Thursday, April 14, 2011

SPECIAL Free for All Friday !!! JEZEBEL'S WISH Release :)

Please welcome AJ NUEST and her story, JEZEBEL'S WISH! 

I had the pleasure of getting to know AJ - another talented multi genre author - this year and am thrilled to have her here on her special day. You can learn all about AJ and her writing at her website
But be sure to come back here for a visit AND and chance to win a e-copy of JEZEBEL'S WISH!  Leave a comment to be entered the drawing.

Thanks for being here today, AJ! 

1 - Was your road to publication a delightful stroll in the park or a painful jog over hot coals?
 Both. My first manuscript at Wild Rose Press (Jezebel’s Wish) followed the exact steps I hoped for:  query letter, partial submission request (first three chapters), full submission request (completed manuscript), and then a contract offer. Easy as pie. The second, er…not so much.

After completing Jezebel’s Wish, I didn’t submit the manuscript. Don’t ask me why. Suffice to say it was a deeply emotional story for me, and I just needed to step back from it for a bit. Instead, I jumped right into my third story (When Tessa Leaves), and submitted that one instead. As it turns out, the editor asked for a lot of revisions on Tessa, so while I worked on those, I went ahead and submitted Jezebel’s Wish. Wild Rose Press contracted it, and during the editing process on Jezebel, I perfected Tessa, which is now pending a contract offer. But I spent nearly three years getting Tessa this far, so no, not a walk in the park.

2 - If you could travel forward or backward in time, which would it be?
This is a hard question for me. I think backward, because moving forward I envision things moving faster, people getting more and more disconnected from each other. As a writer, that bothers me. I craft stories about love, communication and emotion. I enjoy nothing more than sitting down with a good friend over coffee (or wine) and just talking. Eventually, I think technology will make this a rarity, and that saddens me.

3- Where is your favorite place to write?
Dining room table, kids at school, husband at work, cat sunbathing on the floor, my German short-hair pup has her head balanced on my lap and is snoring while I play with her silky ears.

4- What is most challenging for you to write: Characters, conflict, emotions?
At times, all of the above. But I find the most challenging, and yet most fulfilling thing for me to write is the “funny fight”. I LOVE the funny fight, but sometimes struggle for weeks to get it just right. The turn of a phrase, the way the characters communicate through body language, that subtle undertone of “Wait…what’s really going on here?” I love weaving verbiage through a scene that contradicts body language, so I can show the reader what the fight is about, rather than telling them. After all, even though whoever left the cap off the mayonnaise jar may START the fight, that’s usually not what the fight is about. I also love juxtaposed two-word descriptions:  tragically beautiful, infuriatingly calm, maliciously kind…that sort of thing.   

5- Tell us about your real life romance?
Married for thirteen years to a man I adore, mentally, emotionally and physically. Even when he drives me completely batty and I want to slap him upside the head.

6 - Do you believe in love at first sight?
Since I’m a product of love at first sight, I guess it’s sort of a perquisite for me. The first time my Dad saw my Mom, she was walking down the street as he drove past. He turned to his friend in the passenger seat, and said, “There’s the girl I’m going to marry.” Two years later, he made good on that promise, and now my parents have been married for nearly fifty years.

7- Do you have critique partners?
Yes, and I love them dearly. I would self-combust without my CPs. Right now I have two that I trade chapters with, but I’m always looking for others who may be interested in reading my work. Some CPs have strengths in one area, while others in another. I know one CP will check my technical issues, and another will give me an emotional response. For that reason, I like to get a few reads so I can see which story elements are working and which ones aren’t.

8- Tell us what's next for you.
I have several things in the works. Right now I’m finishing an “edgy inspirational with romantic elements” entitled Flicker, which I must say, has been a life-changing experience for me. This is my first foray into first person POV, and so far, I’ve gotten over-the-top feedback. The first chapter of this manuscript won second place in the Heartland Romance Author’s Show Me the Spark! Contest last year, and was consequently requested by an editor at an inspirational house in Minneapolis. I’m also jotting notes on a Fantasy series, a murder suspense, and sort of a period piece that includes a very intriguing love-triangle. Every time I craft a story, I need to up the ante so I don’t get bored. A good way to do that is to consistently challenge myself with different genres.

9- Complete silence or music/playlist when writing?
Silence is best. However, I can work in pretty much any environment. I also like to soundtrack my manuscripts. Sometimes I listen to a song repeatedly, until I key in on the emotion, then I race to the computer and get those emotions down on paper. Invariably, the song sticks with me through the scene or chapter.

10-Tell us your favorite dessert/food.
Milk chocolate (NOT dark chocolate), except when they mess it up by adding fruit. Who in their right mind would ruin good chocolate my adding orange slices? Ick. Oh, and pizza - pepperoni, black olives and mushrooms, with extra sauce, because then it’s really good the next day too.

11- Describe yourself in 5 words.
Christian. Wife. Mom. Writer. Neat freak.

12- If you had to pick just 1 of your heroes to date, which 1 would it be?
What the heck kind of loaded question is this, Jennifer? How could I ever decide? The gorgeous, long-haired photographer from Paris, with his French accent and short-trimmed goatee? Or maybe the ruggedly shadowed, cerulean-eyed vet who totes around a whopping set of abs? How about the quick-witted philanthropist, both charming and sexy with his sharp sense of humor and smoldering ice-blue gaze? Or maybe the jade-eyed childhood sweetheart, fireman and local hero, who stole my heart from the moment I put him on paper. The answer is none of the above, because love these men as I do, they are all missing one very important thing. They aren’t real. And even though I can’t script his words, I met my real hero thirteen years ago, and I save all my dates for him.   

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?
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.


  1. Congratulations on Jezebel's release AJ! I can't wait to read it!

  2. Great post. Love your answer for which hero you'd pick. I don't think I could pick just one, but that would be a different genre right? Here's hoping for many, many sales!

  3. Thanks, Darlene!! Ready, set, LET THE PROMO BEGIN!! ...I'm already exhausted... *wink*

  4. Good Morning, sweet Telly! I know, right? Like how could I ever choose between all those hot guys. Good thing I've got one of my own. (hee, hee)...

  5. Milk chocolate, no fruit. You're my kind of girl! Good luck with your release!

  6. Just dropping in to say thanks again for being my guest, AJ :)
    Best wishes for MANY sales, my friend!

  7. Great blog ladies!
    AJ love the horse on the cover, right up my alley. I'd buy it for that alone!!
    Good luck and many sales and of course lots of chocolate!

  8. Heather, you crack me up. People need to leave chocolate alone. It's already perfect - messing with it just screws it up! *wink* Thanks for stopping by!

  9. Jen, you know how I feel. I can't thank you enough for all the support and your great friendship. May the sales muse smile down upon us both, babe! Cheers!

  10. Mary, thanks so much for stopping by. I got a whole box of books yesterday! SQUEE! And I do have to say, the cover (both front and back) is GORGEOUS! I couldn't be happier. is good.

  11. I agree with you, AJ. I don't want to go forward in time. Don't really want to go back either, despite mistakes I've made. I just want to enjoy each day as it comes and make the best of it. Jezebel's Wish sounds like a great story!

  12. Hi Lilly! Your comment made me smile, and then pause. You're so right. We should all live in the now, happy with the blessings we have. Thanks for stopping by.

  13. I remember meeting you a while ago on this very blog! Congrats and it sounds like a fabulous book. :)

  14. Hey, that's right, Kellie! How cool to see you again. Thanks so much for stopping by. Jen is AWESOME! Especially those Man Candy Monday - Yowza!

  15. Hey AJ, congrats on your release. It sounds like a great book!

  16. Awesome post, ladies!! LOVED the questions AND answers (you always make me smile, AJ...and spit coffee on my computer screen) and, personally, I'm a dark chocolate kinda gal. I DIDN'T KNOW YOU HAD A GERMAN SHORTHAIR!! My step-dad and mom used to breed them. GREAT dogs, even though they're hyper.

    Don't enter me in the contest. I already have my eBook version. Just wanted to see the post and say hello!

    Arial ;)

  17. Hey Ms. Sarah! You're busy stopping at the blogs today. Thank you so much for taking the time to visit with me today. I really, really appreciate all the support!

  18. Arial, I don't know if we can be friends anymore. Dark chocolate is icky. Ew... *Wink* We LOVE our German Short hair, but man, she stinks up the room. I've never known ANYTHING to stink like that dog. GAK! Thanks for visiting with me today. Yippee!!

  19. I've been excited about this book for some time. Glad it's finally out. Sounds like you have a great career ahead of you, A. J.

  20. Hi Cherie! You just made my day! Completely MADE MY DAY! That is about just the nicest thing anyone could have said to me. I'm so excited JW is finally out, too! Yippee! You must, must tell me what you thought once you've had the chance to read it. I LOVE feedback - bad or good, I want to listen. Thanks and a big hug to you!