"Gabrielle Holly spins her stories in a way that will take you on an emotional rollercoaster you'll never forget!"
~Paranormal Romance Junkies

Monday, September 2, 2013

Getting Personal With Author Jan Scarbrough

This week we’re Getting Personal With Author Jan Scarbrough and it happens to be her birthday! Jan talks about the writing life, reveals her ‘guilty pleasure’ and shares an excerpt from her romance novel “Kentucky Rain” – book seven in her Bluegrass Reunion series.

About Jan Scarbrough
Inspired by her ninth grade English teacher, Jan Scarbrough discovered she loved writing, but it took a life threatening illness to convince her to pursue her dream. Today Jan continues this pursuit, writing heartwarming romance novels about home and family, single moms and children, and if the plot allows, about another passion—horses.

A technical writer, Jan spends her days writing information protection policies. At night, however, she leaves the technical jargon behind and escapes within her own world to create romances from the heart. Her BLUEGRASS REUNION series is set in Kentucky. She has dabbled in medieval romance with MY LORD RAVEN and under her pen name Darby York created a series of sensual short stories. Her paranormal, TANGLED MEMORIES, was a RWA Golden Heart finalist.

A member of Novelist, Inc., the Romance Writers of America, and the Kentucky Romance Writers, Jan has published with Kensington, Five Star, ImaJinn Books, Resplendence Publishing and Turquoise Morning Press.

Connect with Jan

And now, let’s get personal with author Jan Scarbrough!

What is the best part of being a writer?
Recently, during my riding lesson, I rode a very expensive, five-gaited American Saddlebred horse. This horse is a champion, but now retired from showing and in the lesson program. The mare was professional. Her gaits were smooth. She was responsive and game. It was like riding a dream. I said to myself that I’ll never be able to afford a horse like this. But my characters can. I can create characters who live out my dreams. I can create heroines who are stronger and spunkier than I am. In short, I can make my stories into the world of my dreams.

What’s the most challenging part of being a writer?
Making myself sit down and write.

Getting started is also hard. My best bet is to take the bare bones of “goal, motivation and conflict,” figure out the back stories of the hero and heroine, and start writing. Somehow the characters start driving the story. What happens and how it happens gets fleshed out. I’ve gotten better at it over the years. I’m learning to trust what comes.

What’s the most challenging part of writing erotic romance?
LOL! Actually being able to write it! Under my pen name Darby York, I tried my hand at erotic romance, only to—in my mind—fail. So I call my attempts “sensual medieval short stories.” I am working on one now called THE NOVICE. I believe my publisher plans to compile all the short stories with the new novella and offer them together for sale.

What is your upcoming release and what is it about?
My next release, TIMELESS for Turquoise Morning Press in September, is a first person, paranormal Gothic romance. I’m very excited about it, because I think it’s my best work to date.

The book is set in Old Louisville, a section of Louisville, Kentucky. The story has a ghost, a hunky hero, a bad guy, and a haunted mansion.

My medium friend tells me I channel as I write and that my spirit guides helped me write this book. They were having great fun doing it, she says.

What’s your ‘guilty pleasure’?
Downton Abbey and getting pedicures. Plus I love my monthly massage and Comfy Cow icecream.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing? (hobbies?)
I get my “horse fix” once a week by taking a riding lesson. I ride American Saddlebred horses at a prestigious barn in Simpsonville, Kentucky. Although I don’t own a horse, I get exercise and pleasure by taking lessons.

Where’s the one place in the world you’d like to visit?
I’d love to go pony trekking in Wales before I get too old to ride a horse. I’d like to see Maine.

Favorite book?
KATHERINE by Anya Seton published in 1954. KATHERINE is not simply a romance or an adventure; it described the personal growth of the main character.

Do you have any pets?
Readers just don’t understand how difficult it is to write in a home where pets live. My cat Folly loves to walk on my keyboard. She loves to rub up against me and flick that fluffy tail in my nose.

Then there are the three dogs. Cadi, the little Pembroke Welsh Corgi, is always under my feet so I can’t scoot my chair around for fear of running over little paws. Lenny, the male Pembroke Welsh Corgi, is always poking me with his nose, asking to go outside, or once outside, barking to come in. Then the rescue, Red, likes to knock my hand with a nose, pushing it up so I can’t type, but must pat the furry head or scratch behind an ear.

But I wouldn’t have it any other way!

Thanks so much for hanging out with us Jan... and Happy Birthday! I know our visitors will love the birthday gift you left for us – an excerpt from your contemporary romance “Kentucky Rain!”


I-64 between Louisville and Lexington

Sheets of rain sliced across the windshield, the steady flap-flap-flap of the wiper blades filling the silence of the SUV. Kate Lawrence gripped the steering wheel unsure whether her blurred vision came from the glare of oncoming headlights against the rain or tears welling in her eyes.

It had been a month since her divorce was final, and tonight was the first time Jerry had taken their daughter. Visitation was an ugly, ugly word. 

God! I can’t stand this! 

A single tear trailed down her flushed cheek, and she swiped it away with a rough knuckle. But the lone tear soon became a torrent distorting Kate’s vision. A sob shook her shoulders, and she clutched the steering wheel as if her life depended on it. Sitting forward, she stared out into the dark, stormy night. 

Stupid! I was so stupid! 

She chided herself for having been too content to be his trophy wife and not looking past Jerry’s blond good looks, charming smile and can-do personality. Why had she been so blind?

And when had things gone so wrong between them? When Reagan was born? Surely that seemed to be the start. Until then they were the perfect couple.

Swept up in love, she had quit college her freshman year to marry Jerry Lawrence. He’d thought her perfect enough to marry and establish his home. She had helped him, as his career took off, to entertain the right people and make the right decisions about where to live and what club to join. Always sacrificing, she’d stayed home because that’s where she belonged. That’s where he needed her.

She had been his rock. She grounded him. Or that’s what he had said.

And that’s what she had always believed.

Until that night at dinner when he quietly said he was filing for divorce. No talk. No counseling. No arguing him out of it.

Kate had sat forward then, as she was doing now on her long drive home. Not understanding his words, she had opened her mouth and formed a soundless “but” as her gaze searched his stony face.

His meaning had slowly sunk into her dense, unprepared brain. That night she had been like a glob of her daughter’s chameleon colored silly putty—easily stretched, torn, sculpted and finally shattered. Jerry had devastated her world. More than that, he had destroyed her soul.

And now she had to mold the pieces back together. Make the best of it for Reagan’s sake. She had to be strong for her daughter. Not theirs or his. She no longer thought of Rea as Jerry’s daughter. He had broken up their family. He had no right to the one bright, beautiful thing that had come out of their ten year marriage.

But the courts said he had rights, and she had to “exchange” Reagan with him on Friday nights during the school year and six weeks during the summer. Trouble was that Jerry traveled and taking his daughter as mandated was often “inconvenient.” That’s why tonight was the first exchange of what promised to be a long, drawn-out process.

Anger made her set her jaw. Damn him! He may not want her, but he wasn’t going to let his daughter think she wasn’t good enough for him. Kate would see to that he kept his promises to Reagan.

She sat back against the seat, stretching her arms out so that she put space between her body and the steering wheel. A grim determination poured over her. She would never let anyone tell Reagan she wasn’t good enough. She’d protect her daughter. Even from her father.

Five miles later Kate turned south off the Interstate heading into the Bluegrass Region of Kentucky. She was going home. Not the home she’d shared with Jerry and then Reagan on the hill overlooking the Ohio River in Louisville—the beautiful, rambling brick home she had so lovingly maintained for her family. No, she was driving to Eagleton, her childhood home, the town she’d escaped at seventeen when she was accepted as a student at the University of Kentucky.

Slinking home with her tail between her legs disturbed Kate. She had her pride.

But when it came down to it, that’s all she had. Everything she owned, or thought she owned, belonged to Jerry, bought and paid for through his efforts. Kate had never worked a day in her life. She had no money, just what Jerry earned and that came into the family budget.

But it had been their money, their house, and their friends—for only as long as they were a couple. For only as long as he wanted her. As long as she played her role and kept up pretenses.

Now that was all gone, and so was her identity. It had been hard to have her rose-colored glasses yanked from her eyes only to discover she was nothing without being Jerry Lawrence’s wife.

Kate felt like the character in the TV show The Good Wife—poor Alicia cheated on by her lying husband. Kate had watched the show, absorbed in the characterization and the weekly mystery plots, never imagining she’d end up divorced like Alicia. But unlike Alicia, Kate had no law degree. She had no way to make a living.

Yet six months ago she’d been smart enough to hire a good woman attorney. And in the settlement, she’d received a year’s worth of maintenance besides the monthly child support for Reagan. She was also awarded her portion of the house in cash and enough money to go to nursing school. Jerry had paid handsomely for his freedom, much more than he’d expected.

The thought cheered Kate as she entered the sleeping small town. She’d never believed in revenge, but lately she had toyed with the sentiment. Divorce did that to you. Made you a little crazy.

She’d learned the hard way.


Like what you’ve read so far? Find out what happens next! Buy “Kentucky Rain” today from Amazon and other fine eBook retailers.

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