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A Day in the Life of.....
Growing up, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Jane Graves dreamed of becoming a veterinarian, but she was told by her high school counselor that it was “a difficult field for a woman,” so she should pick another career–maybe something as a writer, since she had shown some talent in that area. Since her assertiveness didn’t come until later in life, Jane did as she was told and attended the University of Oklahoma, where she earned a B.A. in Journalism in the Professional Writing program.
Jane was a finalist for Romance Writers of America’s Golden Heart Award, which honors the best unpublished manuscripts in any given year. This led to the sale of her first book. To date, she has written ten series romances (under the name Jane Sullivan) and eight single-title contemporary romances. Jane is a nine-time finalist for Romance Writers of America’s Rita Award, the romance industry’s highest honor, and is the recipient of two National Readers’ Choice Awards, the Booksellers’ Best Award, the Golden Quill, and the Windy City Choice Award, among others. Her books have been translated into more than a dozen languages.
Jane lives in the Dallas area with her husband and a crafty cat who rules the household with one paw tied behind her back. She loves the writing life, so she’s very glad a certain high school counselor pushed her into the right career, even if it was for all the wrong reasons.
A DAY IN THE LIFE… Jane Graves
If I told you about my usual writing day, you’d be bored to tears. It would be five sentences long: Got up. Wrote some. Procrastinated. Wrote some more. Went to bed.
Lately it’s been a little crazier than that.
My husband and I bought a new house. New to us, anyway. It needed renovation, and a lot of it. Unfortunately, our contractor didn’t finish those renovations before we sold our previous house and had to move in to our new one.
Right now we’re living in our master suite, and the rest of the house is in shambles. We have no kitchen countertops—we’re waiting on quartz. Most of the floors in the house are concrete—we’re waiting on hardwood floors. Our refrigerator is in the living room, along with furniture and boxes. We have a microwave oven and a Keurig coffeemaker in the master bathroom. So here’s one of my days from last week.
I both brushed my teeth and made coffee without taking a single step. Then I settled into the recliner in our master bedroom to write, only to have the cable guys show up. Yay! Internet! Only when I told the guy what I wanted and where I wanted it installed, he gave me a blank stare. A few minutes later, I looked out the window and he was driving away. Bad sign. Then he showed up half an hour later with two other guys. Turned out our installation was a little more challenging than most, requiring three grown men to consult in quiet tones, look around ominously, and do a lot of head shaking. But what could I do but hope for the best? So I went back to writing.
An hour later, the installer wanted to talk to me. He was wearing a Serious Face. He said when he went into our attic to run cable, he saw exposed electrical wires from rats chewing on them. First of all, eeew. Second of all, he suggested that unless those wires were fixed, the house was going to catch fire, burn wildly, and we were all going to die. In light of that, I called an electrician.
The electrician fixed the wires and told me the cable guy was in error. We didn’t have rats. We had RACCOONS. “Call a pest control company,” he said. Seeing a pattern here? One contractor merely handed off the baton to another one, and they all had their hands out, expecting me to fill them with lots of money.
So I called a pest control guy and went back to writing. But then I thought I heard all kinds of things above my head. Hard to concentrate when you’re picturing the Freddie Krueger of raccoons swinging a chainsaw through your attic.
Pest control guy showed up and said it wasn’t raccoons after all, but roof rats. Apparently those are rats on steroids, who can squeeze their gargantuan bodies through a hole the size of a pencil eraser. “Don’t go messin’ with a roof rat,” he said, borrowing cable guy’s Serious Face. ‘They’ll getcha.” (Note: I live in Texas.) In order to mess with a roof rat, I would have to climb into the attic. Now, to me, that’s like getting attacked by a shark. If I never go into the water, I never have to worry about Jaws. Then again, Jaws doesn’t hop out of the water to eat the electrical wiring in my attic.
So Pest Control Guy gives me an estimate to both rid my attic of roof rats and plug up the holes where Chuck E. Cheese and his friends are getting in. I now have a choice: I can get rid of the rats in my attic, or I can send the same amount of money to Washington to solve the national debt crisis. Sorry, America. I gotta lose the rats.
Ever try to write when you’re picturing yourself in the poorhouse?
I didn’t mention that through all of this, two guys with shovels and Very Serious Faces were digging up my yard, excavating the body parts of a sprinkler system on the verge of death. Get in line, boys. I’m handing out hundred-dollar bills. You don’t want to miss out.
So that was one of my days last week, by no means the only day when my home renovation dreams bit me in the butt. As you can imagine, I didn’t get a lot of writing done. But I now have Internet, a ratless house, and a lawn that gets watered. Our hardwood floors will be installed later this week, and then kitchen countertops. We still have a million things to do after that to make this house a home, but things are looking up. If Serious-Faced men stop showing up at my door, I might even be able to write a romance novel or two.
With only the wedding dress on her back and her honeymoon luggage in the car, Kari Worthington is running away. Determined to put her controlling father, her rigidly structured life, and the uptight groom she left at the altar in her rearview mirror, she escapes to the Texas Hill country . . . and lands on a tall, dark, and gorgeous winery owner’s doorstep. All she needs is a job and a place to live until she can get back on her feet. So why is she fantasizing about losing herself in his powerful arms?
For Marc Cordero, freedom is so close he can taste it. He’s devoted his life to managing the family business and being a single dad. Now with his daughter away at college and his brother taking over the winery, Marc is ready to hop on his Harley for parts unknown-until a runaway bride bursts onto the scene. Free-spirited and tantalizingly sexy, Kari excites him like no other woman has before. But when irresistible passion turns into something more, will Marc give up his future to take a chance on love?