Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Leap Year Blog Hop

Welcome to the Leap year blog hop!

The stop before this one is:Rachel Haimowitz Fantasy Unbound

Your next stop will be at Lynn Crain at Lynn Crain's XtraOrdinary Romance

***Leave a comment here with your email addy for a chance to win a pukka shell necklace***

Hi, I’m Janice Seagraves. I write romances of various genres. 

My book

My first novel is a contemporary erotic romance called, Windswept Shores, published through Pink Petal Books. 

Since my depute novel was published, I’ve had a roller coaster of a learning curve. I’ve had to learn to promote, schedule guest blogs and do interviews. Also run contests and the like. But it’s been fun too, and I’ve meet a lot of wonderful people along the way. 

One of the things I’ve learned is that a lot of people are interested in how I got my first contract. 

It all started with a contest. 

While going through comments on a certain yahoo group, I noticed a post about a cover contest at Pink Petal Books. 

So I checked it out. 

There were two book covers available, and the publisher wanted a book based on the cover. The first one I wasn’t too interested in, but the second had me. 

I stared opened mouth at the cover of a handsome man and woman, standing in water. A beach was behind them. It reminded me very strongly of one of my finished manuscript that I had named, Windswept Shores. 

I decided right then and there—I had to have that cover. 

Next came days and nights of hard work as I made the manuscript as perfect as possible. It took me a few weeks to get it done. 

But then I realized there were three more things I needed to do. As tough as it sounds, I had to quickly educate myself in the fine art of writing a blurb, query letter and a synopsis, which I had never done before—ever. 

In a panic, I asked some writer friends for help and advice, which they very graciously gave. 

Finally, everything was ready and I emailed my submission package. 

Anxiety set in. 

Did I write the query letter correctly? Did the synopsis or blurb suck? While I waited to hear back, I went over my manuscript again, checking for typos and grammar issues. 

Two weeks later I heard from a woman named, Mary. She told me, she liked what she’d read and asked for the complete manuscript. 

With my heart beating a rapid tattoo against my ribs, I attached my manuscript to the return email. 

My mouth went dry, as my curser hovered over the send key. 

I bit my lip and my hand shook. My manuscript is as ready as it’s going to be. So hit the button already! 

Two more weeks passed, before I heard back from Mary (which I didn’t realize at the time was a very fast response time). I read the email three times. I looked back at my husband and nearly ask him to read it for me. 

Then I read it again. Am I reading this right? 

Finally, I called my hubby over so he too could read the email. 

“Jan, she loves it. She’s offering you a contract. Congratulations, honey.” 

As I sat in a state of shock, hubby patted my shoulder and kissed my temple. 

She likes it? 

It’s a heady feeling to finally get a book contract. I can’t even describe how wonderful it felt. 

After carefully looking over the contract, I signed on the dotted line. Next were the edits, and then finally the book release.  

And here it is . . . Windswept Shores!

My book

Windswept Shores Blurb: The sole survivor of a plane crash, Megan is alone on a deserted island in the Bahamas until she finds a nearly-drowned man washed up on shore. Another survivor, this time from a boat wreck. With only meager survival skills between them, will they survive and can they find love? 


If she had to spend one more day on this godforsaken island, she'd go stark raving mad. 

The thought spurred Megan into rolling a large log with one foot then the other, until it was near the bonfire. 

"God, this thing is heavy." With a grunt, she lifted one end until it teetered upright then gave it a shove. It landed in the fire, embers swirling in the air. Breathing hard, she flicked a glance at the teal-colored sea. 

She'd thought a vacation to the Bahamas would be the perfect getaway, would be a solution to the problems she and Jonathan had faced. She'd been wrong—dead wrong. 

Tears of grief filled her eyes. The never-ending crash of the waves on the beach and the cries of the seagulls seemed to mock her with the reminder she was utterly alone. 

She'd felt like a tiny speck of sand last night when a violent storm had swept across the island. It had made a mess of her meager campsite, which had taken all morning to fix, and had demolished her seaweed SOS sign. She'll have to recreate her SOS. Sighing, Megan trudged toward a pile of kelp. 

As she got closer, she saw a figure wearing blue jeans and a t-shirt. Her stomach lurched. 

Oh, God, it’s another body washed up from the plane wreck. That would be number twelve. As always, she couldn't help but wonder if the next one would be Jonathan. He hadn’t been wearing jeans on the plane, so she knew she’d been spared seeing his corpse this time. Thank God. 

She approached the body with dread. Tightening her resolve, she knelt. Suddenly the "dead body" coughed and rolled over. 

With a scream, Megan jumped back. She clutched her chest and pressed a shaking hand to her mouth. 

He’s alive! 

Biting her lip, she stared down at the still-breathing man. His drenched t-shirt molded against his broad shoulders and well developed upper body. Short, golden brown hair stuck out in all directions. 

Megan, get control of yourself. Don’t wet your pants the first time you finally see a living person. 

She got on her knees, plucked the seaweed from him and wiped the sand from his face. His day-old whiskers scratched her palm. Reddened skin stretched across both cheekbones and over the bridge of his nose. Her thumb caressed his parched full bottom lip. 

She patted the side of his face. “Hey, are you okay?” That’s a dumb question. He isn’t okay. 

“Hmm?” Gray eyes fluttered open. He stared at her a long moment, frowning slightly. “G’day.” 

“Hello there.” She hated the sound of her voice. It sounded rusty, unused. 

Abruptly he rolled away from her to heave onto the sand, making a loud, ugly retching noise. 

He wiped his mouth with the back of his hand, then looked at her. “Sorry, mate, I swallowed too much sea.” His gaze went over her shoulder in the direction of the bonfire which crackled and popped not far from them. “Mite big for a barbie.” 

Sitting back on her heels with her hands folded in her lap, Megan followed his gaze, then back to him. “My signal fire.” 

“Signal for what?” 

“Help.” His accent intrigued her. Was he English or Australian? 

“G’darn,” he looked around, “where the bloody hell am I?” 

“Don’t know. There’s no one here to ask.” Megan shrugged helplessly, but couldn’t contain her curiosity. “Are you from England?” 

“Naw,” he rubbed his eyes, “I hail from Sidney, but my port of call these days is Fort Lauderdale.” He blinked up at her. “You?” 

Ah, he’s an Aussie. “I’m Megan Lorry, from Anaheim, California,” she said, barely loud enough to be heard above the sounds of the surf and the roar from the fire. “Are you a survivor of Air Bahamas flight 227, too?” 


Janice’s website:
Windswept Shores:
Now also available at SmashwordsDiesel, All Romance and for the kindle at Amazon.

Your next stop will be at Lynn Crain at Lynn Crain's XtraOrdinary Romance

But before you leave don't forget to leave a comment with your email addy, so I'll know how to contact the winner of the pukka shell necklace.


Paul McDermott said...

There are a creeeeeeepy number of similarities between your description of how "Windswept Shores" came to be published, and what happened to me with my debut novel "The Chapel of Her Dreams", which will be published later this year by Whimsical Publications [Florida].
I wasn't even considering a US publisher (it's hard enough getting a UK publisher or Lit. Agent to look at your work at the moment!) but SOMEONE saw a sample passage on a chat site I visit [TheWritersChatroom, Sundays & Wednesdays - highly recommended, check 'em out!] and it just sort of spiralled from there!
Today is my favourite day of the cycle of years. I've played the role of Frederic ("Pirates of Penzance") many times and I'll never tire of it! In fact, two years from now I'd LOVE to be able to play it ON 29th Feb to mark my own 63rd birth year ...

samples of work?



joye said...

enjoyed reading the comments. Your book sounds really good and I have added it to my TBR list.

Kayelle Allen said...

Enjoying the hop! Happy Leap Year. Just enjoying the reads... not entering. Good luck everyone.

~Jane~ said...

Hi Janice~

Happy Leap Day! I love your description of reading your acceptance email! Add in a snoopy dance and I did the same thing! LOL ;)

Thanx for being part of the hop!


menina.iscrazy said...

I love how the novel became published. Sounded like it was really exciting. :) Love the excerpt and the cover. I can understand why it inspired you. :) Thanks for the giveaway!

menina.iscrazy @

M. S. Spencer said...

Hi Janice--reading about that first contract (what they used to call "The Call") still gives me goosebumps. I remember squealing (a lot) & running up & down the stairs like a HUNDRED times. A great feeling. Happy Leap Year--drop by my blog for a different take. Meredith

LKF said...

You know I love reading what you write and your story on how you got published was great. I'm sure your future is full of e-mails like that one.

Celtic Chick said...

That's a great story about your first contract.
I hate writing a synopsis, but that's the one time it's okay to tell and not show. :)
Happy Leap Year Day!

Pamela Giles said...

Congrats on your first book! I loved the excerpt and have to read the book. Thanks for joining the blog hop! Pam

Janice Seagraves said...

Hi Paul,

Really? Wow, that is interesting. Well, don't rule out US publishers, they're more than willing to look at your work.

Hi Joye,

Oh, thank you so much. That means a lot to me.

Hi Kayelle,

Thank you. I'm glad you enjoyed reading my post.

Hi Jane,

I think I was too stunned to do the Snoopy dance, lol. May for my next contract I will. :)

Hi Menina,

Thank you. It's a lovely cover and I wanted so bad I could just taste it. So it made getting the cover that much more exciting.

Hi M.S.,

I know that excitement. I was bubbling with it for days afterwards. :)

Hi Lynda,

Thank you so much for saying so. Good luck with your own writing. :D

Hi Kelley,

Happy Leap Year to you too.

Yup, synopsis are darn hard to do, but necessary.

Hi Pam,

Thank you so much. Have a great day.


Shannon Leigh said...

I love the quote in the title of your blog. Very touching. Great excerpt!

Shannon Leigh
author_shannon_leigh at hotmail dot com

Janice Seagraves said...

Hi Sharon,

Thank you. Your in the contest.


Janice Seagraves said...

The winner of the pukka shell necklace is Jane.

Jane, I will contract you via email in just a little while.