Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Award-winning Harelequin romance author Jean Brashear knows a lot about taking crazy chances. A lifelong avid reader, at the age of forty-five with no experience and no training, she decided to see if she could write a book. It was a wild leap that turned her whole life upside down, but she would tell you that though she's never been more terrified, she's never felt more exhilarated or more alive.
She sold her first book two years after she began writing. Now a three-time RITA finalist and Romantic Times Career Achievement Award winner, she has been a finalist for or won numerous other awards including several Romantic Times BOOKReviews Magazine Top Picks and Reviewers Choice Awards, the National Readers Choice Award, Holt Medallion, and others, and has been a Waldenbooks Bestseller. She's an ardent proponent of not putting off your dreams until that elusive “someday”—take that leap now.
Jean writes “powerful stories straight from the heart,” and is not only known for her heartfelt romances about reunited lovers, but she is also a contributing author to Harlequin’s NASCAR series, having published two standalone books and a short story for a Harlequin NASCAR novella. Her next release, however, is a Harlequin Super Romance, The Man She Once Knew, coming in October 2009:
David Langley was the golden boy of Oak Hollow, the one everyone looked up to--then Callie Hunter came to town, Goth-wannabe teen in full rebellion, bringing trouble right along with her. David stood by her in her darkest hour, never realizing that the price would be his star-bright future.
Fifteen years after the tragedy that parted them, Callie has returned to town to bury her great-aunt. Her path crosses David's, but the hard, angry man she encounters is nothing like the boy she loved. Their fortunes are reversed-Callie is now an ambitious prosecutor, and David is a convict barely released from prison after serving fifteen years for murder, newly charged with assault. Will Callie take his side as he once did for her and risk the career she painstakingly built from the rubble of her life? And even if she tries, how will she deal with a man who refuses to have anything to do with her, ready to go to prison again rather than help her uncover the one thing that could clear him?
Jean, an avid volunteer, uses some of her boundless energy to serve others, and has a strong belief in giving back, sewing adaptive clothing for disabled soldiers and quilts for children in crisis, along with mentoring at-risk high school students. Her roots in Texas run deep, back five generations to the time before Texas independence. She is married and lives in Georgetown, Texas, just outside the capital of Austin.
Jean’s contribution to our “This Kiss” tote will be her Super Romance Everlasting book, The Way Home.
IMHO: Welcome, Jean, and give us your take on this month’s theme, “This Kiss, This Kiss.”
JB: Certainly, TJ, and let me do that by sharing this scene from one of my favorite books:
"Scarlett, you need kissing badly. That's what's wrong with you... You should be kissed and by someone who knows how."
"And I suppose you think you are the proper person?" she asked.
"Oh, yes, if I cared to take the trouble," he said carelessly. "They say I kiss very well...take heart. Some day, I will kiss you and you will like it. But not now, so I beg you not to be too impatient."
--Margaret Mitchell, Gone with the Wind, 1936
I like hot sex (in books and real life both!) and I know I'm flirting with fogey-hood to say this, but there was once a special magic not just in waiting for sex but waiting for that first kiss, wasn't there? The dance and counterpoint of flirting and longing, of imagining just how it would be when IT finally happened...the sighing over sideways glances and eyes full of longing...
Instant gratification has become such a part of us, hasn't it? Are we better for it?
So much skin, so much sex on the page, the screen...oh, boy, now I really am sounding bona fide fogeyish! But I feel sorry for kids who don't get that delicious anticipation, who are bombarded by sex on TV and movies, in ads and music and practically in the ozone way before they even feel those longings themselves.
There's something to be said for having to wait...to yearn...to wonder and imagine and quiver in anticipation of...That Someday Kiss...That Teasing, Smoldering Rhett...
(What on earth did Scarlett see in Ashley, anyway, I ask?)
But even as I'm discussing delayed gratification, I must confess that however long I live, I swear I will grind my teeth over the ending of that movie! I wanted my happy ending! (Yet isn't that why we remember it, because we were left wanting more?)
IMHO: Absolutely, Jean. A very tooth-grinding-worthy ending, LOL! Still, always leave them wanting more, I say. We’ll never forget it, either, will we?
That brings up a good point: IMHO readers, were there any stories you’ve read with great kisses that left you wanting more…or at least, wanting to know more about what happened to the characters after the story moved on? I can think of Deanna Raybourn’s Julia Grey Mystery series, where Lady Grey and Nicholas Brisbane shared a couple of fiery hot kisses and an unconsummated passion in the first book (and second) that made me have to buy the next book in the series just to see where it all led.
What about you? Be sure to tell Jean all about it for a chance to win autographed books from guest authors Kimberly Frost, Karen Young, Linda Warren, and Jean Brashear, a vintage-style handbag featuring our theme, and my outside-the-box historical romance THE PROMISE, all stuffed into a fun, sparkly Indian-style tote. Remember to leave your comments for at least two authors this month to be eligible to win. The more posts commented on, the better your chances of winning. And do check out my contest rules page for all the details.