Life Changing

Gratitude and Positivity

 I’m often asked how I manage to stay positive in this crazy world. How I can ignore the horrors we’re bombarded with through social media and television.

This is my story.

Some years ago I worked twelve hour shifts on the receiving end of  9-1-1 calls.

I spent long hours talking to people having really, really bad days. Perhaps the worst day of their life. I listened to the horrors of fights in the background, to mothers screaming because their child’s life was in danger, to fathers demanding someone come and fix their sick child, to people angry because the ambulance was taking too long.

I had to tell people the ambulance dispatched to them had been diverted to someone with a higher level emergency. I talked people out of pulling the trigger. I gave CPR instructions over the phone.

And then at the end of twelve grueling hours I got in my car and drove home. Had a meal and tried to go to sleep so I could go back in less than twelve hours and do it again.

As you can imagine, sleep didn’t come easy. Sometimes it didn’t come at all. Sometimes I’d be lucky to sleep for a total of ten hours in every four day block. (That’s two, 12-hour-days followed by two 12-hour-nights).

As you can imagine this takes a great toll on the body and I needed to find a way to let go of my work day and clear my mind so I could get sleep on a regular basis—and I wasn’t willing to use medications.

That’s when I stumbled upon the idea of a gratitude journal. However, I wasn’t very good at sticking to the program and writing in it every day. That’s when I got the idea of doing it on facebook, so I was kind of publicly accountable.

It worked.

I mean it REALLY worked!

Driving home from a long dispatch shift, instead of reliving all the bad calls of the day, I would have to search for something I could write in my Gratitude post. It made me look around. I began to notice the sunrise, dew on the grass, a hawk soaring in the morning or evening sky.

Occasionally I would think back to a “good” call. To a person I talked out of pulling the trigger, or the wail of a baby who hadn’t been breathing when the call first came in.

And when I got home, before going to bed I would do my Facebook Gratitude post. And I started to fall asleep more easily.

I no longer work in ambulance dispatch, but I’ve never stopped my daily posts. They keep me focused. They make me search for the good inside the bad. They show me hope.

And they show me love, because people respond to my posts. Sometime it’s just a like, and other times it’s a thank you for being a bright spot in a stranger’s day.

I have learned to find some spark of positive in any and everything. Do I see the negatives? Darn sure, but I don’t let them have power over me. Even in the worst of times, I can, and will, find a positive.

I will find hope and I will find the positive.

Kathryn Jane, novelist, artist, educator.

Want to know what else I’m up to in my life? The books, the painted rocks, the workshops?  Click here to  visit my website.

 

What’s your 2019 word?

by Kathryn Jane

New Year’s Resolutions? Nope, never been a thing for me.

But five or six years ago I stumbled upon the idea of having a word for the year–something to focus on–and I liked it.

Gratitude, Love, Kindness, Smile, and Joy were among my choices between then and now,  and I honestly don’t remember the order except that Joy was last year’s word.

2019 however, became a bit of a conundrum because I just wanted to rehash the old ideas I’d loved so much. They were easy to embrace, and they actually changed how I live my life. They are the backbone of who I am.

But I still needed a new word for this year.

I tossed around be as in, be strong, be real, be me, be bold…. And open, as in open-minded, open-hearted, open to new ideas, open to discussion…

They both seemed to be “good” choices and I could feel righteous with either one of them, but is that what I wanted?

I pondered while the days were counting down, and mentioned my dilemma to a friend who wisely said I shouldn’t worry, because it would come to me when the time was right.

And it did.

This morning, while I was driving through beautiful farmland on my way to feed a colony of feral cats, the word “laughter” popped into my head. I said it out loud, and then I laughed. And laughed again. It was so perfect.

Laughter is wonderful for the soul, and the mind, and according to science, for the body as well. I feel lighter when I laugh. The world seems brighter, and a little laughter often leads to lots more.

So that’s it. My savvy friend was right. What I needed came to me and now I’m looking forward to a  year filled with laughter!

And what about you? Have you chosen your word yet? Please share with us!


Kat loves crisp sunny days, the warm breath of a horse, cats with a sense of humor, the smell of the ocean, and her very own charming prince—in no particular order.   http://kathrynjane.com

 


Caleb Broughton is a man’s man, and the last thing he needs is a greener-than-grass new partner—especially a woman he’s been avoiding for months. But when a plane suddenly vanishes, nothing else matters.

Grab this exciting story now!   AMAZON  | APPLE & NOOK

Refusing to get my knickers in a knot!

by Kathryn Jane

Lately I am rushing, scurrying, and barely on the brink of being on time.

Why?  Oh, that answer is simple. Because I’m a procrastinator and tend to overbook myself. So here I am, a day late with my blog post, and this time it is because I’ve been fighting to get my latest book published.

I had a deadline to upload to Amazon. Midnight on Sunday. And when I arrived home from doing a live event, skidded in the door and fired up the computer at 6pm, I got a nasty little message box that informed me I could not upload because the account was locked for pre-order.

What? No!

I still had six hours!

So the messaging began. And all the Kindle Direct Publishing reps who have responded insist that I can now upload, but nope, when I push the appropriate buttons I get this

So…… What to do?  Panic? Scream? Stomp my feet?

Nope.

There is nothing constructive I can do but wait and work with the system. And promote book sales through the other channels. Yes, the book is now live with Apple, Nook, and Kobo, so Yay!

What book you say?

The first book of a fabulous new Shared World project called Copper Mills.

These are novellas by a whole bunch of different authors all writing about the same quaint town in Arizona. Releasing one a week for the next few months, mine, Callista Goes Country, is up first. Second and third are, Only this Tuesday by Melissa Keir, and Finding Her Way, by Deb Julienne.

   

Lisa Huffman is one of the authors in the group and is designing all the amazing covers for us, too!

So.

Getting back to my dilemma.

What about the release date and plans for Callista?

No problem.

The book is up and available live on three sites, APPLE ,  NOOK,  and KOBO, AND still as a preorder at the other. Here’s a little bit about the story you’ll get when you click on one of the links.

Callista Goes Country

Falling in love was not on the agenda.
Advertising executive Callista Fontaine has never backed down from a challenge and isn’t about to give in now. Taking over the operation of a small farm while her sister recovers from a spinal cord injury seems like the right thing to do, until she comes face to face with a dozen or so very smart goats, and a henhouse filled with more attitude than eggs.
Physiotherapist, Kevin Baker prides himself on getting his patients back up and running—literally—and is more than comfortable with being the guy everyone looks to for help. But the woman he most wants to impress doesn’t want or need his assistance and he’s challenged to find a way into her heart.
When a modern day damsel doesn’t need a knight in shining armor… Will love still work if they’re standing shoulder to shoulder? And what kind of magic will it take to keep her from going back to the city?

APPLE | NOOK | KOBO |

preorder AMAZON

 


Author Kathryn Jane writes the kind of stories she loves to read—fast-paced, and crammed full of love, life, laughter, and suspense. To find out more about her eclectic background, kindness projects and her wacky world filled with painting and writing projects slide on over to her website and check out the photos.

Would A Real Man Say That?

by Kathryn Jane

Good question.

I am a woman, and therefore, as enlightened as I like to think I am, I still have a female point of view…which can sometimes be annoyingly skewed.

As a writer, I am often writing in a male point of view and like to think I do a damned good job of it because throughout my life I have worked side by side with many men, and have a decent understanding of how the male mind operates. Or so I thought.

But here’s the thing.

Readers constantly say they love how real, how authentic my male characters are. But are they?  Or do I follow the myth of what women generally believe? Perhaps the men I create are the kind we would like to have in our lives.

The question then becomes, does it matter? Fiction is fiction after all, and creating characters a reader can love and relate to is what matters, right? Right!

But every once in a while I feel a need to validate my hero’s thoughts and actions and that’s when I do the scary thing. I ask a man. A real live, breathing male what he would have done in the same situation. What his thoughts might have been.

Sometimes I get the answer I want. Sometimes I don’t. But I always get something I can add to my understanding of the male mind, and often I get an answer that makes me laugh.

My hubby is my go-to guy for these questions because he’s one of those men who is totally stumped by a female perspective, which means I never get an answer tempered to fit the question.

Just now I did a test, for the fun of the blog.  I asked him what color these scarves were. He said one was blue and the other was red. I see turquoise, and a reddish orange pattern on apricot which creates and overall burnt orange, but his male mind sees only the straightforward, none of the nuance.

Last week I had an important question for him. I came out of my writing cave and leaned on the door jamb. “Question,” I said, and he instantly gave me his attention because although he doesn’t read my books, he’s right into my writing and loves to help.

Me: “The hero has spent months trying to track down the woman he loves and finally finds her far from home, down and out, bone thin, and living on the streets. When he gets her to the safety of a hotel room, will he jump her bones?”  (I asked this because it happened sort of like a celebration in the first draft of the story, but when I was editing it seemed insensitive.)

Hubby: “Is she asking for it or is he?”

Geeze, I hadn’t thought of that. Okay, I roll with it.

Me: “She wants it, but she’s skinny and looking pretty rough. Not attractive at all.”

Hubby: “He won’t say no.”

Me: “If she doesn’t want/ask/push for sex?”

Hubby: “He’ll look after her first. Wait until she does.”

And that, my friends, changed an entire scene in the book, and made it better. Much, much better! I realised that the heroine was going to want sex for validation of their relationship, to feel connected again, and that was yet another flaw in her I could explore.

It also added another facet to Jason’s personality. He was already a nurturing kind of man, but now he became aware of Kate’s need to use sex as…  LOL…  I’ll stop here and just say the title of the book is DIAMONDS TO DIE FOR, and it will be out at the end of September.

 

Meantime, MISSING—Broughton and Alexandra’s story is coming out in less than a month and is available for pre-order now.

Caleb Broughton is a man’s man, and the last thing he needs is a greener-than-grass new partner—especially a woman he’s been avoiding for months. But when a plane suddenly vanishes, nothing else matters.

Grab this exciting sequel to Dance With Me, now!

AMAZON  | APPLE & NOOK

 


Kat loves crisp sunny days, the warm breath of a horse, cats with a sense of humor, the smell of the ocean, and her very own charming prince—in no particular order.   http://kathrynjane.com

 

 

Astrology, Life Changes and Author Newsletters

My cousin likes to follow astrology. I believe there’s something to that but to truly understand astrology seems quite overwhelming … much like my life lately. The latest astrology report said the alignment of the planets were bringing a time of change and disruption. On that I would have to agree as I wind down a consulting job I’ve had for twenty years. As a Taurus, I don’t like huge surprises or forced changes in my life. I appreciate a degree of organization and certainty. On the other hand, I have to appreciate the old adage, “when one door closes, another opens.” I’ve had two consulting jobs come through LinkedIn recently and discussions are opening about helping a Caribbean medical school with disaster planning. (I could live with that). I regret having little time for writing, but I’ll get there. Besides work, there’s taking care of dogs, chickens, planting vegetables and pulling weeds. I guess life eventually finds its own balance.

On a separate note, a promised newsletter for this group has keep slipping through my fingers and I feel quite guilty about that. I’ve subscribed to several authors newsletters to get an idea of what the content is, how they’re formatted, what things I like, dislike, etc. It’s been rather interesting. Here’s some things I’ve noticed:

  • I don’t need to see three e-mails a day from the same author with almost identical content.
  • Plain text is boring.
  • Short and sweet is good. One author has huge covers and so much content that if I printed it out it would be about twenty pages. Most people aren’t going to bother to find their way to the bottom for the freebie.
  • I enjoy a newsletter with something new to report. I see a lot of redundancy.
  • A clever subject line is good. That determines if I’m going to open it.
  • Although I enjoy hearing things about the author’s life, several pages of health issues, pet photos and “what kids did today” can become annoying.
  • Speaking of annoying – many seem to call their readers by cutsie little names. I can deal with Sunshine, Gorgeous, Angel, Beautiful, Lovely, and Historical Honeys but I’m not sure about Bees, Sweetie (most of them could be my grandchildren) and Goddess. Sorry, but Vixen, Stoner and Smut Queen is a little over the top.
  • Lastly, I read all kinds of romance and I’m hardly a prude, but a newsletter filled with sexual innuendo may not be appreciated by everyone.

A nice example of a newsletter comes from our own Claire Gem. It has her logo followed by the topic  which is “5 Great Ways to Find Your Next Great Read”. Then there’s a nice photo of books in a field. This is followed by a neatly formatted discussion of the topic. The only thing that’s a surprise is that there’s nothing about her books. Anyway, kudos to Claire.

Chickens

Well, I’d love to chat more but I have chickens to feed and weeds to pull. Oh, BTW, here’s my books. I’d love it if you’d tell me what you think.

Partners, Odyssey of the Phoenix http://amzn.to/2dqqSb9
Partners, Challenge of the Phoenix http://amzn.to/2ewyFUN
Partners, Sacrifice of the Phoenix http://amzn.to/2l1IcXN
Partners, Transformation of the Phoenix – ready for publication
Partners, Heart of the Phoenix – in process

 

 

 

Spreading Love WILL Change the World

by Kathryn Jane

I’m a creative. I write, paint, make things with my hands. This means I spend a great deal of time in my own head.

When I’m writing, my characters occupy that empty space quite nicely, but when I’m painting and creating other things like reality tend to seep in, and whatever is going on around me gets a lot of airtime.

The horrible event in Florida last week has been front and center in my mind and all over social media, and while I could have blogged today about the book I’m writing, I would rather talk about our very human reactions to what happened in a school that was for many of us, far, far, away. (I’m even in a different country, but this tragedy has been all over our news for days.)

While Facebook has been filled with anger and panic-generated rhetoric, I did come across links to a few well written blogs that resonated with me. Gave me food for thought, and I agree with some of what I found.

Below, I’ve shared a tidbit from each of three which stuck with me–mostly because of their different perspectives–and gave me food for thought.  I hope you find the same.

From:

Engineering, Parenthood, and a Solid Attempt at Adult Status

“FUCK YOU, I LIKE GUNS”

“Military style rifles have been the choice du jour in the incidents that have made our country the mass shootings capitol of the world. Formula One cars aren’t good for commuting. Cheetahs are bitey. Professional grade fireworks will probably take your hand off. All but one of these are common sense to the average American. Let’s fix that. Be honest, you don’t need that AR-15. Nobody does. Society needs them gone, no matter how good you may be with yours. Kids are dying, and it’s time to stop fucking around.” For the full article:

https://agingmillennialengineer.wordpress.com/2018/02/15/fuck-you-i-like-guns-2/

From:

SLATE

“How to Stop Violence

Mentally ill people aren’t killers. Angry people are.

By Laura L. Hayes

Violence is not a product of mental illness. Nor is violence generally the action of ordinary, stable individuals who suddenly “break” and commit crimes of passion. Violent crimes are committed by violent people, those who do not have the skills to manage their anger. Most homicides are committed by people with a history of violence. Murderers are rarely ordinary, law-abiding citizens, and they are also rarely mentally ill. Violence is a product of compromised anger management skills.” For the complete article:

http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/medical_examiner/2014/04/anger_causes_violence_treat_it_rather_than_mental_illness_to_stop_mass_murder.html

From:

Rob Myers

“There’s a Way to Stop Mass Shootings, and You Won’t Like It

“Notice those around you who seem isolated, and engage them.”

If every one of us did this we’d have a culture that was deeply committed to ensuring no one was left lonely. And make no mistake, as I’ve written before loneliness is what causes these shooters to lash out. People with solid connections to other people don’t indiscriminately fire guns at strangers.” Full article here:

https://mystudentapt.com/2015/10/06/theres-a-way-to-stop-mass-shootings-and-you-wont-like-it/

 

And then there is Emma, a student who was there. She lays it all on the table, with passion, and I find myself rooting for her, wanting her to one day become president.

From:

CNN

“Florida student Emma Gonzalez to lawmakers and gun advocates: ‘We call BS’”

“Every single person up here today, all these people should be home grieving. But instead we are up here standing together because if all our government and President can do is send thoughts and prayers, then it’s time for victims to be the change that we need to see.”

http://www.cnn.com/2018/02/17/us/florida-student-emma-gonzalez-speech/index.html?sr=fbCNN021718florida-student-emma-gonzalez-speech0446PMVODtop

 

In conclusion:

I am one small person in Canada without any way to change what happens to my friends in the USA. I don’t know the answers to the problems. But I’m still certain of one thing which has been deeply ingrained in me for many years, in spite of what many might call an unusual upbringing.

People spreading LOVE will change the world.

Yep. One at a time we will make a difference… and yesterday in my own community, I saw proof of that.

Somewhere close to me, an unnamed entity set something in motion which drastically changed the ambience and landscape of what used to be beautiful. First houses and businesses were boarded up, and then just a couple of days ago a company was brought in and all the trees were stripped from the property. What used to be green and beautiful became barren and sad.

But.

Instead of angrily ranting about the person/people who set this ugliness upon us, instead of crying over the weeping stumps, a group of us got together, and fought the ugliness with positives. We took one lone section of fence, and painted a message of LOVE to be seen by anyone passing by, and especially for those made sad by what had happened to a neighborhood.

The remarkable thing was that all of us felt better and better as we worked, AND, bonus, everyone passing by stopped to remark on the project and tell us they were impressed by our attitudes and message. Neighbors walked over to chat, and cars slowed while their drivers smiled, waved, and gave us a thumbs up.

It was a win.

And it changed the atmosphere in a very positive and uplifting way.

After days of watching the horrors in Florida, aching for the loss of children–and the adults trying to protect them–and being battered by the online vitriol, we had a lightening of the heart. Not much in the grand scheme of things, but it changed our little piece of the world.

Here’s the project as we left it on Friday… since then, it’s been added to several times, and we will continue adding until there is no space left at all 😀

 



My latest book, Into the Sunrise, is a story about a woman who takes all the cr*p life flings at her, and finds her own way out of the dark. In the sunrise, she not only discovers a passion for saving children, but even finds her way to great love.

What does #holidayromance mean to you? #amwriting #RSsos @jacqbiggar

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Ahh, Valentine’s Day!

Though it may be way over commercialized, Valentine’s Day still fills even the most jaded heart with thoughts of how to celebrate a day meant for love.

Candy.

Chocolate.

Flowers.

That special candlelit dinner by the bay.

It’s no wonder romance writers pick Valentine’s and June for weddings as their favorite release dates!

Which made me wonder: do you like to read holiday romances at other times of the year? For example, Christmas stories. Do you sit on a warm summer beach and read about snowbound heiresses? Or, island getaway romances in the middle of a winter storm?

Are holiday romances a limited engagement?

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It’s release day for Valentine!

JacquieBiggar_ValentineAHeartsandKissesRomance_800

Take two humans who pretend they can’t stand each other and one matchmaking canine and the fun is nonstop!

Val Hodgins is on the road to success. His architect firm handles some of the biggest contracts along the western seaboard. He doesn’t have time to babysit his aunt’s aging house or her pain in the butt dog, but when she falls ill with pneumonia he drops everything to go to her aid.

Sierra Johnson’s dreams of owning a catering company go up in smoke thanks to a bad choice in boyfriends. Now, she’s stuck working for a tyrannical boss, care-taking an aging townhouse, and being tormented by the owner’s aggravating, caustic, way-too-attractive nephew.

Will these two get over their prejudices in time to realize love comes without a price tag?

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B078QFJH4H

Universal: https://books2read.com/Valentine

Add to TBR List: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/38088692-valentine

Excerpt:

Val opened the door to the brownstone and ushered Norma Jean inside. What a fiasco. He was just glad it was over.

“Thanks for accepting my apologetic dinner. My aunt’s dog isn’t usually so…”

“Cute?” she supplied, smiling as he helped her remove her wet coat. Of course, it had to be pouring when they left the restaurant.

“Troublesome,” he corrected. Though really, he’d only been living here a week, so what did he know?

“It’s strange I never saw him here before your aunt became ill.” A horrified look crossed her pretty face. “I’m so sorry, I didn’t mean to bring up bad memories.”

He shrugged, uncomfortable. She couldn’t, he barely knew his great-aunt. “It’s fine, we aren’t that close.” He hung her jacket by the door. “Maybe next time we go out we can avoid setting off the fire alarms.”

He’d meant it as a joke, but when he turned and caught the hopeful expression in her sky-blue eyes he cursed his loose lips.

“That sounds amazing,” she sighed, then glanced down the hall. “Something smells good.”

Oh, hell. He’d left his roast slow-cooking while he took her out, but he hadn’t planned on the delay with the water sprinklers and the firemen who wanted to know what happened. He’d be lucky if it wasn’t beef jerky by now.

“Thanks,” he said. “I’m stocking the freezer for those days when I don’t want to cook after work. Do you want to join me for coffee and a sandwich?” he offered reluctantly.

She gazed longingly down the hall, but shook her head. “Maybe next time. I need to study, mid-terms are coming up soon.”

He sighed his relief. She was nice, and would make a great friend, but he wasn’t interested in anything else. He’d been burned by women enough to last a lifetime. He’d give love a pass.

“Okay, well… have a nice night,” he ventured, waiting for her to go up the stairs to her room.

She laughed softly and leaned close to brush his cheek with her cherry red lips. “Don’t try so hard,” she murmured, before sashaying away on the stilts she wore for shoes.

Val rubbed his jaw and strode down the hall. Maybe they could just be friends.

He entered the kitchen expecting smoke, and instead found himself staring at the shapely bottom of a woman bent over his oven basting his roast while the mutt who’d ruined his day sat nearby, a sloppy grin on its narrow face.

Now what?

 

Blogging- Why all #Writers should be Using this #Free Venue #Writertips #RSsos @jacqbiggar

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To blog or not to blog; I hear this question often. There are many demands on a writer’s time. Most of us have families, day jobs, pets, houses to clean, yards to maintain, the list goes on and on, so how are we supposed to keep up a regular blog as well?

And why should we?

 

 

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I get it, I really do.

But, on the other hand, as authors we want to be recognized, right? There’s no sense (other than personal satisfaction) to waste our precious time writing those stories if we aren’t going to do our best to get noticed.

 

WordPress Now Powers 26% of the Web

The most recent stats are showing that since March 2016, WordPress is actually powering 26.4% of the Web, and it’s on the rise. It is still by far the most used CMS, with 59.4% market share. Also interestingly on a daily basis there are over 500 sites being created on WordPress.

https://managewp.com/blog/statistics-about-wordpress-usage

 

 

As you can see, these numbers are already a couple of years old, but it’s safe to say blogging is a crucial– and often under-utilized– tool in marketing our product.

One of the best things about blogging– it’s free!

Just think, all those users out there, all you need to do is provide them with content.

 

 

In this post, Nicholas Rossis shares a graphic made by Websitebuilder on the phenomenal growth in the blogging world.

18.7 million blogs on WordPress alone! That’s a lot of people and possible eyes on your books. (You have your blog connected to your website with a listing of your books, right?)

 

“But what am I going to say?” you ask.

Well, that’s the beauty of it, your blog, your rules. 🙂

 

 

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The biggest thing is that you’re going to make connections around the world. And if those people like what you have to say, chances are, they’ll check out your books, mention you to their workmates, their friends and family.

See?

All that because you took the time to #blog.

Come on, what are you waiting for? Let’s get connected!

 

Speaking of spreading the word, here’s some shameless self-promotion on two new releases I have coming in the next few weeks. Shares appreciated 🙂

 

 

WTHCoverBiggar

Available 01.30.18

 

What happens when two of Tidal Falls’ most beloved citizens have second thoughts just before they get married?

Jared Martin can’t wait to tie the knot with the woman of his dreams and become a real father to his son, Chris.

Annie Campbell is finally going to marry the man she’s loved for most of her adult life and she couldn’t be more excited–and anxious.

An unforeseen event will test their devotion to each other and bring the entire town in on the action. Will Jared and Annie’s love stand the test, or is their relationship doomed?

 

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0788BB53H

International: https://books2read.com/WithThisHeart

Add to your TBR: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/37830620-with-this-heart

 

Excerpt

She yanked the door open and then jumped backward with a shriek as a brown and white shape hurtled through the gap and stumbled in the drive.

“Dad, save Bambi,” Chris cried from inside the cab.

“What was that?” Annie whispered, hands clenched to her chest.

Jared was torn between taking her into his arms or checking on the injured animal for his son. A further cry from Chris as he scrambled to get out of the pickup cemented his decision. He sent a quick glance Annie’s way before hurrying to kneel beside the fawn and stop its frantic movements. “Son, bring that blanket with you. His scent is on it now, it may reassure him some.”

“Is he okay?” Chris hopped down from the crew cab, tugging the blanket behind him. “Hi, Mom,” he chirped on his way by, “guess what Jared did? He hit a baby deer.” The last was said with a mix of nervous tension.

Jared looked up in time to see Annie’s scowl turn to concern. He held out his hand for the quilt. “Here, I’ll cover him up and then you keep him still while I call the vet. Deal?”

“Deal,” Chris agreed, plopping onto the grass and startling the fawn. He scrunched his shoulders and shrugged. “Sorry.”

Jared smiled. “Just take it easy around him for the first few days. You have to remember he’s not used to people. This is all very strange for him.” He wrapped the trembling body, careful to avoid the bad leg. “Pet his head like I showed you before and I’ll be right back, okay?”

Chris nodded without looking away from the delicate face of the deer. “Sure, we’re friends already, see?” He proceeded to rub between the fawn’s ears. “He likes me.”

“Well, sure he does. What’s not to like?” Jared rumpled his son’s red hair—so like his mother’s—and rose. After making sure the fawn was content, he turned to Annie. “Sorry we couldn’t call. Reception was bad out there.”

“What if you’d been injured?” Annie sniped under her breath so as not to alert Chris. “I had no idea where you’d gone. Where to search. It was an irresponsible thing to do.” She folded defensive arms across her chest.

“Whoa, where is this coming from?” Jared grasped her forearm and pulled her resisting body to the front of the truck. “Sweetheart, it’s not like I planned on driving home in the dark and clipping a fawn during our first father-son road trip. You’re not being fair.”

“Fair?” she cried. “Chris is my son, Jared. I have the right to know he’s safe.”

Stunned, he released her arm. “Actually, I thought he was our son. What’s going on, Annie?”

She stared up at him with tear-drenched eyes. “Maybe we’re a mistake.” She looked at his dented vehicle, and at Chris caring for the injured deer, before meeting his gaze with a defiant lift of her chin. “I don’t think I can marry you anymore.”

 

JacquieBiggar_ValentineAHeartsandKissesRomance_800

Available 02.13.18

 

Take two humans who pretend they can’t stand each other and one matchmaking canine and the fun is nonstop!

Val Hodgins is on the road to success. His architect firm handles some of the biggest contracts along the western seaboard. He doesn’t have time to babysit his aunt’s aging house or her pain in the butt dog, but when she falls ill with pneumonia he drops everything to go to her aid.

Sierra Johnson’s dreams of owning a catering company go up in smoke thanks to a bad choice in boyfriends. Now, she’s stuck working for a tyrannical boss, care-taking an aging townhouse, and being tormented by the owner’s aggravating, caustic, way-too-attractive nephew.

Will these two get over their prejudices in time to realize love comes without a price tag?

 

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B078QFJH4H

Universal: https://books2read.com/Valentine

Add to TBR List: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/38088692-valentine

 

Excerpt

Val stepped closer to the crazy woman guarding her virtue with a kitchen utensil. He’d been enjoying the view for the past five minutes as she swayed to the music, her back to him while she worked at his sister’s kitchen sink. Even though she wore the required hair net, he could see she was a fiery redhead, her body slim and compact beneath the wraparound apron. He should have announced himself sooner, but he hadn’t expected to freak her out so badly. Normally, Sam’s kitchen was a hub of activity; he was surprised to find it empty except for the pint-sized warrior.

“You can put down the weapon.” He hid his amusement behind a placating smile. “I’m harmless, though my sister might be tempted to disagree. Is Sam here?”

When the woman stared at him like he was the creature from the black lagoon, Val waved a hand in front of her eyes and grinned at the resultant snap of temper. He was right, she was a feisty one. “Sorry, I’m in a bit of a hurry. Is there a chance I could get you to answer me any time soon?”

She glared at him, threw the rubber spatula unto the counter, and swept the net from her hair, allowing the coiled layers to flow down her back. “You have a bad habit of sneaking up on people,” she snapped, reddened fingers moving to untie her apron.

What was she…?

Oh.

He snapped his fingers and pointed at her. “You. The klutz that destroyed my dinner the other night. What are you doing here? Don’t tell me my sister was foolish enough to hire someone who can’t even hold onto a pot without it becoming a catastrophe.”

Her eyes narrowed and she stared past him to the big block of knives sitting on the stainless-steel countertop. Val hurried to block her view. “Uh, uh, uh, temper, temper. You don’t really want to stab me, just think of the mess.”

 

JACQUIE BIGGAR  is a USA Today bestselling author of Romantic Suspense who loves to write about tough, alpha males and strong, contemporary women willing to show their men that true power comes from love. 

Free reads, excerpts, author news, and contests can be found on her web site:

http://jacqbiggar.com

You can follow her on at http://Facebook.com/jacqbiggar, http://Twitter.com/jacqbiggar

Or email her via her web site. Jacquie lives on Vancouver Island with her husband and loves to hear from readers all over the world!

You can also join her street team on Facebook: Biggar’s Book Buddies

Or her exclusive Review Crew: https://jacqbiggar.com/join-my-review-crew/

And sign up for her newsletter-

http://www.subscribepage.com/jacqbiggar

 

2016 Summer MG/YA Booklist!

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I’m so excited about this summer’s Middle Grade and Young Adult reading list! There are a ton of new and upcoming releases and some old favorites recommended by readers.

Since there are so many new books on the list, below is just a small selection of what I’ve added.* There are stories for every tween and teen including  zombies, proms, cute meets, friend and family drama, aliens, fairies, fairy tale retellings, and a lot more from popular, indie, and debut authors.

For the complete printable list in a downloadable Word document, please click here: Summer 2016-mg_ya-list.

All of the books are available at Amazon, most at Barnes and Noble, and many at the public library.

Now for a sampling of the 2016 summer titles!

Young Adult Romance

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Young Adult Paranormal Romance

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Young Adult Romance Anthologies

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Young Adult Realistic Fiction

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Young Adult Science Fiction

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Young Adult Action/Adventure/Dystopian

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Young Adult Fantasy

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Young Adult Novellas

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Middle Grade Action/Adventure

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Middle Grade Non-Fiction

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 Middle Grade Relationships

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Shares and Tweets are welcome!
I hope you all have a great summer of reading.IMG_5066

Now, I’d love to know if you have any books you’d like to add to the list!

Disclaimer: Some of these books are (or once were) controversial. Some older YAs have closed-door adult situations, and others (YA & MG) deal with harsh issues such as suicide, bullying, war, poverty, and loss of a parent. As a librarian, reader’s advisor, and mother, I’ve learned that tweens and teens tend to read within their comfort zone, both emotionally and reading-level wise. All of these books offer a chance for parents and kids to discuss which topics are appropriate now and which books are best left for another summer. But I hope you all find books that will give your family a summer of new adventures and imaginary friends.

*The books listed in this blog post and on the list are in no particular order, just grouped by general topic or subgenre.

All covers courtesy of Amazon. Feature photos courtesy of Sharon Wray.

Sharon Wray

A librarian/archivist who studied dress design in the couture houses of Paris, Sharon now writes stories of adventure, suspense, and love for Sourcebooks’ Casablanca imprint. Sharon loves to connect with readers and can be found at:

www.sharonwray.com

 Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram | Goodreads

What Reading Means to Me

 

I devour romantic suspense, mysteries and romance.  I also write them.

 

I wanted to blog on a subject that encompassed all three. Research was a perfect fit. Today most can be done online, but I still do it the old-fashioned way of going to the library. It forces me to leave my desk, and interact with the outside world. I know it sounds crazy but I love the perusal of titles as I move down the shelves. There’s an excitement that builds until I reach that one special book that says “Pick Me, Pick Me.”

 

I know, I can hear you say, ‘of course, you’re an author, you’re supposed to feel that way.”

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It has nothing to do with writing. The very first time my mother took my brothers and sisters and me to the New York Public library in the city it grabbed my heart and didn’t let go. It’s magnificent.  This was also the first time I got to pick without guidance a book of my own choosing.  One that wasn’t required reading for school.  I’m sure she was overseeing the titles to make sure it was age appropriate. But I didn’t care.  Magic happened between those pages on that day as I flipped through the first chapter of each book, before I decided on that one special story to bring home. We were only allowed one book at a time. It was one of my mother’s many rules. With ten children it made it easier for her to keep track of all of them.

Here’s the regal reading room at the NYPL. It’s one of my favorite places on earth.\

nypl regal reading room

 

 

If I found two, I’d write down the title and stick it in my pocket for the next visit.  Summer for me wasn’t about running around crazy. It was sitting under a tree or on the beach with a book in my hand as it whisked me away to foreign lands, secretive places or handsome lovers with a promise of ‘happily ever after.’ Oh, yes, books were that and more to me, each one worth its weight in gold.

 

To this day, I get lost in a story so much it takes me a few minutes to rejoin the real world once I put the book down.  It drives my husband crazy. He’s since learned that he needs to get my attention before he speaks if he wants me to remember the conversation.  As a child in a five room apartment occupied by twelve people (5 brothers, 4 sisters, 2 parents and I), I learned to shut off my ears to read, to escape into its world. I vacationed inside the pages, while my friends went on planes or traveled by car.

 

I think writing came naturally after reading so much. Though I loved the stories I read, I had so many more inside my head shouting to get out. With the encouragement of my third grade teacher, Mrs. Wright, I started putting my stories on paper, and I’ve never stopped. In fact, reading and writing had helped me through a long recovery from open heart surgery and got me first contract.

How about you? What is it about reading that you love?  Please share your first memory of your visit to the library or the bookstore.

Author Bio

One of ten children Marian Lanouette/Merry Holly took up writing to explore new and adventurous places. While her friends traveled on planes for vacation, Marian/Merry traveled in books. With an overactive imagination she started creating her own characters and stories. Romance and mysteries are her favorite genres.

The Season of Anthologies are Marian/Merry’s brain child. The books in the series include the following; Season of Magic Holiday Box Set (2014), Season of Love (2015), Season of Surprises Holiday Box Set (2015) and Season of Thrills mystery/suspense/ thriller box set (2015). Season of Promises debuts this fall (2016).

An avid reader, she discovered her love of mysteries by reading the Daily News as a youngster. Intrigued by the real life crimes, and how the police worked and eventually solved cases, ignited her imagination beyond the ordinary. She’s working on the third book in her Jake Carrington Mystery series titled Mated for Life.

Season of Promises Holiday Box Set will be released in the fall of 2016.

Connect with Marian Lanouette

www.marianl.com

Marian 119 author pic

Marian’ Amazon Author Page:

 

The print cover

Buy Links:

Amazon: Burn in Hell, A Jake Carrington Mystery

Barnes & Noble: Burn in Hell, A Jake Carrington Mystery