Today on Wednesday Writers we are featuring Jaye Garland and her Time Travel/Historical Romance The 25th Hour. She is going to answer a few questions and share an excerpt from her book. Welcome, Jaye!
Hi Catherine, it’s great to be here today and I’m looking forward to sharing with your readers. Ask away!
Please tell the readers about the book that is being showcased today.
The impossible can be quite simple, actually. Just imagine…. Chased through time by her father’s murderer, a lady architect lands in the arms of a 19th century Wyoming rancher. The time-crossed lovers must find the killer before another life is taken—and the window of time separates them, forever. THE 25th HOUR is Time Travel / Historical Romance and is my debut novel. It’s available on Amazon in both paperback and eBook format.
By the way, I love this cover!
How did you come up with the concept for this book?
This story formed from three unique concepts.
a) I was house hunting in Sheridan, Wyoming and fell in love with an original Victorian home that had been built on the outskirts of the historic community. The town had since enveloped that house and its outbuildings. The mid-nineteenth century home needed a complete updating including all modern conveniences like plumbing, electricity, etc. Nope, didn’t buy it.
b) Fast forward a few years and I was an accountant for a restaurant construction firm in Houston, Texas. They hired a young, blonde, architect with high-concept designs, and her name was Sheridan. Well…Snap! My story was born.
c) Having been raised on a ranch, it was a natural fit that the hero of my story needed to be the cowboy that built the original Victorian house, and my modern-day heroine needed to do the updates. A Time Travel was the perfect element to bring these two lovers together.
What are you working on now? Do you have a release date for this book?
Actually, I just had an epiphany about this series and am drafting a brand new story that will follow my debut novel. I’d originally planned on two books to come after THE 25th HOUR, and I’ve written three-fourths of what will now be the third book. This new story’s timeline falls right after the first, but it’s a straight Historical Romance. THE 25th SUNDAY is now on the front burner. Then comes THE 25th PASSAGE, another Historical Romance. Last in the series is THE 25th HOUSE, a Contemporary Romance and will bring the storyline and characters full-circle to close the series. Release dates for these next books are pending.
Do you write in more than one genre? If so, why?
I write the story that needs to be told. I start with the main characters and build from there. The stories tend to be Historical, Contemporary, or more in line with Women’s Fiction. As in my debut novel, I’d blended two genres to create a time traveling experience.
Some writers like quiet when they write, others want music. Which one are you?
I cannot create something out of nothing when in the midst of chaos. I need vast quantities of solitude.
Me too, any little noise distracts me.
Are you a pantser or a plotter? Linear or non-linear writer?
I started out pantsing, but none of those stories ever found their way to The End. Once I began to plot out my stories, they took shape, and Voila! I finally finished a whole manuscript. I tend to write linear, but if a scene begs to be written, I’ll scratch out the basics so I can edit/revise when it falls into place. I’m not a fast writer and have been known to draft in gel ink on yellow legal pads. I’m learning Scrivener, so hopefully my speed will improve. As for revisions, I work in both computer and on paper. Each has a different feel so I’m apt to catch stuff in one that my eyes gloss over in the other.
How have your reading (and writing) tastes evolved over the years?
Yes, they’ve both changed—right along with the times. The more we read, the more we expect a stronger experience. Our entertainment factor has paralleled our impatience quota. We want it now, and it had better be good. So, as writers, we’ve got to up our game or be left in the dust.
Do you still read the same genre of books you did as a teenager?
One of the first books I’d read as a pre-teen was Zane Grey’s WYOMING. That wonderful story stuck with me for years. I found a copy at an antique mall recently. Could not get past the first few pages as it’s so descriptively detailed. The action doesn’t start until the book is half finished. But, I’ve read GONE WITH THE WIND at least five times. Margret Mitchell wrote with such passion and truth that this story never feels dated.
How often do you read non-fiction?
I just finished a fascinating ‘running from the law’ biographical called MORE THAN EVERYTHING by Vanessa G. Foster. Her experiences date back to the mid 1980’s and reveal how easy it was to be caught up in the world of drugs, sex, and bags of money. It’s difficult book to process, emotionally, but riveting.
What’s the first book, in the genre you write in, that you remember reading?
SHANNA, by Kathleen E. Woodiwiss. A friend loaned me that book, and I was hooked forever on Romance. I also loved THE WOLF AND THE DOVE, but THE FLAME AND THE FLOWER was my favorite of all her books.
What’s your favorite television show currently running? Favorite show of all time?
I’m hooked on The Vikings on The History Channel, and finding that more and more, Rollo, the brother of the show’s hero, Ragnar Lothbrok, is the Viking that’s landed the best part. It doesn’t hurt that Rollo’s hunk factor is exponentially high. My all-time favorite has to be the original Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson. His comedic timing was incredible. Classic!
Name three interesting things most people don’t know about you.
A: My Texas native oil-man hubby whisked me away to the desert sands of Saudi Arabia where we lived for seven years and were fortunate to travel the world. While in Saudi Arabia, I snorkeled The Red Sea…and was THIS close to Eve’s grave in Jeddah. The religious police had constructed a high wall around the cemetery so you couldn’t get in. Darn!
B: I stood in line for eleven hours to sign the guest books before Princess Diana’s funeral. As her coffin rolled by at The Horse Guards the next day, followed by the Princes Philip, Charles, William, and Harry—all within arm’s reach of where I stood—we could hear the gravel crunch beneath the carriage wheels and as the four somber men marched behind Diana’s casket. Most indelibly etched moment, ever.
C: And, on a lighter note… For about 15 years, I was extremely allergic to cashews, but can now eat them without breaking out, nose to toes, in an itchy-blistery-rash. Yea!
Eleven hours in line to sign the guest book. You’re a hardier soul than me.
It’s been a pleasure having you here today. As you say goodbye, can you leave the readers with an encapsulation of your life’s philosophy?
My favorite is one of the precepts of the Samurai and pretty much says it all: make a desperate effort.
Thank you, Catherine, for hosting me today. The questions were thought-provoking and fun!
You’re welcome, Jaye and good luck with your book.
Born and raised on the Great Plains, Jaye Garland thrives on ‘what-if’ scenarios by turning ordinary life events into novels steeped in adventure on the American West. Her debut novel, THE 25th HOUR, was published by Soul Mate Publishing on August 27, 2013, and earned #46 on the Amazon Best Sellers in Time Travel Romance.
Chased through time by her father’s murder, Houston architect Sheridan Wells unwittingly ‘erases’ herself and hurtles back to 1877 Wyoming Territory, to the moment that changed her family’s history forever—to the source of her father’s wealth—wealth the villain swears is his.
Heart locked by guilt, widower Alexander Reed, a War of the Rebellion hero-turned-rancher, attempts to disprove the transient woman’s story, labels her a charlatan and intends to dismiss her, but his precocious daughter has already claimed Sheridan as her new mother.
When the villain renews his quest for wealth and vengeance, Sheridan and Alexander must combine forces to defeat the crazed killer. This time, and no matter the cost—Alexander vows to protect his family. Will Sheridan’s stalker claim his due, or will she find sanctity within the family of her heart…before the window of time fades forever into the 25th hour?
Excerpt, the moment the heroine falls through time:
Sheridan rolled her shoulders and throttled her frustration. The blueprint copy had to be clean. As she attacked the last line, the eraser felt hot in her hand. Her knuckles ached and the effort sent an odd, tingling sensation sparking up her arm and into her shoulder. Conquering the task, she pressed again, harder. Almost there . . .
R-r-r-r-i-p! The eraser broke through the tracing paper, skidded across the fragile blueprints, and left a trail of dark eraser leavings in its wake.
“Double Dutch, damn!” Sheridan’s stomach whirled in sickening regret . . . yet she felt, somehow, sinuously liberated. She stared at the damaged blueprints. The image whirled like a plunked stone disturbing a glassy pond. Her fingers clenched into the heat-softened putty and merged with the watery vision while her arm faded into a translucent aura, as if her body was becoming one with the textures of the aged blueprints.
My God. What’s happening? She couldn’t let go of the art gum eraser. The fiery connection seared her flesh but she felt no pain.
A warped vision loomed before her eyes as Gordon Dix, the salt-and-pepper Gibbs-Wannabe, entered through the foyer. Ginger stood wide-eyed, motionless at his side.
A whiff of Wannabe’s trendy cologne burst through her sinuses as the heavy scent wafted on the fresh air from the open front door, and her stress headache exploded.
A mass of graphite-saturated leavings swirled in concert with an ever-increasing sense of falling. What have I done? Mesmerized, her arm passed through the layers of pages. Dear God! I’m falling . . .
“Sheridan! What’s happening?” Ginger’s voice sounded faint, far away.
“Help me, Ginger. Pull me back!”
Her world spun faster, escalating with each constricting circle. She held her breath against the toxic whorls of incinerating rubber. Wannabe strode toward her but his feet lodged in muddy graphite while his body lengthened like a lion leaping upon its prey.
Her mind fought for control. He called her name but his voice echoed like jungle drums against the ever darkening, spinning tunnel. In a desperate lunge for sanctuary, she reached for his outstretched hand. Gibbs Wannabe grabbed her wrist, but his touch felt hot, like flames licking her skin, and he fell along with her into the abyss.
Clawing against the fiery rip current, she willed air into her lungs just as an electric flash blinded her. Petrified he’d push her farther into the darkening whirlpool, she wrenched free of his grasp, and a dark cloud of eraser leavings swirled between them.
Together, she and the salt-and-pepper Gibbs Wannabe tumbled through the blueprints, down through her portable workstation, and on through all things material—passing one another, yet never again connecting—through a vortex void of light, texture, and sound.
Silence roared in her ears as she collapsed into utter darkness, and her world fell away.