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Thursday, September 20, 2012

Meet Jennifer Lowery



I am so pleased to introduce you to Michigan author Jennifer Lowery.

Jennifer grew up reading romance novels in the back of her math book and on the bus to school, and never wanted to be anything but a writer. Her summers were spent sitting at the kitchen table with her sisters spinning tales of romance and intrigue and always with a tall glass of ice tea at their side.

Today, Jennifer is living that dream and she couldn’t be happier to share her passion with her readers. She loves everything there is about romance. Her stories feature alpha heroes who meet their match with strong, independent heroines. She believes that happily ever after is only the beginning of her stories. And the road to that happy ending is paved with action, adventure, and romance. As her characters find out when they face danger, overcome fears, and are forced to look deep within themselves to discover love.

Jennifer lives in Michigan with her husband and three children. When she isn’t writing she enjoys reading and spending time with her family.

The best part of hosting authors on this blog is when they're here to talk about their debut book. It reminds me so much of how I felt when I sold my first novel.

Welcome, Jennifer Lowery.

Make Your Dreams Happen

Hello readers! Thank you so much for stopping by! And thank you, Diane, for inviting me to your wonderful blog. I’m so happy to be here.

If there was one job in this world you would love to do, what would it be? Ooh, I can hear you shouting your answers right now! Fabulous!

For me, my dream job was to be a writer. For as long as I can remember that is all I ever wanted to be. I grew up reading and writing. I love it! I love the heroes, the heroines, the settings, the adventure and romance, the tension and conflict. Everything there is about romance. I knew from the first time I picked up a Harlequin I wanted to write romance. Never a doubt in my mind. The happily ever after was the be all end all for me. That moment when I read the last page and sighed because the hero and heroine had overcome all odds and fallen in love. I’ve found my fit writing action adventure romance with alpha, military heroes and strong, independent heroines.

But, my journey to publication wasn’t what I dreamed it would be. I didn’t sit down, write a story, send it out and get it published. No, that was the fairy tale! In truth, it took me ten years to sign my first publishing contract. And thank goodness for it because I had much to learn!

I am here to tell you that it is possible to publish your earlier writings. I just signed a contract for my second book, titled Murphy’s Law, a 2006 Golden Heart finalist, and the second manuscript I ever completed. Yep. You read that right. It was one of those awful, what-was-I-thinking, horrible first drafts that needed many revisions before it was even readable, lol! But, even after many revisions and finaling in the GH, it still wasn’t ready for publication. Six years later, I found a fabulous critique group (boy, do I wish I had found this group years ago!!) where I met my incredible critique partner, and sent it through for critique. Wow! What a difference that made. I learned soooo much from the critiques I received and cut 7,000 words out of Murphy’s Law. All fluff, passive voice, repeats. So, my advice to you is find a critique group if you don’t have one. Find one that fits you. It is an invaluable tool in a writer’s toolbox, in my opinion.

This same critique group helped me refine and revise manuscript #1, Hard Core, which is available in print on Amazon right now! Squee! And coming to e-readers on my official release date of October 8!

But, to backtrack a bit. During those ten years I wrote eight novels and submitted five to agents, editors, and publishers. The rejections I received could wallpaper a room!! I entered writing contests and didn’t final. I entered the Golden Heart and did final. I entered a local RWA (Romance Writers of America) chapter contest and finaled, then placed fourth, but tied for third. I entered the Golden Heart again last year with Hard Core, did not final even with one perfect score and one nearly perfect score, but received a publishing contract.  

I got partial requests from Silhouette when they were still Silhouette Intimate Moments on two different manuscripts. Murphy’s Law being one of them. Then requests for a full on both. Then got rejected on both. I submitted another manuscript to Harlequin Intrigue and was asked for a partial, then a full, and finally was rejected. I found an agent, who was interested in my work, but she led me in the wrong direction with one of my manuscripts and we parted ways before I signed with her.

I love my rejections! They represent all the work I’ve done to reach my goal. Written proof that I did it! I put myself out there and took the chance. I made it happen. This is my advice to anyone who has a dream. Embrace the rejections! Be proud of the hard work you’ve done. Get out there and make your dreams happen! If you have a dream, go get it!! It took me ten years, many, many rejections, hurts and joys, ups and downs, insecurities and failures, but I did it! And I am so happy I did because just yesterday I was able to hold a copy of my book in my hand.

Thank you for joining me today! If it weren’t for you, my readers, I wouldn’t be here. My hope is to one day meet each and every one of you so I can personally thank you for your support and generosity!

All my best,
Jennifer

See what I mean? Jennifer's enthusiasm made me smile the first time I read her article and I'm still smiling as I put this up on my blog.

Now that you've read her story, here's more about Hard Core, a romantic suspense:

He takes lives. She saves them.

A supposedly hassle-free job for mercenary Cristian Slade becomes a mission of mercy when he saves a life instead of taking one. Slade's new mission might be his most dangerous yet, because the danger is to his heart.

Tragedy has sent esteemed surgeon Alana O'Grady to a remote a remote Nicaraguan island where she immerses herself in the lives of a native American tribe, using her talents for goodwill instead of wealth and prestige. But life turns upside down when her work requires she protect a rugged mercenary who commands her attention when she's awake and dominates her dreams while she sleeps.

Doctoring Christian puts her entire tribe in danger from the man who's hunting him. Is it her professional oath or her unprofessional attraction to him keeping her from sending him away to heal on his own? Alana's fire warms Christian's heart, but he's a hardened assassin and has no business falling for someone like her. Can they fight hard enough to keep what they might have together?

Content Warning: Sexual content.
 
Excerpt:

Prepared to start an IV, she picked up a needle. She had it in position when his other arm shot out and he clamped her wrist in a bone-crushing grip. Startled, she met his panicked gaze.
“I said no needles.”
Her heart banged against her ribcage as she let the needle slip out of her hand. It hit the floor with a small ting. Alana opened her hands in surrender, her patient’s fingers digging into her flesh. For a man half-dead, he had amazing strength.
“Okay,” she said to placate him. “Relax, I don’t have it anymore. It’s your choice, but I recommend you let me start an IV for meds.”
“No. Just fix me.”
Alana pinned him with a no nonsense stare. “I’m not impressed with Superman heroics.”
Face pale and drawn, he said gruffly, “I’m not Superman. Learned not to trust people with needles.”
Her fingers were going numb. “If I remove the bullet without pain medication or anesthetic, you’re going to be sorry.”
He studied her. “You’re really a doctor?”
Alana bristled. “Technically, yes.”
“Technically?”
She didn’t have time to explain herself with the amount of blood seeping from his gunshot wound. “I went to med school. You can let go of my arm now. I won’t use any needles.”
He looked down and immediately released his grip. She rubbed her wrist to soothe away the ache. “Can I get to work now, or do you want to question me more about my credentials while you bleed to death? I don’t have a blood bank, so you’re screwed if you lose too much.”
Her blunt statement received a curt nod. She normally didn’t talk to her patients like that. Her patients didn’t normally countermand her either.
“Do it,” he said.
“Without anesthetics?”
“I don’t need them. Just get it over with.”
Stubborn, stupid, or both? Insane, yes, but there wasn’t time to argue with him.
“Okay. The offer stands if you change your mind.”
“I won’t.”
She doubted that, but didn’t comment. Instead, wiped her forehead with her forearm, and picked up gauze pads to clean the wound.
“Here goes,” she warned and dabbed his skin.
Her patient didn’t move or even wince as she cleaned the angry wound. Either he had a will of steel or he’d passed out again. Hopefully, the latter. Sweat rolled down her back as she finished cleansing the area around the bullet entry. Red flesh puckered with the first signs of infection. In this environment infection was guaranteed.
With a steady hand that would have made her father proud, she picked up her instruments and took a deep breath.
“You still with me?”
He murmured a response, turning his head slightly so he could see her. The stark beauty of his profile, despite the bruises, struck her again. The lines of his face were chiseled, unforgiving. The kind of man she’d glance at twice if she passed him on the street.
A man associated with a criminal.
“Still here, Doc. What are you waiting for?” Husky with pain, his deep voice brought her out of her thoughts.
She gave herself a mental shake. “Want something to bite down on?”
A small, wry smile touched his lips and his lids closed. “You won’t hear a peep out of me. Just fix me, Doc.”
“I can hit you so you’ll sleep through it,” she muttered.
That drew a low chuckle from him. She didn’t expect him to have a sense of humor. He seemed too…hard. His chuckle turned into a grunt of pain. “You probably hit like a girl.”
Alana grinned. “Yes, I do. Rest assured it won’t feel like it.”
“Appreciate the offer, but, no.” His words slurred together, his muscles tense as he fought his body’s demands.
“You got a name, Superman?”
His head rolled to the side, his chest rose and fell slowly. She thought he was out but he murmured, “Cristian.”
“Nice to meet you, Cristian.”
Then she dug into the wound for the bullet.

Thanks for stopping by, Jennifer. I'm so glad you shared your story and a little about your debut novel, Hard Core, which is available in paperback at: http://amzn.com/1616503823

Readers can find Jennifer at:



 

47 comments:

  1. Thanks for having me today, Diane!! I'm so happy to be here!

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  2. Great story about your journey to publication, Jennifer. Congrats and best wishes for much success in your career.

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  3. so glad you didn't quit, Jennifer! I'm a firm believer in the persperation rule - success is 10% luck 50% persperation and 40% perserverance!

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    1. Love this, Kristina!! Gonna remember that :) Thanks so much!

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  4. Can't wait to read this book Jennifer! And so glad you pursued your dream to write. That's all I've ever wanted to do as well...but I kept pushing it aside for other reasons...but glad I finally took the plunge!

    HAPPY WRITING!!! xoxo

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    1. Me too, Christine!! But, the call to write never goes away, does it? And thank goodness, because it's the best job ever!! Thanks so much!!

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  5. Such an inspiring story. :) I have to admit that my critique group and critique partners, as well as many of the authors I met online helped me to get published. I wish you all the best!

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    1. Critique groups and partners are the best, aren't they, Jessica? I just love mine!! Wouldn't be here without them! Thanks so much!!

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  6. Congratulations on your first release! There really is nothing like the feeling of holding that first book in your hand. Enjoyed reading about your writing journey and glad you stuck it out.

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    1. Me too, Lucy! And thank you!! I sure did enjoy holding my book for the first time :)

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  7. Great interview! Much luck and best wishes to you and I can't wait for ebook version of this:)

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    1. Thanks, Tanya!! Only a couple more weeks and you'll have it! I hope you enjoy it :) Thanks so much!!

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  8. Great story, Jennifer, and congratulations on ALL of your accomplishments. Sounds like a heart-pounding story. Many happy sales!

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  9. Great post Jennifer! So true - our dreams don't just come true out of luck - we have to make them happen by not giving up. Thanks for the excerpt! Can't wait for Hard Core to come out in ebook:)

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    1. You are so right, Maria!! Don't give up on your dreams! Ever!! I hope you enjoy Hard Core :) Thanks so much!!

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  10. Love this interview...very inspiring and so true. Rejections are a part of every writer's life, and they either make you determined to succeed, or they crush you. The choice is yours. Your book sounds fantastic...well done...best of luck!

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  11. What a beautiful story!I'm glad you didn't give up. And it's so awesome to see that you were able to put your earlier work into print. Congrats!

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    1. Thanks so much, Mart!! I can't wait to share Murphy with my readers!

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  12. Good for you for sticking with it!!! Those rejections are badges of honor!

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    1. A wonderful way of putting it, Sharon!! Thanks so much!!

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  13. Congrats, Jenn! I don't know who deserves this more! I love this book, and all your books!

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    1. Welcome, my dear CP, D'Ann!! Couldn't have done it without you :) Thanks so much!!

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  14. Jennifer,
    Awesome, awesome post! Thank you. I love your cover!
    -R.T. Wolfe
    www.rtwolfe.com
    Black Creek Burning (Crimson Romance, September 2012)

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    1. You are so welcome, RT!! Thanks so much!! Lyrical did an awesome job on the cover :)

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  15. Congratulations on your success! I hope others who read your story to publication will take heart and follow their dream too.

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    1. Thanks so much, Sheri!! I hope everyone follows their dreams :)

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  16. That was great, and so inspiring. I haven't been at it for as long as you, but I'm glad to see that success is possible. I hope I can keep a positive attitude like yours after 10 years.
    Congratulations on your new book, and the many more to come!

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  17. Great excerpt, Jennifer, and a wonderful, inspirational story about your journey to publication!

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  18. Loved your sample, Jennifer! My dream is like your dream: to be a multi-published, multi-purchased fiction writer. Congrats on your debut.

    All the best, Annette

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    1. I wish you all the success in the world, Annette!! I'm sure your dreams will come true!! Thanks so much :)

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  19. Great excerpt, Jennifer. I'm just waiting for October 8! You have been persevering for a long time and I'm thrilled that your hard work is paying off! Congrats on both Hard Core and Murphy's Law!

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  20. What a great post! Kudos chica on the releases.

    Nikki

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  21. Awesome post! So proud of you for hanging in there and accomplishing your dream. You are on your way now. :) And I can't wait to read Hard Core. I've love the blurb and all the excerpts I've read of it. Congratulations to you!

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  22. Fantastic advice, Jennifer! Congratulations... I can't wait to read your stories.

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