To Heal a Heart
Author of the Series: The Masonville Small Town Romance
Jana Richards has tried her hand at many writing projects over the years, from magazine articles and short stories to full-length paranormal suspense and romantic comedy. She loves to create characters with a sense of humor, but also a serious side. She believes there’s nothing more interesting then peeling back the layers of a character to see what makes them tick.
When not writing up a storm, working at her part-time day job as bookkeeper, or dealing with dust bunnies, Jana can be found pursuing hobbies such as golf (which she plays very badly) or reading (which she does much better).
Connect with her:
Jana lives in Western Canada with her husband Warren. You can reach her through her website at http://www.janarichards.com
Jana Richards is in the house! Welcome Jana, I’m so glad you’ve joined us today on the Spotlight!
Jana, let's start with what you like best about your hero?
I like that Garrett is honorable. He knew Blair as a young girl, and even when she threw herself at him back then, he wouldn’t take advantage of her. He’s also a loyal friend. When one of his friends is in trouble, he drives through the night to help him. He’s a loving son, brother and uncle. Even when he’s at his lowest point, his family is the most important thing to him.
A great quality for sure! And what do you like best about your heroine?
I like Blair’s kindness. She’s dedicated to her grandfather and caring for his needs. She adores her brothers. She loves animals and goes out of her way to help them; she’s even made caring for sick animals her profession. Despite what she’s been through, Blair is stronger and more resilient than she realizes. She has the ability to weather the storms that life throws at her.
And what would you say was the hardest or maybe most unusual or even just interesting part of your story?
My character Garrett is an amputee, having lost part of his right leg below the knee in an explosion in Afghanistan. I found researching prosthetics fascinating. There are numerous YouTube videos showing the mechanics of a prothesis, how to put one on and off, and how it feels. Even more interesting to me were the blogs and forums I read about the psychology of being an amputee. These blogs talked about how it affects the way you feel about yourself, especially when it comes to sex. Garrett had always been the best looking, the strongest, the most athletic. He was the man women wanted to be with. When he lost part of his leg, he lost his image of himself and I wanted to portray his struggle with his new self-image as realistically as possible.
That is truly fantastic! I love that choice you made, and that you did all that research to get it right. How did you choose this genre?
I write in several romance genres – romantic suspense, light paranormal, historical romance set in WW2 – but lately I’ve been writing a lot of small- town contemporary romance. This genre resonates with me because I come from small town roots and I feel like I “get” small towns. I love the idea that my characters fall in love with their communities as the fall in love with each other.
I'm from a small town too and know exactly what you mean. Do you have a genre you'd like to write that you've never written before?
I would love to write a mystery series, perhaps one set in during World War Two. There’s something very exciting about setting a story, especially a mystery, against that extra layer of danger and intrigue. So far, this mystery series is only a figment of my imagination, but I hope to make it a reality one day.
Now that would be interesting. What do you have coming up on the horizon?
TO HEAL A HEART is book two in my Masonville series. Book three, which I’m calling UNEXPECTED, is currently with my beta readers. In every book in this series, the main characters have a trauma or wound to overcome. In UNEXPECTED, Ben battles the pain of a dysfunctional childhood that left him with deep scars, and Jamie wrestles with infertility. When Ben and his stepdaughters move into the house next door, Jamie immediately falls in love with the girls. Believing it’s her only chance to be a mother, Jamie marries the widowed Ben to help him retain custody of the girls after their grandparents threaten to take them away. The fourth and final book in the series will be called STRONG ENOUGH. I haven’t begun writing this one yet, but I know it will center around childhood sexual abuse. It’s probably going to be the toughest one to write.
Finally, what would you most like to say to your readers?
That I write each book with their reading experience in mind. I work hard to take them on a roller coaster ride of emotions. I want them to feel what my characters feel. I want to take readers on a journey of highs and lows and everything in between. My favorite books are always the ones that make me feel something and that’s what I want to bring to the table.
I also want readers to know that I’d love to hear from them! You can contact me through my website at https://www.janarichards.com/contact.html
About the Book
TO HEAL A HEART
Release Date: June 15, 2020
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Cover Artist: Rae Monet
Genre/Sub-Genre: Small Town romance, contemporary western romance
He pushed himself to his feet, disconcerted by his unsteadiness. He made a few halting steps toward the gate as Blair ran into the yard.
“I forgot my sweater,” she said, grabbing the garment from the back of a chair and slipping it on. “It’s cooler than I thought. Are you sure you don’t want to watch the fireworks with us?”
His words were cut off by a loud explosion, and his only thought was that he had to protect Blair. He grabbed her and threw her to the ground, covering her body with his. He was under attack. Why was Blair in Afghanistan? How could he keep her safe?
Through the chaos and noise he heard her muffled voice beneath him. “Garrett, you’re crushing me.”
He shifted his weight slightly. “Shh. I’m sorry. You have to stay down and quiet. I can’t let them hurt you.”
She stopped struggling. “Who’s going to hurt me?”
“Can’t you hear the mortar fire? I have to protect you.”
Her hand rubbed his back in gentle circles. “It’s all right, Garrett. It’s only fireworks. It can’t hurt us. We’re safe here.”
He lifted his head and looked around. He was in Cole and Lauren’s back yard in Masonville. There were no bombs, no shelling, no Taliban. He looked down into Blair’s face, into the pity in her eyes. He rolled off her, disgusted with himself.
Disgusted and scared. He was losing his mind.
Let’s finish with everyone’s favorite… Speed Dating!
Your favorite movie: Jerry Maguire
Best place you’ve visited: Maui
Place you’d like to visit: Barcelona
Favorite food: Pizza
If a movie was made about your life, who would you want to play you? Reese Witherspoon
What song best sums you up? You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet
Oxford comma, yes or no? Yes
Pen or pencil? Pencil – I’m always editing
Favorite music? Country
Coffee or tea? Coffee in the morning, tea in the evening.
What does your desk look like? A total mess!
What is your writing vice or must-haves? A calendar and scrap paper for my to-do list
Plotter or pantser? Mostly a plotter.
Mac or PC? PC
Favorite dessert? Chocolate chip cookies
What is your favorite thing to learn about in your free time? Health, wellness, yoga
You have a time travel machine. Where and when? London, WW2
Are you earth, wind, fire or water? Earth