More of those Scandalous Copelands!

In between celebrating my fifth wedding anniversary, and helping my middle son with his college applications, I’ve been trying to finisn the revisions on my next Harlequin Presents, which is Logan and Rowan’s story, the third and possibly final story, in my Disgraced Copelands series.

Logan and Rowan’s story hasn’t been scheduled yet, nor is there a cover, but I thought I’d let you see the world I use when creating.  Like so many authors today, I rely on Pinterest to help me world build, (check out my board) and then I also still use good old-fashioned bulletin boards, printing out pictures, layering in text and sometimes maps, or even color swatches to help inspire me when I’m writing.   This story features an American socialite and a Greek-Irish hero and I loved the setting…can you guess where much of the story is set by the pictures I’ve pinned?

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And here’s a quick sneak peek excerpt from Rowan and Logan’s story:

“Check your phone,” a deep, rough, impatient male voice echoed, this one most definitely not Joe’s.

           8b9ae725adaa4adcf996349ef87c2935 Logan turned swiftly, eyes widening as her gaze locked with Rowan Argyros’.  His green gaze was icy and contemptuous and so very dismissive.

            She lifted her chin, her press of lips hiding her anger and rush of panic.  If Rowan Argyros—her biggest regret, and worst mistake—was here, it could only mean one thing, because he wouldn’t be here by choice.  He’d made it brutally clear three years ago what he thought of her.

            But she didn’t want to think about that night, or the day after, or the weeks and months after….

            Better to keep from thinking at all, because Rowan would use it against her.  More ammunition.  And the last thing a former military commander needs is more ammunition.

            He didn’t look military standing before her.  Nor had he looked remotely authoritative the night she met him at the Bachelor Auction fundraiser to benefit children in war torn countries in need of prosthetics.  He’d been a bachelor.  She’d helped organize the event.  Women were bidding like mad.  He would go for a fortune.  She didn’t have a fortune, but when he looked at her where she stood off to the side, watching, she felt everything in her shift and heat.  Her face burned.  She burned and his light, green gaze remained on her, as the bidding went up, and up, and up.

            She bought him.  Correction: she bought one night with him.

            jp4And it only costs thousands and thousands of dollars. 

            The remorse had hit her the moment the auctioneer had shouted victoriously, “Sold to Logan Lane!”

            The intense remorse made her nauseous.  She couldn’t believe what she’d done. She’d filled an entire credit card, maxing it out in a flash for one night with a stranger.

She didn’t even know then what Dunamas Maritime was.  Insurance for yachts?  Ship builder?  Cargo exporter?

            He knew that, too, from his faint mocking smile.  He knew why she’d bought him.

            She’d bought him for his intense male energy.  She’d bought his confidence and the fact that of all the attractive men being auctioned, he was by far the most primal.  The most sexual.

            She’d bought him because he was tall and broad shouldered and had a face that rivaled the most beautiful male models in the world.

            She’d bought him because she couldn’t resist him.  But she hadn’t been the only one.  The bidding had been fierce and competitive and no wonder.  He was gorgeous with his deep tan, and long, dark hair—sun streaked hair—and his light arresting eyes framed by black lashes.  There was something so very compelling about him that you couldn’t look away.  And so she didn’t.  She watched him, and wanted him. Like every other woman at the charity event.

           jp5 They’d all looked, and wanted.  And many had bid, but she was the one who’d bid the longest, and bid the highest, and when the heart-pounding bidding frenzy was over, she came out the victor.

            The winner.

            And so from across the room that night he looked at her, his mysterious light hazel eyes holding hers, the corner of his mouth lifting, acknowledging her victory.  Looking back she recognized the smile for what it was—mockery. 

            He’d dared her to bid, and she had, proving how weak she was.  Proving to him how easily manipulated.

            By morning he would hate her, scorning her weakness.  Scorning her name.

           jp3 But that hadn’t happened yet.  That wouldn’t happen until he’d taken her again and again, making her scream his name as she climaxed once, twice, and then after a short sleep, two more times before walking out the door the next morning.

            The sex had been hot, so hot, and so intense, and so deeply satisfying.  With anyone else it might have felt dirty, but it hadn’t been with him.  It’d just felt real.  And right.

            But she did feel dirty, later, once he’d discovered she wasn’t Logan Lane, but Logan Lane Copeland, and the shaming began.

Speaking of the Copelands, have you read the other books in the series?

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Do you have a favorite couple?  And if you haven’t read my Copelands, what are you reading now?  Share with me and you’ll be entered to win a fun Harlequin Presents themed prize filled with signed books, a Starbucks gift card, and reader treats!  Contest ends on Saturday with winner announced Sunday!

Weekend Plans and a Hawaii Treat!

It’s been a crazy week holed up in my office trying to get words down for my upcoming deadline at the end of this month but I have made some good progress.  I’ve been bribing myself with all sorts of rewards just to stay focused and the best reward is just around the corner – the chance to dive back into Lisa Kleypas’ Wallflower series (so, so good!) or, if I’ve killed it with my word count, a chance to watch one of my recorded reality shows like, ahem, Bachelor in Paradise–but ultimately the real reward will be some serious family time this weekend as Surfer Ty is finally returning to us in California after being in Hawaii all summer long! We’ve all missed Ty a lot and my little Mac is really excited to have dad home again as he is truly happiest when they’re together.

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What are you doing this weekend?  Any fun plans?  Talk to me.  Tell me what you’re up to and you’ll be entered to win a fun Hawaii treat!  Contest ends Sunday night with winner announced on Monday!

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Coming Soon – Another Harlequin Presents!

Sharing my newest newsletter in case it didn’t reach your inbox!

I’ve just returned from a week at a Colorado dude ranch with 46 members of my family. It was really fun and we were so busy that when I first came home all I wanted to do was nap for 2 days! I really do think we need vacations after a vacation!  Don’t you agree?

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Now I’m back at my desk, on deadline to finish writing a Harlequin by the end of the month, but I’m excited to share that my next Harlequin Presents, Bought to Carry His Heir, is now available for pre-order. It’s a Beauty and the Beast themed story (my favorite!) and the first Presents I’ve written in several years and I do hope you’ll like it!

Bought to Carry His Heir

Held captive… 
When Georgia Nielson is asked to be the surrogate for an enigmatic tycoon, she can’t afford to say no. Before she realizes that she’s struck a deal with the devil, she’s trapped on his isolated Greek island, with no escape from the brooding master who stalks its shores!

Carrying his child! 
Scarred by the loss of his wife, Nikos Panos’s future rests on leaving behind a legacy. But Georgia’s constant presence threatens to unleash the powerful hunger he’s kept caged for so long. If he wants defiant Georgia to submit, he must confront the demons that haunt him…

I’ll be sharing the cover soon, and one way to stay in the know, is by subscribing to my RSS feed for updated content such as special cover reveals, new excerpts, event info, or newly posted pre-order links (and of course: book extras & fun giveaways!).   As Facebook limits my visibility, it’s even more important that I can reach you, and so my awesome web team has designed a brand new feed on my site that will give you all the latest here: JanePorter.com Site News. The site news will be short bits of news and content updates, as they are posted to my home page and will be a very easy way to stay in touch.

I also want to thank you so much for subscribing to my newsletter, where I get to chat directly with readers. I adore you all!  The August edition just went out and I promised my readers a fun giveaway on my blog so here it is!  Join in the fun and leave a comment below.  You’ll automatically be entered to win this cool, western-themed prize.  Winner will be announced on the 15th of August!

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All grown up!

My little Mac is now 7, and I haven’t seen him in weeks but I’ll finally be with him Sunday. When I told him on the phone I really missed him yesterday and asked if he missed me, he said, “Mom, come on. I’m practically a teenager.”

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Don’t you just love the cute and funny things kids say?  🙂  Tell me a funny moment or memory about one of you kids below and you’ll be entered to win a fun prize!  Contest ends Sunday night with winner announced Monday.

 

The Lost Sheenan’s Bride – Release Day!

Today The Lost Sheenan’s Bride releases, and its a bittersweet day.  I confess, I put off writing The Lost Sheenan’s Bride for a long, long time.  It wasn’t because I didn’t like or know the story, but because I knew when it was finished, my The Taming of the Sheenans series would be complete, and it broke my heart a little bit.  These tough Montana brothers have been with me for three years now.  I started the first, Brock’s Christmas at Copper Mountain, late summer 2013, and here we are, summer of 2016 saying goodbye.

I love connected stories, especially stories about families.  My family is my world, and when I lost my dad at fifteen, it was my close relationship with my two brothers and sister that saw me through the loss and grief.  Whenever I write about family, there is struggle and challenge, as well as change.  Change is part of life.  We can’t avoid it.  Which is why I create strong families that might not always see eye to eye, but when the chips are down, they show up to support each other through good times and bad.

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Look for The Sheenans’s Lost Bride at these online retailers:
Amazon | iBooks | Amazon UK

Thankfully, endings also become beginnings, and with the closing of the Taming of the Sheenans, I introduce my new series, The Douglas Ranch of Paradise Valley.  From reading  The Taming of the Sheenans, you know the Sheenans and the Douglases lives are interwined.  They aren’t just neighbors, McKenna Douglas and Trey Sheenan were high school sweethearts and have a complicated relationship (The Kidnapped Christmas Bride), and now with the The Douglas Ranch of Paradise Valley, you’ll get the rest of the story, beginning December 1st with Away in Montana, a historical story that tells you about the first Douglas and how he came to be in Marietta.

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I love to hear from you.  Please drop me a note any time to jane@janeporter.com, and tell me what you think of my new story.  Also, if you haven’t yet, please sign up for my newsletter so you can hear about all my future releases.

And as you know, a new release is a celebration and every great celebration should have a great giveaway, and I have a wonderful prize packed full of Montana Born stories, and an awesome mug, and so much stuff the box will barely close–for one of you.  How to win?  Just comment below and let me know which of the Sheenan stories you’ve read.  The Lost Sheean’s Bride is #6…which ones have you read, and always the question…do you have a fav?

Thank you so very much for being part of my world.  I cherish each of you….you’re my reader but also my friend.  Sending you tons of love this weekend.  Happy summer!  Happy reading!

Jane

PS  I have to tell you….I kind of refuse to accept that this The Lost Sheenan’s Bride is really, truly the last Sheenan story…is there a reason we can’t have a prequel…or maybe, a Sheenan Family Christmas?  What about a Sheenan Carrigan Reunion?  Hmmm….? 🙂

 

Love Between the Covers

Four years ago, in August of 2012, I shared with you how much I loved the Kickstarter project, Love Between The Covers and all the wonderful work filmmaker, Laurie Kahn was doing on it.  For anyone who loves romance, be they writers, readers, librarians, booksellers or editors and agents, Love Between the Covers will make an impact as it reveals the global community of women who create and make these books so successful.

Today, I’m excited to tell you that this documentary will be available in 13 days and you can Pre-Order your copy now!  I hope you’ll check it out and here’s a quick clip:

Happy Father’s Day!

I know a lot of you don’t get my newsletters anymore due to spam filters, so I’m sharing my newsletter here AND adding a special giveaway for one of you!

Today is Mac’s last day of first grade and then, on Sunday, it’s Father’s Day! Where did time go? I began a book a few months ago, looked up, and now it’s mid- June. On Sunday we head to Hawaii for the summer so Ty can get back in the water. His surf school is always so busy during school holidays, and Mac can’t stand being apart from his dad, so we all pack up and travel together. I love Mac and Ty’s special bond. They are two peas in a pod!

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Speaking of wonderful fathers and Father’s Day, my romance about a single dad, Cormac Sheenan, is part of this fantastic Father’s Day Collection – available for a short time! If you’ve not had a chance to read A Christmas Miracle for Daisy, you’ll want to snag this collection featuring many of my favorite authors. And every story has a special father in it!

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Look for this Father’s Day Collection here:
AMAZON | B&N |iBOOKS | GOOGLE | KOBO

Having signed a new contract with Harlequin Presents and continuing with my books for Tule Publishing, I’ve been writing a lot this year! My sixth and final book in The Taming of the Sheenans series will be out on July 8th! You can pre-order The Lost Sheenan’s Bride now or pop over to my website to read an excerpt from Shane’s story.  If you love this series as much as I’ve loved writing it, then I can’t wait to hear what you think of the series conclusion.

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Pre-Order your copy of The Lost Sheenan’s Bride here:
AMAZON | iBOOKS | AMAZON UK

Writers and books need one thing, readers, and I need and appreciate you! If you are in the San Diego area in July, do consider attending the “Readers For Life” Literacy Autographing at the RWA National conference in San Diego on July 13, 2016. Hundreds of authors will be there with their most recent books and all sales go to the literacy efforts in the San Diego County. I’m one of the authors signing and I’d love to see you there!

literacyHave a wonderful Sunday. Sending you love. I hope you and your family have a great weekend together.

PS: I have a great Hawaii giveaway to celebrate summer.  Leave me a comment about your plans for this weekend and I’ll announce the winner on Tuesday!

 

The Scandalous Billionaires!

I love tycoons and I am a huge fan of gorgeous settings and this Scandalous Billionaires collection has it all…and even better, it’s written by five of my friends…and for just .99 for the next few days!

Here’s Eve Gaddy to tell us more about the stories:

Today I want to tell you about a very special project I’m proud to be part of. Scandalous Billionaires is a sizzling set of stories set on the Amalfi Coast. Four of my friends and I–Katherine Garbera, Mimi Wells, Nancy Robards Thompson, Kathleen O’Brien and Eve Gaddy– wanted to set our stories on a fictional island off the fabled Amalfi Coast. We decided that all our heroes were billionaires because, well, billionaires are hot. Ours certainly are.:) The setting is the fabulous Isola Del Sole at the Hotel dei Fiori and we gave our billionaires strong, feisty women to fall for. There’s a little bit of everything in the Scandalous Billionaires box set. Intrigue, deception, mistaken identities, and a lot of long, steamy nights!

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The Billionaire’s Temptation by Katherine Garbera

Rocco De Luca lives and loves in the fast lane. A past Formula 1 champ, he has been jetting around the world arranging celebrity charity races and partying with the world’s elite. Coming home to Isola del Fiori and filling in for his older brother for a few weeks sounds…well, boring. Until he meets Steffi Harlan.
Steffi Harlan is sophisticated, elegant, and way too smart to fall for a tanned chest and a bad-boy smile, or so she thinks, until she’s put in charge of keeping the jet-set playboy out of trouble while he’s gone. Sure, no problem. Except Steffi isn’t immune to Rocco’s charms.
They burn up the nights they spend together, and the last thing Steffi wants is to crash out and end up with a broken heart… Can they both survive love in the fast lane?

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The Billionaire’s Deception by Mimi Wells

After quitting her first “real” job, Janine Pike takes off for Europe, saving an excursion to the famed Isola del Sole for last. But when her travel-mates sail off with her backpack, phone, and passport after a night of partying, she’s left only with the euros in her pocket and the faint hope that her estranged half-sister, who works at the renowned Hotel Dei Fiori Isola del Sole, might help her.

Shel Myerson, amateur racecar driver and wildly successful TV mogul, oozes wealth and prestige. What he doesn’t have much of is privacy, thanks to a recent and ugly public breakup. What he doesn’t expect is to be mistaken as an employee by a very pretty—and very broke—Janine, the one person in Europe who also doesn’t have any idea who he is.

Shel and Janine discover their chemistry is combustible—but will their budding relationship survive the heat once the press catches on?

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The Billionaire’s Betrayal by Nancy Robards Thompson

As heir of Dei Fiori Enterprises, Matteo De Luca‘s single focus after his father’s untimely death is rebuilding his family legacy and hotel empire. After two years, he’s close to achieving his goal, but there’s one person standing in his way… A sexy distraction he’d never anticipated.

Two years after her beloved husband’s death, Helena Von Lienz knows it’s finally time to let go. With her share of a hotel business, Helena heads to the Amalfi Coast in search of closure, and a portrait created for her by her late husband. What she doesn’t anticipate to discover during those hot Amalfi nights are some unexpected truths about her late hubby, and a strong sensual shared desire with Matteo, the sexy and ambitious CEO of Dei Fiori…

Will mixing business with pleasure be the end, or just the beginning, for Matteo and Helena?

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The Billionaire’s Secret by Kathleen O’Brien

High School art teacher Sophie Smith is usually the most honest of women. But when her dearest friend and mentor asks her to be her stand-in on a two-week vacation at an Amalfi Coast luxury resort, she won’t let her down… even if it means posing as a rich, pampered socialite.

As it turns out, Sophie could get used to this, especially handsome, enigmatic gardener Declan Muldoon who’s strangely more thrilling than any of the billionaires buzzing around. She ends up falling for him—hard.

Then Sophie discovers she’s not the only one pretending. Declan’s gardener gig is temporary. He’s actually the black sheep of a very wealthy, powerful family, a man who appears to be in need of an heiress.

An heiress exactly like Sophie is pretending to be…

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The Billionaire’s Charade by Eve Gaddy

Summer St. Croix hates weddings. But when she meets hot-as-sin Luke Vanetti at her oldest friend’s ceremony, he promises to give her a reason to like them.

It’s all sexy fun and games until Summer realizes that Luke is none other than her new boss. Summer refuses to continue to have a fling with her superior, even though the passion between them still runs wildfire hot. But the billionaire private investigator doesn’t see the problem, especially since he knows that one night with Summer won’t be enough.

When Luke’s cousin sends an SOS asking for help in stopping a ring of jewel thieves from robbing his luxury hotel on the Amalfi Coast, Luke agrees. And Summer’s first assignment will be posing as his very sexy, rich, and bejeweled fiancée  at the Hotel dei Fiori Isola del Sole.

Playing the happy couple is hard enough during the day, but the nights… will those romantic Amalfi nights turn the charade into more than just a job for both Summer and Luke… for good?

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Escape to Italy’s fabled Amalfi Coast with five USA Today Bestselling and award-winning authors for a limited time at a special price!

The Scandalous Billionaires box set can be yours for only $0.99! Get your FREE copy of Nona’s Cookbook. Just send a screenshot of your order page to scandalousbillionaires@gmail.com and we’ll send you a copy.

Look for the Scandalous Billionaires boxset at these online retailers:
Amazon: http://bit.ly/SBNewAmz
KOBO: http://bit.ly/KOBOSB
Google Play: http://bit.ly/SBGOOP
iBooks: http://bit.ly/iBooksSB

Check out our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/ScandalousBillionaires

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Thank you, Eve for sharing more about each of the stories!  Readers, if you haven’t already downloaded this boxset do it soon as this .99 cents sale won’t last long!!  For more fun and celebration, I’ve also got an awesome prize celebrating the very sexy alpha billionaires in Scandalous for one of you.  🙂  For a chance to win, leave a comment below and share if you’ve love Tycoons and what your favorite story is featuring one!  Contest ends Saturday with winner announced Sunday.

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A Chat with Kiersten Hallie Krum

salonXdayXfebX2016Today, I’m happy to introduce you to debut author, Kiersten Hallie Krum.  Kiersten and I go back all the way to Grand Central when I was writing Odd Mom Out and Mrs. Perfect and Kiersten was hired to the write the back cover blurbs!

I have been rooting for Kiersten as she pursued her writing and was so excited about her first release,  Wild On The Rocks which is available now on Kindle Worlds on Amazon.  I had to have her on my blog to share about her publishing journey!

Welcome Kiersten!

Please tell us a little bit about yourself that is not commonly known.

Ever play that ice breaker game at party where you had to write down one thing nobody knew about you and then go around the room with a list asking people “are you the one who hates the ocean?”? Yeah, I always draw a blank in those cases.

But, I do alphabetize my cash money…or I did when I carried cash rather than use my debit card for everything. See, dollar bills carry the name of the city in which they’re printed and each city is assigned a different letter of the alphabet. New York is B, Boston is A, Philadelphia is C…and so on. So, whichever city you live closest to is the letter you’re likely to see most often. I alphabetize my money (outside in, in my wallet) so I’m spending the most common letter first and preserving the rarer letter as long as I can manage. I’ve gotten as far as “N,” though I don’t remember from which city it derives.

How long have you been writing?  When did you first get interested in writing?

It’s a bit of a cliché these days for writers to say “I’ve been writing all my life,” but I can remember writing a play about Alexander the Great and his horse, Bucephalus, in 6th grade. I’ve been reading romance novels since I was a young teen (and hiding them from my mother) and started thinking “I could do that” not long after that. I spent the first years of my career working for publishing companies in New York City, sort of a back end run around way to maybe, someday being published. During this time, I got my Masters in Publishing from NYU. Then 9/11 happened and six months later as the publishing industry took a huge hit from people not reading so much as recovering their lives, I was out of work and simultaneously struck with the need to care for my suddenly disabled mother.

Those are things that make you re-evaluate your life in a big way. By 2008, five years into a steady job in a new career, I realized it was time to pony up. I used my tax return to join Romance Writers of America and determined that I would finally allow myself to aggressively pursue my dream of being published. I started small with monthly meetings and somewhat affordable regional conferences, branching out to the RWA national conference in 2011. I’ve spent that time polishing my craft and networking, building a network of friends and colleagues and learning, learning, learning.

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Why did you choose to write Wild On The Rocks?  What keeps the attraction alive for this genre for you?

I didn’t so much as choose to write this book as had this book thrust upon me—in the best of ways.

Last fall, I received an email from New York Times bestselling author Roxanne St .Claire asking me to be a part of her launch of the Barefoot Bay Kindle Worlds. Roxanne and I began as Twitter pals in the years since, she has become a mentor and close friend. I was deeply honored that she asked me, an as yet unpublished writer, to launch my debut romantic suspense novel under the Barefoot Bay umbrella…and terrified too!

I love to read and write romantic suspense novels because I like me a good action story, sure. My shelves are filled with 007 films and spy thrillers. There’s something about being taken on a wild adventure that’s deeply entertaining…especially when you know you’ll spend your day at a desk job and not running through a European city with a hot alpha hero (sadly enough).

But I’m of the opinion that romantic love is hard work and takes time. I’ve always found it difficult to believe in the veracity of a romance that ends in “true love” when the heroine and hero have only known one another for about a week. Romance novels offer the suspension-of-disbelief by nature of being a work of fiction, but you always want to believe that those relationships are at least possible in real life, that they are, perhaps, even achievable for a regular lady like myself (and they are, BTW).

In a romantic suspense story, the danger of the situation ramps up the true natures of the hero and heroine—it’s hard to hide behind an emotional mask when bad guys are gunning for you. I find those stories strip people down to their cores, making it much easier to believe that a woman and a man could fall in love in such a short period of time.

So when Roxanne asked me to join her Barefoot Bay Kindle World launch, I immediately knew that I would write a romantic suspense novel (‘cause that’s what I do) and I also wanted to take the opportunity to use one of my favorite tropes—reunited lovers—and one of my favorite kinds of heroes, a Navy SEAL.

Please tell us about the premise of your new release. 

In my debut romantic suspense novel, Wild On The Rocks, mixologist Quinn Forrester wanders down the wrong hallway of an Atlantic City casino at the wrong moment and witnesses a murder by the Russian mob. She goes on the run and winds up a week later in Barefoot Bay on Mimosa Key, a small island off the coast of Florida. Though she’s been divorced now for about a year, Quinn takes back her married name to hide in the swanky resort, Casa Blanca, where she tends bar until she can figure out her next move. She never expected to see her ex-husband, Navy SEAL Lt. Jasper McQueen, walk through the door.

Jasper has never gotten over his wild wife even though she ran out on him more than a year ago. With his career in shambles after a devastating incident with one of his men, Jasper came to Barefoot Bay to decompress and decide his next steps. Now with Quinn unexpected back in his orbit, Jasper’s determined to use their still crackling chemistry to work out a ton of sexual frustration while getting some straight answers from his wayward ex-wife. Provided the Russian mob doesn’t catch up with her first.

Will there be more books connected to this one? 

There will! The sequel, SEALED WITH A TWIST, will be available in October 2016! It is about Jasper’s best friend, Twist, who is a featured player in Wild On The Rocks.

What’s your writing process?  Do you have a set routine?  Do you work every day?

I have a demanding full time job that often has late hours, so I’ve found through trial and error that trying to write every day doesn’t work for me. This means I spent most weekends cramming in the words to make up for the lack…and therefore have little social life! This works some weekends better than others, but it gets the job done. I use a laptop but I like to work away from the desk since I sit at one for long hours for the day job, so I’ll write in bed with my cat as companion or outside or at Starbucks…wherever I can plug in.

Does your main character have any characteristics (personality quirks) that are similar to your own?

All my characters have some piece of me in them, yes. For Jasper, it’s the peace he finds whenever he’s near a body of water. Wherever I am, the water calls to me, be it ocean, river, lake, or a trickling stream. I gave Quinn my motorcycle boots, because I love them, and my love of a man’s delicious arm porn.

What’s your own favorite scene from the book?

There’s a scene toward the end of the book where Jasper takes Quinn on a sail. My uncle sailed and, while I was growing up, he’d take me, my sister, and my cousins out for sails. We’d hang our feet over the edge and when he caught the wind, drag our feet in the water as we flew along. The last boat he had before I went to college was a Catalina 22. Jasper takes Quinn out on that same kind of boat and some of my memories from that time are what Quinn experiences during their sail.

Do you flesh out all your secondary characters before you start the writing process or do they sort of take life as you write?

I guess I’d have to go along with “both”. For example, I knew Jasper’s best friend would be called Twist and I knew why because I stole the nickname (with permission) from a co-worker of mine whose known as Twisti Sisti (though I promise that’s the only thing my co-worker has in common with my character). But when I started writing the book, Twist unfurled along with the story and had more than a few surprises in store for me. Though I had no idea that he would be such a fan favorite! Now I’m getting lots of reader requests for Twist’s story, so I’m glad I can answer that it’s coming soon!

Is it hard for you to get back in the zone if you take a break from writing regularly?

It really is! Turns out, I do my best worked locked away from everyone and everything—and by “locked away” I’m mean in my spot at Stsarbucks with my ear buds in and the world tuned out. Leave me there for 10 or 12 hours and I’m good. Since I also have a full time day job, this is usually how I spend my weekends. Fun stuff, right?! But I’ve learned there’s no going home and picking up where I left off. Once I’ve made the break from the regurgitation of words, I’m done for the day.

How much time do you generally spend on research before you start writing or do you do the research as you write?

Research for me is usually current events, like magazine and or newspaper articles that catch my attention or a documentary film. The event that puts Jasper’s career in jeopardy came from a feature article in the New York Times about an incident with a Navy admiral that surprised everyone who knew him. Once I had that, the rest started to fall into place. I spend a lot of time thinking about a project, shifting things around in my head while I’m driving to and from work or in the shower or watching T.V. I find that, when I get to the keyboard, sometimes without knowing what’s going to happen next, that there are more words ready to come out than I expected, because it’s allbeen percolating for a while.

What are you working on at the moment?

Twist’s book! And a books I’ve been noodling on for a while that I playfully call my therapy book because I’m using it to deal with some issues that have interrupted my life in the last five or six years. Cheaper than a shrink! (Don’t tell Twist I said that.)

Are you involved in a critique group, plotting group, any kind of writer’s group? What advice do you have for someone looking for a critique group?  Anything specific they should keep in mind?

I have two or three critique partners who are with me every step in the life of the project. They talk me down from ledges and help me flesh out the plot and character journeys for the book. I absolutely couldn’t do it without them. But I find a smaller group of trusted partners works better than a large critique group. Having too many different voices and opinions in my head tends to do more damage than good because it makes me start questioning every little comma and character decision. In the end, outside of the technical things, like grammar and sentence structure, you need to trust your gut because it is your story and your vision that you’re putting down on the page.

How big an impact would you say a book cover plays in the process of a reader’s buying process?

Oh my gosh, HUGE! I can’t tell you how many compliments I’ve received on the cover for Wild On The Rocks, which makes me super happy because I love it and feel it visually conveys the spirit of the novel—sexy, romantic suspense in a tropical clime. Really sexy. 😉

My first book publishing job at Avon Books (many years ago) was as a publishing assistant and one half of my duties were about the cover conferences that were held with the editor, the art department, and the publisher to discuss the direction in which the cover would go and what visual elements that would include. That’s the level of importance Avon felt the cover deserved as part of its marketing strategy and it’s stuck with me to this day.

The cover is the first thing that will grab a reader’s attention. It immediately tells them the kind of feeling they can expect to feel while reading the book, be it sweet, sad, sexy, funny, romantic, scary…you name it, the cover should communicate it. We are a visual culture, perhaps now best evidenced now by the “GIF culture” of social media, which makes the cover of a novel more important to its success than ever. An eye-catching cover is what makes a reader choose your book—or someone else’s—off the shelf and want to learn (and read!) more about it.

Describe your personality in 5 specific words.

Hmmm. I’d say funny, dramatic, passionate, stubborn, and ballsy. I tend to be polarizing—people either like me or they don’t. There doesn’t seem to be much middle ground on that one. 😉

You’ve got to take a trip suddenly, with just twenty minutes to pack and you don’t know how long you’ll be gone. What 5 things would you absolutely have to take with you – besides clothing?

Music, I can’t live without music, so definitely my iPod (which is my only Apple device). My phone (so I can get books). My cat, Baxter. My meds. And wet wipes. You’d be surprised how key portable wet wipes are to a messy life. Or maybe not. I can buy a toothbrush anywhere.

What’s your astrological sign?  Do you read your horoscopes or is it all malarkey in your opinion?

I’m not into astrology but I’ll occasionally take a gander if only for fun’s sake. That said, I’m a Leo and I’m practically a textbook case of that signs components. But I don’t believe the configurations of the star decides the paths of our lives. While I’m a woman of faith, I also believe that we make our own fate through our free will and by the choices and decisions we make and what we do with the fallout from those decisions, good or bad, right or wrong. Or as Linda Hamilton puts it, “no fate but what we make.” What can I say? I am a complicated lady.

For your personal reading preference, do you prefer ebooks or print books?  What are you reading for pleasure right now?

A few years ago, I would’ve died side by side clutching my paper books tightly in hand. But since I’ve had to start reading advanced reading copies of other books on my Kindle for Android app, I’ve been converted to the convenience of the ebook on my phone. But I still love the smell and feel of paper.

Writer, singer editor, traveler, tequila drinker, and cat herder, Kiersten Hallie Krum avoids pen names since keeping her multiple personalities straight is hard enough work. She writes smart, sharp, and sexy romantic suspense. Visit her website at www.kierstenkrum.com and find her regularly over sharing on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Tumblr via @kierstenkrum.

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Congratulations on your new release, Kiersten and thank you for taking the time to chat with us today!  Readers,  get your download of Kiersten’s book soon and to add more fun to this celebration, I’m also giving away a fun prize to one lucky winner!  For a chance to win, leave a comment for Kiersten and you’ll automatically be entered to win!  Contest ends Monday with winner announced Tuesday.

A Chat with Brenda Janowitz

janowitz-headshotSo very happy to have the lovely, talented  Brenda Janowitz with me today!!  I’m so excited about her new release, The Dinner Party and can’t wait for you to know Brenda and learn more about her new book!

Welcome, Brenda!

 

Jane! Thank you so much for having me here. I’m so delighted to be visiting your blog. I remember meeting you a month after my first novel came out in 2007. We were at the Harlequin Book Expo party, and it was my first big publishing party. I was so star-struck meeting you, you were already one of my favorite authors (Flirting with Forty, OMG!), and you were so lovely and down to earth and just generally awesome. What a thrill it is to be here now.

Please tell us a little bit about yourself that is not commonly known.

I’m Brenda Janowitz, the author of five novels, including The Dinner Party, which came out on April 12th. My work has also appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, and Salon.

But what a lot of people don’t know about me is that I used to be a lawyer. I worked at a large Manhattan law firm and clerked for a federal judge, but I would wander the halls, thinking about the stories I wanted to write. When I turned thirty, my best friend Shawn had all of our friends chip in to send me to a writing class and the rest, as they say, is history.

My mom is still heartbroken over the fact that I don’t practice law anymore. At my readings, she likes to tell people that I’m still a lawyer, could still go back to practicing law tomorrow. She also likes to tell people that when I was in third grade, I starred in Ms. Kostecki’s production of Really Rosie. (I still know all the words.)

Please tell us about the premise of your new release.

It’s the story of three very different families getting together for a holiday meal they won’t soon forget. It’s about love and forgiveness, status and success, family and the ties that bind us to each other.

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Look for The Dinner Party at these online retailers:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | IndieBound

What sparked the idea for this novel? Do you draw inspiration from real life for your stories?

I wanted to write a book about letting go of the past. It’s something I have trouble with, this idea of letting go. I can never throw anything away, be it a Playbill from a Broadway show, an old pair of shoes, or even hurt and angry feelings from an argument, so I did what all writers do when they have something that’s bothering them: I wrote about it.

I wanted to set the novel around a holiday meal. Since I was writing about letting go of the past, Passover seemed like the perfect metaphor for this idea, “let my people go” and all that.

I don’t purposely draw from real life. But I do think that life has a way of seeping into every book. After all, I’m the author, so everything comes from me.

When it comes to inspiration, I always say that I’m inspired by everything and nothing. Every experience that I have, everything that I see, inspires me. But I don’t specifically draw from things in my real life.

What message would you like readers to take away with them once they read this story?

I’d love for readers to have a great reading experience. That’s the first thing for me, always: I want to entertain. Take people out of their busy lives for a few hours. Life is so hard these days (isn’t it hard?!), so if I can give people a laugh, or a cry, or just take them out of their own heads, then that’s a win for me.

But on a larger level, I’d love for readers to think about their own families and how they relate to each other. At its core, this is a story about family, about mothers and daughters. How we hurt each other. How we heal each other.

What’s your writing process? Do you have a set routine? Do you work every day?

I just do whatever works. I write whenever and wherever I get the chance. Usually, I try to get right to work after I put the kids on the school bus, but sometimes, it’s on my laptop while the kids are in the playroom (sort of like right at this very minute!). I’ve even been known to dictate full chapters of my books while I’m at pick-up in the nursery school parking lot!

On Facebook the other day, Allison Winn Scotch wrote that she’s been hitting her word count every day before 9 a.m. She got up and just wrote. No fooling around on the internet, no checking email, just writing for a solid hour.
I was insanely jealous.

And then I got inspired. This week, I’ve been waking up at 6 a.m., before my kiddies get up, and hitting the computer. I write for a solid hour before my children come downstairs with my hubby at 7 a.m. And you know what? I’ve written at least 1,000 words a day that way. And this morning I wrote 2,400 words. So, I may have a new routine after all.

Does your main character have any characteristics (personality quirks) that are similar to your own?

Sylvia Gold, the matriarch of the family that hosts the Passover Seder in my novel, is created completely from my imagination. She’s meticulous, and she cares about her family, what other people think, and can be described as a little bit of a control freak. People on social media are poking fun at the way she set her table with place cards for the Passover Seder. A relaxed family meal this was not.

As I prepared for my own family Passover Seder this year, I realized that I was a little more like Sylvia than I cared to admit. When I found myself making place cards for my table, I emailed my editor: I think I may be Sylvia! And she immediately wrote back: Oh, honey, I think we all have a little Sylvia in us.

What are you working on at the moment?

Besides promoting The Dinner Party, I’m working on my sixth novel and I’ve also been doing a lot of freelance work, like the book roundups I do for PopSugar.

For my sixth novel, I’m writing about marriage and parenthood. I wrote my first novel when I was single, before I even met my husband, but now I’m married with two kids. As my life has changed, so have the topics I want to explore with my writing. So has my writing voice.

Describe your personality in 5 specific words.

Ooh! That’s a tough one. I’d have to say: Funny, quirky, silly, thoughtful, and kind.

brendacarolejane
Here’s a pic from the night I met Jane. That’s me, Carole Matthews, and Jane Porter at the Harlequin BEA party in 2007. What a night!! (Jane, you look EXACTLY the same!!)

You’ve got to take a trip suddenly, with just twenty minutes to pack and you don’t know how long you’ll be gone. What 5 things would you absolutely have to take with you – besides clothing?

Okay, this is just too much fun! (Are we going somewhere?! I could be ready in ten.)

The first thing is books. I cannot survive without books. When I go away on vacation, my husband has to put a few books in each suitcase, to even out the weights of each bag!

I also cannot survive without writing. So, I’d need to bring either my laptop or a notebook, something to write in.

Next is a camera. I’m a big picture-taker. (Though, strangely, not a selfie-taker.) I love documenting happy occasions and making photo albums of my family each year.

I also love makeup. So, I really can never leave the house without concealer, lip gloss, and blush. For a trip, I always bring miniature versions of everything.

Finally, I’d have to bring my family. The biggest and best accomplishment of my life is creating my family—my husband and our two sons. So, if I’m leaving and I don’t know when I’ll be back? I’ve got to have them with me.

How may fans contact you?

Yes! Please contact me! I love hearing from readers. I’m all over social media:
Website | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest | Goodreads | BookBub

And of course, there’s always good old-fashioned email. I’m at BrendaJanowitz [at] gmail [dot] com. I’d love to hear from you!

Jane, thank you so much for having me here! This has been a blast.

Brenda Janowitz is the author of five novels, including THE DINNER PARTY (St. Martin’s April 2016). Her work has also appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Salon, the New York Post, Publisher’s Weekly, PopSugar, Mom.me, Hello Giggles, Writer’s Digest Magazine, WritersDigest.com, and xojane. You can find Brenda on her website, www.brendajanowitz.com, and on Facebook and Twitter at @BrendaJanowitz.

Brenda attended Cornell University and Hofstra Law School, where she was a member of the Law Review. Upon graduation from Hofstra, worked for the law firm Kaye Scholer, LLP, and did a federal clerkship with the Honorable Marilyn Dolan Go, United States Magistrate Judge for the Eastern District of New York.

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Brenda, I am so glad you were able to spend time with us here today.  Readers, do pick up a copy of The Dinner Party.  It’s a fantastic read.  Leave a comment below and you’ll automatically be entered for a chance to win an awesome box of women’s fiction novels from Brenda, me and more!  This is a book lover’s dream giveaway.  Don’t miss it!