Category Archives: Guest blogger

A BIG welcome to Kris Fletcher!

 I’m delighted to welcome Kris Fletcher to my blog.   Yesterday, I posted her bio so check back to learn more about her.    So, Kris, take it away!

Jane, thanks so much for inviting me here today. I love having the chance to take over – um, I mean, visit my friends on their blogs.

I’m writing this on the last day of my children’s spring break. What this means in everyday terms is that for tenth day in a row, it’s been Mommy and the Kids, all day, every day. Okay, there were a couple of breaks. (Let’s have a rousing cheer for critique nights and chapter meetings, shall we?) But by and large, it’s been, “Mommy, can we …” and “Mom, I want to …” and “Mom, I need …” pretty much non-stop. Because even though my kids are really very excellent and as considerate as kids can be, they’re KIDS. They know that the only reason for my existence is to make their world right. Anything that might be on my list is simply proof that my priorities are totally out of whack.

Usually, I can deal with this tug-of-war between their needs and mine, but this week was a challenge. It was spring break AND we were rounding out a double-holy week (Passover and Easter) AND we had to go away for the weekend AND my editor sent me revisions much earlier than I anticipated AND – most pressing of all – I had two books releasing. (A BETTER FATHER and CALL OF THE WILDER, thank you for asking J)Two books to publicize. Two books worth of blogs to post and monitor. Two sets of sales figures to obsess over. And two books worth of moments to savor and celebrate, because these were my first –ever releases after eighteen years of writing, and dagnabbit it, that was worthy of celebration.

So what did my week look like? Write a blog. Run to Target. Check Amazon. Play a round of Quelf Jr. Hide Easter eggs. Post to the Harlequin forums. Scramble some eggs. Post to Facebook. Remind people to put away their toys. Cut five hundred words from a scene. Order one child to set the table, one to unload the dishwasher, and one to clean up the front hall. Stop for a moment, pause, and send up a fast prayer of thanks for the fullness of my life and the realization of so very many dream.

 It was a full week. A challenging week. An exciting, never-to-be-repeated week crammed full of all the bits and pieces of my life.

But I’m still going to be awfully happy when Monday morning rolls around.


My friend Kris

  1. Many, many years ago, Kris Fletcher and I met as aspiring writers on an AOL  group.   She was a contest queen.   Now–GREAT NEWS!–her books are available to all not only contest judges.    She presently has two books published:   The Call of the Wilder and A Better Father.  A third will be published in–KRIS, help me on this–November.   I’ve  read and loved A Better Father,  have The Call of the Wilder downloaded and look forward to many, many more wonderful stories from her.

She’ll be blogging here tomorrow so please come back!

Here’s Kris in her own words:   
Kris Fletcher grew up in southern Ontario, went to school in Nova Scotia, married a man from Maine, and now lives in central New York. She shares her very messy home with her husband, an ever-changing number of their kids, and the occasional grand-hamster. Her greatest hope is that dust bunnies never develop intelligence.

News from Alexa Bourne and her new cover!

Thank you, Jane, for giving my new cover and me some time on your blog! Today marks the official, public beginning for an exciting time in Decadent Publishing’s history. We are unveiling the new Tease series, a smart, sassy and short line that includes historical, paranormal and contemporary romances.

This is the cover to my first Tease, Carry Me Home. This story is a heart-warming story about a married couple, Jamie and Mary MacDougall, in the Highlands of Scotland. Tragedy drove them apart but Jamie knows they’re meant to be together and he won’t give up on them without a fight. This cover fits Mary and Jamie perfectly and I absolutely love it. Isn’t it gorgeous?

My book will be released June 5th, but you have plenty of Tease stories before then. To find out more, visit today! AND you can be in the running for some GREAT prizes. So come join the party!



Twitter: @AlexaBourne





Took the car in today and found out the fact that I cannot read the speedometer because it is hidden in a deep well is a design problem which cannot be fixed because it IS in a deep well with no additional lighting.   In September, George bought me a 2003 Mazda which is a really great car but I fear a myriad of speeding tickets lurk in my future.  Also, it’s–sigh–white.  I’ve decorated with with a Kansas State Power Cat magnet on one side and a University of Louisville Cardinal on the other but I still can’t find it in the parking lot the way I could my yellow car.   In fact, I’ve stood next to white cars clicking my remote to unlock the doors and cursing (only in the nicest way) that the battery in the remote must be low.  Fortunately it only takes a few minutes before I realize it is not my car and move on to the next white car.

Little by little, I’m checking off tasks.  I got the extension of income tax paperwork in to the IRS Wednesday, the health insurance straightened out and in my name, information to Social Security, and many thank you notes written to our dear and generous friends.  I’ve worked on my novels a little but am still having trouble getting a read on the love interest in the fourth Butternut Creek novel  for which I’m attempting to put together a proposal with a brain low on creativity.

But I’m doing better.   For example, George loved olives.  The sight of the olive bar at H-E-B only makes me sad not burst out in tears.  Those breakdown have been  frightening for the ladies at the nearby sushi counter.  

I’m also reading the other books that have been nominated for the RITA in my category.  They are wonderful.  I’m honored to be in that group. 

Next Monday, I have two events on this blog.  On Monday, I’ll start the day highlighting the cover of Alexa Bourne’s newest novel.   Later in the afternoon, I’ll tell you about Kris Fletcher whose first published novel–A Better Father–was available a week ago.  Great book!  To my delight, Kris will blog here on Tuesday.  She’ll be telling us about the changes in her life as a published author with edits and promos at the same time she deals with her twenty or thirty–or maybe five–children.  Hope you’ll stop by.


Readers often ask, “Where do your ideas come from?”   Today I’m guest blogging at Infinite Characters about how Adam Jordan came to live.  Hope you’ll drop by.

And you can sign up for a drawing for a free book! 

Glenfinnan: Alexa Bourne takes us on a tour in Scotland!

My absolute favorite place in the entire world is Scotland. If I could move tomorrow and have a way to support myself, I would go without looking back. Sadly, I haven’t been able to move there yet, but I have been fortunate enough to travel there on more than one occasion. In doing so, I found the perfect setting for my very first book.

Glenfinnan is a tiny village in the Highlands of Scotland, home to few people and occasional travelers. I first heard of this place in the 1986 movie Highlander. Fascinated with the story, I can’t tell you how many times I watched it. But it wasn’t just the story that drew my attention. It was the historical aspect of Scotland- kilts, clans, Scottish brogues and the most stunning scenery I’d ever seen. When I made plans to visit my family in northern England, I decided to take a trip up to Glenfinnan as well.

I took the train from Edinburgh, a several hour trip through cities, towns and eventually, mountains. When I got to the start of the mountains along the route, my heart expanded and I could almost hear the bagpipes playing in my head. Even with the drizzling rain and dark clouds, the mountains and green hills held such beauty.

Arriving in Glenfinnan, I was treated to a glorious view of the Glenfinnan Monument and Loch Shiel. Green hills with puffy white clouds dusting their tips, full trees blowing with the wind, and waters sparkling like diamonds took my breath away. Indeed, the train actually slowed down so the travelers could take pictures.

While there, I stayed at the Glenfinnan House Hotel (, which was situated several yards back from the loch. The hotel was big and comfortable, with a fireplace right in the lobby that had crackling flames the day I arrived. With a fancy dining room, a lounge with games and books, and its very own pub, there was truly a room for everyone. Each of these rooms had giant windows overlooking the loch. The second floor held the guest rooms and I was a bit surprised and uncomfortable when I realized they had no locks on the doors. How could I trust my possessions would be safe without a lock for the door? But the way of life in this Highland village was much different than my American city, and soon, leaving my door unlocked felt more like the norm rather than the exception.

I spent quite a bit of time writing, going from room to room with my notebook and pen. I even sat in a comfortable chair in the lobby being warmed by the fire as I detailed my surroundings so I could use them in the book. I treated myself to a homemade scone and afternoon tea while I plotted my Highland love story. After dinner, I listened to locals in the pub with faint Scottish music playing in the background, and soon I too exchanged stories with the staff.

Sadly, I could only stay two nights. I had planned to take a boat ride on the loch, but the rain and cold weather (forcing me to wear my flannel pajamas in June!) prevented me from doing that. I did get a chance to walk down to the Glenfinnan Monument and to shop in its visitors’ center, but I chose to spend most of my time writing in the hotel. I had to find a way to share this place with my future readers.

As I stood waiting for the train back to Edinburgh, my heart squeezed a bit. The sun was shining, a slight breeze blew my hair, and tears stung the corners of my eyes. It may seem silly, but from the moment I first stepped off the train, I felt I had a connection to this Highland village with kind locals and gorgeous scenery. And you know what? I think a part of my heart stayed behind as the train chugged along the tracks, back toward the big city.

As soon as I returned home, I transformed my thirty handwritten pages of notes and scenes into my typed, organized romantic suspense story, Her Highland Champion. It took me a couple more years to revise it and find a home for it, but now I can share my “happy place” with readers everywhere. And someday I’ll make it back to Glenfinnan for that ride on the loch!

Here’s Alexa’s latest book, available in December.  

Tomorrow: Alexa Bourne

Tomorrow I’ll be guesting one of the truly nicest people I know, Alexa Bourne.  She’s also a terrific writer with a love of travel.   Teacher by day and a romantic suspense writer by night, she also teaches online classes for writers throughout the year. She now writers for  Decadent Publishing which gives her  the chance to share her love of Great Britain with readers everywhere.  Her three published books are:

SIMPLE TREASURES, available in December
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When she’s not concocting sinister plots or traveling and exploring new cultures, Alexa spends her time reading, watching brainless TV and thinking about exercising. She loves to interact with readers, so visit her web page, hang out at her blog, follow her on Twitter or drop her a note at!
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Fractured Paradise Book Blurb:
Technical analyst Rachel Grant arrives in Sunderland intent on tidying up her grandmother’s cottage, but the disaster she discovers requires more than a gentle sweep of a dust rag. Determined to please the most important person in her life, she trades her computer keyboard for a hammer and nails to make the repairs. She doesn’t count on the chilly reception from the locals who want to claim Nan’s home as their own.
Tour guide Aidan Camden wants to buy the cottage. He’s determined to acquire the property no matter how attractive he finds the current occupant. However, when tragedy strikes, throwing them both into a tailspin, he discovers he wants more than the house. He longs for the sexy American as well. Can Aidan put his own ghosts to rest in time to save the woman who’s claimed his heart?
Alexa Bourne~~~~

The importance of setting by Diane Perrine Coon

In writing mysteries, the setting usually enhances the characters and the plot. Agatha Christie’s English village represents an entire genre of walkabout crime whereby manor houses, inns, and churchyards are often sited and cited on hand-drawn maps. It would be hard to imagine Inspector  Morse or Inspector Lewis without Oxford University as the backdrop. And the bleak rural Scandanavian settings provide Wallander with mood, characterization, and rationale. The ferocious anger and hostility and crumbling building facades within ghetto environments serves as the undercurrent to numerous police/detective series. And Clive Cussler’s NUMA series relies almost totally on understanding of the surface and sub-surface ocean dynamics and modern ship propulsion technology.

In literature, perhaps no one expresses the importance of setting more than William Faulkner, whose Yoknapatawpha CountyMississippi, became not only the for his most powerful novels and characters, but also became a place even more concrete and enduring in the mind’s eye than the reality of Oxford, Mississippi, itself.  It was the place of giant live oaks and dark swampy forests and expansive yards in front of mammoth columns holding up porches than went on forever.  And the entire setting seemed to be decaying measurably within the pages of the novel. Not so long afterwards, Tennessee Williams chose a similar setting for his Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.

For romance writers, it seems to me that setting is equally if not more important in developing characters that interact or bounce off one another. My beloved Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer’s many Regency romances depend largely on their expansive descriptions of homes, parks, shops, and costumes of London, Bath, and several villages. Behavior of the characters draws out of these settings naturally and easily.

Recently my sister-in-law, Jane Myers Perrine, established the Texas village of Butternut Creek as the setting for her romantic trilogy – The Welcome Committee…, the Matchmakers….and the Wedding Planners of Butternut Creek. In each case, the houses, the church, the schoolyard, and the public buildings provide a cozy place for her characters to meander slowly into place as they drop their troubling backgrounds and engage with each other in the present safe environment.

While it is true that cruise ships or desert islands may provide a contained setting for a romance plots, one could wonder about how much character development may occur. It is rather like a one-joke movie where the comedy seems more and more contrived. On the other hand, my all time favorite romances include the wild and expansive settings of Romancing the Stone and Jewel of the Nile that include double and triple entendres. And find me a woman of any age that didn’t love Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks in the cityscapes of New York and Seattle – Sleepless in Seattle and You’ve Got Mail. That valentine heart on the Empire State Building was the ultimate manipulative event in moviedom, but oh was it ever effective. It reminded me of the ice skating scene at the end of Serendipity, where you knew the impossible was going to happen right then.

And speaking of John Cusack and Julia Roberts, which, of course we weren’t, the very constrained setting of the resort in the desert, actually enhanced both the plot and characters in America’s Sweethearts. It was a throw-back to the old Agatha Christie village, a walkabout romance.

The Draft Phase by The Husband

A guest blogger joins us today: my husband George.  He’s here to share the highs and lows of living with a writer.    He may exaggerate a little.

My favorite author and dearly beloved wife of 46 years announced yesterday, “I finished the book,” I knew several things.  One, she is still nowhere near her deadline; Jane is a twit who used to do her homework on Friday afternoon.  Two, she is entering the Draft Phase (it could be called Rewrite Time) during which she will do four (or more) complete rewrites of said book.  And three, I’m going to see a lot more of her for a while.

Five years ago we retired to a three bedroom, two bath apartment, and you would think we would see a lot of each other.  But we communicate largely through email and intercom from my study to hers because this is really a one bedroom, two study, two bath apartment.  In Draft Phase, however, Jane will use the Editing Chair, and it is in the living room so I will have to actually see her physical presence from time to time.

The Editing Chair. Jane has lower back problems (Duh! She’s a writer!) But she is also horribly cheap, after years of her pain I convinced her that a good chair, although expensive, would be worth it. And we bought a Scandinavian objet d’art that is the most comfortable thing ever sat upon and has table attached which holds the draft copy at a perfect height.  With its ottoman and its kitty furniture and red pen table next to it, this whole configuration occupies most of one end of our living room.

Her Cheapness also allowed me to buy her a laser printer a few years ago because it prints so quickly, but I know she still uses the ink-jet printer because she believes it is cheaper.  And she will run a complete draft of the book, three-hole punch it, and place it in a binder.  The electric hole puncher keeps me out of the loop at this point.  This used to be my odious duty because Jane insists on reusing her paper for different drafts and it was really really hard to keep the drafts straight.

So picture the great author: in her nightie, feet up on the ottoman, back comfortable in her big chair, cat on its stand providing a Muse, binder on the table, red pen in hand—she’s editing up a storm as long as she doesn’t have to go potty.  It’s nearly impossible to get out of that chair!