Jody Paar will sign copies of her best selling book at Big Fish Restaurant July 14
Former Mirams’ queen shares journey from tortured past to current peace
By Fran Thompson
Former Pleasure Island resident Jody Paar is not a writer. At least she didn’t think she was while wallowing around in a drunken haze when she first moved to Orange Beach in 2007.
Yes, she is a former queen of the Mirams’ Mardi Gras Krewe (2016), and a successful entrepreneur with businesses that include Bling Life and, back then, the brilliantly named Jodi-oke Karaoke that she established as an extended residency at The Pink Pony. This was, of course, before she proved herself wrong by becoming a best selling author on Amazon.
Jody, who now lives in Nashville with her husband Jim, will be back in Orange Beach on Saturday, July 14 at noon to sign copies of her book, Break Out Silent Soldier, at Big Fish Restaurant (25814 Canal Rd.). She will participate in a Q&A after signing the first of what will be a three book series.
In her best seller, Paar reveals the battles of the traumatic roller coaster life she kept secret for decades. Her horrors included rape, sex trafficking, abduction, spousal abuse and attempted suicide. It is not a light read.
Her second book, Break Out Silent Sinner, is due out in the fall and is about trying to free herself of her past.
Her third book, Break Out Soul Survivor, is about her life after meeting her husband and giving herself up to God. That will be released in the winter.
The gist of Jody’s three part biography is that although her past continues to chase after her with each turn of her life, God doesn’t give the hardest battles to his toughest soldiers. He creates the toughest soldiers through life’s hardest battles.
Jody’s journey towards peace, closure and purpose started a year after she moved to Orange Beach on the night she met her husband.
They met at The Tiki. The finest beach bar west of the Flora-Bama in its proper home by Phoenix IV, the Tiki had become a darker place in its reincarnation on Canal Rd.
Jodi was staying across the street at Wolf Bay Condos, living a lifestyle best defined by what was in her refrigerator: tater tots, milk and jugs of wine.
Her friends called her at around 11 p.m. to come over to the Tiki to hear local tunesmith Johnny Barbato play a set.
“At the time I was drinking myself into oblivion,’’ Jody said. “Jim was at the bar and I went up and sat beside him. He was traveling through town at the time.’’
She said she and Jim still laugh about her being so drunk when they met that Jim gave her the slip by saying he was going to use the bathroom.
“I was just so angry. I hated life,’’ Jody said. “I was trying to make myself numb. I didn’t want to give into the pain, the anger and the fear coursing through me.’’
As fate would have it, Jody ran into Jim two nights later.
“At the ‘Bama, of course,’’ she said. “He smiled at me from across the room, and that was it. I was on a date with someone else. When I told him that, he said ‘you’re with me, now.’ He said he liked crazy in a woman and back then I was definitely crazy. We’ve been inseparable ever since.’’
Jody and Jim’s courtship included four months traveling through 44 states while living in an RV with three dogs. She said it was during that trip that she and Jim both realized how broken she really was.
“I wouldn’t let him love me because I didn’t love me,’’ Jody said. “That’s when the third book came to me. I tried everything to get rid of him. But he wouldn’t leave. Even he didn’t know the whole story about me.’’
Jody said the key to letting go of the unthinkable atrocities of her past came to her in a dream – call it an epiphany from God – that resulted in what she calls her Breakthrough Prayer.
In order for her to heal, she had to forgive the miscreant sociopath who raped her. She had to let go of the hatred and fear she felt towards those who abused her and treated her as less than human. She had to let all of that go before she could be free of it.
“I gave all of my baggage to God,’’ she said. “All the hurt and the anger.’’
It was while attending a professional conference in Las Vegas with Jim this past February that Jody decided to write her three part book. And that, too was part of a breakthrough.
In the many videos Jody used to promote Bling Life, she always wore a disguise. The thought of being filmed otherwise was traumatizing – a reminder that those who hurt her may find her and do so again.
That was her mindset when she happened upon Forbes Riley, a life coach and Home Shopping Network superstar, filming a segment for H.S.N. at the conference. Of course, Jody turned away from the camera.
But then something strange happened.
Whether it was visceral or some kind of telepathy, the two women connected. Forbes turned towards Jody and repeated several times: “There is no comfort zone. What are you going to do?”
Jody’s answer was to turn around and face a video camera without fear for the first time in 23 years.
During that same conference, she met Michael Butler, who told her she needed to write a book.
“I’m a high school drop out from Wiggins, Mississippi. I can’t write,’’ she insisted.
But Michael said that, like him, she was a writer, a public speaker and transformation coach.
And he was right.
Jody almost immediately started typing notes into a phone and wrote all three of her books in a two week period.
Jody and Jim moved to Nashville last year to be closer to business interest, but Jody said wherever she lives, her future will be dedicated to helping other people by sharing her life story. This is already occurring. “Lives are changing because of this book,’’ she said.
The first of Jody’s book signings was at New York Book Expo 2018 (above) in the publishing capital of the world. She is even more thrilled that her second signing will be with her friends at Big Fish Restaurant. She hopes to spend time with those friends before heading to Mississippi for her mom’s 70th birthday party.
While here she will relax in peace – something she was not able to do for a vast majority of her life.
“I’m just looking forward to spending all day on a boat,’’ she said.
Pictured: Jody Paar signing copies of her book and at New York Book Expo 2018.
For more info about the book signing, call 251-981-5516 or email NporterBigFish@gmail.com.