Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Southwest USA: The Petrified Forest National Park

Yee-haw ya'all! We're back from our tour of the Southwest USA.
Cowboy statue in Santa Fe

I promise I won't show you every rock and amazing vista photo I took because there are about 1000 of them. Today I chose to highlight our travel through the Petrified Forest National Park in Eastern Arizona, a place Gardener Ted has wanted to see since he was in grade school. 

NOTE: Enlarge this page to 110%-125% so you can see the photos better

Millions of years of rain and sun and rivers have turned this ancient forest into petrified rock and trapped fossils forever in their actual form. The park is like a big candy store for paleontologists. Take a peek at some of the sights we saw.
Petrified rock
Trees fallen in the forest millions of years ago dot the park. We traveled the 28 mile road that connects the forest area to the amazing Painted Desert area. Parking lots and overlooks allow motorists to get off the road to take in the scenery and access to amazing trails for hikers to experience the beauty and adventure the park offers.
The rocky landscapes are gorgeous in this harsh and wild environment. 
I have never experienced such sights.

Petroglyphs--These drawings, thousands of years old, are found throughout the park telling the story of the people who lived here. I write about these drawings in a guest post at the Insider Books We Love Blog today. 

Solar Calendar--the Ancestral Puebloan people planted their crops when the sun shined a sliver of sunlight on the exact mark on this rock above. Amazingly accurate, the sun hit the mark at 9:15 a.m. right on time. Lucky we were there to capture it. The sliver is on the left side of the flat rock, half in shade and in sun. Squint and you may be able to see it. 

The 1932 Studebaker commemorates travel along Historic Route 66.
 This stretch of road was traveled from 1926-1958.

The Petrified Forest is the only national park that preserves a section of Route 66, the road that began in Chicago, Illinois and stretched all the way to Los Angeles, California. Known as the Mother Road, it sparked many an American's dream for a new life or for travel adventures. Gas was cheap and roadside attractions dotted the roadsides. Hence the saying, "Get your kicks on Route 66." Route 66 originally ran through my hometown in Central Illinois, so it was so much fun to trace the route that cut through many of the places we stopped on our trip.

The Painted Desert--when we came upon this, it took our breath away.
So happy you could join me on our trip through this unusual National Park. But then, each of our National Parks are unique. The National Park Service is 100 years old this year. We helped to celebrate by hitting several as we toured the Southwest. 
National Park Service logo--arrowhead
Visiting these special places in our country is a joy. And if you are 62 and a US Citizen, you can get the Senior pass to all the National Parks and Forests for a one time purchase of $10. good forever. Click here to learn how to get this valuable pass from the National Park Service.

For more on the petroglyphs related to my writing, and perhaps yours if you're a writer, visit the Books We Love Insider Blog and leave a comment, wave, or say hi. Thank you.

Photos by J.Q. Rose

Have you visited a National Park or Forest? If so, which one? What is your favorite? I'd love to hear from you.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Happy Birthday E. B. White, Charlotte's Web--a Perfect Summer Read

Happy Belated Birthday Wishes,  E. B. White!

EB White and his dog Minnie.png
Author E. B. White
Photo from Wikipedia

 My Writers Chatroom friend, Flo Stanton, in her newsletter this week recognizes E. B. White's birth day on July 11, 1899. The announcement caught my attention because one of my favorite books is Charlotte's Web. I was in the eighth grade when our teacher, Mrs. Beyer, read us the story. Usually after third or fourth grade, teachers don't read  a story to the class, but Mrs. Beyer believed whatever the age, we like to be read to. (Notice the popularity of audio books and pod casts nowadays!) 

Our class looked forward to hearing the story after lunch. I wonder what eighth graders would think of it now. I imagine they would love to hear the story about Charlotte, the word writing spider, who lived on the Zuckerman farm and was best friends with Wilbur, the pig. Amazon continues--"E. B. White's Newberry Honor Book is a tender novel of friendship, love, life, and death that will continue to be enjoyed by generations to come." 

If you haven't read this story, no matter what your age, treat yourself to a delightful story perfect for a summer read. You'll understand why it is so special for so many generations of readers. White is also famous for another children's story, Stuart Little. He wrote books for adults, contributed articles to the New Yorker,  and co-authored the writer's resource book, The Elements of Style. 

In case you're wondering, E. B. are his initials for Elwyn Brooks White. According to, he hated the name Elwyn, but "while attending Cornell University, White acquired the nickname 'Andy,' which he was known by for the rest of his life." 
Here's some of E.B.'s tongue-in-cheek advice:
Be obscure clearly.
Democracy is the recurrent suspicion that more than half of the people are right more than half of the time.
Everything in life is somewhere else, and you get there in a car.
I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day.
Writing is an act of faith, not a trick of grammar.
One of the most time-consuming things is to have an enemy.
The time not to become a father is eighteen years before a war.

Have you read Charlotte's Web or any of E.B. White's writings? What's  your favorite children's book?
I'd love to hear from you .Thank you.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Insecure Writers Support Group Blog Hop: Firing Up My Writing Ideas, 99 Cents eBook Sale

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.
# # # #

Scene from Mesa Verde National Park
Photo by J.Q. Rose
I just returned from two weeks of roaming around the deserts, mountains, and rocks of the Southwest USA. What a completely different experience from my life in green, tree-laden, lake-rich Michigan. The wide open vistas, sands, dwarf bushes, and cacti were never in my life except when I watched cowboys like Roy Rogers and Rex Allen race across the movie screen when I was a little kid. Loved all those movies, but never imagined I would ever visit the movie locations. 
Vintage train ride up the mountain from Durango, CO to Silverton, CO
1870's style
Photo by J.Q. Rose
Now I'm home and tapping on the keyboard filled with eagerness to get down all the ideas I thought about while riding hours and hours in our little rental car from one destination to the next. We put on 2400 miles on this trip and that doesn't count the plane ride from Michigan to Las Vegas!!

So, at this moment, I'm not feeling insecure about my writing, but fired up to get to it! How about you? Does taking time away from the keyboard (or pen and paper) inspire your writing projects? I'd love to read your thoughts on this. Thank you for stopping in.
* * * *
Check out this countdown deal on my latest romantic suspense, Deadly Undertaking.

Deadly Undertaking for 99 cents for limited time.
BIG NEWS (and shameless promo): Romantic suspense, Deadly Undertaking, is now on sale through Wednesday, July 6 for 99 cents. Time is clicking away. Grab it quick at amazon 

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Happy Birthday USA, Bruce Springsteen Sings This Land is Your Land

Flag of the USA
Photo by J.Q. Rose
Wishing you a fun and safe Fourth of July USA!

After traveling throughout the Southwest the past couple of weeks and years of covering a lot of USA real estate, I appreciate our country's different lifestyles and diverse cultures melding together to make us all Americans. 

Happy Birthday USA!!


YouTube Video: Bruce Springsteen sings This Land is Your Land

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.


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 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
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 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

 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.