Sunday, March 30, 2014

Spring Break, FREE Mystery/Sweet Romance, Coda to Murder

Image courtesy of Chaiwat /
Folks in the North Country may not be seeing tulips yet, but according to the calendar, spring has sprung. Tulips are so hardy. Every year the bulbs stay warm and safe in the ground just waiting for the weather to change to sunshine and blue skies. I think there's a lesson in the tulips for us. Patience? What do you think?

This week I'll be taking a break from the blogging, but I'll be back next Monday with news and events for April.

Pastor Christine Hobbs never imagined 
she would be caring for a flock 
that includes a pig, a kangaroo, 
and a murderer.
Enjoy a FREE read during spring break. Pick up your FREE copy of Coda to Murder, my mystery/sweet romance at my publisher. Through April 4, go to my publisher, MuseItUp Publishing  to get your copy. Add the book to your shopping cart, type in capitals CODA, save, then finalize the order at
MuseItUp Publishing 
FREE through April 4. All formats are available for your reading devices. 
Back of the book:
Pastor Christine Hobbs has been in the pulpit business for over five years. She never imagined herself caring for a flock that includes a pig, a kangaroo, and a murderer. 
Detective Cole Stephens doesn't want the pretty pastor to get away with murdering the church music director. His investigative methods infuriate Christine as much as his deep brown eyes attract her.
Can they find the real killer and build a loving relationship based on trust?

Also available at 
and major online booksellers.

Wishing you a fantastic spring whether your tulips are in a vase or flourishing in your yard.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Seeds of Inspiration: Author Miss Mae, Spring Sale--Coda to Murder

Welcome talented mystery and humor author Miss Mae to the Seeds of Inspiration Event!
Miss Mae is all about romantic mysteries.
“Said the Spider to the Fly”, “When the Bough Breaks”, “Dove Island”, “It’s Elementary, My Dear Winifred” and “See No Evil, My Pretty Lady” are award winning best sellers. Her latest, “Catch Me If You Can”, and the novellas “Miss Penelope’s Letters”, and “Through a Glass Darkly” have already received top rated five-star reviews. Tantalizing trailers, and more information, is readily available at Miss Mae's website

Connect Online with Miss Mae:

Her alter ego, M.M. also has her first children’s/humor book, “Ahoy Gum Drop!” In this slightly cracked tale, readers are introduced to I.B. Nosey, the ‘official unofficial’ reporter. To learn more about cyberspace’s only Pukelitzer Award winning interviewer, visit Feeling Nosey?  or watch I.B.Nosey's Video.

Connect Online with I.B. Nosey:

After reading Miss Mae's fun story of what inspired her to become an author, please enter  to win MM's e-book, It's Elementary, My Dear Winfred, by leaving a comment. Drawing ends at 12:01 a.m EST Sunday.

Seeds of Inspiration by Miss Mae

As a young girl growing up in the 1960’s books were my hobby and passion. I loved flipping through the pages of a Nancy Drew, Donna Parker, or Trixie Belden mystery. Ooh, I dreamed of having adventures just like these glamorous heroines! Their exciting stories whisked me away from the boredom and loneliness of being the baby sibling of an older brother and sister (and rarely welcomed inside their ‘mature’ circle of friends).

One night when the teen-agers visited, with their usual array of TV, records, and games enjoyed and exhausted, I heard the question, “What are we going to do now?” I spoke up, “Why don’t we act out a play?” (You’ll note I added ‘we’. Ha!)

There were some grimaces from the boys but interest was piqued enough to ask, “Like what?”

And so, with my limited knowledge of how exactly to go about it, but equipped with boundless imagination, I enthused, “We’ll make something up!”

I, a mere fifth-grader, inspired with eagerness to become a part of the high school ‘crowd’ even for one night, grabbed a pencil and some paper and conceived my first story, Midnight Horror. It was all of ten pages long, and entertained us for maybe half an hour. Before you ask - no, no one was good enough at reading the lines for them to later grow up and become a famous actor. But the thrill of writing that little story ignited a spark within me and set me on fire to pen my own books and to create my own mystery solving heroines.

Hopefully, none of them have been a horror!

Miss Mae
Feb. 2, 2014

 Do bizarre mysteries only occur in imaginary tales? Winifred Merryweather, and dashing newspaper hound Remington Hawthorne, find themselves in the throes of a real life mystery. A dark and ancient castle, complete with disappearing floors, sliding panels, and spider-webbed shadowy corridors threaten to steal Winifred's very breath. Or is that the annoying allure of Remington's flirtatious charms?

BUY LINK for It's Elementary, My Dear Winifred 

Thanks so much, Miss Mae, for participating in the Seeds of Inspiration Event.
Pastor Christine Hobbs never imagined 
she would be caring for a flock 
that includes a pig, a kangaroo, 
and a murderer.

Please note: Readers, Coda to Murder, my mystery e-book, is FREE. Add the book to your shopping cart, type in capitals CODA, save, then finalize the order. 
Go to my publisher to pick up a copy:
FREE March 28 through April 4. All formats are available for your reading device. 

Monday, March 24, 2014

Writing: My Work in Progress, This Week,Book Maven's Second Anniversary Celebration, and Giveaway

Yes, I'm pounding the keys on my laptop. I made a vow I would finish my work-in-progress (WIP) by the time we are ready to head back to the North Country. It's getting down to the wire. I have about 8 more chapters to write before I can wrap up the story in my first rough draft. And it is a very rough draft. 

A book is never done after one draft. Revising is called for in the next draft, and the next and the next. So instead of finishing, this is just the beginning of this long process of creating a novel for readers, and for me, to enjoy. 

I'm having so much fun with this one. The story includes everything I like to write about--mystery, murder, paranormal, and romance. Is that enough genres for ya'?? 

Who'd think a sweet gal like me would write about murder and paranormal events? Is this my true self running wild? I wonder. The best thing about writing is to let your imagination loose to consider all the possibilities and fantasy bottled up inside you. Have fun with it!

If you are an author, how many times do you revise your work before you submit it for publication? If you haven't submitted your stories for publication, why not? Please, leave a comment after you find out what's up for this week and this month. 

This Week:

March 27--Seeds of Inspiration Event--Miss Mae comes to visit and giveaway a book too!

March 23-April 5


Devoted reader and reviewer, Jackie of the Book Maven, is celebrating the second anniversary of her book review blog, The Book Maven. Join in the party.
Below you will see the list of authors and/or bloggers who have donated presents to win.  All you have to do is enter the RAFFLECOPTER at the Book Maven usilng this link and BAM!  you could be a winner.  Here are your possible prizes:
  • Georgie Tyler-ecopy of Doctors Beyond Borders
  • Linn B Halton-3 copies of Falling, Angels Among Us and a signed paperback of Never Alone.
  • Katie O’Sullivan-ecopy of Son of a Mermaid
  • Stephanie Keyes-Signed copy of The Star Catcher
  • JQ Rose-ecopy of Coda to Murder
  • AJ Nuest-Ecopy of entire Golden Key Chronicles
  • Theresa Rizzo-Ecopy’s of Just Destiny and He Belongs to Me
  • Stacey Jay-Signed Copy of Of Beast and Beauty
  • Melissa Snark-Signed copy of Hunger Moon
  • Lindsey Loucks-Ecopy of The Grave Winner
  • Jerrie Alexander-Ecopy of Hell or High Water and Cold Day in Hell
  • Darlene Jones-Ecopy of all 4 of her books
  • Bette Lee Crosby- Ecopy of The Twelfth Child
  • Gena Showalter-signed book
  • Kacey Vanderkarr-paper copy of Antithesis and Reflection Pond.
  • Andrea R. Cooper-E copy The Garnet Dagger
  • Bella Andre-Autographed copy of The Look of Love
  • Panty dropping Book Blog- 2.99 ebook
  • Coffee and a Good Book Blog- 2 I <3 books stickers
  • Pepper Winters- Ecopy of Destroyed
  • Butterflies, Books & Dreams Blog- BBD Bookmark
  • Alyson Raynes-$5 Amazon Gift Card and Kindle Copy of Deception
  • Kandi Steiner-E copy of Tag Chaser and signed bookmark.
  • Forever Me Romance-Ebook up to $5
  • Joan Swan-Print copy of Shatter and Ecopies of Intimate Enemies, First Temptation and First Deception.
  • Melanie Codina-Ebook of Love Realized
  • Lisa Suzanne-How He Really Feels (He Feels, Book 1)
  • Halos and Horns Book Blog-$5 amazon gift card and swag pack.
  • Clarissa Wild-2 ebook copies of Fierce and Fury.
  • Jade C. Jamison-Ebooks got the Life and Quickies
  • Ella James-Ebook Trapped
  • Marie Wathren – Ebook All This Time
  • Jaden Wilkes-Ebooks Dirty Little Freaks and The Beast
  • Cassandra Giovanni-E books Flawed Perfection, Love Exactly and Walking in the Shadows
  • Jody Kessler- Ecopy of Death Lies Between Us
  • Sibelle Stone-1 Ecopy and 1 Print copy of Prudence and the Professor
  • Nancy Jardine-Ecopy of Beltane Choice
  • LJ Kentowski-1 Ecopy of Guardian of Fate and 1 Ecopy of Seeker of Fate
  • Michaela Dubelius-Ecopy of Decoy
  • Heather McCullom-Signed copies of Prophecy, Tangled Hearts and Siren Song
  • Lyndi Alexander- Ecopy Conviction of the heart by Alana Lorens
  • Lisa Renee Jones- Ecopy of If I Were You
  • Carlene Love Flores-1 Ecopy of Sidewalk Flower and Sin’s Flower.
  • Regina Morris-1 Ecopy of Enduring Service
  • Zack Love-1 Ecopy of Sex in the Title
  • Janice Horton-1 Signed copy of Bagpipes and Bullshot and 1 Kindle copy of How To Party Online

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Seeds of Inspiration: Author Roseanne Dowell with No Regrets and Giveaway

Welcome multi-genre author Roseanne Dowell to the Seeds of Inspiration Event. Remember to enter to win a copy of Roseanne's e-book, Trouble Comes in Twos, by leaving a comment below. Winner will be chosen after 12:01 Sunday morning.

Now let me tell you a little bit about Roseanne Dowell. She is an avid reader. Roseanne writes various types of romance - paranormal, contemporary, and mystery. She has several books available at Amazon as well as over 40 articles and short stories published in magazines such as Good Old Days, Nostalgia, and Ohio Writer as well as several online publications. Besides teaching writing courses for Long Story School of Writingshe also taught two writing courses for the Encore Program at Cuyahoga Community College.

Roseanne lives in Northeast Ohio where she enjoys life as a wife, mother of six, grandmother of fourteen and great grandmother of two.  When she’s not writing or enjoying her family, Roseanne spends her time with embroidery and quilting, especially combining the two. She also enjoys blogging, tweeting, facebooking and posting on various writers groups. 

Visit Roseanne Dowell at 
her author website  
her blog 
No Regrets by Roseanne Dowell
Like most authors, I always loved to read. From my first book, Dick and Jane to the Golden books, I read every chance I had. I grew up reading Nancy Drew mysteries and soon moved on to Victoria Holt and Phyllis Whitney. I was a big fan of Agatha Christie –still love her books, actually.
Ever since I can remember I’ve been writing, even as a teen. I often made up stories and wrote poetry. Of course, I kept a diary/journal. The stationary department of stores always drew me. My favorite places to shop to this day are Office Max and Staples. I have a love affair with paper and pens. I still can’t resist notebooks, especially if they’re on sale. It’s nothing for me to come home with three or four various types of notebooks, file folders, and pens during the school supply sales.

While working as a school secretary, and encouraged by my coworkers, I took a correspondence course -writing for children. It didn’t take long to realize, that even though I had six children, it took someone special to write for them. I also tried my hand at nonfiction, but at the time, didn’t care for it. That’s when I moved on to romance novels and mysteries. Two of my favorite genres. Not that I did anything with those stories. At least not then. They sat in the attic with my poems and journals. Back then we didn’t have computers, let alone the internet. Finding time to write with six children wasn’t easy either and I never submitted anything.

It wasn’t until 2002 while I was at a Book Club meeting, the conversation turned to what we most regretted in our lives. I confessed I hadn’t pursued a career in writing. That’s all it took. My friends convinced me it wasn’t too late. There was only one way to find out, I decided to give it a shot and took another writing course. Part of the course was writing nonfiction, my least favorite genre. Within a couple of months I published my first article in Good Old Days Magazine. I framed a copy of that check. Since then, I’ve had several nonfiction articles published. My first published book in 2006, Satin Sheets, sold over 35,000 copies. Not too bad for a first novel. It’s out of print now and available as an ebook, It’s Only Make Believe

As I said previously, I love mystery and romance and often combine the two. I also love the paranormal (ghosts) and incorporate them in a couple of my books, Time to Love Again and Shadows in the Attic. Entangled Minds is a paranormal about ESP.  A firm believer in love at any age, some of my heroines are older women. Time to Love Again, Geriatric Rebels, and Another Day all feature older heroines. I try to insert a bit of humor in most of my stories also.

My latest book, Trouble Comes in Twos, released with Books We Love Publishing was intended as the third book in a Trilogy.  Circumstances beyond my control made me change it into a single book. My inspiration and idea for the book came from a visit to Locust Grove Cemetery in Twinsburg, Ohio. I have a thing for cemeteries, especially old ones, and visit them every opportunity I get. Fortunately my husband indulges my strange habit.

While we were walking around, reading the headstones –something else that intrigues me-- the story idea began forming. The cemetery is located off a main street and set way back from the street. It’s a very small cemetery, and if you didn’t know it was there, you’d drive right past it. We almost missed it the first time we went there. It’s surrounded by stores two sides and a retirement home on another and slopes down a hill. My imagination immediately reacted. What if someone got killed here? How long would it be before someone found the body? The graves in this cemetery are very old, so I doubt too many people visit them anymore.

By the time we got home, my mind was whirling with ideas for the book and before long the first draft was born. Several months later, I was ready to submit.

Trouble Comes in Twos Back of the Book:
After a five year absence, Kate Wesley returns to Twinsburg Ohio to open a florist shop. She’s content with life until Mark Westfield enters the picture. To make matters worse her ex fiancé is back in town, looking to pick up where they left off, and she’s attracted to both men. As if her life isn’t complicated enough, she finds a dead body in the cemetery, the twin sister of the victim shows up and another body is discovered. Can Kate sort through the confusion her life has become or will she become the next victim?

You can find this book as well as all of Roseanne Dowell's books at Amazon

Please leave a comment to enter the drawing to win Trouble Comes in Twos. We love a wave, a hug, high five, or even a giggle. Thank you.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Dieting is Like Writing, This Week, Giveaways

Image courtesy of debspoons /

Wishing you a fantastic Saint Patrick's Day and loads of Irish luck to ya'!

Dieting is Like Writing by J.Q. Rose
Image courtesy of Master isolated images /
Dieting is like writing? Yes, depending on what results you want to achieve. Will you be dieting for a few days, a couple of weeks, or is it a lifestyle change with foods and exercise that you can continue for the rest of your life? How about writing? Do you plan to dabble in writing stories or do you want to make writing a part of your life?

Honestly I never thought about how the writing and dieting could be alike, so let's examine the idea a bit further. During the Lenten season my home church has chosen to study the Daniel Plan. According to the blurb for the book, Pastor Rick Warren and well-known respected doctors have put together the plan which "is an appetizing approach to achieving a healthy lifestyle where people are encouraged to get healthier together by optimizing the key five essentials of faith, food, fitness, focus, and friends." 

I had never heard of this plan, but the idea intrigued me that dieting is to achieve a healthy lifestyle. That doesn't mean for a short time, but rather for all of my life. It's not a get-thin-quick program. It's one that will take some study, some planning, some trials and failures, some patience, and adjustments in my life to achieve success for the rest of my life.

I want to be healthy so I can experience life with zest and joy. 

"Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming -- WOW-- What a Ride!"Attributed to Bill McKenna, Anonymous and in a Nissan ad

Do I ever want to be able to say "What a ride" when I'm done with this body. 

Compare the lifestyle change to achieve a healthier way of life to the change in my life since I decided to pursue writing. Writing demands study, planning, and patience indeed! Trials and failures in writing? You bet

Writing and the faith component in the Daniel plan fills my life with purpose.

Keeping fit will give me strength and energy and writing certainly exercises my brain and stretches my writing muscles.

Needless to say I study the information on food and I study the art of writing by reading books, learning from colleagues on forums and chats, attending webinars, and lurking on writing blogs.

Friends together support each other in trying to achieve success in weight loss and fitness as well as writers helping writers. 

I think if I can make room in my life to be a writer, then why can't I make some adjustments in my life to become healthier? 

If you would like to find out more about the Daniel Plan, there is information on the Daniel Plan website. Get a buddy to do it with you so you can support each other. Focus on your health and discover more about faith, food, and fitness.

Can you see how writing and dieting have the same requirements? Have you found a successful diet? Any tips on dieting? Any tips on writing? Please leave a comment with your ideas. Thank you.

This Week: 
Thursday March 20--Romance author Roseanne Dowell is my guest on the Seeds of Inspiration Event. Roseanne writes romance mixed in with many genres. Find out what boosted her into the writing world. Enter the drawing for a giveaway, Trouble Comes in Twos.

Friday, March 20--I'll be visiting with Katie Carroll at her blog. Lacey, Pastor Christine's best friend, in my mystery, Coda to Murder, joins us as we discuss her role in the book. 

This Month:

The Seeds of Inspiration Event!
Every Thursday this spring, a guest author will tell us what inspires her. 
Be sure to mark Thursdays on your calendar as the place to be to learn more about your favorite author or discover a new one. 
You'll also find great reads and have a chance to win prizes every week.

The Romance Reviews Third Anniversary Party

The Romance Reviews 3rd Anniversary Party

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Seeds of Inspiration: It's Never Too Late by Janie Franz and Giveaway

Welcome to the Seeds of Inspiration Event!
Every Thursday this spring, a guest author will tell us what inspires her. 
Be sure to mark Thursdays on your calendar as the place to be to learn more about your favorite author or discover a new one. 
You'll also find great reads and have a chance to win prizes every week.

Please join me in welcoming fantasy/romance author Janie Franz to the J.Q. Rose blog. Be sure to leave a comment to enter the drawing for a chance to win this week's ebook, The Bowdancer, first in the series of the Bowdancer Saga. Winner chosen after 12:01 a.m. Sunday morning.

As Janie tells it, she comes from a long line of liars and storytellers with roots deep in east Tennessee. Honed by the frigid Northern Plains and the high desert of New Mexico, as well as a degree in anthropology, her writing skill and curiosity generated thousands of feature and cover articles over a vast range of topics for more than a hundred regional, national, and international publications.

She co-wrote two books with Texas wedding DJ, Bill Cox (The Ultimate Wedding Ceremony Book and The Ultimate Wedding Reception Book), and self-published a writing manual, Freelance Writing: It’s a Business, Stupid! 
She is a professional speaker and occasionally still reviews books, CDs, and concerts. Previously, she ran her own online music publication, Refrain Magazine, and was an agent/publicist for a groove/funk band, a radio announcer, and a yoga/relaxation.

Contact Janie Franz online

Twitter: @jfbowdancer

Seeds of Inspiration--It’s Not Too Late for Anyone
By Janie Franz

Like many writers, I’ve been writing bits of stories since I was a child. Completed short stories only began to appear when I was in junior high and I was encouraged to submit them to the school anthology. But it wasn’t until I was a sophomore in high school that I really thought seriously about being published. My creative writing teacher, John D. Engle, Jr., was a published poet and playwright. He saw potential in his students and pushed us to submit our work into specific magazines and local newspapers. Ironically, though the short story was my specialty, I only published an essay and a couple of poems for money in magazines and one memoir in the local weekly for free.

I was smitten with the idea of becoming a published writer, though I toyed with other career ideas that probably would have been more lucrative. Unfortunately, I was told by my father that he couldn’t afford college so most of those ideas fell by the wayside. When I was 21, I showed a college brochure to my father for night classes. He saw how modest the credit hours were and he helped me nibble my way through requirements for two years. After I married, I continued to go to night school and then took one full year on campus, only to have my husband declare he was going to grad school at another university.

I tabled my plans of becoming a writer and supported him while he finished an intensive one-year program. He found a position in his new field and we moved a thousand miles away to North Dakota. Children came. I got busy with them and my community: La Leche League leader and regional newsletter editor, church school teacher and superintendent, church board of deacons, church newsletter editor, gifted student organization parent liaison, school facility committee member, Church Women United celebrations coordinator and state president, volunteer art teacher for one of the schools, community theater participant (actor, props, sound, director), booking agent/publicist for my son’s touring rock band, yoga and relaxation instructor, radio announcer and local entertainment writer and theater commentator.

I was in my late 40s when I finally completed my BA, but it wasn’t in English. It was in anthropology with a concentration in English. Because I had done a lot of writing prior to re-entering a university setting, many of my English requirements were waived. I took writing workshops to finish my English concentration. Because my anthropology workload was heavy, I lightened my load by pulling out stories I had in a drawer. I broke every rule the workshop professor set: no genre fiction, no stories about animals, no emotional work.

Curiously, what career I actually made a living in was freelance journalism. I wrote about anything and everything for local, national, and international newspapers, magazines, and web publications. I probably wrote a couple of thousand articles (feature and cover stories) for a hundred different publications. It was a rich training ground. I told other people’s stories and was good at it. But I wanted to write my own stories.

In 2009, I picked up one of those college workshop stories, The Bowdancer, and fleshed out. I pitched to Breathless Press in 2009 during a pitch session for the Muse Online Writers Conference. They picked it up, published it December of that year, and then released two new books in that series. I was 60 years old when I had my first book published. It’s not too late for anyone.

In 2010, I pitched new books to MuseItUp Publishing, including three more books in the ongoing Bowdancer Saga. This year, all six of those books will be under one publishing roof. They will join the two published books in my Ruins trilogy, a couple of non-formula contemporary romances, and a creepy little horror story—to make eleven books published by MuseItUp Publishing.

MuseitUp Publishing

I consider myself blessed to have had the encouragement of teachers in my young life, esp. John Engle, who recognized my ability to spin a yarn. Writers, however, have an insatiable need to write. I did a lot of that in more than four decades after high school. But most of that went into a drawer---literally. Some of those story starts are now full-sized novels, published and waiting for eager readers.

And the urge to write isn’t spent. I’m working on the third book in the Ruins trilogy and I have another series I want to write, a big time-warp novel I’m itching to get into my computer (yes, it’s in longhand), and four more Bowdancer books.

I just hope I live long enough to finish them all.

Village healer Jan-nell despairs of finding the child who will be the next bowdancer or a man worthy of love. 
Back of the book:
Jan-nell, a young healer and keeper of village lore, despairs of ever finding the child who will be the next bowdancer or a man worthy enough to love. When a village wedding is interrupted by four strangers, Jan-nell treats the injuries of one of them. The leader of these men, Bastin, is an arrogant, intelligent rogue who also is searching for an equal. His presence questions the bowdancer's life choice and stirs more than her mind.

Buy Links

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

J.Q.Rose is Centered on Story, This Week, Giveaways

Yes, that's what I am centered on now. Writing a fun, entertaining, story that will take you away from the ho-hum everyday life. Forget the weather, forget the pressure at work, forget the housework, forget the kids, er, well , maybe not forget them, but get them busy or ship them off to Grandma's so you can escape into the pages of a book.

To tell you the truth, when I center on writing a story, I get the benefit of escaping too. So much fun to make up characters and settings and then figure out how to get them out of a dilemma.

I am working on another mystery, paranormal, romance. My deadline is to finish the first draft by April 1. Yikes, where is March going? So I missed my usual post on Monday and the This Week's events. I apologize for being late. I guess I escaped too far for too long, eh?

This Week: 
Thursday (tomorrow) March 13--Fantasy/romance author Janie Franz is my guest on the Seeds of Inspiration Event. Discover her path to writing and publishing her first novel. Enter the drawing for a giveaway.

This Month:

The Seeds of Inspiration Event!
Every Thursday this spring, a guest author will tell us what inspires her. 
Be sure to mark Thursdays on your calendar as the place to be to learn more about your favorite author or discover a new one. 
You'll also find great reads and have a chance to win prizes every week.

The Romance Reviews Third Anniversary Party

The Romance Reviews 3rd Anniversary Party

Congratulations to reader Meghan who won a copy of my mystery, Coda to Murder, when she answered the Q and A about Coda to Murder correctly. Check out the games and prizes all this month. Over 450 authors and 450 prizes! 

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Seeds of Inspiration Author Heather Fraser Brainerd, Plus Giveaways

Welcome to the kick-off of the Seeds of Inspiration Event!
Every Thursday this spring, a guest author will tell us what inspires her. 
Be sure to mark Thursdays on your calendar as the place to be to learn more about your favorite author or discover a new one. 
You'll also find great reads and have a chance to win prizes every week.
Please join me in welcoming back author Heather Fraser Brainerd to the J.Q. Rose blog. She and her brother, David, are co-authors of the Jose Picada P.I. series. Be sure to enter the rafflecopter drawing for a chance to win Deception Al Dente (book one) or The Sound of Sirens (book two) - winner's choice
In case you haven't met this talented author, you will discover 
Heather Fraser Brainerd is a renaissance woman. After earning a degree in Anthropology, she embarked on an incongruous career as a workers’ compensation insurance adjuster. She rapidly climbed the claims-handling ladder before surprising her colleagues by leaving the high-powered world of lumbar strains and carpal tunnel syndrome to run a child care center. Thousands of dirty diapers and gallons of strained peas later, she decided that maybe the insurance industry wasn’t quite as bad as she remembered. Unfortunately, it was. Fortunately, a few years later, she met the most wonderful man in the world. Now a stay-home mom to three amazing boys, she is able, at long last, to focus on her writing. Heather lives in New York with her family and their crazy pug/terrier.

Connect online with Heather:
# # # # 

Seeds of Inspiration: My Brother
By Heather Fraser Brainerd

I wish I had a copy of the first story I ever published. It was in a collection of stories printed by our local library. I was just a kid at the time, but I clearly remember the inspiration for my tale: my brother.

Before you start to feel all warm and fuzzy at the thought of a young girl writing about her little brother, let me explain that the story was not exactly, um, flattering toward my sibling. It was called “That Brother of Mine,” the not-so-heartwarming tale of the day my cute little bro threw his biggest tantrum ever. It was a doozy! I’ll spare you the details (and him the embarrassment), but it culminated in Little Davy joyfully trashing his room.

In the years since, my brother has grown from a hyperactive little guy to a very calm and kind man. We have a lot of the same interests and enjoy each other’s company. When he used to live close by, we would meet for lunch every so often. At one of our lunches, I shared a semi-secret with him: I’d started writing again. I half-expected him to make fun of me. Instead, he was delighted. He asked a lot of questions and offered words of encouragement. Fueled by our conversation, he went home and started writing, too. We began sending each other our respective works-in-progess, learning as we went along.

Fast forward a couple of years. One day, I took my dog for a walk and noticed a “for sale” sign in a neighbor’s yard. The realtor’s name caught my attention; it was unusually exotic for our area. As I drew closer to the sign, I giggled, realizing I’d misread the sign, which actually had a much more common moniker. My mind whirled with the possibilities of such a name mix-up. What if a detective named Josie P. Cates accidentally had all of her promotional materials misprinted to read “José Picada, P.I.”?  I went home and called Dave, telling him of my wacky new character, though I had no idea what to do with Josie/José. The next day, he sent me chapter one.

And that is the seed from which José Picada, P.I.: Deception Al Dente grew. All it took was a little imagination, a lot of humor, and poor eyesight. And that brother of mine.
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Back of the Book:
Having left the dull life of workers’ comp insurance behind to strike it out as a private detective, things aren’t going well for Josie P. Cates. Her new career isn't as exciting - or lucrative - as she thought it would be. As her bank account dwindles, her first major client finally walks in the door. Chef Marco, a successful local restaurateur, hires Josie to find out who's skimming money from his business. It doesn't take long for Josie to discover that things at Bistro Italiano aren’t what they seem. Secrets seem to cling to Chef Marco like splattered marinara sauce. With the help of friends both old and new, Josie unravels a case that takes her from the bistro to the world of deadly dark magic. At least it keeps things from being too boring.

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