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:
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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.

Deception al Dente available at these booksellers:

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I'm so honored to kick off the Seeds of Inspiration event. Thank you for this opportunity, JQ! Now if only the temperature would get above the single digits, it might start to feel like spring is on the way!

  2. Heather, I think you're bringing some sunshine into everyone's hearts today with your story about your brother. Thanks for guesting!

  3. Hi Heather!

    It's so nice to meet you (and Josie) and to learn of that brother who inspired you to write.

    This character, and book, sounds very intriguing. Love the cover too!

  4. Memorable post. It will be easy to remember you. Best wishes on your book, it sounds like a great read.

  5. Thank you, Miss Mae. It's nice to meet you, too!

  6. Thanks, Sharon! I believe we'll be seeing each other on the "Between Tweens" event, too!

  7. Great post. I loved this book. A 'whodunit' with a sense of humour. Spoiler alert…It has a great ending!

    Heather's other book Dream Shade is amazing as well! Yes, I'm a fan!
    Heather G - The Natasha Saga

  8. Thank you, Heather G! You're so sweet. In fact, I would have nominated you for the Super Sweet Blogging Award, but I saw that you'd already been nominated. :)

  9. Hi Heather, what a great partnership you have with your brother! Deception al Dente is a brilliant read. Hope the partnership grows from strength to strength!

  10. Heather, this is a lovely post and Janet, what a wonderful idea...seeds of inspiration.

    Best wishes in all of your writing.

    Susan Bernhardt

  11. Helena and Susan, thank you for stopping by. This post just flowed like nothing I've ever written before.

  12. Sharon and MM, Jose Picada P I is a great book to read. I stayed up till 11:30 last night reading it. Great sense of humor in Heather's writing.

  13. Heather G, so true about Heather's book. I also read Dreamshade. Thanks for reminding me I need to get caught up on reviews!!

  14. Helena, Heather's post resonated with me because I have 2 older brothers who tormented me when we were kids...LOL. and I love them so much. How special it is for Heather to have her bro as a writing partner even if there are many miles between them. If I may add, both my brothers (and my dad) were in the funeral business. I am writing a mystery that takes place in a funeral home. You can guess I am using my brothers for input, resources.!! Kind of writing partners, eh?

  15. Thanks you, Susan. I am always interested in hearing what inspired writers to become writers or what sparked the idea for a story, so I thought I'd just ask! That's how Seeds of Inspiration was born and because my husban is ordering seeds for our garden. We have a ton of seed catalogs here. Thank you for stoppng in.

  16. My brother, who liked to bug the heck out of me when we were kids, is also the inspiration for my first published novel. It's great to meet you, Heather. Best of luck with your career.

    Hi Janet!

  17. Hey, JQ. What a lovely idea for a series of blogs in the spring.
    I LOLed, Heather, at the story of the beginning of your detective series. Hard to make-up anything this cool. Good luck with your books.

  18. Joylene, I think having brothers who bug the heck out of you when you're growing up builds your character. LOL...a blessing in disguise. Anxious to hear what your brother did to inspire your book. Care to spill?

  19. Thank you, Marsha. I enjoy hosting authors and getting the inside scoop! Thank you for stopping by.

  20. Joylene - it's nice to meet you, too! Like JQ, I'd be interested to hear how your brother inspired you.

    Marsha - glad I could give you a laugh! I've learned that humor is very important in life. :)

  21. What a wonderful interview. It's great that you and your brother write together, Heather.

    My younger sister was a writer before I started writing. Though we write different types of stories, she is my inspiration.

  22. Hi Beverly, thanks for sharing that your sister is your inspiration for writing stories. It must be in the genes. Your mom or grandma write too? Thank you for stopping in.

  23. My mom didn't write, J Q, but my grandmother wrote stories about the family. Not for publication, mostly for family reunions. Most were humerous.

  24. Congratulations, Beverly Stowe McClure. You won Heather's book!! Enjoy this mystery and humor.

  25. Oh, wow! What a nice way to start a new week. Looking forward to reading Heather's book. You can't beat a good mystery with humor story.

    Thanks, J Q and Heather.


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