic elements in Toulouse-Lautrec's works. I particularly love his black stockings on women! In An Affair with Mr. Kennedy Cassandra paints a young woman making an adjustment to her black hose. 



Pierre-Auguste Renior
“The pain passes, but the beauty remains.”

I'm so tempted to tell you more about quote above from Renoir and it's relevance to An Affair with Mr. Kennedy, but I don't want to be a spoiler! 



Auguste Rodin

Zak and Cassie meet the sculptor Rodin and artist Camille Claudel at Cassie's opening in Paris.


A QUESTION FOR COMMENTERS:

Please share your favorite Impressionist artist––or an artist from any era.


To celebrate my debut release, I am giving away a signed copy of AN AFFAIR WITH MR. KENNEDY to one commenter everyday for three days. In addition, all commenters will be entered in a special giveaway promotion: Jewelry inspired by the romantic notion of recapturing lost time as the French title ‘Le Temps Perdu’ A Steampunk watch necklace from the Time Travel Collection by Yolanda Pang. Cyber travel to Poetic Designs and see for yourself just how whimsical this watch necklace is! http://www.etsy.com/listing/86157293/le-temps-perdu-ii-steampunk-watch 




The AN AFFAIR WITH MR. KENNEDY promotion continues here at Get Lost in a Story for three days! I will post the winner on here on February 23 and on my website: jillianstone.com


Leave a comment each day and you have another chance to win.
Good luck everyone!

Stop by tomorrow and comment on the cast of An Affair with Mr. Kennedy!


***Note: Offer void where prohibited. Prizes will be mailed to North America and Canadian addresses only. If an electronic Advanced Reading Copy (ARC) is available, I may utilize that option for International participants. Odds of winning vary due to the number of entrants.

36 comments:

  1. I love your idea of an aspiring artist for this book. This particular artistic period is one of my favorites.. Although I took ballet lessons.. I never looked like any of Degas's paintings.. short & stubby midwest kid...

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    1. Frilly tutus have such appeal, don't they? :)

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  2. this book sounds great, looking forward to read this book ;)

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  4. Art...a very deep subject and something I know nothing about. I've heard of so many famous artists but I couldn't tell you who painted what unless someone tells me. I can say I don't like modern art.

    Have I told you how anxious I am to get a copy of your book? It sounds like an outstanding story and that cover is to die for!

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    1. Thanks for visiting Karen H in NC! And there is something about that cover! ;)

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  5. Renior is my favorite artists and I have several of his paintings in my house. (Prints of his paintings of course) I love Impressionist art.

    Maybe that's why I love your cover so much. It has the look of an Impressionist painting.

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    1. Renoir is in my top three: Degas, Monet, Renoir

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  7. Another wonderful post, Jill ! Looking forward to tomorrow.

    Funny story: We took our youngest to the Guggenheim when she was 13. It was full of Modern Art pieces. About half-way through she stops and says, "Do we have to look at any more?" My "smart" mommy answer, "You have to see the art to know which kind you like." Kort took off at a fast pace, pointing as she walked: "Don't like that. Don't like that. Don't like that. Maybe. Don't like that..." We laughed, following close, and agreeing most of the time. >>grin<<

    She still doesn't care much for Modern Art, but loves Grecian pieces and photography. She also appreciates museums and forming her opinion herself. We had a blast that day.

    ~Angi

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    1. The Guggenheim is such a unique experience in and of itself that it kind of competes with the art inside. Someone accused Frank Lloyd Wright of designing it that way on purpose! :)

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  8. Another great post, Jillian! I actually have a print of that particular Whistler hanging in my office! I will never walk by her again without thinking of your book :) I also have two other prints of different Renoirs. I'm a huge impressionist fan, and love them all.

    One of my current favorite artists recently passed away, and got his start designing romance novel covers! Pino Daeni -- you can check out his work here:

    http://www.paragonfineart.com/artists/pino.html

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    1. Thanks Heather! Thanks for visiting

      I think that not many people realize that Whistler was very much influenced by the impressionists, but some of his portraits are amazing!

      I am going to look into Mr. Daeni. Thanks!

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  9. Impressionist Art is my favorite and I love all of them, but my favorite is Monet.

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    1. Lots of Monet fans! And he was wonderful. His house and gardens in Giverny are restored and you can visit them––including the waterlily pond––I need to make that trip!

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  10. I'm learning quite a bit about Impressionist arts and artists. I had a vague understanding of them from my art class school days but not much more. My favorite from the list is the ballet girls by Edgar Degas. I like how the image feels so soft and lightweight but yet the details come through. It's a nice effect.

    Cambonified(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. Love his ballet girls. His oil pastels are so vibrant––I think they have to be kept in low light conditions to keep them from fading.

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  11. I would say that Claude Monet is my favorite Impressionist artist. I think his pictures are just beautiful and it's always a pleasure to look at them.
    mce1011 AT aol DOT com

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    1. The man had a way with lily ponds and flowers! I love his later works which grew increasingly more abstract.

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  12. I like Mary Cassatt's paintings.

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    1. The most famous woman impressionist painter. Cassie admires Mary Cassatt in An Affair with Mr. Kennedy and aspires to exhibit with the impressionists as Mary does.

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  13. I have always loved Impressionist art. I have been lucky in that I lived in Chicago for 13 years. The Art Institute of Chicago has the largest collection of Impressionist art outside of France. Monet and Degas are two of my favorite artists.

    geishasmom73 AT yahoo DOT com

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    1. OMG. Have they any of those wonderful panoramic lily ponds of Monet's? I saw a really big one at the Modern in NYC, but not sure that it is permanent there.

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  14. Marie Laurencin "Femmes au chien" is one of my all time favorite paintings. I also like Roberta Matta a surrealist. Both use soft colors, and though they aren't considered impressionist their work is influenced by the movement.

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    1. I looked Marie up on Google Images and thought I saw some Picasso influence and what do you know? I look her bio up on WIkipedia and find that she ran in Pablo's circle! I was an art history minor––can you tell? Lol! Thanks for bringing her to my attention, I love discovering artists like Marie.

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  15. I've always liked Vincent Van Gogh, especially his Starry Night. It reminds me of how I see at night without my glasses. :D
    I'm so looking forward to reading An Affair with Mr. Kennedy, it sounds delicious.

    Barbed1951 at aol dot com

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    1. All those whirling stars! Great choice Barbara!

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  16. I know little about art, but my daughter is a huge Van Gogh fan.

    I do know I LOVE Cassandra--and absolutely adore her mother. :) This is an awesome story, Jillian!

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    1. Your daughter and I both!

      So happy to know you are enjoying Mr. Kennedy. Thanks Gillian!

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  17. I've always loved Degas, for his work with the ballerinas embodies this weird mix of grace yet almost a ruddiness in the way he uses color and texture. There's something gritty, yet elegant, about a Degas ballerina that just befuddles me.

    ericajmcfarland@gmail.com

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  18. I enjoyed your post. I like Monet's paintings.

    bn100candg(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  19. Another fan of Monet here.

    winnie968 -at- yahoo -dot- com

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  20. Have always enjoyed Monet and Renoir as well as Mary Cassatt.

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  21. I think Monet is my favorite, but I love ballerinas from Degas. There's also one by Degas that has a cat in it. Quite cute!

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  22. All right everyone...Monet appears to be the clear winner here, along with a more than a few votes for Renoir and Degas. Thank you all for sharing your favorites!

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  23. Congratulations Jane!!!

    You've won a signed copy of An Affair with Mr. Kennedy! Please go to the WINNERS tab under the masthead and e-mail your mailing information. I'll get your copy out to you right away.

    To find out who won the Steampunk Watch Necklace go to my website: http://dscreationsjstone.intuitwebsites.com/the-yard-men.html

    Thanks to all of you who shared your favorite artists, it was fun to chat with you!

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