Taking Off

Heading to airport in a few minutes and am leaving computers behind.  Will try to check email now and then from an internet cafe but as this trip is all about enjoying Italy and my guys I’m not really worried about business at all.  This will be a real vacation–no work, no writing, no blogging (unless by miracle I’ve found an internet cafe near hotel that’s got great hours and no lines…) but I do have a really fun contest over on my author page at Facebook.  The important thing about this contest (besides the prize) is that it helps me.

I want to know what you look for in a Jane Porter novel in five words, or five phrases.  As I write my new series I thought it’d be good to keep you in mind.  What do you want in a great read?  And what do you want when you read ME?

If you’re not a Facebook person feel free to post your five things below…again, just five quick words or five sentences or whatever. The prize is a B&N gift card, a Starbucks gift card, and a signed novel from my backlist.  Contest runs through Saturday night and winner will be announced Sunday. And remember, this is a ‘contest’ but its also research for me.  I want to write more books you want to read!  So tell me what you love and want and I’m going to take careful note!

Now I’m off to airport and that means saying goodbye to my lovely little guy who has added so much joy to my life…even if his favorite phrases are this: “Momma mad.  Momma mad Mac.  Oh no.”

Love to you all and keep well and read a ton and fill me in when I return!!


  1. I love whwn you write about real women with real problems. Love when you write about the suburbs and how some women lift each other up while some tear you down.Would love to see a story about a learning disabled child such as dyslexia.Or a child going blind with cataracts and how it affects the family.Of course romance is important also. Job loss and money problems like in Mrs Perfect was so real all the above has happend to my family while I struggle to live in the suburbs. Thanks and keep on writing. Renee Wiser

  2. 1) Real people who I can relate to.
    2) Moms who have faults, not perfect.
    3) Women who have real insecurities.
    4) Little bit of fantasy. Not all men are as dreamy as the men in your books but we can wish they were.
    5) Good girl friendships. Yet like that you show women are bitchy to one another. That’s real.

    I hope you have/had a great time in Italy. 🙂


  3. Have a wonderful trip! I’m glad to hear you are not planning on doing any work this time. You need time for yourself and family right now. I just posted my list on Facebook.

  4. Jane,
    Have a wonderful, sun-filled vacation!
    I love your books because:
    They deal with issues that women are dealing with and the complications and conflicts of our daily lives;
    Characters that are believable; they could be my friends/neighbors/family;
    Great dialogue, not just paragraphs of thoughts or descriptions of feelings, but speech that reveals them instead;
    Great pacing and exposition;
    Endings that really end naturally, no tricks or leaving the reader hanging or puzzled.

  5. Buon Viaggio, Jane!

    I love to read about:

    1) women around 40 (not enough books there!!!)

    2) dealing with kids issues/marriage/job

    3) Books with a natural flow and ending – no “there must be a chase scene/big drama in the end”

    4) that it is still possible to fall in love around 40 rather than being killed in a terrorist attack 😉

    5) how to recover from divorce in midlife and with kids like in “Flirting with Forty” – which is (so far…)your very best book, IMHO.

    Safe travels!

  6. Hi Jane,

    Hope you have a great trip in Italy. Can’t wait to hear about it when you return.

    My top 5 things to look for in a book are:

    1. Humour – it’s got to make me laugh out loud:)

    2. Stories that have real people and real life situations

    3. Stories that are moving, meaning if I shed a tear while reading, it would classify as a great read to me.

    4. Sexy male characters – enough said

    4. Strong female characters that are confident, smart and know how to live.

  7. My five words/phrases are:
    1. Emotion
    2. Growth
    3. Self Awareness – I don’t know if it’s a word but I like characters who know themselves
    4. Love
    5. Humor

  8. 1. Women with real issues (i.e. Taylor’s situation in “Mrs. Perfect.”)
    2. Nice amount of detail in “romantic scenes” (enough to run a tingle up my spine)
    3. Humor
    4. Pop culture references
    5. Strong and interesting supporting characters (friends, family members, romantic interests, etc.)

  9. 1. humor
    2. realistic conflict (I’ve never had to decide between a pirate or a prince)
    3. heroines in the 35-50 bracket
    4. romance, not just sex-sans-purpose
    5. This might be unrealistic, but I would like a happy ending.

  10. have a wonderful trip.

    Your books provide me with:
    A unique story with depth.
    Realistic characters with true problems.
    Emotions that I relate with.
    Writing that holds my interest.
    People who can understand life.

  11. More older couples love Flirting With Forty.
    Real people, like we are
    Books set in country life, maybe in wester setting.

  12. Have a great vacation!
    I like books with
    Good communication
    Real characters in real situations
    Problems that get dealt with

  13. Have a brilliant time with your boys! So excited to hear all about it and see pictures when you return. 🙂

  14. Humor
    Happy Endings
    people with flaws (not the gorgeous woman…someone real)
    Local flavor (love books about the Northwest)

  15. Real – real women(and older women ie 40s)
    Relateable – kids, issues, money, health, neighbours!
    Happy Ending – a must!
    And I’d love for you to write about a Size 16 plus heroine, would love to see what you do with that.

  16. Have fun Jane, enjoy your time with your older sons. Things I look for in your books:

    1. Strong female characters like Tiana and Shey and others you have written.
    2. Sensitive male characters like Michael O’Sullivan who kind of has his sensitive side hidden for a while from Tiana. They work out their “problems” with each other and find real LOVE.
    3. Locations that are interesting, like Texas. Smile! I also like the U.S. Northwest and the Deep South. And, Italy!
    4. Well written dialog that you do so well.
    5. Real life situations showing how life throws hard balls and your characters deal with them.

    I could go on, but will stop with only five. You are an outstanding writer and come up with books I want to read! Thank you!

  17. Sigh, Italy. I know you will have a splendid time with your big boys.

    What I like in a book:
    1. Humor. I like to laugh.
    2. A little suspense. Predictability is boring!
    3. Love! A little kissin’ and huggin’ never hurt anyone.
    4. Personal growth of the characters.
    5. A happy ending.

  18. wow have a fantastic time Jane.
    send a few pics when you get back.

    1) humor is on top
    2) not so perfect women(plus size
    or men who are teddy bears (some meat to hug)
    3) men who accept a woman with a better job and they work with it
    and don’t feel inferior
    4) acceptance of faults in someone
    5)everyday people with real problems and how they cope

  19. Hi Jane,
    I thought about your request yesterday. My 17 year old daughter was looking for a book to read during spring break. As she searched through my library, I asked her what type of book she was looking for. She didn’t really know. So I started explaining authors in my library. Here’s what I said about you:

    These books are about real women, usually moms, who struggle with life. The heroine doesn’t have an easy fix, it is about time, patience and love. The books are uplifting and leave you feeling at peace in your heart.

    So, in my opinion, here are my top five:

    1) Real women/moms
    2) Tough subjects tackled
    3) Love/Romance
    4) Finding peace in the heart
    5) Uplifting

    By the way, she picked up Flirting with Forty and planted herself on the couch. 🙂

    Have a great trip!

  20. 1. Life after 50+
    2. Everyday upsets
    3. Realistic outcomes
    4. Suspenseful
    5. Foreign-born love affair

    I’m very jealous that you’re in Italy! Come back and tell us all about your wonderful trip.

  21. Hi! Have a wonderful time in Italy! I wish I was going this summer insteado next year when my daughter graducates. Glad to hear your going to be relaxing,you have to in Italy, and enjoy the people your with,the food and the beautiful country and the wine!!! Enjoy! Bouna Italia!

  22. Things I look forward to…
    1) You keep it real
    2) Acceptance of your characters
    3) fun
    4) relatable
    5) just because I know the wonderful person behind the words on the page

    Have a fantastic trip! Be safe!!

  23. Hi Jane!

    Enjoy your time in Italy. We’ve been trying to get over there this year to see family stationed there and take advantage of having some local tour guides but life keeps throwing obstacles in our way. Can’t wait to hear about it and glad you got this time with your older boys.

    My five things would be:

    Moms who are a bit older (40+) and struggling with issues that older kids/teens deal with, i.e. high school peer pressures, college or not, etc.

    Raising kids with “unseen” disabilities if you will, i.e. anxiety, sensory integration issues, etc. I know you touched on depression with Shey’s book.

    A great love story with heat 🙂



    Can’t wait to read more from you!

  24. 1. Strength-I love it when a woman discovers her strength along her journey. She may go into a situation or phase of her life battered and bruised, feeling unworthy and like crap but she comes out on the other end stronger, better and a much more whole woman.
    2. Place- I love the sense of place in books—especially yours. Traveling is my favorite pastime. I love being able to explore a culture—however subtly—in a story, whether it’s a jet setting life in Monaco or small town Texas values.
    3. Connections- Your main characters have one or more long term best friend with whom she would trust her life, her kids’ lives, and they can count on her.
    4. Humor- I love it when I’m deep in the story, tears rolling down my face from some conflict the heroine is facing and something happens, or someone says something to make me laugh out loud.
    5. Relatable- I love when a real situation comes up in a book and the solution translates into my own life. Sometimes a character will do something in a book, I can use that as a template, try it out and if it doesn’t work, at least it’s a starting point to find my own solution.

    (Snarky answer-rising above the shitty ex-husband to make a bigger and brighter life for herself and her kids!)

  25. wow! I find myself agreeing with what has been written here; so I’m just going to copy a few (not in contest so guess it is okay to plagiarize!)

    *realistic strong warm women with real life concerns who have great friends who stand by them
    *authentic dialogue and not a lot of descriptive filler
    *”finding peace of the heart” and acceptance of self and loved ones
    *”problems that get dealt with”
    * no male bashing

  26. I like to read about real women, lives, families, faults, and what makes women tick. By that I mean how they feel towards a husband loosing a job, maybe a husband coming home from the war in life threating injuries. How do they feel? Will they fly off with someone who can offer a secure life with money, or will they want a man who is whole. Not knowing if they can handle having a husband who may have years ahead of hospital stays, surgeries, etc.
    How about a woman finding out her mother had an affair while married and had a child from that affair. The child finds out about the affair after everyone has passed away and sets out to find answers.

    Thank you Jane for the books you write. They are down to earth and portray life as it is.

    Enjoy your vacation.

  27. Can’t find your page on fb?

    Right now i only have four points: My five are (1)real women (2) going right to the edge to (3) pursue their heart’s desire and (4) finding a great partner.

  28. Have fun with your family in Italy and be safe. Eat something decadent for me, huh? :o)

    Sounds like most of us have the same ideas and wants, and I think mostly it’s because you have given us tastes of that in the past and we’ve now got a need for more. And I have to agree with most of the posts.
    1. Everyday women or women you can relate to that are either strong or find their strength. (think of the Marianne Williamson quote I sent you)
    2. “Romance with heat”,(I like that description Barb C.) & a happy ending.
    3. Learning to accept diversity/conflict in everyday life.
    4. Laughing out loud.
    5. Inspiring.

    The thing is, whether or not it had any of these qualities, I’d buy it and devour it because it came from your amazing heart and creative mind. Surprise us, keep us guessing and make us smile – do what you do best chika.

    Oh, and since you’ve mentioned Meg and Liza so much in your blogs, I gave in and read Liza’s books. Fun books and I really liked “Fieldguide…”. Thanks for the suggestion.

    peace out

  29. Hi everyone,

    I was just alerted that the winner I picked and announced for this never showed up live and just checked it out and saw that as I was posting from Italy, the comment was flagged as spam and put in an admin box waiting for approval!!

    So anyhow…one more time, hopefully live, the winner for this great prize is:

    #20 Joanne A

    Congrats, Joanne!!

    Joanna, please shoot me your mail address in a private email, as well as the book you’d like to receive from my backlist and I’ll get your prize out to you pronto!

    And thank you to all for participating this was huge. I learned so much!!

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