Welcome to JBR. Today we have Dana Roquet with us.
We are having a give away going on for April. What item are you giving away? (Anyone can win the item by going to the rafflecopter on the right hand side of the pg.)
I will give away(one) copy of my ebook 3 book set of my Heritage Time Travel Romance series which includes Book #1 Out of the Past, Book #2 Into the Future, Book #3 Forevermore
First why don't you tell us a little about yourself?
I live in Iowa and have two daughters and four grandchildren which take a lot of my time. I have a day job and write in my spare time. I also enjoy genealogy and spend time collecting the stories of my family and photographs of generations past. As for my writing, I am currently working on three books. One historical romance which is a sequel to Love’s Vengeance, a civil war romance and a new adult romance.
Forevermore, book #3 and the finale of the time travel adventure of Dave Cameron and his lovely wife, historical romance author Torie Mills Cameron.
What can we expect from your stories, action, drama, romance, sex, blood and guts?
I am not a blood and guts fan but surprisingly my stories do have some (not a lot) of both. My first story Love’s Vengeance is a historical romance and has complex dialogue with lots of drama and is an old world style of writing. Sex—yes and romance definitely. I wanted a hero who loves his leading lady and says and does all those things that most historical romances don’t allow him to say or do because the story world be over. There is romance throughout the story, not always waiting for it to begin.
In my Heritage Time Travel Romance Series the setting is contemporary and much simpler language. I enjoy a good sex scene but I don’t want that to be the story in anything I write. My time travel adventure is complex and spans hundreds of years and has scores of characters and stories within one. Torie Mills and Dave Cameron have a passion for history and family; you feel the emotion they feel for all those they encounter in their travels.
Do you have a favorite character in your stories? Who? and Why?
I love all the men that I create. Stephen and Timothy from Love’s Vengeance; Dave Cameron and Jeff Allman from my time travel series. Being a woman and a romantic, it is a challenge to create men~~men that are not cheesy or overly sensitive and girlie, masculine without being over the top.
Give us an interesting fun fact or a few about your book or series:
So many interesting things about the Heritage Time Travel Series~~first of all, I created two versions. The steamy original and a PG-13 version with limited sexual content and readers seem to appreciate having a choice. The series is popular with genealogical societies in Iowa and small bookstores and libraries. They appreciate the tamer version. Personally I like the steamy original ;-)
In this time travel series, many of the places that the characters inhabit are real places. Many of the people they encounter are real people. I called and wrote to many real people to get their permission to appear in the book and have cameos, especially in book #1 Out of the Past. Internationally famous cover model Jimmy Thomas who has been on over 4000 covers and happens to be the male model on the cover of each book of the series. My hero Dave Cameron happens to look surprisingly like Jimmy and that fact is a funny thread throughout the story. Most importantly, Jimmy Thomas appears in the story and has a cameo appearance as himself, which is a very unique twist.
Local bands agree to be in in the story and are featured and share scenes with my imaginary characters; businesses, such as the bar Stevie C’s in Grimes, Iowa and the owner Stevie agreed to let me fictionalize his establishment and transplant it to downtown Fremont and into my story. Bill the barber, who lives in Fremont, Iowa, was the real barber in Fremont for 40 years and gave me permission to write him into a chapter. In the chapter, Torie spends with Bill and is based on my first trip to Fremont and the time I spent with him. He still remembered me coming into his barber shop, many years ago. He is the old sage and keeper of the stories of Fremont. The downtown Fremont is fictional. It is actually downtown Grimes, Iowa~~again picked up and transplanted sixty miles to be inhabited by my fictional characters. Reality amid the fiction is big~~even my own sister Julie Demuesy and her husband Paul have a cameo in the story as themselves when Torie travels to visit her sister Sarah, who lives and works at Julie’s real life horse rescue in Colorado. My sister had a hard time wrapping her head around that.
All the covers are my own design. On Out of the Past, the old photograph on the front is actually my own family photo and is three generations of my grandparents. The photo on the back cover of the paperback is another shot of the same house that was located in Fremont. On the cover of Into the Future I used my friend’s house which is located in Minnesota. For the purpose of the cover it is supposed to represent Dave Cameron’s house in Fremont. The photo on the back of the paperback version is a headstone located in a cemetery in Corydon, Iowa which I saw while roaming amid the graves. I loved it, so photographed it. It fit perfectly to represent the headstone for the young cancer victim and character Claire. On Forevermore, the old photo on the back cover of the paperback is my great-grand aunt representing the little girl Coyle, and in the back pages of the paperback version of Forevermore are a collection of photos of family and the characters of the book they represented, which was great fun to include as a little special extra for paperback purchasers.
Have there been any other authors who have inspired your work or helped you out with your stories?
When I wrote my first story Love’s Vengeance, Kathleen E Woodiwiss was my favorite author and my style of writing was very much influenced by her. My first born daughter was even named after my favorite KEW book, Shanna.
What can readers who enjoy your book do to help make it successful?
Word of mouth is the biggest help to any author. No amount of exposure will make a book a successful. It is readers telling others. Reviews are always helpful and I live for a nice review.
Do you have any tips for readers or advice for other writers trying to get published?
Writers, don’t waste your time knocking on the door of big publishers because for the most part they aren’t interested. If you have stories to tell, study up and self-publish a good product. It is a lot of work but so worth it. I love the entire process, especially designing the covers. I decide on them myself and then have a professional cover designer create them.
Do you have a favorite author? If yes, what draws you to that person’s work?
I am addicted to books on audio (all of mine are available on audio and Forevermore is currently in production). Audio books~~the longer the better and so I am currently listening to the Outlander series. I had never read any time travel books. Now that I have written a time travel series it is interesting to see how another author thinks time travel works. Completely different concept as far as the time travel rules and world compared to what I created for my series.
Can you remember one of the first things you wrote? What makes it memorable?
The first story I wrote was for ninth grade English. It was the story of the death of my little sister’s horse when we were young. It was a very heart-wrenching experience and so was the story, because it was the true. We were so little and it was the dead of winter and we had to trudge through thigh high snow and across acres of pastureland to find her body. We finally found her, with her best friend Butterscotch standing nearby. My teacher told me that I had a gift for writing. It was one of the most special and important bits of praise I received in my younger life. It was my first real story with setting scenes, describing landscapes and people, and my first time writing dialogue.
Where do you gather most of the inspiration for your work?
My life. Write what you know. Many of the characters in my time travel series are bits and pieces of me. Brian Mars is based on my uncle Billy and my x-husbands personal battles against cancer. Mindy is based on my best friend growing up. Nearly all of the time travel episodes are based on true stories that I found in ancient newspapers clippings.
Do you have any other interesting hobbies, pets or stories you would like to share?
I am huge into genealogy and have received my Daughters of the American Revolution certification. Four of my great grandfathers fought in the war. During my research I discovered that my great-great grandmother’s death certificate was completely wrong information and I had to provide proof to get her death certificate amended by the state. It was grueling work, gathering evidence for someone who has been dead over one hundred years. Thankfully she was from a family that had a large presence and I was able to find references to her in history books and such and succeeded in having the death certificate amended.
Also I have spent a lot of time caring for feral cat colonies which involves trapping the cats to be neutered and spayed. They are then returned to the colony and caregivers (such as me) provide food, water and shelter, so that stray cats can live a quality life on the streets, on their own. It is rewarding work and because they are wild animals and don’t want to be house pets, it is almost like having a wildlife adventure. I once arrived to find a huge deer at the feral cat compound snooping around. It bolted when it saw my car and nothing funnier than to see a dozen cats take off chasing a deer across an open field. Also to have thirty cats recognize my vehicle and come running for dinner is a pretty amazing sight.
Favorite places to travel or visit?
Rome Italy was the most beautiful place I have ever been to and my very favorite. Rich in history and there is never a dull moment. Second would be Switzerland, although everyplace is either climbing up or down a hill or mountain of some sort when you are there.
And now, before you go, how about a snippet from your book that is meant to intrigue and tantalize us:( Include links to were we can find your work)
How about a tiny taste of Forevermore and a little peek at one of my yummy hero Dave’s many interesting time travels. In this scene he has time traveled (warped) and is inhabiting a 15 year old boy back in the year 1911. Never knowing where they will end up, my time travelers are often just trying to figure out what is going on and fit in. Also~~this chapter is based on a true story of a distant cousin of mine.
“Thomas, let me have it,” demanded a dark-haired boy of about fifteen.
“James, wait a minute,” Thomas snapped. He spun the cylinder of the revolver and added another round, then handed off the box of ammo to me. “Lester, hold this.”
I stood beside the two on the sidewalk of downtown Fremont outside a storefront. A banner across the front of the brick building read Hardware & Mercantile.
It was always a pain to arrive in the middle of a warp and be with a bunch of people. I had no idea what was going on or who I was. There was a glass window so I was able to get a look at myself and saw that I was also a kid of probably the same age. I had light-blond hair and was tall and thin. I wore a plain white cotton shirt and suspenders holding up my early style of blue jeans.
I closed the box of ammo and looked about the street. It appeared to be midday and quite a few people were strolling along the sidewalks. The weather was warm and I decided it was probably early summertime. I could hear what sounded to be most likely a hammer against an anvil from the livery across the street and watched as a Ford Model T chugged past us on the dusty dirt road.
I looked back to the boys to see the one called Thomas cupping his hand around his eyes to block the glare of the sunshine as he looked through the plate-glass window.
“Here he comes,” he said.
A fourth boy yanked open one of the double doors to the store and came out carrying a leather holster and the packaging from the gun tucked under one arm.
“Aaron, let me see it,” Thomas ordered. I got the feeling that this kid Thomas was the ring leader of this group although Aaron appeared to be the oldest of the four.
“Here,” Thomas said to the boy James, handing him the gun. It looked to be a Colt six-shooter, the kind that every TV and movie viewer would later associate with cowboys and the Wild West. I didn’t know what year I was currently in but by the surroundings and style of our clothing I would guess probably 1910 or so considering there were only one or two other Model T car’s along Main Street. Mostly horses and buggies were lined up along the road as people went about their business.
“Thomas, it isn’t yours, you know,” Aaron barked as he handed the younger boy the holster, then continued reading a small pamphlet he had in hand. He held out the empty wooden gun case toward me. “Lester, hold this.”
I took the case and noticed the Colt emblem burnt into the lid of the box before I tucked it under my arm while I watched Thomas trying to strap the holster around his hips. It was fancy tooled leather and there were brass rivets decorating the belt.
“Hand it over,” Thomas said to James and he reached for the gun.
It happened in an instant. As the boy James held out the gun to Thomas, it slipped from his hands. As both boys grabbed for it, it discharged and all the boys jumped, as did I.
“Damn it!” Thomas barked.
“Oh, shit!” I shrieked, my voice cracking. I looked down at my crotch to see a stain of bright red spreading across the front of my pants. Dropping the gun and ammo boxes, I bent over, reaching down to grab my dick. To say the pain was excruciating doesn’t even start to describe it. I couldn’t catch my breath. A searing burn radiated from my groin all the way up to the left side of my waist.
“Jesus Christ!” I gasped. My hands were already smeared with blood. It dripped down my pants and from between my fingers, spotting the ground below me. I began to stumble, swaying unsteadily on my feet and I could tell I was going to pass out. Thomas slammed the gun into the holster and grabbed my arm just before I did a face-plant right onto the concrete sidewalk.
“I’ll go see if Doc Meythaler is in his office!” Aaron shouted, dashing down the street.
Thanks for coming and visiting with us. Hope to see you again here on Julies Book Review.
Julie Ramsey & Theresa Needham Fehse
And the Review team