Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Jana Richards, LIES AND SOLACE, @JanaRichards_ #Contemporary, # Romance, #SmallTown

I’d like to welcome Jana Richards, author of the Love at Solace Lake series to my blog today.

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

JR:     I live in Winnipeg, Canada. My husband and I have two grown daughters who we’re very proud of. One’s a journalist and one’s an RN and studying to be a nurse practitioner. Away from writing, I work part-time for the provincial veterinary medical association, doing mostly accounting. We like traveling, concerts and golf (my husband adores golf—I like yoga better).

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

JR:     It really varies. There are days I’ll spend eight hours at my computer, and days I don’t write at all. But most of the time, my limit is two to four hours at one sitting. Writing is such an intense mental exercise that it takes everything out of me. Unless the words are really flowing, after a few hours, my brain is fried!

RW:   Why did you decide to write? When did you submit your first manuscript and what genre was it?

JR:     After reading my first romance, I was hooked, and I got the feeling that I could write one, too. It was a strong feeling that wouldn’t let me go. Now I’m hooked on telling stories. It probably sounds trite, but I can’t not write.

I honestly can’t remember the first manuscript I submitted. It likely was contemporary romance and it would have been submitted twenty or more years ago. It was rejected, and so were several other of my early efforts. It took me a long time to produce a manuscript that was worth publishing.

RW:   Has your life changed since you became a writer? What’s the best thing about being a writer?

JR:     Well, for sure my house isn’t as clean as it used to be! Writing takes a lot time and energy. Then there’s all the time and energy needed to promote the writing and find readers. It’s meant a few things have gone by the wayside. Fortunately, my husband doesn’t mind cooking!

The best thing about being a writer is making up worlds and characters out of my imagination. I love that!

RW:   Who are your favorite authors? Who influenced your writing?

JR:    I have a lot of favorite authors—Mary Balogh, Julie James, Suzanne Brockmann, Lisa Kleypas, Kristin Higgins, to name a few. Probably the author who influenced me most when I first began writing was Nora Roberts. How can you not admire someone as prolific as Ms. Roberts who tells such amazing stories? I want to be Nora Roberts when I grow up!

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

JR:     One of my favorite characters is Zane from A Long way from Eden. He’s a strong, alpha male character, someone who doesn’t take any crap from anyone. But he’s fiercely loyal to the people he loves, and he looks after them, even if his actions aren’t always welcomed by his loved ones.

Another of my favorite characters is Cameron from Secrets and Solace, book 2 of my new Love at Solace Lake series. Cam has faced a lot of struggles in his life, a dysfunctional family, an unplanned pregnancy with a cheating partner, and struggles with alcohol. But he overcomes all those things to become a caring father and loyal brother. But when he faces his biggest struggle, he has trouble accepting help from the people who love him.

RW:   What makes a good book? A great romance? Is humor important in fiction and why?

JR:     I think characters that readers care about are essential to a good book. To that I’ll add characters that readers care about who are facing a struggle. Unless there is some kind of conflict that forces the characters to act and to change, there’s not much of a story. That’s true for any genre.

A great romance has to have all of the above plus it has to show two (or more) characters falling in love. And not just any garden-variety infatuation. It has to be the love of their lives, something they can’t get with anyone else. Humor is definitely a part of that. Even a very serious story can use humor to lighten moments and to show the characters are human.

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

JR:     Quite a bit, actually. A writer can’t help putting some of themselves into their writing because we’re reflecting the way we see the world. In a manuscript I’m working on right now, I’m relating my experience with my dog!

RW:   Tell us about your latest book. What motivated the story? Where did the idea come from? What genre is it? Does it cross over to other genres? If so, what are they?

JR:     My latest releases are the three books in the Love at Solace Lake contemporary romance series. Three sisters inherit their grandfather’s old fishing lodge in Minnesota and they work together to revive the failing business. They grew up at the lodge with their grandparents after their parents died in a murder/suicide. As the series unfolds, light is shed on old secrets.

What motivated the writing of this series is wanting to explore what happens to a child when there is a murder in the family. Each of the sisters reacts a little differently to the death of their parents: Harper struggles with issues of abandonment, Scarlet feels guilty, and Maggie, who was too young to know her parents, feels cheated.

RW:   What are your thoughts on love scenes in romance novels?

JR:     I’m all for them! I’ve come to the point in my writing where I like to include at least one love scene, even in a very short work. I know that there is a wide range of likes and expectations from readers when it comes to love scenes. In some of the reviews I’ve received for the first book in the Love at Solace Lake series, LIES AND SOLACE, Harper’s story, one reviewer said she skipped over the love scenes, while another reviewer said she wanted the book to be hotter. Different strokes for different folks!

RW:    Those are all the questions I have for you. Thank you for speaking to me.

JR:     Thanks Rochelle. It’s been fun!


The Plot

She can’t live with one more lie. He can’t tell the truth.

Harper Lindquist is convinced she’s found the answer to her financial prayers. Unless she pours cash into crumbling Solace Lake Lodge, she’ll lose her family’s legacy. Her would-be savior arrives in the middle of a Minnesota blizzard and she’s determined to prove to her reluctant, and trapped, financier the lodge is a sound investment. But Harper isn’t completely honest with him. And she has no idea the lake is hiding secrets of its own.

Ethan James is a liar, but his money is very real. He isn’t convinced a broken-down inn is a smart investment opportunity. But the more he understands Harper’s dreams and desires, the more he wants to be the man to make them come true. The trauma in both their pasts means neither can fully trust the other. They must find the courage to love, to trust, and to accept, or yesterday’s sorrows will keep them apart.

An Excerpt:

As she stared into his dark eyes she realized how much she trusted him and relied on him. That was something rare for her. The only people she trusted as much were her sisters.

I’m in love with him.

The thought blasted through her brain with the force of a tsunami. The tension of the last few weeks, the insecurity, the mistrust, the fear, slipped easily from her shoulders. For the first time, her mind was clear. She was in love with Ethan and she didn’t want to wait anymore. She wanted him. She wanted him to be her first, her last.

Finding courage she didn’t know she possessed, Harper slid off the stool and walked around the island. She plucked the wine glass from his hand and set it on the counter, then placed his hand on her breast. “Make love with me, Ethan.”

A fire lit in his eyes, telling her he wanted her, too. But there was a question there, a hesitation. “Are you sure?”

She’d never been more sure of anything in her life. “Yes.”


“Shhh. Let’s not talk anymore.” She placed one finger over his lips, then stood on her tiptoes and kissed him.

Ethan’s reaction was lightning swift. He wrapped his arms around her and brought her close, his mouth descending on hers in a wild, warm kiss. Their tongues tangled, slid over each other. She’d missed his touch, his taste. She moaned, and in the sound she heard thirty-two years of longing.

For this. For him.

Jana Richards


When Jana Richards read her first romance novel, she immediately knew two things: she had to commit the stories running through her head to paper, and they had to end with a happily ever after. She also knew she’d found what she was meant to do. Since then she’s never met a romance genre she didn’t like. She writes contemporary romance, romantic suspense, and historical romance set in World War Two, in lengths ranging from short story to full length novel. Just for fun, she throws in generous helpings of humor, and the occasional dash of the paranormal. Her paranormal romantic suspense “Seeing Things” was a 2008 EPPIE finalist.

In her life away from writing, Jana is an accountant/admin assistant, a mother to two grown daughters, and a wife to her husband, Warren. She enjoys golf, yoga, movies, concerts, travel and reading, not necessarily in that order. She and her husband live in Winnipeg, Canada with their elderly Pug/Terrier cross named Lou. She loves to hear from readers and can be reached through her website at www.janarichards.com

Book Links:


Contact Jana Richards At:

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Preston Pettigrew of Khan’s Game by P Marcus Bernhardt @Saiilor661 #Murder #alQaeda #RetitredMarine

RW:  What’s your story/backstory? Why would someone come up with a story about you?

PP:   I retired from the Marines as a Master Gunnery Sargeant. During my career, I served as long-range recon and as a sniper. I was a weapons expert and I taught weapons safety and use courses when I retired. But my real story is my family. I’m in this story because one of my sons, Brad, is a Navy SEAL who went on the raid that killed Osama bin Laden. Ahmed Khan came to the US to kill the families of those SEALs. I chose not to be a victim.

RW:    Can you tell us about your heroine

PP:   Beverly Starnes is a nurse who works in the Emergency Room of our local hospital. We met accidentally when I went to see a real estate agent who is Beverly’s twin. She’s the first woman I became serious with since the death of my wife. Yet, Beverly had serious issues I knew nothing about.

RW:    What problems do you have to face and overcome in your life?

PP:     My wife died two years ago, so I live by myself. Before she died, she convinced me to give up the weapons training. I started a photography trail-hiking business where I lead photographers to the flora and fauna in the Shenandoah Valley and Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. When the nastiness began, I hoped the authorities would handle it. They didn’t and that put me where I didn’t want to be ever again—fighting for my life.

RW:   Do you expect your heroine to help or is she the problem?

PP:     I do expect her to understand and be supportive. She turns out to be part of the problem.

RW:    Where do you live?

PP:    In the town of Staleyville, Va. It’s south of Charlottesville near the James River.

RW:    During what time-period does your story take place?

PP:     In the early 2010s.

RW:    How are you coping with the conflict in your life?

PP:    If you call coping with my conflict as trying not to be killed by Khan, I spent the book working on it. I first believed that the police and FBI would pursue him. As time passed, I became convinced that someone was working against us, the families, to ensure we were killed. That’s when I decided to take the offensive. I’m thankful that I got some help from a rogue FBI agent.

RW:    If money were not an object, where would you most like to live?

PP:    I’ve traveled widely in Europe, South America, the Middle East, and other places. I wouldn’t live anywhere but where I do.

RW:    What is your secret guilty pleasure?

PP:     Bourbon. But I don’t know how secret it is.

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

PP:     Boiling Point High. When Reached—Beware.

RW:    Those are all the questions I have for you. Thank you for speaking to me.

PP:     Thank you for having me. I enjoyed discussing Khan’s Game.

P Marcus Bernhardt


P. Marcus Bernhardt retired from the U.S. Navy as a Master Chief Petty Officer where he served in surface ships and submarines. After the Navy, he was a financial analyst, taught college, and served as a university administrator. Now retired except for writing and golf, he lives in Virginia Beach with his wife and Scottish Terrier.

Khan’s Game

The Plot:


Members of SEAL Team Six assassinated Osama bin Laden. Al Qaeda has not forgotten. Ahmed Khan leads a hit team to the United States to kill the parents of SEAL Team Six members. Preston Pettigrew, a retired Marine, is a parent of a SEAL Team Six member who went on the operation. That makes him a target. A target who fights back.


Pre-Order at MuseItUpPublishing or Amazon

An Excerpt:

Ahmed Khan, Federal prisoner number 497313, a hero of the Jihad, an adviser to Osama bin Laden, and Al Qaeda field commander waited for his ride out of prison. Dust announced the progress of a Brink’s truck as it barreled toward the chain link fence gates of Staleyville County Prison. The steel vehicle smashed through the aluminum outer gate drawing the full attention of everyone in the exercise yard,
including the lone guard in the lookout tower. It ripped through the inner gate, slammed on the brakes, turned hard left, and stopped. The rear door flew open. Khan and fellow inmate, Arthur Wegman, a jihadist in training, scrambled into the back of the truck. The door slammed shut as the armored vehicle spun around and left the way it came, leaving clouds of dust in its wake.

Jeans, plaid shirts, and Nike running shoes awaited the escaped convicts. As they stripped off orange jumpsuits and changed into the street clothes, Khan spoke in Arabic to his compatriots who masterminded and executed the escape. “Good job. Great timing. What do you have for me?”

The stocky, bearded man in the front seat, Ali, handed a cell phone to Khan, “The coordinates are programmed. Just follow the map and you’ll reach the others. It’ll take at least three or four hours to get there on foot, but, they’ll be waiting. You should be halfway before they get a search party going.”

“What about him?” Khan said, still speaking Arabic. His head ticked toward Wegman.

“After we drop you off, we’ll head for the dump where two cars are stashed. Wegman’s won’t run. We’ll meet you after we lose the cops.”

“Good. If something goes wrong, kill him.”

Contact P Marcus Bernhardt At:

Website & Blog: pmarcusbernhardt.com
Facebook: Phil Bernhardt
Amazon Author Page: http://amzn.to/2tQNwD2

Book Links:
MuseItUp Publishing http://bit.ly/2EUQib8

Key Words/Labels: Al Qaeda, Amazon, Murder, MuseItUp Publishing Inc., Navy SEALs, Pursuit, Retired Marine, Thriller