Thursday, October 1, 2015

Book Cover Reveal for Deadly Undertaking, Romantic Suspense by J.Q. Rose

 Happy October 2015! 

Revealing the sparkling book cover for my new mystery, Deadly Undertaking, 
is a fantastic way to kick off the new month!

Cover artist Michelle Lee captured the tone and the elements all necessary to tell a story that takes place in a funeral home, don't you think?

Books We Love Publishing will release the book this fall. 
I want to thank so many folks who have traveled (pushed me?) along this path to publishing my third mystery. I value the input from my critique partners, W.S. Gager, Tess Grant, Joselyn Vaughn, Dennis Caplis, Nancy Ross Flanagan, Sally Kent.  

My beta readers, Sandra Rossier, Tess Grant, and Roseanne Dow, offered valuable input. Gail Roughton took care of the formatting of the manuscript.

Thanks to Michelle Lee for a super book cover and to Jude Pittman for formatting and publishing this mystery/romance/paranormal. 

Last, and definitely not least, I want to thank my funeral director brothers, Jim and John, and my sister-in-law, Sandy, for advice on the funeral directing side of the book. Our dad was a funeral director, but I knew the business only from my childhood years, so I appreciated their help to update my knowledge. Of course, any errors I made, were entirely my fault as I took liberty to stretch a few practices to fit the story. Hey, it's fiction!
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You'll be hearing more about Deadly Undertaking on the blog.  In the meantime, here's the back of the book for you. 

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.
Deadly Undertaking
Coming soon from BWL
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!
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How do you feel about reading a murder mystery that takes place in a funeral home? Are you curious or put off by the idea of a funeral home setting for a mystery? I'd love to hear your comments. 

Follow the J.Q. Rose blog by email to find out more about Deadly Undertaking and when to enter the drawing for a free copy and prizes during the book launch!

Monday, September 28, 2015

My Writers Group at Art Hop 2015, Giveaway

My writers group at the Fremont Harvest Festival 2015
L-R: J.Q. Rose, W.S. Gager, Joselyn Vaughn, Tess Grant
What a delightful afternoon and evening on Friday night. My writers group got together for a book signing during the Art Hop in my town. Thirty artists took part in the annual  The inaugural Art Hop included thirty plus artists in the Harvest Festival and yes, the committee considered authors as artists too--the art of writing.

Street musicians added to the festivity along two blocks of Main St. downtown. (That would be our entire business district!) The weather was perfect for the event and the lovely day/evening brought out the crowds.

The venues were downtown businesses and we were assigned to the Coldwell Bankers Schmidt Real Estate Office. We were in the front entry, a bit cramped, but cozy, We had a lot of traffic and had a great time with visitors, many familiar faces, but also new folks.
Tess Grant and I shared a table.
When my first mystery, Sunshine Boulevard, was released in March 2011, I told visitors the mystery was an e-book. Most people stared blankly at me. What was an e-book? Times have changed! We actually had folks who not only knew what an e-book is, but they read e-books! Woot woot. Still many, even e-book readers, call the print books, "real" books.

I didn't have my book cover for my fall release from Books We Love, so I made this sign for the display.
Deadly Undertaking sign
I offered a FREE copy of Deadly Undertaking in a drawing and had the registration sheet under the sign. Besides providing a box for their name and email address, I also asked if they read e-books. I'd hate to award the winner an e-book when the reader doesn't even read them.

We enjoyed snacks provided by the hosts, balloons on our sign from the Festival Committee, and a lot of camaraderie with readers and authors.
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Come back on Thursday, October 1, for the book cover reveal of Deadly Undertaking!!
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Celebrating Back to School 
with a drawing to give-away my e-book to inspire and empower girls, 

Girls Succeed! Stories Behind the Careers of Successful Women

Girls Succeed: Stories Behind the Careers of Successful Women
Register now to win this e-book for a girl in your life.
I’m giving away the book to a lucky winner in the drawing. 

Connect online with J.Q. Rose:
Smashwords Author page

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Camping at Holland State Park, Windmill Island Gardens, Sunset

Crane's Orchards, Fennville, Michigan
Happy Autumn! We celebrated the new season by taking off to Holland, Michigan, about an hour's drive from our house. We camped for three days at the Holland State Campground and toured the area. Doesn't it seem we live in an area, but never visit the many great attractions practically in our neighborhood?

The orchards are sporting bright red apples and the pumpkins are orange in the fields, perfect for fall decorating.
At U-pick orchards, the apples on the lower branches are already harvested by children and short folks. Why does the best apple seem to always be in the top of the tree?
Michigan apple orchard
De Zwaan Windmill
De Zwaan means graceful bird.
We visited Windmill Island Gardens to see this working windmill from the Netherlands. How interesting to see how it grinds the wheat into flour. The guides, Gloria, Virginia, and Linda, did a magnificent job of explaining all the gears and processes in this amazing  250 year old machine. I was delighted to learn the miller is a young woman and the only American woman certified by the Dutch Council of the Netherlands where she learned her trade. I was in awe of this strong, feisty woman after learning her job consists of climbing up and down the blades (which are reach 125 feet at the top of the blade, pushing the blades to face the wind via a wheel that turns the cap on top, and lifting fifty pound bags of wheat and pouring them into the chute to slide down to the mill stone for grinding. I won't even go into the maintenance that she does to keep the windmill in good shape. Definitely a GRRL in my book.

Carousel top at Windmill Island Gardens

I loved the 1924 carousel--for children only. (I really wanted to hop on.)

Carousel horse

The antique street organ was amazing. Inside the trailer size beautifully decorated cabinet were all the whistles, the tambourine, the drums to make a one-of-a-kind rendition of The Good Ole Summer Time. That song is still playing in my head.

Lighthouse at Holland
The old wooden lighthouse is the symbol of Holland, MI as are the magnificent tulips during the Tulip Festival in May.

Crowds gather to watch the sun set into Lake Michigan. What a very special time of day. The beauty of this awe-inspiring display offers a splendid ending to an outstanding break from the ordinary.

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Thank you for stopping by. Have you seen a working windmill? Have you seen the wind turbine farms that now dot the landscape here in the Midwest? Old technology is new again!
Please leave a comment. I'd love to hear from you!
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Girls Succeed: Stories Behind the Careers of Successful Women
You can win this e-book
I’m giving away the book to a lucky winner in the drawing. 

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Our Fall Garden, Quick Tips on Vegetable Gardening

The last gladiola of the season...sigh
Cleaning out the garden. That time of year to put it to bed, but not completely, yet.
Take a peek at our September, fall garden.

You can see the squash on the left side on the fence, some cabbage and broccoli, and tomatoes on the right side of the photo. Gardener Ted uses vertical gardening to make more space--like he needs it!! hee hee

Gardener Ted is watering lettuce and cereal rye for ground cover for the winter.

Tomatoes and green peppers are loving this weather. Delicious.

Our fall lettuce crop is finally getting to the edible size.

Squash on the fence.

Rye he seeded about 5 weeks ago.

Do you know what plant this is?
Kind of a melancholy time when the garden plants are pulled up and the space is emptied out. But, the one idea I remember is, there's a fresh start next spring. And gardeners are the most hopeful and optimistic people on earth convinced next year, the garden will be even better.

Ha--reminds me of authors..the next book will be even better!

Did you have a garden this year? What were the high points? We won't discuss the low points!! If you don't garden, do you go to the farmers' market for fresh veggies and fruit? Are you planning a garden for next year? 
Please, leave a comment below and follow the J.Q. Rose by email. Add your email addy to the Follow by Email box in the sidebar so you won't miss the next article.
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Gardener Ted and I wrote an e-book packed with gardening tips. Yes, it's time to plan for next year!

Quick Tips on Vegetable Gardening by Gardener Ted and J.Q Rose

Get your copy now--only 99 cents

Thursday, September 10, 2015

. Deadly Undertaking: Books We Love Accepted My Mystery, Keep Writng, Photofunia

BREAKING NEWS!! (in the world of J.Q. Rose anyway)

J.Q. Rose signs contract for her new mystery
Breaking News indeed! Books We Love Publishing accepted my latest mystery/romance/paranormal novel, Deadly Undertaking!

If you're a reader of this blog, you've probably followed the progression of this story. I started it in June 2012 after my murder mystery, Coda to Murder, was released in the spring. For some reason, I couldn't get a handle on the story. I think it was because the main character is the daughter of a funeral director. That's me. My dad was an undertaker. Her life was too close to my life and I couldn't find her among all the memories of my growing up in my small town in Central Illinois, the people I remembered, the situations. I never had that disconnect with a character. It was like she had put up a wall between us. She didn't want to be me!

When I finally made that realization, the summer was gone. I'd wasted a lot of time not writing the story. But I did write a couple of short stories that summer, and it was fun and healing. 

I don't actually remember when I picked Deadly Undertaking (originally titled Dead Right) up again and "found" Lauren's character. But last fall and winter, I determined I would finish this book and have it ready for submission in the spring. Well that didn't happen. I kept moving the submission time ahead because the story kept evolving.

Thanks to Roseanne Dowell, after reading the story, she encouraged me to send it to Books We Love. I did! And now Deadly Undertaking will be published this fall!! Wow--three years and then accepted in one day. No rejections. 

Yes, I'm crowing about the contract, aren't I? Forgive me, but I'm just so excited to know I'll be able to get this book into the hands of readers to entertain them and perhaps inspire and inform them too. Whether you write strictly to entertain, or if you have a message in your books, then you must share it. You have no idea how your book could enrich others' lives.

I hope you understand what I'm trying to tell you by writing about this experience--keep writing. You'll have a breakthrough. You can do it.

My dream was to be a published author and I have achieved that with three traditionally published books under my belt. I have self-published several too, thanks to this amazing technology available to us now. But just because I did it, doesn't mean I'll stop. This acceptance is like a shot in the arm and my brain is awash in story ideas.

Keep writing!

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Tidbits on Writing and Life by J.Q. Rose

Everyday I come across helpful hints on making life easier, writing tips, or discover information that I can use. In this new feature on my blog, I'll be sharing some tidbits I hope will help you too. If you have some bit you've uncovered and want to share it with my readers and me, please email it to jqrose02 at gmail dot com. 

Yellow car Photo by sattva
  • Today I'm sharing the Photofunia website. I used this fun site to make my Breaking News photo above. They have many other choices to transform your photos into amazing pieces and put them in unusual places like a New York scape, a London tour bus, and of course on TV. Thanks to Joan Stewart's newsletter for this tidbit. Joan Stewart, Publicity Hound  Tips and Tricks for Free Publicity
  • Are you aware the image of a gas tank in your gas gauge in the dashboard of your car shows you which side your gas tank is on? There is nothing more embarrassing than to pull up to the wrong side of the island to fill up the the tank, then realize the gas tank is on the other side of the car. !! Just peek at that picture and find the indicator so you won't be the one everyone is pointing at as you move your car.
* * *

I mentioned I had a dream to be a published author since I was a girl. In my non-fiction e-book for girls, Girls Succeed!,  I interview fifteen women who worked hard to achieve success in their dream careers. These outstanding role models reveal the obstacles in their way and how they overcame them. This book will inspire and empower girls to dream big and go fo it!

* * *Celebrating Back to School with the special price of 99 cents for a short time.* * *
Available at all major online booksellers.

For more information and/or to purchase, click the book cover at the left. Thank you.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Travelogue: Red River, New Mexico Escape by Marsha R. West, Giveaway

Summer Travelogue
Hello and welcome to the official Summer Travelogue series on the J.Q. Rose blog. This series has been so fun and interesting, so many great places featured here from all over the world. If you have missed any, please peek at the Thursdays posts beginning after Memorial Day. 

Labor Day weekend is the unofficial end of summer, so today, to round out the series with the last of the travelogues, my friend and talented mystery author, Marsha R. West. Ending this summer series on a high note, Marsha is offering a copy of her book, Vermont Escape, to a lucky commenter. Marsha says it was an escape to Red River years ago that was the inspiration for Vermont Escape.  Winner will be chosen after 9 pm EDT on Sunday.
Romantic Suspense
So let's get along to one of her inspiring and favorite destinations, Red River, New Mexico. Get your boots and hats ready for hiking and your favorite walking shoes for shopping. Let's go!
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Red River, New Mexico Escape by Marsha R. West

Out West in New Mexico USA
I have really enjoyed JQ’s travelogue and am happy to be able to share about one of our favorite places. Red River, New Mexico.

One of my favorite parts about staying there was the scent in the air. It was lavender, and made me just go, “ahhhh”. I wish I could picture that smell for you.

The river
Next I loved the sound of the river. It ran right through the town, and our A-Frame backed up to it. Sleeping with the sound at night was as good as going to sleep to the sound of waves. Walking along beside it either on the road or on the Nature Trial was pure joy.

Deer getting a drink from the river.
Even the deer came into town to sip of the river.
Loved all the walking. The Nature Trail was the closest thing to a hike I did.  But family members did quite a bit of the real thing, and so I get to share a couple of their pictures of great vistas.
Mountain vista, Red River, NM

Mountain view, Red River, NM
Pretty good eating options, but you don’t really go to Red River for the restaurants. A taco stand that the whole family loves is closing at the end of this year. The woman retired to Red River and opened up the stand, but it’s been fifteen years, and she’s ready to “really” retire. We’ll miss her food. One of the best taco salads I’ve ever had, I ate there on this last trip.   
Texas Red’s 
Texas Red’s is an institution from back before we took the kids when they were little. It’s in a different location, but the steaks and seafood are good and the bands play cool old country with a smattering of new country thrown in. The granddaughters had a super time dancing by themselves and with their dads.

  Another place we ate. Small, but yummy, downhome type food.

Then there is the shopping. A highlight for me. (Partly because I can walk to all the stores and do so numerous times throughout our stay.) The Bob Cat is in an old A-Frame and has been there since before when we went with the kids. Currently, it’s run by a woman who picks up unique pieces of Native American jewelry. Last year I bought a silver ring there and one of   our daughter’s bought her husband a knife for his birthday.

Native American jewelry
T-shirt and sweat-shirt stores abound and include cool kid toys and New Mexican type stuff. Easy to while away an afternoon or two.

Great shopping area
  One of my favorite stores. Lots of good Christmas stuff.
The chocolate fudge store is superb. I brought back a couple of packages for friends. Besides the river sounds, the lavender scents, and being with family, the highlight of the visit for me is the cool temperatures. Any place I can be to get away from our 100 degree, hot and humid Texas summer weather, I’m a huge fan of. (This summer hasn’t been as bad as some, but anytime you have a few days in a row with the heat index above 100, well, that’s just not good.)

The lifts

Do you have a special place for family trips? Do you go every year or do you spread it around several places? Are you one of the lucky few who can stay some place longer than a week? I have friends and neighbors who do escape our heat for the majority of the summer. That has to be sheer bliss.

I’d love to hear from you, and thanks JQ for having me.
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Romantic suspense
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. 
Addison Jones Greer, divorced mother of two teens, is the Executive Director of Cowtown Theatre. When a board member is found in the costume room murdered, suspicion rests on everyone involved with the theatre, including Addie. She has angered some board members because she wants to fire the Artistic Director. Although she’s warmed him several times, he continues to go over budget for productions. 
Mike Riley, Fort Worth homicide detective, hates that he caught this case. His sister-in-law dragged him to a theatre fundraiser where he met Addison, the first woman he’s wanted to pursue a relationship with in a long time. Not about to happen now. 
Addison hasn’t ventured into romance since she caught her now ex-husband in their bed with his secretary. As a result she doesn’t do trust. How could she trust someone who seems determined to think she’s capable of murder? Or worse, thinks her kids might be involved. 
SECOND ACT is Book 1 of the Second Chances Series. We meet four women, now in middle age, who’ve been friends since they met at summer camp after second grade. Whether they realize it or not, they all need a second chance. 

Amazon Kindle

Amazon Print

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 She’d love to hear from you.