Celebrating a Milestone- Anniversary Edition #amwriting #Romance @jacqbiggar

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Celebrating a Milestone

Five years ago, I decided to quit feeling sorry for myself and do something about it. You see, I’d recently moved away from home and was lost and lonely.

But, I had a dream.

One I’d carried in the back of my mind for years. I wanted to write a book. Deciding the genre was the easy part. Romance. I was an avid reader of romance novels. They took me to faraway places, fed my spirit and thrilled my heart.

Yep, romance it was.

Okay, now what?

I had a computer that I used for my bookkeeping, but had no idea how to use it as a writing tool. I needed to learn though, my lefty handwriting was atrocious- that wouldn’t work.

I searched online and found RWA® Romance Writers of America, a group of thousands geared toward helping authors better their craft. I also managed to find a local writing group and gathered up the courage to go to one of their meetings where I immediately felt at home. I joined both and began to take classes to learn the art.

It took time (I’m still a work-in-progress) but finally, FINALLY I published my first book in September of 2014.

Pride.

I could barely contain the excitement blooming in my chest to see a book with MY name on it for sale. But then came the realization. People were going to read it. My heart and soul on those pages and they were all out there– I felt sick.

The reviews trickled in, some good, some not so much, but the addiction was born. I loved to write!

This week I’m celebrating that momentous moment by sharing my first book with you- free!

Jan 11-15

Click the picture to go to Amazon

Excerpt

Nick jogged through the early morning streets, Jake trotting by his side, enjoying the peace and quiet before the town woke for the day. Little songbirds greeted him as he passed a cedar hedge on his way to the park. The air was fresh and cool at this hour. He was glad his strength had returned, his breathing even and stride long. It’d been an uphill battle. For a while after the ambush he’d shut down. Closed everyone out. He wished now he’d made it his business to keep in touch with all his old teammates. The faint sounds of a dog’s bark had Nick looking down at Jake, loping alongside. He’d healed up well, and only flinched at sudden loud noises these days. His hip had taken the brunt of the damage. When the explosion had thrown them, Nick worried he’d need to put him down, but he’d pulled through. Tough mutt.

After his run, he would head over to Sara’s and have a look at those files, see what they were looking at here. Nick had a bad feeling that Tommy boy was into some heavy shit. They needed to solve that first, before there could be a chance for him and Sara.

A sudden sharp pain stabbed him behind the eyes, causing him to falter. Jake whined, sensing his distress. Squinting through slit eyes he spotted a nearby bench, and slumped onto the seat. He pushed a shaky hand through his hair, and then using his thumb and middle finger squeezed in towards his nose, relieving the pressure. “It’s okay, boy. I’m fine. Let’s just take a little break, hmm.” The doctor had explained in excruciating detail while he lay in that hospital in Germany, how lucky he was. The explosion had hit him and sent him flying right up against the stone wall of a nearby house. Shrapnel had gouged a deep line on his forehead, right above his old bullet wound. A centimeter farther to the left and it would have been lights out, of the forever kind. Unfortunately, it’d taken his short-term memory away from him. He’d been told it would come back in dribbles, or one big slam––or maybe not ever. Nice. It angered him that he couldn’t break through the fog to discover the truth of what happened to him and his team. There was something there he could feel it.

He supposed he should be grateful he could remember his childhood, though those memories he could have lived without. Years of mental and physical abuse at the hands of his old man had sent him down nothing but a path of trouble during his high school years. Alcohol, substance abuse, vagrancy, you name it he tried it. His motto had been if you’re not living on the edge, you’re just taking up space.

Then he’d met Kendra in one of the few classes he’d decided to show up for and they’d fallen in love. She’d been the only child of lawyer parents, sweet and innocent. The odds had gone against him when they’d had unprotected sex on a hot summer’s night. She’d gotten pregnant. At least he’d done the right thing and proposed. And though her parents of course hated him, they agreed the marriage should take place. Maybe if they’d stopped it, or if he’d just walked away, Kendra and his son would still be alive today.

They’d been too young, and in the end, it tore them apart. He couldn’t even recall what the fight had been about––no doubt his lack of a ‘respectable’ job. He’d been working at a local garage at the time––all he did remember was getting up to answer the door, only to see two uniforms on the other side. Devastated, blaming himself, he spent the next couple of months shit-faced drunk. Coming out of an alcohol-induced daze one day he saw a poster for enlisting in the marines. Not caring much whether he lived or died at that point, he’d signed up. They sent him to Lackland Airforce Base in San Antonio, where he met Jake. They’d been inseparable ever since.

The searing pressure eased enough for him to open his eyes. Jake sat with his head cocked to the side, his ears laid back in commiseration. Nick nudged him with his knee and gave his sides a good hard rub, Jake groaning his thanks. “Okay, big guy, what do you say to finishing our run?” He’d learned a long time ago that pushing through the pain was often the best medicine.

He had that in common with Sara. She’d gone through both a physical and a mental trauma that would have crushed most. She was doing great, but he bet a violation like that was something from which no woman ever fully recovered.

It humbled him that she had trusted him enough to allow him to make love to her last night. Nick would never hurt a hair on her head, but there was no real way for her to be sure of that. He hoped and prayed no one would ever crush her again, and swore to do everything in his power to make sure of that, starting with Sheridan. If those files contained half of what Sara had intimated they did, he’d need some help. Checking to make sure no one was around, he pulled his cell out of his sweats and made the call.

“Hey, Chief, how are you? It’s Nick, Nickolaus Kelley. Long time, sir, too long. Shit, I’ve missed the team. How’s the whizz kid?” A big grin split his face as he listened to Frank describing Jared’s latest and greatest.

“No kidding, trust Martin to take the term, Land of opportunity, to a whole new level, right?” He laughed. Man, it was good to talk to the chief again. Why did people always let the important ones in their lives fall to the wayside, while they went about the business of life?

He could well believe Jared had almost shut down the strip; the man was scary good with electronics. “I understand that you’re out of the loop these days, sir, but I was hoping I could ask you, and Jared if he’s still with you, for a helping hand. I have a situation here and could really use your input.”

Relief coursed through his veins at the quick response to his plea. “I’ll tell you all about it when you arrive. Tomorrow then, and thanks—Frank.”

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Sneak Off and Read: Lines with the topic, ENCOURAGE #RSsos #RomSuspense

#OneLineSunday by #RSsos Lines with the topic, ENCOURAGE

Interested in reading more? Click on the book covers below for information about the novel and the author.


In an affectionate manner, she patted my arm to convey her support. “Just kidding.” Overcome with sentiment, I let her friendship fill me, making me feel whole again.

Vicki Batman
The Great Fruitcake Bake-off, Whispers of Winter set


“Hang on the me.” Sam tucked herself under the arm braced on the truck and encouraged him to walk. “One step at a time. You can do this.”

Jacquie Biggar


Chris’s compassion and words of encouragement were liberating but the reality was too new, too raw.

Sam Bradley w/a McKenna Sinclair


Wasn’t Medina the one who boasted about sex with no emotional ties? Wasn’t she the one who’d encouraged her to have a fling in the first place?

Claire Gem


I watched, mesmerized, as Sarah went through a familiar Hatha yoga routine. I listened as the familiar voice described each step in detail and gave encouragement along the way.

Joanne Guidoccio


“I would encourage blogging, and I would be adamant that social media is all about positive attitude. I would use it to illustrate the power of kindness, and the joy it can bring others.”

Kathryn Jane


Addie’s gaze glued onto Mike. Jeremy’s did too. “Now, if what you know falls into one of these categories, I encourage you to speak up.”

Marsha West


Nate’s hands encouraged hers to continue exploring, his breath sounded like a low-flying jet. “Sarah.” The way he drawled her name, like a deep yearning, sent shock waves through her body.

Sharon Wray


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sneak Off and Read: Lines with the topic, BELIEVE #RSsos #RomSuspense

#OneLineSunday by #RSsos Lines with the topic, BELIEVE

Interested in reading more? Click on the book covers below for information about the novel and the author.


“I don’t believe Remiel is responsible for this nightmare,” Nate said. “Remiel is a low-level gunrunner who couldn’t strike a deal with a boy scout troop.”

Sharon Wray


I said, “I believe she’s incredibly jealous of my previous wins. I wouldn’t put anything past her to wreck our entry.”

Vicki Batman
The Great Fruitcake Bake-off, Whispers of Winter set


“His career is on the line and I happen to believe in your ability to get him on his skates before the play-offs. Can you do that?”

Jacquie Biggar


I’d never been one to believe in the supernatural: ghosts, or hauntings, or poltergeists. I’d always been the logical one.

Claire Gem


Big Mouse and Little Mouse. I can’t believe their nicknames came to mind so quickly. Such is the power of those early monikers.

Joanne Guidoccio


I’m lighter when I’m around him. He makes me laugh and cry and believe and doubt, and he even makes me angry and sad sometimes.

Kathryn Jane


He wasn’t the most considerate or compassionate person, but a murderer? She’d seen nothing to believe Max could have hurt Joe Sterling, by accident or intent.

S.A. Taylor
Shutter (work in progress)


“You know, Detective Martinez, if I were guilty, I don’t believe I’d be very inclined to cooperate with you. Neither my daughter nor I have anything to do with the gun.”

Marsha West


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Sneak Off and Read: Lines with the topic, NEW #RSsos #RomSuspense

#OneLineSunday by #RSsos Lines with the topic, NEW

Interested in reading more? Click on the book covers below for information about the novel and the author.


Jill practically skipped up the steps to the Inn. Sparklers flicked along inside her veins. She wouldn’t be satisfied if her Texas folks didn’t like Woodstock, her store, her new friends.

Marsha West


Zack wasn’t proud of his temper, but there was a lot he wasn’t proud of at the moment. Including his shiny, new dishonorable discharge which matched his new uniform of worn jeans and whatever T-shirt he could scrounge up for the day.

Sharon Wray


“If I’m participating, I’ll need a brand-new fruitcake. I wouldn’t want to be like Crazy Wanda who enters the same freakin’ lump of dough every freakin’ year.”

Vicki Batman
The Great Fruitcake Bake-off, Whispers of Winter set


She’d spent her career battling everything from drug lords to some of the most notable arms dealers of the past decade, but poachers were new.

Jacquie Biggar


The joy of their new relationship was being derailed by AJ’s loyalty and concern for his best friend.

Sam Bradley w/a McKenna Sinclair


“I’m new in town,” the blonde said. Heath blinked. He knew just about everybody in this small burg, and surely would have heard if–

Claire Gem


She would shed her old life like a snake sheds its skin, just as she had so many years ago, before she’d met Jason. She would be new and whole, and her life would be very different once again.

Kathryn Jane


With the nervousness of landing behind me, a new feeling took over – excitement.

S.A. Taylor
Follow Me (work in progress)


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sneak Off and Read: Lines with the topic, HEART #RSsos #RomSuspense

#OneLineSunday by #RSsos Lines with the topic, HEART

Interested in reading more? Click on the book covers below for information about the novel and the author.


I’d give anything to feel that kind of carefree love and receive the look of adoration like the man gave his girlfriend. Although my heart ached, I had to capture the moment with my camera.

S.A. Taylor
A Twisted Fate (work in progress)


What lay ahead if she didn’t buy the store? The idea of leaving Woodstock, Crystal Rainbows, Karen, and her new friends squeezed Jill’s heart right out of her chest.

Marsha West


Nate’s heart hurt at the loss of the friendship, at the loss of his brothers. His parents were long dead, and his buddies had been his only family.

Sharon Wray


Something there clutched in an excited grab, the kind that makes one’s heart go all springy, like receiving an unexpected bouquet of beauteous flowers and cutesy puppies rolling on the floor.

Vicki Batman
The Great Fruitcake Bake-off, Whispers of Winter set


He looked like an outdoor magazine model with his lived-in face and burly shoulders. Molly heard the appreciative sighs from the women around her and her heart stuttered.

Jacquie Biggar


You worked your way into my heart and took it one piece at a time, AJ. You nearly grabbed it all when you landed in the hospital and I almost lost you.

Sam Bradley w/a McKenna Sinclair


Warm, bare skin fuzzed with chocolate brown curls. His heart thudded beneath taught muscle.

Claire Gem


“The heart wants what the heart wants,” I said, realizing that I was quoting Luigi’s final words to me.

Joanne Guidoccio


“Dying of a broken heart,” said the other lady. “Not on my watch. I made a promise.and I’m taking her home.”

Kathryn Jane


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sneak Off and Read: Lines with the topic, VISION #RSsos #RomSuspense

#OneLineSunday by #RSsos Lines with the topic, VISION

Interested in reading more? Click on the book covers below for information about the novel and the author.


The air began to sparkle, and her peripheral vision went black. All she could see were lighted circles of what was directly in front of her.

Kathryn Jane


Elise heard someone calling her name, but it was muffled. With her vision blurry, she worked hard to focus on what looked like someone standing next to her.

S.A.Taylor
A Twisted Fate (work in progress)


Excruciating pain began in her middle and trembling spread outward. Her breath dissolved in her chest. Darkness closed around her vision.

Marsha West


Sarah’s vision wavered from lightheadedness and dehydration. Her burst of righteous anger had exhausted her.

Sharon Wray


“The Aunt Nellie from television? The one with the cooking show? She’s your aunt?”

Vicki Batman
The Great Fruitcake Bake-off, Whispers of Winter set


He was besieged by visions of her tantalizing body naked under his, hands held above her head, cat eyes flaring with passion, breasts painted a dusky rose under the glow of flickering candles.

Jacquie Biggar


The doomed firefighter slowly sank out of AJ’s field of vision like a drowning victim going down for the third and final time.

Sam Bradley w/a McKenna Sinclair

To this day, any mention of rabbits conjures up visions of the younger Mrs. Maddalone, who lured Lorenzo and derailed all future plans.

Joanne Guidoccio


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sneak Off and Read: Lines with the topic, WINDOW #RSsos #RomSuspense

#OneLineSunday by #RSsos Lines with the topic, WINDOW

Interested in reading more? Click on the book covers below for information about the novel and the author.


The cool breeze during the séance had come from somewhere, but all the doors and windows were closed.

Joanne Guidoccio


“Have you ever thought about going to Korea to trace your heritage?” She stared out the side window. “A lot.”

Kathryn Jane


But all of those plans changed when he closed the window and the Jeep pulled away. This time, it felt like the tentative connection that bound us together, was severed when he drove away.

S.A.Taylor
Follow Me (work in progress)


As the plane sailed into the air at that heart-stopping take-off angle, she gazed through her window one last time at the Fort Worth skyline.

Marsha West


Sarah moved into the sunlight streaming through the window. She needed to feel the sun’s heat on her face and never wanted to be in the dark again.

Sharon Wray


Once we reached the complex’s door, he did release me to open it. I went straight to the elevator, vigorously rubbing my hands along my arms to stimulate circulation.

Vicki Batman
The Great Fruitcake Bake-off, Whispers of Winter set


She should learn to close her blinds—he lowered the telephoto zoom lens to the windowsill of his nondescript car and considered what he’d seen.

Jacquie Biggar


Thick, black smoke billowed from the windows. As AJ pulled his helmet on, he experienced the familiar feeling of excitement with a respectful dose of caution.

Sam Bradley w/a McKenna Sinclair


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

go go go STOP!

by Kathryn Jane

Just when I thought I had everything under control…life happened.

I got so sick with the flu that I could barely speak or make the twenty-foot trek to the bathroom alone.

Did I mention I NEVER get sick? Yeah, well, I guess I can’t say that anymore. On day five, I managed a 3 minute shower, and a whole cup of soup (in two sittings).

Sucks.

But here’s the thing,

I was apparently on the list for wakeup calls. Running around as though I was invincible, taking on project after project, putting in eighteen hours at the computer, seven days a week. I thought I was in control… of everything!

Today when the haze of illness began to lift and I was simply sitting still, doing NOTHING, it became very clear. I had been spiraling out of control for several months.

I suppose it began to escalate in September with my conference season. Each one I attended sent me home more energized, more excited, and filled with more ideas.

I was ready to tackle whatever came my way—with the tiny cheerleaders in my head thrusting their scrawny arms skyward to shake their tinsel pompoms and egg me on…

I’ve published three new books since August and have a forth set to publish soon. I’ve painted dozens and dozens of rocks for my fundraising auctions as well as many private commissions, and others just because. Blogs have been written, and several hundred authors guided through my online or in-person workshops.

None of this feels like work, because of the tiny cheerleaders… but…

I sailed past my sixtieth birthday a few years ago, I’m skinny. And apparently, I don’t have unlimited resources.

Microscopic critters somehow gained access to my bloodstream and proved that.

Knocked me down good and hard, and with no extra meat on my bones, not eating for days meant resources got seriously depleted very quickly.

Tuesday morning I called my friend to cancel a riding date, because even though I only had a sore throat, and felt great, I didn’t want to share germs if this was more than an allergy issue.

Four hours later I could barely stand. Six hours later, I was flat on my back wishing I was dead.

I’ll spare you the gorey details but suffice to say, I had the stuffing knocked out of me.

And today, when I looked for the positive, I realized I’d forgotten to allow myself time to relax. Sure there were the lovely rides in the park, and the wonderful visits with the feral cats, but these were worked into very tight time slots which took a great deal of the good away from them.

Another crazy thing that happened on Tuesday morning was a message from my editor. She had a computer melt down, and was going to have trouble making deadline. I responded blithely with, “Don’t worry. The universe must have a plan for this. We’ll just ride it out.”

Ouch, Universe.

Talk about a brick upside the head.

I get it.

My wellbeing is more important than the date a book is ready for release. Yes, some people will be disappointed, and some sales might be missed, but that’s life, right? I could no more work on getting the book up and ready next week than fly right now, so CATS #5 was obviously not meant to be released in print form before Christmas. Got it.

Instead, as soon as I’m able I’ll work on painting the rocks already commissioned, and if the dates get tight, I’ll send them by courier to make sure they reach their destinations on time. With the current state of my health, that’s the best I can do. And I’m good with that. I hope everyone else is too.

While I get back on my feet, I’m going to remember to stop and smell the coffee and enjoy the man in my house who has been such an exceptional caregiver this week.

And I’m going to give myself the gift of time every single day to do absolutely nothing, for an hour or two.

Wish me luck!

For anyone interested in how this pans out, or wanting to know more about me and my books and stuff, here’s a link to my website  kathrynjane.com

Sneak Off and Read: Lines with the topic, SEX #RSsos #RomSuspense

#OneLineSunday by #RSsos Lines with the topic, SEX

Interested in reading more? Click on the book covers below for information about the novel and the author.


My libido had shot straight to a ten, and I was ready for a night of wild, uninhibited sex with a new, exciting partner. With Heath Barrow, a kind, compassionate, fun man I found I simply could not resist.

Claire Gem


He took a long sip of his coffee and slammed down the mug. “Yeah, I had sex with her a couple of times. I felt sorry for her.”

Joanne Guidoccio


Blindly grabbing for the blankets, she pulled them up and turned toward him. She blinked with lazy contentment a few times before her gaze locked with his, then she went perfectly still.

Jeannie Hall


Forearms, shoulders, chest… Ugh! The last time she had sex was a distant memory, and apparently she was hoping, fervently hoping, it would be back on the menu sooner rather than later.

Kathryn Jane


He pressed a quick kiss to my lips and then backed away. Smart man. I wasn’t completely sure I could wait if he kissed me like that again.

S.A.Taylor
Follow Me (work in progress)


Did she want Jerrod to see her sexy? She cast a glance at him over the top of her glass. Well, yeah. But did he?

Marsha West


No man in Sarah’s life had ever made her feel as beautiful and sexy and loved as Nate had. She hadn’t known that being with him would be so . . . incredible. Amazing. Sacred.

Sharon Wray


“The tall blond with the gorgeous green eyes? I have one word for him—-Va Va Va Voom.”

Vicki Batman
The Great Fruitcake Bake-off, Whispers of Winter set


She’d moved out of their bedroom only months after the wedding, the night he came home smelling of sex and cheap perfume.

Jacquie Biggar


Quin was painfully aware of the disparity between her sexual experience and his. It made her uncomfortable thinking about all the women he’d been with and what he must have done with them.

Sam Bradley w/a McKenna Sinclair