Around the Fire Welcomes Jessica Lauryn.
Hello, everyone! If you're in US, I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday. We ate too much and played a lot of UNO. Now full tilt toward Christmas. I'll be posting some fun photos in the About Me section, but before you head over, please help me welcome my fellow NJ author Jessica Lauryn.
Hi, Jessica. I'm so glad you could join me Around the Fire. While I pour us a hot cider why don't you introduce yourself by telling us who you are other than your bio?
My life has changed drastically over the last several years. I went from being single and dreaming of finding a hero (or villain!) like the ones in my stories, to being the happily married mother of an adorable dare-devilish one year old girl. Anyone here familiar with the 1987 movie Baby Boom starring Diane Keaton? I used to say I’d played out every part of that movie with the exception of the part about being the mother of a toddler while trying to juggle life’s other challenges. Now, I can honestly say I’ve lived the entire experience!
When Lilah isn’t keeping me on my toes (which is not particularly often) I’m working from home (I do commercial real estate sales) and writing. Writing remains my passion and my escape. I am blessed to have discovered my love of books and writing early in life, and I’ve been writing full-length romance novels since I graduated from college. When I’m not writing, I’m chasing after my daughter and enjoying everything autumn has to offer around the beautiful rivers, reservoirs, and gorges near our home.
I totally get what you meant about the rivers, reservoirs, and gorges. Often visitor only thing of NJ as cities or beaches. We live near the Appalachian Trail. Bears, bobcats, foxes and other wildlife are quite abundant here. Tell us what interests besides writing do you enjoy? For instance, what do you read or hobbies you have?
Of course, my time these days mostly revolves around my daughter, who enjoyed her first swim classes this summer and is currently having a blast in gymnastics. But I do try to carve out time for myself as well. I love hiking and I’m making it a priority this fall to get outside for a brisk walk in the fresh air every day that it isn’t raining. I love decorating for the holidays and I have a beautiful collection of décor which includes a mix of modern day fun, and antiques. I love cameos, but I’ll purchase any antiques that inspire me!
When it comes to reading it’s got to be a romance! While I enjoy writing suspenseful contemporary, I’ll read in any sub-genre, and I often find myself picking up a paranormal, historical or romantic suspense.
My DH is a huge supporter and helper in my writing career, who is your network or support system?
My parents have kindly acted as beta readers for me, reading my work before I share it with anyone in the writing and editorial world. My mom is especially good at catching typos I miss in manuscripts I’ve read a hundred times and hear correctly in my mind—I often cascade right over what is actually on the page. More recently, I’ve added my husband to our team. Bill reads my entire book out loud with me (which we really enjoy), allowing me to hear how it sounds and catching things in a way reading in my head cannot provide.
Inspiration-wise, many people I’ve met in my personal and professional life have inspired my writing. As they say, don’t mess with a writer or she just might turn you into a character in her book!
Yay for Bill and your parents. Wow your read aloud together that's impressive. Who or what books or authors are your inspiration?
You never know when your going to find your new favorite book – they often pop up when you least expect them to! Some favorites that stand out in my mind are Master of Pleasure by Jessica Trapp, where the hero kidnaps the heroine from her wedding bed to Mr. Wrong, The Making of a Gentleman by Shana Galen, where the hero, who was held captive for years must learn to speak again and is highly responsive to/turned-on by his attractive tutor, Dreaming of You by Lisa Kleypas, where the hero, gaming hell owner Derek Craven unsuccessfully fights his dangerous attraction to the country mouse who seeks to use him as inspiration in her next novel (are we noticing a pattern here?) and Stings So Sweet by Stephanie Draven, an erotic romance (I don’t generally read them, but this one snuck it’s way into my TBR pile) in which the characters will do almost anything in the name of pleasure. I’ll also credit Nicola Cornick’s Lord of Scandal as being one of the first novels to make me aware I’m often more attracted to the villain than the hero, even when he’s creepy and weird.
Got to love a bad boy at times. Do you have any fun or outrageous talent?
Though you’ll often find me in jeans and a hoodie these days (hey, we’re still post-pandemic and I am the mom of a messy toddler!), I can coordinate an outfit like nobody’s business! I haven’t done a lot of art since high school (writing more or less fills that void) but I have a strong sense of what I find visually pleasing, and I put that talent to very good use in our home and landscape.
What is your neighborhood like? Are there any places you frequent? What makes them special?
We’ve got more pretty places to visit than I can count – I am SO grateful to live where I do! State parks, rivers and gorges within walking distance of our home, ice cream hangouts with a picturesque view, mills and a dam within minutes by car, and a little playground for babies that my daughter has a lot of fun playing at. My husband and I always loved spending time outdoors and when the pandemic hit it was the only thing we could do. With things back in full swing, it’s still our preference any day that it isn’t raining. We have our top five favorite local spots, and as often as we get out, it always feels like we’re doing something different.
If you could only choose one song to play every time you walked into a room for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Everywhere, by Fleetwood Mac. Its beautiful melody brings me instantly back to the simplest time in my life and the 1987 music video portrays the reading of a romance novel. I play it often and my daughter enjoys it, too.
If you could eat anything in the world right now, what would it be?
Chicken Francaise over rice, of course!
We all start somewhere, what was your first job?
There are several ways I could answer that question, but my first real job post-college graduation was a very brief tenure as a “front-desk clerk” at a hotel that was being renovated. When I wasn’t folding linens, cleaning really disgusting floors or having tense encounters with my overbearing boss I was imagining how the whole scenario would be a lot more exciting if something suspenseful was happening behind the scenes and there was a really cute guy working beside me on our staff. The ramblings of my imagination in overdrive later became my fourth novel, Dangerous Secret.
Do you do research for your books? What kind and how long do you spend researching. Is it before beginning a book?
I do as little as I can get away with (I’d much rather be making something up than reading about anything real!) which, as I write more and more novels, seems to be more and more. I research as I go, not before, otherwise I’d probably never get past the research stage. I write about what inspires me and oftentimes a setting idea kicks off a series, in which both the setting, and what’s happening there, are things I’m totally unfamiliar with. I’ve online researched (and taken out the occasional library book on) everything from diamond smuggling to witchcraft, musical theater to restoring a lighthouse and how to cheat at poker. I dance around what I don’t understand, and I have a lot of fun bringing random ideas to life out of nothing whatsoever.
What was your hardest scene to write?
In Dangerous Ally, the hero’s father (the villain) sneaks into the heroine’s bedroom while she’s sleeping, and, intending to intimidate her, comes onto her in an aggressive way. It’s as frightening as you might imagine, and while I found it uncomfortable to write I pushed myself through it, hoping to create that emotional set-up which brings the reluctant heroine and hero closer in the pages to come.
Jessica, thank you for joining us today. Before you head out into the wilds of New Jersey, will you tell us more about your book and where to find it?
An Enchanting Song
Will mutual aspirations for vengeance be incinerated in the raging fires of passion?
Sebastian Nathanson has been plotting to take control of Rabourn Theater since he was barely out of high school. He’s close to achieving his end game when a mysterious enchantress stops him in his tracks. Seduction seems the appropriate method of defense where this cunning vixen is concerned. But when he finds himself on the receiving end, Sebastian begins to come apart. As he attempts to up the ante, he falls harder and harder, becoming lost and vulnerable, at his ethereal enemy’s mercy.
Madelyn Bennett has lived a sheltered life. Determined to get justice for the mother who died before her time, she’ll do whatever it takes to become Rabourn Theater’s star performer. But when a dangerous man takes a keen interest in her, the perfect plan comes apart at the seams. Sebastian Nathanson is a serpent in prince’s clothing. And Madelyn has never been more afraid—or tempted—in all her life.
Get your copy today
Amazon - https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0B79DWJMG
Barnes & Noble - https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/an-enchanting-song-jessica-lauryn/1141861570
What others are saying.
An Enchanting Song concludes the Rabourn Theater Series nicely. Readers are introduced to new and engaging characters with their own stories that unfold. Still, the history of the Rabourn Theater and the lives it affected will forever linger in the background. Like the others in the series, Enchanting Song has love, heartbreak, and profound family ties, but there is one difference.
There are plans to breathe new life into Rabourn Theater, and it’s something that transforms into an unforgettable moment. An Enchanting Song is a part of the Rabourn Theater Series but can be read as a stand-alone. Readers who are into romance, love, and action should check this book out, and if you are a fan of Jessica Lauryn’s The Rabourn Theater Series, you won’t be disappointed. ~Morgan Lee Reviews
More about the author.
I was born and raised in New Jersey, where I live to this day. My husband and I make our home in a rural part of the state where we enjoy hiking and exploring our local gorges, waterfalls, reservoirs and arboretums. A born-again antique collector, I love hitting up the local (and sometimes not so local!) antique stores in search of pretty, Victorian treasures. I’ve worked in a variety of jobs, where I’ve met a number of interesting people, several of whom have found their way into my stories. I’m obsessed with upbeat 80’s music but try to stick with classical while I’m reading and writing. I like to listen to ‘Butterfly Comb’ from the movie Titanic, particularly when I’m writing a love scene. It’s a beautiful song and I find it incredibly inspiring!
Website – www.jessicalauryn.com
Newsletter - eepurl.com/ck5-O9
Youtube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/@JessicaLauryn
Facebook Friend Page: https://www.facebook.com/romancebyjessicalauryn
Around The Fire New Release Spotlight.
Run Girl Run Even mothers are afraid of monsters.
Ellen Y. Mueller
About the book
Sixteen-year-old Tracie lives in a house divided by fear and a family secret she has yet to discover. Her grandma gives her a hint and the tools to unearth the past. Are the clues the answer to her prayers? If so, she’ll take her younger brother and split. Her dream can’t come true quick enough.
One night, when her dad is in one of his violent rages, opportunity pounds on Tracie’s door. A male friend offers her an escape. But there’s a catch. She can’t sneak her brother out with her parents watching, and her dad demands her friend leave immediately. On a whim, she goes, too. After all, he just wants to keep her safe and swears to have her best interest at heart.
Caught in a current of lies and deception, Tracie’s swept farther from home than she ever expects. She can’t trust anyone, not even her mother. Exposing the secret may save Tracie and her little brother, but at what cost?
Order your copy today at one of these online retailers books2read.com/u/baoBy6
A peek inside the cover
Cal raked his fingers through his long hair. “Are you moving back in here? Your dad is a maniac.”
“You heard him. I don’t have a choice. Debby will have her baby in a couple weeks, and I have nowhere to go.”
“You can live with me. My place is small, but we could make it work.”
I didn’t know him well. What if we didn’t get along after I went with him? Besides, Dad would call the law on us.
The door rattled, and my heart thumped when it flew open.
“You know boys aren’t allowed in here,” Dad said.
“Dad, we’re just talking —”
“Shut your mouth, or I’ll shut it for you.” His posture stiffened, and he had the ‘don’t test me look,’ in his eye.
We had to get out of here. Dad blocked the exit. Rather than challenging him, I stayed put. I could hear Cal breathing. He was no match for my father.
Dad glared at both of us. “Cal it’s time to say goodbye.” He stomped away.
I exhaled. It was safer with Cal here. Any other time, Dad would’ve stripped off his belt and whipped me. There was a five-minute window for Cal to leave before Dad threw him out and go after me next.
“He’s crazy. Come with me.” Cal sat on the bed’s edge, one legdangling ready to stand.
Inspiration for writing Run Girl Run
The inspiration for Run Girl Run came from wanting to give hope to teens living in fear. Domestic abuse is America’s dirty little secret. Not long ago, no one talked about it. Beatings were a common family affair. Bruises went unchecked, and neighbors, teachers and relatives ignored or shamed the victims.
My coming-of-age book gives an intimate view of strained family dynamics from a sixteen-year-old girl’s perspective. The main character flees her situation, but she longs for a deep family connection we all need. Along the way, secrets unfold. I’ve always been a fan of these kind of tales, so I invented one that I think readers will enjoy.
Despite the serious plot, the readers will discover many lighter moments on their reading journey. And the story ends on a hopeful note.
Ellen Y. Mueller is an American writer who was raised in the midwest
during a time when kids didn’t have the distraction of cable television
or electronic games. As a child, she read hundreds of books. That
hasn’t changed as she aged. Her bookshelves are overflowing with
stories from every genre as well as nonfiction books.
After high school, she worked her way through college and was an
active member of the USAF. During her time with the military, she
trained as a medic which inspired her to follow her dreams to become
From the time she was a child, she enjoyed books and wrote stories. Now she writes for both teens and adults. Her young adult, contemporary, suspense novel, Run Girl Run, is under contract with The Wild Rose Press and is scheduled for release 14 December,2022.
When she’s not writing, she reads, enjoys guitar music, and helps other writers who dream of seeing their books in print. She’s been a member of the Northwest Arkansas Writer’s critique group, and
Arkansas Ridge Writers for several years. She has made her home in Arkansas with her husband, four cats and two dogs.
For more about Ellen
BookBub – Ellen Y. Mueller or @EYMueller
TikTok – @EllenYMueller_Author
Twitter link – @EllenYMueller
Instagram - @Ellenymuellerwrites
Goodreads – www.goodreads.com/book/show/63214504-run-girl-runfrom_search=true&from_srp=true&qid=uzLLD8LSP1&rank=1
Facebook - www.facebook.com/EllenYMueller/
Happy Thanksgiving Eve. This is one of my favorite holidays. Nothing says more homey than gatherings of family and friends I've been in prep mode for awhile making all my cook aheads and setting the table. I'll be brining the turkey for the first time today. We'll see how that goes. And before you go, take a chance at www.goodreads.com/book/show/61160281-kisa-shield-mates-of-dar for an opportunity to win an eBook. I hope you enjoy getting to know today's guest as much as I have. So let's dive in.
Hi, Ana! I’m so glad you could join me around the fire today. Please introduce yourself.
I’m a mom. I work full-time in the medical field. I live in the suburbs of New York. I hate commuting, but I like driving. My cats drive me nuts, but I love them.
You sound busy. When you get some downtime, how do you spend it?
I like to go to the gym when I can. I read mainly at night before bed. I like to read mystery with romance, but I usually fall asleep within a few pages.
As an author, who do you have as your support system?
I belong to several online writing groups. I used to have more time to take writing classes, but now I mainly rely on The Wild Rose Press author network for support in my writing career.
I hear you. I’m thankful for those authors as well. What or who authors inspire your writing?
I’ve recently been delving into psychological thrillers. I’m currently reading The Housemaid by Frieda McFadden. I find the twists and turns that you don’t see coming very appealing. The whole story turns on its head. I tend to add some twists in my stories too.
One of my favorite things is finding names for my characters. How do you select yours?
I usually pick names I’ve heard and liked in the past, and then I dig them out of my memory when I’m writing.
I hate washing windows. The streaks never seem to all go away. What’s your worst household chore?
Researching for a story and be daunting? How do you manage it?
I do most of my research for books online. YouTube is a great source for getting different perspectives and can provide great visuals.
Do you read your reviews?
I shouldn’t read reviews, but after the initial sting of a bad one, I try and take in the information as constructive and hopefully apply it to the next project.
My email folder is filled to the brim with people offering to aid my writing career. What’s the best money spent on writing:
I think the best money I spent as a writer was on professional editing. I think of it as part of the learning process.
Did you ever win something?
In middle school, I won first place in a ballroom dance contest. I don’t have any talent for dancing. I am just able to follow directions.
What subjects should be taught in school?
How to do your taxes, and how to buy a house.
Ana, thank you for spending time around the fire with me today. Before you head off, will you tell us about your book and where we can find out more about it and you?
In a town full of secrets, who will come out alive?
What’s worse than losing a body from a funeral home? Losing two. But mortician and amateur sleuth, Lily Reynolds has a hunch. The new visitor in town, Rick Drakon, may have charmed his way into her life but she’s not fooled by his smooth talking ways. Problem is, Rick is a long-time friend of Lily’s new husband, Detective James Rivers. While James is busy convincing her to look elsewhere, Lily embarks on a dangerous path toward uncovering the truth. Will this case come between the couple or will Lily find herself closer to evil than ever before?
More about the author
When Ana Diamond isn't writing about tough gals finding love in unexpected places, she’s at work by day in the medical field. She writes romantic cozy mystery novels with feisty strong women and alluring men who can’t resist them. Her books are fast paced, entertaining and heartfelt all at once.
Ana is a 2020 Tara Contest Finalist for Body Conscious and 2015 Melody of Love contest finalist. She lives in New York with her husband, two children and two needy but wildly entertaining kitty cats.
You can follow Ana here.
Around the Fire New Release Spotlight.
Crinkles All the Way
Ann M. Trader
Release day: 12-7-22
Benny O’Brien owns his reputation—carefree bachelor and successful computer design engineer with one of Atlanta’s premier firms. In keeping with the Christmas spirit, he agrees to teach a middle school coding club as a favor to a coworker. He expects to debug computer statements...not his heart.
As the new public relations coordinator at the firm, Claudia Banks spends her days strategizing market segments and her evenings relaxing with her close-knit group of girlfriends…or curling up with a favorite book. When her office crush signs on to her school outreach program, she braces for a lesson in irresistible attraction.
The stakes rise when the two come together over the school’s Christmas dance and a mysterious scrapbook. As secrets tug at their hearts, will they choose honesty and go all in for love?
Where you can get a copy
What inspired the story
Benny O’Brien is a supporting character from my first book with The Wild Rose Press, The Gingerbread Cookie Code. In this book, Benny plays the smart, confident, and charming best friend to Clay.
As I was thinking about writing my next book, Crinkles All the Way, my thoughts kept circling back to Benny…and what was his real challenge? What made him tick? I began thinking about learning styles and successful people I’ve known with dyslexia. That clicked for me, and I began sketching out Benny and Claudia, their workplace romance, and a little “twist” with the cookie recipe and scrapbook. I had a lot of fun with this story and hope readers will enjoy it!
Heat Level: Steamy (not erotica)
More about Ann
I enjoy spending time with my family, trying out new recipes, and relaxing on my back porch to read and write. These days I take walks around my neighborhood, but when I was sixteen, I hiked the Grand Canyon with a group of friends. I love watching television dramas (in no special order: Stranger Things, The Gilded Age, The Last Kingdom, 1883, Outlander, Poldark, Yellowstone, Outer Banks, and Peaky Blinders) and reading a great romance book.
Follow the Author
Around The Fire with Tena Stetler.
Hi everyone! Today's Around the Fire is with one of my camping buddies. Nope, we haven't shared an actual fire yet but one of these days, Tena, we are going to have a great time swapping stories while toasting smores and sipping a hot chocolate or maybe an adult beverage.
Hey there DV. I’m thrilled to be on your fantastic blog today. Thank you for allowing me to share my thoughts on backstory and chat about my new holiday release, MERINGUE SNOWFLAKE MAGIC, part of the multi-author Christmas Cookie Series from The Wild Rose press. All books in the series can be read as a standalone.
Oh, maybe instead of smores you'll bake us some of those magical cookies, please and thank you. Now you have a little something to say about "backstory" don't you?
Backstory is it a dirty word or is it a necessity? How many times have you heard too much backstory will spoil your book? But how are your readers going to find out about what makes your characters tick? What makes them who they are today?
Your Host D.V. Stone
Award winning multi-genre author and blogger. Fantasy, romance, mid-grade. Nothing better than a campfire, book, and glass of wine. Okay maybe there is.📚
Amazon Author Page