Thursday, April 18, 2019

Straight Chatting from the Library: Jean M. Grant

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Jean M. Grant will be awarding $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.


What is the favorite book you remember as a child?

I enjoyed RL Stine’s Fear Street series (the 80’s-90’s editions), Babysitter’s Club, Sweet Valley Twins, and Judy Blume. It’s neat to see my sons now reading the RL Stine Goosebumps series. My favorites that I read with them in their young days include the Dr. Seuss classics and all of Mo Willems books (Elephant and Piggie still bring smiles to my face).

What is your favorite book today?

Outlander. The first is best but I’ve enjoyed many in the series and novella spin-offs.

Tell us about your current book in 10 words.

Widow on emotional road trip with autistic son, post-volcanic eruption.

What are you reading right now?

I’m listening to Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi on audio book. I like to read (e-books, print) and listen (audio books) across the genres of romance and women’s fiction and mainstream fiction. I’m in a book club, too, and we vary up what we read. The story and narrator in Homegoing have sucked me in (all I can say is wow! to the voice artist’s ability and the writer’s talent). It came highly recommended by some people I know.

What books do you have on hold at the library?

Always too many. For myself and my family. Homegoing is the one I have right now in my car (audio book). Nothing on hold at the moment, but that can change in a blink of the eye. I also have a large TBR pile on my computer and on my coffee table. The pile includes romance e-books (I’m working my way through the Deerbourne Inn series by The Wild Rose Press), and a few other paperbacks. Just as I conquer another on my list, more pop up! I love the library, so much so that I’m on a local library board of trustees. The library is an amazing gift to a community! My little side note: don’t have the money to buy all the books you want? Ask your library to get it! Most of them will! (hint hint…)

Do you have any bad book habits?

I get too critical and start to critique a book from my writer’s perspective. I start to judge the grammar, “rules” of writing, style, etc. I find if I listen to the audio, I am less picky and get can lost in the book’s world. Also, another bad habit: not finishing books that just don’t hit the mark. I give book’s a chance but if it’s not holding my attention, I give up on it. Thirdly, not a bad habit but more so a wish: I wish I could read faster! Folks who read a few books a week bring out the envy within.

One book at a time or multiples?

Multiple! I’m also writing and editing/promoting my own books at the same time. Currently, I’m writing a third book in a trilogy, promoting a few new releases, reading an e-book on my computer, and listening to an audio book in my car (perfect for all my commuting around). A stack of paperbacks wait for me on my coffee table for when I have “down” time.

How do you keep your books organized?

Do stacks and drawers count? I appreciate a good ol’ bookmark (or I’ll use any slip of paper to mark them). I do try my best but I have shelves filled (mostly non-fiction/travel books), and any book I’m reading is on a table somewhere, sometimes on the passenger seat in my car to read while waiting (at the bus stop, at a doctor’s appointment…). I have drawers filled with yet-to-be finished books and stacks near my desk of TBR books. Also , there is a stack of reference books at my feet near my desk, adorned with post-it’s marking important pages. But there is some sense of order to this madness. No such thing as too many books!

Keep books or give them away?

Keep! Far too many. A magical solution to this problem is the library! You must return them at some point! I don’t have to hold onto them. Read, return: win-win! Same goes for e-books, but they end up staying in my computer’s library for an eternity. Now, the reference/travel books I hold on to for a lot longer. I have one writing book that is stained with coffee (yeah, an oops). But it’s like a rite of passage so it shall stay that way. A reminder of why I have it. To craft words.


Young widow AJ Sinclair has persevered through much heartache. Has she met her match when the Yellowstone supervolcano erupts, leaving her separated from her youngest son and her brother? Tens of thousands are dead or missing in a swath of massive destruction. She and her nine-year-old autistic son, Will, embark on a risky road trip from Maine to the epicenter to find her family. She can't lose another loved one.

Along the way, they meet Reid Gregory, who travels his own road to perdition looking for his sister. Drawn together by AJ's fear of driving and Reid's military and local expertise, their journey to Colorado is fraught with the chaotic aftermath of the eruption. AJ's anxiety and faith in humanity are put to the test as she heals her past, accepts her family's present, and embraces uncertainty as Will and Reid show her a world she had almost forgotten.


He slid closer and placed a hand on mine and squeezed. “I see a strong woman who has been hurt deeply. I see a resilient mother who would journey through hell for her children. I see somebody who has become jaded and has trouble trusting, unable to sort through friend and enemy. I see a woman with hope.” He held my gaze. “And I’d like to be your friend, Audrey Jane.”

My jaw may have dropped. I wasn’t sure. I recovered quickly. Or at least I tried. “You’ve been talking with my therapist, haven’t you?” God, I was teasing him. I was joking. I was like Will. Will always got goofy with his peers in social situations when he didn’t know the expectations, or how to behave.

Either way, Reid didn’t laugh. Thin lips pressed into a frown that I couldn’t decipher.

I didn’t prod any further. I broke the gaze and released my hand from his, then stoked the fire for the tenth time, sleep luring me with sweet abandon. I tossed the stick into the fire. “I should turn in.”

“I’ll stay awake,” he offered. “Until the fire goes.” “Okay.” I nodded, though the fire could have been quickly snuffed.

I paused in my opening of the tent flap, turned around, and peered at him. My arms dropped to my side, my hands still. “I’m sorry about the hotel. I was sick and wasn’t thinking straight. Thank you for your help today.” A part of me couldn’t disclose the unvarnished truth. Part of it had been crazy withdrawal symptoms AJ. The other part—I’d been paranoid he’d been drinking. Harrison’s death remained a ghostly echo in my mind, perhaps clouding my judgment. The scent had been on his clothes though. I was sure of it. The more I pondered, I believed his story. Perhaps I had been triggered. Perhaps I really did have trauma or PTSD. I shook my head. I didn’t know.

Firelight glistened off the growing beard hairs on Reid’s chin and spots of amber danced in his dark, round eyes. Speaking of soulful eyes… “You were looking out for Will. I understand. I had been gone far too long.”

“You had a legitimate reason. Shit happens,” I countered.

His lips curved into a resigned smile. “Yeah. Rest, Audrey Jane.”

“You, too, Reid,” I whispered. I added in a deep exhalation, “And yes, yes, I’d like to be your friend.”

As I stepped into my tent, I observed Reid’s normally straight shoulders slouch a hair. Perhaps he, like all of us, was on his own road of atonement. Searching for meaning, searching for answers…searching for absolution.

I had treated him poorly. I didn’t know what the hell had just happened between us, but I tucked it away into a corner of my brain to contemplate upon another time when I was lucid. My remorse had lifted somewhat.

Ignoring my exhaustion for at least a few minutes, I clicked on my headlamp and pulled out my journal. It was time to unburden my heart.


Jean’s background is in science and she draws from her interests in history, nature, and her family for inspiration. She writes historical and contemporary romances and women’s fiction. She also writes articles for family-oriented travel magazines. When she’s not writing or chasing children, she enjoys tending to her flower gardens, hiking, and doing just about anything in the outdoors.

Amazon Author Page:

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Always fun to hear about another new great book. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Thanks for hosting!
    Thanks for visiting, James!

    I LOVE the library! Would love to hear from you tend to read one book at a time OR have multiple ongoing?

  3. Who is your favorite character from your book?

  4. My favorite from this book would be Will, AJ's 9-yr-old son. But I do love all my characters.

  5. I think this is my favorite cover. The blurb is enticing. Good luck and great sales, Jean.

    1. This cover is amazing. Debbie Taylor hit the mark.

  6. Thanks for the giveaway; I like the excerpt. :)

  7. Great interview, I enjoyed reading it.

  8. Thanks, everyone, for stopping by!