Monday, October 5, 2015

Artprize 2015 in Grand Rapids, Michigan

Yes, I had to get "in" on the fun at Artprize with this interactive piece on butterflies.
Artprize 2015
Grand Rapids, Michigan
My daughter and I enjoyed our visit to Artprize 2015 last week. This is such an amazing art competition, I'll let the Artprize site explain it to you-
"For 19 days, three square miles of downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan, become an open playing field where anyone can find a voice in the conversation about what is art and why it matters. Art from around the world pops up in every inch of downtown, 
and it’s all free and open to the public.
It’s unorthodox, highly disruptive, and undeniably intriguing to the art world and the public alike." ARTPRIZE
The actual ARTPRIZE is worth the artist's traveling to this destination. One Grand Prize piece is voted on by the public and one Grand Prize winner is chosen by a committee of distinguished judges. Each winner receives $200,000. A total of $500,000 is awarded to winning artists.
I have posted some of the artwork we saw in our short four hours of viewing. It would take the entire two weeks to see every one of the 1550 entries at the 162 venues. Get on your walking shoes. Oh, no, you get to sit back in your easy chair, put on some soothing music, and just imagine yourself on the tour with us. Enjoy!
One of my favorite installations. So powerful.

Suspension. The figures seem to be floating in this ball.

"Ascension directly refers to the supernatural passage into Heaven that Jesus made on the 40th day after Resurrection." 

The Happy Garden with many colored flowers like these really did make me happy when viewing it.

This black and white painting captured the essence of peace and tranquility.
These are birches in a forest near Ludington, Michigan.

The artist painted these tigers so well I wanted to pet the soft, fuzzy fur of their coats.

Bold colors in this wall sized mural. I wish I could've photographed the entire piece.

This mural of lighthouse and beach is made from small squares of leather.

The painting captures the frustration of so many parents dealing with kids and video games! Made me giggle, but there is so much truth here.

Each painted square was a work of art on its own, but when added together, it was mind blowing.

"Movement" Another one of my favorites. It's hard to see, but these are white gloves inflated and free floating on this pond. They all travel together as the wind blows them. I especially liked the artist's explanation of the piece. Read it below.

I'd award him a prize simply for this lovely, inspiring desire he has to bring a community together.
These ceramic green frogs on the log were filled with humor and delight.

Check out our tour last year at Artprize here.
Have you attended an art competition anything like this one? Come to Michigan in October and we'll take you along with us!

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!!
* * * *
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!
* * * 
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.