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Friday, February 25, 2011

Interview of Author Jane Toombs

Today it's my pleasure to present an interview of romance author Jane Toombs.

Latest Book: Flying High
Buy Link: Check my website:
(It may not be up until the end of the February)

Jane Toombs, the Viking from her past and their calico grandcat, Kinko live on Lake Superior’s south shore in Michigan’s beautiful Upper Peninsula wilderness. They enjoy three marvelous seasons and do their best to tolerate the cold and snowy winters. Jane’s published books are edging up toward ninety and her novellas may be near thirty--she’s lost count. Her favorite genre to read and write is fantasy or paranormal romance, but she likes to do the occasional historical as well

Q: Who is your favorite character in your book and why?
A: I think maybe Good-time Charlie, an important minor character is my favorite. This because he has to do a tremendous amount of growing and changing to become a decent human being, and it was very difficult for him. He was never unsympathetic, but he depended on booze to get him though crises of his own making, until he finally got the wake-up call that led him to take charge of his life. Not that the hero and heroine didn’t have to change as well, but it was easier for them than for Charlie, who was in total denial.

Q: Do all your heroes and all heroines look the same in your mind as you “head write”?
A: Heavens, no! They’re not only different in shape, ability, experience and appearance, but they don’t have the same backgrounds, problems or resilience to cope with life’s misfortunes. Their one similar trait is a never-give-up attitude, even though they may at first think they can’t go on. I guess that means I try to get into their heads when I write. I certainly don’t think of them as alike.

Q: Do you eat comfort food when writing? If so, what food inspires your imagination?
A: To avoid gaining weight, I stick to lemon drops, even though I‘d rather eat chocolate or the yummy ginger cookies the Viking and I make together. Took me a while to restrict myself, but I’m now quite rigid about not having any food except the occasional lemon drop. Or drink, except water, while at the computer

Q: You’re on a remote island with a handsome man, a computer, and a “mysterious” source of electricity to power your computer. What do you do?
A: After I turned on the computer to find help to get us off the island, I’d help him find a way to catch fish, because we’d need food until help arrived. And a container to catch water when it rained. I might also have to make a net of his and my hair to catch birds to eat. Yeah, I know, I‘m too practical. But what good is a gorgeous guy if you’re going to die of thirst or starvation?

Q: Facebook, MySpace, Blogs, Chats, or Twitter. Which do you like best and why?
A: If I belonged to any one of them, not including chats or blogs, it would take me so long to get used to what I had to do (I’m the exact opposite of a techie) that I’d never have the time to write. And what’s the use of belonging if you have no new books coming out? Chats are fine because they can be scheduled. So are blogs--hey, I like to be heard as well as anyone. But I don’t have my own blog because if I kept it up the way it should be again I’d never have time to write. (I may be practical, but that doesn‘t mean I’m also organized.)

Tell us where to find you: website(s), publisher’s page(s), blog(s), Facebook page(s), etc. List them all!
I do have I have multiple epublishers:

Chistie and Margaret’s crowd loved to party with 1920s Chicago’s illegal booze. Christie sometimes gave a thought for tomorrow, but Margaret never did. Chistie remembered when the two of them had played with the forbidden Ouiji Board. When she’d held the pointer it spelled out “flying high” and son after she’d met Bruce when he landed on Margaret’s family’s lawn in his bi-wing Jenny. He seemed more real than any of their crowd--what did that mean? But she did worry about her Cousin Margaret, unable to forget the strange prediction the Ouiji Board had spelled out for her. Still Margaret’s family had money--nothing bad would happen to her cousin, could it? If only Margaret wouldn‘t be so reckless…

"Let’s get started," Margaret said, sitting down at a small table near the windows where she'd already laid out the Ouija board.

Christie seated herself opposite Margaret, the board between them on the table."What are we supposed to do with it?"

"You have to ask a question, then we both put our fingertips on this pointer without pushing on it." Margaret lifted a heart-shaped wooden object with three felt-tipped legs, replacing it on the board with the legs down.

"What happens then?"

"The pointer is supposed to move by itself to the letters on the board and spell out words in answer to your question."

"If we don't move the thing, what does?"

Margaret shrugged. "I don't know, it just happens."

Studying the board. Christie saw that, in addition to the alphabet, there were numbers from 0 to 9, with "Yes " in one upper corner and "No" in the opposite upper one.

"It's sort of like fortune telling," Margaret said. "That's why I don't want Mother to see it. She'd surely have a catnip fit, even though the Ouija is a harmless game, just for fun."

Christie was aware her own mother wouldn't approve, either. She and Margaret's mother were second cousins and not much alike except for a tendency to view anything possibly pertaining to the supernatural as a tool of the devil's.

"I'll go first." Margaret closed her eyes for a moment, opened them and intoned, "Who shall I marry?"

Both girls set their fingertips lightly on the pointer. For long moments nothing happened, then, to Christie's surprise, she felt it begin to glide across the board. Margaret, she decided, must be doing the moving.

Watching which letter the point of the heart rested on, she spelled out B-E-W-A-R-E and then the number 1. All movement stopped.

"Beware 1?" Margaret said. "What do you suppose that could mean? Or maybe it's the word one instead of the number. But it still doesn't make sense. I'll ask another question. Will I be happy?"

"L-A-T-E-R 2," the pointer spelled.

"I don't see why it has to be so mysterious," Margaret complained. "What am I supposed to make of that? You try asking a question--maybe you'll have better luck."

Christie thought a moment before saying, "What's in my future?"

Once again the pointer began a slow glide under their fingertips, spelling out F-L-Y-I-N-G-H-I-G-H.

"Flying High?" Christie murmured. "What can that mean? Did you move the pointer?"

Margaret shook her head. "I thought maybe you were making it move."


"Then it works." Margaret whispered the words. "We may not understand the meaning, but it actually does predict the future."

A shiver ran along Christie's spine as she gazed at her cousin's awe-struck expression. She swallowed and said, "It's just a game. You said so yourself."

"I was wrong."

Obeying a sudden desire to hide the Ouija board from sight and never look at it again, Christie muttered, "Let's put it away.

Margaret opened the drawer in the table and swept the Ouija apparatus into it before turning her head toward the windows. At the same time, Christie became aware that the faint drone she'd been hearing had grown much louder. She rose and went to the French doors to peer out. Margaret joined Christie by the doors. "Whatever can all that noise be?

"Let's go out and see."

Moments later, they rounded the corner of the house and Margaret's older brother, Carleton the Third, usually called Charlie, came running toward them.

"It's a Jenny!" he cried, stopping beside a large maple to peer up at the sky. "I'd recognize that motor anywhere."

Margaret and Christie stood beside him, both gazing upward. "What's a Jenny when it's at home?" Margaret asked.

Charlie gave her a quick frown. "An aeroplane, you dumb bunny." He pointed. "Look, there she is."

Christie's heart pounded excitedly as she stared at the double-winged aircraft approaching from over Lake Michigan. What must it be like to fly high in the air like the birds? Except this aeroplane wasn't all that high. The engine coughed and sputtered, much like a car about to stall, making her look at Charlie in alarm. "Is something wrong?"

Intent on the aeroplane, he ran a hand through his fair hair as he muttered, "Let's hope she's got a pilot at the controls who knows the game. There's nowhere for him to land except our lawn."

Christie's gaze shifted from the Jenny to the wide expanse of green grass separating the Sinclair mansion from the lake. "Can he actually do that?"

Charlie shrugged. "Depends. I could if I had to."

She knew he wasn't boasting. He'd defied his parents and enlisted in France's Lafayette Escadrille during the late War in Europe. Though it taxed her imagination to visualize Good-time Charlie, as the crowd called him, shooting down German war aces, she knew he had.

"Oh, what fun!" Margaret cried. "An aeroplane landing on our lawn. Maybe he's one of those barnstormers."

"This is hardly a farmer's field," her brother said. "If he misses the hedge, though, he just might make it."

Holding her breath, Christie watched as the Jenny dipped lower and lower, close enough so she could see the white scarf the pilot wore. With a final cough from the engine, its wheels touched the grass, bounced up, down, up, down and then the aeroplane, moving slowly, finally halted directly in front of them.

Charlie sprinted toward it, with his sister close behind. Christie stood where she was, momentarily transfixed by recalling what the Ouija board had spelled out for her--sky-high. What a coincidence. Or was it?

Anything else you'd like to add?
My website is and my son-in-law who works for various online businesses is my site webmaster. I wouldn’t have the slightest idea how to keep up a website. He does it all for me and I pay him in ginger cookies. (Yes, they’re that good!)

Ginger Cookie Recipe:
¾ cup shortening (we use butter) 1 cup sugar (we use a bit over 2/3)
1 egg 1/4 cup molasses (make it a generous one)
2 cups flour (if batter is sticky use a tad more) 2 teaspoons baking soda
1 ½ teaspoon ginger ! teaspoon cinnamon
Soften butter, then cream with sugar. Beat in egg and molasses. Add the dry ingredients to the batter and mix well. Place dough in refrigerator for 1 hour before rolling in little balls and dipping the top in a small dish of sugar before placing on non-stick cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes. Keep checking after 12 min. or they may burn. Tops should look cracked when done. Cool and store.

What is Jane Toombs up to? Find out at
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Linda Kage said...

Oh, yum, it's been forever since I had a lemon drop. Now I'm craving them! Hi Jane! I love the cover for your book!

Katalina Leon said...

I hope you get an early spring Jane.
Great premise and setting for Flying High!

Rebecca Murray said...

Looks like another great read. I love books from that era!

Cindy Spencer Pape said...

Love the excerpt, Jane. I'm a long-time fan as well as a fellow Michigander.

jean hart stewart said...

Great excerpt. and ya gotta like Charlie. I used to have fun with a uojio board. Had forgotten all about them...Jean

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