A Beautiful Disaster

Life is a beautiful disaster. Not sure who said that, but its freaking true. Life paints a painful picture on the best of days, and Greek tragedies on the normal days of the week. So what’s so beautiful about it?

The story of the human spirit that is told in the living of it.

Please examine that statement of fact. If you don’t agree with what I just said, this blog isn’t for you. Thanks for stopping by and checking things out. I promise I don’t hold your moving on against you. People disagree and that is again part of the beauty of the life we live. Let me get on with this before I lose track of what I intended to write.

Any great life is not about happily ever after. There is no happily ever after. There is happily for now. That’s all any of us get. Moments of happy surrounded by tribulation and pain. Those moments might equal seconds or linger on for weeks at a time, but happy is not a constant. Happy is a fragile state of mind. Enjoy it while you can. The story of your life is just like the stories most of us like to read. A rough road to travel ending in a brief but satisfying explosion of happy.

The job of a good writer is to turn that real life journey into a fictional story close enough to the truth to be believable, but fictional enough that people can enjoy reading it. If a person grabs a fictional book, nine times out of ten it’s to escape reality not to be reminded of it. I say writer because writers work for a living. Authors seem to just go on talk shows and cash checks. Not saying all people called authors are authors. Some are some of the hardest workings writers you’ll ever meet. For now, I’m just a writer whose brain isn’t working as hard as it should.


Because I’m busy getting my ass kicked by that beautiful disaster called life. Call me insane but I think that’s the fun part. And, the part that most people enjoy reading. I know I do. The struggle to overcome those things that we all must battle to move forward to the next hurdle in becoming who we are meant to be. Everyone has heard the saying write what you know. I say this. Knowing something isn’t necessarily the same as having lived it. I know about childbirth but I haven’t lived through it, except you know as a baby. Pretty sure that doesn’t count. If I wrote a scene about it, my take on the subject would be slightly plastic because I have no physical reference to draw from. Doesn’t mean I can’t tell it convincingly, but it won’t have the heart of something told with my own life experiences to back it up. Being a drunken fool riding on top of a car I can pull off like a champ. So writing what we know is only half the battle when it comes to being a writer.

Breathing life into it, takes more than skill or talent. It takes a combination of skill, talent, and experience. Something else adds into the mix, and it’s something most people who aspire to writers don’t have. The balls to lay their souls bare for all to read. Well, enough of our souls to entice readers into achieving an emotional connection with the characters within our books.

All the books I’ve fallen in love with over the years have had that connection. I strive to achieve the same level of love in my books. I want the people who read my books to walk away breathless with anticipation for the next scene. That’s where life experiences come into play. Sure, my books are about Vampires, Werewolves and things decidedly not real life. The heart of my books is about being true to who I am. That truth is in my characters and the story of their lives. The story I lay out is for my friends, because readers sounds so impersonal, to enjoy.

Is it necessarily my life?

No, but parts of it belong to me and I share it with you like I do in this blog. Full of love and the trust that in some way it brings you splashes of love and joy. That is how I mean them to be. My letter is to you all because you are not just readers, or friends. You are the family of my heart.


Until next week,

Happy Reading!



Is Romance Dead? A Jmo insight

As a “Romance” novelist, I have found myself asking more and more, ‘Is Romance dead?’

Maybe, dying a slow lingering death would be closer to being the question in question. Hey, it’s not like I don’t believe in Romance. I do. Hopelessly devoted to the stuff. Romance makes me happy, but as I look out over the landscape of our society, I see emphasis on it lessening. The act of love seems to hold a lesser importance in the eyes of people. To me, feel free to tell me if I’m wrong, people care more about the immediate ‘act of love’ than the lasting emotional attachment of romantic love.

Just think about it. In the last decade or so, terms have moved away from true love, love at first sight, and the flow of romance songs to the terminology of Booty Calls, Hook Ups, and any other sayings you might have heard. As a result of all this physical dependence on what should be a purely emotional occupation, I see humanity becoming less human and more animalist. Sorry if that offends anyone, but people not caring to fall in love offends me.

Seriously, this has nothing to do with me being a Romance author and more with me being a member of the human race. Our ability to love and receive love is what makes us more evolved than any other animal on this planet. Make no mistake, we are animals. We give into our baser selves too much not to be. By giving and receiving love we rise above what we are to achieve and what we can be. That might sound sappy, but quite frankly I don’t care. I would rather offer and lose my heart than spend a lifetime wondering what all the fuss was about it.

It kinda of makes me sad to hear people talking more about hook-ups and getting one than finding that right person. I’m not just talking about guys but also women. This is where things get depressing so feel free to avert your eyes if you’re the tender sort.

The loss of Romance can only mean one thing.  Magic has truly died in our world. Dragons no longer exist except in our imaginations.  Yes, I truly believe dragons existed, unicorns too. Why because it makes me happy to think they did. But, over the course of humanity’s evolution, we’ve lost the ability to believe in anything that is not before our eyes. That being said, how far behind those things can true love be? Not far, by the looks of popular media.

Let’s face it, we are evolving. Emotion gives way to stoic dependency on reality. Reality has no place for emotions, except for hate and sadness. Those are emotions that our society can safely explain. Love? That one sits outside scientists’ ability to document and fits into their thesis about the human condition. Closest they can come is saying it’s a chemical reaction to pheromone production or electrical stimuli based solely on physical appearance. Again those with tender sensibilities turn away. I call bullshit of the highest order. There kiss it and move on scientist.

This trend does not just sadden me because as a Romance novelist ‘Romance’ is my bread and butter. That is only a small part of my heart break over it. To appreciate the magical nature of my books, you have to believe in the magic of love. To make this work a better place, you need to believe that the magic of love can change hearts and lives. More and most importantly, you NEED to believe your life can be moved and changed because someone loves you and in turn you can open yourself to loving them. Sometimes, as authors, we paint unfair expectations of what love can be. I agree totally with that. We do, but we also do something else. We open lives and hearts to expecting love. Isn’t that worth the risk of making people, women and men, believe love exists and can be magical when most of the time love escapes that quality. Still it’s out there. How can I be so sure? I have it, so know you can. I even know where it comes from. Feel free to disregard my theory if it doesn’t mesh with yours.

I believe in a God above. If that God isn’t yours, that’s okay. Mine loves you all the same. And, in my eyes, love and as a result Romance is one of the greatest gifts our heavenly Father has given us. Having an empathetic connection to one another is our connection to Him. I’m not saying romance is dying because of the loss of belief in God. I leave that to you to decide. I’m just here to present my views and give you cause to think for yourself. I would never impose my views on you. You have your experiences and beliefs to define your world.

That said, I leave you with this.

Whatever you believe, never believe without an open heart. Live with a loving heart. If you can accomplish those things, what a wonderful world it would be.

And, one I hope to be a part of.

Til next week, love out loud and as always happy reading,

  1. Morgan

Growing in Love.

I am a bit late with my blog this week but several factors went into my tardiness. The most important of which was my wife’s birthday just so happened to be on Sunday. So, just for fun I’m going to focus on that excuse today. In the process of being myself, weird as I am, I posted on her Facebook page that since she’d been a big part of my life for sixteen years, she was only sixteen in my eyes and as beautiful as ever. Yeah, I’m a bit of a suck up, but in this case it’s true. She is more beautiful today than she was the first time I saw her. Yeah, still a suck up but I’m not lying. There’s something about true love that makes you blind to age. I know I don’t feel 45 and she in no way looks 44 to me.

The whole idea got me to thinking about love. Being a Romance author, that’s a good thing. When you get right down to it, love is a rebirth of sorts. If love is indeed true, it isn’t just an emotion. It’s an act of completion on a cellular level. Until you stumble across ‘that’ one person who’s right for you, you’re incomplete. You exist as half a person going through life alone, trying to make sense of a world where you just can’t do everything yourself. You try, but you’re just not hardwired for ‘everything’. We’re all born with certain skillsets. Some lucky people discover the ability to do just about everything, but they still feel an emptiness success can’t seem to fill. Yet, when they meet that perfect person, everything just seems to fall into place.

From personal experience, I can tell you I know my limits. I can’t do everything by myself. But, those things I can’t do, or I’m just not wired to do, my wife can. You know like the basics, I can’t whistle but my wife can. I know this all sounds impersonal. Well, it isn’t. Until I met my wife, I might have thought I knew how the world worked, but I was totally clueless. I honestly don’t know how I made it as long as I did without her.

I felt empty without realizing it. This revelation wasn’t instantaneous. It took time for me to both grasp that she was indeed the one for me, and how much I needed her in my life. Guys generally are stupid about such things, so I think she’s forgiven me for not discovering something she already knew right away.

When I began writing, I decided I wanted to take this approach to writing Romance. Romance should never be just some random events stuffed between sex scenes. That’s not the heart of Romance, at least to my thinking. No, Romance is about truth. What truth? The truth that love is about two people discovering not only each other but themselves in the process of falling into it.

That might sound strange, but how can you love someone if you know who you are? I think it all comes back to an old cliché. How can you love someone, if you first don’t love yourself? Hey, I might not always like the person I am, but I think I love myself most of the time. I also know who I am, but it took me awhile to discover that secret. In fact it took my wife to teach me the lesson.

That’s another part of love. It’s a learning experience. You learn first off, that you are not the most important person in the universe. Sometimes you don’t even come in as a close second. From the moment you find someone, you subconsciously or consciously decide that making that person happy is more important than anything else you’ve ever done. You go out of your way to do special things that you normally wouldn’t do for anyone, even yourself. You see them cry, you want to wipe their sadness away. Seeing a smile on their face makes you happy.

You learn something else. You learn that you aren’t half the person you thought you were. In fact, you ‘were’ half a person until they came along. That’s a sobering thing to find out, because today we’re conditioned to look out for number one. We’re taught you can’t depend on anyone but yourself. Your happiness is what’s important. Well, let me tell you, in the real world of true love, that just ain’t true.

And when I write, it’s that part of love I want to write about. I want to show that love isn’t a one-way street. It’s about mutual appreciation of having someone in your life. That you love them as much as they love you. They’d do anything for you, just like you’d do for them. If you don’t have that in your life, you don’t have love.

Maybe, that’s the thing. In this fast paced world we live in, people just don’t know what love means anymore. I mean, look at TV. It’s full of celebrities with their marriages of the month. Reality shows about people trying to find love out of a police line-up. Music with descriptions of sex, dominance, and buying love, but rarely do we see or hear about how much we have to sacrifice to have love in our lives. Because sacrifice is what we have to do. We ‘have’ to sacrifice our preconceived ideas of who we want to be and become who we need to be.

That’s love. So maybe, I ramble a bit on the subject, but for sixteen years I’ve lived with the love of my life. It hasn’t always been easy, but it’s always been who I was born to be. An imperfect man in love with a woman who might not be perfect, but who is perfect for me. I hope that comes through in my books, because each one is a sample of the greatest love story I’ve ever known– my own.

Talking About a Little Love

As a writer in the Romance genre, I hope I’ve achieved a warm toasty feeling by the time I type the words ‘The End’. I think it’s the goal of every Romance writer to have that aww shattering, all consuming feeling of love fill not only their books but in the hearts and minds of those who read our books. If not, I seriously doubt we’d make it past the first book.

Still, it’s kind of hard to reconcile trying to break reality into a book that barely lasts the span of a few days. Love rarely, if ever works that way, or that quick. Love is a slow gradual process. True, lust is both quick and all consuming. Some people may disagree with me, but lust is the beginning of love. Our minds respond to something, who knows what, in the opposite sex. Synapses fire and our brains are locked onto the physical aspects of a person. Our mouths water with the expectation of meeting and ultimately consummating all the things running through our brains. But, lust is far from love. Lust is the outward expression of the animalist side of our humanity. Because, at our basic core we are reasoning animals.

The reasoning part is where love blossoms. We see what we want in a person standing before us, but if John Hughes taught us anything, it’s that want does not necessarily equal need. As humans our wants often lead to ruin. Luckily, we are not totally ruled by our impulsive animal instincts. Sure, we act on them most of the time, but more times than not, we exit the lust stage of love rather quickly. Lust fades. Love doesn’t. No, love evolves past the physical to a deeper emotion.

But first we have to get to love. Like I said, lust rapidly fades, but it burns bright and is a hard thing to shake. Again, this is where having higher brain functions come in. As the heat of lust dwindles, we begin to see the object of our emotions in a new light. Aside from spicing the horny portions of our brains, do they fulfill other requirements to give us a happy life? Are they trustworthy? Can I see myself being with this person for the rest of my life? Are we compatible outside the sheets? Heck, are we truly compatible between the sheets? Most importantly, do we share enough of the same values to stand the sight of each other when the times get tough?

The last one is the kicker. Lust doesn’t play well with tough. It’s all about immediate gratification. Times get tough. Oops, look, she, or he, looks hot. Let’s go see if we got a chance there. See, not really the best of emotions. Love on the other hand thrives on tough. It is where love grows best. Tough drives people together. It bonds them like nothing else will. If two people really have ‘that’ connection, nothing will drive them apart. Lust won’t make that connection. Only true love can.

Love at its core, is a virus. Yeah I just said that, and I meant it. Love totally fills a person like a really bad disease. It courses through every fiber of a person until nothing is left but love. My statement in no way means love is easy. Love is hard. It demands everything you have, but is so worth it. Love gives you something nothing else will. It gives you another person, who would die for you. Who cries when you cry. Hurts when you hurt. Grows old with you, because they can’t see life any other way.

As a Romance author it is up to me, to compact this long process into a few thousand words. What in reality takes months, years, to take place, I, and others in the same genre, must condense it down into a single book, which is impossible and truly unrealistic. Love might get a kick start in a few days, but never really takes hold that quickly. Still, we attempt to make it believable. Our success or failure is judged by our skill at believing it ourselves. I might not believe in Vampires or Werewolves, but I do believe in the miracle of two people finding each other and growing to love one another. Don’t doubt that it’s a miracle, because anything bringing happiness into reality is miraculous. It’s also the greatest gift in the world.

All that said, it is an honor to be an author that brings the gift of love to life for others. Why do I write? Because, ultimately, I love making other people happy.

Love Jasmine Haynes Style


Well, ain’t this a kick in the head. I’ve been kidnapped! And, on my own blog too!


Normally, I’m the one kidnapping people. I hope whoever did it, plans to get a big ransom. I am a self professed world famous romance author. Of course, I seriously doubt world famous romance authors run around in nothing but a diaper. I find it most disconcerting to tell you the truth. I might be fine if it was just a pair of sexy Depends covering my naughty bits, but what was the deal with the wings? Well, this wouldn’t do at all!


“Alright! I’ve had just about enough of this. I suggest you come out and tell me what you want before I go all Sheri Kenyon on your behind!” I didn’t know what that meant, but I meant every word of it.


A figure stepped from the shadows of my imaginary palatial offices, and my mouth just dropped.


“Jasmine Haynes! What are you doing kidnapping me?” I reattached my jaw. “I told you I’d get you on the blog when I had time.” Though I guess turnabout is fair play. I did kidnap her once upon a time.


Jasmine: LOL, with the wings and diaper, you look like Cupid, Jmo! But you’re much cuter! And funnier! Which is why I’ve kidnapped you and your blog (thank you very much!) to talk about Cupid type things (though not sexy Depends, because honestly, Depends just aren’t sexy, though maybe someday in the faraway future I’ll have to change my mind when my own wonderful, darling Cupid/hubby is wearing them!).


Jmo: I guess, as I long as I’m dressed for the part, why don’t you tell us about Love, Valentine Style?


Jasmine: You might be shocked, but Love, Valentine Style is a collection of sweet Valentine’s stories. Although there is one story which has a love consummation, which, I’m told, means that the anthology can’t be officially called “sweet.” And I bet you think it’s MY story that has the consummation, considering that I write erotic romance most of the time. And even when I’m not penning erotic romances, my alter ego Jennifer Skully certainly doesn’t hold much back in her love scenes either. But I’ve fooled you with this one. Because it’s not MY story! I won’t do a spoiler by telling you whose story it is, but they’re all fun tales from a variety of genres including paranormal, time travel, and contemporary romance. And all about Valentine’s Day! Here’s a brief blurb with the line-up of fabulous authors (other than me, because I’m not describing myself as fabulous, I let other people do that!).


Fulfilling a dying woman’s last request brings two lonely hearts together in Be My Other Valentine by Jasmine Haynes.


An enchanted island and the magic of Valentine’s Day help reunite a reluctant groom with his jilted bride in Hotel Amore by Pamela Fryer.


Magic in donated historical valentines lead a museum curator to a mysterious soldier in Civil War Valentine by Haley Whitehall.


A Valentine’s journey to return a lost ring gives Miranda and Ian a second chance at romance in Forever My Valentine by Raine English.


Finding Mr. Right by Lois Winston, the novella sequel to Romcom award-winning Hooking Mr. Right, is now part of Love, Valentine Style anthology.


Randy Farrell wants to date Twitter’s sweet @GlitterfrostGem. What’ll he think of her prickly alter ego, Gemma Kent? Valentine Rules by Mel Curtis.


Jmo: Some amazing sounding stories. I know as Romance authors we’re all about the love, but what inspired you to tackle the most romantic holiday of the year?


Jasmine: One of my godmothers (I had 3) was named Valentine. And I always wondered what it would be like to have a day named especially for me! She received flowers and candy and cards. It was marvelous! So when a friend of mine asked me to be part of an anthology, that’s what I wanted to write about, one little girl’s special day which brings together a lonely baker and the child’s widowed father in search of the perfect cake. Of course, romance must ensue!


Jmo: Aw, grandmothers are just the best. So how long are these Depends good for? I just drank a bottle of Cranberry Sprite. Never mind, doesn’t matter. Anyway, not counting this, what was your most romantic Valentine’s Day?


Jasmine: Well, I guess it depends. (Sorry couldn’t help the pun!) But stop it, you silly man, Depends just don’t do anything for a romantic mood (even if it does make me laugh hysterically!). My most romantic Valentine’s Day. That’s actually pretty easy. My husband took me to a spa resort that had a Jacuzzi tub in the room. Fizzy bath salts in the water, champagne cocktails, lots of chocolate, some of it on chocolate-dipped strawberries, room service for when we needed sustenance after…well, you know after what I mean! I didn’t even need a spa treatment to feel pampered!


Jmo: Hardy har har. Everyone likes to crack jokes on the guy dressed like cupid. Oh Well, such is my life, apparently. Unfortunately, since we’ve all had them. What was your worst?


Jasmine: The worst was what should have been a romantic dinner with hubby at our favorite restaurant. Unfortunately there was a family with unruly children and as the waiter was removing a bowl of muscles I’d just finished, one of the children ran into him. He spilled all the juice from the bowl into my lap. My dress was ruined and I had to ride home all wet and covered in muscle juice. Ick. But then I had a very nice bath my husband ran for me and a nice champagne cocktail (do you see a theme here?). And things definitely improved after that! So it wasn’t all bad!


Jmo: You do have the greatest cupid ever! If you could be cupid for one day, what would you do to make the world a more loving place? Then again, as a huge fan of your books, I think you might already have that covered.


Jasmine: Aw, thanks, Jmo/Cupid! Read romance, that’ll make everyone feel better, because there’s always a happy ending! That’s the definition of romance! But seriously, I’d give the world a little tolerance. Tolerance would go a long way to making this world a more loving and peaceful place.


Jmo: It so would. Uh, do you mind if we cut this short. This diaper is riding up something awful and I think you Super Glued these wings to my back because my shoulders are itching like crazy.


Jasmine: OMG, don’t take off the diaper! I’ll remove the wings, I promise, just don’t take off that diaper! But thank you so much for letting me kidnap you and your blog!


Jmo: It was my pleasure, but before you rush me to the ER to have these wings removed, could you tell my readers where they can find you on the internet and buy Love, Valentine Style and all your books?


Jasmine: Love, Valentine Style is available exclusively on Amazon and for only .99! http://amzn.to/1afja7K. And here are all the places readers can find me:


Website: www.jasminehaynes.com

Blog: www.jasminehaynes.blogspot.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/jasminehaynesauthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/jasminehaynes1

Amazon page: http://amzn.com/e/B001IR3N76

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/130583.Jasmine_Haynes


And before I forget, She’s Gotta Be Mine, a sexy romantic comedy with a big dose of mystery by my alter ego Jennifer Skully, is free through the end of the month on Kindle http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00688GE7Q Apple iBooks http://bit.ly/19DdMi5 Nook http://bit.ly/1bWT2hv And all other major ebook retailers!


Jmo: I have that one and it is simply amazing! Good bye everyone and don’t forget to check out Jasmine and Jennifer’s books. I so do love an author with split personalities! Happy Reading!

Back to Then with Jillian Chantal


I did it! After nearly twenty-five years of plotting and ripping off nearly every movie known to man, I’ve turned my Prius into a fully functioning time machine. Thanks to my ZJ-mod-U-lATeOR, run exclusively on zombie juice stolen for a parallel dimension, I can now travel through time and space. I even painted it a nice shade of TARDIS blue. So, where should I go first? The Jurassic Age? 1962 so I can buy a mint copy of Amazing Fantasy #15? Nope, since I’m a writer, I’m going back to meet some of the greatest literary giants of all time! Brahwahwahwa!

Unfortunately, I blew all my zombie juice going back to spy on the making of Star Wars IV. So, I’ve only got enough power to go back in time three days, give or take. Since, I’ve got to make this count, I’ve decided to go back and meet none other than Jillian Chantal and talk to her about her latest release, The Gambler’s Daughter. Sure, I could have just talked to her back in the past when it came out, but I was too busy worrying about going back to the past from the future that had been now, but is now then. Don’t worry. I’m confused too.

Any who! Time to go back to when Jillian was eagerly awaiting the release of her book. Cue time travelly music.

Boooooshhhhhhhhh ta bashhhhhhhhh da bossssssssssssssssssssshhhhhhhhh dum de dum dum boooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooossssssssssssssssssssssshhhhhhhhhh.

And we’re then!

Jmo: Jillian, come with me if you want to live!

Jillian: I want to liveeee! Grab my arm. Don’t let me fall and die!

Jmo: Not on my watch! First off, thanks for not beating me up, but this was the only way I could talk to you then about now that was then. Never mind. I’m still confused. Why don’t you tell my readers about yourself?

Jillian: I was born in England to the oldest son of the last king and am the real heir to the throne- Oh wait, I can’t tell that part- they’re still looking to assassinate me- the truth is, I’m an American CIA agent working undercover infiltrating the Mafia – No wait- I can’t tell that either or I’d have to kill you. Okay, here’s the truth… ready? Wait for it….  I’m a romance writer. I know- it’s shocking but there you go. That’s who I am.

Jmo: Not as shocking as you’d think. Mainly, because I set the Prius to seek out romance authors and because I know your Historical fiction is quite simply amazing. ‘Redemption for the Devil’ totally blew me away when I read it. What sparked your interest in this genre?

Jillian:  Aww. Serious thanks for that, Jmo. I love that story still. When I wrote it, it was like taking dictation. In fact, I woke up one day with the thought, “My name is Liam Cormac and you’re going to tell my story.” Who could ign ore that command? I had to do it.

I love the early 20th century and the ocean liners of those glory days of pre-airline travel. It fascinates me how people came over the long way, so to speak. I have long been fascinated with the British Isles from reading Agatha Christie and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle as a kid and since it’s part of my family heritage. I’ve also always been a fan of murder mysteries and combining those two interests led first to Redemption for the Devil.

I decided to write The Gambler’s Inheritance series when I heard that the Queen Mary was a floating hotel now and that I could actually stay there. I did stay onboard for two days and the story ideas came calling.

Jmo: Wow! Amazing to see how it all falls into place like that. I have to ask. How much research do you put into your stories before you begin writing? Because, reading you is like being there? The sounds! The sights! The huddled masses on ships to America! Sorta like this trip back in time.

Jillian: Haha. Yep. This trip is full of huddled masses. I see a few of them over in the corner. Maybe they’re merely terrified masses.

Jmo: No, I think they’re waiting for the train to Hogwarts. I get that a lot.

Jillian: Interestingly, the Irish story didn’t take much extra research since I’ve read extensively about the Irish fight for independence and Michael Collins and his death. I had also read a bit about the old ocean liners since I have a dear friend who’s enamored of the lore of the Titanic. She got me interested a few years ago. So, most of the research was fact checking. I did have a moment of panic when I wanted my hero to witness the building of the Empire State Building but I was too early in time.

For the Gambler series, I grabbed (and paid for) a couple of books while I was on the Queen Mary and those jump started my research on dates of sailings and various celebrities who traveled on her from it.

Jmo: I hate to admit this, but I’ve not had the chance to read The Gambler’s Inheritance series. Bad of me I know. Building time machines take up a lot of well time. Do you mind telling us a little about this series and especially the latest book, The Gambler’s Daughter?

Jillian: This series is a set of three separate stories. They’re all people from the same family but each story is a stand-alone. There’s a beginning, middle and end. This is important to me since so many stories these days seem to end with cliffhangers. I don’t dig that at all. I want answers for my money!

There’s at least one murder to solve in each of these stories and lots of romance and flirting going on. The first story, The Gambler, is based when the Queen first took to the seas. It’s set in 1937 and the title character is Dirk McSwain who gambles for a living (imagine that!). The second one, The Gambler’s Brother, is set in 1946 and the title character is Dirk’s brother, Beaumont McSwain, who is a former RAF officer onboard the ship during the time the ship was transporting war brides to America.

The last one in the series is the story of the daughter of Dirk, Bernadette McSwain-  called- of all things- The Gambler’s Daughter. Beaumont’s son is also a central character. This one is set in 1967. That was when the Queen Mary made her final voyage.

These were all super fun to write, but I have to say that the last one was really a blast since it was the only one of the group that takes place when I was on the planet. Now, mind you, I was very young, but I loved that I could picture Bernadette in her go-go boots and mini skirts as well as talking about pop culture television shows I could remember seeing in reruns.

If you like the sixties, afros, go-go boots, high seas, cruises, mysteries, murder, romance and ghosts, this is the book for you.

Jmo: I do! I do! Before I go back to the Future! Man, I’ve been dying to say that. I have one more question to beg of you. What is the one thing you hope your readers take away from reading your books?

Jillian: I hope they find that my characters are realistic and are able to grow and learn from the adversities they undergo on their journeys. I hope they also find some humor in the stories as I try to inject wittiness and banter in the midst of tragedy. I also want to stump them on the whodunit, of course.

I know, that’s more than one thing, so before you go back to the future, Future Boy, let me narrow it down to the most important thing that I hope readers take from my stories:

An escape from the real world for a bit of time.

Jmo: Thanks again for taking the time to chat with me, but I really must be going. The zombie juice is starting to degrade at an alarming rate and I’d like to get home before Jenn discovers I’ve blown up the Prius. Please, feel free to give everyone some buy links for The Gambler’s Daughter and all your books. While you’re at it, tell them where you can be found all over the net.






Jmo: Thanks, for posting those links. Now, I’ve got just enough juice for one more ju….

‘Pzzt bloop fzzzzzzz!’

Well, that didn’t sound good. Exit the Prius in an orderly fashion. Zombified meltdown in minus ten seconds.

Jillian: Thanks Jmo for the fun visit. I hope the Prius got home in one piece and Jenn lets the travels through time continue. If you see Doctor Who, send him by. I’d like to hitch a ride in the Tardis to ride on an old ocean liner. It sounds safer than the Prius.

Jmo: Bye, Jillian and the rest of you guys. Until next week, ‘To Insanity and Beyond’.

Interview with the Jmo: The Muse Strikes Back



Well, I’m still here!


You’d have thought someone would have heard a guy screaming his head off that he was handcuffed to a chair in a cheap motel. Between you and me, I get the idea they get that a lot in this joint. Oh, well, it’s not like I had anything better to do, and Jenn prob appreciated a night free of Clone Wars marathons. Least one of kidnappers could have done was put the TV on and left me the remote. Something to do to make the time pass, because counting cockroaches had gotten old about the second I started doing it. If the clock on the wall was right, whoever was supposed to show up to bust my whatevers should be here any minute. The sun would be up soon, and I’d be the surprise of some maid’s life. Then again, like I said, this place probably got stuff like this a lot.

My head began a sleep filled nod, when I heard the door open. Cracking my eyes open to a slit — because that was exactly what one of my characters would do — I saw a hulk of a man block out the light filtering in from the parking lot. Luckily for me, I recognized this hulk.

Jmo: Chase? What are you doing here? I barely even cracked a joke in Immortally Yours.

Chase: I am well aware of that fact, my friend. Your chronicling of Belle’s and my story was well crafted and a delight to read.

Jmo: Then, why are you here?

Chase: I come as an escort only. The Inspirations would have words with you. Because of our friendship, I came to insure that they dealt fairly with you. They can be quite vicious when they feel that one under their sway is acting against the contract that binds them to the Creative.

Jmo: My muse? My muse is hacked off at me?

Chase: It would appear to be so.

Crap on a biscuit! This was bad.

A flash of light filled the room cutting off the rest of my mental breakdown. When the radiance dropped back to a notch that didn’t blind me, I wished it had.

Jmo: Jenn?

Muse: Close, tiger, but no Oreo. Nope, it’s just me Princes Harley River Farrah Organa Bofinia Mofina Jofina something something. I forget the rest, but you get the idea. I’m the slave you force to help you write that pop culture driven drivel. Blech.

Jmo: Then, why do you look like my wife?

Princess Harley: Because, she’s your greatest inspiration, silly duck. Without her, you’d probably still be drawing comics in your grandparents’ spare room and playing with your Star Wars action figures til the wee hours of the morning. Instead, of just collecting the damn things and leaving them mint in box. You need help my friend. Serious help.

Jmo: Yeah, I get that a lot. It still doesn’t explain why you’re here. It’s not like I overwork you. You have the days off. I have the snacks you requested in our contract on hand. You even get three weeks vacation, plus the time you just disappear on me for no apparent reason.

Princess Harley: That isn’t the point, ducky. I can only be funny so much. We need to cut our teeth on something more substantial. Seriously, how many Star Wars derived in-jokes can you expect me to toss out there?

Jmo: Hey, we wrote Immortally Yours and Immortally Damned. They were both serious books. We just finished Scrolls of Eternity: Rebirth. That wasn’t that funny. We’re branching out of my comfort zone.

Princess Harley: True, but you’re slow about it. I got into this business to be listed as one of the muses of the greats. Faulkner, Steinbeck, Jackie Collins. Instead, I got you, Mr. Romance from the Funny Bone.

Jmo: That hurts. You’ve been there since book one. Comedy is hard! I know it doesn’t seem important to you, but what we write makes people smile. It makes them happy and for a short span it makes them forget their troubles. People need that every once in awhile. Life is hard. It’s a constant battle to pay bills, put food on the table and every once in awhile to treat yourself to something special. Nowadays, all those things are getting harder and harder to do. So, when a reader buys one of our books, they’re looking for just that escape. If you can’t appreciate that fact, maybe I need a new muse.

Princess Harley: Okay, okay. No reason to get all huffy about it. I didn’t say I wanted to quit.

Jmo: Then, what do you want?

Princess Harley: For one thing, I’m tired of changing bodies every book. Do your friends know how you steal them and plop them in your books? I could list them, but we’d be here all day.

Jmo: Yes, they know. I ask them first. I don’t steal them. I borrow them. Besides, for me to love my characters, I need to know them. My friends are the greatest part of my life. They inspire me on a daily basis. Without them, I truly doubt I could write a word.

Princess Harley: Then, what do you need me for?

Jmo: You make me better than I’d be otherwise. We’re a team. You help me make the books real. Make them come alive. I’m just the guy at the keyboard.

Princess Harley: Good answer.

Jmo: So, we’re good?

Princess Harley: For the time being. You just better make sure those Oreos keep rolling, or there’s going to be trouble.

Jmo: You got it.


Princess Harley: Good deal. Oh, before I go. I’ll be needing the entire month of June off. No, reason. I just don’t feel like working. If you got a problem with it take it up with my union rep, Jeni Sai Qua. I’m outta here. Chase, once I blinky winky, you can let him go.

And, she did.

Chase: I guess we’re done here. Best be getting back, too. Belle has big plans and hates it when I’m late. Jmo, try to keep them happy. Otherwise, Jeni Sai Qua will come herself, and believe me you don’t want that.

Jmo: I’ll try my best.

Chase: See that you do. Your car’s parked out front.

With that, he freed me and walked into nothingness. Alone with my thoughts, only one thing kept rolling around in my head. I really had to stop eating Double Stuf Bacon Oreos before I went to bed.

Thanks, for sticking around for the past three weeks while I was held hostage. You know you could have saved yourself a lot of reading if you’d just let me go! You must have liked it, otherwise, you wouldn’t have stuck around. Next week, I promise things will get back to normal. Then again, normal for this place, really isn’t that normal.

Have a great week, and happy reading,


Now, where did they put my car keys? Never trust a muse!