PJ FIALA

SJ McCoy talks about small town and western romance.

I'm thrilled to introduce you to SJ McCoy, an author I've had the pleasure of being in a couple of groups with and have worked with on a mutual project together, the Hometown Heroes Box Set, which ran for two months this January. I've read SJ's books and enjoyed them and I hope you will too.  In the meantime, let's get to know her.

Is your Author name your real name?

No, it isn’t. The SJ comes from the fact that my son’s name was Sam, and mine is Jenni. I was Sam’s Jenni, to distinguish me from the other mums named Jenny. McCoy is a product of my odd little mind playing with the fact that the name isn’t the real McCoy.

What is the first book you ever published?

Actually, the first book I published was back in April 2012, and that was a self-help book born from all the work I’d done in my former career as a life coach. The first book I published as SJ McCoy was Love Like You’ve Never Been Hurt, the first Summer Lake book.

What is your publiversary? (The day you released your first book)

August 24, 2013 and on August 24 2016 I published book ten in the Summer Lake series.

What is the favorite book you've written thus far?

Oh, wow. That’s a tough one. I love them all. I feel guilty sometimes when I see other writers wrestling with themselves over how they could do better, how they’re not satisfied with some aspect of their writing. I don’t feel that way at all. I love my stories. I strive to improve with every book I write, I know I have (way to many) flaws. I have a long way to go as a writer and so many ways in which I need to improve. But I do enjoy all of my stories. I don’t see how anyone else could enjoy them if I didn’t.

There’s a Robert Frost quote:

“No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader. No surprise in the writer, no surprise in the reader.”

That about sums it up for me. If I don’t laugh, cry, and love the stories, I don’t see how or why a reader would either.

What kind of music (If Any) do you listen to while writing?

Only instrumental stuff. I can’t deal with other people’s words while I’m writing – I can only listen to the voices in my head. I love movie scores, smooth jazz, Beethoven and classical guitar.

Who is you favorite character from any of your books?

Oh, now that’s a toughie. There’s one character in the Summer Lake series, Ben. He’s been in every single one of the books so far. He’s a wonderful guy. He’s helped all his friends find their way to happiness, but he hasn’t gotten there himself yet. He’s taking his time—he had his heart broken in the past, you see. He will get there, but I’ve always seen his story as the end of the series, and I don’t want it to end yet.

What are you currently working on?

I’m working on the next book in my other series, Remington Ranch, which is set up here in Montana. It focuses on four brothers and their “brother-by-choice”, Chance. (Chance came from Summer Lake and has made for some interesting interweaving storylines between the two series.) This latest book is called Four Weddings and a Vendetta and is a follow up to each of the brothers finding their true love.

Do you have anything you snack on while you write?

Does coffee count?

What is your favorite quote or line from one of your books?

I have lots of quotes I love, but I think my favourite might be:

“If there’s one thing I’ve learned in life, it’s that there’s no point wishing we could change yesterday. All we can do is our best to make a better tomorrow.”

Are you a self-published or traditional published author?

Self-published. It never occurred to me to submit to a traditional publisher.

What is your writing inspiration?

My son. All his life I talked about getting around to writing my “silly stories” someday. He made me promise that someday I’d stop talking about it and just do it. After he died I decided to honour that promise.

What genre do you write?

Contemporary romance. I like to say I write “sweet n steamy” romance. To me that means light and fluffy, happy, feel-good stories with steamy sex. One reader told me that my books are like Hallmark movies with great sex thrown in. I like that. I stay away from angst and darkness, because, to me there’s enough of that in everyday life. I write to escape reality and to go to a happy place for a while. Readers who enjoy my books are looking for that same kind of escape.

Do you have any writing rituals?

Application of the seat of the pants to the seat of the chair. I used to like to think that I had to do certain things in certain ways at certain times. But over the course of fifteen books I have realized that all of that is just procrastination in a fancy costume.

Do you have a specific place you write or time?

I have an office out back of the house and that’s my writing place. As for the when, it’s whenever I can force myself to apply the seat of the pants to the seat of the chair.

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

Start writing. I don’t have any wise words, I’m not sure there are any. All I know is that thinking about writing, or aspiring to write will never make you a writer. The only thing that will make you a writer is writing!

What are your writing goals?

To keep improving, to keep learning, and to keep writing. I do have a simmering desire to write a big, epic disaster novel at some point. For the time being I have the next twenty-four romances lined up, with impatient characters stomping around my head demanding their stories be told. I have to do what the voices tell me :0)

What will be your next release?

Four Weddings and a Vendetta, Book Five in my Remington Ranch series should be out in late October.

If you’d like to check out my stories, you can get started free in either series, with Love Like You’ve Never Been Hurt (http://www.sjmccoy.com/love-like-youve-never-been-hurt.html) in Summer Lake, or Mason (www.sjmccoy.com/mason) in Remington Ranch.

I’ll also give away a paperback copy of Mason to one commenter. Just tell me if you prefer small town romance or western romance.

Author Bio:

I'm SJ, a coffee addict, lover of chocolate and drinker of good red wines. I'm a lost soul and a hopeless romantic. Reading and writing are necessary parts of who I am. Though perhaps not as necessary as coffee! I can drink coffee without writing, but I can't write without coffee.

I grew up loving romance novels, my first boyfriends were book boyfriends, but life intervened, as it tends to do, and I wandered down the paths of non-fiction for many years. My life changed completely a couple of years ago and I returned to Romance to find my escape.

I write 'Sweet N Steamy' stories because to me there is enough angst and darkness in real life. My favorite romances are happy escapes with a focus on fun, friendships and happily-ever-afters, just like the ones I write.

These days I live in beautiful Montana, the last best place. If I'm not reading or writing you'll find me just down the road in the park - Yellowstone. I have deer, eagles and the occasional bear for company, and I like it that way :0)

You can learn more at www.SJMcCoy.com

 

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Excerpt of Moving to You

   This week on Open Book Blog Hop, we're sharing excerpts of our current WIPs.  I just finished Moving to You, Book 5 in the Rolling Thunder Series and my editor is now picking it apart.  So, while she's waving her magic wand over it, allow me to share an unedited portion of it.

Chapter 1

Lost in thought as he flew down the highway, the heat oppressive in the higher nineties, the scenery had changed from the desert of the Badlands to the lushness of Custer about an hour ago. The fragrance of pine and freshly-cut trees mixed with the heated blacktop and the occasional odor of road kill kept JT alert. What kept him awake was the design of the next motorcycle he wanted to build. He was determined to make his dad realize what a great bike designer he was. Sure he was good at sales—no one questioned that—but that didn’t mean he always wanted to be in sales. He wanted to design bikes—full-time. He wanted to fabricate parts and bend metal to his liking and pound out a gas tank that looked totally different than any other they had seen. His dad was proud of the bike he’d built for this Sturgis Build-Off. Now, if they could win first place and cement that idea in his dad’s head, life would be good. Hell, even top three would be fucking great.

Pulling into Shady Pines—a quaint little town just outside of Custer—and rolling down the main street, a smile stretched across his face. One of the things he loved most about this town was the old western feel of the buildings. You could sit and dream of being a cowboy, strutting along the sidewalk, entering a saloon, and ordering up a pint. As they drove just out of town, the older buildings turned into a park, and then an auto garage about a mile down from that.

Looking up ahead he saw Porcupine Road. Turning his right signal on, JT floated over to the right and turned into the mostly gravel parking lot of OK Leathers Saloon. Damn gravel parking lot meant their bikes were going to be filthy when they finally got to the house they were renting.

JT, his brother Ryder, and his dad, Jeremiah, or Dog as most folks called him, had known Oakes for years. His dad had served in Iraq with Oakes. Just before Rolling Thunder Motorcycles opened, Dog, JT, and Ryder had built a bike for the Sturgis Build-Off—it was their first—and brought it out here. They didn’t win, but they learned a lot about what people were looking for. That’s when JT fell in love with building. He walked around for hours looking at all the bikes and designs and asking questions. Ah, the excitement was hard to contain. These past three days riding out here, his skin practically itched with the anticipation of getting here and showing off his new design. It was more exciting than the first time, because this time, it was all his.

Dropping the kickstand and dismounting from his bike, JT stretched and bent from the waist to relieve the stiffness from sitting on his bike for so long. His brother, Gunnar and Gunnar’s fiancée Emma, pulled in and parked alongside him, and Ryder, and his fiancée Molly, pulled in next to them. A few of the Rolling Thunder crew were riding along this week, and each found a spot in the parking lot. Dog was driving the truck pulling the fifth wheel and another trailer with JT’s show beauty and some of the other bikes for those riding inside. 

Turning to look at the front of OK Leathers, JT noticed instantly that it needed a coat of paint. The worn and weathered boards showed a hint of bright red color here and there that used to grace its front entrance. The front door was solid wood—though battered and worn—but oddly adorned with a fresh coat of light gray paint. The front decking on the building and the Pergola over the picnic tables were built of sturdy logs, and little lights hung between the rafters of the overhang. Each picnic table had a mason jar sitting on it, half-filled with tiny stones of varying colors and a bright flower peeked out of the top of the jar, its stem firmly pushed in the stones. JT smiled looking at the contrast between the front of the building and the cheeriness of the picnic tables. Ceiling fans hung in the Pergola, slowly rotating, creating a slight breeze, just enough to keep the stifling heat from sucking your breath away.

“I hope to God there’s air conditioning and gallons of beer in there,” Gunnar said as he slapped JT on the back. Holding Emma’s hand, he pulled her through the gray door and disappeared into the bar.

“It looks a bit run-down doesn’t it?” Ryder stopped alongside JT and looked at the front of the bar.

“Yeah. I remember it being a place I couldn’t wait to get to each evening after we left Sturgis. Now it looks like no one comes here anymore. Even now, the parking lot only had two bikes and one truck before we got here.”

Molly smiled. “Times change and sometimes people don’t change with the times. Let’s go see what’s going on. I’m anxious to meet the bigger-than-life Oakes Leathers.” Molly pulled Ryder’s hand, urging him inside.

JT pulled the bandana off his forehead and unwrapped it. He removed the rubber band from his ponytail and shook out his long blonde hair. He spent a bit of time rubbing his scalp, then finger combing his hair back and wrapping the rubber band around his new ponytail. Shaking the road grime from the bandana, he rolled it back up and tightened it around his head. He looked back at the truck and fifth wheel and saw his dad and stepmom, Joci, walking toward him, along with some of the employees from Rolling Thunder.

As he stepped up to JT, Dog said, “She looks a little different than the last time we saw her.”

“Yeah. Let’s go see how Oakes is fairing.”

Stepping into the bar, the cool air flowed over him, instantly lowering his body temp. A sigh escaped his lips as the smell of fresh grilled burgers and French fries from the lunch hour teased his nose. A gravely barking laugh rang out. “Dog, goddamn it; it’s good to see you.”

A large man, around six foot two, and two hundred twenty pounds came walking around from behind the bar. He quickly grabbed Dog in an aggressive hug, slapped him on the back a few times, and held him at arm’s length.

“Damn, marriage looks good on you.”

Dog laughed and reached for Joci, pulling her close. “That it does. I’d like to introduce you to the woman who puts a smile on my face. Joci, this is Oakes.”

“Pleased to meet you, Oakes.” Joci’s gray eyes crinkled at the edges as her smile creased her face and her dimples came out to wink at Oakes.

“Ooowee, would you look at her? Damn, girl; you’re a beauty.” Oakes grabbed Joci in a hug, and gently patted her on the back.

Joci squeezed Oakes hard and laughed at his enthusiasm. “Thank you. I think I’m going to enjoy spending time here with you.”

Oakes laughed, and for the first time, looked around at the folks gathered close. Reaching forward, he wrapped his arms around Ryder. “Good to see you, boy. You’ve grown. What’s it been, six years or so?”

Ryder laughed returning the hug. “Good to see you, too, Oakes. I guess it’s been about that long.” Looking back at Molly, he pulled her forward. “Oakes, this is my fiancée, Molly. Molly, Oakes Leathers.”

Oakes shook Molly’s hand as his broad face split in a smile. His face hadn’t been shaved in at least three days, but his grin was infectious, and his graying hair was trimmed short and neat. Oakes let out a whistle as he looked into Molly’s sparkling blue eyes. The blush creeping into her cheeks mixed with the redness from the heat they had just left brightened her face further.

Oakes looked around and Gunnar stepped forward, holding his hand out to shake Oakes’. “I’m Gunnar, Joci’s son.”

“Our son,” Dog quickly added.

Gunnar smiled and nodded at his dad. “It’s nice to meet you, Gunnar. Your dad told me about you after he and Joci married. Congratulations on joining the Sheppard family. It’s a good one.”

“Yes sir, I agree. Nice to meet you as well.” Gunnar grasped Emma’s hand, kissed her fingers and said, “This is my fiancée, Emma.”

Oakes shook her hand, smiling brightly.

JT stepped through the circle of people. As soon as Oakes saw him he stepped up and wrapped him in a fierce hug. He slapped him on the back a few times, then he stood back. “Good to see you, boy. I’m excited as hell you’re all here.”

JT genuinely smiled at Oakes. “It’s great to see you too. I can’t wait to bend your ear about some bike designs.”

In the past, Oakes and JT would talk about different designs and some of the bikes Oakes saw living out here near Sturgis each year. He got pictures when he could, and they would talk about the craziness some of these bikers could come up with.

“Grandpa, tell them you know me.” A beautiful little girl with long, blonde wavy hair was tugging on Oakes’ jeans. Oakes looked down at her and quickly scooped her up. He kissed her cheek and laughed as he looked at Dog and Joci. “This is my granddaughter, Dakota. Dakota, these are my friends from Green Bay, Wisconsin.” Holding his hand out toward Dog and Joci, Oakes continued, “They have a little baby now and her name is Madison.”

“Oh, can I see her? I love babies.” Dakota smiled and craned her neck around the group to see who might be holding a baby.

Joci giggled. “She’s at home with her grandma and grandpa and several aunts and uncles. Maybe we’ll be able to bring her next time to meet you.”

Dakota’s smiled turned to a cute little pout as she said, “Okay.”

“Oakes, you didn’t tell me how beautiful she is.” Dog smiled at Dakota and she laughed. She wrapped her little arms around Oakes’ neck and kissed his cheek.

As he turned to walk behind the bar, Oakes said, “Let’s get you all something to drink.” He pulled a barstool up to the inside of the bar, at the end next to the wall, and gently set Dakota on the stool. “You have your books, Kota?”

Nodding her blonde head, Dakota pulled her pink sparkly backpack off the bar and reached in for her books. Oakes smiled at his granddaughter and starting pulling beers from the coolers.

JT watched Dakota quietly reading in the corner. The denim skirt she wore covered the top half of her legs, and her red cowboy boots swung back and forth in time to her moving legs. The light blue t-shirt she wore had a red pony on it. It wouldn’t be long before his baby sister, Maddy, was her age. He pulled up a stool at the end of the bar nearest to her, and she looked up and smiled at him.

“You gonna stay at Grandpa’s house?”

“Yep. Where do you live?”

Dakota looked at her Grandpa to see if she could say anything. Grandpa smiled. “He’s good people, honey.”

Dakota nodded. “I live over the garage with Momma.”

“Over the garage? The one out back?” JT’s brows furrowed.

“Yep. Momma and Grandpa fixed it up. It’s great; I have a pink bedroom and Momma has a coral one. What color is your bedroom?”

JT laughed. “My room is blue. My mom helped me paint it.”

Dakota looked down the bar. “Which one’s your momma?”

JT pointed next to him, where Joci sat watching the two of them converse. “This is my mom. Where’s yours?”

Dakota looked at Joci for a few moments and burst into a giggle. “You don’t look like your momma, but I look exactly like mine. Everybody says so.” Her beautiful hazel eyes, framed with thick lashes showed intelligence. She spoke with a maturity that didn’t seem to fit her tiny body.

JT laughed. “I look like my dad. Everybody says so.” His grin widened as he waited for her to respond. She looked just past Joci at Dog and then she giggled. She nodded once and said, “Yep.” She set her book aside and turned on her stool so she was facing JT. “My mom went for a ride. When Rog calls, he makes her mad; she needs a minute and she takes her bike out for a ride.”

Oakes heard her comments and walked down the bar to Dakota. “Kota, honey, did Mommy talk to Rog today?”

“Yep. She was mad and told him not to call her every time he gets in trouble; she don’t want to hear it.”

“Doesn’t. She doesn’t want to hear it,” Oakes gently corrected her.

“Oh. Yeah. She doesn’t want to hear it.”

Oakes smiled at her. “Do your studies, honey.”

Dakota picked up her book and opened it up on her lap.

Oakes turned and caught Dog’s gaze. He rolled his eyes and went to serve another beer to one of the Rolling Thunder guys.

 

Hope you enjoyed the first chapter of Moving to You.  It releases on September 15th.  Shall we hop on over and see what my fellow hoppers are writing?

 

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The Survey Says...Responses

A couple of weeks ago, I posted a survey because, I wanted to know your thoughts on a few things.  First of all, thank you for your time in answering these questions, I know how precious time is.  So, now, let's review the responses.

Question 1: How often do you try to read a new author to you?(Check all that apply)

There were 6 responses in the other category and they were:

Up to 5 times a week
anytime I find one
Whenever I find one that interests me.
every chance I get.
If I read about a book I would like to read by an unknown author.
several times a week

Question 2:  When looking for a new author, how do you find them?

There were 25 responses in other, and those responses are:

check out free kindle ebooks
Saw it on Netgalley
Received a lot of different authors from the contests, bookbub, goodreads, Kobo, iBooks
Social media promos, 'suggested' books on e-reader apps
Recommendations by Kobo or e-mail newsletters
author, Amazon, or blogger suggestions.
Anthologies, free book offers
Ebook emails that show free books.
read a recommendation/review in a newsletter, see a book in a store
Recommendations from book blogs I follow
Newsletters from authors that feature books by others.
Another author recommended
Facebook groups
Reading book excerpt on different sites such as bookbub and digital book today
Browse Kindle, Kobo, iBooks, etc. for free reads, free books from newsletters and instafeebie
on other authors facebook pages
quite often in an authors newsletter that is talking up author friends :)
Library's website
Facebook and Instagram
Other authors
Facebook
Takeovers on Facebook
Facebook and Amazon
Recommendations of my favorite authors, Goodreads, Bookbub
Daily free books

 Question 3:  In a typical day, how much time to you spend on social networking websites?

 

 

Question 4:  How do you prefer to read?

There are 7 "other" responses and those are:

kindle app on computer and phone
Kobo, kindle app and iBooks
App on tablet
combination of Kindle and paperback
iPad with Kindle, Nook and iBooks apps
any way I can-I have books all those ways
depends I read on kindle and kobo as well as sony but there are a few authors that I always buy in print

Question 5: How important is the book cover to you?

has some influence, but not a lot
Not the thing that gets me. Usually it's the back drop story, the intro , the teasers. And the author!
Somewhat, about 3 out of 10
Somewhat
Helps find and follow series, colours tend to attract.
Fairly important, I'm afraid I do judge a book by it's cover. Although, I do nearly always read the synopsis on the back or online too.
Very important packaging I mean looks matter
first thing that catchs my eye
I try not to let that detract from trying a book out, but a good book cover can definitely attract me.
Not so much
It will grab my attention on a new author. Sometimes if I hate the cover I might not buy a book.
Very, that's what catches my eye first. Then I read the blurb or reviews.
Depends on how it looks, some covers catch my eye first, others don't interest me but I read the synopsis anyway.
Very
Very important
The cover usually draws me in.
Very important
Moderately important
Extremely. A poor cover will not be looked at. I want something bright and eye-catching. A good title helps also (The Nymphos of Rocky Flats or The Undead Kama Sutra.)
very,I do judge a book by its cover.if it looks interesting or eye catching then that is the first step to open and read the blurb..if the subject matter on the cover looks cheap,boring or not what I am interested in then my interest stops there.
About 20% of decisions to buy
If I am browsing, then the cover catches my eye first. If looking for a specific author then title is usually the first thing I look at.
not overly but I have bought a book soley for the cover and I have also not bought a book because I didn't like the cover
Fairly. It helps you to picture the setting or the characters
Hey, we eat with our eyes, but stories drive my interest
Very
To me the cover is what draws you in. If the cover does not look good to me I will not even bother picking up the book to see what it is about.
I go more by the blurb than the cover
VERY important. Probably my main reason to choose a book
Very important
It's not the most important but it is the thing that catches my eye most times to get me to investigate further about the book.
a good book cover will make me look twice to see what it is about
Very
Not important!
Not very much
It's the first thing I see so it's very important that it draws me to the book
On a scale of 1-10? 7
The cover usually gets my attention as to me the author did not just throw something on the cover.
Somewhat
It's what gets my initial attention,so pretty important, but not as important as the sample reading.

 Question 6:  How often do you enter a contest for books, or money or both? (40 responses)

as often as I cvan
Facebook and blogs of authors I read
2 times a day
Every day
Daily, if possible
Once or twice a month maybe?
quite often
4 times a day
3-4 x week
One every few months
At least 3 times a week.
daily
Everyday
As often as I see one via newsletter or Facebook
4 times a week
Very often
3 times a year
Weekly
Rarely. My house rivals a small town library
every chance I get...but the ones that have you hopping from one authors page to another to click and takes forever I am starting to stay away from because      they take so much time and then when its over,its hard to find the links or posts to see if I won..because I am not friends with every single one of those          authors. Rafflecopter is good if its not a lot of enters to to.
Weekly
As often as I can
usually at least once a week
Daily
5-6 times/ month which is a new thing for me but I like to support authors and indie publishers
all the time
Several times a day
as often as offered
daily
3x @ week
Multiple times a day
some depending on what it is
weekly or as often as I can
Twice a month
Weekly
Daily
Rarely
about once or twice a month. depending
Rarely
A couple of times a year.

 Question 7:  Any other comments?

I love to read. Hubby says I will read the back of cereal boxes if there is nothing else around.
Love the author giveaways and free books from other sources
nice survey
I prefer hard backs but will read almost anything.
Nope
I just love to read. There is not enough time in the day!
I like getting emails from writers that I like. I sign up for emails or blogs.
I love finding new authors,even if I dont get to read their books right away..tbr list is huge,lol and again for the contests,keep it simple.
I read over 500+ books a year
no
great survey authors should do them more often to get feedback from readers
Thank you and have a great day!
Thanks
none
In response to question 5, I am first attracted to a book because of the cover. Lots of times, I get a book solely based on the cover.
Love you ??
n/a
No
None
Not really

So to recap:  First of all, thank you to everyone who took your precious time to answer these survey questions.  I'll be doing a survey from time to time to find out what your thoughts are.  Mostly because I honestly want to know, but also because times change, people change, industry changes and I'd like to stay on top of it as much as possible.  

It seems from your responses, that a book cover is very important. (I have to agree, I see some covers and an so surprised that the author allowed that cover to go to press.)  But then again, everyone's taste is different.  If you think of the old saying: "You never get the chance to make a second first impression." this is true for book covers as well.  

You all seem to be interested in trying new to you authors (awesome).  I've spoken about this before, but what Indie Publishing has done for us as readers is given us so much to choose from.  Before indie publishing, all that was available to us was what the big 6 publishers decided we should read. Now, we can read what we want. And there is a plethora of reading material for everyone.  Plus, because of indie publishing and readers who love reading what they love, more and more sub-genres are opening up each year.  Congratulations to you all for pushing that change to the forefront.  Like romance? Great. Love biker romance or rock star romance or inspirational romance - NOW it's out there.

Most of you seem to read on your electronic devices.  I do as well.  I read on my phone.  It's always with me and it makes a long wait (doctor, dentist, bank, where ever) much more fun!

My biggest surprise is that you all don't seem to read an author you've met at a signing.  So, if you are so inclined, can you comment whether you enjoy attending signings?  Do you only go if you know an author's work and want to meet him/her?  I'd love to know.  I'm appearing at a few signings in the next year and want to make sure my time in traveling to an event, appearing and gathering fun things to bring with me is well spent. Otherwise, I could be writing.  What are your thoughts on this?

Thank you all for participating, I sure do appreciate it.

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Moving to Love is Free!

I've been a bit quiet lately and for that I apologize, but there is a lot going on.  What?  First of all, Moving to Love is now Free!  For a limited time though, so get your copy while you can.  

Amazon: http://smarturl.it/MovingToLove-AZ

Barnes & Noble: http://smarturl.it/MovingToLove-BN

iBooks: http://smarturl.it/MovingToLove-iB

Kobo:   http://smarturl.it/MovingToLove-Kobo

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Jill Haymaker is talking Breakfast for Two

I'm excited to introduce you to Jill Haymaker as she interviews her seasoned romance Breakfast for Two character Violet Woods.  Join me in welcoming Jill and Violet.

Please tell us your name and a little about your background.

My name is Violet Woods and I’m 62 years young.  I met my Stan when we were both students at Sunny Valley High School in Iowa. It was love at first sight. We dated for five years before we married. Following Stan’s dream to live in a mountain town, we came to Peakview, Colorado to open our small café. I’ve been here ever since, going on 40 years now. I lost my Stan about eight years ago and ever since I’ve been content living alone with my cat Lucky in the little apartment above the café.

Whom do you trust the most?

Peakview, Colorado is truly an amazing place. In the winter when the tourists are gone, our population is a few short of 100 hearty soles. I would trust any of my friends and neighborhoods with my life. We are such a tight knit community, everyone just looks out for each other. But if I had to choose one person, it would be Howard Crandall. Howard was Stan’s best friend, although I never knew exactly why since he’s a cranky old hermit. But I have to say, since Stan passed he has really watched out for me. In fact, right now he’s out there in the cold shoveling the sidewalk in front of the café so my customers will be safe.

Is there someone special in your life?

Like I said, Howard Crandall is there for me. I’ve never really thought about him as anything more than a friend, but lately . . . I don’t know, there’s just something about him that’s attractive. He’s such a kind soul, and I have to admit I have come to depend on him. When he gets that twinkle in his eye, it’s kind of sexy. You probably think I’m silly to be thinking this way at my age, but Colorado nights can get lonely. I’d like to know his back story. No one here knows anything about his life before he arrived in Peakview. I’ve always felt like he’s hiding from something or someone.

What is the worst thing you ever had to do and how did you deal with it?    

The worst thing was keeping the café open after Stan passed.  It just wasn’t the same, you know. The two of us had always worked side by side. And the books—I’ve never had a head for math, Stan took care of that. But Peakview is my home, and I couldn’t see letting down all of my regular customers, so I’ve just kept going. I’ve felt that it’s what Stan would have wanted. Besides, someone has to keep up on all the local gossip. Let me tell you, people spill a lot of their personal lives over a good cup of coffee and a piece of pie.

Do you believe in love at first sight?

I do. That’s what Stan and I had for sure. But recently, I’ve been thinking that maybe also it can be something that grows over time. Like with Howard, he’s growing on me.

Is it ever too late to fall in love?

Until a couple of months ago I would have said that ship had sailed for me. After all, I fell in love with Stan when I was 16. But now . . . I’m starting to rethink that. Maybe you can fall in love more than once even if you’re a 60-something year old grandma. I guess you’ll just have to read my story and find out.

BIO
Jill Haymaker was born and raised in Indiana and Ohio. After high school, she attended Bowling Green State University before moving to Fort Collins, Colorado.  Ms. Haymaker has made her home in Fort Collins ever since except for three years when she left to attend law school at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln, Nebraska. She has practiced family law in Fort Collins for the past 20 years. She has three grown children, a son and two daughters.  She also has three granddaughters.

Jill has always had a passion for writing.  Colorado Sunset was her first full length romance novel.  It is the first in a series of novels centered in the small town of Peakview, Colorado. The second book in the series, Breakfast for Two, was released in September 2015 and the third book, a Cabin in the Pines, in March 2016. The Fourth book, Colorado Wrangler will be released this fall. She also has had several short stories published by Chicken Soup for the Soul. Her latest story in a book entitled The Joy of Less.

When not practicing law or writing, Jill enjoys gardening, long walks with her Shetland Sheepdog, Laddie, and spending time with her children and grandchildren. She enjoys their numerous sporting events. She is also an avid football fan and can be found on autumn weekends cheering on the Broncos, the CSU Rams, and the Huskers. She has a passion for working with high school youth- she is a youth group leader at her church, coaches a High School Mock Trial team and is a volunteer for high school cross country and track teams. She loves writing Seasoned Romance and the depth she can give to older characters.

Book blurb:

The tiny, mountain town of Peakview, Colorado, wouldn’t be the same without Violet’s Café, and its owner, Violet Woods. Widowed in her fifties, she leads a solitary life with only her cat Lucky to keep her warm at night. All thoughts of romance died with Stan. They had a wonderful, long happy marriage, and she’s content to live out the rest of her life with her memories.

Howard Crandall, Peakview’s only mechanic, is a confirmed bachelor and something of a hermit. When Stan died, he took it upon himself to look out for Violet. Over the years, they have become friends, but it isn’t until the past he has hid from for thirty year past suddenly catches up with him, that he opens up to the idea of finding love.

Is there a second chance for these two lonely souls?

Book buy links:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B014VA616G

Author links:

·      Website/blog: http://jillhaymaker.com

·      Twitter: https://twitter.com/JillLHaymaker

·      Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Jill-Haymaker-661956090585520

·      Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/13636693.Jill_Haymaker

·      Instagram: https://instagram.com/jillhaymaker

Jill is giving away a copy of Breakfast for Two. All you need to do to enter is tell me your favorite breakfast food. Good luck.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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