Tuesday, January 12, 2021

A Snowy Morning in 1975, #MFRWHooks, VIDEO


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, just released on January 1, 2021.

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


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.

A cup of tea and a "warm, enlightening memoir"

If you are experiencing snow during January, you may want to snuggle into your comforter with a cup of tea and read this excerpt about the snowy morning I experienced in 1975. We had just moved into our apartment in West Michigan the day before. My first wake-up in our new home did not go as planned.

You may watch the video of the reading or scroll farther down for the excerpt.
VIDEO: Settling In

VIDEO: Settling In
Excerpt from Arranging a Dream, Chapter 7, Settling In

EXCERPT: Beginning of Chapter 7, Settling In 

The next morning, the first wake-up in our new apartment, a yelp of surprise and delight erupted from me as I surveyed the snow-blanketed landscape out the front apartment window overlooking the street below. From our second-story perch, I could see all the way to Fremont Lake. Tall pine trees bowed with the weight of the snow. Overnight the view had changed and now reminded me of a painting in a children’s picture book in grays, whites, and blues.

For a girl raised in the middle of the cornfields in Central Illinois, the landscape’s beauty was one I had never experienced. Snow fell in Illinois, but rarely like this.

I heard Ted at the kitchen door stomping the snow off his shoes before stepping in on the kitchen floor. The sound of the door slammed shut behind him. I rushed to the kitchen to see him headed for the coffee pot. Unfortunately, he didn’t remove his shoes and tracked snow across the floor.

 “Isn’t it gorgeous outside?” I flung my hands to the window that faced the back yard of the shop.

When he turned from the coffee pot with mug in hand, I nearly gasped seeing his scowling face. For sure, he had no appreciation for the beauty of the snowfall.

“What’s wrong?” I stepped nearer to him, hoping our conversation wouldn’t wake Sara.

“Look outside. The U-Haul truck is buried in the snow. I’ve been out there shoveling. But there’s no way I can do it. I’m going to have to get somebody to tow it out of there.” He took a sip of hot coffee.

My happy countenance turned to malevolent dread. We had to return the truck to the company before noon or pay for another day’s rental.

“I’m going to call the Ford dealership, Wiersema Ford, across the street from the shop. I hope they can help us out.”

“Well that’s one way to meet the new neighbors,” I joked. He didn’t laugh.

After the phone call, the tow truck arrived and easily towed the truck out of the snow. What a great neighbor we had. We returned the truck to the U-Haul dealer in town on time.

I had no idea on that first morning that I wouldn’t see bare ground in Michigan again until May!

Nothing could ruin that day for me. After the months of planning, the sale of our home in Marseilles, the floral design schooling and absence from Sara, the packing and finally the trip north, I was anxious to make our dream come true. I hoped our bright dreams of a smooth road to success wouldn’t turn into a bumpy, curvy road of regret.

Arranging a Dream: A Memoir is available at major online booksellers. Click the Universal Link to find your favorite retailer.

UNIVERSAL LINK  eBooks from your favorite digital bookseller.

 Paperback from amazon

Thank you for stopping in!

Click here to visit bloggers participating in the #MFRWhooks  Blog Hop!

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Thank you!!

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

IWSG Blog Hop: When Do I Not Read a Book?, Virtual Book Tour, Video


Hello and Welcome to the Focused on Story Blog 
AND the Insecure Writers Support Group Blog Hop

Always on the first Wednesday of the month.

Happy Happy New Year!!!
Happy IWSG Blog Hop Day!!

What is the Insecure Writer's Support Group?
Founded by author Alex J. Cavanaugh, the Insecure Writer’s Support Group offers support for writers and authors alike. It provides an online database, articles and tips, a monthly blog posting, a Facebook and Instagram group, Twitter, and a monthly newsletter. To find out more, click this link:  Insecure Writer’s Support Group

The purpose of the group is 
* to share and encourage. 
* Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. 
* Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. 
*It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds! 
You're invited to become a member of this supportive group. Click here to sign-up to join.
The awesome co-hosts for the January 6 posting of the IWSG are Ronel Janse van Vuuren , J Lenni Dorner, Gwen Gardner Sandra Cox, and Louise - Fundy Blue!

Question of the Month

January 6 question - Being a writer, when you're reading someone else's work, what stops you from finishing a book/throws you out of the story/frustrates you the most about other people's books?

Reading through excessive typos and awkward sentences are my first thoughts to answer this question of what stops me from reading a book. I say that, and yet, I know I am not perfect. I can read my ms 100 times looking for errors. I still have not conquered removing or adding a period, comma, quotation marks from the pages. So I do give the author the benefit of the doubt if I discover some mistakes. Excessive is the operative word here. 

Otherwise, I give up on a book filled with too many characters. If I have to constantly page back through the story to remind me of the role the character plays, then I quit. I don't want to work to read a story. I want to sit back, relax and enjoy the author's creation.


I am thrilled to share with you the exciting news! My memoir, Arranging a Dream: A Memoir released on January 1, 2021! I have begun the Virtual Book Tour and am loving every minute of meeting readers, bloggers and authors as I sail through cyberspace. Even more, fun, is giving away a PDF copy to a lucky commenter. Please join me on the journey. Below are my hosts for interviews and spotlight features. 

Arranging a Dream: A Memoir Virtual Book Tour

Click on the highlighted names to visit my hosts' sites. C ya' there!!

In December:

Sandra Cox Tips on Flower Arranging

Nan Sanders Pokerwinski Interview by an award-winning memoirist

BWL Publishing Insiders Blog About writing

Joylene Nowell Butler Spotlight

                       Arizona Authors Association Blog   Writing fiction and non-fiction

In January:

Diane Bator Interview by multi-genre author

Don Levin Interview by mystery author

IWSG Alex Thanks for the shout out!

                     Coming up in January

 9  Helena Fairfax

11 Natalie Aguirre Followers News

14 Marsha West

18  Jacqui Murray review

 22-23 Janet Lane Walters 2 days


Just for fun, I'm adding the video of opening the box filled with my memoir. This is the first peek at seeing the paperback. This makes my heart go pitter-patter as I slice open the box. What a moment. 


Opening the box containing my memoir for the first peek

JQ Rose, author

 Stay-Up-To-Date with J.Q. Rose--articles, news, prizes, sneak peeks, guest authors and books.
Click here to get the January issue of the Rose Courier delivered to your inbox once a month.
* * *
Thank you for stopping here at the Focused on Story Blog with JQ Rose.
Click here to visit more participating bloggers!