Jane Toombs, born in California, raised in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, has returned "home" to live in the beautiful Upper Peninsula on the shore of Lake Superior--with the Viking from her past. Jane has five children, two stepchildren, seven grandchildren, a calico cat named Kinko and two computers.
She's the author of over eighty published books, both in paper and electronic. These include the various romance genres--gothic, suspense, contemporary, historical, Regency and paranormal--as well as other genres such as mystery, fantasy and horror. Jane has used pseudonyms--Ellen Jamison, Diana Stuart, Olivia Sumner--but is now writing under her own name except for her Zebra/Pinnacle romances for which she uses Jane Anderson.
With over 80 published books to her name, check out Jane's website to get a flavour of her vast range.
Today, Jane is promoting TAKEN IN -
Book I of THE DAGON HOUSE TRILOGY from Champagne Books
In New York City Gail Sarandon watches the murder of a man she knows. Afraid the hit man has seen her, she flees her apartment, heading in a rental car for the Adirondacks. Both Secret Agent Jason Tregarth, who intends to turn her over to a US Marshal, and the hit man pursue her. Jason reaches her first, but his attempt to get her to safety is thwarted by the hit man. Jason, Gail with him, is forced to flee. They evade the hit man but the car crashes and burns on a lonely mountain road. Both are forced to take shelter in a old Victorian called Dagon House…
From where do you get inspiration?
I’ve compared my mind to a busy airport with planes constantly flying in and out, with some waiting to land. The planes represent the ideas constantly circling in my head--some coming in, some leaving, When one lands it becomes a story. So the inspiration is always there, circling and waiting,
My latest story, Christmas Catalyst, was written for Red Rose Publishing. My original thought was to set a Christmas story in the past near the Hudson River, but when I sat down to write, the story of this ten-year-old girl whose soldier father was killed in Afghanistan suddenly unfolded before me, so that’s what I wrote. Even the location changed from New York to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. I have no idea why I suddenly had to write that story.
Who controls the story – you or your characters?
Essentially I do. But the characters let me know who they are and what they want. almost as though they’re talking to me and I do pay attention to this.
What do you enjoy about writing romance?
Everything. How and why each hero and heroine get together even though inner and outer forces vie to keep them apart. Each time , it’s almost like falling in love all over again.
What do you like best and least about writing?
Well, I have to write or I’m miserable. So writing is not a chore for me. But I’ve always hated deadlines. That’s one of reasons I left New York pubs for epublishers.
What is the best writing advice you have ever received?
Use active verbs, learn to edit yourself and keep your language always understandable even if you vocabulary far exceeds that of the average person. All this from either English instructors or editors.
What can we look forward to from you in the near future?
I have one more book to finish in my Dangerous Darkness Series from Red Rose Publishing: Darkness On The Shore. Also two more books to write in my Dagon House Ghosts Trilogy for Champagne.: Where There’s Smoke and Ghost Hunt. Plus three more books to write in my Underworld Series for Eternal Press: Uncanny, Unearthly, and Unspoiled. Once I get these in, I’ll be starting a new series called Dangerous Metals.
How do you like to spend your free time?
Do you have any unfulfilled ambitions you wish to accomplish? What would you most like to accomplish this year?
In 2012 I hope to be able to finish all my current series so I can get started on some of the others I have outlined: The Sun Gates. Prime and Null, The Raffin Family, to name some of them.
What was your favorite book as a child/teen/adult? Are you currently reading anything?Child: Millions of Cats I still recall chanting “Hundreds of cats, thousands of cats, millions and bilions and trillions of cats…”
Teen: Poe’s poetry and the Nancy Drew mystery series
Adult: I have so many favorites I can’t narrow it down to one book or even one author. Fantasy and murder mysteries run neck and neck for favorite authors. Two of my favorite fantasy authors, Anne Mccaffery and Andre Norton are, alas, no longer with us.
Michael Connolly and Lee Childs are my two current favorite mystery writers--and both are still alive.
Currently reading and enjoying SCARPETTA by Patricia Cornwall.
AND NOW JANE TREATS US TO AN EXCERPT FROM TAKEN IN
Inside Dagon House, one of the three women Jason didn't know took his arm and led him to a chair, standing over him. Gratefully, he sank onto it, glad to be sitting down inside a house, out of the rain. Between the throbbing in his head and the pain in his arm, he couldn't think straight. He had no idea where he was, though he knew one of the women had brought him here from—what? Some kind of accident? But all three were strangers.
"In case you didn't catch my name, Jason," the woman said, "I'm Anita, and I'm a nurse. We're going to get that jacket off and take a look at that injured left arm of yours."
Even though she was careful removing the jacket, he was forced to clench his teeth against the pain. Anita set a towel on his knees and he watched blood drip onto it.
"Krystal," she said, "please bring me my first aid kit."
"I know where it is," a child's voice said. "I can get it."
"Krystal will take of that," Anita said. "Just what are you doing out of bed?"
"I heard someone knock and I got scared."
"As you can see, everything is all right. Take Rex upstairs with you for company. "
"That man's arm is all bloody, Mom."
"I'm going to fix it. Go back to bed. Now."
"Come on, Rex, " the child called. The brown mixed-breed dog wuffed and followed the dark-haired girl from the room. Jason figured she was about ten. She had her mother's hazel eyes. The blond woman who must be Krystal had already disappeared.
"You have a long gash on your forearm that needs stitches," Anita told him. "I don't know what else might be wrong with the arm, but I don't think any bones are broken."
Krystal returned with the kit, set it on the table beside Anita and opened it.
"I'll pad your arm with gauze to stop the bleeding till we can get you an emergency room.," Anita said.
"No ER." Jason's tone was clipped.
Anita gave him an assessing look. "Do you have any other injuries?"
Involuntarily, Jason's right hand rose to his forehead.
She took a penlight from the kit , bent over and shone it into one eye, then the other. Then she ran her hands over his head, He winced when she touched the left side.
"Some swelling," she said. "So you banged your head in that car wreck. Your pupils are both the same size, so you're okay so far, but you really need an X-ray to be sure you don't—"
"No X-rays. No hospital."
Anita looked at the woman who'd brought him here.
"He has a reason," the woman said.
So she knew him. A blade of fear sliced through Jason. Why didn't he know her? But she was right. There was some reason he couldn't be taken to any hospital. If only he could remember what it was.
Anita looked from her back to Jason. "Since I told you no one asks questions in this house, I'll have to give you both the same courtesy. But I do recommend you see a doctor, and will be glad to drive you to an ER. "
"That's not an option," Jason told her.
"Okay, understood. You both need to get out of those wet clothes." She turned to Krystal. "Why don't you take Gail upstairs and get her into something dry. Once she's set, you could see if there are any men's clothes in those attic trunks." Focusing on Jason, she told him, "I'll stitch you up first. Got to warn you, though. I don't have any local anesthetic, much less any curved needles or sutures. I'll have to sterilize a regular needle and thread for the job."
"Do whatever needs to be done." Now he knew Gail was the name of the woman who brought him here. Why didn't it sound familiar? What the hell was wrong with his mind? And what was this no questions business?
The stitching-up hurt him every bit as much as Anita had warned, plus her moving his arm caused excruciating pain. When she finished and was bandaging up her work, she shook her head. "What is it with men? Wouldn't have bothered me a bit if you'll yelled every time I stuck the needle in. But, no, men like you always have to prove how rugged they are."
Men like him? What did she mean? When she finished, he rose from the chair and had to grab the table top when the room whirled. Without thinking he used both arms and couldn't avoid grunting from the pain in his left one. He sat back down and closed his eyes.
"So you're dizzy. Not surprising," she said.
"Arm hurts if I try to use it." he confessed. "May need some aspirin."
"I told you I didn't find any broken bones when I checked. My guess is you've got some bruised muscles from whacking that arm on something during the accident. They'll heal in time, but they'll go on hurting till they do. I'll fetch some aspirin. In the mean time, you sit right here. Put your head down on the table if you feel faint. Don't try to get up until Krystal comes back downstairs. All the bedrooms and the only bathroom are upstairs. It'll take the two of us to get you there."
Jason hated the fact he needed help, but she was right. He wouldn't make it on his own. He hoped the aspirin would help clear his head.
After the hot shower she'd dreamed of, Gail, dried off and put on the gray sweat pants and T-shirt Krystal had given her. The watch resting on the washbasin had both hands on twelve. Midnight. She left the bathroom just as Anita hit the stair landing.
Anita opened a door and gestured for Gail to enter. "I'm putting you in this bedroom with the twin beds. Your husband will need checking on during the night, so I'll bring you an alarm clock and a flashlight."
Gail opened her mouth to set Anita straight about their relationship, but bit back the words. If she didn't check on Jason, then Anita would have to, and she'd done enough already.
CHECK OUT JANE'S AUTHOR PAGES at CHAMPAGNE BOOKS link, at RED ROSE link and at Amazon link.
Also read more at her website http://www.janetoombs.com/
Jane's next book - Christmas Catalyst, one of the Twelve Days Of Christmas stories, will be available from Red Rose
on Sat 31 Dec Mark your calendars!
Thank you, Jane, for taking time out of your busy schedule to be with us today.
It has been a pleasure to meet you.