Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Author Marsha R. West Interviews J.Q. Rose, Deadly Undertaking for 99 cents

Hello and welcome to the J.Q. Rose blog.

I love to visit my friend's blogs and to be their guest. I was delighted to be interviewed on talented author Marsha R. West's blog. We have become good cyber friends since we met a few years ago as fellow witers with the same publisher. She writes mysteries and so do I, so that may be one reason why we click so well. 

I'm sharing the questions Marsha asked during my virtual book tour for Deadly Undertaking last fall. (BTW, Shameless promotion alert! Deadly Undertaking is now on sale for 99 cents through July 6! Look for details below.)I must admit I revealed quite a bit about myself thanks to her questions. I hope you enjoy the interview. Click here to check out Marsha's website.

Thanks, Marsha for allowing me to re-blog this post!
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Beautiful Michigan
Photo by J.Q. Rose
Where are you from and did you always want to be a writer? Did you do something else before your writing career? I’m originally from Central Illinois, but now live in Michigan in the summer and Florida in the winter. Yes, I have always wanted to be a writer, but life kind of got in the way of achieving that goal for many years. I began writing stories in second grade because my mother was my classroom teacher. I was a bit of a social butterfly and would often get in trouble talking to everyone. So to keep my mom happy and myself out of trouble, when I finished my assignments I penned stories (“penciled” in second grade) during my free time. I loved escaping into my imaginary world more than talking to my classmates. Now that’s saying something!
I taught third grade when we were first married. I thought I would put a hold on teaching to raise my daughter and then return to teaching. Instead, my husband and I moved our baby girl and our household to Michigan to become owners of a floral shop and greenhouses.  I learned floral arranging and floundered around a bit to figure out how to be a good manager for our employees. (I never felt like I achieved the art of being a boss.) After nineteen years, we sold the business and lived full-time in our RV. I began my writing career as a freelance writer at the kitchen table in the RV.
Writing with a pen on paper
What is the best advice you’ve received about this journey? Keep writing. Even when you don’t feel inspired to write, get something down on the paper/screen. You can’t edit a blank page.

What do you wish you’d known before you began? The real “work” of a writer comes after a book contract is signed—the marketing. Writers love to write and that is truly a joy. Marketing is a job.

What process do you use? Are you more of a plotter or pantser? I’m a plotter. I need to plan from the beginning to the ending or at least think that’s the ending. Things change in the writing. I thought my main character, Lauren, in Deadly Undertaking, was going to fall in love with the gorgeous detective with the cobalt blue eyes. I hope I don’t spoil the story when I reveal she doesn’t.

What sources do you use for inspiration? (Music, movies, people watching, etc.) I get a lot of inspiration from news stories. In Coda to Murder, the minister has to take over the care of a pig and a kangaroo when these pets’ owners lose their camper in an explosion. That’s a true story that was in the news. Deadly Undertaking includes issues in the news today such as the legalization of recreational marijuana.

What’s next for you?
After the promotion blog tour for Deadly Undertaking finishes up at the end of the year, I hope to outline a year in my life and write a memoir about that difficult first year of moving to a town of strangers with our baby and learning the flower business. Hoo-boy. That year was the most challenging year of my life. Marketing/promotion of my books is always a constant project.
Lake Michigan--over the dunes to the beach
Photo by J.Q. Rose
Now for the fun stuff.
What do you do when you aren’t writing?
Play a board game, Pegs and Jokers, with friends and family, take photos of nature, family, garden, food, camp during the summer with our family, grandparenting (not babysitting because our grandkids are now 6-15 years old), travel to new places and favorite places.

If you could only eat three foods what would they be and why?
Only 3? Anything chocolate, pizza, and roast beef with carrots and potatoes (pot roast)

What would you like to do other than writing if talent/skill didn’t matter?
Since you added if talent/skill doesn’t matter, I would like to be an entertainer like Carol Burnett. She makes people so happy.

BIG NEWS!

Deadly Undertaking by J.Q. Rose
Romantic suspense
A handsome detective, a shadow man, and a murder victim kill Lauren's plan for a simple life.
Deadly Undertaking is on the Kindle Countdown Sale for 99 cents! 
Yes, that's right, but only from
Wednesday June 29- Wednesday July 6th
My publisher, Books We Love, is offering this mystery romance paranormal e-book for only 99 cents. Don't wait. Price goes up after July 6th to $2.99.


Back of the Book: Deadly Undertaking by J.Q. Rose

Lauren Staab knew there would be dead bodies around when she returned home. After all, her family is in the funeral business, Staab and Blood Funeral Home. Still, finding an extra body on the floor of the garage between the hearse and the flower car shocked her. Lauren’s plan to return to her hometown to help care for her mother and keep the books for the funeral home suddenly turns upside down in a struggle to prove she and her family are not guilty of murdering the man. But will the real killer return for her, her dad, her brother? Her mother’s secrets, a killer, a handsome policeman, and a shadow man muddle up her intention to have a simple life. Welcome home, Lauren!

Buy Links:






Monday, June 20, 2016

Packing My Bags Again

Packing my bags for a vacation.
Image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.com by Victor Habbick
Hi Friend,

Thanks for stopping in.

It's that time of year again. Vacation Time!! Woot woot.

Gardener Ted and I are off for a summer trip. When we  return I'll share pictures and stories about our adventure.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Happy Father's Day!

Happy Father's Day, Dad.
Photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos,.net
by debspoons
Wishing all the Dads and folks who are father figures to children, 

Happy Father's Day!!

Father's Day always brings back memories of my dad, a tall thin gentleman in every way. We were alike in temperament. Not an extrovert, but comfortable with people. He loved everyone and could be friends with everyone no matter if they had no education or if they were a professor. 
My Dad

Dad taught me to love music. He could play the piano sitting backwards under the keyboard and still bang out a tune. In fact, just hum the melody of a song to him and he could play it. He never read music. Piano was a natural talent. I learned to play the piano because of him.

Because I was the youngest of three, and the only girl in the family, I may have been a bit spoiled. (Just ask my two older brothers!) We had a special relationship like most fathers and daughters do. We were a team. 

How about you? Do you have a dad or father figure in your life who always had your back? Please take time to share something you loved about your dad. Thanks.

If you'd like to know more about my dad, please visit the 2015 Father's Day post here.


Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Rules for Writing a Sweet Romance Novel, Anniversary Time


Roses are so romantic.
Photo by J.Q. Rose

I just finished reading Kat French's romance novel, Undertaking Love, The book caught my eye because the story deals with an undertaker and my novel, Deadly Undertaking, takes place in a funeral home. The undertaking business is the link here, but no similarity in the plot or characters.

Kat's story is a great read filled with tender and funny moments, but wouldn't be classified as a sweet romance. Several spicy well-written scenes are in the story with the bedroom door open.

Rules for a Sweet Romance Novel by J.Q. Rose

So what is a sweet romance? What makes it different from a romance? 
Aww--sweet romance.
In an article, Keeping It Sweet While Turning Up the Sex, Mary Janice Davidson writes--"In a sweet romance, you've got to show the love without necessarily showing the lovemaking."

That's right. No action with the bedroom door open! 

Rules shouldn't come into play when dreaming about love and romance, but sweet romance has rules and readers all know the rules when they decide to choose a sweet romance novel. No explicit sex is definitely one rule. Another the reader expects is the Happily Ever After (HEA) ending. The couple overcomes obstacles and conflicts to get together at the end of the book.

Writing how the couple's love story progesses even has rules:
1. A physical attraction--gorgeous blue eyes,  thick wavy hair, shapely legs,
2. An unplanned touch e.g. trying to retrieve the same piece of paper and their hands meet or accidentally brushing together in a crowded bar. Even a formal handshake can sizzle the air.
3. A build-up to the first kiss
4. And an embrace with smoke 

I know it sounds crazy to read a novel when you already know there are rules followed all the way to  the HEA ending. So why are they so popular?  I believe it's because readers become emotionally involved in the characters' lives. They care about the characters. 

A sweet romance writer faces a formidable challenge because of these expectations. Sweet book author, Lisa Mondello (Her Heart for the Asking), said, "I write for Avalon Books and they're about as sweet as you can get. One of the things I do is focus on the emotion between the hero and heroine."

The emotion, the connection, between the hero and heroine is what draws readers in because they care about the couple. Readers will continue turning pages to find out how the two will overcome conflicts so they can be together. 

What can you add to my "rules" on writing/reading a sweet romance novel? Do you always want a HEA ending? Please leave a comment below. I'd love to read your thoughts on this topic.

Wedding rings.
Speaking of romance. Our wedding anniversary is this week.

The definition of romance in a long-life marriage goes through many changes. What you think is romantic at 18 is so different when you're 30 or 60.

On our first anniversary I was heart broken when he wanted to plow up the garden instead of take me out for dinner. (Let's just note, that did not happen again. hee hee and we did go out for dinner later!) I was expecting roses and candlelight.

Tonight our anniversary dinner was at our favorite restaurant--a bar and grill--sitting on their deck overlooking a river. Beautiful and peaceful.

So wherever you are in your journey of romance, I'm sure you know it isn't all rainbows and roses. But going through those ups and down times is the glue that keeps the romance going. Cherish every minute of it.

Sweet romances are great for escape, but I'll take the real life experience anytime.

Thank you for stopping in today.

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Thursday, June 9, 2016

Do You Like to Read/Listen to Audio Books? Audio Book Ahoy Gum Drop! by Miss Mae

Reading Audio Books is Hot!
Photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.org
by Viacheslav Blizniuk
Hello and Welcome to the J.Q. Rose blog!

So glad you are here. Today I need you to help me make a decision on producing audio books or not. 

I certainly enjoy listening to audio books, especially since I can easily download them from my library using Overdrive.com. But, I have to be patient because the waiting time is long due to the popularity of audio books and authors. It's crazy easy to order them from Amazon and read them just a minute after ordering.

Have you tried audio books? When I was a kid, I loved when the teacher read to the class after lunch. Audio books have taken that experience and enlarged it into an entertaining time. Audi books remind me of the plays that were performed on the radio way back when--I was a tiny child at the time. Plays like the Green Lantern and Orson Welles' War of the Worlds (known as radio drama) and of course soap operas.

The Wall Street Journal described audio books as “a rare bright spot in the publishing industry.” According to audio book expert, Robert Reiman, " E-book sales are waning, but, audio book listening on Audible grew 38 percent last year. Audio book sales growth is up 20 percent worldwide two years in a row."

So I am thinking about jumping in on this "rare bright spot". I have a novella I would like to make into an audio book. The whole process is daunting, but then again, I look back at my first experience formatting an e-book to upload to amazon. That was a challenge indeed, but I did it.


One of the many decision I would have to make is to find the narrator. I wouldn't consider narrating my own book, so I would like a voice actor who can use his/her voice to conjure up the many characters via voice inflections when a nasal quality. rich baritone or squeaky voice is needed to portray the character. The narrator has to pull the reader/listener into the story. Owen McCuen narrated my author friend, Miss Mae's, zany story, Ahoy Gum Drop. He certainly knows how to perform amazing characterizations to bring this fun story to life.
Here's a sample from the audio book

Video: Ahoy Gum Drop! Introducing I.B. Nosey
by Miss Mae
Owen McCuen, narrator
Buy Link: Ahoy Gum Drop!

Owen and Miss Mae also created a promotional video for my romantic suspense novel, Coda to Murder. You can watch it here on You-tube


An I.B. Nosey Interview with J.Q. Rose
Produced and narrated by Owen McCuen
Written by Miss Mae

Owen was my guest on the J.Q. Rose blog. Find out more about this talented, and may I add, handsome, guy here. as well as more about audio book production.

This summer I plan to explore bringing Sunshine Boulevard to life via audio book.
What is your experience as a reader with audio books? If you are an author, have you published an audio book or considered creating an audio book? Please leave your comment below. I look forward to reading them. Thank you.







Monday, June 6, 2016

National Gardening Exercise Day, June Anniversaries

Dad
Mom
 June is here-- the month of June brides. My parents 77th anniversary is today. I hope they're celebrating in Heaven.

Our daughter Sara and her hubby celebrate their anniversary on  June 10.


Our anniversary is June 14. Thank goodness it's Flag Day too. So when Gardener Ted sees the flags flying on Main Street, he knows it's anniversary time!


Gardener Ted and JQ

Hello and Welcome to the J.Q. Rose Blog


Not only is June the month of brides, it's also a month for gardens.
In fact, today, June 6 is National Gardening Exercise Day. Whether you love gardening to grow 

vegetables and/or flowers. You'll get plenty of exercise.

Gardener Ted's vegetable garden
According to the holiday insights website, "It's good for the mind, body, and soul. Gardening Exercise Day gives us an opportunity to go out and burn off calories and have fun doing it. National Gardening Exercise Day is intended to recognize the important physical health benefits of gardening."

My friend and cozy mystery author, Susan Bernhardt, captured what gardening means to her in her blog post this week. Take a peek at it here. 

          Author Susan Bernhardt

If you are thinking about trying to grow a  garden or if you already have a vegetable garden started, you may want to pick up some quick tips on gardening. Gardener Ted and I co-wrote a helpful resource for gardening. His experience in gardening and my experience in writing combined to give you helpful information. To download a sample or to purchase Quick Tips on Vegetable Gardening, click the book cover below.



Tuesday, May 31, 2016

IWSG Blog Hop: Summer Fever by J Q Rose

Hello and welcome to the monthly meeting of the 
Insecure Writers Support Group(IWSG) blog hop! 

Internet Writers Support Group Blog Hop
First Wednesday of every month.
What is IWSG? Founder of the  Insecure Writer’s Support Group and author Alex J Cavanaugh explains the group's purpose is "to share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!" You're invited to become a member of this supportive group.

The group blogs the first Wednesday of every month.  The list of bloggers is always available so you can hop around to the author blogs filled with humor, advice, and thought-provoking topics on writing and publishing. You can find the list of participants at Alex's IWSG page
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Canadians and Americans have celebrated long weekends what with Victoria Day on Monday, May 23, and Americans just coming back to reality after Memorial Day, May 30. Time to get glued back into your chair and write. 

Writing is Easy...
Spring fever interferes with my writing. So, after the Memorial Day holiday and school closing for the summer, I will be dealing with summer fever. I don't recall having fall or winter fever. The long days and warm weather lures me away from my laptop, but ideas for writing stories are always swirling in my head. 
Woolly Sheep
Photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.com
by khunaspix

Right now I am just woolgathering. Yes, that's  a real word in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary. It means "indulgence in idle daydreaming." I'm sure I'll discover a golden nugget in the wool to spark an idea I can use for my future forays in storytelling. 

How about you? How do you deal with Summer Fever? Have you found ways to overcome it?

Thank you for stopping in at the IWSG blog hop. Click the IWSG page here to find more IWSG bloggers to visit and an opportunity to join the group.
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Monday, May 23, 2016

Remembering the WWII Women Air Force Service Pilots (WASP) This Memorial Weekend

"Our Eyes are on the Stars", the title of the float,
celebrates and honors the military service of the Women Airforce Service Pilots.
In January 2014, my husband and I attended the Rose Parade in Pasadena, CA, where I learned about a brave group of women. Because of the Wingtip to Wingtip Association float in the 2014 Rose Parade, the 1102 women who served their country as Women Air Force Service Pilots (WASP) received recognition for their contribution to the war in 1942-1944. These brave trailblazers dreamed of flying for their nation. 

Because of the shortage of male pilots for combat duty, the women pushed to become pilots in order to free up the men for fighting the war. The WASP group members were assigned to ferry military planes between military bases in the USA and flights from aircraft factories to ports of embarkation. They also towed targets for live anti-aircraft artillery practice, simulated strafing missions, and transported cargo. A few exceptionally qualified women were allowed to test rocket-propelled planes, to pilot jet-propelled planes, and to work with radar-controlled targets. The WASP were not assigned to combat missions.

The reproduction of the Congressional Gold Medal awarded to the WASP decorates the side of the float. The 38 stars around the medal salute the 38 WASP who lost their lives in service to their country.
When the WASP was disbanded in 1944, the courageous women were not considered members of the military and received no recognition. They paid their way back home and their contribution to the war effort was forgotten. They were not recognized as veterans until 1977 when the WASP records were unsealed. According to Wikipedia, on July 1, 2009 President Barack Obama and the United States Congress awarded the WASP the Congressional Gold Medal. During the ceremony President Obama said, "The Women Airforce Service Pilots courageously answered their country's call in a time of need while blazing a trail for the brave women who have given and continue to give so much in service to this nation since. Every American should be grateful for their service, and I am honored to sign this bill to finally give them some of the hard-earned recognition they deserve." 

More than 15000 red Freedom roses decorated the length of the float.

The first issue of the Fifinella Gazette was published February 10, 1943. The female gremlin Fifinella was conceived by Roald Dahl and drawn by Walt Disney, and used as the official WASP mascot that appeared on their shoulder patches.
During this 2016 Memorial Day weekend, let's remember the WASP who opened the skies to later generations of female pilots in the military. 

Thank you to all those who serve in the USA military service both past and present. 

Enjoy your Memorial Day activities, but please take time to tell the children why we have Memorial Day. Let us remember those who gave their lives for our country.

VIDEO:
This excellent video posted by the American Legion HQ enlightens us about the WASP history. The seven minute video will take you back to those WWII days with the music and the sights and the important story of these female pilots who opened the skies for the women military pilots of today.
Women Air Force Service Pilots Video
www.wingsacrossamerica.org
Previously blogged at the Girls Succeed blog



Thursday, May 19, 2016

Romance Readers Want to Know: Mystery Author Marsha R. West, Giveaway

Romance Readers Want to Know
Every Thursday on the J.Q. Rose blog
Hello and welcome.
I'm delighted to welcome a frequent blogger on the J.Q. Rose blog, my friend and fellow mystery author, Marsha R. West. Marsha shares several questions from readers this week. You're invited to ask her a question about her writing too. Just ask it in the comment section below and/or leave a comment to enter the drawing for her book, Second Act.
Marsha is having a GIVEAWAY of the first book in her series, Second Act. For a chance to win, you just need to sign up for her newsletter http://eepurl.com/bBcimz  and comment here at this blog. Please let her know in your comment if you already receive her newsletter.

Thank you, Marsha!!

What Readers Want to Know by Marsha R. West

Thanks for asking me to be a part of this series, JQ. I’ve really enjoyed reading other authors' answers.

When did you first consider yourself a writer? This is tough. Probably not until my first book, VERMONT ESCAPE, (the 4th one I wrote) was released. I remember the thrill when I went on B & N, and Amazon and found it by title with my name on it. Well, heh, it’s still a thrill. J

             Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)? I’d say I travel some because of writing and my books. I attend conferences and book signings. Some of the places we visit on vacation, I’m able to include in my books. ACT OF TRUST is set in a small harbor town I built after a visit to Boothbay Harbor, Maine.
Do you have any advice for other writers? Keep on keeping on. It’s a hard business. Rejection hurts. Pick yourself up. Take another online class or attend a conference, hone your skills, and keep on writing.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp? It’s probably the importance of family and never giving up on each other.
How much of your books is realistic? Well, the stories are made up, but my intention is for the situations to feel realistic. I draw a lot from personal experiences and knowledge. I also research when I don’t know something I need.
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Second Act by Marsha R. West
Romantic suspense
Back of the Book: Second Act by Marsha R. West
When a member of the board of a non-profit arts agency in Fort Worth turns up dead, the homicide detective assigned to the case looks at everyone involved in the organization, including the Executive Director.
Excerpt: Second Act, Book 1 The Second Chances Series
“We had full houses during the run of the show, but we didn’t make enough to pay for the production. You have failed consistently to bring in shows on or under budget. I won’t let you continue to drown us in red ink.”    
Addison Jones shoved the pages on her desk in his direction. Her artistic director glanced at the sheets and broke into hysterical laughter. Chills scampered down her back like mice escaping a cat. The man was a creative genius and scary as hell right now, but Addie wouldn’t cut him any slack on the financial issue. She’d given him enough second chances to last two careers.
“Being executive director doesn’t give you the power to fire me, unless you get the support of a supermajority of the board.” His lip curled into a sneer that matched his voice. “And you don’t have that.” He stood up and walked toward the door. His knuckles whitened on the knob before he yanked it open and turned to face her.
“Don’t screw with me, Addison. You’ll lose.” His whiny tone switched to a menacing one.
Her face warmed with the rush of blood at his language. She stood, met his gaze, and clenched her hands into such tight balls the nails cut into her palms. “You mess with this theatre, and I’ll make you sorry, Clay Bennett.”
Buy Link
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About Marsha:
Author Marsha West
Marsha R. West, writes Romance, Suspense, and Second Chances. Experience Required. MuseItUp Publishing released her first book, VERMONT ESCAPE, in July 2013. Marsha released the print version of the first book in the fall of 2014. Her second book, TRUTH BE TOLD, was e-released by MIU in May 2014. Both of these are now also out in print. She released (both in print and electronic) her third book, SECOND ACT, Book 1 of the Second Chances Series, in March 2015, Find out more at  www.marsharwest.com She’d love to hear from you.

Connect online with Marsha
http://eepurl.com/bBcimz Newsletter Sign up



Monday, May 16, 2016

Lisa Morin Review of Deadly Undertaking, This Week


Hello from J.Q. Rose.
My day started out great this morning when I received a review for Deadly Undertaking from cozy mystery reviewer, Lisa Morin. Yes, I did send in a review request to her because I thought my romantic suspense mystery might be in the category she prefers to review. Sure enough, she definitely enjoyed it!

Here is part of Lisa's review--
"You won't want to miss out on this fantastic story!
This book is a whirlwind of mystery and I was on the edge of my seat at the end.
The author tells a good story and all the characters are believable. There are a few characters that really irritated me and that is a sign of a well told story."

If you'd like to read the entire review, Lisa posted it on amazon, goodreads, and Barnes and Noble.
Deadly Undertaking by J.Q. Rose
Romantic suspense
Here is the link to download a sample or purchase Deadly Undertaking.

This Week:
Thursday, May 19--Mystery author Marsha R. West joins us to answer questions from readers AND she is offering a giveaway of an e-book. See you on Thursday!