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In the Light of Diamonds

The Beautiful Adriatic Sea
Driving through Croatia
Driving through Croatia

About a year ago, I had the opportunity to travel with my family for Spring Break from our house in Prague, since we are American expats living abroad for a couple years. When we needed to decide where to go, we asked all sorts of friends about a good place to see, driving by car, as a family. The seaside in Croatia, they all said, was a beautiful place. So we decided unanimously to travel to Dubrovnik, Croatia.

The Beautiful Adriatic Sea
The Beautiful Adriatic Sea

After hours and hours of research and finding a hotel right on the coast of the Croatian Lapad Peninsula, we set our navigation and started south toward Dubrovnik. Little did we know how much traveling and staying in the region would affect us, how much we would love it, and how much it would rearrange our hearts.

We stayed in graffiti-riddled Zagreb, passed by countless checkerboards of fresh white graveyards, teetered on tiny treacherous roads in rural Bosnia and seaside Croatia, and had an encounter with the Croatian police and numerous border patrols. It was an experience not easily shaken.

And there began my next novel.

Over the past year, I have tapped into the incredible beauty and extreme heartache of that region of Europe that has widely been forgotten—a place recently shredded by war, and yet is still so beautiful it takes my breath away.

The story developed into a women’s fiction novel with strong romantic threads, about the pull and tug of two worlds in one woman’s life—her New York City fashion design life and her twin sister’s world in rural Bosnia.

My novel, entitled IN THE LIGHT OF DIAMONDS, is currently in the hands of my great agent, Chip, as he is taking it out on submission to publishing houses.

Here, a brief bit about IN THE LIGHT OF DIAMONDS:

Twenty-eight year old fashion designer Ali Boyd believes she will succeed in life with a bit of charm and a heap of hard work, all on her own. But when she meets her young niece for the first time, and learns she has been left in New York without her mother, Ali puts aside her glitzy life to find her sister in rural Bosnia. She journeys with architect friend Nate Pryce, and together they endure the shattered country and the sobering events surrounding their trip. Though she returns without her sister, she comes back shaken by the inherent beauty of a broken country and a newfound love—both force her to face her life in a fresh light. Throughout her journey to Bosnia and back again, she comes to realize the many ways in which love can manifest, and the power it has to change a life.

Hoping that this story will land in the right place at the right time … thank you so much for your prayers and thoughts. I will keep you posted as to how it goes …

Thanks for sharing in my writing journey! -JK

PS> A little note about website troubles here … sorry, but my site is having to be redone piece by piece … it should be all back up and looking right within a week! Thanks for understanding.

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Dubrovnik: Pearl of the Adriatic

Dubrovnik

Posted on August 13, 2010

“Those who seek paradise on Earth should come to Dubrovnik and see Dubrovnik.” – George Bernard Shaw, Nobel Prize winning writer and playwright

Dubrovnik
Dubrovnik

A bright star perched along the Croatian coast of the sparkling Adriatic Sea, Dubrovnik looks more like the inspiration for the Disney set for Pirates of the Caribbean than any other real place on earth. Constructed as a series of fortresses to protect against centuries of invasions from pirates and other nations, Dubrovnik is guarded by massive stone walls and hefty cannons butting up against the sea-a sight like no other and a city worth visiting…

Read the rest of the post by clicking here: LINK TO JENNIFER’S ARTICLE on AOL’s Gadling.com.

Again, I am so grateful for the opportunity to work with some great editors, and to put a few articles out into a large audience and many readers’ screens. I hope you enjoy them! -JK

Starting the conversation: Have you visited Dubrovnik? If so, what was your favorite part?

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Croatia, Dubrovnik, and other Related Travels

Dubrovnik

“Those who seek paradise on Earth should come to Dubrovnik and find it.” -George Bernard Shaw

Dubrovnik
Dubrovnik
Last week, our family of five packed our suitcases, mounted our Chica (Garmin), and followed the Winding Road to spend a week in Croatia. As it turns out, our trip meant far more than a “beach vacation”, and the places and things we saw will linger in our memories for many years to come. Croatia and its neighboring countries are quite unique.
Croatian Coast
Bordering the Adriatic Sea almost the whole length from Trieste, Italy, to the NorthWest coast of Greece, Croatia consists of a tireless strip of coastline. For much of the stretch, the Croatia-Bosnia border is only a few miles from the water, and at one section on the road South to Dubrovnik, the traveler by car must cross Bosnia for a dozen miles.

 

Bosnia

 

Our destination, the near-ancient and historic town of Dubrovnik, proved to be the jewel on the sea as Croatia says it is. If there were ever a “Pirates of the Caribbean” like the movies and Disney’s setup, it is Dubrovnik. Consisting of multiple bastion-type forts and a continuous city wall stretching two kilometers, Dubrovnik has fought its battles for centuries, and won. The most recent battles fought there were in the Croatian War for Independence, 1991-1995, with lingering battles in Dubrovnik into 1996.
With such a recent devastating war, you can imagine the sites we saw–simple and humbling remnants from this nation who gave so much for freedom. Fresh cemeteries with uniform headstones seemingly stood in every village we passed. Buildings demolished into dormant ruins, mortar marks, bullet holes– all serve to remind only years later of the war.
Reminder of Recent War, Croatia

As the Croatian people forge ahead, FREE, and they create the alluring accomodations and roads to host visitors from all over the world, we can cheer them on. We felt quickly at home–their smiles are gracious, their English impeccable, their hospitality warm. And their country is beautiful beyond mere words.

Endless green-blue Sea

 

Coastal Charm, Croatia

What leaves the indelible impression upon me is the need for government and people to find a harmonious path, and to give each other the grace we all need in return. For without a doubt, when too much is taken, the human spirit will rise up and embrace freedom.

Starting the Conversation: Croatia has countless islands capped by mountains jutting skyward from the sea–a radiant and unique coastline, dotted with mini-lighthouses and sailing yachts. What is your favorite coast along the sea–any sea?