If It Quacks Like a Duck…

I like to think I’m usually pleasant to unknown callers. I fondly imagine I treat people with due courtesy when I answer a call from a number I don’t recognize from my caller ID. I have, however, had an illuminating couple of days and have discovered that I can be a total shrew. And get a large degree of satisfaction out of the exchange.

A few days ago I innocently answered a call from a number I didn’t recognize. The voice on the other end of the conversation had a distinctive accent, heavy enough that I had to ask the caller to repeat himself more than once. Eventually I learned he was calling himself Daniel and purported to be a representative of the U. S. Treasury, specifically the IRS. He wanted to discuss the delinquent amount I owed the government. Knowing that I didn’t owe those folks at the treasury anything and  the IRS doesn’t make phone calls out of the blue, I was certain this was the well-known confidence game often aimed at older, single people who might be easily conned. I quickly hung up and went on about my day. In a very few minutes the call was repeated. I answered, said I wasn’t interested in continuing the conversation, and disconnected again. The calls went on, at half-hour to forty-five minute intervals, for most of the day. I didn’t bother to answer them.

Late in the afternoon, I noticed I had a voice mail message waiting. I checked it. It was a message from the spurious IRS representative Daniel. He’d left a statement to the effect that if I didn’t return his call within fifteen minutes, there would be Federal Marshals at my door with a warrant. Enough already! Nuisance calls are one thing, open threats are something else.

I grabbed the car keys and my cell phone with the offensive voice mail and drove over to the sheriff’s office. The nice deputy–sweet boy, I’ve known him since he was in my seventh grade class and he still remembers when I kept him in for writing notes to the girl two rows over–listened, sympathized, said all the comforting things he could think of, but assured me there was nothing the sheriff’s office could do. These scam artists are out of the country and untouchable by local law enforcement. He suggested I call my carrier and have the number blocked.

Good thought, I suppose, except my phone carrier explained, with great patience, that the company really couldn’t do that. These slimy creeps switch phone numbers like my granddaughter changes nail polish–daily. The best the phone company could offer was putting my number on a national “Do Not Call” list, which might help with telemarketers, but probably not with the scammers.

Surely, I told myself, someone in law enforcement can do something. This nonsense has to be illegal. So I called the Attorney General’s office and spoke with a lovely lady named Katherine in consumer affairs. She, too, was sympathetic and understanding and totally without a means of stopping the harassment and threats. Her suggestion was simply not to answer the phone. I could have my number changed, of course, she added as an afterthought.

Since the caller claimed to be a representative of the IRS, I thought perhaps that agency would be interested and possibly have a suggestion. No, indeed, they were aware of what the con artists were doing but believed they were operating from outside the country and were beyond reach. In the final analysis, these crooks specialize in hounding and intimidating older people, conning them into giving credit card numbers to pay for tax arrears that are fraudulent, and can not be stopped by any agency.

By the time I heard the eleventeenth version of why no one can do anything, I realized there was no resource or conventional solution that would stop the threats or obnoxious calls. The only thing I could think of that might work would be to convince Daniel and his cohorts that I was not intimidated, not a likely target, and not going to pay them a single silver farthing. So the last time I heard from Daniel the conversation went something like this:

Daniel: Now, Miss Farleta, you will talk to me or you will be talking to an officer. There will be a warrant issued…

Me: I will not talk to you but you are going to hear a few words from me. You are an unmitigated crook, a scam artist, and a punk. I hope your mother doesn’t know what you’re doing with the life she gave you. You disgrace her. This thing you are doing may intimidate some people, but I am not one of them. Go to hell.

Not the polite and well-behaved model of propriety I was raised to be, I’ll admit. But oddly enough, Daniel and his friends haven’t called back.

The point of this rambling, other than venting my ire, is to share with others that this enterprising group is out there and apparently there is no agency capable of putting them out of business. The only thing that seems to stop them is to convince them there is no hope of wringing money  out of  their intended victim. Be loud, be firm, be as disrespectful and hostile as possible.  If they sense any glimmer of fear or trepidation, they’ll continue to pound at the gate. Only when the game isn’t worthwhile will they desist. Of course, they will then go on to the next number on the list and pursue another possibility. Warn your mothers, grandmothers, uncles, neighbors, anyone who might be coerced, because these jackals have no conscience.

Fleeta Cunningham

Take a Look Around

As I was loading my breakfast dishes into the dishwasher this morning, I noticed most of the plates in there were our smaller ones: salad, luncheon, etc. size. I realized it gave me a hint as to what we’d been eating over the last couple of days.

It reminded me of the importance of leaving our readers with environmental clues as well. The space your characters live in should tell us something about them. Perhaps they prefer a particular style of furniture. A specific color palate or scheme. Do they leave things lying around in a cluttered mess or are they neat and organized? What kind of food is in their fridge or their pantry? Produce, fruits, and veggies would tell us they are health conscious. Soda pop, chips, and cookies would tell us they like to indulge. Do they have pictures on the mantel that tell us a bit about their family? Or is the space bare without any artwork on the walls?

What kind of clothes do they wear? Obviously my cowboys always wear boots, jeans, and hats. Does your heroine wear jeans? Flirty dresses? Is she most comfortable in a pair of strappy high heels or running shoes?

What kind of car do they drive? Pick up truck? Convertible? Corvette? Honda? Cadillac?

All of these small details add up to give our readers a deeper glimpse into our characters. So make sure everything you include has a purpose. You’d be surprised what readers can learn from our characters’ environments.

Until next time,

Happy Reading!

Debra
www.debrastjohnromance.com

More Than One Way To Tell The Story

In the family we call this Logan’s Star. It’s the Lone Star quilt I made my grandson nineteen years ago, just before he was born. Over the years I’ve made hundreds of quilts, enough that a few years ago my delightful but ever practical daughter suggested the family had enough quilts and perhaps I should turn my needle elsewhere.

It’s true that every time I find a story bogging down, or the irritations of real life begin to intrude too much on my fantasy world, I find myself in a fabric shop or prowling through the scrap baskets stashed in the closet, looking for something special to piece together. Once upon a time, when I came home with several cuts of this and that I couldn’t resist, my late husband innocently inquired why it was necessary to go purchase more yardage to cut up into little bits when I had a dozen baskets of snippets already. I explained that my heroine wasn’t behaving and I needed a way to handle my frustrations. And these were brand new colors and prints. He shook his head and went back to running his model trains. My compulsion didn’t resonate with him any more than his did with me. Perfect marriage.

I thought I’d just about conquered my private addiction until a few weeks ago. I knew I was in trouble when the plot wouldn’t thicken and the characters turned wooden as well, and I found myself in the dark recess of the closet where the fabric stash hides. With a new baby in the extended family, I was lured into the snare of matching this with that, snipping and cutting, and turning a pile of pink flowers and yellow gingham into a finished quilt. The urge bit deep this time, and before I knew what I’d done, I was deep into a yellow Garden Gate quilt, followed by a blue Irish Chain, then a green Double Hourglass, and a beige and forest green Tilted Star. And my fingers itched every time I saw another color combination I couldn’t resist. The delicious print of  lilacs, the lure of blue gingham and spring daisies, the delight of oriental butterflies. What’s a compulsive quilter to do?

For the sake of my editor and my neglected characters, I’d better get this fever under control soon. But meanwhile, could I just get a yard of that scrumptious blue and green swirl, and maybe, before its all gone, a length of the candy stripe and the rose and white calico, please.

This is the result of the last time I went on a quilt bender. I have a friend who is addicted to Corvettes the way I am to quilts. This was the result of two addicts coming together. It alternates Stingrays with the Corvette crossed flags logo. I’d had the fabric stuck in a bag for ages, bought with no idea when I’d find a use for it. Buying fabric is a little bit like coming up with a scene and not knowing the rest of the story. You know you’ll use it someday, so you save it someplace where you can find it. One day, just the right thing will come along and it will fit right in.

Now, if I can get myself loose from the thimble, scissors, and pins, maybe I’d better see if my characters are ready to pick up their threads and weave the rest of their story together. Writing is a lot like quilting. You take all the pieces that blend together, find a pattern that uses them, then stitch the parts into a neatly fitted whole. Funny how much my two passions have in common. If you’d care to see more of my patchwork, drop by www.facebook.com/BluebonnetRoadQuilts and take a look. Or if you’d like to read some vintage Texas romance, my Santa Rita books are available from The Wild Rose Press and Amazon.com.

Look forward to hearing from you.

Fleeta Cunningham

That Time of Year Again

It’s been a blustery, cold winter again in the Midwest. Not quite so bad as last year, but enough to have missed three days of school to either cold or snow. But Spring is springing all around now. The snow and ice have melted, and we’ve even had temperatures rising up into the 70s this past week (before they dipped back down). Regardless, I am leaving it all behind.

Today I am sailing the sunny Caribbean Sea toward several delightful island destinations. Seventeen years ago we took a cruise for our honeymoon. For our 15th anniversary, we decided it was time to take another. At that time we became somewhat addicted. Last year we sailed to celebrate our 45th birthdays. This year, we’re sailing just for the heck of it. We have big plans to do a Mediterranean cruise with stops in Italy and Greece in ’18 to celebrate our 20th.

But I’m three years ahead of myself here…

This year we’re cruising the Southern Caribbean. We sailed from Port Canaveral in Florida and have two fabulous days at sea, and then we’ll be stopping at four ports before disembarking (We’re not going to think about that yet.) in San Juan. This time around we get to visit St. Thomas, where we’ve been before and are looking forward to reacquainting ourselves with some of our favorite things on the island. The next three stops are new to us, which is always fun: St. Kitts, St. Maarten, and Tortola. At each we’ll do an island tour to learn a bit about the local culture and see touristy highlights. Last year I took 704 pictures all told. I’m hoping to top that this year!

With all of this tropical beauty surrounding me, I think I may just be inspired to use the setting for a story at some point.

Until next time,

Happy Reading!

Debra
www.debrastjohnromance.com

Would a Freelance Editor Help?

I’ve never used a freelance editor, but I know a few of them. They work hard giving time, advice, and support to aspiring writers. I’m in awe of their dedication. Those are the colleagues I know and respect

Recently I was made aware of some other members of the freelance group who do not give so much support and take a much larger fee for the little they do. I had the pleasure of beta reading a manuscript for an acquaintance a few weeks ago. She told me that she’d used a freelance editor to help her work through the rough spots in her story, had paid the editor several thousand dollars for the work, but still felt a bit uncertain about self-publishing the result. I was flattered that she’d ask for my opinion after a professional editor had fine-tuned her work and took the story home to read.

The story was good, really good. The characters were sympathetic, the plot was fresh and intriguing, and the time period was not one of the generic ‘historicals’. I had no problem with the twists and turns of the story line or the conflicts between the characters. The difficulty I found was that the author simply didn’t know what she didn’t know, and the editor hadn’t offered any direction to help her find her way.

It’s generally understood the only way to learn to write a book is to sit down and write one. Like pancakes, the first one is often a mess best tossed in the garbage. From the act of stringing between 70,000 and 100,000 words together to tell a story, we begin to figure out how this yarn-spinning works. It’s harder than we thought. And we look for advice. Maybe we find a critique partner or group to guide us. Or we pay for help, as my aspiring acquaintance had.

When we go to a freelance editor, we hope we are getting more than corrections in spelling and punctuation. Wouldn’t we at least expect our highly paid consultant to point out where dialogue is excessively wordy and stops the story cold? Could we expect this expert to explain how sudden shifts in point of view will annoy and confuse the reader?  Might our experienced editor mention that we have clothed our heroine in garments that won’t exist for another thirty years or that our hero just uttered an expression that is illogical for the time of the book?

All of those problems appeared in the manuscript I was asked to read, the manuscript which had been reviewed twice by a freelance editor. I will say that I found not one error in spelling. My eye caught only two questionable points of punctuation. But the strength and vigor of the story was buried in anachronisms, meandering conversation, and muddled points of view. Perhaps the author needed to do more research. She certainly would have profited from studying more examples of well-written dialogue. The fact remains that an editor, with some claim to expertise, took a substantial fee for handling a manuscript for a promising writer. That editor gave little or no guidance. Because she was given no direction, the hopeful author felt her book somehow failed to meet her expectations,  but she didn’t know why.

Not having worked with an independent editor, I’m not conversant with all the services they offer. Perhaps the freelancers don’t suggest trimming chit-chat or red-line anachronisms, but if they charge the exorbitant fees I’ve heard quoted, I think they would at least make the author aware of critical flaws. Even a casual acquaintance will do that much to save the story.

Fleeta Cunningham

Ideas are Everywhere

I have friends who talk about and browse Pinterest all the time. For me, I haven’t quite got there yet. Mainly because I’m a bit afraid I’ll get addicted and it will be one more thing to do on the computer that isn’t writing a book. And believe me, I don’t need any kind of distractions or procrastinations there.

And while the site itself is a fairly new idea, the theory behind it has a much longer history.

Everyone knows the mark of a good teacher is to take an idea from someone else and make it your own. I love doing this. Conferences are a great place to network and grab ideas. The IL Reading Conference is absolutely my all-time favorite teachers’ conference. My curriculum is chock full of things I’ve garnered from this yearly event.

One of my favorite winter holiday traditions is our Historical Society’s Christmas Housewalk. Each year about a half dozen homes in a local neighborhood are opened to the public to tour. On these walks I’ve gathered a lot of great holiday decorating ideas. Last year, I came across a year round decorating idea, which I implemented this past summer. I’m sure it’s not a new idea, but after seeing it in one of the homes on the Walk, I knew I wanted to do something similar in my own home. It’s simple, but it’s become one of our favorite spaces in our home.

Black framed sepia-tones prints from the places we’ve traveled to. These aren’t pictures of us, but photographs of scenery, monuments, and historic places we’ve visited. It was fun tracking down old photos for the project this summer, and I can’t wait to expand the gallery with more photos of upcoming vacations.

Now with writing, this borrowing from other people can get a bit tricky. After all, no one wants to mess with that little thing called plagiarism. It’s definitely not okay to blatantly take someone else’s idea or words and use them as your own. However, as we all know, there really aren’t all that many unique and original storylines out there. Think back to Freshman English class: You have your basic man vs. man, man vs. nature, etc. How many millionaire/secret baby romances have you read? These days it’s shapeshifters and vampires and zombies. It’s what we do with those traditional story lines and conflicts that make our stories unique. And with that, the possibilities are endless.

Until next time,

Happy Reading!

Debra
www.debrastjohnromance.com

Available now:
One Great Night from The Wild Rose Press

Valentine’s Day Customs

When I started writing When My Heart Knew aimed for a Valentine’s-themed call for submissions, I knew I wanted to include a holiday custom from the heritage of one of the main characters. So I started in on my research. Because this story would also take place in the setting of two other recent stories, I wanted the heritage different than what I’d used. Vevina, my heroine in Wanderer, Come Home is Irish, and Kell the hero is Norwegian. My heroine in Clari’s Hero is of French descent, and for Trevor the hero, the subject doesn’t come up but I thought of him as a generic mix of Northern European.

I chose Scotland as the home country for hero Dylan MacInnes where he lived for the first twenty years of his life until immigrating to his uncle’s T-south Texas ranch five years earlier. So he was raised around the lore and customs taught by beloved family members from both his Scottish father and his Welsh mother. The tradition from his mother’s family he wishes to carry forward into the budding relationship he has with the heroine, Maisie Treadwell, is that of the lovespoon. The item is tangible evidence of his romantic intent-the wood carving displays his abilities, and the symbols indicate promises he’s making or represent special aspects or events of the couple’s relationship. For example: bells were for marriage, cross for faith, heart for love, horseshoe for luck, lock for security, and wheel for supporting a loved one.

Lovespoon with wheel, heart and lock

BLURB for When My Heart Knew:

Tomboy Maisie Treadwell meets her match in cowboy Dylan MacInnes. From the moment they meet, the sparks and words fly. Of course, if she hadn’t knocked him down and caused an ankle sprain, their relationship might have gone more smoothly. To avoid damaging the reputation of the family’s boarding house, Maisie is ordered to be at the mercy of meeting Dylan’s demands. When they discover a shared interest in adventure stories, a bond is struck. Soon, Maisie can’t wait to spend time reading aloud to the virile man confined to a bed. Until the afternoon she overhears him explaining that his demands were meant to teach her a lesson. Can Dylan find a way to gain her trust again?

COWBOY KISSES

What could be better on a cold Valentine’s Day than to sit down with a book chock full of stories about special cowboys and their ladies? COWBOY KISSES has just what you’re looking for! Eight stories by some fabulous authors who share with you their love stories of the old west!

A Kiss In Time by Lorrie Farrelly

A Westward Adventure by Kristy McCaffrey

Valentine Angel by Gail L. Jenner

Hearts and Red Ribbons by Gil McDonald

Hunter’s Gamble by C. Marie Bowen

Her Thief of Hearts by Tanya Hanson

Hopes and Dreams by Beverly Wells

BUY LINKS

Amazon

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KOBO Books

Smashwords

GIVEAWAY

Do you have a favorite Valentine’s Day custom from your heritage? An electronic copy of Cowboy Kisses will go to one person selected from those who share a comment.

And I Thought Grandmother Was So Old Fashioned……

When I was twenty and Grandmother was the age I am now, I couldn’t imagine ever being as out-of-date as that tiny lady born before the dawn of the Twentieth Century. How could she find knee-length skirts, two-piece bathing suits, and rock ‘n roll distasteful? Now that my own granddaughter is twenty and I am the out-of-date grandmother from another century, I’m seeing the world from different place.

What is my concern, you ask.

So glad you inquired. I’m disgusted, affronted, and apparently in the minority. While running the risk of sounding as old fashioned as my Nineteenth Century grandmother, I want to ask when pathetic writing became the mainstay of a ‘modern masterpiece’. I’d like to know how ‘abuse’ has become synonymous with ‘romance’. Could someone explain  to me how language once kept out of the hearing of small children is now the common  conversation among the playground set? And when did women’s magazines, the ones hanging in racks in the family grocery store, become sex instruction manuals placed eye level to ten-year-old children?

This is the week of Valentine’s Day, that Cupid-hearts-flowers-candy respite from the woes of winter. Love is in the promise of a young man’s glance and an old one’s touch. It’s the innocence of a first crush and the ‘remember when’ of the widow’s memory. At least I thought it was, until a couple of events this week gave me an unpleasant wake-up.

I write romance and I’m proud of my work. I try to create interesting characters who will hold the reader’s attention. Making them live in the mind’s eye is the ultimate goal, but if a reader is simply entertained, I’m satisfied. I believe love between individuals is shown in kindness, respect, care, and support. My hope, every time I begin a story, is to bring my characters to that place. In my mind, a hero is as romantic washing the dog or changing the baby as he is pouring champagne or racing after the distressed damsel. And a heroine is as endearing roofing the house or driving the tractor as she is running through the daisies to her true love. On the other hand, abuse is not romantic. Manipulation is not love. Stalking is not exciting. Ask any woman who has been on the receiving end. So I am appalled that the 50 Shades movie–billed as romantic, exciting, hot, fill-in-your-adjective–has garnered so much anticipation. I read the thing and wondered what generated all the acclaim.  The writing is fourth rate, the characters unbelievable and unsympathetic, and the storyline glorifies a stalker and victim mentality. I have associates who write erotica and do an excellent job of it. The 50 Shades mish-mash is an insult to the professionals who work in that genre.

The other media event that sent shock waves to my mind was the sports magazine that produces an annual swimsuit edition. This year’s offering arrived at the home of my significant other today. He is a mature and intelligent man, interested in golf, baseball, basketball, and though he’s along in years, he  appreciates a lovely girl. Still the cover of the swimsuit edition had him speechless. When I looked at it, I saw why. The gorgeous cover model’s provocative pose  suggested the magazine had more in common with a bordello than a basketball court. And this is a magazine that is often left in the dentist’s or doctor’s waiting room. Am I the only person who finds this tasteless?

All right, I’m not in the swing of the new century which is, I realize not so new. We’ve moved fifteen years into the 2000′s and I suppose I am somewhere in the 1960′s. I have become my grandmother. I plead guilty. But is there something wrong with me that I would prefer not having to watch a ten-year-old page through the naked models of the swimsuit edition while I’m waiting to have my teeth cleaned? Am I somehow unrealistic to hope that my impressionable granddaughter won’t read a book or see a movie that paints an abusive psychopath as romantic and desirable? Am I railing against bathroom vulgarity when it’s only a freer form of speech?

I may be the little old lady, doddering along in my print dress and tennies, nattering about ‘In my day, you young whippersnapper, we did things right.’ And perhaps all of this is just the way things evolve as the world sheds its worn-out Victorian prudery. Maybe so. But let’s applaud good writing and label schlock  what it is. Let’s recognize cheap exploitation and not dignify it by calling it a ‘love story’. If we are going to pose lovely young women in a provocative manner, let’s not pretend the result is a sports magazine. And if we are going to use language once thought only suitable for the bar or barnyard, let’s recognize that the small ears around us are going to hear, young minds are going to remember, and young lips will repeat what they hear. Some of us are still shocked to hear a five year old grandniece drop a series of f-bombs at the ice cream party.

Okay, I’ve vented my disgust with the present. I believe I’ll go read a nice Tudor historical and rage at parents who used their children as political pawns. Maybe there will be a juicy palace intrigue. Or a good war among rival cousins. That should take my mind off the Twenty-first Century for a while. Thanks for letting me have the podium.

Fleeta Cunningham

Resolutions and Happiness… by Niecey Roy

Ramblings of a Writer…

It’s a snow day today, so while I’m in my office looking out at the beautiful white snow (beautiful, because I don’t have to go out and trudge through it, ha!) I’m taking a moment to reflect on all the amazing things that’s happened in the last two years.
I really wasn’t quite sure what to expect when I accepted my first publishing contract. It was exhilarating and a little overwhelming at the same time. As in Now What???

It’s been a whirlwind ever since, and a big learning curve. Because I didn’t just want to be a writer who wrote…I wanted to be a writer in charge of her own business. I’m independent like that. I like to know that everything I build is truly mine. I like to be in charge and I’m a little bossy… I always knew I would never be happy unless I owned my own business :)

So here I am, four books published later, and I’m enjoying the fruits of my labor. They didn’t come without stress, sleepless nights, tears, and there were – as much as I hate to admit it – days I wondered if I was in way over my head. If maybe I took the wrong route with my career. Publishing is a very competitive field. There are so many talented authors out there.

After publishing my latest book, I was terrified. Book 4…if people don’t like it, then what? I sat down and thought of all the things that might go wrong and realized that it really didn’t matter. I’ve always been a writer. I’ve always known I would spend the rest of my life writing. Regardless of whether my books end up on the New York Times Best-seller’s list or not… I will continue to write. It’s what makes me happy.

I’m doing a lot of different things in my life to be able to afford to live this dream. Many writers I know have other jobs as well. I started a Thirty-One business, and I am blissfully happy in my new small business. It fits with my lifestyle, with all the things that I enjoy (bags & purses & shopping, oh my!) and it gives me the flexibility I need to also write.

I made a resolution in December that THIS YEAR 2015 was a year for CHANGE and for me in roping in MY happiness. I did that with Thirty-One and in making necessary decisions and changes as a professional writer. (Cutting out social media and concentrating on my writing is one of those BIG changes.)

This writer is happy. It feels like it has taken years for me to get to this point where I can feel confident in where I’m at. I’ve taken control of my writing business, I’ve chosen a secondary career as a Thirty-One Consultant that makes me feel strong and confident and successful. I’ve even started eating healthier, and am finally feeling and seeing the results

This is going to be a great year!

How about you? Have you made any resolutions for 2015?

Smooches!

Niecey Roy

~ Reluctantly In Love ~

NRLove3BookCover6x9_HIGH.jpg

White picket fences and fairy tale endings aren’t in Roxanna Moss’s vocabulary. If she’s learned anything at all from her parents’ failed relationships, it’s to keep a lid on her emotions and the walls secure around her heart. As a PI in training by day and a writer by night, she doesn’t have time for a relationship, anyway.

What she didn’t plan on was Dr. Walker…

Chase Walker’s piercing blue eyes and sexy smile make it difficult to keep her heart in check. Even solving the biggest case of her career can’t distract her from the irresistible man heating up her sheets. Chase has her questioning everything she thought she knew about relationships, and denial can’t change the fact that she’s falling madly, deeply, and reluctantly in love.

Amazon:  http://bit.ly/ReluctantlyInLoveAMAZONKINDLE

iBooks:  http://bit.ly/ReluctantlyInLoveIBOOKS

Nook: http://bit.ly/ReluctantlyInLoveNook

Kobo: http://bit.ly/ReluctantlyInLoveKOBO

ARe: http://bit.ly/ReluctantlyInLoveARe

Off and Running

Here we are twenty-six days into the new year, and I have to say 2015 is off to a great start.

My tenth release with The Wild Rose Press made its world-wide debut on January 14. One Great Night is an ebook novella and sports what might be my favorite cover of all my releases. The cover artist captured the look and feel of the story perfectly: fun, flirty, and sexy.

The tag line reads: She’s ready, he’s not; it’s a battle of the sexes with a twist.

Blurb:
At twenty-seven, Chloe Harris has never had a night of really great sex. Before she turns thirty she wants to check that particular item off of her bucket list. She’s known Jason her whole life. More importantly, she trusts him. Who better to help her with her plan?

Call him a bit old-fashioned, but Jason Williams has never had a one-night stand. And he’s not about to start with his best friend’s baby sister. To save Chloe from herself, he’ll pretend to go along with her crazy scheme. But what happens when the charade becomes all too real? For his libido and his heart.

Available from TWRP, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble.

The fun didn’t stop with a new release. I also managed to complete (in about 17 days) the first draft of a new story. I established a new writing routine, didn’t stop along the way to do much editing, and wrote chronologically from beginning to end. Three very new approaches to writing for me. I’ll be working on edits this coming week, so we’ll see if the new method worked as well as it seemed to.

With January off to such a great start, I can’t wait to see what the rest of the year holds.

Until next time,

Happy Reading!

Debra
www.debrastjohnromance.com

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This Feels Like Home by Debra St. John

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