Thankful Author Blog Roundup
Featuring Jana Richards
What I'm grateful for?
Definitely for my family. My husband and my two daughters mean everything to me. I’m grateful for good health. I have a few aches and pains, but all in all, nothing worth complaining about. And I’m grateful to be living in a country (Canada) where I’m free to pursue any career I want, I can voice my opinions without fear, and I can live in peace.
Welcome Jana, tell me three words that describe yourself starting with A, B, and C.
This is way harder than it looks! I came up with the following:
A – affectionate because I think I’m a warm, friendly, caring person. At least I like to think so!
B – buoyant because I’m resilient and flexible. I think you’ve got to be in the business of publishing.
C – conscientious because I’m hard-working, dependable and honest. That’s probably way more than you wanted to know, but I’m sticking with it!
What are your three favorite things?
Coffee, warm, sunny days, and my dog Lou.
How much is your character like you?
My character Dani, from ALWAYS A BRIDESMAID, is like me in that she struggles with self-image. Both of us have weight issues, and both of us use humor to cover our feelings. I also made her a loyal friend, and a loving daughter and sister; I hope I share that with her. Dani is also very different from me in that she took some drastic measures to change the way she looks, something I’ve never considered doing. In that way, I think she’s stronger and more determined than me! Here’s the blurb for ALWAYS A BRIDESMAID:
Dani Dipietro has always considered herself an ugly duckling in a family of swans. She's the bridesmaid her friends count on, but never the woman any man wants for his bride. So she plays the funny girl and guards her emotions, and her secrets, closely.
When Zach Morrison was dumped at his wedding, Dani was there to help him through the humiliation. A year later they meet again and once more Zach needs her help. To fend off the unwanted attentions of his former fiancé, he asks Dani to pretend to be his girlfriend. They play their roles a little too well, and make believe turns into reality. But their relationship comes crashing down around them when Zach's trust issues cause him to accuse Dani of cheating. Telling the truth means that Dani will betray a friend, something she will never do. But keeping her secrets means she may be destined to remain a bridesmaid forever.
Will there be more books in your series, or can you tell us about any previous books?
ALWAYS A BRIDESMAID is the third and final book in my Left at the Altar series. Each book begins with someone being left at the altar, and follows their journey back to love. I know that doesn’t sound like humorous material, but the books combine some laughs with the painful moments.
HER BEST MAN: Sarah Stevens experiences a bride's worst nightmare; being dumped at the altar. When she goes on the Caribbean cruise meant to be her honeymoon in order to lick her wounds, she discovers her ex-fiancé has sent his brother, Will Marshall, the former best man, on the cruise as well. Everyone on board thinks they're newlyweds, and Sarah is too embarrassed to set them straight. How is she supposed to share a tiny cabin with a man she barely knows? How is she supposed to pretend that she and Will are on their honeymoon? Even worse, how can she keep from falling in love with him? Sarah discovers the best man for her really is the best man.
THERE GOES THE GROOM: Eight years ago Tony left Olivia at the altar. He was sure she didn't really want to marry him. Now he's back, and they're forced to work together.
Coming home isn't easy for Tony, because his father wanted him to work at a trade instead of going off to college. Their relationship is still unsteady. Even before Tony's return, Olivia began questioning the depth of her love for her fiancé, a man she chose because he was safe and reliable. Yet, the last thing she wants is a loveless, faithless marriage like the one her parents suffered through.
When Tony, who never stopped loving her, insists her fiancé is the wrong man for her, Olivia sets out to prove him wrong. But the sexual chemistry between them is still strong, and so are her feelings for him. Even so, how can she break her engagement, hurt her fiancé as she was once hurt? And how can she trust Tony not to abandon her as he did before?
If anyone does the jilting this time, she will.
Uncial Press: https://www.uncialpress.com/There-Goes-the-Groom.html
Was there any particular inspiration for your characters or story?
Years ago, someone told me a story about a wedding his friend went to. Everyone was gathered in the church for the ceremony when the groom suddenly called a halt to the proceedings and said there would be no wedding. He told them if they looked under the pews they’d discover the reason why. And then he left. When my friend’s friend looked under his seat, he found an envelope taped there containing pictures of the bride and the best man in bed together. Though my friend’s friend swore the story was true, I’ve always had my doubts about its veracity. But the writer in me wanted to use it in some way!
I started thinking about what it would be like to be dumped at the altar. I can only imagine the heartache and humiliation. Some research showed me that broken engagements are not uncommon. Infidelity might be the cause in some cases, but fear of commitment is the more common reason. One partner may get cold feet and decide they aren’t ready for marriage, at least not to their current partner. Most of the time, the breakup happens well before the day of the wedding, but I wanted to explore the emotions and the humiliation of someone who’s been dumped at the very last minute. How do they learn to trust again? Could they ever find their way back to love? It was fun, and at times heart-wrenching, to write this series.
Thanks for having me Angela!
The door swung open, and for a moment Dani could only stare. Zach Morrison stood holding the door and looking even more handsome then he had a year ago. She’d learned from Fiona that he’d be here, that they’d be paired together in the wedding party. But even though he’d had a starring role in her fantasies for the last year, she hadn’t expected her insides to go all mushy at the sight of him.
Finally, she remembered her manners and held out her hand. “It’s nice to see you again, Zach.”
He took her hand and held it tightly. “It’s nice to see you, too. In fact, I’m really glad you’re here.”
Her mouth went instantly dry. “You are?”
“Yeah.” He squeezed her fingers, the look on his face intense. “I know we don’t know each other well, but I have a favor I need to ask you. A really big favor.”
“Okay.” She couldn’t imagine what kind of favor he’d want from her. “Why don’t I come inside and you can tell me about it.”
He looked furtively over his shoulder. “I haven’t forgotten your kindness when I saw you last. My mother told me how considerate you were to her and Camp as well. Thank you.”
“You’re welcome. But I really didn’t do anything.” Her heart pounded so hard she was sure he could hear it.
“It meant a lot to me. Listen, there’s not much time. I wanted to ask you–”
“Zach! Who’s at the door?”
Dani started. She knew that voice. Chantal.
Zach visibly shuddered at the demanding tone in his ex-fiancé’s voice. His blue eyes implored her.
“Please, play along with me. I’ll make it worth your while.”
“Daniella, help me, please!” he whispered.
How could she say no to a handsome man asking for her help?
Before she could articulate a question, he pulled her into his arms, his mouth descending on hers. Dani was too shocked to object. For a full ten seconds she remained rigid and unyielding. Then she relaxed slightly, sighing at the sweet sensation of his lips touching hers. Her hands seemed to move on their own accord, first exploring his muscular chest, then winding around his neck. Her body trembled as it molded itself against his.
“Dani? Is that you?”
Chantal’s voice doused the pleasant awareness. She stepped back with a jolt, shocked that she’d been so intimate with someone she hardly knew. She cringed. And in front of an audience, too.
Zach put his arm around her waist, pulling her against him and kissing her cheek. “Just follow my lead. Please,” he whispered urgently in her ear. Dani looked up into his eyes and saw his desperation. Without thinking, she gave an imperceptible nod. He grinned and turned to face Chantal.
“I was just saying hello to Daniella.”
Chantal looked her up and down. “Since when do you say hello to Dani by sticking your tongue down her throat?”
Social media links:
Amazon Author Page: