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Celebrating New Releases

Mistletoe Memories: Six New Inspirational Holiday Romances

boxed-setThis past week the Mistletoe Memories bundle released and I couldn’t be more excited to share this group of stories with you. Myself and five other multi-published authors joined together to bring you six never before published novellas about love at Christmastime. The best part: right now you can snag this bundle for only 99 cents. I’m serious. You can’t beat that deal.

And I’m even more excited to share this with you because my story in the collection – It Was You – launches my new King’s Cove series. Expect to see two more King’s Cove novellas releasing before the end of the year!

The Ranger’s Texas Proposalrangers-texas-proposal

Last year my editor at Love Inspired called me, offering the chance to write a series with five other authors and I jumped at the opportunity. The Ranger’s Texas Proposal is the second book in the Lone Star Cowboy League: Boy’s Ranch series (but can be read as a stand alone). It’s the story of a hunky Texas Ranger and a tough, pregnant widow. I loved writing these characters and really fell in love with them. This one’s a tear-jerker with a warm ending. I can’t wait for it to hit the store shelves!

Small-Town Girl 

Small-Town Girl FrontSmall-Town Girl released in August and it’s really special because it was my fifth book published by Love Inspired. It is the fourth book in the Goose Harbor series and follows newcomer, Kendall Mayes, as she tries to chart out a new future and avoid relationships along the way. That is, until she meets the handsome loner Brice Daniels. This book has already received a lot of great reviews and so many of you have contacted me privately letting me know how much this story meant to you. Small-Town Girl was also recommended on the USA Today Happy Ever After blog by the wonderful Serena Chase: “Highly recommended for fans of inspirational and sweet romance, this is a story that offers many sigh-worthy moments …”

Thanks for reading! -jess

Upcoming Books, News, and Pizza

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Small-Town Girl

A little over a week ago I was given the final cover art for my next Love InspirSmall-Town Girl Fronted release! Isn’t is gorgeous? I love that Lake Michigan got a place of honor on the cover. Small-Town Girl releases in August (although Amazon says it’ll send it your way in by mid-July!).

Here’s the blurb from the back cover:

Goose Harbor, Michigan, is the perfect place for Kendall Mayes to start over and open her date-planning business. When she encounters handsome loner Brice Daniels, who is struggling to keep the shipping business he runs going, she sees an opportunity. A weekly sunset cruise catering to couples and tourists will keep their dealings strictly business. Kendall has had enough of failed romances, and Brice is too burned by love to give it another chance. But despite their reservations, they soon let down their walls. Yet when Kendall’s silent business partner is revealed to be Brice’s longtime enemy, staying together might be next to impossible.

The Ranger’s Texas Proposal

Last year I got a call from my editor asking if I had any interest in writing a book in a series of six books with five other authors. I said yes immediately before I realized that five of the six authors writing for this series all had “best-seller” attached to their name. Guess who was the odd man out? Yup. Talk about intimidating! But the other authors were a dream to work with and I learned so much from them.

These books will release in back-to-back months for six months and mine is the second book (coming out in November). The difference in writing The Ranger’s Texas Proposal (as opposed to my Goose Harbor books) is that my publishing house came up with the general plot and character sketches and then I wrote and fleshed it out. I *loved* the process and I adore the story that came out of all of this. Texas Ranger Heath Grayson really worked his way into my heart and his struggles hit me hard (not ashamed to admit there was a lot of at-my-desk-crying happening while writing this one). I’ve been told by my publishing house that the story got three editors crying at their desks over the book/characters – so that’s fun! I’ve never done that before.

I don’t have a cover yet, but I will share it the second I do. However, the preorder is up on Amazon and here’s the blurb:

When Texas Ranger Heath Grayson agrees to investigate thefts at the boys ranch, he’s also hoping to solve a decades-old murder case: his father’s. Getting involved with pretty, pregnant widow and boys ranch volunteer Josie Markham is not on Heath’s agenda. But the more time he spends with Josie, the harder it is to ignore their growing attraction. The somber ranger is convinced a wife and child are not in his future. But with a little help from the boys at the ranch, he may just realize a family is what he needs most of all.

More Goose Harbor

The fifth book in the Goose Harbor series has a name and release date: Apple Orchard Bride is Jenna and Toby’s story (we’ve meet Jenna in many of the other books) and it’ll hit stores January 2017.

I’m currently writing the sixth book in the series RIGHT NOW! And there are solid plans for more Goose Harbor books after that.

More News

I’ve been getting a lot of emails and PMs asking when to expect the final TimeShifters book. I’m always so appreciative when people reach out to me – especially about Gabby and Michael. Those two and the TimeShifters series are all very close to my heart and I think about them often. I would love to continue their story, but at present I’m contracted to write several other books for my publisher and can’t devote enough time to my independent projects. Book three (Reaching Tomorrow) is completely plotted – I just need to find a gap of time to write it in. Like my Amazon Author Page or follow this blog or subscribe to my newsletter for updates on when Reaching Tomorrow will become available.

Last but not least I’m sitting on some very exciting news about a few projects that I’m working on with a team of other authors that amounts to at least two more releases before the end of 2016. I can’t share the details yet … but stay tuned!

I’m sorry there was no pizza in this post. I just felt like the title needed a little something else and pizza did it.

State of the Union

I’ve been receiving a lot of email and messages from beloved readers lately and many have similar questions so I thought it would be good to answer some here so everyone can be in the loop.

old typewritter

Question 1: When does the next TimeShifters novel come out?

Great question. Saving Yesterday (TimeShifters Book 1) released February 2014. In the indie world most authors release books in a series very quickly (many will release 3-4 books in a matter of 60-90 days).

So why isn’t Capturing Today, the second book in the series, out yet? Simply, it’s not ready. But there’s a not so simple answer too. Last year I had a very ambitious writing schedule that I was trying to keep while juggling my full time day job and my family. That writing schedule included books I needed to write for my publisher as well. Right now, my publisher’s books come first because I’ve signed contracts and a contract is a promise. I will always make good on my promises.

But know what? I made a promise to the readers of Saving Yesterday too. When I published that book, it was a promise that you’d have the complete series in your hands someday soon. And I mean to keep that promise.

Beyond contract deadlines, my day job, and time with family, a lot of really, really difficult things happened in my life last year. Suffice to say, between a handful of things that occurred, last year was the hardest year I’ve experienced in my entire life.

I was happy when the clock struck midnight and we got to usher in 2015. 2014 and all the bad that came with it is in my rearview mirror now. Sure, I’m still affected by the things from that year, but I have a new fresh year full of hope and potential holding out its hand—telling me now’s the time to live.

Capturing Today will release this year. More than likely it’ll be within the first six months of this year (and if some things fall into place like I’m trying to have them—much sooner than that even).

Question 2: I see your write indie books now, does that mean you won’t write for Love Inspired anymore?

I do write indie books now and am having a ball releasing them, but don’t worry, I’m still writing for Love Inspired. They are a great publishing house that puts my books onto the shelves of every big box store in the country. My editor is wonderful, kind-hearted, patience, and I learn so much from her as we go through the process of polishing each book. And I love the characters and stories I get to share.

There are many, many more books planned in the Goose Harbor series and so many characters to share about. The second book in the series, The Fireman’s Secret (Goose Harbor), releases next month!!! And the third book, The Single Dad Next Door (Love Inspired LP\Goose Harbor), releases in July. Goose Harbor isn’t going anywhere. In fact, I’m writing the next story now. 🙂

Question 3: What’s next for you?

Like I mentioned earlier, there are two more Goose Harbor books releasing this year and at least one more TimeShifter book (if all goes well, the third will release before the end of the year as well). I am also working on a fairytale novella collection, a novella for each of the royal siblings in a fantastical world. If you’re interested in taking a peek at the inspiration board for the series you can see them over on my Pinterest. And last but certainly not least, I’m working on a super-secret collaboration with a bunch of Young Adult authors. Stay tuned.

If you want to keep up to date with my releases the best way to do that is to sign up for my newsletter. I only send them out when there is big news or a release, so you don’t need to worry about spam. My newsletter subscribers see my covers before anyone else and get first crack at review copies of my books and sometimes have giveaways that are only open to them.

In the coming weeks I’ll be posting (on this blog) some book reviews, I’m working on some posts about the writing process (because I get asked about publishing a lot in emails as well), and keeping you up to date. Make sure to keep checking in for giveaways as well, some friends and I are planning some good ones this year. And…recipes. I always post recipes because we love eating around here.

Double Author Giveaway

Double Author Giveaway

I have great news! Author Belle Calhoune (who happens to be a bestselling author on Amazon!) and I decided to team up and host simultaneous giveaways featuring our latest releases. When Belle and I got to talking we realized that our heroines had something in unique in common. Both of our leading ladies try to keep huge secrets from their heroes and both of their secrets have to do with a way their physically different (Belle’s heroine is wheelchair bound and my heroine has third degree burns on her back, legs, and arms that she hides with long sleeves and pants year-round). Also, our heroes are a soldier and a fireman…does life get better? I think not.

First, let’s talk books and then below you’ll find links to both of the giveaways.

Heart of a SoldierHeart of a Soldier (Love Inspired)

A Soldier’s Unexpected Homecoming

Returning soldier Dylan Hart heads to Texas to finally meet pen pal Holly Lynch. When he arrives, he’s shocked to discover the plucky beauty he fell in love with has kept a very big secret. Scarred emotionally by his past, Dylan is deeply hurt that Holly didn’t trust him with such a vital truth about herself. When he’s hired as a cowboy on her family’s vast ranch, he’s committed to staying in town. And as he slowly reconnects with the woman whose letters once saved him, he’ll have to take a look inside his heart to discover what matters most.

 

 

The Fireman’s Secret (Goose Harbor)The Fireman's Secret

Rekindling Her Life

After the fire that injured her and burned down Goose Harbor’s only church fourteen years ago, Shelby Beck is planning to rebuild—the structure and her life. But her wounds have always caused her to keep men at a distance. When Joel Palermo returns to town as a fireman and is assigned to help Shelby raise funds for the new construction, she’s surprised at how easy it is to get close to her brother’s old friend. Could he be the man she’ll finally trust enough to let in? Or will the bond they’ve built go up in flames, when Joel’s own scars are revealed?

 

GIVEAWAY DETAILS

Giveaway
Giveaway #1 – Winter Reading Giveaway – $80.00 value

  • Cashmere blanket
  • Mug with famous first lines of books
  • Heart of a Soldier
  • The Fireman’s Secret (signed copy)
  • Amazon Gift Card
  • Assorted chocolates, tea, and coffee

Enter Here

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Giveaway - belle

Giveaway #2 – Vera Bradley Tote!

  • Heart of a Soldier
  • The Fireman’s Secret
  • Chocolates
  • Vera Bradley Tote

Enter this giveaway on Belle’s Facebook Page (make sure to LIKE the page while you’re there!). Suggest a name for her next heroine and you’ll be entered!

Both giveaways close on Jan. 27!

Echo

Image

*TAP* *TAP* *TAP*

Is anyone still here? Yes, that’s a jab at myself for being woefully absent from this blog in 2013.

But there’s another aspect of an echo that can be a good thing. When an echo occurs, your voice is carried somewhere that you can’t reach. It’s repeated again and again when the speaker only said something once. You all have been that sort of an echo for me, and for that, I’ll be forever grateful.

You see, less than two years ago I was a girl with a big dream of publishing a novel. I started this blog and you all believed in me and cheered me on. This little blog now has 90 subscribers! I’ve heard stories from so many of you telling me that you’ve passed my book on, or told others to buy it. You guys are amazing. Seriously. Thank you, again and again. I’ll never be able to say that enough.

I have some great news to share with you—some of which explains my recent lack of updating:

  1. I think you all know, but my first child was born in January. Know what? Babies are a lot of work. She’s amazing. Growing and learning every single day. And now she’s crawling, trying to pull herself up on things, and getting into everything in the house.
  2. I signed a three book contract with Love Inspired over the summer! It was a huge boost to me as an author because it confirms that I can do this—write and hopefully make a career out of doing what I love. The best part of it all was that this contract was offered without the books being written (that’s called a blind contract) which is exciting and scary at the same time. They believe in me, now I have to deliver good books into their hands by my deadlines.
  3. I’m gearing up to launch an indie writing career as well! That means that I have some books I’m really passionate about that I’m going to be able to get into your hands much quicker than I first thought I would be able to. I’m beyond excited about this step in my writing journey. I’ll be releasing a Christmas novella before the end of the year and in the beginning of next year I’ll be launching both my TimeShifters series (young adult fiction) and my Spies of Chicago series (a story that follows both a historical and contemporary romance that weave together). Launching any indie book is a lot of work, launching three—with two of them being series—is insane. But I’ve never been normal, so I’ve diving in head first. I’m going to do a post soon about being both a traditional and indie author, so I’ll explain more then.

All this, and I also promise to be here more often. No, I probably won’t ever go back to five days a week like the starting days of the blog. But I have plans to update you more faithfully. I’m looking forward to spending some time together again.

Jess

Original Chapter One – Part Two

Yesterday I talked about how sometimes when your manuscript gets in front of your editor big sections get cut. So I’m sharing the original first chapter of Home for Good. If you missed the first chunk just press here. Part three will go live on Friday.

Original Chapter One – Home for Good – Part Two

Jericho Freed’s gut clenched. Even from the distance of the bleachers, the sight of little Ali Silver made his heart stampede like a fired up bull. Guess she wasn’t so little anymore. Eight years. He did the math as he passed his hand over his jaw. Well, twenty-seven sure looked good on her. From where he watched, the pink long-sleeved button-down brought out the summer blush of her cheeks, and those leg-huggin’ jeans verified she wasn’t a girl anymore. Fully woman. The woman he’d come home for.

“Why, if it isn’t young Mr. Freed.” Jericho’s sophomore year science teacher, Mrs. Casey, tapped his shoulder. She still wore the purple framed glasses around her neck with a string. “I didn’t think you lived in these parts anymore.”

He touched the front of his hat. “Well, Ma’am, I’ve been away awhile but I’m home now. For good.”

“I was so sorry to hear about your father. How is Abram doing?”

“Thanks for that, Mrs. Casey. He’s just down the road at Valley View Estates. They’re telling me the stroke left Pop without the use of his right side. Got in last night myself so I haven’t made time to see him yet.” Not that he was in any spit-storm rush to go see his father, but Mrs. Casey didn’t need to know that.

Jericho shifted on the bleacher, scanning the stands for Ali. Down the way, he spotted her kid sister Kate sitting with a cute little boy, but no Ali. He pulled off his straw hat, crushed it in his calloused hands then watched as the straw popped back into shape, like a sponge.

Had she seen him? Was she avoiding him? Could he blame her? Nope.

“Is that what brought you home, son?” Mrs. Casey slipped on her glasses and peered at him from over the top of them.

Jericho squirmed. He felt like a fifteen year old again, struggling to remember the chemical formula for salt. “For Pop? Sure. And I completed my tour of duty. And there’s some other…stuff.” A lump formed in the back of his throat as Ali climbed the steps and sauntered towards Kate and the child. She ruffed the boy’s hair. Jericho swallowed hard.

Mrs. Casey raised her eyebrows. “Whatever happened with you and her?”

“Me and Ali?”  He rubbed his clammy palms on the thighs of his jeans.

“In school, why, you two were a matched set. I don’t remember ever seeing one of you without the other around town neither. Then I heard…. Well, listen to me go on about other people’s business.”

I happened.

“Matched set?” He mumbled more to himself than to her.

“Well, whatever you’re here for, I wish you luck, Jericho.”

He lifted his chin. “Thanks. I’ll need a good dose of luck.”

She patted his shoulder again. “You’ll be fine. If I remember right, there isn’t an ounce of quit in your bones.”

Ha. If only Mrs. Casey knew. ‘Cause there was a pretty lady with hair like bottled fire on the other end of the stands that would say ‘quit’ was his middle name.

*          *          *

_______________________________

Jess

When it all becomes real

Last spring, I signed my first novel-length contract with Love Inspired. Soon after that, I had to dive into edits for them which was followed by more edits and reviews and more edits and reviews.

After that, there were months of waiting. Did they like it? Was this for real?

Then today an email fluttered into my inbox that stopped me dead in my tracks: My cover art!

That’s when it all became real. Soon, very soon, there will be a book in my hands with my name on it. Not a book I share with anyone else like I have in my prior publications–this one is all mine.

Many authors talk about either loving or hating their cover art. See, as an author you don’t get much say as to what will be on your cover. I have author friends who have covers with characters on them that have the wrong hair and eye color. Wrong age. Or a scene that never occurs in the book.

So my hand hovered over the mouse. Should I look at my cover? Um, yes, absolutely!

And……I’m in love. It’s beautiful. The art department at Love Inspired hit this design out of the ball park! The house is exactly as I imagined down to the steps going up to the porch and the wide porch with chairs on the deck. Uncut grass in the fields and horses (the right color horses mind you!) in the pasture. The Bitterroot Mountians rising in the background are stunning and hopeful. And the colors take my breath away. I want to move there…today. That, and I want to know how those artists got into my head?!

So here it is friends. The cover we’ve been dreaming about since last April.

What do you think???

Here’s the awesome backcover copy that the team at Love Inspired wrote:

_____________________________________________________

“I made a promise to protect you.”

But pregnant Ali Silver’s husband broke his vow and walked away from her. After being injured in combat, Jericho has finally come home to Bitterroot Valley to make peace with his father and regain Ali’s trust. But the single mom’s keeping secrets of her own. And someone’s killing off Ali’s cattle and sabotaging her horse therapy business. Jericho will do whatever it takes to protect his wife and be a real father to his son. Because when it comes to love and second chances, he’s one determined cowboy.

_____________________________________________________

If that wasn’t enough, I have even more exciting news. Home for Good is now up on Amazon.com for preorder! You can go to Amazon and type in Jessica Keller and it’s the first option that pops up. That or you can click here and you’ll go right to it!

Thank you everyone for celebrating with me! This is truly an amazing day.