Wednesday, December 30, 2020

2020 High Points, eBook Sale

 

Happy New Year 2021 from J.Q. Rose!

Hello and welcome to the last post in 2020. And aren't we all glad to see 2020 in the rearview mirror. (I didn't come up with that but some clever person on Facebook did.) That is exactly how I feel.

Although I must admit, 2020 had some high points. My husband, Ted, and I celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary. Not exactly the party we had planned, but in a way, better. We only had family, so it wasn't a huge crowd, and a cook out, no fancy-schmansy get-together to worry about putting together. We played yard games and visited on the back deck and ate and ate and ate. Our daughter, Sara, and her hubby celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary with us, so we had 2 cakes. 


Our wedding, June 1970

The other high point was the completion and release of my "heart-work," Arranging a Dream: A Memoir. Originally scheduled for a June release, my publisher, Jude, realized how the COVID pandemic interrupted our lives and scattered our brains. She told authors with releases in 2020 that if they needed time to re-schedule to a later date, she would do that. So the launch date was changed to January 1, 2021. That fun day is coming up this Friday. Can you believe it?? With the pre-order available nowadays, you can order the eBook at the special pre-order price of $2.99, good through December 31, 2020. The paperback is available now and readers are already sending me their reviews. That is another high point. 

You can download the eBook from your favorite online bookseller.

Another high point this year is meeting you and having you as a supporter of my books.

 Thank you so much for being here with me on this blog and newsletter. 

You are special to me.

Looking forward to more good times and great reading and writing in 2021.


Join me during the Virtual Book Tour for Q&As, articles, features and give-aways. 
An eCopy of Arranging a Dream will be awarded to a lucky commenter 
at many of the stops along the way.

GOOD NEWS! 50% OFF Year End Sale from BWL Publishing, my fiction publisher. 
50% off Books released by Books We Love Publishing at Smashwords till the end of the year. Now's 
the time to pack that new reading device with incredible ebooks including my cozy fiction and thriller books. 
Click here to download my romantic suspense and thriller novels now for only $1.49 each!


Mysteries on Sale Now at Smashwords!


Wednesday, December 23, 2020

VIDEO: The Christmas Story

 

Merry Christmas from J.Q.Rose

Are you ready for Christmas? It's ready for you. Even with COVID-19, there is no stopping Christmas. We will celebrate Jesus birth, Mary and Joseph, the angels, the manger, the animals, the shepherds, candles and lights. We can. 
Wishing you the blessings of Hope, Joy, Peace and Love during this season and for the New Year 2021!

Today, I am sharing the video I made, reading the Christmas Story from Luke in the Bible. I hope this timeless story will help you through a difficult time and renew you for the coming year, 2021.

VIDEO: The Christmas Story




Tuesday, December 15, 2020

New Release: Sandra Cox's Western Novel--Gwen Slade, Bounty Hunter

 

Gwen Slade, Bounty Hunter by Sandra Cox
Western

Hello and welcome to the Focused on Story blog! Today is a special day for me in two wonderful ways. First, my friend and talented multi-genre author, Sandra Cox, is visiting today! Her latest Western novel, Gwen Slade, Bounty Hunter, just released this past Monday. 

I love her Westerns which I never read until I opened the first page of Sandra's Western novel, Thunder Tree. I was taken back to the "good ole days" of watching movies starring Roy Rogers, Rex Allen, Randolph Scott and TV shows, Gunsmoke and Bonanza. Sandra writes scenes so you actually believe you are in the 1870s when you read them. I fell in love with the Western genre again. 
Thunder Tree by Sandra Cox
Now you may think I am biased because Sandra and I consider ourselves "cousins" because her name is Cox and there are members of the Cox family in my family, however...Anyway, we aren't really cousins, but we've had a lot of fun with it. Let me just tell you, cousins, or not, I am honest when I say her Westerns are great reads!

I am now going to bow out and let Sandra take over because I am answering some thought-provoking questions about writing my memoir, Arranging a Dream,  at writing buddy and memoirist, Nancy Sanders Pokerwinski's amazing blog, Heartwood, today. My second reason for making this a wonderful day.

Congratulations, cuz, on the release of this new Western, Gwen Slade, Bounty Hunter. Thank you for stopping in today to tell us about the book, share some western trivia and allow us to take a peek at an excerpt from your new release.

Gwen Slade Bounty Hunter by Sandra Cox

A huge thank you to J.Q. Rose, my honorary cousin, for letting me visit today and talk about my new release GWEN SLADE, BOUNTY HUNTER.

First, a little Old West trivia.

VESTS. They were more than just a fashion statement.

Cowboys inevitably wore vests. Their shirts had one pocket at best and they couldn’t get to their pants pockets when they were in the saddle. The vests had good deep pockets—usually at least four—and held their smokes, snuff, pocketknives, tally books and other cowboy necessities. They added an extra layer of warmth in cool weather. In summer, they just left them unbuttoned. Besides being practical, the cowboys considered them stylish.

GWEN SLADE, BOUNTY HUNTER BACK OF THE BOOK:

Bounty hunter Gwen Slade always gets her man. Until she meets charming outlaw Jordie Kidd.

After Jordie saves her family, she finds she can’t in good conscience turn him in, even if he is worth a thousand dollars dead or alive. Instead, she sets her sights on the meanest, most-wanted gang in Kansas. Gwen always works alone until she goes after the gang then finds herself partnering with an unlikely source.

This time around, not only her life, but her heart is on the line.

SHORT EXCERPT:

Jordie Kidd’s long-legged Appaloosa ate up the miles as it galloped farther and farther from Dodge City and Gwen Slade. Once again Lady Luck taunted him. When the bounty hunter came galloping into the yard and reined that palomino of hers into a rearing halt inches from his nose, the sun silhouetting her like an avenging angel, he’d felt a punch right to the belly. He still had that picture imprinted on his mind.

Of course, he’d heard of her. Who hadn’t? Especially someone with his face on a wanted poster. What he hadn’t heard…she had blue-black hair that resembled a sheath of silk, blue eyes like a pretty lake he’d seen once and skin that just begged to be touched.

He enjoyed women and, Lord bless them, they gave every appearance of enjoying him. They came in all shapes and colors, always entertained and never bored. But he’d never had a reaction to one quite like this. He had a feeling that no matter how much distance he put between them he wouldn’t be leaving Gwen Slade behind. Just his luck, he’d fall for the best bounty hunter in the business.


Click here to order GWEN SLADE, BOUNTY HUNTER  at amazon.

 

 

ABOUT SANDRA COX:

 

 

Sandra is a vegetarian, animal lover and avid gardener. She lives with her husband, their dog and cats in sunny North Carolina.

Sandra Cox, author

Her stories consist of all things western and more.

She can be found at http://www.sandracoxwriter.com.   If you’d like to stay abreast of what’s going on in her world and any new releases you can send a note in her comment form while you are there.  Or simply sign up on the follow by email request form. Her Twitter handle is: Sandra_Cox and her Amazon page is http://tinyurl.com/SandraAtAmz 

 

 

 

 

Arranging a Dream: A Memoir Winter Virtual Book Tour

Book Tour Schedule for December and January (so far)



Winter Virtual Book Tour Schedule

I am so looking forward to the tour and visiting with these wonderful hosts. I hope you will come along and enter at each stop where a lucky commenter will be drawn to win a copy of the memoir! Watch for updates and addresses. 

You can read about arranging flowers now at my first stop at Sandra Cox's blog, Sandra's Place. Click Sandra Cox to take you there.

Click here to come on over to Nan's blog, Heartwood, to see how I answer her questions about comparing the creation of fiction novels vs nonfiction stories and how to spark memories when writing a memoir. A lucky commenter will win a free eBook of Arranging a Dream: A Memoir.

Santa JQ and an unknown elf

Click here to sign up for the Rose Courier so you can stay up-to-date on all the news about freebies, blog posts, articles, guest authors and fun facts.

Thank you for stopping by today. 





 

 

 


Tuesday, December 8, 2020

How to Use a Knife and Giveaway #MFRWHooks

  

Book Hooks Blog Hop #MFRWHooks
Hello and welcome to the Focused on Story Blog. Today we're joining the Book Hooks Blog Hop sponsored by the Marketing For Romance Writers Group. Each participating blogger shares an excerpt from their book. Today, I share an excerpt from my memoir, Arranging a Dream: A Memoir

Arranging a Dream: A Memoir
by J.Q. Rose


BACK OF THE BOOK: 

In 1975, budding entrepreneurs Ted and Janet purchase a floral shop and greenhouses where they plan to grow their dream. Leaving friends and family behind in Illinois and losing the security of two paychecks, they transplant themselves, their one-year-old daughter, and all their belongings to Fremont, Michigan, where they know no one. 

 Will the retiring business owners nurture Ted and Janet as they struggle to develop a blooming business, or will they desert the young couple to wither and die in their new environment?

 Most of all, can Ted and Janet grow together as they cultivate a loving marriage, juggle parenting with work, and root a thriving business?

 Follow this couple’s inspiring story, filled with the joy and triumphs and the obstacles and failures experienced as they travel along the turbulent path of turning dreams into reality.


EXCERPT: Chapter Five--Back to School

Background Information: When Ted and I bought the flower shop and greenhouse operation, we had only dreamed of having the greenhouses, but the property we fell in love with included a full-service flower shop. I had no training in designing floral arrangements, so to learn about the floral business and get some hands-on lessons in floral design, I attended a school in Chicago.

I embraced this time of learning and growing. The instructor at the school had years of experience in the business and teaching. With his skill and humor, he and his staff guided our class through the experience of learning about the care of flowers, the guidelines for arranging flowers into a balanced and beautiful floral arrangement and the business side of the flower industry. The hands-on opportunity to work with fresh flowers every day with people who were as enthusiastic as I was invigorated me.

I walked to class from the hotel on an early September morning satisfied I knew where I was going because Ted and I had surveyed the area and found the building before he left for home the night before. I felt like a grown-up striding alone on the sidewalk among the crowd of folks racing toward their destinations. Traffic buzzed past me accompanied by a cacophony of squealing brakes, horns beeping, tooting, blaring and loud voices yelling. My eyes searched for the bright blue sky only partially seen through the tall buildings and pulled my jacket together to help keep the cool wind out.

My hand covered my stomach to calm the frenzied bees kicked up by my excitement as well as anxiety about the first day of lessons and meeting people taking the class. Without hesitation, I opened the glass door and stepped into a room filled with the smell of aged wood and floral fragrances. Ten thick, dark, wooden tables, waist-high, in two rows seated two students at each one. I pulled out the barstool type chair and sat down next to another student. We exchanged hellos and floral experiences. She was from the Chicago area and worked in a shop. The idea she could help me with understanding all the new lessons flitted through my mind. I hated to admit to her I had no experience.

Containers filled with florist’s tools such as scissors and wire cutters streamed down the middle of the table. A variety of colorful flowers sat on the floor in front of the class in five-gallon buckets. Their mixed fragrances tickled my nose. The carnations, roses, colorful daisies, and fall colored mums which I learned were called poms. Other flowers sat in buckets on tables, but I had no clue to their names. The smugness fell from my shoulders. I had so much to learn and only weeks to do it all.

Right on time, an older man, casually dressed in slacks and plaid shirt that tugged a bit over his tummy strolled in with his assistant who was a lanky young man. The noisy conversations silenced, and the class members riveted their eyes on him, waiting to discover what was ahead for them.

The teacher, Asa, introduced himself and David, the assistant. He gave us his award-winning resume in the flower business injecting some funny stories with his experiences. David, although he looked young, had worked quite a few jobs in designing flowers and won floral design contests at shows.

“How many of you are working in a flower shop?” Asa asked. I was surprised to see about half of the students raise their hands. I breathed a sigh of relief that others were as green as me.

He said, “Good. That means you can practice on other people’s customers. Get the experience before you open your own shop.” My stomach twisted into a knot. I never thought that I would be “practicing” on customers, but I knew after only three weeks of design school, I certainly wouldn’t be confident in my design skills. I would have to rely on Hattie to instruct me in everything, not only design, but also ordering supplies, bookkeeping, and customer service. I prayed she would hang in there with me to at least help me get my feet wet on her customers whom I hoped to keep as mine.

The first lesson was how to use a knife to make a flower arrangement. I checked in the florist tools containers for band-aids and bandaging materials. I wanted to be prepared to staunch the bleeding because cutting up potatoes usually resulted in a sliced finger for me.

“Hold the knife like this.” He held it in the palm of his hand and up in the air so we could see. “Always keep your knife sharp.” I winced at the thought of how sharp that blade must be.

David gave each student a cranberry, red-handled pocketknife. I tugged on the blade to pull it out of the handle. It didn’t come out of the sheath. Everyone else had theirs out. I gathered up my courage and pulled on that blade and it released, gleaming under the overhead lights. I dared not run my finger along the sharp edge.

“When you cut the stem, your knife should be sharp enough to cut at an angle to slice through the stem. Do not bend the stem over the knife and cut because the bending will block the stem’s ability to draw up water.” He made it look so easy to cut through that carnation stem.

One student bravely raised her hand. “Can we use shears to cut the flowers?” Asa’s eyes darkened. “Not if you want your flowers to take up water and last for your customer.”

I dreaded using the knife, but there was no way to avoid it for the next three weeks. Chewing my lip, I made the first slice through the stem of the carnation provided by David. The knife sailed through like the stem was gelatin. I tried again and again and each time it was easier. I soon learned to keep it in my hand at all times. A professional designer never puts the knife on the counter to place a flower in the arrangement because it wastes time. Pretty soon that knife felt like an extension of my hand.

Arranging a Dream: A Memoir Winter Virtual Book Tour

Book Tour Schedule for December and January (so far)

Dec. 4

Sandra Cox

           Dec 16

Nan Sanders Pokerwinski coming up on Wednesday


JANUARY

4

Don Levin

6

IWSG Alex

9

Helena Fairfax

11

Natalie Aguirre Followers News 

14

Marsha West

18

Jacqui Murray Review

I am so looking forward to the tour and visiting with these wonderful hosts. I hope you will come along and enter at each stop where a lucky commenter will be drawn to win a copy of the memoir! Watch for updates and addresses. You can read about arranging flowers now at my first stop at Sandra Cox's blog, Sandra's place. Click Sandra Cox to take you there.

PS--While I'm visiting Nan next Wednesday, Sandra Cox will be here with her new Western novel in the Gwen Slade series. Please stop in, say hi and discover why cowboys wore vests.

Arranging a Dream is on pre-order at your favorite online booksellers. The paperback book is available now in time for Christmas gift-giving to flower and garden lovers and dreamers.

Click here to order your print book of Arranging a Dream: A Memoir.

Leave a comment below and you may be the lucky commenter to win the drawing for a digital copy of Arranging a Dream! The deadline to enter is Sunday, December 12 at 9 pm ET. Good luck!!

Click here to visit bloggers who are participating in the Book Hooks Blog Hop. Discover new books, meet new authors and/or visit your favorites.