Thursday, December 27, 2012

Get To Know - Ellis Vidler!

I've had the great pleasure of getting to know crime fiction/suspense author, Ellis Vidler, and I thought it would be awesome for you to get to know her too! I've invited her to my blog today. Welcome, Ellis!

1.) Ellis, you write amazing crime fiction suspense with a splash of romance. How did you navigate to that genre? Was there a particular writer or TV show that inspired you?

That's what I like to read. I think it started with Helen MacInnes and Mary Stewart. I thought espionage or suspense stories with a little romance made perfect reading. I don't know enough to write espionage stories, but there are plenty of other schemes and plots to choose from.

2.) Your setting descriptions are incredible! I feel like I'm there with your characters and can see what they see. When you write about a certain location (for example, in Cold Comfort, you start the story in Colonial Williamsburg), do you visit first and envision the action taking place there? Or are you able to imagine what the place is like from something you've read about a particular town or area? Is there one place you would like to go because you know it would make an awesome setting?

If possible I go to the place or use places I've been, but with some settings I feel comfortable using what I can research. The Internet helps tremendously, but there are so many things to consider. With an unfamiliar location, I'd prefer at least talking to people who live or have recently been to the place

I'd love to go to Isla Mujeres, the island near Cancun. I have the beginning of a novel set there, but it needs a lot of research. There are so many fascinating locales - my job is to find the ones that suit the story.


3.) Your newest novel, Time of Death, has recently been released. Can you whet our appetites with a brief snippet?

In this scene, Alex is compelled to draw. This is how her psychic ability is expressed. Isobel is the aunt she's visiting on an island off Charleston, S.C.

"You're drawing again." Isobel picked up one of the loose pages and examined it. "Are the visions coming back?"

The charcoal stick gripped in Alex's hand darted across the sheet in front of her as if driven by its own will. "Umm, maybe," she mumbled, barely aware of the question. Under her fingers, angry waves churned against the shore. Like flotsam rising to the surface of the sea, a dark figure emerged in the wake of the flying charcoal. She grabbed a scarlet pastel, smeared it through the water around the body.

As suddenly as it had come, the tension drained from her. She dropped the chalk and leaned back, rubbing her temples. "Blood. A man in the water."

"You haven't done this since the boy in Asheville, have you?"

Isobel massaged her shoulders, and Alex arched her back, leaning into her aunt's hands. "This is the first time."

"Any idea where this one is?"

"No. Only a man in the water. Ocean, judging from the waves, but I don't know where."

In this scene, readers meet Connor Moran, the federal prosecutor who's spent the last year building a case against the bad guy. Joe is another prosecutor, and Jax is Connor's dog, a retired military working dog.

His office door opened -- Lawrence, his boss, stuck his head in, glancing around the floor while he hung onto the handle. He opened it wide and stepped inside. "Moran, do you own a white shirt? If not, buy one. Justice is coming down from Washington in a couple of days, and we're supposed to look like lawyers, not gangsters." Lawrence fit right in with conservative South Carolina politics.

Connor shrugged, emphasizing his charcoal shirt, knowing it would annoy the man. "Got a white T-shirt with a Harley logo. That do?"

Lawrence frowned. "Don't ____ with me. And get a hair cut." He closed the door.

Joe nodded toward the hallway. "He'll get you one day. He was looking for Jax. Good thing you left him at home today. That dog doesn't like him, and it shows."

4.) As writers, we seem to be in plotting-mode most of the time. Do you find yourself mentally writing the next book even though you're in the middle of physically writing one?

Oh, yes! I'm terrible about stopping one to start a new idea before I forget. Then I want to go on with the new one. I have more beginnings of stories than I'll ever be able to write.

5.) Is there one thing that stands out from your writing and publishing journey that you wished you knew ahead of time? Or some simple tidbit that you've learned along the way that now makes the process easier?

I wish I'd started writing seriously much earlier. Waiting till you have time is never a good thing. Do it now!

If I can make myself plan out a loose, very general plot, the writing is much easier. I'm inclined to be a pantster, but it's too easy to get lost that way.

6.) You have some great titles for your books. Do you know the title before you start the story or does it come after you've written several chapters?

I struggle with titles. They don't come easily. I'd like to know how you do it, Jan. I love your titles. I buy the books before I know anything about them, just from the titles.

Aww, Ellis, thank you! For some of my books I know the title right away, with some they develop organically. I've been known to change the title when I'm half finished with a story.

Thank you for stop by my blog today, Ellis! You're an amazing author and you have some amazing books out there. Can you tell readers how to find you and your books?

Not very original, am I? Except for the blog, it's all Ellis Vidler.

Facebook -- Ellis Vidler

Twitter -- Ellis Vidler

LinkedIn -- Ellis Vidler

Goodreads -- Ellis Vidler

Website --

Blog --

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Shaunna Rodriguez - Book Launch: Forbidden Dusk (The Book of Blaire)

Today, I would like to welcome author, Shaunna Rodriguez to my blog! Her book, Forbidden Dusk (The Book of Blaire) releases today! Enjoy a snippet from her book:


     Cain Romanus knew his life could quite possibly end before dusk kissed the earth. He had been summoned by the Royal Order and their council. He knew why he had been summoned. The Prophecy had begun. They had arrived and so had their Guardians. The Watcher had been sent despite his fierce refusals and the Royal Order had risen from a century of rest.
     There had been one other to write the Prophecy centuries ago. His identity had never been revealed. He never spoke and he had remained a cloaked shadow dwelling in the darkness as they prophesied the future. His intentions had been dark and now he would spill her blood to start a war. He had created an army with one order. Find the sisters of the Prophecy and kill them.
     He knew why he was walking down the hall of death now. The screams he was hearing now that were coming from behind the heavy double doors in front of him would soon be his own, he was certain of it. He had two black cloaked, red hooded vampire escorts on either side of him that stood well over six feet tall and reminded him somehow of boulders. Their eyes were not like his. Not surprisingly, his eyes were golden in color because he fed on animals. Their eyes were black with red centers because they drank from humans, which would explain the screaming coming from the opposite side of the door they were within a few foosteps of. He was counting the steps in his head as they walked towards the doors of doom. 3, 2, 1 death - He felt defeated and he hadn't even faced the council as of yet.
     They stood in front of the doors. Without anyone reaching for them, they opened dragging the floor heavily. Despite the fact that there were no bodies in view, Cain was overwhelmed with the rich, overpowering smell of human blood.
     "Welcome Cain Romanus." Acacius, leader of the Royal Order spoke.

               "The look in his eyes told me that he was going to kill me."

     He could smell the fear radiating from my skin. The moons light bathed me and my perspiration glistened in its yellow glow. A smile crept across his wide spread lips of red. His skin was pale despite the moons glow. His eyes held me in their maroon trance. I gulped as he crouched and stalked near me. My body trembled and shook, not because it was below freezing and I felt every ripple the wind blew across my skin. Not because I was deep in powdery white snow. I trembled in anticipation. He was going to kill me and I was helpless to stop him.
     "If you spill my blood you'll have a war on your hands like no other." I found my voice briefly, no matter how shallow, dry or meek it sounded. I spoke the truth.
     "I'm counting on it." He growled and then lunged for me his mouth opened wide, my pale neck at its most vulnerable. I heard his teeth snap. Another growl erupted from his lips from deep inside his chest. When I opened my eyes I was alone standing in a puddle of warm, sticky blood. The cold from the snow seeped through my wet jeans. I could smell it. The smell engulfed me as I fell to my knees. With my hands outstretched in front of me, blood dripping from my fingers, I threw my head back and screamed.

      If you would like to view the trailer for Shaunna's book:

You can find Shaunna's book at:
Barnes and Noble - will be available soon

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Meet Molly!

Molly Williams is a stressed-out, over-worked aide to a divorce lawyer. She's dealt with people suffering from heartache and irreconcilable differences for so long it's jaded her outlook on relationships. And it's doubtful she'll ever find love because she's afraid to put herself out there.

When her boss takes a sudden leave of absence from the law firm, she's gifted with three-months off with pay to do whatever she wants. A friend talks her into stumping as an assistant to country-rock star, Finn Riley. Thinking this gig will be a walk in the park compared to what she's been doing, she's shocked to find the opposite.

Finn is a self-proclaimed heartless bastard who's about to embark on a summer concert tour. He fights the idea of an assistant but gives into the relentless nagging of his agent, and hires Molly.

Molly is star-struck when she meets Finn, but it's short-lived. Finn rubs her the wrong way and the chaos begins. Molly is flighty, a hard worker, and in no mood to put up with someone who doesn't want her there.

Finn discovers Molly's edge of sarcasm and sense of humor right away. He likes both, but doesn't like that he does. She's a giant distraction and he thinks the only way to get into the zone he needs to be in, is to let her go. The adventure of Finn and Molly is an uphill climb that looks as though they'll never get to the top. In three days, anything that could go wrong...did!

You'll love Molly! She's down-to-earth, has big brown eyes and a body that begs to be noticed. She's also clumsy and a people-pleaser. She could easily be you or I. (Well, I don't have big brown eyes or a body that begs to be noticed, but you know what I mean!) She's common, a bit lippy, and falls in love before she knows what hit her.

Finn and Molly will make you laugh, want to knock their heads together at times, and root for them to get their happily-ever-after!

Amazon -

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Sara's Promise Book Release Blog Tour & Giveaway

Sara's Promise
Deanna Lynn Sletten

          Do you believe in soul mates?

          William Grafton had the perfect life with his lovely wife, Sara, and two teenaged children. But one day his perfect forever was shattered when Sara died suddenly, leaving him alone to raise his childen and wonder how he would ever get through life without his soul mate. Five years later, he finds himself looking into a familiar pair of blue-green eyes that remind him of Sara. The woman is the exact opposite of his late wife, yet he finds he is drawn to her. But after a few strange occurences, he begins to wonder -- are these just coincidences or has his Sara come back to him as she once promised in the form of this new woman?

          Annie Paxton doesn't believe in soul mates or fate. She had watched her father die of a broken heart after her mother passed away and has since cast away any fairy tale ideas of love. Then she meets the man who has been haunting her dreams and she begins to see love in a whole new light. But her dream man is still tied to his deceased wife, and Annie doesn't know if he will ever be able to break away from his past. As strange occurrences unfold, Annie wonders if William could ever truly love her for herself and not for the traits that remind him of Sara.

          Were William and Annie brought together by fate, coincidence or by Sara keeping her promise?


Book Excerpt:

          Annie Paxton sped her car into a parking spot in front of the Beaverton office complex. She was annoyed with herself. She was late for an appointment, and she hated that. Usually punctual and articulate, she was never late for an appointment or photo shoot. But today was different. She'd mistakenly misjudged the amount of morning traffic, had taken a wrong turn and had to go in circles to find the building. It was only five minutes, but to her it was as bad as being late by an hour.
          Hurriedly, she grabbed her camera from the passenger seat and slung it around her neck. She'd need the larger camera and tripod in the trunk, too but would get those after she met up with the client. She never went anywhere without her smaller camera. It was like a part of her, like an arm or leg. It was a piece of her.
          Annie grabbed her small handbag and slammed the car door shut, forcing herself to stand still a moment and take a deep breath. It was only five minutes, nothing to be upset about. Besides, she was a photographer. Weren't artsy types supposed to be a little flighty? At least, that's what most people expected. She winced at that thought, hating to be thought of that way. Taking another calming breath, she ran a hand through her shoulder length, brown hair and headed into the building.
          Five minutes later, Annie stood in front of the secretary's desk in the offices of Grafton and Hanover. She glanced around as the secretary announced her arrival to Mr. Grafton, surprised that the offices weren't larger. From what she knew about the firm, it was one of the largest and busiest in the Portland-Beaverton area. And since William Grafton was part owner, she had expected the offices to be more lavish.
          "You may go in now, Ms. Paxton," the secretary told her with a smile. Annie thanked her and headed through the door into William Grafton's office.
          William was standing behind his desk, arms crossed, staring at her as she stepped inside. For a moment, he startled her, his eyes so intense, watching her as she walked across the room to his desk. Annie frowned. He looked familiar, yet she couldn't place him. He wasn't at all what she'd expected. He was taller, younger and dressed much nicer than she'd expected. From the look on his face, she could also see that he was annoyed.

Buy Sara's Promise on Amazon in Kindle, Paperback and on Barnes and Noble Nook

    About Deanna Lynn Sletten:

Deanna Lynn Sletten writes women's fiction novels that go beyond the basic romance novel. Her stories dig deep into the lives of the characters, giving the reader an in-depth look into their hearts and souls. Deanna has also written one middle-grade novel that takes you on the adventure of a lifetime.

Deanna started her writing career in the early 1990's writing articles for parenting publications and local newspapers. Over time she transitioned to writing for blogs and websites and was a contributing writer for the women's website, She Knows. In November 2011, she changed course and put all her energy into novel writing and hasn't looked back since.

Deanna is married and has two grown children. When not writing, she enjoys walking the wooded trails around her northern Minnesota home with her beautiful Australian Shepherd or relaxing in the boat on the lake in the summer.

Connect with Deanna:

Blog -      

Facebook -!/DeannaLSletten

Twitter -

Goodreads -

Amazon Author Page -


In celebration of Deanna's new book release she is having a giveaway! Leave a comment on this site to have your name entered in the drawing for one of four prizes: Two $25 Amazon Gift Cards and 2 paperback copies of Sara's Promise. Be sure to include your email address so we can contact you. You can enter at each site of the blog tour for more chances to win! Giveaway starts December 10th and ends December 17th at midnight. Winners will be contacted December 18th after noon.

Follow the tour schedule here:

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Where Would You Like Your Nipple?

I'm truly honored to welcome Mackenzie Crowne, a down-to-earth, witty, intelligent woman affectionately known as Mac. She's not only a fellow author, but also a wife, mother, and grandmother who has faced many challenges, most especially breast cancer. Mac fought the disease with everything she had and is now a cancer survivor who has written an incredible book -- WHERE WOULD YOU LIKE YOUR NIPPLE? She's here to celebrate the release of her book and possibly inspire every woman (and man) to do those breast checks, to get those mammograms, and to pay attention to any irregularities.

Welcome, Mac!

 I love the description on the front of your book: Navigating the Breast Cancer Abyss with Humor and Hope. Can you tell us a little bit about this amazing book?

Thanks so much for allowing me to visit today, Jan and for spotlighting such an important subject. Hmm. Let's see. The description of "Nipple" is my perception of my battle with breast cancer. The call delivering the diagnosis left me standing at the edge of a gaping chasm with no idea how I could possibly reach the other side and victory. But really, what choice did I have? Life is precious and I want to experience every moment I can. So, after freaking out for about a week, I set out on a journey. I have to say, I felt like Frodo in Lord of the Rings much of the time, but each trial, mastectomies, chemo, radiation, brought me close to the other side of the abyss, to victory.

It takes a lot of strength and courage to battle that frightening monster of an illness and to share the experience. Where did you find the most strength?

I wouldn't call it strength so much, but desperation,stubborness and belief. First and foremost, I relied on my faith. Life can become overwhelming at times, and not just when you are facing a battle like breast cancer. As a child runs to a parent when their world spirals out of control, I turn to God to find peace in life's storms. I spent many an hour in His spiritual lap over the course of treatment. I also had a tremendous support system in my family and friends. They were there for me every time I cried out, and quite a few times when I hadn't. Lastly, I was freakily lucky to find a slot with the top doctors in the Phoenix area for surgery, plastic surgery and oncology. How can you fail when you're working with the best?

If you could give women (and men) one piece of advice what would it be?

For those who have been diagnosed, take a deep breath and have faith. The medical community has made some incredible strides recently and new discoveries are being made every day. This battle sucks but it's doable. Don't give up. And for those who haven't been diagnosed, be diligent in prevention and early detection. You know your body best and while self-exams may seem simple, they have the ability to not only save your life, but make your battle infinitely less debilitating by catching the cancer early.

In your book, you refer to Psalm 91:4 that says it all. It brought me to tears. Would you mind sharing those incredible words?

While I am a Christian, I'm not a particularly religious person. Rather, my faith is very personal and strictly between me and God. I'm not one of those people who quotes scripture but I do have a Bible and occasionally a verse will jump out with a private message just for me. For those of you who haven't read Nipple, my sister and I were diagnosed with breast cancer within a month of each other and early on in our respective treatments, we discovered we had both been directed to Psalm 91. In it's entirety, the verse speaks of doing battle and coming out victorious, but for me, it was all about 91:4. He will cover you with His feathers and under His wings you will find refuge. Let me tell you, those words were like a giant hug from God and during the worst of times, with my family gathered around me in support, I found refuge with the feathers He provided.

Mac, in your book you talk about keeping a journal. Would you like to say a bit about that?

Actually, I'd never kept a journal before, but while waiting for the diagnosis, which I pretty sure I already knew, I NEEDED to talk to my dad. He had passed away a few years earlier, and I missed him so much at that moment that I sat down and wrote him a letter. I wrote him many more over the course of the next few weeks and those letters eventually became the format for my journal. I spilled out my fears and weaknesses to the best man I have ever known and I swear I hear his voice and felt his boundless love when I needed them so badly. I also shared the bizarre incidents that seemed to happen on a daily basis -- like the day I was asked when I would like to start chemo. Hello - never! And when I finally found myself on the other side of the abyss, celebrating victory as the survivor I'd worked to become, I discovered Dad and I produced a sort of emotional guide to getting there. Where Would You Like Your Nipple is based on my journal, and includes several of those letters.

With your book, you've shared a lot of wisdom and eye-opening information. I think it's a must-read for everyone. Can you share a link or links for those who would like to check it out?

It would be my pleasure "Nipple" is available in digital format and print. You can also find the links at my home on the web .

One last thing, Mac, in the Acknowledgments of your book you give thanks to the talented artist that did a great job on your cover, but you also mention a documentation project "Faces of Courage". Would you like to share information about that?

Most definitely. Isn't the cover gorgeous? As I tried to do in the book, it projects hope in the midst of despair. The name of the cover image is Open Heart and this past weekend I had the thrilling opportunity to meet both the model - an eleven year survivor, and the artist, Lisa Scholder. Lisa has a heart for survivors. She's an incredible woman and artist who assists survivors in discovering the beauty of their altered bodies through her body painting art. She's currently sharing her talents, working with Faces of Courage, a non-profit raising funds to provide camp getaways for cancer and blood disease patients and their families, on their Bodies of Courage project. You can learn more about Lisa and Faces of Courage at their websites.  and

Mac, I would like to offer heartfelt thanks for being on my blog but also for writing this book. Also, if you wouldn't mind sharing the titles and links to the other books you've written, that would be awesome.

Thank you so much for the opportunity to visit with you today, Jan. And I'd love to share the info on my other books. I'm a romance writer at heart, as you know.

Gift of the Realm is a modern fantasy romance set in Ireland ~ available at The Wild Rose Press  and Amazon .

That Dating Thing is a contemporary romance in the midst of Wall Street greed ~ available at Still Moments Publishing  and  Amazon .

And coming this fall, The Billionaire's Con, another contemporary from Still Moments. Publishing.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

The Next Best Thing! (blog hop)

I've been tagged by Julia Hughes in The Next Big Thing blog hop! Thanks, Julia!

Today, I'd like to say a few words about my part of a Christmas anthology that was recenty released - THREE WISE MEN. Three sweet, heartwarming stories that will make you smile or perhaps sniff back a tear or two. The anthology is about three men who need to wise up to find love: Alex, Nick, and Evan. Nancy Ricker wrote about Alex, Laura Ricker picked Evan, and I chose Nick -- tall, handsome, scowling Nick.

Bar owner, Nick Barstow had his heart broke three years ago at Christmastime and hasn't moved on. Every December he pastes on a scowl and it remains in place until the New Year. He knows it's a stupid way to deal with the heartache, but hey, it works for him...until this year. As a favor to a friend, but against his better judgment, he hires Macy Williams who quickly changes the dynamics of the bar. She also seems hell-bent on fixing what ails Nick. He wants her gone, until he realizes that he...wants her.

What is the working title of your book?

Three Wise Men!

Where did the idea come from?

The thought of doing a Christmas anthology was exciting. Since I write romance, I pictured three hunky heroes. The title came soon after.

What genre does your book fall under? 

Contemporary romance.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

For Nick, Ryan Reynolds! For Macy, Meg Ryan!

What is the once-sentence synopsis of your book?

For the anthology: Three men who need to wise up to find love.
For Nick's story: Will Nick give his attraction for Macy a chance, or will the muck of heartache keep him anchored in the past?

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

We decided to self-publish.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

I think we decided at the beginning of August to do this project with a target date of October 1. I was almost finished writing Three Days With Molly, so I had to put off my story about Nick until the first part of September -- although I had a ton of notes about where I wanted Nick's story to go. After I finished with Three Days With Molly, I went full-throttle with Nick. So I think the first draft was finished the third week of September, with the final draft being completed by October 1. Whew!

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

I truly don't have an answer for this question. I think Nick's story is unique, although it does have bits of humor like my other books do.

Who or What inspired you to write this book?

I love the Christmas season and wanted to write a book about finding love at that magical time of year.

What else about your book might pique the reader's interest?

Regarding the anthology, I think the surprise in Alex's story would definitely clinch their interest. In Evan's story, the excitement of first love would be a sure draw. In Nick's story, I think the bar setting gives it an unusual twist. He's the sole owner and lone employee until Macy enters the picture. Everything in his life changes and he's not too thrilled since he's grown accustomed to the comfort of the rut he's in. Macy takes him out of his comfort zone right away.

Spoiler alert! The heroes in this anthology are all very different, especially in their ages. If you'd like to check out Alex, Nick, and Evan, you can find them at:

Amazon --

Barnes and Noble --


Friday, October 12, 2012

Cover reveal for THREE WISE MEN!

I recently teamed up with authors, Nancy Ricker and Laura Ricker, to do a Christmas Anthology! We titled it: THREE WISE MEN and we wanted to share the amazing cover with you!

Thank you, Deborah - with Tugboat Design for another great cover!!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012


This blog post is part of THE NEXT BIG THING and I was nominated by Melodie Ramone . Thanks, Melodie, for tagging me for this fun blog hop!

Today, I'd like to talk about my latest release, THREE DAYS WITH MOLLY! The story of country-rock star, Finn Riley and lawyer aide, Molly Williams was a fun story to write! Finn, a self-proclaimed 'heartless bastard' is about to embark on a summer concert tour and he's in dire need of a personal assistant to cook and clean for him. Molly Williams and her lawyer boss are stressed to the breaking point. Out of the clear blue, the boss gifts Molly with three months off with pay while he heads to the Caribbean for a breather. Molly's friend hooks her up as Finn's assistant. Trouble brews the second she steps on the tour bus!

Here are the list of questions for The Next Big Thing, and my answers:

What is the working title of your book?

Three Days With Molly!

Where did the idea come from for the book?

I thought it would be fun to throw two characters together in close quarters to see if they would fall in love or kill each other. A tour bus seemed like a good choice.

What genre does your book fall under?

Definitely contemporary romance, but it's so much more: humor, spice, comedy, and love!

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

When I started writing Three Days With Molly I saw country singer, Jerrod Niemann, as Finn Riley. Since the question is which actor... hmm...maybe Bradley Cooper.

As Molly, hands down it would be Anne Hathaway!

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Can two work-aholics with trust issues lighten up long enough to follow their hearts, or will they kill each other before the summer concert tour is over?

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

I've self-published Three Days With Molly!

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

I started this story on May 1, 2012 and published September 12, 2012 - My first draft was done somewhere in between. I have no specific date, but I would say early August.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

I think my books favor Jenny Crusie's books. Her books are funny and have quirky characters. I'd like to think mine are the same.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

When I get an idea, I tuck it in a folder. After I complete one book, I'm looking for the next one to write. A quick search of the folder produced the scrap piece of paper with notes about falling in love on a tour bus.

What else about your book might pique the reader's interest?

I think it would be the unusual situations that Finn and Molly find themselves in. Even though the main stage of the story is a tour bus, everything doesn't take place there. I also think the secondary characters are a fun addition to the story.

If you'd like to read Finn and Molly's story, you can find Three Days With Molly on both Amazon and also on Barnes and Noble

Thanks again, Melodie Ramone!

I'd like to tag the following people to keep this fun blog hop going:

Sharon Saracino

Debra Burroughs

Denise Moncrief

Kevin Rau

Joya Fields

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Obvious/Not So Obvious - Part 2

Sometimes we inspire people when we have no idea it's happening. Earlier this month, I did a blog post about obvious beauty and not-so-obvious beauty. I showed it to my husband as always. A couple days later he came to me with the camera and we scrolled through some pictures he'd taken. He said, 'My version of obvious/not-so-obvious'! Thought I would share a sampling of his pictures:

It was one of those foggy mornings where the moisture coated the trees and the spider webs. In this first picture, the web looks like strings of pearls!

In this second picture the web is clearly defined!

Starting to see a pattern! My husband has a love for spider webs!

And he has a fascination for spiders! This bad boy had really long, scary looking legs!

Beauty through the camera lens! (Yes, another spider web)

Ah ha! No spider web! A lovely sunset over our pond!

This is an awesome picture! Looks like we have trees growing in our pond.
There were so many great photos to pick from, I've shared just a few.
Have a lovely autumn wherever you are!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Cover reveal for THREE DAYS WITH MOLLY!

I'm happy dancing all over the place today!! I have the cover for THREE DAYS WITH MOLLY :-))

The cover was designed by Deborah with Tugboat Design! :-))

Friday, September 7, 2012

Happy Birthday, ONE SMALL FIB

Coffee for everyone! I'm celebrating the first birthday of ONE SMALL FIB being published! It's been an amazing 365 days! The nerves of having my first book out there have settled and I'm able to reflect lovingly on the journey.

From that first sale to today, I am grateful that readers have taken and continue to take a leap of faith in my writing. You all rock!!!

In February, One Small Fib was nominated as Book of The Month by Long and Short Reviews! Whew! A whirlwind of voting took place. While it didn't win, I was humbled that it stood proudly among some other great books. And again, thank you from the bottom of my heart to all of you who voted (and then re-voted after the technical snafu that dropped the first votes). I have to admit, that was one joyful, nerve-wracking weekend that I still smile about from time to time.

The news that One Small Fib had been chosen to be translated into Greek and sold in Greece made March an incredible month!!

The months following have been equally wonderful, with the release of four other books: Lucky Ducks, Kiss Me, The Gift of Gray, and Stay Close, Novac!

Regardless where my writing journey takes me, I will always have a special place in my heart for One Small Fib.

In lieu of cake, I'm giving away a copy of any one of my books to three lucky people -- (your choice of book since many of you have already read One Small Fib) All you have to do is leave a comment to be entered into the random drawing. Also, please leave your email address so I can notify you if you've won.

You can find my books at:

Thanks to all of you again for making this heart-and-soul adventure a joyous one!!



Monday, September 3, 2012

The Lovely Alle Wells!


Today I have the honor of having Alle Wells on my blog!

I thought it would be great to ask her a few questions:

Could you tell us a little about your love for writing:

Hi Jan! Writing is my favorite way to communicate. I loved writing in a diary as a young girl and writing steamy love letters to my high school crushes. Whenever I had something to say, I wrote it. Back then, putting my feelings on paper often kept me in trouble at school and at home! Throughout my adult life, I jumped at job opportunities that gave me opportunity to write.

What are you currently working on?

My work in progress is called, Mill People. Mill People tells a story of the people who lived in the now deserted cotton mill towns in the South.

When will it be available for our reading pleasure?

Mill People will be available in the Fall of 2012.

Would you like to share an excerpt?

Well, okay. Here's the Preface:

Hundreds of mill towns sprang up along the water falls and rivers of the Appalachian Mountains and Carolina Piedmont regions during the reconstruction years that followed the Civil War. In many ways, these communities saved our nation's economy and created the backbone of today's middle class Americans. At the dawn of the twentieth century, thousands of displaced landowners and war widows flocked to the newly formed mill towns created by the nation's wealthiest families. There they found job stability and amenities they'd never known in rural farm life. The creation of the American mill town created a new society that would last for the next one hundred years.

You not only love to write, but you also enjoy reviewing other author's books. Can you tell us a little about Alle's Five Star Reviews?

Thanks for asking about my review blog. The blog is dedicated to promoting indie authors. I only post five star reviews because I never want to jeopardize an author's future by posting a negative review. If I don't think a book warrants five stars, then I don't post a review.

When you're not busy writing Southern tales of strength and courage, what do you like to do?

Recently, I've started posting a blog entitled, "Southern Sunday". Southern Sunday is presented weekly on Betty Lee Crosby's Books: Words, Wit and Wisdom site and Goodreads. In Southern Sunday, I write about simple Southern living, my organic lifestyle, and Southern writings. The blog is light and easy, perfect for Sunday morning reading.

In addition to writing, I maintain a complete organic, vegetarian lifestyle. My diet is mainly vegan, but I do incorporate a little low fat cheese occasionally. During the summer months, I purchase veggies from a local farmer. I freeze or dehydrate enough fruits and vegetable to last throughout the winter months. I also have an herb garden in my backyard. The process is time consuming during the summer months but well worth the effort the rest of the year.

Do you have any words of wisdom or writing tips for aspiring writers?

Keep it simple and smile while you write!

Thank you for being here today, Alle!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Obvious/Not So Obvious!

Today has been an incredible day! I've written a lot of words on my upcoming novel, THREE DAYS WITH MOLLY! My fingers have flown across the keyboard, I've guzzled a lot of coffee, and I'm filled with the kind of giddy-happiness that comes from knowing I'm almost finished.

During a much needed break, I took a walk outside to find my Rose of Sharon on the north side of my house in full bloom, so are a few stubborn dandelions. On a whim, I raced back inside to get my camera.

While I let my brain breathe from hours in front of the computer, I snapped a few pictures -- some with obvious beauty, some with not-so-obvious beauty. Thought I would share some of the photos from today and some from awhile back. Enjoy!

Have a great Labor Day Holiday!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


It has been said that it takes a village to raise a child. In essence, the same can be said of a writer. Without friends, families, co-workers, critique partners, editors, cover artists, formatters, etc. writers would be sunk (especially those of us who have just enough tech skills to be dangerous). Those folks are our support system. I thought it would be great to spotlight someone who was part of my support system when I made my debut as an indie author. Today, I'd like to shine that light on Deborah with Tugboat Design.

Welcome to my blog, Deborah!

Thank you for having me, Jan!

When I decided to enter the world of self-publishing with my book, Stay Close, Novac! I needed someone to format my book and design a cover. I also needed guidance on where to go/and how to upload to the various retail sites. I found all that I needed in Tugboat Design.

Deborah, can you tell us a little about your business?

Tugboat Design is geared toward providing high quality product at an affordable price for independent authors. We offer ready-made covers for $40 - $60. If you can't find what you're looking for there, we can design a personalized book cover for $125. We can turn any book cover into a paperback cover as well. We also format books on Amazon, Smashwords, B & N, and now, Createspace. Another service we offer is website design.

You have a gallery of ready-made covers. Do you also do specialized covers?

Yes. We can have ready-made covers because we get to download so many images a month from our subscription to We generally don't download all of the allotted images per month, so instead of just letting them go to waste, we download images that we can make into ready-made covers. This way we can offer these covers at a reduced price. It's a win-win for everyone. If you can't find a ready-made cover that fits your book we are more than happy to design a personalized book cover. It's about even right now between people who have purchased ready-made covers vs. people who have had us design a specific cover for them. That knowledge makes me happy because I know that we can provide a high quality cover for people regardless of their budget.

What is your turn-around time for formatting and cover work?

For both formatting and designing a cover we generally say two weeks. It all depends on how long the book is, and how many revisions we have to do on the book cover. We have turned everything around in one week all the way up to three weeks.

You also do website design. Can you tell us a little about that?

Sure! We recently added website design to our list of services. We are not going for top of the line websites that have been hand coded (which would cost thousands of dollars), instead we are going for eye pleasing, easy to use, yet professional looking websites. We based everything off of We did that, because it's easy to use, it looks professional, and you can do a lot of things with it, even for a free site. It's great for authors who are looking for only a one page website up to authors who are looking for a ten page website. It's a wonderful tool, and with the right knowledge behind it, it can look highly professional.

As an added bonus, you do some excellent book promotion for authors who have used your services. You have a great presence on Twitter and I'm deeply grateful for your tweets about my book.

For authors who have used my service, on the "Links" page of my website I have everyone's book and links to purchase it on Amazon. I also try to tweet or retweet for everyone at least once a day to help get the word out. I like to help in any way that I can.

You've started a blog and have done some author interviews and articles. Can you direct us to your blog?

Of course. Our blog is at I have written a few articles and I hope to have more author interviews on it in the coming months.

You have someone very close to you who is a published author. Would you like to say a few words about her?

Of course. Deanna Lynn Sletten is a very close friend and I have designed all of her book covers. We recently finished designing a cover for her book "Sara's Promise" which is due out in December 2012. She currently has two women's fiction books published: "Memories" and "Widow, Virgin, Whore". She also has a children's book "Outlaw Heroes".

Deborah, I appreciate you being on my blog today and I'd like to thank you for being part of a much-needed author support system.

You're welcome. Thank you for having me.

You can find Deborah and Tugboat Design at:


Twitter: @TugboatDesign


Monday, August 6, 2012

Art Imitates Life by Amber Lea Easton

Today I'd like to welcome romantic suspense author, Amber Lea Easton!

Art Imitates Life

By Amber Lea Easton

     "Novelist at work -- bystanders may be written into a story." I have that sign on my desk. It makes me laugh, but it's also the truth.
     Life inspires me. As I go through my day-to-day existence with its challenges, pain, joy, love, aggravation or triumphs, story ideas snap like live wires flashing with electricity in my mind. Sometimes it's a stranger who triggers my imagination into saying, "wow, he'd make a twisted character." Occasionally, someone I've encountered inspires an idea for a villain. Other times, while I'm immersed in some personal catastrophe, I'll hear myself say, "this will make a good story one day." Unlike some people, as a writer, I actually mean that when I say it.
     In Riptide, my lastest romantic suspense novel, the story line was triggered by a real life situation I experienced with a stalker when I was in my late twenties. Although the details are not the same, I mined the emotions I felt at the time -- including the difficulty in starting life over after such an incident -- to create the characters and fully flesh them out.
     As a writer, I often utilize this tactic to bring reality into a fictional world. Perhaps it's a form of therapy -- working out an issue via writing, tossing my characters into the fray and seeing how they get out of it. I think the majority of artists reach into their hearts when they create. The creative act itself is a pouring out of the soul onto the paper or canvas or block of clay.
     Write what you know...that's what people say. I used to scoff at that. I mean, how do science fiction writers create worlds in a galaxy far far away if they stick to that philosophy? But then as I thought about it, I realized that even that genre has core human elements that are examined in the story line. (I'm a fan of science fiction, by the way. I'm a fan of a wide variety of genres.)
     When we as creators bring our hearts to the keyboard, we're better able to create characters with heart, characters that readers cheer for and would love to know in real life. To do that, we as creators need to strip away the inhibitions that keep us guarded day to day, transform our inspiration into a story much bigger than life and allow our characters to get down and dirty with it as they see fit.
     True life is the spark that ignites my imagination. There are elements of me in each of my stories and my characters. Just a tiny autobiography would be boring, I need to spice up the fictional world!
     Bono (yes, I'm quoting U2 now) once said that "every artist is a cannibal". That's a gruesome image...but I can't deny its truth.

Excerpt of Riptide:

     Snacks and soda topped her list of necessities for a day of exploring. The quiet rumble in her stomach reminded her that she hadn't eaten anything but cantaloupe for the past twenty-four hours.
     She stopped at the first market she saw, grateful for the few cars in the parking lot because she looked like a woman who simply didn't give a damn about her appearance.
     "Austin have you on a breakfast run?" Noah stepped into the aisle in front of her, a full shopping basket in his hands. Stubble shadowed his face. Dark denim encased his legs, sandals with frayed seams adorned tanned feet and a loose-fitting black shirt revealed a deep V of flesh. The shirt was barely buttoned, something she noticed within seconds.
     Attraction sizzled in the soda aisle.
     He tipped her shopping basket toward him and shook his head at the bag of pretzels, Oreos, and sunflower seeds.
     "I hope that's not your breakfast," he said. "I'm sure you can do better than cookies and seeds."
     She shrugged, unable to stop staring and apparently incapable of speech.
     "Thank you, by the way," he said.
     "For what?" She liked that she could look up at him. The tall woman's curse, she'd often said, was being with a man with whom she couldn't wear a good pair of high heels.
     "Inspiring me to write all night. Rare these days." He caught the corner of his lower lip between his teeth, gaze zeroed in on the material stretching across her breasts. "Follow me home, and I'll make you a real breakfast."
     "Why would you do that?" She stepped away from him, needing space.
     "To thank you for spurring my imagination." His voice lowered to a level bordering on husky.
     She liked it. A lot. Bolts of lightning snapped through her nervous system. "I don't think you need to thank me for anything. We only talked for a few minutes, hardly enough time for me to inspire you. I need to go. Thanks anyway."
     "Why not?" His gaze skimmed over her like a caress.
     "I'm on my way to see the blowholes," she said.
     "The blowholes?" He blinked before bursting out in laughter. "Are you kidding?"
     "Something wrong with the blowholes?" I sound like an idiot.
     "Nope, just not the answer I expected." His gaze slipped over her again. "C'mon, Lauren. Have breakfast with me."
     "Another time maybe." She couldn't tear her eyes from the two buttons holding his shirt together. She wanted to bite them off and kiss his chest. She retreated a step.
     My therapist was right. I need to be medicated. Heavily.
     "I'll take you to the blowholes later." He focused on her mouth. "Promise."
     "I can tell by the way you say blowholes that you have no intention of taking me or anyone else there." A smile twitched at the corners of her lips.
     "Maybe I'll make an exception. C'mon, do you have a better offer?" His grin reminded her again of a land-locked pirate. He didn't look away from her eyes. "Come home with me, Lauren. Let me make you breakfast. What's more innocent than breakfast?"
     "I don't think that would be a good idea." Mouth like a desert, she took yet another step backward.
     "I'm harmless." His shrug pulled the shirt tight across his shoulders, tugging at the buttons. He grabbed the six-pack of Diet Coke from her grasp. "I make the best omelet on the island. Say yes."
     "I really shouldn't." Despite the trepidation, she knew how easy it would be to follow him to his place, to Austin's, to hell and back with no regret.
     I have no pride, no dignity, and no sense.
     "I know you want to go...but you're busy thinking of all the reasons it's not a good idea, right? You're telling yourself that you shouldn't go off alone with some random guy you met yesterday, even though I'm Austin's friend. You're over thinking this, sexy lady. An omelet is simply an omelet. I'm starving. Say you'll join me."
     "I haven't met many men who cook," she said, softening to the idea and thankful he hadn't guessed the real reason for her hesitation -- lust.
     "What kind of men have you met?"
     "The wrong kind."
     "Ah, so you're a skeptic?" he asked with a knowing look in his dark eyes.
     "Skeptic about what? Your cooking or the type of man you are?"
     "Both. Don't worry about it. I'm as harmless as a puppy."
     "The last puppy I had destroyed everything in sight." She sobered at the  memory of her dog Pete. She stopped abruptly at the images flashing like a slide show in her brain...dead cocker spaniel, red lights reflecting on a hardwood floor. Her balance faltered. She grabbed a shelf for balance.
     "Are you okay?" His hand on her arm brought her back to the present.
     "She flinched from his touch, willing the banter to return. "Imagining you as a puppy, that's all."
     "Does that mean I've convinced you?" Curiosity shadowed his eyes, transforming the whiskey color to dark brown.
     "Thanks anyway, but I don't think it would be a good idea." Mistrust warred with her need for normalcy.
     "Think of breakfast at my place adventure." He stepped up to the cashier. "Trust me. Breakfast at my place beats sunflower seeds and cookies."
     Her traitorous stomach growled at the mention of an omelet. Saliva flooded her mouth at the thought of being alone with him. The beating of her heart drowned out all rational thought.
     She cleared her throat. "Fine. I guess I can go."
     Without looking at her, he said to the cashier. "I knew she'd say yes."
     They remained silent while they walked through the parking lot. The sun had risen higher in the sky, and the day hinted at its warmth. She pulled at the ratty waistband of the shorts that moved lower on her hips during the quick walk to the Jeep.
     He held the driver's door open for her and let his gaze slide down her body. They stood together, separated by mere inches.
     She liked the way his black hair skimmed his neck and curled across his forehead as if he hadn't brushed it in hours. The morning stubble shadowing his face made her fingers ache to touch him.
     "I'm starving," she whispered.
     "So am I. I feel like I haven't eaten in years." His gaze snapped to hers.
     "Me, too. Like I've been fasting or something." She licked her lips.
     Silence stretched between them. Each stared at the other.
     Legs wobbly, she lifted herself into the Jeep. "I hope this omelet lives up to the hype."
     "You won't be disappointed." He rocked back on his heels and grinned like an incorrigible child. He motioned toward a classic black Mercedes sitting alone a few spaces away. "I'm parked over there. Follow me."
     She clenched the steering wheel with both hands. "Go slow so I don't lose you."
     "I'll go slow." With a smile and a wink, he strolled to his car.
     She enjoyed watching him walk, like a man whose only agenda was to enjoy the day and his place in it. She envied his confidence.

Book Blurb:

One violent night shatters Lauren Biltmore's life. As an anchorwoman, she's accustomed to reporting the news rather than being the lead story. She escapes the spotlight by fleeing to her brother's home in the Cayman Islands. Haunted by nightmares, all she wants is a distraction from reality.

Distraction arrives via sexy screenwriter, Noah Reynolds. His take-me-to-bed looks mask a past ripe with scandal. He knows he should stay away from Lauren, especially when the worst night of her life unlocks his writer's block and while he's dealing with a stalker of his own, but ethics are his weakness.

Attraction sizzles beneath Caribbean sunshine. As their relationship grows, Noah's stalker intensifies her torment. Lauren wonders if her paranoia is justified or a carryover from her past. What's real? What's imagined?

Tentative trust is tested as their love is swept up against a riptide of deceit, murder, and revenge.

Riptide is now available as a new release in ALL ebook formats directly from the publisher, Siren-Bookstrand, at:

Follow Amber Lea Easton on Twitter as @MtnMoxieGirl or on Facebook at To see Amber's other novels, please visit her website at



Sunday, July 29, 2012

The Glamorous Life or Organized Chaos?!

Have you ever wondered where authors do their best work? I have. I've pictured E. L. James, author of Fifty Shades of Grey, writing in an exotic location sipping margaritas and laughing in between chapters.That's probably not the case, but who knows? I also see J. K. Rowling pecking away at the keyboard in a slightly chilly, dimly lit room. Again, probably not even close.

A few years ago, I took a tour of Ernest Hemingway's house on Whitehead St. nestled in the heart of Old Town Key West. I remember how great it was to get a peek at the place where this creative genius had written, A Farewell To Arms and For Whom The Bell Tolls. There was an old style typewriter and leatherbound books. I was in awe!

I'm not a famous author like E. L. James, J. K. Rowling, or Ernest Hemingway, but I still thought it would be fun to share where I create my stories.

My desk
(usually a lot more cluttered) 

Yep! This is where it happens!

I always keep a manila folder with pertinent information about my characters. I even go so far as cut out pictures of people who resemble my characters so I can refer back to them. In my current work-in-progress, the lovely Anne Hathaway resembles my heroine (lucky heroine) and country star, Jerrod Niemann resembles my hero (lucky hero)!

Also, notice the coffee cup! Without coffee I couldn't function.

Here are some of the folders for my stories. Kiss Me and One Small Fib (which I originally titled, The Frugal Billionaire).

Folders for Stay Close, Novac!, Lucky Ducks, and Three Days With Molly.

I am constantly looking for ways to stay organized. If you have any thoughts on the subject or would like to share how you organize the things in your life, I'd love to hear about them. Please leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of my latest ebook - Stay Close, Novac! (Be sure to leave your email address so I can notify you if your name is drawn)

You can find me at:

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Snickers Dip

Decadent. Yummy. Easy. 


2 - 8 ounce packages of cream cheese, softened

1 - 8 ounce container of Cool Whip

1/4 cup brown sugar

6 Snickers bars chopped

Mix all ingredients.

Serve with pretzels or graham crackers

Monday, May 14, 2012


Jessi Novac leads the quiet life of a romance author until someone leaves a series of explicit notes under her windshield wipers and heavy breathing on her answering machine.
Until NYPD can track down the culprit who's trying to scare the bejesus out of her, Jessi hides out at her grandmother's beach house in Myrtle Beach where she hopes to get her bearings. Instead, her life takes an even bigger tilt toward crazy when she meets her clumsy neighbor -- Ian Alexander. She's suspicious of Ian and attracted to him at the same time. Their relationship becomes a calamity of errors until strange things start happening at the beach house too. Jessi clings to Ian for protection, but soon discovers her heart may be in more danger than her life.


     Seduced awake by the smell of bacon frying and the sound of coffee gurgling, Jessi threw her legs over the side of the bed. An overlarge painting of a fisherman holding a stringer of fish greeted her vision, a reminder she wasn't in her grandmother's beach house.
     Jessi chastised herself for spending the night with her newly-met neighbor, and for being a wimp in general. Who behaves like this? No wonder the stalker continued to rule her world - she was easy prey. What must Ian think? "Oh God," she groaned silently. She'd advanced on him, not the other way around. Kissing him equaled madness. After pulling in a long breath of frustration, she blew it out and tried to rationalize her behavior. The kiss was most likely prompted Crap! She had nothing. In a nutshell, she'd finally lost it.
     The coffee pot no longer made noises and the sound of bacon frying had stopped as well.
     Jessi sprang from the edge of the bed and assessed her appearance in the dresser mirror. Egad! She looked like the spawn of Einstein, minus the mustache. Her short hair stuck out, only on one side of her head - the same side where sleep lines creased her face. She looked as though someone had drawn a line down the center of her - one half rumpled, one half not. Her gaze fell to her attire - once again she'd slept in her clothes. But what a great night's sleep it was. She felt refreshed and ready to kick some stalker-butt.

* If you'd like to read more about Jessi and Ian, you can find STAY CLOSE, NOVAC! at:

** Please visit me regularly at