Introducing Jana Richards (Love At Solace Lake Series)

I’m so happy to be able to tell you about my friend, Jana Richards‘ newest releases. Her Love at Solace Lake Series is available this month. All. Three. Books! Can you believe it? No waiting months to see how the story ends. Part of me is very unhappy with you, Jana! It takes commitment and organization to be able to deliver three books in one month. Lies and Solace, Book One was available March 14. Secrets and Solace, Book Two is available today. The final instalment of the trilogy, Truth and Solace, is available for pre-order and will be delivered to your ereader on March 28.

Jana Richards

Love is worth the risk…

When their grandfather dies, the Lindquist sisters, Harper, Scarlet and Maggie, inherit the northern Minnesota fishing lodge that had been in their family for three generations. The inheritance is bittersweet. They were raised at the lodge by their grandparents. The natural beauty of the place hasn’t changed, but the building itself is crumbling and desperately in need of repair. The lodge also reminds them of what they lost. Twenty-two years previously, their parents died there in what was ruled a murder/suicide.

As the sisters struggle to breathe new life into the failing lodge, old fears and questions rise to the surface even as new love presents itself. Why did their father murder their mother? What truths did their grandparents keep from them? The sisters must fight to keep the wounds of the past from putting their futures, and their fledgling relationships, in jeopardy.

Five Things you need to know about Solace Lake

  1. It’s based on a real place in Minnesota. Sort of. North-central Minnesota is a lovely place with lots of trees and beautiful lakes. My husband and I have golfed in the area a couple of times, and we stayed at a very nice golf resort. I used that resort as the model for Miller’s Golf Resort, the neighbour to the Solace Lake Lodge, and the place of employment for Harper, the heroine of book 1, LIES AND SOLACE. However, Solace Lake and the fishing lodge that Harper is trying to save are entirely products of my imagination.
  2. A murder/suicide took place in Solace Lake. Twenty-two years before book one begins, the Lindquist sister’s parents died in the lake in what the police called a murder/suicide. The sisters, then aged ten, eight and sixteen months, were raised by their maternal grandparents at the fishing lodge.
  3. Their parents’ deaths leave scars on each of the sisters. Harper is left with feelings of abandonment. Scarlet feels guilty, somehow responsible for their deaths. Maggie never knew her parents. Everything she knows about them came from someone else’s remembrances. She feels cheated.
  4. The Hainstock brothers come from a dysfunctional family. Their father was an alcoholic and their mother an enabler. Their childhoods were chaotic, and both of them, especially Cameron, have vowed that they won’t do that to their own children.
  5. Luke and Maggie have a history – They first fell in love when Maggie was fourteen and Luke eighteen. But too many years, and too many secrets have put a wedge between them that’s going to be difficult to overcome.

Jana Richards

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.

US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B079TDDSY4

UK:https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B079TDDSY4

CA: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B079TDDSY4

AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B079TDDSY4


Jana Richards

No matter how deeply buried, secrets rise to the surface.

Scarlett Lindquist has agreed to help her sisters rebuild the dilapidated fishing lodge in Minnesota they inherited from their grandparents. Although the lengthy restoration is bringing the three sisters closer together, Scarlett’s support is temporary. Her leave of absence from her job in Chicago is temporary and she has no intention of staying at Solace Lake Lodge, where the lake holds dark secrets. When frightening childhood memories resurface, they are tempered by her fascination with an irritating contractor. If only she could trust her feelings for him. If only he could trust her.

Cameron Hainstock meets Scarlett at his brother’s wedding to her sister and their attraction is instantaneous. But Cam avoids the beautiful marketing executive. All his efforts are aimed at battling for custody of his only child. When the unimaginable happens and Cam faces the biggest challenge of his life, he’s reluctant to accept help to halt his downward spiral. Can they learn to trust each other and fight for a future together or will they go their separate ways?

US: http://www.amzn.com/B079WGSNWD

UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B079WGSNWD

CA: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B079WGSNWD

AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B079WGSNWD

Jana Richards

The truth could destroy them. Or set them free.

Maggie Lindquist left Solace Lake determined never to return. Circumstances have pulled her back and she’s helping to restore her family’s dilapidated fishing lodge. When she agreed to the plan she didn’t expect to have to work side by side with the man who abandoned her ten years earlier. She didn’t expect to like him, or want him ever again. But can she trust him as she once did?

Luke Carlsson rushes home to tend to his ailing mother. Her lengthy illness means he needs to stay, at least temporarily. And to stay, he needs to work. Solace Lake Lodge offers him a job and an opportunity to work with the woman he’s never stopped loving. But the restoration is unleashing secrets hidden for decades and no one is left unscathed. Especially not Maggie and Luke, whose love needs to be resilient enough to forgive, and strong enough to build a future together.

US: http://www.amzn.com/B079WFZXV2

UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B079WFZXV2

CA: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B079WFZXV2

Au: http://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B079WFZXV2

Congratulations again, Jana! Book One is next up on my ereader! I can’t wait to learn more about the Lindquist sisters and Solace Lake!

Dear Reader, do you love romances set in remote communities? Small Towns? or Resorts? I know I do!

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Q Is For Q&A With Jana Richards #AtoZChallenge

Q Is For Q&A With Jana Richards

A to Z April Blogging Challenge 2016

I so happy to have my friend and talented writer Jana Richards here answering questions about all things books and reading.Welcome to the A to Z April Blogging Challenge, Jana!

So Jana, inquiring minds what to know. What are you currently reading? and Why you picked it?  I’m reading three different books right now, in three different formats. I “read” audio books at the gym and currently I’m listening to Mary Balogh’s Then Came Seduction. Why? Because I love Mary Balogh’s books. On my e-reader I’m reading Please Release Me by Rhoda Baxter, who writes for one of my publishers. I was intrigued by the premise; on their wedding day, a couple is in a bad car accident, putting the bride in a coma. But this bride isn’t going to let a coma stand in the way of her happily ever after. Can’t wait to see how this one turns out. In print, I just started reading Somewhere in France, a WW1 romance. I saw this book on the Internet and it sounded so interesting I wanted to read it. I’m a sucker for a war romance. And it’s written by Canadian Jennifer Robson.

Those sound like great reads, Jana. I’m currently reading The Lake House by Kate Morton, part of which takes place during WW1. I’m really enjoying it! Two of the authors are new to me, but you can’t go wrong with any of Mary’s books!

Following up with the usual qualifiers. E-reader or Physical Book? Choice of Drink While Reading? Favorite Reading Spot?  I can honestly say I don’t have a preference between ebooks or print books. Both have their place. And I love audio books. They make working out at the gym, and long road trips, enjoyable.

My choice of drink – Water at the gym, and either coffee or wine at home, depending on the time of day. I have a comfy chair in my living room that I like to read in. I sometimes read in bed, but I have a tendency to nod off.

I want to know whom you’re an unapologetic fan girl for? An author you’ve read the most books from?  Lifetime, I’ve probably read more Nora Roberts’ books than anyone else’s. Mary Balogh comes a close second. I’m definitely a fangirl of both. They are both so prolific and write such wonderful books. I’m deeply in awe!

I couldn’t agree more with your picks! Love both their books! I’ve read a couple of hidden gems over the years. What book are you glad you took a chance on?  When I belonged to a book club I read some books I probably wouldn’t have read on my own. One that comes to mind is Lord of the Flies – maybe not so much a gem as an experience. Speaking of gems, I contributed a novella, Chill Out, to The Wild Rose Press’s Candy Hearts Series for Valentine’s Day this year. I had the opportunity to read some of the other stories in the series, and maybe I’m biased, but I thought they were all little gems. A couple of my favorites were Ask Me by Laura Strickland and Be My Love by J.C. McKenzie.

It sounds like a lovely series, Jana! I promise not to carve it in stone anywhere important. Three of your all-time favourite books?  In no particular order:  A Knight in Shining Armor by Jude Deveraux; The Defiant Hero by Suzanne Brockmann; Slightly Dangerous by Mary Balogh.

I find most readers have an opinion on committing to a series. Book series fan? Favourite? Not a fan?  I love book series! I love being able to find out what happens to other characters, and hanging out in the world the author has created for just a little longer.

We romance readers love our heroes. Your overall pick for best book boyfriend?  Tucker Longstreet from Carnal Innocence by Nora Roberts. At first he comes off as this womanizing, good ol’ Southern boy. I didn’t like him at all. But then Ms. Roberts lets us find out who he really is, and Holy Smokes, I’ve been smitten ever since.

Hah, he sounds like a great book boyfriend. One of mine would be Cameron Quinn from her Chesapeake Bay Series! Time to ‘fess up. Worst bookish habit?  Perhaps, on occasion, I have been known to read the last page first, just to make sure there’s really going to be a happily ever after.

One of my mine involves a New Year’s Eve stay at cabin that didn’t have a television, let alone an Internet connection. We took turns reading the first Harry Potter book to our five-year-old son.  A dear to you reading memory?  When my youngest daughter was about six, she brought home a book from school about a child whose father had just died. It talked about the father’s funeral and what the child was going through. I got choked up as I was reading it, and Rachel put her hand on my arm and said, “It’s okay Mommy. It’s not our Daddy.” I don’t think I’ll ever forget my six year old trying to comfort me.

Ah, that’s a sweet memory! Inspiration surrounds us. The name of a book or an author who has inspired your own writing?  So many authors have inspired me, but I’ll just talk about three. I’m going to mention Mary Balogh again; I know when I read one of her books that I’m going to root for her heroine and fall in love with her hero. And I’m going to laugh and cry and feel the depths of sadness along with the highs of happiness. Her books are always an emotional read.

I love Rosamunde Pilcher. I’ll never forget crying my way through “Coming Home” and not being able to put the book down. Perhaps it was that book, as well as “The Shell Seekers” that got me interested in writing World War Two stories.

I admire Nora Roberts’ ability to always put me in her settings. She makes me feel like I’m right there with her characters, experiencing their surroundings, whether it’s Chesapeake Bay or New York City or Ireland. And she’s so prolific! As a writer, I’m in awe of the number and quality of the books she’s written. As a reader, I’m thrilled to have so many to choose from.

Oh my gosh, I remember reading The Shell Seekers and being utterly enthralled with her storytelling ability. I loved that book! I think we would make excellent reading companions!

Thanks for being such a good sport and answering my questions, Jana! I’m always curious about other’s reading habits and how it influences their writing.

Jana’s book The Girl Most Likely is a wonderful read and will be a steal of a deal at 99 cents through May 13 to May 27th.

TheGirlMostLikely_w6227_300

Cara McLeod, the girl most likely to have the perfect marriage, is now divorced and, in her own words, “fat, frumpy, and over forty.” The thought of facing former classmates—and the ex-husband who dumped her—at her high school reunion terrifies her. Cajoled into attending by her kids and her best friend, Cara enlists help at the gym to lose weight and look great for the reunion. Personal Trainer Finn Cooper is more than willing to help—but does he have to be so to-die-for gorgeous?

Finn thinks Cara is perfect just the way she is. She’s everything he wants in a woman, except for one thing—she can’t get past the fact that he’s eight years younger. To Finn, age and weight are just numbers. But can he convince Cara the numbers she worries about add up to only one thing for him—love?

Amazon * The Wild Rose Press * Kobo * iBooks * Barnes and Noble

Find Jana!

Website: http://www.janarichards.com

Blog: http://janarichards.blogspot.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/JanaRichardsAuthor

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/JanaRichards_

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/janarichards

Amazon UK Author Page: http://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B002DEVWWG

Newsletter Signup: http://www.eepurl.com/m3UnT

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2892274Jana_Richards

Google+ Profile: https://plus.google.com/100820406211390323245

What are some of your favourite books to recommend?

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Warm Winter Recipe and Book Recommendations

 

Sexy Suspense
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These days the sun is coming up sooner and staying longer. There is an end to winter in sight. But not an end to needing recipes that make our lives easier and yummier. One of our favourite comfort foods are Sloppy Joes. So here’s our version!

Sloppy Joes

  • 1 1/2 lbs ground beef
  • 1 cup of onions, chopped
  • 1/2 cup of celerly, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup of roasted red peppers
  • 3/4 cup of catsup
  • 1/4 cup of water
  • 1 tbsp of brown sugar
  • 2 tbsps of mustard
  • 2 tbsps of vinegar
  • 2 tbsps of worcestershire sauce
  • Shots of garlic flavoured hot sauce to taste
  • 6 – 8 hamburger buns

Directions:

In a dutch oven brown the ground beef, set aside. Next brown the onions, celery, and add garlic in when onions are nearly transculent. Add the beef back in along with the roasted red peppers and the rest of the ingredients (except the buns!). Simmer for half an hour.

Spoon meat mixture onto buns and enjoy!

While your heating things up in the kitchen, you can be thinking of what books to by next.

Dying Embers by B.E. Sanderson

Available on Friday, February 13th

dying embersBut Emma Sweet is tired of being a good girl. When she catches her husband cheating, she hits on the perfect plan to pay back all the men who ever broke her heart. Revenge isn’t as simple as seducing her old lovers and tossing a match, but watching them burn is deliciously satisfying.

The one time in her life Agent Jace Douglas wasn’t a good girl, she lost her family. Now she would rather run far and fast when it comes to fire. Too bad for her, she can’t walk away from a case where fire is the killer’s signature. Jace needs to face her fears and catch this murderer before the flames of her past—and the smoldering heat she feels for Detective Ben Yancy—reduce her life, her career and her self-control to ash.

One More Second Chance by Jana Richards

Available Now

one more second chanceDr. Alex Campbell has an agenda—finish his contract to provide medical services in Maine, pay off his medical school debt, and head back to his real life in San Diego. But when he meets Julia, all his carefully laid plans are put in jeopardy.

Julia Stewart, Lobster Cove’s high school principal, swears she’ll never let another man drag her away from the home she loves. Her aging parents need her, and the Cove is where she wants to raise her daughter. When her mother’s illness brings her and the big city doctor closer together, panic sets in. Her marriage taught her men don’t stay.

Can she put aside the heartaches of the past and trust Alex enough to accept the love he’s offering? Or will her fear of abandonment mean she’ll send him away forever?

Shift Happens by J.C. McKenzie

Available Now

shift happensAndrea McNelly’s job as a government agent is not asking questions, but then a routine assignment turns into a botched assassination of a Master Vampire’s human servant. Answers become a priority. Her search to discover the truth is riddled with obstacles, the largest being an oversized Werewolf who resembles a Norse god. Andy can’t afford the distraction he offers, because if she fails, she faces eternal enslavement.

Wick’s job is to monitor Andy, but he prefers more intimate activities, none of them G-Rated. His choices, however, are often not his own. His ability to help Andy is limited by his bond to the Master Vampire.

Facing many trials and challenges along her path to redemption, Andy learns the value of her freedom might be set too high.

Share the love and the book recommendations! What’s your favourite winter comfort food?

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A Birthday Bash and A Chance to #Win #Ebooks!

It’s Jana Richards Birthday Bash and she’s giving away the gifts. 18 authors and chances to win great books (one of them mine!). Chances to win every hour!

Birthday Celebration Banner large FINAL

Meet The Authors!

Enter Here!

I’ll be giving away a ecopy of OFF THE GRID at 5:00 pm!

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A.J. Nuest – http://ajnuest.com

Andrea Downing – http://andreadowning.com

Heather McCollum – http://www.heathermccollum.com

Ilona Fridl – http://www.ilonafridl.com

Inez Kelley – http://inezkelley.com

Christy Effinger – www.christyeffinger.com

J.C. McKenzie – http://www.jcmckenzie.ca

Kayelle Allen – http://kayelleallen.com

 Lesley Anne McLeod – http://www.lesleyannemcleod.com

Mary Balogh – http://www.marybalogh.com

Ashley Ladd – http://ashleyladd.blogspot.ca

Annette Bower – www.annettebower.com/blog

Debra Doggett – www.facebook.com/pages/Debra-Doggett/205566736172548?fref=ts

Elizabeth Lang – www.elizabeth-lang.com

Karyn Good – http://www.karyngood.com

KyAnn Waters – http://kyannwaters.com

Judith B. Glad – http://www.judithbglad.com

Barbara Bettis – www.barbarabettis.blogspot.com

Jana Richards – http://www.janarichards.com

Hope you check it out and enter to win some ebooks from some wonderful authors!

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Soup, Suspense and October News

Smart, sexy suspense

Tis the season for Halloween Blog Hops and a chance to win prizes and hook up with some great authors. Taking place from October 27th to the 31st. There will be a grand prize as well as prizes at the different stops!

Snarlolgy Halloween Blog Hop Yellow 2

In other news the sun is shining and there is still an amazing amount of warmth left in the air. It’s the day after Canadian Thanksgiving and I’m stuffed to the brim. It’s all good.

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Time for cuddling up in blankets and making soup – one of my favorite things to do. Probably because you can fudge the recipe and it usually turns out. I have a butternut squash sitting in my pantry ready to be turned into a delicious soup. Creamy, Curry Butternutt Soup is one of our favorites!

Meanwhile I’ve received the first round of edits for my second Aspen Lake book, Exposed. Hard at work!

Latest News

Off The Grid releases November 7th.  In it Sophie Monroe, an inner city doctor and activist, and Caleb Quinn, a high-priced Family Law lawyer, join forces to save a victimized, pregnant teenager. Available for pre-order at Amazon.

Off the Grid postcard 1Excerpt:

A glimpse at Off The Grid’s hero, Family Law Attorney, Caleb Quinn.

Caleb Quinn was smart. His new letterhead, business cards, and prime parking spot proof of how hard he worked. He was ranked one of Canada’s top lawyers under forty. He’d made partner at the unheard of age of thirty-two. He was charming. Ask anyone. Women enjoyed his company. He was discreet. Generous. In bed and out of it.

He was attracted to Dr. Sophie Monroe, wanted to get to know her better. So what? Sexual attraction wasn’t a crime. It was the second decade of the twenty- first century, people hooked up. He picked up a scarf, tossed it back, tuned out the most annoying Christmas song ever recorded. An over-crowded department store at closing on Christmas Eve? How much lower could he sink? Like the gift of a scarf was going to improve her opinion of him. He’d probably have more luck if he showed up with a package of tongue depressors.

*If you’re interested in reviewing Off The Grid let me know and I’ll hook you up! karyngoodauthor at gmail dot com

Old News

A friend has been hard at work creating new postcards for Backlash! Since we’re talking heroes…

Backlash PC 1 Thank you Elizabeth Lang, who also happens to be an amazing author of Science Fiction thrillers and Science Fiction Romance! And fellow member of The Saskatchewan Romance Writers

Other News

I’m part of a incredibly talented writing group! I thought I’d leave with a look at their upcoming and current releases.

If Regency Romance is your thing: Mary Balogh‘s Only Enchanting, Survivor Club Book 4 releases October 28th!

This is Book 4 of the Survivors’ Club series, after The Proposal, The Arrangement, and The Escape. Hugo’s story has been told, as have Vincent’s and Ben’s. Now it is the turn of Flavian Arnott, Viscount Ponsonby. He is the Survivor who suffered a severe head injury as a cavalry officer during the Napoleonic Wars, with resulting memory loss, the inability to think or speak coherently, severe headaches, and sudden rages. He spent three years with the other members of the group at Penderris Hall in Cornwall, recovering and learning to cope with his remaining handicaps.

Flavian is handsome, witty, charming, and aloof. His heart was broken when his beloved fiancée broke off their engagement soon after he was brought home from the Peninsula and married his best friend. The double betrayal has left him cynical and apparently quite immune to the lures of romantic love.

Agnes Keeping, a young widow, lives in a small village with her elder sister. She is a water colorist and loves to wander about the countryside painting wild flowers. She had a relationship with her husband of very mild affection and believes herself to be too sensible and prosaic ever to feel the pangs of a romantic passion, though she recognizes that such love does exist. Her friend Sophia, Viscountess Darleigh, is in a deep love relationship with her husband, the blind Vincent, one of the other Survivors.

Women’s Fiction with Romantic Elements: Annette Bower‘s Woman of Substance is available now!

Robbie Smith tries walking a mile in another woman’s shoes to validate her master’s degree research. Even though her professor doesn’t approve, Robbie disguises herself and moves in the world as a large woman, because the women in her research group declare, “You will never know what it’s like to be fat.”

All Jake Proctor wants to do is to spend as much time as he can with his dying grandfather Frank, the only father he’s ever known.

While in and out of disguise, Robbie sees Frank and Jake. Robbie is drawn to the tall, dark, kind man in her neighborhood, but she can’t divulge the truth about her about her oversized self and jeopardize all the hard work she’s put into her research. She has to see her thesis through to the bitter end. Even if it means deceiving the man she’s grown to care about.

Jana Richards‘ One More Second Chance is coming soon from The Wild Rose Press and part of the Lobster Cove series.

Dr. Alex Campbell has an agenda —finish his contract to provide medical services in Maine, pay off his medical school debt, and head back to his real life in San Diego. But when he meets Julia Stewart, all his carefully laid plans are put in jeopardy.

Julia Stewart, Lobster Cove’s high school principal, swears she’ll never let another man drag her away from the home she loves. Her aging parents need her, and the Cove is where she wants to raise her daughter. When her mother’s illness brings her and the big city doctor closer together, panic sets in. Her marriage taught her that men don’t stay. Can she put aside the heartaches of the past and trust Alex enough to accept the love he’s offering? Or will her fear of abandonment mean she’ll send him away forever?

More from the works of The Saskatchewan Romance Writers coming next month!

See you later in the month for some blog hop goodness and chances to win!

 

 

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Jana Richards’ Burning Love and A Chance To Win

If you like giveaways this is for you! My publisher, The Wild Rose Press is giving away $10 gift certificates. We want you to read our books. For a chance to win all you have to do is enter the rafflecopter here:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Need a recommendation? How about Jana Richards’ Burning Love.

A lovely novella found in The Wild Rose Press’s Faery Rose line.

burning love

After causing three cooking fires in her apartment, Iris Jensen finds herself evicted. She lands on Riley Benson’s doorstep, looking to rent a room in the beautiful old home he’s restoring. It’s only for six weeks until Iris leaves Portland, Oregon for her new job on a cruise ship. Firefighter Riley knows firsthand what a bad tenant she can be. But he needs money to finish the work on the house he loves. And something about Iris pulls at his heart…

Meanwhile, in Heaven, two angels watch over the young lovers. Angelica and Hildegard work in Heaven’s Relationship Division, where angels match mortals with their soul mates. The angels believe so strongly in Iris and Riley’s love that they break Heaven’s rules to help them. Can the angels convince them they belong together forever before time runs out?

Buy Link: Burning Love by Jana Richards

The Wild Rose Press.

Good luck!

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Tuesday’s Table Welcomes Author Jana Richards

I am so excited to be hosted Jana Richards today. Not only is she an incredibly talented storyteller but she’s a friend. She’s here to share her latest release, Home Fires, and talk about her love of baking.

Easy as Pie

I’ve always liked to bake. I remember as a teenager learning to make chocolate chiffon cake. It was the size and shape of an angel food cake, and had a light, airy texture that melted in the mouth and left a nice chocolate buzz. Brownies were also a favorite of mine to bake. I guess I had a thing for chocolate. Still do.

These days I don’t bake much, due to a busy schedule and a concern for my expanding waistline. But one thing I still love to make is pie, especially for guests. Pie crust can be a tricky thing to master, and  honestly, my crusts don’t always turn out as flakey as I would like. The perfect pie crust requires exact balance. Adding a little too much or too little of any of the ingredients can result in frustration and sometimes disaster. At least it does for me.

So when I was looking for a challenging dish for my heroine to master in my novel “Welcome to Paradise”, I had her learn to make pies. Bridget is a talented chef who calls herself the “Queen of the Cocktail Party” because of her expertise with appetizers, but she has little experience with pie. The people of her small North Dakota hometown rally around to teach her. It takes a village not only to raise a child, but also to teach Bridget to bake!

Here’s the recipe for pie crust I taught to Bridget:

Fruit Pie Pastry

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp. salt

1 cup shortening (removed from fridge about an hour before using)

8 tbsp. ice water (approximately)

2 tbsp. milk

Place oven rack on lowest level and preheat oven to 450 F. Sift flour, then measure into a bowl that will accommodate it but isn’t too big. Add salt. Add shortening to flour and use a knife to cut into dice-sized pieces. Then using a wide-bladed pastry blender, quickly combine shortening and flour until fully integrated and there’s no loose flour in bowl.

Add ice water one tablespoon at a time in different parts of the bowl. Use a table fork to quickly stir mixture. If it doesn’t start to form a ball, add another 1 to 2 tablespoons ice water and continue stirring vigorously.

When dough starts to come together in a ball, remove it from the bowl, shape it into a more uniform ball and cut in half. Generously flour a plastic pastry sheet or large wax paper. Place one of the dough halves in the centre and flatten slightly with your hand. Place a large piece of waxed paper on top and use a rolling pin on top of the waxed paper to work dough into a large, fairly thin circle that is large enough to cover the pie plate.

Remove waxed paper and gently fold circle of dough in half. Gently place it over the pie plate, unfold it and use your fingers to work it down to the bottom, against the sides and over the rim.

Repeat process with second ball of dough. Put prepared filling into pie crust. Moisten your fingers and dampen the edges of the bottom crust. Then put the folded upper crust over the filling and press the edges of the upper and lower crust together to form a seal.

Use a sharp knife to trim pastry along outside edge of pie plate, then use your fingers to crimp the edge to make a nice finish. Baste top crust, but not the crimped edge, with milk, then use a sharp knife to cut a pattern of vents in the top crust to allow steam to escape.

Bake pie on lowest rack of preheated oven for 10 to 15 minutes at 450 F and then reduce temperature to 350 F for 30 to 40 minutes. Let cool somewhat before serving.

And here’s one of my favorite pie fillings. I got this recipe from my mom, and since we grow rhubarb in the garden, it’s one I make often.

Rhubarb Pie Filling

2 ½ cups rhubarb

1 cup raisins (optional)

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup sugar

¼ tsp. salt

½ cup sweet heavy cream or whipping cream

1 egg

Combine all ingredients and pour into pie crust. Makes one pie.

With practice, Bridget eventually learns to master the pie crust, and eventually learns that baking, and love, is as easy as pie.

Do you bake pie? Do you have a favorite kind of pie?

Thanks, Jana. Home Fires is a delightful read and I highly recommend it!

Anne Wakefield travels halfway around the world for love. But when she arrives in Canada from England at the end of World War Two, she discovers the handsome Canadian pilot she’d fallen in love with has married someone else. Heartbroken, she prepares to return to London, though she has nothing left there to return to. Her former fiancé’s mother makes a suggestion: marriage to her other son.

Badly wounded and scarred during the war, Erik Gustafson thinks he’s a poor substitute for his brother. Although he loves Anne almost from the first time he sees her, he cannot believe she would ever be able to love him as he is – especially as he might be after another operation on his bad leg.  Anne sees the beauty of his heart. The cold prairie winter may test her courage, but can she prove to Erik that her love for him is real?

Jana Richards has tried her hand at many writing projects over the years, from magazine articles and short stories to full-length paranormal suspense and romantic comedy.  She loves to create characters with a sense of humor, but also a serious side.  She believes there’s nothing more interesting then peeling back the layers of a character to see what makes them tick.

When not writing up a storm, working at her day job as an Office Administrator, or dealing with ever present mountains of laundry, Jana can be found on the local golf course pursuing her newest hobby.

Jana lives in Western Canada with her husband Warren, and a highly spoiled Pug/Terrier cross named Lou. You can reach her through her website at http://www.janarichards.net

Follow the Links:

Website:  http://www.janarichards.net

To read an excerpt from Home Fires:  http://www.janarichards.net/ExcerptreviewsHomeFires.html

Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/JanaRichardsAuthor

Buy Link for Home Fires:   http://www.thewildrosepress.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=176_145&products_id=4902

Amazon Author Page:  http://www.amazon.com/author/janarichards

Blog:  http://janarichards.blogspot.com

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The Storytellers’ Bouquet

Marketing and promotion is an interesting challenge. Especially, when no one knows your name. Writers are always looking for ways to sell more books and create that word of mouth buzz that gets the whole ball of words rolling.

In that spirit, I’ve teamed up with three wonderful authors: Jana Richards, Lesley-Anne McLeod, and Annette Bower to put together a free promotional giveaway called The Storytellers’ Bouquet. It includes links, excerpts from books and four short stories for your enjoyment.

You can find this free download offering on my HOME page or BOOKS page. Just scroll down the page until you find it.  Happy Reading!

Please, pass it on.

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Carnivalesque: Dressing For Your Author Brand?

It’s Thursday and we’re officially back! It’s Carnivalesque, the Travelling Blog Show time once again. Join Jana Richards, Hayley Lavik, Janet Corcoran, Joanne Brothwell and myself. Every week, we discuss various hot topics and share our unique opinions.

Today it’s Joanne’s turn to ask the question:

With Word On The Street (a Canadian book and magazine festival happening in several cities on Sunday) happening this weekend, I’ve been thinking (more like obsessing!) about what to wear. Do you think it’s important as an author attending public events to dress in a way that reflects their platform? If yes, what does that mean for you? Drop by here and join the conversation!

Word on the Street – Saskatoon

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Lucky 7 from Backlash

Back in the middle of June I was tagged by the wonderful and talented author Monica Enderle Pierceto take part in the Lucky 7 meme. In the mood for some romantic dystopian/sci-fi? Check out her novel that releases this July, Girl Under Glass.

Here are the oh-so simple rules:

  1. Go to page 7 or 77 in your current manuscript
  2. Go to line 7
  3. Copy down the next seven lines/sentences exactly as they are
  4. Tag 7 other authors

So here are 7 lines from page 77 of my romantic suspense, Backlash.

Mike continued on, “If you could provide us with a list of friends and places to look that would be great.”

Mike laid a paper and pen down on the cold metal table and pulled out a chair for Lily. Lily sank into it. Mike claimed the one next to her. Chase gritted his teeth as he made his way to the opposite side of the table. 

Jason, Lily’s student, is missing. Constable Mike Davenport, Chase’s partner, has called Lily into the station to assist them.

The authors I’m tagging are all talented and engaging writers, some I know in person and some I’ve met online. A bouquet of authors all worth reading.

Joanne Brothwell

Jana Richards

Annette Bower

Lesley-Anne McLeod

Silver James

Jannine Gallant

Jessica E. Subject

So, tag! Your it!

In Other News:

Recently my husband and son went on a bike tour of Holland and I couldn’t resist sending a long a little piece of me with them. I hope Chase and Lily enjoyed their tour and I hope someone finds their story in the Amsterdam airport and decides to read it. Perhaps they’ll pass it on and Chase and Lily will continue their travels.

Travelling anywhere interesting this summer?

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