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Thursday, December 30, 2010

Free For All Friday! Meet Author A J Nuest!!

Welcome! Today we're talking with Wild Rose Press author, AJ Nuest! Her first novel with TWRP is JEZEBEL'S WISH, a contemporary romance will be out April 15th, 2011 -- so you have something to spend your tax refund on;)
AJ's website is under construction right now -- hope she's got some hot guys in hardhats doing the work;) -- but please visit AJ's blog: http://www.ajbooks.blogspot.com/

Meanwhile, here's a little teaser from JEZEBEL'S WISH:

Haunted by nightmares, tormented by guilt, Jezebel came to Redemption Ranch to escape the past—except now she's stuck in the middle of nowhere with no redemption in sight. When her mother pushes her into riding lessons with local veterinarian Matthias Saunders, Jezebel balks. Sure, the doctor is gorgeous, but he’s completely obnoxious and knows how to push every one of her buttons.

Only her deep connection with The Reverend, a gentle stallion who guards her darkest secrets, has her agreeing to spend any more time with Dr. Saunders. Caring for the stallion is the first bright spot in her life in months, and if being around the horse means she has to deal with Matthias Saunders, then so be it. Surely a city girl like her can handle one country vet—even one with disturbing blue eyes. Can't she?
 Excerpt:

Jezzy stopped. “I thought I was having a riding lesson.”
“You are.” He nodded toward the empty paddock. “Go in.”
“Go in?” Jezzy propped a hand on her hip. “You sure you know what you’re doing? Because it was my understanding that an actual horse is needed for a riding lesson.”
“Don’t you think it would be wise at this juncture to leave the understanding up to the professionals?”
Jezzy rolled her eyes. “You’re making this way too easy. Professionals? Please. Don’t get me started.”
“Why not? Getting you started is exactly what I’m here for.”
Jezzy’s jaw dropped. She didn’t quite know how to interpret that remark.
He held out the rope. “Now go in. And take this lead line with you.”
Steely blue determination glinted in his eyes. There was no way he was going to give in.
Jezzy snatched the lead line from his hand and stormed through the gate, then turned when he closed it behind her.
He put a foot on the bottom railing and rested against the gate, facing the horizon. “Take the chair to the center of the paddock and sit down.”
“And just exactly how is that supposed to teach me to ride?”
He cocked an eyebrow. “You want out of the deal?”
Jezzy’s fist clenched tight around the lead line. What she wanted was to march back to the fence and smack his face.

**
Sounds like a great read, AJ. I can't wait until April. I hope you'll come back and be my guest then.  :)
And now, here's a great article AJ has penned for those of us contemplating our New Year's resolution.

Are You Gaining From Your Gaps?

Happy New Year! Please pause from your goal setting and story plotting, and collectively raise your glass to toast the places we’ve reached in our writing careers, thus far. Congratulations to all of us for the great strides we’ve taken in 2010!
If you’re anything like me, the week between Christmas and the New Year is a time to reflect. I look at the changes in my children and shake my head in wonder. I study the laugh lines near my eyes and try to figure out where in the world the time has gone. I ponder all the things I had hoped to accomplish over the past twelve months, sigh, and then add them once again to my ever-growing list of resolutions for the upcoming year.
This will be the year I finally secure an agent. I will stop being so persnickety about my website, quit procrastinating and get it up and running, already. I will write that NYTimes Best Seller I have waiting inside to touch the hearts and minds of millions (and in the process present my husband the opportunity to get that private pilot’s license he’s always dreamed of having). I will be a more attentive wife and have endless patience with my children (no more shouting). I will pray daily and let go all those little things I’m quite aware I have no control over. I will be a better friend, a better listener, a devoted daughter and sister. I will become more involved in my community, get more exercise and finally lose those pesky ten pounds I’ve been carrying around the last fifteen years.
I will bask in my victories, and even more importantly, I will gain from my gaps–those ever-elusive spaces between reaching my ultimate goal, and the times when I fall short.
A writer’s path to publication is a perilous journey fraught with flat tires and muddy potholes. In fact, (and feel free to correct me if I’m wrong), I can’t think of one other industry where a person hands off a “finished” product to another, just so that product can be judged and told it’s unworthy, actually NOT finished, or even worse yet, belongs in the wastebasket. During the submission process, the achievement of our goals are ultimately left in another’s hands, and then usually followed by a rejection letter, or constructive criticism, or even the occasional downright rude comment–all obstacles thrown in the path of our goals.
I faced many of these “gaps” during the past year, but the important thing is the distance I gained in the process. And trust me, I know how hard it is to set aside the tissue box and step back from the third “not at this time” letter in order to dissect the information and take away something of value.
For me, 2010 contained a deep learning curve. And based on the many articles I’ve read regarding the future of e-books, self-publishing, shrinkage of stand-alone book sellers and the dynamically changing market, I’ll learn many new things this next year, as well. But I’ll stay focused and keep hitting the keys, because that’s where my passion lies.
Will I reach all my goals for 2011? Gosh, I sure hope so. But either way, what I learn from my gaps along the way is what’s important. I need to remember that not every step I take will ultimately end in success…well, at least not the first time, but as long as I keep moving forward I’ll eventually get there.
So, as I sit down with pen in hand to make a list of my goals for the upcoming year, I draw a line down the center of the page and make a list of my gaps, as well. I mark a little asterisk beside each and ask myself what I learned, and how I can shorten that gap in 2011. Then even more importantly, I measure the width of that gap since 2009, recognize how much I’ve gained, and realize that I’m closer now than I was before. I celebrate the distance I’ve traveled, the shortening of my gap, and see tangible proof that success is nearer at hand.   
I would challenge each of us to make a record of our gaps in 2011. But not so we can wallow in them. So we can use them to our advantage. Whether personally or professionally, these gaps can help motivate, educate, and springboard each of us toward a more successful life.
So, what have you recently gained from your gaps?

6 comments:

  1. Nice to meet you AJ! I wish you all the best, and I like your outlook. If we remember where we were when we started on our writing journey, and how far we've come then we can measure our sucess so much easier. I, like you, have many of those goals and know that things happen when they're supposed to. Sometimes the path we travel ends up at a slightly different destination, but I believe the journey is worth it. Best of luck to you for the new year!

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  2. Hi Kellie! Thanks so much for stopping by on New Year's Eve. One of the best things in the journey is sharing it with such wonderfully supportive authors. 2011 is sure to be a break out year for many of us! AJ

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  3. I sure hope so AJ! If you're planning to attend the conference in New York, I hope to meet you!

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  4. I don't think I'll be able to make it this year. Unless sales take off at a break neck pace. We can all hope, right? Regardless, wonderful meeting you on Jennifer's blog!

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  5. Hi AJ,
    Nice to meet you on Jen's blog. I like your New Year's reflections--and those gaps you mentioned. That's when life does happen. I heard a comment once--I wish I could recall where--(maybe in a song :) that--life is what happens when you're busy making other plans. So while we're trying all the various techniques to write and sell, those 'gaps' you talk about include the pieces of life we have to face. I want to make sure I enjoy all the steps along the way--now if I can just keep that in mind through the 'gaps,' I'll be better off!

    Good luck with this book and the NYT bestseller of your heart that will be coming soon.

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  6. Hi Barbara, Thanks so much for stopping by and the great words of advice. You are so right about life happening in the gaps. I wish I would have thought of that for the blog! Your support is much appreciated. AJ

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