Contemporary romance

Dress Up Dress Down with @JanaRichards_ #MFRWAuthor #romance

Please join me in welcoming Jana Richards to the Living After Midnight blog! Jana, so glad to meet you! Tell us about your book, ONE MORE SECOND CHANCE. ***********

My heroine,Julia Stewart in my contemporary romance, is a high school principal. Most of the time she doesn’t think much about her clothes. Her work uniform is “business casual”; not quite jeans but not expensive dress clothes either. As a single mother, she doesn’t have a lot of money to spend on her wardrobe, even if she did have time to shop. Away from work, she wears jeans, t-shirts, shorts, and occasionally her softball uniform.

But there are occasions when she has to dress to impress. In this scene, Julia is attending a town meeting which has been called to discuss her proposal to include a day care for the children of students at the high school. After facing some controversy, she’s trying to convince townspeople of the merits of her idea. She’s also trying to convince them that she’s still the best person to teach their children and head the high school:

On the evening of the public meeting, Julia dressed carefully, selecting a conservative gray suit, a buttoned-down white blouse, and modest black heels. She kept her makeup to a minimum and her hair in a simple low ponytail, going for a look she hoped projected professionalism and respectability.

But Julia’s wardrobe isn’t all bland. In this scene, my hero Alex Campbell describes her appearance:

The word “pretty” hardly expressed how Julia looked tonight. Gorgeous, sexy, delicious, sprang immediately to mind. Her pale blonde hair gleamed under the stage lights. She wore a sleeveless blue and white print dress that hugged her curves and ended several inches above her knees to show off shapely, toned legs. High-heeled sandals accentuated her well-formed calves. For a petite woman, she had legs that went on for miles.

Julia Stewart is like many working mothers – busy, and dedicated to her family, her job and her community. Her wardrobe is often an afterthought. But when the occasion requires, she can use her clothing to portray the image she wishes to project.

I’m currently giving away a print copy of ONE MORE SECOND CHANCE at Goodreads. For your chance to win, please enter my contest here.

I’m also participating in The Wild Rose Press authors Summer Treats Blog Hop. There are many prizes to be won. Please stop by!

perf5.000x8.000.inddExcerpt from ONE MORE SECOND CHANCE:

Alex warmed the teapot with a bit of water from the kettle, swirling it for a moment before emptying it in the sink. Then he placed a couple of spoonfuls of loose tea into the pot and filled it with hot water, letting it steep while he brought teacups and milk and sugar to the table. Julia was comforted by the little ritual that reminded her so much of her grandmother and her mother. After bringing the teapot to the table, along with a strainer to catch the loose tea, he sat across from Julia. “Tell me what happened with your parents.” He poured her tea, and Julia wrapped her hands around the cup, savoring the warmth. “My mother remembered nothing about talking to you or being outside in the middle of the night, and my father said she was sleepwalking. When I tried to tell him that we should take Mom to have her checked by a doctor, he became very agitated, so I dropped it. I was afraid he was going to get sick again. I don’t know what to do.” “I’m no expert in this area either, but I understand it’s not unusual for a spouse of an Alzheimer’s patient to deny the symptoms. I’ll talk to the hospital social worker tomorrow and have her get in touch with you. Maybe she’s got some ideas.” “Okay.” Relief flowed through her. At least she wouldn’t have to face this problem on her own. They drank their tea in silence, but the silence didn’t feel awkward. Julia felt soothed, the stress slowly leaving her body. Perhaps her grandmother had been onto something. The tea seemed to be working. She finished the last of it and set down the cup. “I should be going. I left Ava with Tracy, and she’s probably hungry by now.” Julia got to her feet and headed to the front door, with Alex following her. “Thanks for the tea, and for listening. I guess I needed both today.” “Anytime. Seriously, Julia, anytime you need to talk, about anything, give me a call.” She wondered if he was speaking as a doctor, as a friend, or as a man. Which one did she want him to be? “Thank you.” “I’ll try to keep an eye out for your folks, see if there’s anything I can do for them.” She was touched by his offer. “I really appreciate that, but I know how busy you are.” He waved away her concern. “It’s no big deal. I appreciate my grandmother’s neighbors checking in on her, and I’d be happy to do the same.” He really did understand how she felt. “In that case, thank you.” She opened the front door and stepped outside. Turning to Alex, she smiled. His thick hair had begun to dry, and the dark strands gleamed in the spring sunshine. Her breath caught in her throat at his beauty. “Bye, Alex.” “Bye. Take care.” Julia hurried down the steps and across the lawn to her car. An appreciation for his looks was as far she could take any relationship with him. Her life was too complicated, too full already. And she would never get involved with a man who planned to leave Lobster Cove in only a few more months.

Jana Richards’ Bio:

When Jana Richards read her first romance novel, she immediately knew two things: she had to _MG_7506email-Jana Richardscommit the stories running through her head to paper, and they had to end with a happily ever after. She also knew she’d found what she was meant to do. Since then she’s never met a romance genre she didn’t like. She writes contemporary romance, romantic suspense, and historical romance set in World War Two, in lengths ranging from short story to full length novel. Just for fun, she throws in generous helpings of humor, and the occasional dash of the paranormal. Her paranormal romantic suspense “Seeing Things” was a 2008 EPPIE finalist.

In her life away from writing, Jana is an accountant/admin assistant, a mother to two grown daughters, and a wife to her husband Warren. She enjoys golf, yoga, movies, concerts, travel and reading, not necessarily in that order. She and her husband live in Winnipeg, Canada with their Pug/Terrier cross Lou and several unnamed goldfish. She loves to hear from readers and can be reached through her website at

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#EggscerptExchange:Linda Nightingale

eggsAuthors from all over the world are celebrating the season by guesting on each other's blogs--an Eggcerpt Exchange. Please join me in welcoming award-winning author, Linda Nightingale and learn about her book, GAMBLER'S CHOICE.

image English aristocrat gand a Virginia socialite go head-to-head—and feet-to-feet—in a battle for ownership of a very special horse.


Becca McQuaid came to England to find the perfect horse but instead met a darkly mysterious challenge in Austen Heath, Baron of Hampton. She’s determined to buy Austen’s stallion Gambler’s Choice. He’s determined not to sell, but the rivals are thrown together by an accident that leaves Austen with a broken leg and the threat he’ll never ride again.

Austen Heath has the title, heritage and manor house…but not the fortune. Becca is wealthy. Her charms are irresistible, but he believes she’s shopping for a Ladyship to go with her money. He has another reason to hold the sexy blonde at arms’ length—the unexplained disappearance of an old friend everyone thinks was his lover. When her body is discovered on his property, he becomes a suspect in her murder.


Rebecca McQuaid was in England for one reason.

To find the perfect match.

Size was important. Becca was a tall girl. Money was of no consequence whatsoever. Becca was a wealthy girl. Heart mattered most. He must have the heart to go the distance. She dreamed of a partnership that would last a lifetime. But looks did rank quite high on her list of

“I simply can’t ride an ugly horse. That would be like dating an ugly man.” Tossing her long blonde hair over her shoulder, she laughed and winked at her friend.

Meg shot her a frown, her tone accusing Becca of being an uncivilized colonist. “Rebecca McQuaid, you say the damnedest things.”

An appreciative chuckle turned her around to squint into the sun. A tall, elegant shadow of a man on a magnificent horse caught her imagination mid-stride. She couldn’t see the rider’s face, but she knew he’d overheard the exchange with her friend. He saluted her with a tap of his whip to the brim of his hat as he rode past. Excitement capered over her, and she smiled. The horse’s muscled, rump glistened. The stallion was sixteen-two hands, fit and impeccably groomed.

“Nice buns. That one’s good-looking enough for me.” She elbowed her friend. “Who is it?”

Meg shaded her eyes. “Gambler’s Choice and Austen Heath. Both horse and rider satisfy your criteria, my dear girl.”

“The horse is handsome.” She wished she had gotten a better look at the bay, but he was a mahogany blaze in the morning sun. “Are you telling me the rider is?”

“That’s the general consensus, but Austen hides in that rambling, dark mansion of his.” Meg studied the pair picking up a trot along the arena. “Fierce competitors. Hard to beat at Intermediate. We’ll see how they handle Advanced.”

“An Advanced horse?” Becca wriggled her shoulders. “I’m in the market.”

“Look elsewhere.” Meg’s finger jutted at Becca’s nose. “Austen won’t sell Gambler for love or money. Guaranteed. Not even for the kind of money you’re willing to spend.”

“Meggie.” She linked arms with her friend. “Everything has a price.”

Meg balked like a donkey. “You’re in a different world, princess.”

“Well, not everything. Love doesn’t have a price.” Pain wrenched her heart as a memory of the breakup with Daniel flashed through her mind. The hurt was too fresh to even think of another man. “But I’m not in the market for love.”

imageAbout Linda:

Born in South Carolina, Linda has lived in England, Canada, Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, Atlanta and Houston. She’s seen a lot of this country from the windshield of a truck pulling a horse trailer, having bred, trained and showed Andalusian horses for many years.

Linda has won several writing awards, including the Georgia Romance Writers Magnolia Award. She is the mother of two wonderful sons, a retired legal assistant, member of the Houston Symphony League, and enjoys events with her car club. Among her favorite things are her snazzy black convertible and her parlor grand piano. She loves to dress up and host formal dinner parties.



Web Site: – Visit and look around. There’s a free continuing vampire story.

Blog: - Lots of interesting guests & prizes



Austen, please tell us a little about yourself!

Nickname: Austen is difficult to shorten. As luck would have it, no nickname from childhood stuck. Once upon a time, I was called Pooh Bear by my mother. Can you imagine a 3-Day Eventer called Pooh Bear? Currently residing in.. Somerset, England in my country estate though Virginia with its spirited fillies sounds quite nice Favorite type of pet – One of my best friends is a Mastiff named Dane. The other is Gambler’s Choice, a handsome bay stallion., Neither are pets, per se. Most important goal – To be the top of my sport and a renowned horseman. Wealthy, poor, or somewhere in between? I’m the Baron of Hampton. I have the manor, the title but not the fortune. I am not destitute but it costs a lot to keep up Hampton Hall, and for now my dreams of sports fame must languish in the wings. Secret desire or fantasy – To find the woman I love, settle down, and sire the heir to the barony. Book Video: Gambler's Choice