8:41 AM

In the Author Spotlight & Contest
Jane Toombs

CONTEST: - Jane will give away a PDF download of Dragon’s Pearl to the first person who posts the name of her calico cat in the comments of this blog. She will also send a CD with excerpts of all her recent books to everyone who emails her with their snailmail addy at jtoombs@jamadots.com.

AL: Hi Jane Thanks for being in the “Author Spotlight” this week.

Jane: Delighted to be here.

AL: So, tell us what’s happening with you.

Jane: I’ve recovered nicely from aspirating a pill last month. But if the Viking hadn’t been around to do the Heimlich maneuver I might not be here at all.. As it was, the pill casing popped out, but the oily gunk inside the pill slipped into my lungs. I could breathe, but not well. So a few days of hospitalization, a lung CAT scan, a scope of my esophagus and a lot of nebulizer treatments later, I’m back home, doing fine and down to two nebulizer treatments a day. Never try to talk and swallow a pill at the same time!

AL: Tell us about your newest release.

Jane: Dragon’s Pearl is the first book in my A Darkness of Dragons Trilogy published by Devine Destinies. http://www.devinedestinies.com./The second book, Dragon’s Diamond is scheduled to be released later this year. I’m currently writing the third book, Dragon’s Stone.: If you like dragons, and paranormal suspense romance, these books ate definitely for you.

AL: What other works are you deep into?

Jane: I’m also finishing up The Turquoise Gown for Jewels Of The Quill’s Takes From the Treasure Trove Anthology VII. JOTQ, where I’m Dame Turquoise, is a group of 12 authors who promote each other, partly by doing these yearly anthologies. My story is a period piece about of a time when formal balls were still important for young women The heroine longs to fit into a magic turquoise gown which will bring her heart’s desire. But, alas, she knows she’s far too fat. Instead of a fairy godmother coming to the rescue, she’s forced into what for her is a nightmare situation. But since I love happy endings, the story does have one.

AL: You have published over 80 books! What a fantastic accomplishment. Among that you’ve written which is your favorite book and why?

Jane: I believe it’s a book I did years ago for a packager who was doing fiction stories of ethnic groups who came to America for a better life. I chose to do The Scots because a good deal of my heritage is Scottish. The book took tons of research, and in the doing I learned a lot abut what life was like in Scotland in the bad times that caused them to emigrate. The book covered multiple generations and took me a year to write, but I enjoyed doing it.

AL: What is the most difficult part of being a writer and do you write whenever the mood strikes, or do you have a specific routine?

Jane: I don’t exactly have a routine, but I do try to write every day. Sticking to that is probably the most difficult part of writing for many of us.. I also made a New Year’s Resolution to finish the first book in every series I’d started. A Darkness Of Dragons was the first I chose to do, and the first book was picked up so fast, I had to write the second and now the third. So I haven’t had a chance to get going on another series .yet, but I have at least six others waiting in the wings.

AL: You’ve been in the publishing game for thirty-some years now, what has changed? What has remained the same? Has there been any difficulties adjusting, or do you flow with the “winds of change?”

Jane: I’ve seen gothics fade in popularity to be replaced by historicals, and those fade for contemporaries. Now paranormal is king of the hill—and my favorite .to read and write. I’ve mastered each genre as it became popular and enjoyed writing in it. My main problem was when the gothic, which at that time had no more sex than a few kisses and a lot of yearning, gave way to sexier historicals. In these, the main characters actually—gasp—had sex. Which was probably the most difficult thing for me to learn to write. But I did . Had to or my books wouldn’t sell.

AL: Let’s get to know Jane… What is the most adventurous thing you’ve ever done?

Jane: My Indian books. I worked for packagers a lot and they’d ask my agent to choose authors who could do what they wanted written.. So when he called me and asked if I knew anything about Indian tribes, I said I’d grown up among the Chippewa.. True, in the sense that my village was at the former site of an Chippewa village. So I got a contract to do Chippewa Daughter. At least by then I was used to research, which was lucky. One of the first things I learned was that Chippewa was an enemy’s name for them—they were really the Anishinabe. But the packager wanted the Chippewa name kept, so I had no choice. That book and the other I did for the series, Arapaho Spirit, were a real adventure into a realm I never would have known otherwise. Trying to understand the past of a different ethnic group is difficult, but I did my best. The greatest compliment I ever received about any of my books was from a elderly Anishinabe woman who told me, “What you wrote was how it was done in the old days. You got it right.” What more could an author ask for?

Did you mean a personal adventure? That would be in 1944 when I was seventeen and decided to leave college during WWII and become a Cadet Nurse by entering a government program. My parents put me on a train that went from my home village to Chicago where I transferred to one going to Los Angeles. My aunt met me there and helped me get to Los Angeles County General Hospital, which had already accepted me. The hospital had a patient population then of 3000, which was the same population as the village I grew up in. I was too young to join any of the women’s military groups (had to be twenty-one) but I was just barely old enough to join the Cadet Nurses. When we graduated, we had to promise to go into one of the armed services as a registered nurse. Mind you I had never really wanted to be a nurse. Though the war was over before I graduated, I did become an RN. Let me tell you I got more than a medical education at that hospital. It was real eye-opener for a naïve little teen-ager from the sticks.

AL: If you could meet someone famous in either history, or present day…who would you like to meet and why?

Jane: I’d probably find E. A, Poe too moody, and maybe drunk. H.P. Lovecraft might turn out to be as weird as his books. I loved their writing, but I doubt the men themselves would be easy to be with. Maybe Emily Dickinson. Her poems have always moved me—so much said with so few words.

AL: Summer is here! What is your favorite part of the season?

Jane: All of it! The Viking from my past and I live across the street form Lake Superior in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula wilderness. And we definitely look forward to the summers, as does our calico grandcat, Kinko. Because our cold and snowy winters seem to last forever and we’re now too creaky to ice skate, go skiing or even snow-mobiling.

AL: What favorite movie; or T.V. show makes you hunker down on the sofa and settle in for the night?

Jane: I don’t watch much TV, but I did enjoy the House series. Dr; House and the cast of characters that worked with him were great actors, all. . The House series, alas, is over. But I really prefer to read to read a book, anyway.

AL: Silly question… If you were a cartoon, which character would you be?

Jane: I’m a Capricorn, so tend to be practical, but I’ve always thought it might be fun to be a vamp like Betty Boop.

AL: Please share a favorite quote(s) with us.

Jane: I’m paraphrasing something I once heard Nora Roberts say: “If you find your story’s lagging, it’s time to kill one of the characters.”

AL: Thanks so much for joining us this week, Jane.

Jane: I appreciate you giving me the opportunity to be here. It’s been fun.

AL: If you’d like to find out more about Jane please visit:


In Sixth Century Wales, Merlin steals magic from the Sacred Black Dragon to try to heal the dying King Arthur. This fails, tainting some humans with dragon’s blood, and turns the black dragon against mankind. To keep humanity safe, Merlin appoints a human Keeper, blood of his blood and Guardian, chosen from those who now have dragon’s blood. These he teaches how to set wards to block the dragon’s evil, and warns the wards will need renewing. As long as those from these two blood lines remain in Wales, the dragon is forced to stay in his mountain cave lair.
Today, after all descendents of these two blood lines have migrated to the United States, the black dragon’s lair is now deep within an abandoned copper mine in the wilderness of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. The wards are failing, but the modern descendents know little or nothing about the dragon or their duty. Will evil demolish the world?
The wind was rising. Vran Pendar glanced at the darkening sky where no stars shone. This part of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan--the U.P. as they called it--was lonely country with sparse settlements and little in between except second-growth woods—tress that were already pretty big . To his right, dwarfing the other trees, towered a rare stand of virgin white pine that had somehow escaped the loggers' axes back in the 1870s. The wilderness he was passing through gave him the illusion he'd stepped back in time.
Back in Ojibway they'd warned him he'd need an ATV to negotiate the dubious road to and past Thirteen Mile Point, but he'd figured his Jeep could handle it. The oncoming storm made his decision dubious, unless he reached the Terrick House before the rain sluiced down.

To his left, hidden from view by the gloomy dusk and trees, he could hear the angry plash of Lake Superior, roiled by the wind. One part of him reveled in the sound, anticipating the June storm, even though logic reminded him that the dirt road, little more than a rutted trail, might soon be a well-nigh impassable morass of mud.

He'd been waiting all his adult life for this summons. "Your duty as the only male Pendar," his mother had told him at eighteen, handing him the letter his father had left for him to read when he reached manhood. "The Pendar line carries ancient blood." He'd known then he had his ancestors to thank--or, more likely, curse--for what had happened to him the year before.

A far-off flicker of lightning caught his attention. He'd started to count the seconds until thunder rolled to estimate how distant the storm was, when the sweet, sickening scent of rot seethed around him. Danger!

Before Vran had a chance to take action, a smothering pall of pitch darkness shrouded the Jeep. He stomped on the brakes, feeling the Jeep skid sharply to the left, toward trees he couldn't see, but knew were there. He braced himself for impact and the whoosh of the airbag.

Despite his seatbelt and the inflated airbag, the breath was knocked from him. As he struggled to take in air, he also fought an invisible menace the darkness carried, an evil that sought to enter into him.

He knew then that Enid Terrick was dead.

In her snug little cabin by the long abandoned copper mine, an old woman wearing a shapeless black garment listened to the rising wind as it whined about the corners like a starving dog. For two days Louhi had waited, and now she was almost sure. Crossing to the nearest window, she pulled aside a red curtain and peered into the gloom.

Lighting lanced down the sky, momentarily blinding her, but she didn't need her sight to sense what crept about her house more tentatively than the wind, its power small as yet. The fact any of the darkness had escaped confirmed what her noita skills had told her. The Keeper had gone beyond; the ward was failing.

Her time had come. Louhi smiled in greedy anticipation.

Mona Rhys, alone in her bedroom in Great-aunt Enid's isolated, cupolaed house, tried to remember if she'd locked the front door against the night and the rising wind. She always had before, but now that Enid had passed on, the house seemed so empty that unease gripped her. Tonight, she and Nala, Enid's aloof Siamese cat, were alone here. Enid's body remained, but her essence had fled.

The cat knew her owner was no more because she'd left the room at almost the exact moment Enid had expired. Mona wondered how she was going to go about getting her aunt's body into the lidded pine box Enid had insisted be left in the bedroom. She'd washed her aunt's body and covered it with a clean gown, but the transfer to the box would have to wait until tomorrow. Tonight she was too exhausted.

The house sat by itself on a promontory thrusting into Lake Superior in a wilderness area so lonely she wondered how her great-aunt had stood living in this house for so many years. Tomorrow, when the storm passed, Mona would have to see to getting her great-aunt's remains into town so Enid's last wishes could be carried out. There was certainly no way a hearse could negotiate these primitive roads even without the storm.

The lights flickered, but that was no worry, since the house had a generator in case of power failure. Not that Mona was afraid. She'd brought her grandfather's old .45 Colt--his sole legacy to her--along with her when she left New York State to come here to take care of Enid in her final illness. But even without the gun, she wasn't much given to nerves.

She could make no decisions about her own future until her cousins arrived and all the instructions in Enid's will were carried out. Sighing, she started for the stairs to check the front door, then paused, the hair lifting on her nape.

As a nurse, her unease didn't come from being in a house where a dead body lay. Nor was it caused by the lighting flash and roll of thunder, but from something intangible. Ridiculous to suspect evil was abroad with the storm. Still, she felt something dark lurked outside the house, waiting, like a panther, to pounce.

Turning back, she lifted the loaded Colt from the drawer of her bedside stand. Ridiculous or not, there was no harm in being prepared. As she reached the head of the stairs, Nala the cat shot past her and down to the entry. Nala's black mask turned toward the entry windows, flanking the front door, the panes suddenly lit by a great bolt of lightning. Thunder crashed and rain slashed against the glass.

As Mona started to descend, gun in hand, the front door burst open, blowing in a blast of wind and rain--and a dark figure. Mona stood stock still on the staircase, her heart hammering as she stared at the stranger--a tall, naked man, dripping wet, who was calmly closing the door.

REMEMBER: Jane will give away a PDF download of Dragon’s Pearl to the first person who posts the name of her calico cat in the comments of this blog. She will also send a CD with excerpts of all her recent books to everyone who emails her with their snailmail addy at jtoombs@jamadots.com.


Linda Henderson said...

Her cats name is Kinko.

seriousreader at live dot com

SiNn said...

Linda is so fast lol

her cats name is Kinko

greta excerpts

Sheila said...

Hi Jane,
Fellow GothRom member here. Great blog and info. Unfortuntely I don't get the digest until the next day so I couldn't be the first to post the Kinko's name. Eighty books-I'm in awe. And you write 'assignments' for publishers. This would be a dream come true. Great going.
Sheila aka Raven

s7anna said...

Hi Jane,
Your new book looks like a fantastic read.

I think it's fascinating that you went off and did the nursing bit when you were so young...that must've taken a lot of chutzpah.


orelukjp0 said...

Sorry. I went to the wrong place and posted. Duh. Congrats to Linda for posting Kinko so fast.

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