Today, I would like to welcome author J.M. Powers to Novel Moments. She will be telling us a little about herself and her latest novel, Jewel of Ramstone. Welcome, Jeannie.
Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
Hi there, my pen name is J.M. Powers, but most know me as Jeannie. My favorite genre is romance, especially historical romance.
I’m a Florida native, but live in western New York. There’s a long story behind that. I’ll spare you. Let’s just sum it up; I fell in love with a Northerner.
What keeps you writing?
My love of writing. I know that sounds simplistic, but I can’t imagine a life without creating new worlds and characters.
It doesn’t sound simplistic at all. I feel exactly the same way. I’m excited to hear about your new historical romance novel, Jewel of Ramstone. Tell me more.
JEWEL OF RAMSTONE is full of intrigue, complex sub-plots and of course, love. (Unrequited love that is.) You see, Ruby and Galeron fall in love quickly, but a prior marriage agreement keeps them apart. With no way out of the situation, Ruby decides to leave Galeron’s home of Ramstone and make her own way in the nearby village. Oh, did I mention Ruby has no memory? Yeah. What caused this? You’ll have to read to find out, but it’s something she struggles with in her nightmares. (I really made it difficult for these two to get together, huh?) The added twists of Galeron’s guilt, his father’s harbored secret, the battles fought against a horrid army, kidnapped women and children, all add to the complexity of this medieval tale.
What inspired you to write the novel?
Believe it or not, a nightmare I had as a child. You can read more about that here.
How did you come up with the title?
My sister and I brainstormed. Stone...a gem...jewel...Ruby. It all came together. Jewel of Ramstone (Ramstone is Galeron’s home, and Ruby is the name he gives her when he sees her auburn hair.)
That sounds like a lot of fun. I love brainstorming for titles and researching. How long did it take you to research and write the novel?
To be true to the era, I researched everything: clothing, food, weaponry, daily life as well as the weather, flora etc. So about four years? After Beautiful Trouble Publishing, accepted it, there was still a lot to do. Through edits, rewrites and everything else involved with the publishing process, we made Jewel of Ramstone the best it could be in those months. During this time, I wrote 5 novellas as well. (I just realized how busy I was!)
I would be so scared of writing historical romance, so afraid of getting something wrong. I can understand why it would take a while to research and write.
Now that your baby is out there, is there a certain message you would like readers to get out of Jewel of Ramstone?
The importance of acceptance, family, faith in yourself and growth despite tough times. The ability to give yourself over to love...and believe in the possibility of overcoming all obstacles to end up in each others arms.
You’re such a talented author. I’m sure your readers will definitely cherish the story and the message. Okay, now for a common question. Do you experience writer’s block? How do you get “unblocked”?
Writer’s block? Not really. But when I am stuck on something I step back and ask myself a bunch of “what if” questions. What if the knight initially thinks she is a lad? What if she doesn’t have a memory? What if she kills him? What if ...the possibilities are endless. Though I throw out a lot of the ideas, some punches my imagination into overdrive.
What a fantastic way to get unstuck. I think I’m going to steal that tip. Are you a full time author? If not, how do you make time to write?
My writer’s mind works full time, however I have a day job as a bank teller. I often write snippets of an idea down on blank deposit slips. As far as making time to write? Well, I forfeit sleep.
I don’t get much sleep either. But it’s always worth it in the end, isn’t it? How does your daily writing schedule look like?
Drink coffee. Outline before going to work. Work. Come home and start dinner for the family. (Often times working on manuscript while it cooks) and then after everyone is in bed, I write non-stop. Yes, I lose sleep, but then again, stories like Jewel of Ramstone come of it. It’s well worth it.
How about your marketing schedule? Don’t ask me about mine. Marketing drives me nuts and I don’t have a set schedule.
I’m still learning about marketing, but here’s what I’ve done so far: Author blog ,website, Facebook, Twitter , LinkedIn, Amazon Author Page, business cards, flyers, speaking engagements at book clubs, and word from my big mouth. I embrace my “authorness” and tell everyone I’m a writer. It was hard at first, because I knew once I told people I’d have to deliver.
You have done so much more than me. I’m still shy to tell people I’m an author. So, what books can we expect from you in the future?
The sequel to Jewel of Ramstone of course! It’s my current work in progress. I’m also working on three novellas and one non-fiction book about life with autism.
Wow, you’re busy. I wish I could work on more than two novels at a time. Now, time to take you for a walk down memory lane. What was your best ever moment as a published author?
It’s hard to pick just one. Each time a publisher accepted my manuscript, receiving cover art, and the other highs an author is blessed with are notable of course. My biggest, best ever moment was when an award winning author, wrote me about Jewel of Ramstone. Here are a few excerpts of what she said:
“I can tell by five pages if someone has the talent, the gift. If someone understands what "voice is". You have it spades... “You have strong imagery, but don't waste words. Less is more in writing and you get that”... “No one can teach magic. Magic authors are rare. Hannah Howell is magic. Lynsay Sands is magic. Anne Stuart is Magic. Elizabeth Lowell is magic. Jayne Ann Krentz is magic. You have that magic”... “If the reader cannot enter your world with you, you don't have magic. I started reading, and you took my hand and pulled me into the world you created. ”Deborah MacGillivray (used with permission of author)
I can understand why you were over the moon. If I were you, I’d print that excerpt out and sleep with it under my pillow lol.
Before I let you go, is there any question you’re dying to be asked?
Is Sir Galeron, the hunky knight in Jewel of Ramstone real?
And the answer is?
Just look at the dedication in the book: To my true Galeron, Joe. (My husband.) So yes, he’s real.
That’s really sweet. Do you have a message for your readers?
I write to take you places you’ve never been. Most of all, I write for YOU--to take your breath, make you cry, laugh. Or better yet, to keep you up way to late because you need to know what happens next...and next. Most of all I want to share the hope in all of my stories. I’d love to hear what you think of the characters, their plights and victories...and whatever else you wish to share with me. You can find all my books through the easy links on my Blog: https://jmpowersromance.blogspot.com
Thank you so much for telling us a little more about you and your novel. It was fun to chat with you.
JEWEL OF RAMSTONE: BOOK BLURB
While on a journey to collect his betrothed, Galeron comes upon a young maiden in the forest. She has no memory of who she is or why she's there. The gash on her cheek says she's suffered terrible abuse. He's instantly smitten and dubs her Ruby of the Forest. However, names do not matter as they discover magical passion beneath the forest canopy.
Ruby accepts his offer of a safe journey to his home, all the while wishing he could offer what she wants most--his heart. At Ramstone, Galeron and Ruby's passions grow day by day. Tidbits of her memory return a little at a time, and she realizes her life intersects with his--and not in a good way.
Will Ruby discover her past? Or will her past discover her when she least expects it?
“God in heaven, give me strength.” He snatched her in a savageembrace and she grew heady with the power she seemed to have over him. The last she saw before she closed her eyes was his tortured look, or mayhap ’twas the way a man looked before he gave in to passion. His moan pulsated against her lips, his tongue prodding for entrance. Once again, he explored her mouth, then his lips moved on to her cheeks, her eyelids, her brow… oh how beautiful and right it felt.
She released the thong holding his hair back and it fell against her face, the smoke from the fire sweet in his locks. Galeron’s tongue teased her ear. Her breathing ceased in the moment he drew a lobe into his mouth and suckled. When he nibbled her neck, moans blended with her pulse. It took a moment to realize the sounds were her own. Her eyes shot open at the sensation of her legs liquefying. Again, it was he who ended the kiss.
Galeron’s eyes looked wild, and she wondered if he saw the same abandon in hers. She searched for the right words to profess her feelings, but he spoke first.
“I regret my shameful actions and beg your forgiveness.”
The sting of his comment struck deeper than the wounds she harbored. She pushed his hands from her waist. “I regret naught but for the shame you harbor.”
“’Tis with good reason.”
She shook her head. “What reason may that be?” It seemed an eternity before he answered, and she began to wish she hadn’t asked.
“I must confess, I am promised to another.”