Thursday, September 14, 2017

Did I Flub?

We all have moments of doubt where we question if we did the right thing. I'm faced with a particular self-inquiry right now. It's regarding the title and cover art for my latest release, CHARRED SNAKE FOR TWO. The interest has been low since I launched it in the early part of August, so I had to take a step back and examine why. Is the title off-putting? After all, it's a romance. But it's also about danger, survival, and conquering your fears. I posted this question on social media: 

"I've gotten mixed reactions for the title of my latest book -- CHARRED SNAKE FOR TWO. Some have said it 'would' scare people away. Some have said it 'might' scare people away. Others have said, it was a cool title. I've given serious thought to changing it, but the rebel in me wants to keep it. Any thoughts?"






So far, the comments are split 50/50. Half think the title and cover are intriguing. (Some who read the story think I'm spot-on) The other half think I should make changes because the title and cover don't fit the genre. ♥

All the comments were great, regardless if they were for or against the title and cover. I appreciated the input so much. What's an author to do? Heed the candid advice of those who feel I missed the mark? Acknowledge my flub and give my book a makeover? Or let the rebel inside reign for a while longer and see what happens? 

Here's the blurb...

Unable to get her head and heart back on track after her marriage crumbled, Alexandra Henry signed up to take part in an expensive, radical self-help, self-esteem program that would put her on a secluded island for seven days with someone just as broken. Together they would team-up to survive, renew trust in the opposite sex, and grow mentally stronger through candid conversation, while taking on nature at the same time.

Expecting someone tired and downtrodden, Alexandra was shocked when they delivered energetic, dark-haired, cocky, Adonis - Carson Jack.

How could someone like him know about heartache? Hope fizzled on the spot. She wouldn't come out of the experience any better than when she went in. Or would she?


Which side of the debate would you choose? Keep things as they are? Or revamp? 

(I just enjoyed a piece of Dove dark chocolate and here's what the wrapper had to say. 'Give them something to talk about and Choose less ordinary.' Is it a sign? *grins*)


Tuesday, September 5, 2017

October Winds! by Katie Mettner




Today I have the pleasure of introducing Katie Mettner's new book:

OCTOBER WINDS!












October Halloran left her past behind and found happiness in a tiny northern Minnesota town working at a local truck stop. At least she was happy, until Sheriff Jett Raven started asking questions she didn’t want to answer.

Jett didn't buy the story ‘Sarah Banks’ sold the rest of the community. Smitten since the moment he first laid eyes on her, he knew she wasn't who she claimed to be. It wasn't until she stumbled across a dead body that he had a reason to dig into her past, and bring her into his home.

Murdered truckers and attempted kidnappings lead October and Jett to the startling truth. With dozens of girls’ lives on the line, it’s up to October to discover who’s after her and why. It’s up to Jett to keep her alive.


I flicked my hood up over my head, staying clear of the camera when I exited the building, after Lanny buzzed me out. We didn’t have a lot of cameras on the outside of the building, which most would say isn’t very smart, but the opposite is true. Truckers like anonymity. They want to be able to do whatever they want to do, or to let whomever they want to do, into their trucks. We have cameras on the gas pumps, because no trucker pulls off the road and doesn’t put gas in their tank. We always get a license plate at the very least, but usually a face as well. Once they drive their truck behind the building, they’re free to do as they please. I know our privacy first policy is the reason we’re always full of trucks while other stops are empty. Truckers appreciate their privacy. The majority of truckers are also men, which is why I had to come out here twice a day and clean up after them.

I stooped to pick up cigarette butts someone decided shouldn’t go in the cigarette receptacle, and wiped off the plastic tables we leave out for them to sit at. Sometimes a group of guys will get together, smoke cigarettes, drink beer, and play cards. Once they’re drunk and broke, they head back to their cabs to sleep it off. At least I hope they sleep it off and don’t drive a metal death machine drunk. Since I had a pair of gloves on and an empty bucket, I cleaned around the outside of the truck stop picking up crumpled wrappers, empty soda bottles, and condom wrappers. I told you my job is glamorous.

While I wandered about I kept my eyes peeled for anything helpful to me because winter is fast approaching. Sometimes truckers buy new clothes inside the store and leave the old ones in the dumpster. I opened the lid to dump in the trash when I noticed a hooded sweatshirt and jeans lying at the bottom. It must be my lucky day! Even if the jeans were too big I could wear the sweatshirt to stay warm at night. I set the bucket down and glanced around for anyone who might be watching me. I was alone, so I dove in and grabbed the hood, yanking up on it. I expected it to come out easily, but it was caught on something. I bent over the edge of the dumpster as far as I could and used both gloved hands to tug on the shirt. The hood was finally loose, but there was a human head lying in the dumpster, still wearing the sweatshirt and jeans. I let go of the hood and backed up several steps, my heart pounding.

He was dead. How did I know? He was gray and stiff, which meant rigor mortis had set in. Breathe and think, October, I ordered myself, my mind using my real name to shock me back into reality. I couldn’t be the one to find a dead body in the dumpster. Something of this magnitude would open me up to investigation, which can’t happen. What do I do? I can’t dump the trash in there now, they’ll know I saw the body and didn’t report it. They’ll accuse me of killing this guy, and then what? Then I’m in hot water and I can’t afford to defend myself. Then the US Government will find out October Halloran still exists, and then my next address will be in a cell at the Shakopee Correctional Facility. I lowered the lid on the dumpster then picked up my bucket and strode to the loading dock doors to gain entrance without Lanny seeing me.

I marched through the lounge, each step purposeful as if it were any other day. I dumped the bucket of garbage inside the garbage can in the women’s bathroom and tied the bag closed. I lifted it from the waste bin and set it next to the bathroom door. The gloves were stuffed in my pocket because if I threw them away, someone might find them, too. I would burn them later in the fire. Now all I had to do was convince Lanny to take out the trash for me and she would be the one on record to find the body.

I moseyed up to the front where she ran the cash register and pointed at my watch. “You need a smoke break?” I asked and she held her hands in the prayer pose.

“Please, more than anything in the world.”

I laughed and motioned her out from behind the counter. She grabbed her purse and then stepped aside so I could take her place. “I’ll watch the register for you, but don’t dawdle. I’m not the best at this.”

“I won’t be long, I promise.” She took her pack of cigarettes and a lighter from her purse and handed the rest back to me.

She was a few steps from the counter when I called her name, hoping it sounded relaxed and nonchalant. “Would you grab the bag of garbage by the bathroom on your way out?”

She saluted and weaved her way through the shelves to the back of the store. Once she was out of sight I had to wait until she buzzed the door to see if she had the bag. When the buzz sounded, I jumped, my heart racing. I forced my heart to stop pounding and opened the door. She was carrying the garbage and I let out a sigh of relief. Thank goodness the cameras didn’t film the dumpster, or there was no way I could claim I wasn’t the first person to find the body. A full body shiver skittered up my spine as I waited, knowing she would reappear soon. When she did, she hit the button as if it were any other day, but the way she glanced around her told me she found the body.

I buzzed her in and she was up to the counter in a matter of seconds. Her finger was pointing backward and she could barely form words. “There’s, there’s a dead, dead guy in the dumpster.” The only indication she was freaked out was how she spoke through her teeth with a smile so fake the Joker would be jealous.



This was an incredible book! It dealt with some of the worst conditions a person could find themselves in - homelessness, parental abuse, sex trafficking, and more. Katie handled the story with sensitivity, yet she conveyed the brutal truth of those horrible circumstances through her character, Sarah Banks/October Halloran. There were many great themes throughout the book - how you can run only so far and so long from your past until you're forced to face it, how resilient the human spirit can be, how even the most broken person can learn to love and trust again if the right person comes into their life. Katie made it clear that homeless people matter. It was amazing what Sarah/October did to survive. Her heart, body, and soul had been battered to the point most people would have given up. She was strong, but without Sheriff Jett Raven's help she probably would've perished. She followed her instincts and finally her heart. The descriptions, dialogue, settings, and characters were powerful. I felt like I was there, witnessing the scenes as they unfolded. I also liked the Native American elements to the story. 





Katie Mettner writes inspirational and romantic suspense from a little house in the Northwoods of Wisconsin. She's the author of the four part epic family saga, The Sugar Series, Sugar's Song being runner up for sweet romance in the eFestival of Words contest. Her other romance series, The
Northern Lights Series, The Snowberry Holiday Series, Kupid's Cove Series, and The Magnificent Series are all set in the Midwest. If you love romance and romantic suspense, her books are for you.


Read about more of Katie's adventures as an amputee writer at KatieMettner.com
Follow Katie on Amazon
Follow Katie on Twitter
Come chat with Katie on Facebook
Are you a Pinner? Pin with Katie at Sugarsballroom

Katie lives with her soulmate, whom she met online at Thanksgiving and married in April. Together they share their lives with their three children and two leopard geckos. After suffering an especially bad spill on the bunny hill in 1989, Katie became an amputee in 2011, giving her the much needed time to pen her first novel, Sugar's Dance. With the release of Sugar's story, Katie discovered the unfilled need for disabled heroes and heroines! Her stories are about empowering people with special circumstances to find the one person who will love them because of their abilities, not their inabilities. Katie has a slight addiction to Twitter and blogging, with a lessening aversion to Pinterest now that she quit trying to make the things she pinned.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Have you ever...?


...been smitten at first sight? Or been mystified by the physical pull you felt right away for someone? 

In my lighthearted romantic suspense -- STAY CLOSE, NOVAC! Jessi is disturbed by a tug toward Ian. ♥   


Jessi exchanged her shorts and T-shirt for the light pink camisole and matching stretchy Capri's she used as pajamas. She fell onto the bed and hugged the pillow. "Ahhh" whooshed out of her. Finally, peace and quiet. No hammers, power tools, or stalkers. She inhaled a deep breath and then slowly exhaled the tension of the last twenty-four hours. The second she closed her eyes, an image of Ian flashed through her thoughts. "Oh no you don't." She clamped her eyes really tight thinking it would send him away. But he didn't leave. In fact, he strutted across her brain like he owned it. She could see everything from the plain white T-shirt that stretched across phenomenal pecs to his boyishly handsome face. His sparkly green eyes were the next thing to keep her from drifting to sleep. Actually, it was a toss-up between his eyes and those darn lips.

Ugh. What the heck was she doing? She was supposed to be hiding out and getting some rest and relaxation. So far, no hiding out. No R & R. Only drooling over the clumsy nephew of the guy who owned the adjacent cottage. She was struck by a daunting thought. What if Ian wasn't who he said he was? Maybe he was the heavy breather and the author of those explicit notes. What if falling off that ladder was deliberate; to reel her in and win her trust? And then when she let her guard down... Jessi's hand went to her throat. She bolted to a sitting position.





P. S. The cute little dog on the cover is named Gordon! 



If you'd like to read more about Jessi, Ian...and Gordon, you can find Stay Close, Novac! at Amazon



Love,

Jan

www.authorjanromes.com

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Oh Yes I Did...name my latest book --

                         
Charred Snake for Two!


*Pauses while you either frown, crack up laughing, or raise an intrigued eyebrow*




The working title had been:  Survive with Me. It didn't excite me, so I changed it to Just Us. Still not enthused, I held onto Just Us until almost the very end. When I was tweaking the last scene, it hit me -- Charred Snake for Two. As bizarre and out of the norm as it sounds, I had no choice but to embrace it.   

I bounced the new title off my husband. He gave me squinty eyes and a half-smile. I laughed and told him it would grow on him. (First, it had to grow on me...lol)

Then I put the name out to social media. I didn't get much reaction from my Twitter tweeps. My Facebook friends, however, weighed in with a few comments. The overall sentiment: romance and snake didn't go well together.

The story, I'll admit, is creative madness. And it needed an equally mad title. 

With that, I give you the....

Blurb:

Unable to get her head and heart back on track after her marriage crumbled, Alexandra Henry signed up to take part in an expensive, radical self-help, self-esteem program that would put her on a secluded island for seven days with someone just as broken. Together they would team-up to survive, renew trust in the opposite sex, and grow mentally stronger through candid conversation, while taking on nature at the same time.

Expecting someone tired and downtrodden, Alexandra was shocked when they delivered energetic, dark-haired, cocky, Adonis - Carson Jack.

How could someone like him know about heartache? Hope fizzled on the spot. She wouldn't come out of the experience any better than when she went in. Or would she?


I hope you'll take a chance on this uncharacteristic madness! If so, you can find it here:




Any and all feedback (good or bad) will be welcomed! Even if it's - 'What was she thinking?' 

Hugs to all!

~ Jan

www.authorjanromes.com

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Cover Reveal: CUSHION by Tamela Miles

It's a pleasure to welcome fellow Wild Rose Press author, Tamela Miles to my blog. She has a special surprise in store for us. First, let's find out a bit about Tamela.




Bio: 

Tamela Miles is a California State University-San Bernardino graduate student with a Bachelor of Science degree in Child Development and a former flight attendant. She grew up in Altadena, California in that tumultuous time known as the 1980's. She now resides with her family in the Inland Empire, CA. She's a horror/paranormal romance writer mainly because it feels so good having her characters do bad things and, later, pondering what makes them so bad and why they can never seem to change their wicked ways.

She enjoys emails from people who like her work. In fact, she loves emails. She can be contacted at tamelamiles@yahoo.com or her Facebook page, Tamela Miles Books. She also welcomes reader reviews and enjoys feedback from people who love to read as much as she does. 

Now for the surprise...

Tamela has given us a sneak peek at the awesome cover art for her mid-summer release, Cushion.



Cushion is a spooky and steamy paranormal romance novella by Tamela Miles and will be published by The Wild Rose Press.  

Blurb:

Natalie Kliebert finally has the perfect life she spent years dreaming of. She's on the fast track to her fantasy-come-true career as a therapist. If she can help pop star Billy Chambers, it will be her greatest achievement and even sweeter than earning an "A" grade.

The last thing Billy Chambers wants is anyone's help, especially when he doesn't see a single thing wrong with his life. When bossy Natalie becomes his court-appointed personal therapist, sparks fly from day one. Annoyance was never so arousing. Hooking up should be easy, but an undercurrent of evil is coming for Natalie, which may force her to reveal her deepest secret.

The problems of their pasts are no match for today's demons. Natalie and Billy must come together and be the allies they were meant to be in a supernatural fight that may cost them their lives.

* Stay tuned for the release date for this latest work of heart by Tamela Miles! In the meantime, give her a "follow" on Tamela Miles - Amazon Author Page 

You can also find her at   Tamela Miles on Twitter (follow the link or you can also find her as @jackiebrown20)

And she'd love for you to "friend" her on Facebook at Tamela Miles Books


** Thank you so much, Tamela, for letting me be part of your cover reveal. You're welcome to come back anytime! Best wishes for much success with this latest book and your writing career! ♥ 









Saturday, June 24, 2017

Life can be a Wild Goose Chase!





Life can sometimes be a Wild Goose Chase! You find yourself pursuing something, but what? In Olivia Pence and Dezz Casey's case they were chasing what was already there -- Love! When you think about it, that sums up their story. It's contemporary romance and they're guaranteed a happily-ever-after or happy-for-now. So why read the book? I'll tell you why...

Because Olivia isn't easy; neither is Dezz.

Because they got the storm before the calm. 

Because Dezz was a pair of plaid pants and Olivia a flowered shirt. Separately they were fine, together they seemed downright gaudy. Or were they?

Because Pence and Casey will have you thinking there's no way they'll ever fix the things that have kept them apart. 

Small snippet...

Olivia was too troubled to flinch. She covered her face with her hands, thankful irony wasn't fatal. She'd fought with Dezz for an eternity and he'd hung on like his life depended on her. Finally, he'd had enough and let go. Now the tables were turned and it felt as if she'd die without him. Her heart ached to go back to how they were a month ago -- two squabbling people who cared deeply for each other. 

Tied in with the book is another Wild Goose Chase - Ponce de Leon's quest to find the Fountain of Youth. He was given misinformation. Instead of landing in Bimini, he landed in St. Augustine, Florida.

Have you ever searched for something that didn't pan out? Or wished for something you all ready had? 


** To celebrate Wild Goose Chase's book birthday, I'm giving away 5 e-copies. Leave a comment about your birthday, even if it hasn't arrived yet. 

On July 2nd, which is my birthday, I'll randomly draw winners.




Love,

Jan


www.authorjanromes.com
























Monday, June 19, 2017

Special guest - Marcia Carrington

Today I have a special guest who shares a very genuine, heartfelt post about her writing career and the things we all struggle with at some point. Welcome prolific author and sweet friend, Marcia Carrington.


~ ♥ ~

I was not going to release any books this year, but...

By Marcia Carrington

Thank you very much, Jan, for the chance to discuss my experience this year with books and writing. 

At the end of 2016, I was thinking about whether to release any new books in the New Year 2017. Over the course of three years, from 2014 to 2016, I had released 21 books. Breaking it down, in 2014 I released 7 books, 2015 brought 8 books, and in 2016 I did 6. While the vast majority of these were novelettes, some novellas, and to a lesser extent short stories. I felt that I needed a little break and that I would not be releasing any new books in 2017. Instead, I would write at my own pace and try to do some reading, which I had largely left to the side over the last few years. How quickly my defenses on this crumbled, though...

Around November 2016, my short story Alicia Day would not leave my thoughts alone. A personal wrestling match occurred; no, I would leave the story until 2018, no, I would release in 2017. This went on for a few weeks. In the end, I decided it was coming in 2017. While it needed a little editing, I  knew I had to release it. Alicia Day arrived on screen in late March.

    
My next release, due in August 2017, was another book I was going to leave for 2018. Champagne Charlie came together so quickly from its initial draft in late 2016 that I decided this would be another story for 2017. A good example of resolutions falling apart and in record time...

  

In January, seeing that I had just two releases for 2017, I was feeling antsy. I had decided early on that a larger project I envisioned for 2017, Grayson's Dilemma, was one better suited for 2018, giving me longer time for editing, as it is a book I have wanted to write for a while. Instead, two other novelettes came zooming across to me, both appealing for very different reasons. 


Amanda's Payback, due in October 2017, is an adult work that gave me the chance to take on more mature material and content than I had previously written.




Beautiful Beau Montague, a November 2017 release, goes into investigative territory which I have done before, but this time the person being searched for is a movie star who is either alive or dead. 

Both, Amanda's Payback and Beautiful Beau Montague divert from my usual books as their romantic elements are much smaller than my books from other years.

Looking at my book experience for 2017, I have found that this year four books is just right for what I wish to achieve. It is enough to keep me going, but also allows for longer editing times, and hopefully, an even better product for readers. I think that we as writers are always seeking balance in whatever we do, and this can be difficult to maintain over time without realistic aspirations. To be able to write the number of books I have other years has come at the expense of other things for several reasons.  

In the beginning when I first began releasing books in 2011, I was on Twitter every day, interacting as much as I could. After a year and a half, I found that I could do very little writing with this system. As I began to cut back my tweeting in mid-2013, I found that I could write better, and more. Coupled with the fact that my neck does not adapt well to staying in front of the computer for too many hours, I devoted most of my free time to writing and editing, and a smaller component to catching up on Twitter. It has worked out better for me, and as a result, I am happier than when I was doing the daily tweeting. Life is the sum of all our experiences and I have found that with writing, as with everything, you learn from your lessons and place yourself in a better position to adapt to your lifestyle, and how you feel at specific times in your life. My 2017 writing experience has highlighted certain points for me; there is no wrong but all rights, what works for you may not work for others, but that is what makes us all very different as writers but also as people. 

If you'd like to follow Marcia...