Mae Clair Presents: Jessi Gage with Jade’s Spirit #ParanormalRomance #Giveaway

I’m delighted to welcome another fantabulous author to my blog today. Jessi Gage has been burning up the romance best-seller charts with her Highland Wishes series and her Blue Collar Boyfriend series.

Her newest release, which is poised to hit online retailers any day, is a unique paranormal romance. I had the pleasure of reading the first half JADE’S SPIRIT in development stages and can’t wait to see how it turns out.

To celebrate her newest release, Jessi is doing a giveaway. Check out the deets at the bottom of her post on how to enter.

In the meantime, I hope you’ll welcome Jessi as she explains what makes JADE’S SPIRIT such an unusual read and what compelled her to write it.

~ooOOoo~

Thank you for having me, Mae! I’m so excited to share my new release JADE’S SPIRIT with your readers today!

I’m more nervous about this release than I’ve ever been before. It’s not your typical romance. Then again, I don’t really write typical romance. I’ve got a virginal hero (nothing new for me), some ghosts (again, nothing new), a heroine with a troubled past (still nothing new there). But where I diverge from my usual voice is in the message.

I’m a Christian, but I don’t usually write about faith in my books. In my own life, faith plays a huge role every day. But when I read fiction, I’m not looking to be preached at or have my faith challenged or tested. I just want to escape. So that’s what I try to do in my books: provide a pleasurable escape for my readers.

Don’t get me wrong; I’m not anti-inspy (inspirational romance or Christian fiction), I just never intended to write books with an explicit Christian message. I read them on occasion, but never felt compelled to write one.

Jade’s Spirit felt different  from the get-go. First of all, it’s based on a real life experience my mother had in her childhood home. She saw a ghost. And it attacked her brother, my uncle Bob. Prayer made it go away. This comes into play in the story I found pouring onto the pages as I thought about who this ghost might be and what it might want. Spiritual oppression and hauntings play a huge role in Jade’s journey as she learns what it takes to fight the supernatural.https://maeclair.files.wordpress.com/2014/07/jessigage_jadesspirit_1400px.jpg

Then there was Emmett. Virginal heroes are nothing new to me. But Emmett is the first character I’ve written who is incredibly like my husband and me. We drink beer. We listen to rock music. We love horror movies. We make inappropriate jokes…and we love Jesus. There aren’t many evangelical Christians who choose to live life the way we do or tolerate those who do. Emmett is like us. He’s…cool and accepting. And he loves Jesus.

I don’t know if a lot of people are going to “get” Emmett. I hope I’ve made him endearing and attractive (he certainly is those things to me), but this character might end up falling flat or being confusing to some readers. Don’t expect a stereotype with Emmett. He’s not your typical “Bible thumper.” He’s sexy, confident, funny, independent, and an unapologetic Christian. Kind of like me and my husband.

I think there are a lot of us sexy, fun-loving Christians out there, and I’m hoping Jade’s Spirit finds its way into the hands of people who will be able to relate to Emmett’s struggle: wanting to obey God and keep it in his pants” but also being honest with himself about the temptations of life. It’s not easy to follow God. Sometimes we make mistakes.

So, yeah, I’m nervous about this one. I read books with main characters who are atheist, wiccan, practice menage, all kinds of things that I, personally, wouldn’t do. But it’s fun to read about people who do things differently and have different beliefs. I hope the Christian message in Jade’s Spirit offers people who don’t share my beliefs a glimpse into my faith without beating them over the head with it. I hope it’s entertaining! That’s what this writing thing is all about!

Thanks for reading! And thanks, Mae, for having me! It’s always a blast to chat with your readers!

GIVEAWAY ALERT:
I want to hear ghost stories or favorite ghost tales from you guys. Leave a comment with something ghost related in it, and I’ll enter you to win an e-copy of Jade’s Spirit.

Author, Jessi GageConnect with Jessi Gage at the following haunts:
website | blog | newsletter sign-up | Twitter (@jessigage)

For information on when JADE’S SPIRIT will be released, check Jessi’s website or add to your TRB on Goodreads!

Friday Fun by Mae Clair

cute poodle dog wearing party hatIt’s Friday! My favorite day of the week after Saturday and Sunday, so it’s only appropriate to kick it off with some fun. Today, I have two good friends helping me out.

Jessi Gage, a fabulous hybrid author in her own right, is doing a Free Publicity Friday spotlight for SOLSTICE ISLAND on her blog. I’d love to have you hop over and check it out while you’re wandering about the blogosphere!

Donna Cummings is also hosting me today on her blog, All About the Writing. Donna writes “humorously ever after romances,” and is a delight herself! I love her fun sense of humor. Today, she injects that frivolity in a three question interview. Yes, she only gave me three questions to answer, but let me tell you — that first one required major thought!

Curious? I hope so :)  You can find our short interview here.

Happy Friday! Here’s hoping yours is grand!

 

Cover Reveal with G*I*V*E*A*W*A*Y: Wishing for a Highlander by Jessie Gage

My friend, Jessie Gage, has re-released her sexy highlander novel with a new cover. This is a fun time travel romance with a highlander who will melt your heart and a heroine you’ll cheer for. To celebrate she’s even doing a giveaway (see details below).

So, without further ado, presenting (drum roll, please) WISHING FOR A HIGHLANDER:

JessiGage_WishingForAHighlander_2500px

In a nutshell: A single and pregnant museum worker accidentally wishes herself back in time and is forced to marry a Highland warrior with intimacy issues.


Click on the word GIVEAWAY to go to Rafflecopter’s secure site and enter for a chance at a $25 Amazon gift card and an ecopy of Wishing for a Highlander. If you’re like to leave a comment, answer the question: Who would you bet on in a battle between a sparkly vampire and a sparkly Highlander? I think you already know my answer…

Blurb:
Be careful what you wish for. It might just come true.

Single-and-pregnant museum worker Melanie voices an idle wish while examining a Scottish artifact, that a Highland warrior would sweep her off her feet and help her forget her cheating ex. The last thing she expects is for her wish to be granted. Magically transported to the middle of a clan skirmish in the sixteenth-century Highlands, she comes face to face with her kilted fantasy man.

Tall, handsome, and heir to his uncle’s lairdship, Darcy Keith should be the most eligible bachelor in Ackergill. Instead, thanks to a prank played on him in his teenage years, he is known for being too large under his kilt to ever make a proper husband. “Big Darcy” runs his deceased father’s windmills and lives alone at his family manor, believing he will never marry.

But a strangely-dressed woman he rescues from a clan skirmish makes him long for more. When the woman’s claims of coming to Ackergill by magic reach the laird’s ears, she is accused of witchcraft. Darcy determines to protect her any way he can, even if it means binding her to him forever.

Excerpt:
Size might have its advantages when it came to fighting, but those few boons fell far short of making up for the problems it caused. Being the biggest and the strongest had gotten him into far more trouble than it had gotten him out of. Swallowing his regret for how careless he’d been with her, he sought to determine whom she belonged to, whom, saints forbid, he might owe.

“Whose wife are ye, then? Not a Gunn’s or I wouldna have had to rescue you from one.”

“I’m not married,” the lass said. “And thank you for the rescuing, by the way. I can’t believe I dropped the dirk. Stupid.” She shook her head.

His heart warmed at her thanks. He didn’t hear many kind words from the lasses and would take what he could get, even from a dishonored woman who had caught a bairn out wedlock. Oddly, he didn’t think poorly of her. Whether it was her worried brow, her guileless, soft mouth, or her vulnerable size, he had not the heart to condemn her.

He didn’t even mind so much that she found him distasteful for his size, although talking with her now, she didn’t seem overly upset to be in his arms. He endeavored to keep her talking, keep her distracted from her disgust.

“Ye never answered my first question,” he said. “Who are you? And where are ye from if ye’re no’ English?”

“Ugh. I don’t know. Is there an answer that won’t get me burned at the stake or locked up in a ward for the hopelessly insane?”

Like most things out of her mouth, that had been a peculiar answer. “Ye could try the truth,” he offered, slowing his pace since he heard Archie’s voice not far off.

“No,” she said flatly. “I couldn’t. At least not the whole truth. How about we just go with my name, Melanie, and with the honest fact that I’m a long way from home and I have no idea how to get back.” Her green eyes pierced his. “I’m afraid you might be stuck with me, Darcy Keith.”

Purchase WISHING FOR A HIGHLANDER from:
Amazon
Barnes & Noble

Connect with Jessi Gage at the Following Haunts:
Website
Blog
Facebook Fan Page
Twitter
Goodreads

zz_Jessi Gage headshot2

Bio:
Jessi lives with her husband and children in the Seattle area. In addition to writing paranormal romance, she’s a wife, a mom, an audiologist, a church-goer, a Ford driver, a PC user, and a coffee snob. Her guiding tenet in her writing is that good triumphs over evil, but not before evil gives good one heck of a run for its money. The last time she imagined a world without romance novels, her husband found her crouched in the corner, rocking.

Friday the 13th Fun by Mae Clair

It’s Friday the 13th! *cue spooky music*

One of my best friends from childhood was born on the thirteenth of January. I remember how she used to love when her birthday fell on a Friday, as it made it extra special. :)

In case you’re wondering, yes I am superstitious — about a lot of things. But I don’t have problems crossing the paths of black cats, not forwarding chain emails for fear of catastrophic reprisals, or even opening an umbrella in the house. Pish!

On the other hand, I’m not fond of the number 13, won’t tempt fate by visiting a haunted house, or go exploring a cemetery in the dark. I am  however going visiting today. And so are my characters :)

You can find me hanging out with my friend and Lyrical Press sister, Jessi Gage, who interviews me about TWELFTH SUN (I loved her questions!) here.

Elijah and Reagan (the hero and heroine of my romantic mystery) have decided to venture elsewhere and are being interviewed by my friend and Lyrical Press sister, Joanne Wadsworth. You can find their chatty interview here.

bigstock-Abandoned-haunted-house-on-a-h-23959007In closing, here are some interesting facts about Friday the 13th:

Paraskavedekatriaphobia and Friggatriskaidekaphobia are scientific terms used to describe fear of Friday the 13th. I, on the other hand, have a mild case of Triskaidekaphobia, which is fear of the number 13. Hmm. It must stem from childhood and that old black-and-white movie called Thirteen Ghosts. Anyone remember that? I think it terrified me as a kid.

And did you know most hotels don’t have a thirteenth floor, skipping right over it?

~ooOOoo~
An example of my superstitious nature:

Each year the company I work for (on my day job) holds an annual “Kick-Off Event” in January. It’s a fun time where the company leaders provide a review of the previous year and kick-off the new year with a fresh set of goals. We have a lovely buffet lunch at a country club and spend the afternoon socializing. I book the venue and arrange everything. When I started planning 2012′s event I was horrified to realize the Friday we wanted fell on the 13th (we always hold it on a Friday). I was adamant and no one argued
– you can’t kick-off a New Year on a Friday the 13th!! So that year, we moved the event to Tuesday. Fortunately, I already checked the calendar and we’re in the clear for 2014. :)

Happy Friday the Thirteenth! I hope to see you at Jessi and/or Joanne’s blog haunts if you’re able to visit!

Wizards with Words: Jessi Gage with Road Rage

bigstock-magic-book-9719930I’m pleased to welcome another Wizard with Words today, my friend Jessi Gage who has just released her contemporary/paranormal romance, ROAD RAGE. This is an awesome story that deserves every one of the five stars I gave it on Amazon. Check out the fantastic blurb, and then dive into our interview to learn more about this wizardy writer and what makes her tick.

BLURB for ROAD RAGE
He has anger issues and she has amnesia, but together they have amazing chemistry.

Lashing out in anger, construction worker Derek causes an accident on the freeway. His truck escapes unscathed, but he can’t say the same for his conscience. Plagued by nightmares of the wreck, his only comfort comes in the form of nightly visits by a mysterious woman who interrupts his dreams with sensual caresses and words of solace.

Cami has no idea who she is, until she wakes in a hospital bed and learns she’s been comatose due to a car wreck. Her visits with Derek must have been a dream, so why can’t she shake the feeling he was a real man who truly needed her help?

When Derek learns his mystery woman is none other than the driver of the car he cut off and she is fighting for her life, he must decide: Is he man enough to face her and ask forgiveness, or will he run away and avoid the consequences of his anger, yet again?

CONTENT WARNING: Sex with a perfect, imaginary dream girl who really isn’t imaginary

A Lyrical Press Paranormal Romance

Jessi, I’m glad to have you here today. To begin, please share a little about yourself and how you developed a passion for writing.

Jessi: Thanks for having me, Mae! Your passion for writing definitely comes through in your blog. I love your Mythical Mondays, especially when they give me goosebumps!

My passion for writing started when I was pregnant with my daughter, who is now almost 4. I was 3 years deep in a PhD program. While conducting research was fun and fulfilling, it was clear to me I wasn’t cut out to be the intellectual engine driving the research, which is what earning a PhD is all about. I found myself struggling to focus on my general exams. My brain kept wanting to go to the story I had been writing for a few months, which was quickly turning into a novel. Looking back, I can see what a train wreck of a novel it was, LOL, but back then, I thought I had the potential to be the next Stephen King. I mean I read his book ON WRITING so I should be able to write as well as him, right? LOL!

After a mental and emotional battle with myself over quitting the PhD program, I finally gave myself permission to step back from a career that wasn’t a good choice for me. Once I did that, I was able to focus without guilt on improving my writing skills. Six books and 4 years later, I landed my first publishing contract with Lyrical Press, and I’m so thrilled I get to stay home with my kids now and write during those precious few downtimes I get throughout the day.

That is certainly an interesting path to writing! It sounds like you are more than happy and fulfilled by your choice. And now for ROAD RAGE…I believe I finished the book in two days, it was that addictive. Your hero Derek Summers has a problem with anger management which is unusual for the hero of a romance novel. What made you decide to give Derek such an aggressive personality trait?

Jessi: All good heroes have areas in which they are imperfect. Some common examples include extreme protective instincts (read alpha male), workaholic, commitment-phobe, jock who gives more of his heart to his sport than the women in his life, and on and on. Many of the imperfections have plus sides that turn us romance addicts on. The uber-protective male has the dominance needed to win the heart of the woman who doesn’t trust easily. The workaholic has the determination needed to work through relationship challenges. The commitment-phobe can share his free-spirited nature with the repressed heroine, etc.

roadrageI looked at anger, an ugly imperfection if ever there was one, and thought about the flip side. What makes a character angry? Is there ever a justification for anger? How could a heroine help a hero work through his anger? Can anger ever be sexy? Romantic? Answering those questions I learned who Derek was and why his story absolutely had to be told.

I enjoyed reading a different type of romance hero. Cami, by contrast to Derek, is a people-pleaser. She has some emotional baggage which defines her personality and – interesting twist – is terrified of driving on the interstate due to an event from her teen years. I have to admit I prefer taking back roads to the freeway any day, but Cami’s aversion is obsessive. What prompted you to come up with such a unique disorder?

Jessi: Um. I started writing ROAD RAGE soon after I was in an accident on the freeway. Fortunately, the accident wasn’t serious, but my daughter had been in the car with me, and I got to thinking about how much worse it could have been. I was a bit gun shy about driving on the freeway after that, especially merging at high speeds, which is how the accident happened. I’m also a bit of a people pleaser, though the older I get the less I care what others think of me. So Cami is an extension of myself. She’s definitely a people pleaser with some baggage, but her flipside is that she’s compassionate enough to look past Derek’s anger and see the man hurting deep beneath that prickly veneer.

I’m glad the accident wasn’t serious, but I can certainly understand how and why that would shake you up!

There’s also a paranormal element to ROAD RAGE which allows the book to work on multiple levels. Without giving too much away, part of Cami and Derek’s connection is related to a dream state (during which a lot of sexy shenanigans take place :) ). Both Cami and Derek behave differently than they do in the waking world, almost direct parallels of their flesh and blood selves. Intentional?

Jessi: Cami’s excuse for acting different (freer, less cautious) is that she has no memory of who she is or what she’s doing in Derek’s room during the night-time hours. Derek’s excuse is he believes he’s dreaming and that Cami is his very own personal dream girl. They both get a chance to let down their walls and let the other in. Then, when Cami wakes from her coma and no longer appears to Derek at night, they realize what they gained from each other and realize how their lives need to change. So, yeah, intentional. The paranormal aspect serves as a mirror to show the characters what they could have if they change.

Let’s talk about research. I was amazed by the amount you must have done in relation to several plot points in the book – motor vehicle law and, especially, ICU procedure and medical care for head trauma patients. Did you use mostly online sources for your research?

Jessi: I have a private investigator (PI) friend who met with me over several cups of coffee to talk about road rage laws and consequences. In fact, the police lieutenant I wrote into the book is based on this friend. He was a dear and even found California-specific laws and procedures, so I could make Derek’s consequences as realistic as possible. For the medical aspects, I drew on some of my training in speech and hearing sciences. I was fortunate enough as an audiologist to work in hospitals with people who had suffered injuries like Cami’s.

Do you have a favorite scene in the novel? 

Jessi: The first sex scene. The sex scenes are always my favorites!

LOL! From start to finish, how long did it take you to write ROAD RAGE?

Jessi: It started as a 20,000 word novella that I wrote in a few weeks. I submitted it to agents and had my absolute top choice for an agent reject it but say, if this were longer and the characters more developed, it would be great. So I took her advice and turned it into a 78,000 word novel. By that time, I had found a wonderful publishing home at Lyrical, so I never resubmitted to the agent, but I’ll be forever grateful to her for the encouragement.

When you’re developing a novel, do you have a system you follow? Are you a plotter, panster, or somewhere in between?

Jessi: I’m a pantser who loves worksheets. I don’t outline per se, but at the start of each scene I make notes about whose pov the scene is in, what their goal is (characters MUST have a goal in every scene or there can be no genuine conflict), what gets in the way of that goal, what action takes place in the scene, and how the scene ends so the reader MUST keep reading (hook). The tops of my scenes look like this:

POV:

GOAL:

WGW:

ACTION:

HOOK:

If I take a few minutes to fill that information in, I can usually write the scene pretty quickly. By now it’s such a habit that I can hold the information in my mental queue. I still write it all out though, if I’m struggling with a particular scene. It really helps me.

Great process! Do you have any projects in the works you’d like to tell us about?

Jessi: I’m writing the second novel in my Highland Wishes series that started with WISHING FOR A HIGHLANDER (Lyrical Press, January 2013). THE WOLF AND THE HIGHLANDER tells the story of Anya, the villainess in book 1. It’s this close to being done *fingers almost touching*. When I write the end, I’ll start on a novella that will be a prequel to the series (Constance and Wilhelm’s story).

ROAD RAGE is a contemporary departure from my Highland time-travels. I have another contemporary, JADE’S SPIRIT that I plan on publishing next year, but first, I need to wrap up Highland Wishes book 2.

Okay, rapid-fire round time:  

Favorite day of the week: Wednesday (This is the day I always have the most time to write)

Favorite food: cupcakes

Favorite color: blue

Favorite music group/band: Third Day

Favorite animal: horse

Dream vacation gifted to you by a fairy godmother: One week alone with my laptop in an Alaskan cabin with Wi-Fi

If I couldn’t be a writer, I’d want to be: an audiologist

Thanks, Jessi. It was fun having you here today (and that Alaskan cabin sounds divine!). I wish you much success with ROAD RAGE!

Thanks for having me, Mae! I loved your questions, and I’m so glad you liked ROAD RAGE!

zz_Jessi Gage headshot2AUTHOR BIO
Jessi lives with her husband and children in the Seattle area. In addition to writing paranormal romance, she’s a wife, a mom, an audiologist, a church-goer, a Ford driver, a PC user, and a coffee snob. Her guiding tenet in her writing is that good triumphs over evil, but not before evil gives good one heck of a run for its money. The last time she imagined a world without romance novels, her husband found her crouched in the corner, rocking.

Jessi Gage is also the author of WISHING FOR A HIGLANDER

Look for Jessi at the following haunts:
Website | Blog | Facebook Fan Page | Twitter | Goodreads

ROAD RAGE BUY LINKS
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
iTunes
Lyrical Press

A Sunny Day Sunshine Award, Mae Clair

SunshineIt’s a sunny day when my friend, Calisa Rhose, nominates me for the Sunshine Award! This is a fun award that bloggers give to other bloggers “who positively and creatively inspire others in the blogosphere.” What a great thought, and how lovely to be included among the ranks. Thank you, Calisa, for thinking of me!

If you haven’t moseyed over to Calisa’s ranch, you’ll find it filled with sunshine and friendly chatter! Calisa is one of my sister authors at Lyrical Press and a wonderful writer. The welcome mat is always out at her ranch. She loves visitors, so be sure to drop by. You’ll see for yourself why she earned a Sunshine Award.

The rules of the Sunshine Award are as follows:

  1. Thank the person who gave you the award in your blog post (thanks, Calisa!)
  2. Answer the questions below
  3. Pass the award to 10-12 deserving and inspiring bloggers, inform them and link to their blogs.

So, here are the questions:

Favorite color: This is always a toss-up between green and blue, the colors of earth, sea and sky. At the moment, I’m partial to blues and have to go with royal blue.

Favorite animal: Cat! I adore felines.

Favorite number: 12

Favorite non-alcoholic drink: Coffee in the morning, water any other time of day. I constantly have a glass of iced water beside me.

Facebook or Twitter: Twitter. Facebook and I do not play nicely together. I’ve been planning a blog post on that for a while, LOL.

Your passion: My hubby, of course! :) Assuming, we’re not talking about that kind of passion then writing, reading and learning in general..

Giving or getting presents: Both. I’ve pulled off some pretty cool surprises in the giving department, like the time I surprised my husband with a John Deere tractor for his birthday.

Favorite flower: Roses, the flower of romance. Red is my favorite but I love them all—white, pink, yellow, blush orange and all varieties of colors.

And now I’d like to pass this award on to the following outstanding bloggers:

Sheri de Grom
Debbie Peterson
Cd Brennan
Jane Wakely
Jessi Gage
Lorraine Paton
Laura Lee Nutt
Stanalei Fletcher

Thanks for bringing a bit of sunshine with your blogs, ladies!

The Wonderful Team Member Readership Award, by Mae Clair

wonderful-team-memberIt’s blog award time, thanks to my wonderful friend and fellow blogger, Sheri de Grom!

Sheri recently honored me with the Wonderful Team Membership Reader Award. If you’re a regular follower of my blog, you’ve no doubt heard me mention Sheri before. We ventured into the blogosphere about the same time and quickly became  friends and supporters of each other.

Sheri blogs about women’s fiction and government and medical issues, in addition to working on what is certain to be a compelling novel, NOT THE MAN I MARRIED.  She’s super friendly and a great supporter of other bloggers so check her out corner of the world here, and linger a while under her bridge.

The Wonderful Team Membership Reader Award was one I was not previously familiar with, but it definitely deserves a round of fanfare. The title says it all. As bloggers, we rely on those who support our efforts with each post, taking their time to comment on the musings we toss into the virtual universe. I am so grateful for the friends I have made through blogging, and really do appreciate everyone who visits and comments on From the Pen of Mae Clair.

So to all my fantastic Pen Pals—I am grateful to each of you and wish to acknowledge you with this post. I am happy to nominate the following for the Wonderful Team Membership Reader Award:

L. J. Kentowski
Donna Cummings
Emma Meade
Jessi Gage
Cd Brennan
Calisa Rhose
Stanalei Fletcher
Debbie Peterson
Joanne Wadsworth
Laura Lee Nutt
Venice Kennedy
Susan Koenig

And, of course, a huge thanks to Sheri de Grom.

There are many other friends out there who support me through Twitter, Facebook, blogging and reviews, and I thank you all. This list is but a few. I am truly grateful for your friendship and support. You guys rock! :D