Sunday, December 14, 2014

Late for the Wedding by Barbara Edwards - Twelve Brides of Christmas series

Today I happily welcome Barbara Edwards to my blog as part of the Twelve Brides of Christmas blog hop! She comes to us with her contemporary romance, Late for the Wedding

From Barbara...

During the last Nor'easter, we were cut off for six days by the snow. It gave me an idea for Late for the Wedding


Heather Green will do anything to make her twin's wedding perfect. Despite an impending nor'easter, she sets out with the wedding dress, cake, favors and cake topper in her car. As the snow piles up, her car is wrecked and she barely misses injury in a major accident. Nicholas Burnes would rather be ensconced with his latest cuddle than drive a tow truck, but his brother needs his help. He reluctantly agrees to help Heather find a way to the wedding locale, but when the storm closes the roads, he ends up offering her shelter in his penthouse. Warm and rested at last, Nick and Heather explore their powerful attraction to each other, only to part when he delivers her, on time, to her sister's wedding. But weddings breed weddings...


     She strained to see past the broken windshield. Her throat hurt when she swallowed. Other vehicles lay tangled in a  mess, not just the truck and her car. She prayed another car wouldn't hit her again and inhaled to calm her racing pulse. She finally got the seatbelt lock to release, forced her door open and stood. Her knees shook and she had to hang onto the sagging door for support. She stared around. Headlights glittered like monster eyes. Her vehicle was at the edge of a horrendous multi-car pile-up.

     Sirens wailed like lost children. Blinding red and blue lights flashed everywhere as emergency personnel rushed by. Her hands shook as she dragged on her cashmere coat. Time squeezed and expanded like an accordion being played. A fireman asked if she was okay and ran on at her nod.

     She brushed moisture from her face and realized she was crying. She pillowed her head on her arm, the roof supporting her as she wept.

     "Hey, lady, you okay?" A gentle hand gripped her shoulder.

     This time the questioner stopped to listen.

     She looked up into scorching blue eyes so bright they could've been a propane flame. Her skin warmed and her pulse leaped as if it recognized the message in them. They promised heat and comfort and strength like the hand on her shoulder. He'd pulled his knit had down over his forehead and his lower face was covered with dark stubble that matched his thick black eyelashes. His hands were splotched with grease and he smelled like oil and fuel fumes. His quilted jacket was stained and patched, his boots wet and cracked, but he exuded strength and caring.

     She swallowed. Her mouth was suddenly dry. Another fixer-upper, like her ex, she briefly thought, although with those gorgeous eyes he might be worth the trouble. 

Barbara's bio:

     I'm Barbara Edwards and a native New Englander. I'm a graduate of the University of Hartford with a Master's degree in Public Administration. I write poetry for myself and novels when I need to tell a longer tale. I'm fascinated by the past so naturally turned to writing historical romance. The dark paranormal stories evolve from nightmares. The romance comes from my belief in people's basic goodness and longing for love.

     I lived in Florida for several years and am past president of the Central Florida Romance Writers and a member of Romance Writer's of America.

     When I returned to Connecticut, I founded the Charter Oak Romance Writers, a Chapter of Romance Writers of America, along with several close friends.

      My husband is a retired Police Sergeant. We share an interest in Civil War re-enacting and travel the Eastern states to participate in events. I love visiting museums, galleries and battle sites, gathering information for my stories.

     I taught Romance Writing at Manchester Community College for three years.

     I'm fond of gardening and growing antique roses with limited success.

     Most of my exercise is when my Belgian Shepherd, Dixie, demands a walk. 

     Please follow, friend or like me. I love to hear from my readers.

Buy links for Late for the Wedding:


The Wild Rose Press:

You can follow Barbara here:





Amazon Author's Page:


Thursday, December 11, 2014

It's a joy to welcome, Sharon Saracino!

It's a joy to welcome back, Sharon Saracino. She visited when Undiscovered Angel (book #1 in her Earthbound series) was released back in August. Today she's here to celebrate the release of book #2 - Angel Unbound.

Sharon Saracino

All roads lead to happily ever after, some just have a few unexpected turns!

Sharon, I'm so excited for the second installment in your series. Book #1 - Undiscovered Angel was Katrina (Kat) Shepard and Kassian McCallister's story. They had a strong supporting cast of characters so logically two of those amazing people get their story in book #2. Can you share who they are? 

This is Callista McAllister and Luca Fiorelli's story!

Can a ghost from his past be his promise of a future?

Would you treat us to the blurb and a small excerpt to whet our appetites for more?

Happy to share both. Thank you, Jan!


Earthbound angel Callista McAllister is finally free from over a century of captivity when everyone believed her dead. Now she struggles to adapt to a world that has moved on without her and a man she's never forgotten. Defensori Luca Fiorelli's icy detachment is legendary; a trait valued by his allies and feared by his enemies. But Luca's cold facade is a disguise he wears to hide his fear of trusting in love. She was once like a sister, but now that Calli is back, Luca realizes his feelings for her are anything but fraternal. Luca believes that love is simply a precursor to loss. Is Callista the woman who can change his mind?


     "You're up early," Luca observed, once Piero was on his way to the hospital and he finally stepped inside and closed the door. He helped himself to an espresso from the pot still simmering on the stovetop. It was already half empty. Callista had obviously been up for a while.
     "You're up late," she snapped back sinking into her chair and pushing the box of baked goods toward him.
     Luca shrugged, flipped open the box, and snagged a cornetto before dropping into the chair opposite her and stretching his legs out in front of him. He took a nip of the strong, fragrant coffee and sneaked a glance at Callista from under his lashes. The threat of tears had passed, but it was impossible to miss the dark purple smudges beneath her thickly fringed blue eyes and the dampness spiking her lashes. Since they'd come to Rome, he'd heard her cry out in her sleep more than once. He also frequently heard her walking the floors well into the morning hours. Maybe he'd been a little hard on her earlier, but she needed to start using her head.
     Her eyes darted to his face in surprise then narrowed.
     "I assume you're asking if nightmares are the reason I'm up so early. I'm merely asking if a trollop is the reason you're up so late."

You can continue reading Callista and Luca's story here --


The Wild Rose Press:

About Sharon...

Sharon Saracino resides in the anthracite coal country of Pennsylvania with her long suffering husband, funny and talented son, and two insane dogs. When she is not reading, writing, or enjoying photography and genealogy, she brews limoncello, dreams of living in Italy and works as a Certified Registered Rehabilitation Nurse.

You can friend and follow Sharon here...




Twitter:  @SharonSaracino

Thursday, December 4, 2014

'Not a partridge in a pear tree kind of girl...'

Sometimes finding out who you are and what you need to make you happy entails stepping out of your comfort zone. For Cassie Newman, she had to take a giant step -- from Los Angeles, California (population: 10 million) to Woodstock, Vermont (population: around 3000).


Born to free-spirited, convention-shucking parents, Cassie Newman thirsts for normal. Leaving L.A. with a secret, she finds herself in Woodstock, Vermont - a town rich with Christmas tradition. She's not big on Christmas but Woodstock feels like the perfect fit. Landing a job with Stennett's Hardware, she tries to forget the world she knew, but Luke Stennett's small-town charm makes her even more aware of the life she never had.

Luke Stennett has his hands full with running the store and caring for his dad. He's attracted to Cassie but he doesn't have time for a relationship. Things are starting to go right but he harbors a secret of his own that has the potential to turn everything upside down.

Once their secrets are revealed, will it kill the chemistry and send Cassie back to L.A.? Or will she fight for her happiness and stay firmly planted in a place big on Christmas?

Opening scene:  (snippet)

     “I’m not a ‘partridge in a pear tree’ kind of girl. I don't do tinsel. Or twinkle lights. And eggnog makes me barf." Cassie Newman bit down on her bottom lip when her boss raised a dark, bushy eyebrow.
     “Grinchin’, are we?” Luke Stennett stacked another box next to the counter.
     “I’m not being grinchy. I just can’t wrap my head around eggnog.” Cassie shuddered for effect. “Who came up with that concoction anyway? Did someone at a party say, ‘Hey, why don’t we throw a few eggs in the rum and see what it tastes like?’”
     “It also has cloves, vanilla, cinnamon… Never
mind. We’re more about wassail than eggnog anyway. So you’re safe.”
     “Doesn't the traditional recipe for wassail include eggs?”
     Luke gave her a who-are-you look, and Cassie
pressed her lips together to stifle a grin. She was
Cassandra Rosalyn Newman from L.A, according to her resume. The part about California was completely true. 

Side note:

Cassie knows the meaning of Christmas but she doesn't get the excessive hoopla associated with the holiday. She also doesn't get why everyone in Woodstock wants a white Christmas. Will she get an epiphany?

Wishing you all a joyous CHRISTMAS filled with love and peace!

~ Jan


Monday, December 1, 2014

An interview with Cindy Davis!

It's my pleasure to welcome fellow author and friend, Cindy Davis, to my blog.

Cindy Davis

A little bit about Cindy:

Cindy comes to us from The Granite State - New Hampshire, where she puts her love for the written word in the form of mystery. When she's not spinning stories for us to read, she's ferociously editing those we write. She's definitely a multi-tasker as an author, freelance editor for The Wild Rose Press, and has her own editing side business known as The Fiction Doctor.

So settle in with a cup of coffee, tea, or beverage of choice, while I grill (I mean...ask) Cindy about her fascinating and busy life.

Cindy, a big part of your life revolves around writing and editing, so you obviously have loved books forever. Is there anyone or anything that influenced this amazing passion?

I have always been an avid reader. I think I cut my teeth on the Bobbsey Twins. I graduated to Nancy Drew and then Agatha Christie. At one point, I owned all her books.

Being a professional in the industry, do you completely outline your story beforehand or are you a chapter-by-chapter writer? If you outline, did that structure automatically fall into place or did it develop over time?

I like to outline. It's very rough and subject to change, but it gives me a layout for the clues and specific timelines in the story. My plots tend to be kind of complicated - two or three plots woven together - so it's easier for me to keep things straight. Because things are subject to change, I do though, only outline a few chapters ahead.

Your genre is mainly suspense and intrigue. Have you written in any other genre?

I think I've tried them all. My first paying job was as a contributor to a local magazine doing interviews and historical themes. Next job was a weekly column for a local newspaper, an Erma Bombeck style look at raising children. I co-authored a YA fantasy trilogy. I wrote a 5 book MR adventure series. And a very well accepted non-fiction compilation of hikes in southern New Hampshire. I think I finally found my niche in mystery/suspense though. Phew!

You've recently released, A Lethal Dose of Love. Can you tell us a little bit about the book?

Lethal Dose, as readers will learn in the dedication, had a very auspicious beginning. We were in our motorhome traveling toward lake Ontario in upstate New York. I spotted the Welcome to Sackets Harbor sign. In that flash - the single nanosecond, an idea came to me. In four days I had the entire outline completed. Special note:  Lethal Dose of Love will be free from Dec. 5th to the 7th.

Would you like to share with us any books from your backlist? Or comment on any series you have?

I am quite proud of a brand new series -- Smith and Westen Mysteries. The object was to combine a truly mismatched couple in high-end insurance investigations, finding objects other investigators failed at. The result of the first book, On The Hook, I hope is humorous and fast-moving. Book 2, Just Smashing, has just received a contract. Book 3, Bank on It, is in the works.

Here's the blurb and a small excerpt from On the Hook...


A Picasso painting, worth a hundred million dollars, disappears en route from Chicago to New Hampshire. En route is to be taken literally because it happens while the truck is moving. The painting is there, then it's not. It's gone, but it can't be.

Kendra Jean Valentine, underwriting agent for the policy, is on the hook. She scrapes together enough to hire two women to work the case.

Westen Hughes owns a failing pet shop. With creditors phoning daily, she jumps at the chance to earn a bundle of easy money, even though the offer comes from high school nemeis KJ Valentine, who stole everything in high school: head cheerleader, homecoming queen and the star quarterback.

KJ pairs her with Westen's total opposite: Phoebe Smith, a snake-loving, underwear-hating, tuba player with more baggage than Logan Airport.

Ten percent of a hundred million is...well, it's a lot so Smith and Westen join forces on a rollercoaster ride to find one of the world's most valuable paintings.


     Kendra Jean Valentine's eyes were burning and her back was aching. Not to mention she was about to have a pee-gasm. Nine hours of staring at the rear end of a semi can do that to a person. Her entire reputation was wrapped up in the contents of that twenty-foot trailer. If anything happened to it she hated to think what her future would look like. Worst case: she'd end up in jail; lesser case, she'd have to pay back the insurance companies. No problem -- at her current salary, repaying a hundred million dollars would only take two or three centuries.

     "What are you laughing at?" asked Theo, one of the guards helping with the transport. 


     "You laughed. I wondered what was so funny."

     "Nothing. I am so glad this trip is almost over." They'd stopped at an intersection less than a block from the Concord Art Museum.

     "Just a minute more."

     "Good thing. The curator's got to be freaking out. We're almost an hour behind schedule."

     "You couldn't predict there'd be an accident on the highway."

     Up ahead, the left blinker of the big truck came on, flashing red inside their car. As he'd done all day, Theo kept their car within twenty feet of the trailer as it turned into the driveway of the art museum and maneuvered down a graded lot and around the building. "Hey Phil," Theo called to a second guard dozing in the back seat. "Rise and shine."

     For the first time since leaving Buffalo, KJ lost sight of the doors of the trailer as the truck swung forward, stopped, then eased back to the loading dock. She'd said she was glad the trip was over. He had no comprehension of how glad. This was the first thing she'd done entirely on her own -- that she'd dared to do. Pretty sad when you think about it -- taking thirty-eight years to grow some balls.  

When the words all start to run together, it's time to take a break. What do you like to do to disconnect for a while?

I love gardening, anything physical that gets me away from the desk. I tend to work long hours. I spend a lot of time with my two daughters and granddaughters who live nearby. I love knitting and crocheting, though admittedly I've run out of drawer space for my sweaters. The good news -- I've lost 22 pounds and a few of the sweaters are way too big. They have found a new home so I have room for more...

If you could go any place in the world to recharge your batteries, where would it be?

One place is Italy -- Florence, Tuscany area. A friend and I are actually doing it in July! Can't wait. I'd also like to spend a week (or a lifetime) in a cottage overlooking a nice, warm ocean. That's the last thing on my bucket list.

Thank you so much for being my guest, Cindy! Wishing you tons of success with your career and I can't wait to hear about your travels to Italy. Keep writing, my friend!

You can connect and follow Cindy here:

Website: or




Amazon author page:

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Lisette Brodey and Desert Star!

Welcome to my blog, Lisette! It's been a while since you've been here so catch us up to what's going on in your world!

Lisette Brodey

Hi, Jan,

Thanks so much for having me as a guest on your blog again. First, congratulations on your latest book, Taming Tori, in the Texas Boys Falling Fast series.

Aside from writing, I'm always busy at my writers' chateau. I've interviewed some fabulous authors of books in various genres, and a few of them have written some interesting guest blogs. I enjoy the in-depth conversations I have with both indie and mainstream authors about writing, research, publishing, promotion, creativity, and life in general.

You've just released book #2 in your Desert series. Can you tell us a little bit about it?

Desert Star is book 2 in my YA paranormal trilogy. Like book 1, Mystical High, it is set in Mystekal, a small town in the southern California desert. As in all of my books, there is more than just one story going on, though each enhances the other. For the sake of brevity, I can tell you that the main story is that of Larsen Davis, a 17-y/o senior who is not only being bullied at school for being gay, but also at home by his own mother, Raylene. When classmate River Dalworth witnesses the abuse and intervenes, the two seniors become good friends.

When Larsen meets River's mother, Arielle, and learns she is overseeing the renovation of the Desert Theater, he shares his dream for a career on stage. Soon, Arielle offers Larsen a job as her assistant, but his mother, Raylene, is dead set against the idea of her son doing what she considers "gay work." After Raylene gets a new boyfriend, Reggie, the bad situation at home worsens and Larsen has no choice but to leave.

Now working at the Desert Theater, Larsen feels the unearthly presence of someone in the long-abandoned theater. Meanwhile, as the theater nears completion, a talent show is scheduled for opening night. As it becomes more evident that the theater may have a ghost, it also comes to light that someone may be sabotaging the renovation and the show. Is the ghost real or just the handiwork of someone with a grudge?

Opening night at the Desert Theater sets the stage for a crime, never-imagined reunions, long-awaited explanations, and otherworldly miracles.


     River was just leaving school for the day when Gina caught up to him. "Hi there, River."

     "Oh, hi, Gina."

     "I was just wondering..."

     "What? If I'm as good-looking close up as I am from a distance?"

     Gina giggled. "Well, maybe."

     Just as River was about to respond, Larsen appeared at his side. "Sorry to interrupt. I was wondering if I could speak to you for a minute. Before you head home."

     Gina looked disappointed. "Guess I'll talk to you another time, River."

     "Sure thing." River turned to Larsen as Gina walked away. "Let's go outside and hang a left. I think they spray for bullies there."

     "Ha! I think they do. Thanks, Riv."

     As soon as they walked around to the side of the school, Larsen leaned against the wall and exhaled. "Man, it's been a bad day."

     "I'm really sorry about Jax and Antonio."

     "They cornered me right after Ms. Carrow's class."

     "Sucks, dude. Sorry I wasn't there."

     "Listen, River. I wanted to thank you for standing up for me. People rarely do. I wasn't so sure Jax wasn't going to punch you out."

     "I wasn't worried."

     "I really appreciate what you did. I just don't want you to get caught up in my nightmare."

     River shook his head. "No. It's everyone's nightmare when nobody stops bullies."

     "I sure wish more people felt like you did. Wish they had your courage. I should be able to stop them without any help."

     "Reinhardt's a big guy. Antonio is a body builder. We all need a little help now and then. Just try to go home and chillax."

     Larsen looked down and kicked the dirt. "Home. That's a joke. I'm gonna tell you something, Riv, because I know I can trust you." 

     "You can. What's up?"

     "Let's just say that being at school is better than being at home most of the time. And considering I've got two jerks bullying me, that doesn't say much, does it?"

      River looked dumbfounded. "School is better than home? What's going on?"

     "I've got a mother who's the biggest bully of them all."

     "Your mom bullies you for being gay?"

     "That's about right."

Mystical High - Book #1 in the Desert series

Are you working on book #3 in the series? Care to share a few tidbits?

Yes, I am. I'm notoriously closemouthed in talking about details of my novels that aren't finished or published, but I can tell you that book 3 will be the most romance-oriented book of the series.

With the publishing world recreating itself, as a seasoned author, do you have any words of wisdom for aspiring authors?

Well, Jan, there's a lot I could say on this topic, but I'll just keep it to three pieces of advice.

1.  Write what you are passionate about, not what someone else tells you could be a "hot seller."

2.  Take your time to write and rewrite. If you rush to self-publish or prematurely submit to an agent, you'll regret it. Very likely, you wouldn't take a half-cooked meal out of the oven before it was finished just because you were hungry so don't do the same with your book.

3.  Have your book professionally edited. That said, anyone can call him or herself an editor and not have the skills to back it up. Be sure to read something that person has edited and have a small bit of your work edited so that you can see if it's a good match. Check out the person's credentials carefully. Simply having a friend or family member who is "good with English" isn't the same thing as having a qualified, experienced editor.

Thanks again for having me as your guest, Jan. It's been great!

It's always a joy to have you here, Lisette! Come back anytime.

Lisette's writing buddy, Bentley! 

You can follow Lisette here...





Amazon Author Page:

Monday, November 24, 2014


I'm so tickled and honored to be part of The Wild Rose Press's Twelve Brides of Christmas series!!

My part of the series is titled, BIG ON CHRISTMAS!!

Here's the blurb:

Born to free-spirited, convention-shucking parents, Cassie Newman thirsts for normal. Leaving L.A. with a secret, she finds herself in Woodstock, Vermont - a town rich with Christmas tradition. She's not big on Christmas but Woodstock feels like the perfect fit. Landing a job with Stennett's Hardware, she tries to forget the world she knew, but Luke Stennett's small-town charm makes her even more aware of the life she never had.

Luke Stennett has his hands full with running the store and caring for his dad. He's attracted to Cassie but he doesn't have time for a relationship. Things are starting to go right but he harbors a secret of his own that has the potential to turn everything upside down. 

Once their secrets are revealed, will it kill the chemistry and send Cassie back to L.A.? Or will she fight for her happiness and stay firmly planted in a place big on Christmas?

To celebrate, I'm giving away some prizes.  Everyone is eligible to participate. All you have to do to be entered in the drawings is to leave a comment below. Winning names will be drawn on Wednesday morning (Nov. 26th) at 9:00 a.m. (EST) 

Here are the prizes to be given away: 

2 - $10 Amazon Gift cards
2 - Necklaces that I bought in Tennessee this summer especially for this drawing
1 - Sonomo Necklace
1 - Origami Necklace

* Every winner will also get a box of chai tea. Why? Because I'm silly that way and because my heroine in the story, Cassie Newman, drinks chai.

Good luck to all of you!



Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Celebrating the release of TAMING TORI with some great prizes!

At my age it isn't wise to do cartwheels and somersaults, so I'll just have to loudly shout, "Woohoo!" 

Today, TAMING TORI (Book #3 in my Texas Boys Falling Fast series - Jake's story) is officially released! 

To celebrate I'm giving away some awesome prizes! All you have to do for a chance to win, is leave a comment here or on Facebook. I will draw the winning names on Saturday, November 1st at noon (EST).   

3 - $10 Amazon gift cards
2 - $15 Subway gift cards
1 - pair of Monet sparkly earrings
1 - pair of Lia Sophia twinkle earrings

Blurb for Taming Tori:

Jake Garrison is an all-around nice guy who tries to stay out of the limelight despite being considered one of Dallas's most eligible and wealthy bachelors. He's down-to-earth and a quiet people-pleaser until someone pushes his buttons. Tori Caye not only pushes his buttons, she pulls him into her special kind of chaos with tears and those sexy amber eyes.

Tori Caye is a mean-girl debutante whose sense of entitlement exhausts even those close to her. After her fiance of two years calls off their engagement, she throws herself into the arms of Jake Garrison and tries to manipulate him while trying to maintain her uppity disposition.

The attraction between Jake and Tori is off-the-charts, but it's game-on when he thinks he can tame Tori and when Tori tries to bend him to her will. 

** Jake and Tori's story was fun to write, although I have to admit to some hair-pulling moments. In my mind, Jake's character was solid; Tori's not so much. She was a handful! In their story, Tori starts out as someone you'd like to put in a headlock or trip as she walks by. Slowly, she redeems herself. But...don't expect a complete transformation because she is who she is. When you're born with a silver spoon in your mouth and treated like royalty from birth, realistically, you're only going to change so much.** 


My website: 


Wednesday, October 8, 2014

I've got to hand it to you...

I've wanted to do a blog post for a while on Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. With my hands a little stressed from finishing my latest novel, TAMING TORI (book #3 in my Texas Boys Falling Fast series), I thought now would be a good time.

 (Hand model, Kerri Unverferth-Romes)

We use our hands all day, every day. Sometimes the things we do are repetitive, which puts us at greater risk for CTS. 

You can reduce your risk by taking a few simple steps.

1. Exercise keeps our muscles strong.

2. Stretching keeps our muscles flexible.

3. Arrange your work space to be more ergonomic.

4. Proper body mechanics. Don't slouch. If your shoulders roll forward you can compress nerves in your neck which can affect your arms, wrists, and hands.

5. Take frequent breaks. 

6. Relax your grip. 

7. Slowly roll your wrist 10 times in each direction. (You might feel a slight popping) This will help put mobility and circulation back in your wrist.

8. Use one hand to gently pull your fingers back on the other hand - not to the point they hurt.

9. Press your hand down to a 90 degree angle - again, not to the point it hurts.

10.) If you use a keyboard keep it at elbow height or slightly lower.

(A more aged hand, belonging to

Signs of possible carpal tunnel syndrome -- tingling, numbness, weakness or pain in the fingers, thumb, or hand and occasionally spreading up the arm. These symptoms occur where there is pressure on the median nerve. 

Sometimes the symptoms are temporary. If they linger, see your doctor to prevent permanent damage.

Be kind to your hands and wrists by giving them a break from time to time! 

** disclaimer -- I'm in no way associated with the medical community. The information in this post are tidbits I've collected either through reading or conversations. ** 

Coming soon!


Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Cover reveal for BIG ON CHRISTMAS!

Drum roll...

Cover reveal for -- BIG ON CHRISTMAS!

(Coming 11-24-14)

BIG ON CHRISTMAS was chosen to be part of The Wild Rose Press's - Twelve Brides of Christmas series. 

Here's the blurb for my book:

Born to free-spirited, convention-shucking parents, Cassie Newman thirsts for normal. Leaving L.A. with a secret, she finds herself in Woodstock, Vermont - a town rich with Christmas tradition. She's not big on Christmas but Woodstock feels like the perfect fit. Landing a job with Stennett's Hardware, she tries to forget the world she knew, but Luke's small-town charm makes her even more aware of the life she never had. 

Luke Stennett has his hands full with running the store and caring for his dad. He's attracted to Cassie but he doesn't have time for a relationship. Things are starting to go right but he harbors a secret of his own that has the potential to turn everything upside down.

Once their secrets are revealed, will it kill the chemistry and send Cassie back to L.A.? Or will she fight for her happiness and stay firmly planted in a place big on Christmas? 

* ~ * ~ *

You can follow the releases of the books in this series at:

Facebook --


Wednesday, September 3, 2014

To be rich...


What's it like to be rich? Not just comfortably wealthy, filthy rich! I'll never know but I can imagine. Today, while working on book #3 in my Texas Boys Falling Fast series -- Taming Tori (Jake's story) -- I was in my heroine's head. Or at least I tried to be. Victoria "Tori" Caye is a spoiled fragrance heiress that hasn't wanted for anything in her life. Whatever she wants she gets. 

Time to 'fess up! I've struggled with Tori's character from the get-go. I'm not sure if it's because she's so well-to-do that I can't relate, or because I can't fathom someone acting so badly. Believe me, she's a real treat. 

This brings me to what the experts say about writing -- write what you know. I agree with that advice, to a point. If I only wrote what I knew, I'd never get enough words written to equal a novella much less a full length novel. Since I'm not rich (far from it) and never have been, (I used to be dirt-freaking-poor) should I shy away from writing about those fortunate enough to be considered well-to-do or affluent? No siree-bob! I consider it a challenge. Has it given me a few grey hairs? Yep. But that's okay. I'm old(ish) so grey hairs are fast becoming the norm.

I digress. 

Anyway, back to being distracted by Tori's character. She had me so twisted inside I wanted to cuss. (Hard to believe, but yes, a cuss word or two has been known to slip out) Instead of cussing, however, I took a walk around our pond. Water seems to have a calming effect. A few laps around relaxed me. Thoughts began to zing through my brain so fast I was afraid I'd forget half of them before I made it back in the house. 

After tapping the keys for awhile, I wandered back outside. This time, I cut some flowers from by beds and snipped a few colorful weeds from the ditch on the north side of the house. And voila! This is what I came up with. (Did I mention that flower-arranging isn't my forte?) 

Too bad this isn't a scratch-n-sniff picture because there are sprigs of spearmint in the arrangement!

In the midst of jamming those beautiful flowers and weeds into the pot, I was struck by a profound thought -- I have a good life. A comfortable home, albeit nothing fancy. A pond to walk around to refresh my mind and soul. Flowers to admire. An awesome family. Great friends. And a partridge in a pear tree. (Okay I threw that last line in to see if you were still awake) What I'm trying to say is, I may not be rich dollar-wise but in the big scheme of things, I'm rich beyond measure. Soooo...I guess I can write what I know!

I found new inspiration just by backing away from my work-in-progress for a little bit. I feel that I now have a solid grasp on Tori's character! I'm eager to finish Jake and Tori's story so I can share it with you.

Taming Tori will be published later this month. If you read it, please let me know how I did with Tori? (any and all thoughts are welcome) 

For those of you who write, where do you go when you need to sort out stubborn characters or things in your story that drive you wonky?

Random thought:  If Martha Stewart, Barbara Corcoran, Donald Trump, or Warren Buffett is reading this post (yeah right), I'd love to hang out with you. You know, for research. (A girl can dream)

Thanks for popping in to read my ramblings!

Until next time...


~ Jan


Thursday, August 28, 2014

Ice water, baby!

I took the ALS ice bucket challenge to help raise awareness of the horrible disease.

For those who don't know, ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease) is a disease of the brain and nerves which affects the spinal cord and muscles. The nerve cells waste away and die, thus they cannot send signals to those muscles we normally have control over. When the chest muscles stop working, it becomes impossible to breathe. I became aware of ALS when a member of our community fought hard and lost the battle. Since then, I've learned that more and more people are afflicted and to my knowledge there is still no cure.

May all those participating in the ALS ice bucket challenge and those donating to the cause, bring attention to this disease and help those suffering. 

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Undiscovered Angel by Sharon Saracino (Book #1 - Earthbound series)


It's a pleasure to welcome gifted author, Sharon Saracino to my blog with an interview. She's a sweet friend who writes awesome stories. Grab a cup of coffee, tea, or whatever you consider nectar of the gods and settle in to learn more about this talented author. *Psst! We're also going to help her celebrate the release of her new book -- UNDISCOVERED ANGEL*

~~ ** ~~

Happy to have you here, Sharon! Would you like to share your bio and then tell us something we would be surprised to know? (Folks, you'll be able to say you heard it here first *grins*)

First of all, thanks so much for having me, Jan! It's always such fun to visit with you!, I was born and raised in the anthracite coal region of Pennyslvania and I still reside there with my long suffering husband, funny and talented son, and two insane dogs. When I'm not reading, writing, or enjoying photography and genealogy, I brew my own limoncello, dream of moving to Italy, and work as a Certified Registered Rehabilitation Nurse. I plan on winning the lottery just as soon as I remember to buy a ticket! (although I'm pretty sure that surprises no one!)

How would you define your writing style? What genre is your specialty?

I'm not sure I actually have a writing style. Does flying-by-the-seat-of-my-pants count as a writing style? I write primarily romance, usually with a touch of the supernatural or paranormal thrown in.

When you're laying the groundwork for your stories, do you outline or make notes that will lead you from beginning to end? Do you research details ahead of time or as your story grows?

I don't outline at all. Please reference the above flying-by-the-seat-of-my-pants response. I usually start with a character who's floating around in my head...sometimes the germ of an idea with absolutely nothing fleshed out...and occasionally, even just a single line that strikes a chord. As for research, it really depends, though usually I research as the story grows since I generally have no idea where I'm going until I actually get there.

Setting is so important. It puts the reader right there with the characters. You've chosen Italy as a big part of your Earthbound series. The city of Rome figures prominently in the second book, Angel Unbound. Italy is known as the Land of Love. You've been there and are scheduled to return later this year. Can you tell us what you love most about Italy.

The food. Seriously. But also, it's a completely different pace there, a true sense of la Dolce Vita. And the history! I've always been a history nerd and would love to write a historical some day. Italy in general, and Rome in particular, exudes such a sense of what's come before, so much of the past still existing in the present, all layered and melded and co-existing everywhere you look. Not to mention the beauty of the language. Let's face it, a tall, dark, and handsome Italian can be explaining how to clean a sewer, but in Italian? Even that sounds romantic!

I've read your work and I have to say that you have a keen sense of your characters. Tell us a little bit about UNDISCOVERED ANGEL and introduce your characters.

Thank you so much! I've always been fascinated by the unsolved nature of Jack the Ripper murders and the many theories as to who he might have been. Then I wondered, what if the murders had never been solved because Jack the Ripper wasn't even human.

Undiscovered Angel (Book #1 in my Earthbound series) is the story of Katrina Shepard, a woman with psychic and empathic abilities who's struggled her entire life with powers she doesn't understand. She spends most of her time alone, preferring solitude to the constant battering from the pain and emotions of others.

Kassian McAllister is a wealthy publishing tycoon who also happens to be an Earthbound angel, with inexplicable powers of his own. He's hardly looking for a relationship. The only thing he is looking for is Jack the Ripper, an evil Fallen who murdered his sister over a century ago.

At a party she reluctantly attends in honor of her best friend, Kat intercepts the malevolent energy of a woman's murder, and Kassian is compelled to act, forcing her under his protection. Kat awakens emotions he thought long dead and as they grow closer, he struggles with his sense of responsibility and she discovers an unexpected truth about herself and a chance for belonging she has always craved.

But Jake the Ripper is still out there, and Kat has now become the ideal target.

What is your tagline for Undiscovered Angel?

Tormented by guilt, consumed with vengeance, will the arms of an angel be enough to save him?

Care to share a snippet to whet our appetites for more?

"Look, I'll make a deal with you." He knew they were attracting more attention than he'd intended, but Kassian found it inordinately refreshing to have a woman up in his face instead of falling at his feet. "You stop trying to get into my head and I'll stop trying to get into yours and we'll just agree to have a nice, normal conversation."

"Why?" She regarded him with narrowed eyes.

"Why? What do you mean, why?" Had she looked in a mirror recently? Why would she think he was any different than the next poor schmuck? Not to mention the telepathy thing and the fact that she'd actually tried to read him; that would have guaranteed his interest even if she looked like Janet Reno. She was obviously uncomfortable with her abilities. He found himself not only moderately entertained, but unwillingly curious. 

"I mean, why would you want to have a nice, normal conversation with me? There are plenty of people here tripping all over themselves to get your attention. You don't even know me. I'm sorry if I'm being rude, but honestly, I was getting ready to leave when you came over. Did you want something?"

His eyes did a quick once-over, missing nothing. Hell, yeah, he wanted something, but he knew instinctively that she wasn't the anonymous-quickie-in-a-bathroom-stall type. He could have any woman in the room. That wasn't conceit talking, it was just a fact, a fact about as impressive to him as dry toast. And the only woman in the room he found remotely interesting was wishing she was anywhere but here with him. She wasn't flirting or making any effort to impress him. He suspected she would be more relieved than disappointed if he walked away right now. It was a completely new experience for him. And given his extensive experience that was saying something. She rubbed her forehead as though she was in pain. He wondered if trying to hold her shields securely while engaging in verbal repartee with him in a crowd was causing her discomfort. Maybe he should tell her to relax? She really wasn't blocking him very well anyway.

"Why were you leaving? Do you have to be somewhere?"

He surreptitiously glanced at her left hand. Katrina Shepard had piqued more than his physical interest, although she was certainly no slouch in that area. He couldn't remember the last time a woman had done that. He wasn't quite ready to relinquish her company to whoever might be waiting for her at home. After all, they were simply conversing in a public place; it should be harmless enough. 

"No," she replied levelly, "and please don't take it personally, I don't really care for crowds. I only came for Elle's sake, and only planned to stay for a short time."

Kat rubbed her forehead again. He hadn't intended to make her uncomfortable; well, not physically at any rate. He was about to withdraw when he hesitated. Her mind suddenly descended into turmoil, her thoughts becoming increasingly scattered and disjointed. He realized it was more than trading banter with him, more than the crowd.

Something was wrong.

~~ ** ~~

It's been a joy having you here today, Sharon! Come back anytime and keep writing those incredible stories. Wishing you much success with UNDISCOVERED ANGEL and the rest of your Earthbound series.

I also wanted to congratulate you on your Max Logan series. Your female character in that series -- Maxine Logan -- is a snarky, refreshing, take-no-prisoners kind of gal that I enjoyed reading so much in:  Death Benefits and again in, Life After Death. I'm anxiously awaiting book #3, Smitten with Death.

Love your books and your characters!  

Thank you so much for having me, Jan! It's always a blast coming over to hang out with you and your readers!

Easy buy links for Undiscovered Angel:

Wild Rose Press


Barnes and Noble

You can follow Sharon here:

Twitter - @SharonSaracino

Blog -

Website -

Goodreads - https;//

Amazon Author Page -

Newsletter -