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Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Guest Blog: Joanne Jaytanie: Getting Seasonal Story Ideas

You don’t have to hike the Mojave Desert or sail the Pacific Ocean to create your next story. Each day is unique and filled with experiences whether grandiose, minuscule or somewhere in between. A story idea can even develop from a mere kernel of a memory or a situation you found yourself in. That idea can become the back story of your story arch, or a place to start.
When I decided to write my Christmas story, I wanted to engulf the reader in the feeling of the season. The lights and colors that shimmer and shine everywhere you look. The smell of cinnamon, hot apple cider, a crackling fire, the fresh cut evergreen trees. These thoughts sparked a memory from my childhood. When I was a small child the yearly hunt for our Christmas tree was a tradition I loved. You see, the tree didn’t come in box or from parking lot vendor; it came from nature’s store.

We would pile into the car and head out to my grandmother’s house. She lived out in the country, surrounded by evergreen trees and nature. We bundled up in layers upon layers of clothes which covered every part of our body, except our eyes and mouths. White puffs of breath would slip out from under our toasty scarves. The adults would grab the saws and we headed out for our trek up the mountain, dredging through the three or more feet of pristine sparking snow to find our perfect tree.

After a long debate on which tree would proudly stand in our home, it would be chopped down, tied with a rope. We would each take our turn hauling it back down the mountain. It was a day of hopes and dreams, frozen toes and noses. I wouldn’t have traded a single moment for anything in the world.

The simple reminiscence of the Christmas tree hunt triggered the inspiration behind the Forever Christmas collection. My hope for the reader is it will bring back fond memories, or inspire new ones.

Immerse yourself in the spirit of the holidays!

The western Washington town of Glenville is threatened with the possible loss of their 100 year old Christmas tree farm to an outside corporation. Four friends join together to keep the tradition alive and create new opportunities with the rebirth of the Forever Christmas tree farm.

As a teenager Juliet Swanson couldn’t wait to get out of her home town of Glenville, WA and move to the big city. She moved to California to attend college, and then went to work for a large corporation. It didn’t take her long to realize that clawing her way up the ladder at others expense wasn’t the life she wanted. She moved back to her home town, fell in love with the ‘family feel’ of living there and has a close knit group of girlfriends she shares everything with. Now if she could only find a way to make her dream career a reality she would have it all, except for Mr. Right.

Colton Weatherly is a city guy who eats and breaths his career as a project manager for a acquisitions corporation. He is assigned to acquire the Glenville Ski Resort, along with the Schwartz Christmas Tree Farm. By his estimation it will be an easy close, and he plans to wrap it up in one short weekend. What he didn’t plan on was butting heads with Juliet, who is not the average ‘local girl.’

Reflecting on one’s life can sometimes lead to discovering a path you never knew existed.

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Joanne was born and raised in Sherburne, New York, a quaint village surrounded by dairy farms and rolling hills. From the moment she could read she wanted to explore the world. During her college years she slowly crept across the country, stopping along the way in Oklahoma, California, and finally Washington State, which she now proudly calls home. She lives with her husband and Dobermans, in their home located on the Kitsap Peninsula with a panoramic view of the Olympic Mountains.

Joanne writes paranormal, romantic suspense, and contemporary romance. She loves writing about the twists and turns of her character’s lives and the trouble they find themselves involved in, coupled with building an everlasting relationship. She enjoys a wide variety of books including paranormal, suspense, thriller, and most of all romance.

Joanne is a member of Romance Writers of America, and an active member of Debbie Macomber’s home chapter, Peninsula Romance Writers, where she currently serves as the President.


Cara Marsi said...

Thank you for the great interview, Joanne. It's true that we can get story ideas from the smallest thing. I love your story premise. Best of luck and Merry Christmas!

Paris said...

Your story sounds wonderful and just the thing to enjoy sitting by the fire and sipping hot cocoa. Merry Christmas!

jean hart stewart said...

So true...I keep a pad and pen beside my bed..I often get an idea during the night that I know will disappear if I don't get it down. Your story sounds great...

Melissa Keir said...

Wonderful post! I love to use events that happen in my stories. I twist them and turn them into a new thing but those ideas are always flowing!

I love your cover and wish you all the best!

Joanne Jaytanie said...

Thank you ladies! It's funny, isn't it how the smallest of things can spark a great idea. Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday!

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