Sunday, January 22, 2017

Charles Cranston Jett author of Bess #HistoricalFiction #LGBTQ

I’d like to welcome Charles Cranston Jett, author of Bess, the story of a twenty-one year-old girl who leaves her parent’s farm to homestead on her own in the southwest corner of North Dakota.

RW:        Tell us about yourself, your family, where you live.

CCJ:      My original roots are in the western Dakotas where I lived through high school. My college experience was the US Naval Academy and I spent my naval service time in nuclear submarines. (Wrote a book about that experience—Super Nuke!)

Following the navy, I went to the Harvard Business School, spent many years in business, and then began to write. I was married for 34 years when my first wife died—then remarried and have been very happy during the ten years we have been married. I have two grown children—one is a principal in an elementary school (Eugene, OR) and the other is in the US Navy.

RW:        Who are your favorite authors?

CCJ:      I enjoy Bertrand Russell, Tom Clancy, and William Manchester.

RW:        Who are your favorite characters among the books you’ve written?

CCJ:      Favorite character is “Bess”

RW:        What makes a good book?

CCJ:     Excellent and vivid story line and well developed characters with whom the reader becomes attached and cares.

RW:        How does reader feedback matter to you?

CCJ:     Reader feedback is essential. They tell you if your story makes sense and if you have told it well through your characters.

RW:       How much of your personality and life experiences are in your writing?

CCJ:      A lot. Super Nuke was a memoir, Critical Skills,The Doom Loop, and Field Studies are what I lectured about. Bess captures some of my early life experiences.

RW:       Tell us about your latest book. What motivated the story? Where did the idea come from?
CCJ:   Latest book is Bess. It’s a story about my grandmother and her experiences in going to far-western North Dakota as a single woman in 1908 and homesteading on her own. The story is real, and the experiences (for the most part) are real.

RW:        Do you feel humor is important in fiction and why?

CCJ:      It’s important in my writing to occasionally provide a little relief and maybe a smile from the reader. It lightens the tension where appropriate.

RW:     Can you describe the funniest thing that ever happened to you?

CCJ:      I wrote a letter to President Harry Truman when I was in the fourth grade warning him about the North Koreans invading the south. Three days later when the US intervened, I had tremendous feelings of guilt because I thought I started a war.

RW:      Tell us about the scariest thing that ever happened to you.

CCJ:     Being on a nuclear submarine shadowing the Soviets when a torpedo was launched. Fortunately, it was a training shot and not intended for us.

RW:      Those are all the questions I have for you today. Thanks so much for visiting my blog.
CJJ:       You’re very welcome. Read the book!


The Plot:

Bess Parker is only 21 years old when she sets out by herself in 1908, leaving the safety of her childhood home for southwestern North Dakota to establish a homestead. And it takes all the strength she can muster to succeed—facing the perils of the vast prairie, making her homestead productive, conquering the dangers of the frontier, flirting with romance, struggling with the emotional needs of her heart and body, and meeting the challenges of life on the prairie. But this unique young woman has a steely determination, and her story is the epitome of courage and grit in a difficult and sometimes cruel time in the history of the west.

Your Bio:

Charles Cranston Jett is a graduate of the US Naval Academy and the Harvard Graduate School of Business. He served in the US Naval Nuclear Submarine Force and has thirty years’ experience in the management consulting and executive recruiting world. A native of the Western Dakotas, Mr. Jett is also the author of WANTED: Eight Critical Skills You Need To Succeed; The Doom Loop; Field Studies; and Super Nuke! A Memoir About Life as a Nuclear Submariner and the Contributions of a “Super Nuke” the USS RAY (SSN653) Toward Winning the Cold War.


Monday, July 6, 1908: Near Haley, North Dakota

Bess Parker awoke to the sound of meadowlarks. The morning was crisp and clear just south of the North Dakota and South Dakota state line, with a few clouds in the crystal-blue sky like puffs of cotton on their journey to the east. The scent of wet green hay wafted through the window, tickling her senses. I made it, she thought, as she got out of bed and quickly dressed. She put on her slippers and walked swiftly across the rough-hewn pine floor toward the front door. She headed outside to finally stand in front of her newly built sod house. She raised her arms and puffed out her chest to greet the new day. She smiled.

A fresh, cool breeze blew through Bess’s hair as she surveyed the green waving prairie grass in all directions and the Teepee Buttes about five miles directly west. A mile to the north, the winding Grand River flowed silently through the little town of Haley, North Dakota. It was as she had expected all along. It was what she had dreamed about—had longed for--and seemed to be a just reward for doing so much studying and planning. This is my land, she thought, my new home. My homestead.

As a 21-year-old single female, Bess had joined ranks with the few women who had taken advantage of the Homestead Act of 1862. This act, signed into law by President Abraham Lincoln, provided that anyone who had never taken up arms against the United States government (including freed slaves and women), and who was twenty-one years or older, a US resident, or the head of a family, could file an application to claim a federal land grant. This grant provided 160 acres of free land that the successful homesteader had to “prove up” over a five-year period to obtain title. Bess had successfully obtained her grant from the agent in Lemmon, South Dakota and was at the beginning of the five-year “prove-up” period. After five years, she would have to offer proof that she had lived on the land and provide evidence that she had made the kind of improvements that would make the land productive and sustainable for a person trying to earn a living. If that were done, the land would be hers free and clear.

Bess reflected on her accomplishments over the past couple of months but knew full well that her adventures were only beginning. It didn’t sound very exciting on the face of it—sleeping in a house made of grass and dirt, and dug into the side of a small hill on the vast prairie, but it was all hers. More than that, the future would belong entirely to her. It would be a new life—a challenge for anyone, and especially for a woman alone. The thought of it made her breathless.

Now, as she stood outside her home, a feeling of pride and accomplishment swept through her, and she couldn’t help but smile. This was it—her home—and to top it all off, she was in love. She had faced a challenge at a young age and had met it successfully head on, but Bess was no fool. She knew that many more challenges loomed in her future—challenges that she welcomed. It was exhilarating. Thrilling.

She stood silently and enjoyed the cool breeze, the pleasant sound of the wind blowing across the waving grass—like a heavenly whisper—and the happy birds. She closed her eyes and listened to those sounds that, together, were symphonic and seemed to transport her back in time—four years ago—to the only home she’d ever known…Cando, North Dakota.


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Sunday, January 15, 2017

Jeanne St James

I’d like to welcome Jeanne St. James to my blog this week.

RW:        Tell us about yourself, your family, where you live.

JSJ:       I live in south central Pennsylvania. I’m not just an author. I work full-time in a government organization. I have my Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice and a law enforcement background. I love to travel, and I’m hoping to retire from my job in about ten years and move to an island where I can snorkel every day. I’m a “water baby.” I can be out in the water snorkeling for hours. I have two French bulldogs and a boyfriend of over five years who is a police officer (a Captain).

RW:        How many hours a day do you spend writing?

JSJ:       It varies. I try to average a thousand words per day. Somedays I spend more time writing, others I don’t spend any time at all. Or I’m editing. Or promoting. Being an author is much more than just writing.

RW:        What is the best thing about being a writer?

JSJ:       Seeing your characters come to life. I’ve always imagined conversations in my head. I’ve always had someone (imaginary) telling me their story. And you get to live through your characters. Take adventures you may have never taken or never will get to take. You can write characters you yourself would fall in love with, or want to hang out with. You are only limited by your imagination.

RW:        Who are your favorite characters among the books you’ve written?

JSJ:       I would have to say my favorite character is Amanda. She’s the heroine in Brothers in Blue: Max. She starts out the story as a “spoiled rich girl” and is stuck raising her special needs adult brother. Through the story she grows into a responsible adult and falls in love. Her journey is one of my favorites.

RW:        How does reader feedback matter to you?

JSJ:       I don’t just write for myself. I write to entertain people. I know my books aren’t for everyone. But when someone tells me that they LOVED my book, it makes me feel good. I told them a story that they enjoyed. And that makes me happy!

RW:        What do you do to relax and recharge your batteries?

JSJ:       Yoga. Travel. Watch a movie. Or read a book.

RW:        Generally, how long does it take you to write a book?

JSJ:       It depends, the more books I write, the faster I write them. I now just sit down and write and go back and polish later. I need to get the story out and then make it shine. I would say it takes me about three weeks to write a novella and seven or eight weeks to write a novel.

RW:        What can we expect from you in the future?

JSJ:       I am finishing up my Brothers in Blue series this year. I am going to continue my Dare Ménage series. I have a couple stand-alone books which will be out (and one more to write for 2017). And I have an idea for a MC series. So, the answer is: you can expect a lot (and variety, too).

RW:        If you came with a warning label, what would it say?

JSJ:       Warning: Opinionated, highly motivated, and extremely determined!

RW:        How many books have you written, how many have been published?

JSJ:       Let’s see. I have six currently published. I have one which will be re-released later this year. So, that’s seven published total. I am currently writing two. I have three more currently being edited. Plus I have a couple books I wrote but will never see the light of day (for good reason).

RW:        Are you in control of your characters or do they control you?

JSJ:       I’m a pantser, so my characters control me. I start out with a premise, but as I write, the characters and their actions direct the story. Sometimes I’m surprised where they lead me.

RW:        Party life or quiet dinner for two?

JSJ:       Quiet dinner for two. I don’t enjoy crowds, or craziness anymore. I’m happy to spend quiet time with my boyfriend.

RW:        Those are all the questions I have for you today. Thanks so much for visiting my blog.

(The Dare Ménage Series, Book Two)

The Plot:

Never in her life has she been so bold to propose something so daring…

Since losing her husband years ago in a tragic accident, Eve Sanders hasn’t dated. Her husband’s death proved life is short, so why waste time denying her unfulfilled desires. Eve desires two men, but not just any two. Both happen to be former Super Bowl champions and best friends.

When both men participate in a Celebrity Date Night charity event, Eve’s determined to not only be the winning bidder for the retired NFL quarterback Lawrence “Long Arm” Landis, but also Cole Dixon, his former Boston Bulldogs teammate. However, Ren not only has a problem with another man dating the same woman, but he definitely isn’t planning on sharing her in the same bed. Even if it’s with his best friend.

Openly bi-sexual, Cole is sexually attracted to Ren and has secretly wanted him for years. He’s never acted upon it, assuming Ren wouldn’t want to be with another man. Eve’s daring proposal gives Cole hope his dream with Ren will come true.

Being with two men is one of Eve’s fantasies, but never in her life has she been so bold. Not only is she nervous about proposing something so daring to the two men, but will both be willing?

Jeanne’s Bio:

Jeanne St. James is an erotic romance author who loves an Alpha male (or two). She was only thirteen when she started writing, since it gave her an escape from teenage angst! Her first paid published piece was an erotic story in Playgirl magazine. Her first erotic romance novel, Banged Up, was published in 2009. She is happily owned by farting French bulldogs. She writes M/F, M/M, and M/M/F ménages.

She has a few new releases coming up in 2017. So keep an eye on her website at or sign up for her newsletter:


The man next to her was solid, his arm wrapped around her bare shoulders. She leaned into him, practically tucked under his arm. She pressed her face into his neck and inhaled him, his scent. He smelled so good. She detected a fresh smell of what she thought might be honey…and oatmeal?

“Why do you smell like breakfast?” she murmured against his skin. His deep chuckle sent a shiver up her spine, hardening her nipples.

“It’s my soap. It’s locally made with honey, oatmeal, and goat’s milk. Are you cold?”

“No. Is it also made up with the tears of angels? Because you smell like heaven to me.”

Ren snorted. “Oh, you got jokes.” He squeezed her and lowered his face, kissing her hard, taking complete possession of her mouth and tongue.

Eve’s wrapped a hand around the back of his head, and moaned into his mouth. Their tongues danced together, their breaths mingled. She closed her eyes to sink deeper into the kiss.

Her other hand found his waist, trying to get even closer, if it was possible. His hands slid over her bare back, over her shoulders and down both arms until he got to her wrists. He pulled himself free and pulled back away from her slightly.

“Baby, unless you want me to take you right here, right on this deck, we need to hold off a bit. I promised you a beautiful sunset. Once the sun is down, all bets are off.”

Eve didn’t know if she could wait that long. Her breathing was strained and she was already wet. “How soon is the sun going down?”

Ren let out a ragged breath. “Damn, you’re not making this easy for me. We need to stand up.” He grabbed her hand to help her up. “I’m hard as fuck.” He adjusted himself in his tailored black slacks. He guided her to the deck rail. She leaned her belly against it, and he stood behind her, his hips tight against her ass. “Can you feel me?”

Eve’s breath caught; she could only nod.

Ren swept her hair to one side and nuzzled her neck. He worked his way down, kissing and licking her heated skin, then nipping her where her neck met her shoulder. He wrapped his arms around her waist, the weight of her breasts against his forearms. He leaned his cheek against hers.

“There. See that? Mother Earth is going to bed for the night. She’s giving us all those amazing colors as a goodnight.”

“It’s beautiful.”

“It never gets old.”

They watched as the sun lowered until it disappeared behind the horizon, the vibrant colors slowly turning to hues of dark blue, gray, and black.

Her heart skipped a beat when he grabbed her hand and escorted her back through the house. He led her to the impressive staircase in the foyer.

“That’s a lot of stairs,” she teased.

“Do you want me to carry you?”

“I thought you’d never ask!”


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