I’m delighted to welcome romance writer Jessica Scott, whose debut Because of You was just released this month from Loveswept. Jessica is a career soldier with 16 years in the Army, who blogged for PBS Point of View from Afghanistan and Iraq. Jessica is now a company commander in charge of 130 soldiers, and a mom to two, whose husband continues to serve in Iraq. Jessica also hails from Maine!
Here’s the blurb:
Keeping his men alive is all that matters to Sergeant First Class Shane Garrison. But meeting Jen St. James the night before his latest deployment makes Shane wonder if there’s more to life than war. He leaves for Iraq remembering a single kiss with a woman he’ll never see again- until a near fatal attack lands him back at home and in her care. Jen has survived her own brush with death and endured its scars. And yet there’s a fire in Shane that makes Jen forget all about her past. He may be her patient, but when this warrior looks her in the eyes, she feels – for the first time in a long time – like a woman. Shane is too proud to ask for help, but for Jen, caring for him is more than a duty -it’s a need. And as Jen guides Shane through the fires of healing, she finds something she never expected – her deepest desire.
Because of You is getting great reviews. Here’s Mandy Schreiner at USA Today:
Because of You is full of angst and traumatic moments, suspenseful situations and a few steamy romance scenes. I’m really starting to get into military romances, and I think Jessica Scott has done a great job balancing everything in this book. It is heart-wrenching as you watch not only the hero and heroine struggle, but all of the supporting characters as well. But it also makes you smile as you see them triumph. I can’t wait for her next book!
And the Bookpushers:
Ms Scott surpassed my expectations regarding the inclusion of military culture and she provided me with a touching, entertaining read. I was fully invested in her characters and a certain sequence of events about broke my heart. When I reached the last page I kept trying to move to the next page because I wanted to see what happens next. I am eagerly awaiting the next installment in her trilogy. I give Because of You an A.
And Dear Author
The two wounded souls seeking comfort and peace will be appealing to many readers and the fast paced non stop drama adds a different flavor to this military romance. The war scenes were highly charged and I appreciate the unflinching look at how awful it must be over in Iraq and Afghanistan.
I have always loved romance novels. Since I was a kid and my grandmother first got me hooked on them starting out with Danielle Steel. Something happened in my twenties and I stopped reading them. Nora Roberts’ Dance Upon Air brought me back to the romance fold and I’ve happily been back ever since. But it was only around 2007 that I started wanting to write a book and it turned into, well, a romance novel.
Just a romance novel.
Look I get it. Romance writers are never going to be the cool kids winning literary awards and getting lots of respect. In my home chapter of Austin RWA, we’re talking about needing a new location because our current location a) doesn’t sell our books and b) looks down on us like we’re somehow beneath them. And yet, the Austin RWA is the most amazing chapter that spend so much time and effort mentoring up and coming authors. No question is ever ignored, no matter how many times it’s been heard. Time is spent on critique sessions and work groups and retreats, all to build the next generation of writers.
A lot of folks have asked me if the guys I work with know I’ve written and sold a romance novel. Yeah, a few of them do. And you know what? They’re pretty cool about it. Of course, I liven it up with a few jokes about the dick jokes in there but am I really just bending to the tacit disapproval on their faces? For example, the other day at Barnes and Noble Café this happened:
Café Guy: Whoa that’s a lot of money for chocolate
Me: I’m celebrating. My book came out today (shows him picture of USA Today review)
Café Guy: Oh it’s one of those. What did it ship?
Me: (smiling politely) well don’t knock it, you know? Still took almost five years to write and sell.
Café Guy: Oh wait you wrote it? High five.
Now he was nice enough once he realized I had written it and he did make my latte extra yum. But still. When I was in Iraq, Karin Tabke posted over on MurderSheWrites about a woman who suffered from FGM (female genital mutilation) who said that reading one of Karin’s novels inspired her to believe she could heal and love again. That is amazing. To be able to give that kind of hope to someone? And yet, Café Guy and far too many others look down on it as unworthy. You know what he and every other person out there will never get to see? They never get to see this:
The author is career military herself, and the story is really touching
about a soldier who was injured in Iraq and a woman who nursed him when he
got back to the states. Both of them have scars, his from his wounds and
her’s from a recent mastectomy.
Probably because I’ve also had breast cancer and disfiguring surgery, I
can identify with her, but I was really impressed with the sensitivity the
author displayed in dealing with the situation.
I’m only half way thru – but I’d highly recommend it!
I’ve written a lot. I blogged from Iraq. But this was quite possibly one of the nicest things anyone could have said about my “trashy” romance novel.
That’s pretty powerful stuff folks. People who want to knock down romance as a genre may get to feel better because they don’t read those books. I have books on my shelf that I have had for over 20 YEARS. That’s powerful. When a book sticks with you, no matter what the genre, no matter who the author, that’s powerful.
Romance is powerful. It’s powerful enough to show women that hey, all guys aren’t immature pricks who can’t hold a full conversation. Places like Jack’s Bar on Robyn Carr’s website are a place where romance readers can get together virtually and connect. You have no idea what’s going on in someone’s life. That may be their only outlet into something positive. And it started with a book.
I don’t mean to go on a rant but as a brand new author, I’m seeing something completely unexpected. As a reader, I’ve known that author’s books impacted me.
I just never expected to have that same impact and it is an honor and a privilege to have just one person tell me that my book, my trashy novel with a half naked man on the cover that got banned by facebook ads, touched their lives.
That one email made the last four plus years journey worth while.
Thanks, Jessica! I’d like to offer a copy of Because of You to one commenter from your e-tailer of choice. US only (sorry!). Comment by Tuesday midnight EST for a chance to win.