1. I hear you have pets in your Masonville Small-Town Romance series. Tell us about the series.
I do have pets in my Masonville Small-Town Romance series. And honestly, it’s gotten a bit out of control…
I started the series with Child Of Mine. I wanted to tell stories set in a small town about people who overcome hardships, disappointments and even trauma to find their happily ever after. Child Of Mine is Lauren and Cole’s story. They’ve been friends since they were kids, but Lauren marries Cole’s brother Billy. What Lauren doesn’t know is that Cole has always been in love with her, even after she married his brother.
After Billy dies in a car crash, comfort turns to passion on the day of the funeral and results in a surprise pregnancy. When news of Lauren’s pregnancy gets out, everyone assumes Billy is the father, and Lauren is too afraid of scandal to set them straight. Cole insists on marriage. He wants nothing more than to claim Lauren and the baby as his. Though Lauren marries him, he’s not sure if he’ll ever have her heart. Read more about Child Of Mine on my website.
Cole is a veterinarian and loves animals. When Lauren and Cole marry, she moves into his house with him and his dog Brady, who adores Lauren.
So, the series starts with just one pet. But then in book two, To Heal A Heart, Blair Greyson, a veterinary technician, moves to Masonville to work at the veterinary clinic with Cole. Blair comes to live with her grandfather on his farm just outside of town, and she brings her two rescue horses, Stormy and Rainbow, with her. Her grandfather has an elderly golden retriever named Jake who’s his constant companion. Blair meets Garrett Saunders, who is Lauren’s brother, when she finds his rescue horse Harry on the road to Masonville. They make a deal for Blair to board Harry at the farm in exchange for Garrett helping with some repairs on the barn.
During the course of the book, Garrett’s other sister Charlotte convinces Blair to adopt Frisco, a three-legged cross breed dog who’s never going to win any prizes for beauty. So that’s five more pets added to the list. If you’d like to read more about To Heal A Heart, check it out on my website.
Then in Unexpected, the pet count expands even more. Jamie Garven is a veterinarian who works at the Masonville Veterinary Clinic with Cole and Blair. After a painful divorce, Jamie fills her house with pets. She has an aquarium full of angel fish, two rescue dogs named Sammy and Rex, and an African Gray parrot named Hector that she adopted after his owner died. Jamie doesn’t believe she’ll ever have children, so her pets fill a void in her life. But all that changes when Ben Greyson and his two stepdaughters move in next door. Unexpected is currently with my editor and will be published later this year.
I’m currently working on Strong Enough, the fourth book in the series. This is where the animal count gets totally out of hand. Charlotte Saunders is a nurse who volunteers with Best Friends Haven for Dogs in nearby Bismarck. She takes her work at the shelter very seriously. She’s adopted two dogs herself, a Beagle named Daisy, and River, a German Shepherd/lab cross. When animal protection officers remove over thirty dogs from an animal hoarding situation and bring them to the shelter, Best Friends Haven becomes unmanageably overcrowded and is on the brink of collapse. They may have to euthanize most of the hoarder dogs, starting with the four pregnant dogs. Charlotte is heart-broken.
But then her brother Garrett and sister-in-law Blair step in to house the hoarder dogs in their barn. And Blair’s brother Damon, who is establishing a retreat for military veterans on the farm, offers help in looking after all the dogs. He’ll do just about anything to make Charlotte happy. I’m hoping to finish Strong Enough soon and send it out into the world!
2. Why did you add pets to this series?
Honestly, I didn’t set out initially to include so many animals. I gave Cole a dog in the first book because many of the vets I know have pets/animals of their own, sometimes several. Then, as I got to know my characters, it made perfect sense that they would be dedicated to animal welfare. By the fourth book, rescuing both animals and people is a strong theme.
Aside from that, I love animals. We had our dog Lou for fifteen years. We lost her almost a year and a half ago and I miss her every day. Fortunately, my daughter has a cat named Gibson that we get to babysit every once in a while, so that takes some of the sting away. We had cats for years before we had Lou, so I guess I’m a hybrid dog/cat lover!
3. What other books have you written?
A couple of my other books also prominently feature pets. In my paranormal comedy Burning Love, Iris gets evicted from her apartment after her careless cooking causes a kitchen fire. She has a hard time finding another place for her and her cat Whiskers to call home. Finally, she rents a room in the house that Riley is fixing up. Whiskers and his black lab Buddy get along great, eventually. But a few curtains get shredded first!
Amazon Buy Link: https://www.amazon.com/Burning-Love-ebook/dp/B003552TVU
In One More Second Chance, Julia’s six-year-old daughter Ava gets a white kitten she calls Snowball. That name pays homage to my white cat Snowball. She was my pet when I wasn’t much older than Ava.
I write mostly contemporary romance, including contemporary small-town romance, but I’ve dabbled in romantic suspense and paranormal romance as well. I’ve also written romantic comedy and stories set during World War Two. One of my next projects is going to be a time travel romance. I can’t wait to get to work on it!
4. Tell us about your reviews.
I got some really nice reviews for my last release, To Heal A Heart:
“This book wrecked me! I read it all in one sitting. I just couldn’t put it down. It was such an emotional roller coaster.”
“With her latest novel, author Jana Richards shows, once again, her gift for snappy dialogue, multi-layered characters and gut-wrenching emotion. This is not a book to pick up, thinking you’ll read for a few minutes before turning in. No no no. To Heal A Heart is one of those page turners you will not forget soon…On a scale of 1-5, To Heal A Heart deserves a 7.”
“OMG I love this book but make sure you have tissue handy. You will definitely need them.”
5. How do you promote your books?
I do a variety of things. I blog, I use social media and I guest at lovely blogs like Marcia’s. I’ve begun experimenting with Amazon and Facebook ads. I also have a newsletter and I love connecting with readers there. I always love new readers to sign up and you’ll receive a copy of my full-length book Take A Chance On Me when you do! Sign up at https://www.janarichards.com/contact.html#newsletter
6. Where can readers learn more about your books and connect with you online?
Glad you asked!
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/janarichards
Amazon UK Author Page: http://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B002DEVWWG
Newsletter Signup: http://janarichards.com/contact.html#newsletter
Marcia James: Thank you, Jana, for stopping by my Go Pets blog! I look forward to reading your novels!
READER INVITATION: Would you like to win a Marcia James’ ebook? Visitors to this pro-pet blog can join in the fun, comment, and/or share photos of their pets for a chance to win one of my ebooks! Each month, I’ll randomly pick one commenter to win. To leave a comment and/or a photo, click on the word “Reply,” which is just below the social media icons for THIS interview. (Don’t scroll past this interview to the next interview.) Go Pets!