Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The Girl Most Likely #MFRWhooks

Welcome to my blog! Today on Book Hooks I'm featuring my novella THE GIRL MOST LIKELY, part of the Class of '85 series from The Wild Rose Press. Here's the blurb:

Cara McLeod, the girl most likely to have the perfect marriage, is now divorced and, in her own words, “fat, frumpy, and over forty.” The thought of facing former classmates—and the ex-husband who dumped her—at her high school reunion terrifies her. Cajoled into attending by her kids and her best friend, Cara enlists help at the gym to lose weight and look great for the reunion. Personal Trainer Finn Cooper is more than willing to help—but does he have to be so to-die-for gorgeous?
Finn thinks Cara is perfect just the way she is. She’s everything he wants in a woman, except for one thing—she can’t get past the fact that he's eight years younger. To Finn, age and weight are just numbers. But can he convince Cara the numbers she worries about add up to only one thing for him—love?
Here's an excerpt:

Cara floated into the ladies’ locker room on a wave of happiness. She finished her shower and was drying off in her stall when she heard two women talking. Cara scarcely paid attention, until she heard, “Did you see the cow eyes she made at Finn?” She stopped drying and listened intently.

“As if he’d be interested in a woman who’s got to be ten years older.”

“Have you seen the outfits she wears? Where does she shop? The Salvation Army?”

They laughed uproariously. Shame and embarrassment welled up from the pit of stomach. They were right. What could a gorgeous younger man like Finn possibly see in a frumpy, overweight, middle-aged woman like her? What a stupid fool she’d been.

She waited until she heard the showers running before she dressed and made her escape. Finn waved at her as she left the locker room. “Cara, wait. Do you have a minute?”

“Sorry, no. I’ve got to get home to my daughters. Bye.”

She ran to her car and drove to a park near her home, then into a parking lot used only by maintenance staff. She pulled her car to a stop between two city trucks, finally feeling alone. Slumped over the steering wheel, tears of shame crashed down her cheeks as waves of humiliation engulfed her. Had she been so starved for affection she’d latched on to the fantasy that Finn felt something for her?

Finally, she started her car, adjusted the rear view mirror, and wiped her eyes one last time before heading home. It was a nice fantasy while it had lasted.

THE GIRL MOST LIKELY is available from The Wild Rose Press, Amazon, and other e-book retailers. Thanks for visiting today!



Monday, July 7, 2014

What I Did on My Summer Holidays #MFRWauthor

I just got home from a wonderful vacation. The last two weeks in June, my husband and I travelled to Europe and took a river cruise on the Rhone River in France. We extended the seven day cruise by adding three days in Barcelona, Spain to the beginning of the trip, and three days in Paris at the end of the trip. We had a fabulous time!

Sagrada Familia in Barcelona

We started our vacation in the beautiful, vibrant city of Barcelona. Barcelona has wonderful architecture, some of it quirky and unusual, like the Sagrada Familia Church which doesn't appear to have a straight line within its massive structure. I loved the friendly people and the exciting rhythm of the city.

Roman arena in Arles, France
After leaving Barcelona, we travelled to the mouth of the Rhone River at Arles, France where we boarded our ship for the river cruise. This area of France had been occupied by the Romans some two thousand years ago and they left behind evidence of their time here, with structures such as this arena in Arles which still hosts bull fights, and this amphitheatre in Vienne, France which holds eleven thousand people and was being readied to host a jazz festival when we visited. It's amazing to me that these structures are so ancient, but are still being used today.


Roman amphitheatre in Vienne, France 

Though it wasn't built by the Romans, the bridge at Avignon is an iconic structure. Did you learn to sing "Sur la pont, d'Avignon" when you were in French class back in the day? I did!

The bridge at Avignon, France

A lavender field in Provence

Serge & his wonder dog Emme
We sailed up the Rhone River through Provence, past terraced vineyards carved into the hills, and fields of ripening grain and blooming lavender in the countryside. So beautiful! We had a chance to visit an olive grove and a truffle farm in Provence. Serge, the owner of the truffle farm, uses his dog Emme to hunt for the truffles, a fungus/mushroom much prized in French cooking, though from the example Serge passed around, I couldn't get excited about them. Serge and Emme demonstrated how they hunt for them. Since the truffles grow underground at a depth of about four inches, Emme must use her sensitive sense of smell to locate them. Serge buried a few truffles and Emme found them and dug them up without any trouble. She was adorable!

Truffles

After our wonderful, pampering cruise was over, we took a high-speed train from Lyon to Paris. Paris is almost overwhelming in its beauty. Everywhere you look you find another piece of impressive architecture. No visit to Paris is complete without a trip to the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame Cathedral, or the Arc du Triomphe.

Eiffel Tower

Notre Dame Cathedral

Arc du Triomphe

Our summer vacation went by very quickly, and we had a wonderful time, but I'm always glad to get home. What about you? What did you do this summer? I'd love to hear all about it!





Thursday, July 3, 2014

Freedom Blog Hop - Celebrating Our Freedoms


I'm very pleased to be a part of the Freedom Blog Hop! To all my American friends and readers, Happy Fourth of July. To my fellow Canadians, I hope you had a wonderful Canada Day on July 1.

The theme of this blog hop is "Celebrating our freedom to live, love and read." Here in North America, we take our freedoms for granted. We can travel wherever we want, and live wherever we want. As long as we don't promote hate or trample on the freedoms of others, we have the freedom to say or write whatever we want.

And we can love whomever we love. More and more jurisdictions are legalizing same sex marriage. In too many parts of the world, that freedom does not exist, and gay and lesbian couples are persecuted for simply being in love. But before we get too smug, let’s not forget that same sex relationships are still discriminated against here. And it wasn't that long ago that homosexuality was illegal in North America. That situation only changed when people of courage stood up and said no more. In Canada in the late 1960s, Pierre Trudeau famously said that "there's no place for the state in the bedrooms of the nation", adding that "what's done in private between adults doesn't concern the Criminal Code".

We're also lucky enough to be able to read whatever we want. I've written a couple of books set during or just after World War Two, and in my research I've read about many atrocities perpetrated by the Nazis. One of these atrocities was the mass burning of books. Most of these books were by Jewish authors, Germans who opposed National Socialism, or non-German writers such as Jack London, Ernest Hemingway and H.G. Wells. It’s estimated that in one night alone, May 10, 1933, as many as 25,000 volumes were burned across Germany, mostly in university towns. By burning books, the Nazis sought to silence any descending voices, and eliminate any thoughts that didn’t conform with their agenda.

Reading, whether it be romantic fiction, philosophy or a favorite newspaper, is a joy as well as a right. So let’s celebrate our freedoms and always be vigilant about protecting them. Remember that “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” Enjoy the Freedom Blog Hop!

My prizes today are one copy each of my World War Two novellas FLAWLESS and HOME FIRES. Enter the Rafflecopter contest for your chance to win. Good luck!

France, 1942.  The world is at war. The Nazis have stolen the infamous blue diamond, Le Coeur Bleu, intending to barter it for weapons that will destroy the Allies. Jewel thief Hunter Smith is given a choice; help the French Resistance steal back the diamond and avenge the death of his best friend, or stay locked up in an English prison. He chooses revenge.
Resistance fighter Madeleine Bertrand’s husband died when he was betrayed by Hunter Smith. How can she now pretend to be married to the arrogant American? How can she betray Jean Philippe’s memory by her passionate response to Hunter’s kisses? Neither is prepared for the maelstrom of attraction that erupts between them. To survive they must uncover the mysteries of the past and conquer the dangers of the present. But first Madeleine must decide if her loyalties lie with her dead husband and the Resistance or with the greatest love of her life.

FLAWLESS can be purchased at The Wild Rose Press, Amazon, and at other ebook retailers.



Anne Wakefield travels halfway around the world for love. But when she arrives in Canada from England at the end of World War Two, she discovers the handsome Canadian pilot she’d fallen in love with has married someone else. Heartbroken, she prepares to return to London, though she has nothing left there to return to. Her former fiancĂ©’s mother makes a suggestion: marriage to her other son. 
Badly wounded and scarred during the war, Erik Gustafson thinks he’s a poor substitute for his brother. Although he loves Anne almost from the first time he sees her, he cannot believe she would ever be able to love him as he is – especially as he might be after another operation on his bad leg.  Anne sees the beauty of his heart. The cold prairie winter may test her courage, but can she prove to Erik that her love for him is real?

HOME FIRES can be purchased from The Wild Rose Press, Amazon, and from other ebook retailers.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Be sure to continue hopping with other members of the Freedom Blog Hop!



Sunday, June 15, 2014

Sneak Peek Sunday with The Girl Most Likely


Hi! Nice to be back at Sneak Peek Sunday. Today I've got a 6 paragraph snippet from THE GIRL MOST LIKELY, my contemporary romance novella. It's part of the Class of '85 series from the The Wild Rose Press, which is all about classmates attending their 25th class reunion. Here's a blurb:

Cara McLeod, the girl most likely to have the perfect marriage, is now divorced and, in her own words, “fat, frumpy, and over forty.” The thought of facing former classmates—and the ex-husband who dumped her—at her high school reunion terrifies her. Cajoled into attending by her kids and her best friend, Cara enlists help at the gym to lose weight and look great for the reunion. Personal Trainer Finn Cooper is more than willing to help—but does he have to be so to-die-for gorgeous?
Finn thinks Cara is perfect just the way she is. She’s everything he wants in a woman, except for one thing—she can’t get past the fact that he's eight years younger. To Finn, age and weight are just numbers. But can he convince Cara the numbers she worries about add up to only one thing for him—love?


Finn and Cara share their first kiss in this snippet. Unfortunately, it's in front of Cara's daughter, and she's not ready for her mother to have a new relationship:

“I couldn’t have gone on the air today without talking to you first. Thanks for the pep talk.”

“You’re welcome. I knew you could do it.”

Finn moved around the table and pulled her into his arms, holding her close. He rested his cheek against the top of her silky hair and breathed in her perfume, something subtle and flowery that made him think of warm breezes on a tropical island. Too soon, she pulled away. He held her hand, preventing her escape.

“Congratulations Cara. You’ll be great at this new job.”

He leaned in close to kiss her, going for a congratulatory peck. But when his lips touched her soft sweet mouth, his rational brain stopped functioning and his body took over. He pulled her close once more, molding her against his chest. She stiffened for one moment before relaxing and sighing against his mouth. She clutched his shoulders, the material of his t-shirt fisting in her hands. Finn lost himself in her intoxicating scent and the feel of her in his arms.

“Mom!”

THE GIRL MOST LIKELY is available at The Wild Rose Press, and Amazon. For a complete list of buy links please check out my website.

And now check out some snippets from other Sexy Saturday contributors!

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Winners at my Contest!


Thank you to everyone who entered my contest and read my blurbs for FLAWLESS and my soon to be released contemporary romance ONE MORE SECOND CHANCE (tentative title). I have picked two winners at random and they are:

Linda Bass
and 
Lisa Kendall

Congratulations! Linda and Lisa have been contacted and have received their copies of FLAWLESS. Please watch your inbox for more news about contests and giveaways. Have a wonderful Father's Day!


Sunday, June 1, 2014

A New Cover & a New Release!

I have a brand new cover and I'm tickled pink about it! My publishers at The Wild Rose Press have created a wonderful new cover for my previously released book FLAWLESS, a World War Two romantic suspense novella. Here it is!


Isn't it beautiful? I am absolutely thrilled about it. FLAWLESS can be purchased at The Wild Rose Press, Amazon, and other e-book retailers. For a complete list of buy links, check out my website at www.janarichards.com. I hope I can tempt you with a blurb from FLAWLESS:

France, 1942.  The world is at war. The Nazis have stolen the infamous blue diamond, Le Coeur Bleu, intending to barter it for weapons that will destroy the Allies. Jewel thief Hunter Smith is given a choice; help the French Resistance steal back the diamond and avenge the death of his best friend, or stay locked up in an English prison. He chooses revenge.
Resistance fighter Madeleine Bertrand’s husband died when he was betrayed by Hunter Smith. How can she now pretend to be married to the arrogant American? How can she betray Jean Philippe’s memory by her passionate response to Hunter’s kisses? Neither is prepared for the maelstrom of attraction that erupts between them. To survive they must uncover the mysteries of the past and conquer the dangers of the present. But first Madeleine must decide if her loyalties lie with her dead husband and the Resistance or with the greatest love of her life.
To celebrate this beautiful new cover, I'm having a contest. I'm giving away two (2) PDF copies of FLAWLESS. To enter my contest, simply like my Facebook Page, follow me on Goodreads, follow me on Twitter, subscribe to my newsletter, follow me on Google+, sign up to receive my blog posts in your inbox, or leave a comment on this post. Let me know what you've done by dropping me a line at jana.richards@hotmail.com to make sure I don't miss any of your entries. Every like or follow gives you an entry in the contest. Your chances of winning depend on the number of entries received. I'll pick two winners at random from all entries received on Thursday, June 5. The names of the winners will be posted on this blog. Good luck!

And in other news...
I'm pleased to announce that I have sold another book to The Wild Rose Press. Yay! This book, a full-length contemporary romance, is part of TWRP's new series, set in the fictional small town of Lobster Cove, Maine. This multi-author series is unique in that all the books will take place in Lobster Cove, but they can be any romance genre across all TWRP's lines, including romantic suspense and historical. It's going to be an exciting series!

My book is tentatively titled ONE MORE SECOND CHANCE. As yet, there is no release date. Here's a blurb:
Dr. Alex McKenzie has a plan – finish his contract to provide medical services in Lobster Cove, Maine, pay off some of his massive medical school debt, and head back to his real life in San Diego. But when he meets fiery Julia Stewart all his carefully laid plans are put in jeopardy. 
Julia Stewart swears she’ll never let another man drag her away from the home she loves. Her aging parents need her, and Lobster Cove is where she wants to raise her five year old daughter. When her mother’s illness bring her and the big city doctor closer together, she panics. Her marriage taught her that men don’t stay. Can this high school principal put aside the heartaches of the past and trust Alex enough to accept the love he’s offering? Or will her fear of abandonment mean she’ll send him away forever?
In this excerpt, Julia and Alex first meet when her daughter Ava is injured and she has to rush her to the ER. Alex doesn't believe her injuries result from an accident. It's not the best way for two people to meet:

“What did the x-ray find?” she asked.

“A spiral fracture of the right arm.” He paused for a moment and took a deep breath as if trying to control his emotions. “I’ve seen this kind of injury before. A fracture like this can be the result of a fall, but it can also be an indication of child abuse. An arm as small as Ava’s will break like a twig if it’s twisted hard enough. I’m obligated to contact the authorities if I suspect abuse.”

Julia stared at him in mute shock, her brain struggling to process his words, as if trying to translate some unintelligible language. The words child abuse rang in her ears. Finally she found her voice.

“You think someone deliberately hurt her?”

“Her injuries are consistent with abuse.”

“I don’t give a damn what they’re consistent with. Ava has not been mistreated. My mother said she fell down the stairs, and if that’s what she said, then that’s what happened.”

“I believe there’s more to the story than a simple fall.”

“If it comes down to believing you or my mother, I’m going with my mother.”

“Perhaps you don’t know her as well as you think you do.”

Julia sucked in a breath and stared into Dr. McKenzie’s dark, accusing eyes. The idea that her mother would hurt Ava was ridiculous. She adored Ava, would do anything for her…

She blinked and looked away, remembering an incident the other day. She’d heard her yelling at Ava about the milk she’d spilled on the kitchen floor, making such a huge deal of it that Ava had cried. It had struck her as strange since she couldn’t remember her mother yelling at anyone, ever. She wasn’t as patient as she used to be. And how did she explain her strange phone call telling her Ava had been hurt? Of course she’d been upset, but her mother had been nearly incoherent with distress. Was something going on she wasn’t aware of? She was seventy-one now. Maybe looking after a rambunctious five year old was too much for her.

No. She shook her head to reject the disloyal thought. Dr. McKenzie was the one who was wrong.

“I know my mother. She didn’t do this. It was an accident.”

“We’ll soon find out. The social worker is questioning Ava now.”

Julia stared at the door. “She’ll be scared all by herself.”

“Sharon’s very good at what she does. She has a way of making kids feel comfortable.”

Julia turned on him, the anger and despair she’d been holding inside spilling out. “And you? Do you enjoy upsetting five year olds and turning families’ lives upside down? Does it make you feel powerful to sic the authorities on us?”

“Trust me, I don’t take any pleasure in upsetting either one of you. But I’ve seen child abuse, up close and personal and I can tell you it’s damn ugly. The things adults are capable of doing to defenseless children—“

He stopped abruptly, his lips clamping shut in a thin, angry line. Averting his gaze, he took a deep breath. When he turned back to her, his steely control was back in place. “So yeah, if I have even the smallest suspicion that a child has been abused, I’m going to ask questions. And I’m not going to apologize for it.”

I hope you enjoyed the blurb and excerpt for ONE MORE SECOND CHANCE. Watch your inbox for updates and more contests. Have a wonderful summer!

Saturday, May 31, 2014

A Sexy Saturday with FLAWLESS

It's great to be here at My Sexy Saturday again! I'm especially glad to be here today because it gives me a chance to show off the beautiful new cover for FLAWLESS, my previously published World War Two romantic suspense novella. Here it is!



Many thanks to my publishers at The Wild Rose Press for creating this wonderful new cover. The girl on the cover is exactly how I imagined my heroine Madeleine would look. FLAWLESS is available from The Wild Rose Press, Amazon and other e-book retailers. You can find another excerpt, reviews, and a complete list of buy links at my website at www.janarichards.com Here's the blurb for FLAWLESS:

France, 1942. The world is at war. The Nazis have stolen the infamous blue diamond, Le Coeur Bleu, intending to barter it for weapons that will destroy the Allies. Jewel thief Hunter Smith is given a choice; help the French Resistance steal back the diamond and avenge the death of his best friend, or stay locked up in an English prison. He chooses revenge.
Resistance fighter Madeleine Bertrand’s husband died when he was betrayed by Hunter Smith. How can she now pretend to be married to the arrogant American? How can she betray Jean Philippe’s memory by her passionate response to Hunter’s kisses? Neither is prepared for the maelstrom of attraction that erupts between them. To survive they must uncover the mysteries of the past and conquer the dangers of the present. But first Madeleine must decide if her loyalties lie with her dead husband and the Resistance or with the greatest love of her life.
In this seven paragraph snippet, Hunter has just been dropped into France. Madeleine is his contact in the French Resistance. His cover is to be a gardener at the Chateau where the Nazis have made their headquarters. He has no idea why she takes an instant dislike to him:

“What exactly do you know about being a gardener?”  She picked up her pace, and Hunter had to lengthen his stride to keep up with her.

“What’s to know? I stick a shovel into the ground and spread manure. It’s just a cover. I’m here for Le Coeur Bleu, not the roses.”

Madeleine threw up her hands. “Ah, yes, Le Coeur Bleu. That’s all you’re really interested in, isn’t it?”

“Of course I’m interested in it. Getting it away from the Germans is the whole reason I’m here.”

“You mean stealing it.”

What was her problem? “Yes, I mean stealing it. You don’t think the Nazis are going to hand it over if I say ‘pretty please,’ do you?”

Madeleine stopped suddenly and spun to face him. The sky had lightened just enough for him to see the fury in her eyes. “You’re nothing but a common thief. I know all about you, Monsieur Smith. I know you were imprisoned for jewel theft in London. I know the only reason you got out was because Monsieur Campbell needed you to steal this jewel. You think it is better to steal Le Coeur Bleu than to rot in jail. Do you think this is a lark, a game we play here, Monsieur Smith? I can assure you, you will soon regret coming to France.”

I hope you enjoyed my snippet. I invite you to come back here tomorrow. To celebrate my new cover, I'm holding a contest and giving away two digital copies of FLAWLESS. See you then!