A JANE EXTRA: The Magic of Jane

Megan CraneA Guest Blog by Megan Crane

Once upon a time, a little less than a year after my first book came out, my editor sent me another book she thought I might like, by another one of her authors.

This book:

The Frog Prince

Do you remember your first Jane Porter book? I do. I remember feeling enchanted—captivated—from the very first line. The story was magical. I felt swept away in Holly’s story. I could smell and see and taste her life in San Francisco. It was like a modern fairy tale, and it made my heart ache. I read the entire thing in one sitting, and soon after emailed my editor to rave incoherently about the book. Then I had to sit down with my own, notably un-magical, writing. (That was less fun.)

Jane at a 5 Spot PartyAnd then, a few months later, I met Jane at the launch party for 5 Spot, the new line from our publishing house that would be putting out our second books. (In Jane’s case, that would be Flirting with Forty. Perhaps you’ve heard of it.)

Do you remember meeting Jane for the first time?

She was effortlessly cool, and bubbly, and sweet. She was dressed like a California dream and I was wearing New York black and felt gloomy in comparison. She asked for a photo to put on her website, because she was obviously very savvy about publicity and promotion. (I, needless to say, was not. It had never occurred to me to put up photos. Unless the photos were of my dog. Doesn’t everyone want to look at my dog? Maybe I should post one here.)

Megan and JaneThen Jane and I went out to dinner with our editor and her assistant at the time (now an editor in her own right.) That was the first time I got to see what I now call “The Ministry of Jane” in action. She was magical. She had also written some twenty-five books to my two. I was in awe. I don’t remember what she talked about, sitting in a strange Belgian restaurant in the meatpacking district famous for mussels—which none of us ordered—but I do remember she was as spellbinding in person as her words are on the page. I was kind of star struck.

Later that fall, my husband (I think he was my fiancé at the time, in case you are taking notes) and I went on a trip to Hawaii, where I met up with Jane again.

Jane and Megan in HawaiiYou will note that Jane is lounging about in a bikini and a sarong while I… am not. This is only one of the many reasons Jane is intimidating. Luckily, she is Jane, and can put anyone at ease in moments. Even me, a notoriously not-at-ease person. We had dinner and talked about writing and our careers and somehow in the midst of a perfect Hawaiian sunset, became friends.

I don’t know when, but soon after this, I decided to start reading Jane’s extensive Presents back list, to fill the time while waiting for her next 5 Spot book. This involved a lot of tracking down books in various far-flung places. She even sent me some. But once I started reading her books, how could I stop? I wanted more. I read every single one of them. I saved them up, and doled them out to myself like treats. Like chocolate. Like magic in a bottle that I could hoard until the perfect moment.

And this is what I discovered: reading Jane’s work is a whole lot like hanging out with Jane. On the page, Jane’s heroines fight themselves, the heroes, their worlds—all to discover that they have the right to be happy, to make their own choices, to grow and feel and love and laugh.

Which is what it feels like to have Jane in your life. She makes you feel better, no matter how you might feel already. She makes you feel strong, and cherished. She believes that we all deserve to be happy, and she will be a tireless advocate for your happiness if you need her to be—and sometimes even if you don’t know you need her to be. She makes you want to be a better person.

And damn, she can write!

Here’s to Jane. May she continue to be magical for all the years to come.

Megan and Jane

I think we can all agree that Baby Mac is a lucky little boy.

Megan Crane

Megan’s latest releases (latest novel plus latest anthoogy pb):

Names My Sisters Call MeEverything I needed to Know About Being a Girl I Learned from Judy Blume

GIVEAWAY! Jane will be giving away a $10 Starbucks card and some fun Jane Porter goodies to one lucky winner. All you need to do is post a comment here and share your thoughts. The winner will be announced on Monday. Good luck! (And after you comment here, make sure you add your comment to Jane’s online book club discussion this week.)

Please also read an important note about blog contests


  1. I hope this post finds little Mac doing better. I have only read a couple of Janes books and they where fantastic. I hope everything is going well for Jane. I am pet setting this weekend for my neighbors, because their daughter is getting married. So they are gone for the weekend. I am watching their dog, cat, and fish.

  2. Jane is a wonderful person, although I don’t know her nearly as much as you do… I’ve never met her! But, she is a wonderful author and I’ve enjoyed reading 4 out of her 5 books on the 5 Spot. But, it looks like I might be interested in reading your books as well! I would love to review them. I’ve read some great reviews on the Judy Blume one.

    Please enter me for some JAVA!


    P.S. My review of The Frog Prince is posted today at my website.

  3. I love all Jane’s books!! I have never met Jane, but hope to some day.
    Looking forward to a beautiful weekend outdoors!!

  4. I met Jane Porter, HA! She is as much fun in person as she is in her books and blog. Our boys are in the same class in school and very good friends. Thanks to my son, he was the one who told me that Ty’s mom came in their class to talk about how to write, music you can listen to when writing and he gave me a book mark. That’s how I started reading her books and we got to meet on our kids’ playdates.

    I always read books about body-mind-spirit, naturopathy, alternative medicine and Jane’s books were my first novels in English. I haven’t been able to stop reading after I read her 4, tottaly related to the characters. I’m very excited about the one coming in July.

  5. Megan described Jane perfectly and wonderfully. I was in awe of her when I met her – she is so beautiful inside and out. Anyone who has been lucky enough to spend time with Jane knows this!

  6. Jane is an exceptional writer and a wonderful mother. Her devotion to writing and her children is something to be proud of.

  7. I met Jane at the Ms. Perfect launch party at B&N in Bellevue, WA. I thought she was captivating and close to perfect, herself. However, she has a quality that is rare with “star” type people; she has “amazing grace” and despite her exceptional talents and good looks, she is warm and open and friendly to all. I think that is what makes her such a good writer- her books are as likable as she is. This is one of the few blogs I have joined, and it is because she is genuine, and is so generous to share her life with her readers and I love to let her know how special that makes all of us all feel! Thanks, Jane, I hope you are enjoying some great family time and the beautiful summer weather. A sunshine girl like you must revel in the heat!

  8. Wow, what a great blog.

    I am a fan of Jane’s writing style, because her characters feel like real women that we can relate to, flaws and all. There is always comfort in knowing other women have the same thoughts and feelings, and Jane’s books make you feel right at home.

  9. Megan, what a lovely tribute to Jane! I agree wholeheartedly! i’ve never had a conversation with Jane – hours long or a brief few minutes – where I haven’t left feeling like all my problems were solved and I could once again conquer the world. 🙂 She’s definitely one in a million!

  10. Megan, You’ve hit the head on the nail perfectly when describing Jane. She’s the kind of person that you feel instantly at ease with because she’s so sweet and down to earth. Sounds like you are a kindred spirit, Megan. Thanks for being on the blog.

  11. Hi Megan; lovely words about Jane from you. She sounds like a wonderful person and you are so kind to say those words.
    I have her book Flirting With Forty.
    A great giveaway for those hot days ahead.

  12. I remember my first Jane Porter book! It was Flirting With Forty and given to me by a friend. I hadn’t sat down to read a book in years, but was trying to get back into it. I enjoyed the book so much I finished it in a few days! Then went out and bought more Jane Porter books! Jane sounds like such a wonderful person and I wish her and her family the best!!

  13. I envy the opportunity to spend so one-on-one time with Jane. I met at a smell conference and loved her on the spot. She approached me at an RWA conference with her friendly grin and remembered me. How cool was that?

    Loved all her women’s fiction books and even read some Presents books, though she said I didn’t need to buy them. She’s my friend’s fav Presents’ author, so yes I did.

  14. That was a wonderful post by an obviously good friend. The first Jane Porter book I read was a Presents and I loved it because of the emotion of the story.

  15. What great comments about ya Jane. Those of us who have never met you can almost guess you’d be awesome just by your writing style. Maybe these kind words can soothe your aching mind and heart while you and sweet Mac push on.
    Odd Mom Out was my first Jane book, and it made me smile when I didn’t think I could anymore.
    Megan’s books look good, I think I’ll check em out while I’m patiently waiting for Easy on the Eyes.
    take care Jane and hang in there
    peace out

  16. What a wonderful guest blog! I wish I had the opportunity to meet and get to know Jane. I know it would be a friendship to cherish. I just finished the last of her books I had yet to read and am now anxiously awaiting her new one in July. How can I find the Presents books? I would love to read those too!

  17. Loved this blog! I was introduced to Jane’s books by a mutual friend. I’ve been a fan ever since. Jane has a unique way, through her writing, of making me feel that we are long-time friends although we’ve never actually met in person. I love that and I think it’s what draws me into her books… she makes me feel such a connection with her characters that I just don’t want the story to end.
    Jane, hope you and the boys are doing well…

  18. Hi! Megan & Jane,
    What a nice post. I read “Flirting With Forty” & thoroughly enjoyed it. Megan – continued luck with your writing. Jane – hope you & Max are doing better.

  19. Megan, what a treasure to have read what you had written about Jane and your friendship with her. My intent on checking out Jane’s site today was to check to see if there was a posting about Jane’s next book release in July…and there you were;) I have been curious and interested in reading something by Jane’s friend Megan Crane…and now after having read your latest piece and appreciating your style and vividness, I’m ready to read!
    My first book by Jane was “Odd Mom Out”…and I am hooked.

  20. My first Jane book? Odd Mom Out. A description that leaped off the shelf at me while shopping at Target, and the first romance-type book I had read since high school (quite a while ago).

    I’ve been a fan of her writing and her blog ever since. She makes being a reader/groupie fun and not at all weird like I have no life or something. 🙂 And through Jane’s blog I have become a fan of your books and Liza Palmer’s. Such fun those books!

  21. I’m with everyone else here…we all love Jane. I have come to look forward to reading her blog and hardly miss a day.

    Never met her even though we are in the same state. I hope to change that!

  22. I was wondering what to get my son’s teacher as an end of the year thank you gift. I am a teacher, and honestly, hate the ol teacher mug, teacher themed stuff. So I always try to give the teacher something pretty nice. I think I’ll give her your most recent book with a gift card to a spa. I don’t know which she’ll love more!

  23. I remember the first time I knew of Jane’s intentions to write…she was about 16 or 17 and we ran into her outside of Midtown News, a small newstand that also carried paperbacks. She had an armload of new Harlequins and after greeting us, she explained, with a huge smile on her face, that she wanted to grow up and write books just like those she had in her hand. We didn’t doubt her for a minute. Hope Jane, and all her boys, are well and happy. Love, P

  24. My first jane book was Odd Mom Out – after reading that I became addicted. I love reading a book that draws you in right away and has a story you can’t put down. I can’t wait for her next book – I imagine it will be as successful as all the others.

  25. My favorite Jane Porter book is the Flirting with Forty. I absolutely loved that book. The first time I “met” Jane was when I had the book autographed at a conference. I remember telling her that I’d read The Frog Prince and liked it. 🙂 I’ve made a point to say hello every conference since then and while I’m sure she doesn’t remember me specifically, I agree that she just makes a person feel so at ease. Oh, and went to her workshops and she draws you in from her “good morning/afternoon”. She just seems to have a knack. 🙂

    As for Megan Crane books…I recently (within the last two weeks anyway) read Names My Sisters Called me. I loved it. It was very relatable…I just want to know why of my sisters authorized the telling of our stories. 😉

  26. Megan, fabulous post and tribute to the Amazing Jane, her writing, and the person she is.

    And damn, she can write!

    PS: Please don’t include me in the contest. I’ve recently had love from Megan. 🙂

  27. Megan and all, I’m with all my brothers and sisters and their kids at a big Porter family reunion in Escondido, CA and just read your blog and I finished it with tears in my eyes!! Thank you so very much for making me feel so special and loved. I’m flattered and grateful for your friendship and support.

    Love, love Jane

  28. Lovely tribute to Jane!
    Megancongrats on your recent wedding and to Jane for her son.

    My first book of Jane’s was a cat- Lazaro’s Revenge then I went on to several of her other catagories….
    I hope to read Flirting With Forty soon!

  29. Hi!
    What a wonderful tribute to Jane! She is a wonderful person and I would love to meet her!

    I love Megan’s books too!

    Hope baby Mac is doing better and everything is settleing down!


  30. 1993. That’s when I first met Jane. Before she was published. I liked her then, and I love her now. Megan is spot on too. Jane just is….lovely, lively, and one of the most tenderhearted and kindest women I have ever known. You certanily can’t go wrong with one of her books either! I remember getting the bookmark for her very first Harlequin Presents book – inside the family Christmas card that announced it was published. Talk about excitement! I think I recall squealing from the kitchen and my husband asking me what the heck I was squealing about. Definite squealing going on. What’s not to squeal about when a friend realizes one of her biggest dreams?

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