Megan's 5 star rated Contemporary Romance

Thursday, 5 July 2012

A Warm Welcome to Jana Richards

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 day job as an Office Administrator, or dealing with ever present mountains of laundry, Jana can be found on the local golf course pursuing her newest hobby.
Jana lives in Western Canada with her husband Warren, and a highly spoiled Pug/Terrier cross named Lou.
You can reach her through her website at
Home Fires by Jana Richards
Anne Wakefield travels halfway around the world for love. But when she arrives in Canada from England at the end of World War Two, she discovers the handsome Canadian pilot she’d fallen in love with has married someone else. Heartbroken, she prepares to return to London, though she has nothing left there to return to. Her former fiancĂ©’s mother makes a suggestion: marriage to her other son.

Badly wounded and scarred during the war, Erik Gustafson thinks he’s a poor substitute for his brother. Although he loves Anne almost from the first time he sees her, he cannot believe she would ever be able to love him as he is – especially as he might be after another operation on his bad leg.  Anne sees the beauty of his heart. The cold prairie winter may test her courage, but can she prove to Erik that her love for him is real?

Before treating us to an excerpt, Jana Reveals:

From where do you get inspiration and what inspired you to write HOME FIRES?
I’ve always been fascinated with the stories of World War II, especially the personal, domestic stories of love and loss. The war changed the trajectory of the lives of so many men and women around the world. Because of the war, some 48,000 war brides, mostly British, married Canadian military men and moved to Canada. I find it fascinating that so many women risked everything for love. They moved away from family and friends, and even gave up their own country to marry men they often knew for very short periods of time before marrying.  The courage it must have taken for them to follow their hearts is awe-inspiring.

In a couple of sentences, describe the hero’s character.  What do you like best/least about him?

What I like best about Erik Gustafson is his compassion for others. He’ll do anything for his mother and sister, and he shows Anne a lot of understanding and kindness. But what I like least is that he is unwilling to show some of that same compassion to himself. Because he was scarred and wounded during the war, he finds it impossible to believe someone like Anne could love him just the way he is.

And the heroine? How do you relate to her?

Anne Wakefield is much braver than I’ve ever been! She lives through the blitz in London and works as a nurse at one of the biggest hospitals in the city. She comes to Canada not knowing her fiancĂ© very well, and gambles that they will have a successful, happy marriage. I think I relate to her practical side. She’s willing to learn, to work hard, and to embrace whatever life has to throw at her. And despite getting her heart broken once, she’s willing to risk her heart once more. 

Who controls the story – you or your characters?  
Mostly me, but sometimes my characters take me in directions I don’t expect.

What do you hope your readers come away with after reading your book?

I hope readers of HOME FIRES will come away with an appreciation for what men and women of the World War II generation went through. Many were not much more than teenagers when they enlisted and sometimes died for their countries. And often the lives of survivors of the war were changed in remarkable ways.

What do you think are the main ingredients for a successful book?  
Imagination, strong characters with strong motivations for their actions, and lots of emotion.

What do you most enjoy about writing romance?

I’m kind of a history buff, so I find researching stories about World War II fascinating. I’m hoping to someday branch out and write about other areas of history. After watching Downton Abbey, I’ve developed a real interest in the Edwardian era and World War One.
I also write contemporary romance, and I guess what I enjoy about writing any kind of romance novel is telling the story of two people finding each other, falling in love, and overcoming obstacles between them. The excitement of new love, the thrill of finding a person who gets you, is what keeps me coming back to write, and to read, romance novels.

Anything special you require to keep the creative juices flowing?
I know most writers answer ‘coffee’ or ‘chocolate’ to this question, but I’m going to be honest and tell you that what I require most of all is a good night’s sleep! I don’t function well at any task if I’m tired, so I do my best to eat well, exercise, and get enough sleep.
What is the best writing advice you have ever received?
The best writing advice I’ve ever received is to stop endlessly revising and obsessing over the first three chapters and to just forge ahead and complete the first draft of the novel. When I finally figured out that it was okay to write a messy first draft, and I realized that the real magic in writing happened during revisions, it freed me up to complete more projects and to enjoy the process more.
What can we look forward to from you in the near future?
I’ve just completed a novel I call “Welcome to Paradise” about a woman who has to return to live in her small hometown in North Dakota after her marriage and her career both implode. I’m looking for a publisher at the moment. As far as works in progress, I’m currently working on what I call my ‘Left at the Altar’ series, in which each book begins with someone being left at the altar. With any luck, you’ll see this series at an E-book store near you someday soon!
How do you like to spend your free time?
My husband and I like to golf (he more than me), I love to read, I like to grow flowers in my garden in the summer, I love walking my dog (except for when it’s really cold), and I like to travel when I get a chance. But a writer has very little ‘free’ time. There’s always another story to write.
What would you most like to accomplish this year?
I’d really like to complete the ‘Left at the Altar’ series I mentioned above. I need to get better about using social media. And I would love to get more organized. I’m afraid organization is not my strong suit.
Any exciting plans for the near future?
My husband and I are planning a trip to Maui next March, our first time ever in Hawaii. I’ve wanted to go there since forever so I’m very excited. Who knows, maybe I’ll set a series of books there and will have to make many, many more ‘research trips’ to the islands!
And now for A Taste of Jana
She whirled around to glare at him, her eyes blazing. “No! I’m not a child! I don’t have to be molly-coddled and baby-sat. I spent six years in a war zone, hiding in bomb shelters, never having enough to eat. I worked in a hospital treating blitz victims with wounds so horrendous grown men would gag to look at them. I faced those horrors every day. Sometimes things were so bad I thought I couldn’t go on. But I did. Because I had to. And I’ll face things here too. So don’t tell me to give up because I won’t!”
Erik pushed himself out of his chair to face her, awed by her spirit and courage. She lifted her chin as if defying him to contradict her, her hands clenched at her sides. Her dark hair curled in wild abandon as it dried, framing her pale oval face like a halo. Her beauty and ferocity were magnificent.
“I think you’re the strongest woman I know.”
Her eyes widened in surprise, her hands unclenching. He caught the quiver of her chin as she fought to hold back tears.
He opened his arms and she stepped into them, wrapping her arms around his waist and clinging to him. He held her tightly, inhaling the sweet, clean scent of her, never wanting to let her go.   
“Don’t cry. Everything’s all right now.”
She lifted her head to look into his face, her dark eyes shiny with tears, her lips slightly parted. Erik stared at her mouth, wanting desperately to kiss her, to capture her sweetness. He slowly lowered his mouth to hers. To his surprise, she didn’t run off, or turn away in revulsion. He was so close her breath mingled with his, her breathing swallow and erratic. His heart slammed against his chest, his body thrumming with need. For the first time in over three years, he felt alive.
BUY Home Fires at the Wild Rose Press click link    Jana's Amazon link

click here to follow the rest of Jana's blog tour

Special Promotion 
Jana's having a special promotion between July 4 and July 18, 2012. If you buy a copy of “Home Fires” or any of her other titles, you will receive a free PDF copy of her romantic comedy “Rescue Me” as a bonus gift. All you have to do is email with the receipt number of your purchase and she’ll send you the book. It’s just that simple! You can find a listing of her titles at  To read a blurb and excerpt from “Rescue Me” please click here.
Now leave a comment for the chance to win a $25 GC     
NB For bonus entries for the GC, like Jana on Facebook, follow her blog at or sign up for her newsletter 
Email her at to let her know. Winner of the gift certificate will be notified by July 15 and their name will be printed on Jana's Contests page.

A final message from Jana,'Thanks so much for your support!'
Thank you, Jana. Love WW11 romances and I wish you great success with Home Fires.


  1. 48,000 is a huge number. I never would have thought it would be that high. It makes you wonder about other countries too.

    Thank you for the lovely excerpt.


    1. Hi Marybelle,
      48,000 is a huge number, and they brought along their 22,000 children already born in Britain. That's more than the population of some cities where I come from!

      I'd have to double check this, but I think there might have been even more British women who married American soldiers and came to the US. I'll have to look that up today.

      Thanks for following. Another entry in the draw for you!


  2. A huge number of women took a massive leap of faith. I was amazed to learn how many too. Great topic for a book, Jana. Very pleased to have you here today

    1. Thank you for having me today! I love your blog. It's colourful but still easy to read and very organized. Nice!

      Someone on another blog on my tour mentioned that there have probably been war brides from every war, and I believe that's true. But I don't know if there was ever the huge number of women who took that leap of faith the way they did in WW2. It was simply remarkable.


  3. Enjoyed reading your comments. your book sounds really good. I like reading books about this time in history.

    1. Thanks for commenting Joye. I really enjoy writing stories set during this time period. The history is so fascinating.

      Good luck in the contest!

  4. You don't hear much about war brides--this should be really enlightening.


    1. I'm hoping readers enjoy the background history, but I'm really hoping they fall in love with the characters and the storyline even more!

      Thanks for the comment!


  5. Hello Jana,
    You are right that many of these women left so much behind and didn't realize some of the distances between neighbors especially in the agricultural areas.
    I'm impressed with the amount of work you have coming up.

    1. Yes, many of these women were city girls and not used to the isolation of the prairies. I'm always reminded of the foreign exchange students we used to take in when we lived in Saskatchewan. They were always blown away by the distances, and the emptiness between towns!

      I have a lot of works in progress, but not so many actually completed, but thanks anyway.

      Thanks for dropping by Annette.