Thursday, May 29, 2014

It's My Birthday! Celebrate with Me, Giveaways

Welcome to my birthday celebration! I hope you didn't wear your best clothes because we are playing wiffle ball and croquet in the backyard. Corn Hole is set up near the deck. You can't wear your high heels because the ground is so soft from the rain. Oh well, it's okay if you want to go bare foot. The grass is lush and green. 

My daughter, Sara, is serving Texas sheet cake (the official birthday cake) and ice cream on the deck  Be sure to grab the fresh strawberries to garnish your plate. Head on over to the punch bowl for what began the party as Presbyterian punch, but a sneaky guest spiked the punch. Pastor Christine hasn't complained about it though! She and her florist friend, Lacey, have been a big help setting everything up for me. Come to think of it, they made the punch!

My DJ daughter, Lee Ann, is in charge of keeping the party lively with great music. Be sure to request her to play your favorite song. She has everything from the Oldies to Country to Rock. 

Jim and Gloria Hart are here waiting to welcome our friends from Sunshine Boulevard. I am especially anxious to share this beautiful spring day in Michigan with you, my readers.

# # # # 

Thank you for coming to my party. I hope you didn't bring a present ( but if you did that's okay!) LOL I have gifts for you. Be sure to enter to win prizes after the party. Three winners will be chosen. Deadline to enter is 12:01 Sunday a.m.

The giveaways are:

1. Chocolate!

2. A short story

3. Your choice of an e-book (If you already have my books, then I will send you the first couple chapters of my WIP, a mystery of course, AND when the book is ready for publication, I will send you the ARC)

Here are your choices of books:

Coda to Murder

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?

Available at MuseItUp Publishing, and major online booksellers.

Sunshine Boulevard

Mysterious deaths upset the Florida retirement community interfering with their seasonal activities and turning up more than dead bodies.

Available at AmazonBarnes and NobleMuseIt Up Publishingand major online booksellers.

Girls Succeed! Stories Behind the Careers of Successful Women

An interactive e-book filled with dreams and passion to inspire, entertain, and empower girls. Fifteen remarkable career women in a variety of occupations share their stories in these pages.

Explore careers which include women who have discovered cures to stamp out disease, made people laugh, earned Olympic and Paralympic gold medals, and crossed the country in the cab of an 18 wheeler.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Celebrate My Birthday Week with Gifts for YOU, Giveaways

I hope you all had a fantastic holiday weekend if you celebrated Memorial Weekend. Wherever you were in your corner of the world, I hope you had a great weekend. The weather was gorgeous here in Michigan. I noticed the first sunburns showing up on people's winter white skins today. Ouch!

The Seeds of Inspiration Spring Event held every Thursday since March ended last Thursday for the season. But that doesn't mean the fun and giveaways stop here on the J.Q. Rose blog. 

This Week:
Thursday, May 29--You're invited to my birthday party here on the blog. Bring your friends. There will be plenty of cake and ice cream and punch. Texas sheet cake is my cake of choice as a birthday cake. It's a chocolate cake with chocolate icing and walnuts baked in a cookie sheet. So rich and luscious. Excuse me while I drool about that. Balloons and bands will be here too. And Givaways! You can win an e-book, short story, or chocolate. THREE WINNERS!

On Saturday night, my DH took me out for my birthday dinner at the Driftwood Inn. It's a biker bar and you can imagine how many bikes were there during this holiday weekend that featured picture perfect days. This popular destination is located in beautiful country where the Muskegon River flows through the woods and hills to carve out breathtaking scenery. The restaurant sits right on the mighty Muskegon with a huge deck for enjoying the panoramic view of the river, fishermen, and recreational boaters. No skiers or jet skis because the water is still really really cold.

The Driftwood has killer hamburgers and they had a country band on the deck. Not only talented guitarists and drummer, but also musicians playing a sweet trumpet, sexy sax, trilling flute, and down home harmonica. The band had the diners rockin'! The afternoon and evening time is now a lovely memory of being together with my special guy to celebrate yet another birthday. The years sure click by quickly, don't they?

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Seeds of Inspiration: Beulah Lee, Giveaway

The Seeds of Inspiration Spring Event brightened up what otherwise has been a pretty dark, dismal spring season here in our corner of the world. Horrible floods, relentless rain, and cold days have delayed the usual joyful spring days. Through all this crazy weather, the tulips bloomed, the flowering trees are boasting that spring is here by showing off their gowns of abundant of color, filling the air with their sweet fragrances, and the grass is practically neon green because of the rain. Spring is pretty stubborn about getting through the tough times and then celebrating with a lavish display of splendor.

Thank you to my guest authors who added joy into the spring season with their stories of inspiration. Readers, if you have a minute, click through the past weeks and visit their guest posts to discover who or what inspired them to write. We have diverse genres represented by these talented authors. I encourage you to look up their books and add them to your TBR.

6 Heather Fraser Brainerd
13 Janie Franz
20 Roseanne Dowell
27 Miss Mae

10 Gail Roughton
24 Conda Douglas
1 Helena Fairfax
8 Katie Carroll
15 Susan Bernhardt

# # # #

This week wraps up the spring event so, being the best host possible, I take the final date for the event. It is my turn to tell you about the person who planted that seed of inspiration in me to become a writer. 

My Grandmother, Maw by J.Q. Rose

Beulah Lee, yes, that’s my mother’s mother, was a schoolteacher. She loved reading and especially loved reading her Bible. She’s the one who pointed out many verses to me and directed me to the Lord’s Prayer in Matthew 6.

Maw, as she was called by our family, was an intelligent woman who was stubborn as could be. Yes, somewhat like our spring this year. When she made up her mind to do something, she did it and there was no stopping her. She and my father locked horns quite a few times.

She wasn’t exactly a warm, cuddly, mushy kind of grandma who made cookies for every visit. But she did love to sew and made several doll outfits for my beloved Ricky Jr doll on her foot pedal sewing machine.

We had a special connection and not just because we loved to shop. (When her social security check came in, she cashed it into small bills and stuffed it in her wallet. She delighted in showing me the stack of cash she had for us to go shopping.)

We both were readers. Her reading probably spurred my love of reading which in turn developed my desire to write stories for others to read. I began writing little stories when I was in second grade and developed a writer’s bump on my middle finger from writing constantly. (Anyone else get that bump?)

By seventh grade I decided to tackle writing my first novel. The story line was about a horse and a girl due to my love of the book, Black Beauty. I wrote the entire book on lined yellow tablet paper and showed it to Maw. Taking those awful scribbles of sentences and typing them into a manuscript became her major project.

Courtesy of  thaikrit at
Her blue eyes sparkled with excitement when she handed me the typed pages. I almost cried. I was overcome with the idea she had “published” my book for me. I was thankful for her taking the time to work on this manuscript.  She got a kick out of my reaction, but she also loved the story and encouraged me to write more stories for more people to enjoy. From that day forward, I knew I wanted to tell stories and have them published so I could share them with readers.

I wish Maw were here now to be a part of this writing experience. Somehow I think she is with me with her blue eyes sparkling with pride.
# # # #

Who influenced you to become a writer? a reader? 

Thank you all for coming to visit the Seeds of Inspiration Spring Event. I am giving away a short story to a lucky commenter. Just leave a comment and I will send the winner of the drawing a pdf copy of the typewritten story. (Reminds me of Maw and her typing away on her old typewriter. She would be amazed at these keyboards and laptops, wouldn't she?)

Monday, May 19, 2014

Teleseminars and Webinars--Are They for You? This Week, Giveaway

Webinar Time
Image courtesy of Grant Cochrane /
This past couple of months I have been taking time to listen and watch teleseminars and webinars You've heard of seminars so you are probably familiar with the idea of a group of college students or in our case, writers, getting together to exchange information and discuss a topic. 

A teleseminar is an audio only seminar and a webinar is a video with slides and/or live presenter leading the workshop. The ones I have watched are FREE. Yes, free. I know you are thinking the information is worth just what you pay for it. Think of the FREE seminar as a promotion tool because the last ten or fifteen minutes are devoted to explaining the presenter's book, e-course, program and offering it for a good discount. I don't begrudge them the time to reach the audience with their goods because most of the time I have gleaned a nugget of information that I will try out for myself or been inspired to continue a project. Sometimes I do check further into their books and make a purchase when I feel more in-depth information would benefit my goals for my books.

Looking over my calendar I see I have attended several presentations this month either live or in replay. The replays are fine for me since I can watch them on my own schedule. When watching or listening to the live seminars, you can ask questions and interact with the speaker and guests.

Recently I watched a marketing seminar by Danny Iny, a Scrivener tutorial, information on how to make a tips booklet, and probably more that are not on my calendar. 

I am now attending a thirty day Book Marketing Challenge with D'vorah Lansky.  D'vorah is a book marketing guru with lots of experience in marketing non-fiction books, but this challenge can also be used by fiction writers. 

Taking the Challenge
 If you have not published a book either traditionally or self-pubbed, you will not realize how much time and effort is needed to sell your book. I'm sure you suspect writing your ms is just the beginning--editing, re-writing, submitting, and then the marketing once you have signed the contract (or even before.!) Let me tell you, the "getting the word out" about the book is very important and can become all-consuming.

D'vorah and her guests have opened my eyes to many possibilities for more exposure for my book  She is well-organized and very professional. I'm sure she is reaching a lot of new people who will opt in for her program. And I am sure many of her guests are selling their books and information because of the Book Challenge. Yes, I am checking out all the resources mentioned on the Challenge too.

Have you participated in any seminars online? What was your experience with them? Are you thinking of producing a teleseminar,  webinar, podcast, or appear as a guest or host on blog talk radio? Please share your ideas for your book promotion ideas.

This Week:

Thursday, May 22--We are wrapping up the Seeds of Inspiration Spring Event this week with my turn to share my inspiration for writing and to give away my cozy mystery/sweet romance, Coda to Murder. Please stop in and share your inspirations and leave a comment to enter the drawing for the e-book.

Monday, May 26--Happy Memorial Day in the USA. Burgers, brats, and hot dogs will be on the menu for sure. This weekend is always the official unofficial opening for camping in Michigan. Whatever you do and wherever you are, I hope you have a fantastic holiday weekend!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Seeds of Inspiration Mystery Author Susan Bernhardt, Giveaway

Welcome mystery author Susan Bernhardt to the Seeds of Inspiration Spring Event!. Susan is giving away her mystery, the Ginseng Conspiracy. I read this book this winter and it certainly kept me guessing. Lots of twists in it. If you like to figure out a mystery puzzle, you'll enjoy this read. Be sure to leave a comment to enter the drawing to win the book! Deadline for entering is Sunday at 12:01 a.m. EDT.

Susan Bernhardt is an author living in Wisconsin. Like Kay Driscoll in her cozy mystery, The Ginseng Conspiracy, Susan is a retired public health nurse who volunteers at her local free clinic. An avid reader of mysteries, she is a member of Sisters in Crime, Inc. Her other published works include "October 31st", "Midsummer", and "John and Madeline."

 Susan's town in northern Wisconsin was an inspiration for the quaint setting of her novel. She lives with her husband, William, and has two sons, Peter and David.
When not writing, Susan loves to travel, bicycle, kayak, and create culinary magic in her kitchen. She works in stained-glass, daydreams in her organic garden, stays up late reading mysteries, and eats lots of chocolate.

Visit Susan on the web at the Susan Bernhardt Website.
# # # #
A Personal Challenge by Susan Bernhardt
I have been an avid reader of mysteries from the time I was a young girl reading the Nancy Drew series. One of my favorite cozy mystery authors is M.C. Beaton. She writes the Agatha Raisin and Hamish MacBeth series. Several years ago while reading one of her novels, I thought I could do this...I could write a cozy mystery. And that moment was my seed of Inspiration. It was a personal challenge.

I came up with the idea of writing about ginseng. Ninety-five percent of American cultivated ginseng is grown in Wisconsin where I live. Living close to a college, I decided that a professor who was researching the local ginseng crop, would discover some alarming findings in the analysis of the ginseng samples resulting in his murder.

I draw from real life experiences so I decided that the protagonist would be Kay Driscoll a newcomer to Sudbury Falls who volunteered at her local free clinic, much like I was a newcomer to an insular town in northern Wisconsin and also volunteered at the local free clinic.

When I decided to indeed write this cozy mystery, I took several writing courses over two years. I joined writing groups and wrote a manuscript that I revised five times before enlisting my son, Peter and friend, Lorenzo to be co-editors of my cozy mystery. I queried a number of agents and then decided to go directly to publishing houses. I queried MuseItUp Publishing. They accepted my manuscript, and the rest is history.
# # # #

Back of the Cover of The Ginseng Conspiracy:
On her way to attend a Halloween Ball, Kay Driscoll, a newcomer to town, witnesses the murder of a local professor. When the official coroner's report rules the cause of death to be accidental and the community accepts the judgement, Kay decides to uncover the truth for herself. Through her personal investigations, Kay exposes a complex conspiracy, woven deep within the thriving local ginseng industry, that involves some of the more prominent figures and families of Sudbury Falls.
With her new friends, the free-spirited herbalist Deirdre and the untamed modern woman Elizabeth, Kay discusses new clues over tea and pastries at Sweet Marissa's Patisserie, their crime-fighting headquarters. As Kay gets closer to the heart of the conspiracy, additional murders happen in quick succession. Before long, Kay learns that the villains are gunning for her, too. Phil, her musically talented but preoccupied husband, determined to keep her safe, withholds from her the one thing she needs most: the truth.
Buy Links for The Ginseng Conspiracy by Susan Bernhardt:
I had no idea ginseng was grown in Wisconsin. Did you? Do you have a crop, a product, a landmark, a famous person (besides you) in your area? Leave a comment here and tell us about it. Your comment will automatically enter you in the drawing to win Susan's cozy mystery.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Me and My Mustang Cruisin' Into Spring, This Week, Giveaway

Finally! Yesterday I had the chance to drive the old Mustang with the top down for the first time this year! It was a beautiful day in Michigan. Tulips are blooming, the flowering trees are having a contest for who can dazzle the spectators with the most blooms. It would be hard to choose a winner.

Since I have spring fever I'm sharing a few shots of tulips with you. Hope you have time to take a minute to relax and enjoy this season of the year. The spring flowers don't stay long.

Don't these lovely blooms just make you smile? I hope so.

Gardener Ted's hobby greenhouse is getting packed full. Waiting for some warm sun and dryness before he can plant the wet garden. He has managed to put out the onion sets and the peas and carrot tops are just breaking the surface in the garden.

The rule is to plant potatoes on Good Friday. He did. But not in the garden. He put the eyes of the potatoes in pots in the greenhouse. First time he's ever done that!!

Looking forward to some good eating. Please leave a comment if you are a gardener or have gardened or are planning to be a gardener. AND, we are always looking for helpful gardening tips.

This Week:
Thursday, May 15--Susan Bernhardt visits the Seeds of Inspiration Spring Event. Come back to discover what inspires her and to win a copy of her e-book,