Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Milkers and Augers, and…Huh?

By Jessica E. Subject

Hey everyone! I’m coming to you live on release day, where I have not one, but TWO books releasing today. Okay, so maybe I’m not live, since that wouldn’t be a good idea. I’m wearing sweat, with no makeup, and my hair a mess. I’ve just got my kids off to school, and my mind is racing with all of the things I need to get done today.
BUT, I’m stopping by to talk about one of my new releases, Accidental Romance. Now, when Valerie and Kate first asked me to write for The Challenge line, I was so excited. Most of the stories I’ve written so far deal with characters facing challenging lives. Yet, it took me forever to come up with a plot. Way too long. When Leanne finally popped into my head, I was jumping for joy. I had to tell her story.
The only problem was, she lived on a dairy farm. I live in the city. Not a big city, but my experience with farming is driving by fields and pointing out the tractors and combines in the fields. Though I do know the difference between a John Deere, a Case IH, and a Ford. Green, Red, and Blue. The only time I’ve ever been for a tour of a dairy farm, I passed out against the milk tank. (I was a teen and experiencing undiagnosed fainting spells.) Even when we lived in the country for a couple of years, across the road from a dairy farm, I never went over. Though some of the cows did escape one day and came to our house for a visit.
So, the whole “write what you know” advice didn’t apply here. I had to do some research. Lucky for me, my husband used to work for two dairy farmers as a teen. While I still did research online, learning more about augers and milking equipment, there were some things he had to explain to me. I kept the farm in the story small (what he had experience with), often referred to the diagrams he drew for me, and listened to his stories about working on the farm. We’re also friends with people who grew up on a dairy farm. So, I tried to put a little of all of that into this story.
And now, while there is no way I could milk a cow, I at least know the process. Oh, and I learned one should always turn the tractor off before trying to unclog a grain auger.

Accidental Romance Blurb:
At twenty-two, Leanne Declan has graduated from college and hopes to take over the family farm until a tragic accident changes her life forever. Unable to do the simplest everyday chores, she must depend on her family and friends as she learns to face life’s challenges. But when her fears threaten to destroy her future, can an unexpected love be strong enough to help her dreams come true?

Now available from Decadent Publishing and other ebook retailers.
A million needles pierced her wrist. She had to get away from the fire. Leanne flicked open her eyes, screaming, longing for the agony to stop.
White walls surrounded her. Machines beeped. Taking in the new scenery, she closed her mouth, the pain forgotten. Bags filled with clear liquids as well as blood hung from a metal pole. She followed the tubes from the bags into her left hand. Was that where the burn came from? She glanced at the other arm, the end of which was wrapped in thick bandages. The image of spinning blades and her mangled flesh flashed before her eyes. She screamed again, tears falling down her cheeks. This can’t be happening.
Bodies rushed into the room, many in scrubs. With her vision blurred, she didn’t recognize anyone. All strangers. She was in the foreign place by herself. A nightmare. Has to be.
“Shh, calm down, sweetie. You’ll be okay.”
A familiar voice. She glanced to her other side to see her mom standing beside her, her eyes glassy. She held her hand, but Leanne couldn’t feel it, only the throbbing which had returned to her other one, the one that was…gone? She groaned, turning on her side, and pulled her knees up to her chest.
“Mom, is it really…?”
She brushed her fingers over her forehead. “Don’t worry about it right now. You need to rest.”
“It hurts so bad.”
“I know.” Her mother stroked her face again. “But the nurses will help it go away.”
“Leanne,” one of the nurses hovering around her said. “I want you to take deep breaths and count backward from ten.”
“Ten.” She sucked in air and cried out in agony.
Between clenched teeth, she continued. Anything to stop the pain. “Nine.”
Ice traveled through her veins. “Eight.”
The throbbing slowly ebbed away. Seven.
Darkness swept over her and pulled her down with it.

Jessica Subject started writing to encourage her daughter to read. Now she writes to keep herself grounded. Although she reads many genres, she enjoys writing Science Fiction Romance the most and believes everyone in the universe deserves a happily ever after. She lives Southwestern Ontario, Canada with her husband and two kids and loves to hear from her readers.

Leave a comment telling me whether you prefer the city or the country for your chance to WIN an ebook copy of one of my backlist titles. Winner will be notified by email January 19, 2013. Good luck!


Unknown said...

Jessica! How exciting! And hard to choose, poor me, I will just have to buy them both, lol.

Congrats on your two new releases! You are really burning up the charts with all your books, you are doing such a fantastic job, and so prolific!

The sweats, no make-up and messy hair (always pulled up into a ponytail) is something I can relate to, but then again, on my non-work days, it's fitting, living in the rural part of the world.

I grew up in the big city (Toronto) and we moved out to the country 15 years ago, to raise a family. Although I love many things about city life, I'm always happy to visit, even stay for a few days, do the hotel thing, see the sights, but I wouldn't trade in country living for that again. (truth be told, I struggled with the prospect of paying monthly parking rates that matched or exceeded rent or mortgage) lol.

In the country, I love the fresh air, wide open spaces, exceptional amount of privacy and the cleanliness of mother nature. No nasty, smelly piles of garbage piled up along the sidewalks, no loud sirens passing by every 5 minutes, and a deeper sense of safety at night in my bed.

Having our own toboggan hill in our back yard, and maple trees to tap and make our own syrup every year doesn't hurt either. :-)

Good luck in sales, although, with how well you've been doing, I don't imagine luck has much to do with it anymore, your popularity spikes with every new release!

all the best,

Barbara Elsborg said...

Two books!! Congratulations!!!!! I prefer the country. But not too isolated. I live on the edge of moorland and I love the views and peace and quiet. I hate traffic and queues. (Lines - for Americans!)

Jessica E. Subject said...

Oh, wow! Thank you so much, Kali! Living in the country is absolutely fabulous! I really do miss it. We live in a small city, but not the same. The stars don't shine as bright here. The worst part was the bugs though. Gosh, I don't miss the flies spinning around on the floor, or the aphids that come in off the fields. But I guess that's a sacrifice for leaving the city. :)

Jessica E. Subject said...

Thank you very much, Barbara! The place we lived was only 5 minutes from the highway and a nice-sized town. We live on the edge of a small city, but still not the same.

Where you live sounds beautiful. :) I don't like big-city traffic or queues, either.

TK Anthony said...

Jessica--I suspected you were a bit of an over-achiever, and this confirms it. Congratulations on the double-book release!

I grew up in the country, which I still prefer for peace and quiet, even though I've been a city-dweller for years now.

Good luck with the books!

Jessica E. Subject said...

LOL Thanks, TK! I do really miss the country, but on days like today, when the weather is bad, I'm glad I live in town. :)

Jessica E. Subject said...

Congratulations to Barbara Elsborg, who is the winner of one of my backlist titles! I will be in contact with you soon. :)

JM said...

Congrats Jessica. This one sounds interesting because I grew up on a dairy farm. Hard work and I actually developed an aversion to milk from being told, "Run over and fill up the jug" for milk.
Anyway, congrats on your releases!

Krista said...

Congrats Jessica, so happy for you!! I can't wait to read Accidental Romance!!!