Monday, December 7, 2015

Special Guest Jan Elder and a Giveaway!

Please welcome author Jan Elder to Inkwell Inspirations! Jan's second novella, A Semi-Precious Christmas, released Dec. 1, just in time for holiday reading! Leave a comment below for a chance to win an ebook or PDF copy!

NIKI: Hi Jan! Tell us a little about your latest story. It's quite an adventure! 

JAN: My latest release, A Semi-Precious Christmas, is a contemporary Christian novella. Here’s a blurb about the plot:

"On a bright, crisp December morning, jewelry store manager, Peridot Keaton-Jones, arrives at work expecting to find her beloved uncle, Marty. Instead, she’s greeted by the muzzle of a gun pressed to her temple. When thugs assault her, threaten her life, and steal thousands of dollars worth of jewelry, Peri can only pray her uncle is late for the first time in his life.

Christopher Lane is a TV news cameraman in the right place at the right time. He witnesses the heist, calls the police, and offers help when Peri needs it most. She can't deny her attraction, but is he really her hero, or is he just after a story? And with Christmas right around the corner, can Peri and Chris avert a holiday disaster?"

NIKI: I have a particular soft spot for heroines with unusual names. 

Did something specific in your own life inspire this tale?

JAN: I got the idea from an incident featured on the local news. Right down the street from where my husband and I live, thugs robbed a high-end jewelry store, getting away with thousands of dollars worth of jewelry. We stopped by a few days later and the saleswoman we’re friends with told us the whole story, including her terror at having a gun pointed at her face. 

I got to thinking how I would feel and react if I were in the same situation. I put myself in my friend’s shoes and tried to relive the moment. What thoughts ran through her mind when confronted with her own mortality? What kind of people were the robbers? Had they been in jail before? Had they hurt anyone else? Everyone has good sides and bad sides. I wanted the reader to wonder, was there any good in them?

NIKI:   I'm glad to know someone else finds story ideas in random news items!

What’s your favorite holiday and why? (It doesn’t have to be Christmas, even though this novella is Christmas-themed!)

JAN: Sorry Christmas, but my favorite holiday is Thanksgiving. I love everything about it. The scrumptious food, (oh, how I love the turkey, mashed potatoes, and stuffing, not to mention the pie, glorious pie!) the warmth of a gathering of family and friends (my husband’s family gets together, plus my 92-year-old mother is included—thank you sister-in-law Karen.) But most of all it’s a time when I thank God for all of my many blessings. The gift of His love and salvation makes life worth living and all the rest is just gravy. J

NIKI: I'm a fan of holidays that don't involve lots of requirements and expectations. Thanksgiving is a good one!

What does your writing schedule look like?

JAN: I have a full time job so my writing time is limited to mostly weekends. I’m also a night person and my most creative time of the day is after the sun goes down.
Sometimes the two don’t work well together so Monday mornings can be rough! 

NIKI: I can relate! I think a lot of readers would be surprised to know how many of their favorite writers have "real" jobs on the side that keep them quite busy.

What other stories do you have available?

JAN: My first book, Manila Marriage App, is also a contemporary Christian romance. The novella released in April 2015 and it’s part of Pelican’s Passport to Romance series. Here’s a bit about the plot:

It all began as a lark. Shay Callahan’s life was just fine, thank you, but when the seemingly misogynistic missionary, Timothy Flynn, places an advertisement for a wife in a Christian magazine, she decides to give it a whirl and sends in the five-page application. Why not? After all, she’s not currently seeing anyone, and this man truly needs to be taught a lesson.

Finding out she’s Dr. Flynn’s pick of the litter, Shay hops on a plane and flies to The Philippines. The strategy is to jet in, enjoy an exciting two-week vacation, and jet out again, all at his expense. Instead, her plan backfires. The handsome missionary man is not what he seems, and the foreign land has far more to offer than she could imagine.

Embark on a tropical adventure with Shay that challenges everything she believes.

Oh, and Niki, your book, Santiago Sol, a scintillating story set in exotic South American, is part of the same series! For those of you who haven’t read it, check it out. I highly recommend it!

NIKI: Thank you! You have been such an encouragement to me with the Passport to Romance series. Manila Marriage App was too much fun! (Here's the link: )

Favorite Christmas memory, song, book, or recipe?

JAN: Would it be silly to say that I love the story of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer? I have great memories of being a little girl snuggled in her jammies watching the television special with my family. In fact, I love it so much my dear husband bought me a copy for Christmas a couple of years ago. Now both of us watch it every Christmas along with a plate of sugar cookies and a cup of cocoa.    

NIKI: Not silly at all! In fact, my hubby and I just watched Rudolph tonight. It's hard to believe it's been around since 1965!

Thank you for coming to visit all of us, and sharing your latest release! I'm looking forward to many more to come!

For all of you looking for an exciting and romantic Christmas read, download your own copy of Semi-Precious Christmas HERE for just 99¢!

About Jan: Jan Elder is a contemporary Christian romance writer. With a zeal for telling stories other women can relate to, she strives to write the kind of book that will strengthen the reader’s faith, while also providing an entertaining and engrossing love story.
Besides writing romance, she enjoys the occasional hazelnut cappuccino while watching Turner Classic Movies. Always an avid reader, she devours books voraciously, both Christian and secular. She was born a cat-lover, and all novels present and future will include a feline in some way or another.
Happily married for twelve years to loving (and supportive) husband, Steve, the two live in central Maryland along with Jamie (a tuxedo cat), and Shu-Shu (a tortoiseshell cat). On the weekends, Jan and Steve comb the nearby countryside in search of the perfect ice cream flavor.

Connect with Jan at:


  1. Good interview, Jan and Niki.

    Jan, your answer about Thanksgiving being your fav holiday because of the turkey, mashed potato and stuffing dinner, etc made me laugh because that's not only our Thanksgiving dinner in October, but it's our Christmas Day dinner too! :D

    1. We always had the same thing at Thanksgiving and Christmas, too, when I was growing up, and that was the menu!

    2. I'd have turkey every holiday if I could. Nothing wrong with Valentines Day turkey in my book...or St. Patrick's Day...or...

  2. I love hearing about all the books. I especially like the modern twist on the mail-order bride story. (And I really love it when one character wants to teach someone a lesson and ends up learning one instead).'

    And I'm a night person, too. My brain doesn't work creatively until at least noon. Maybe later. ;)

    1. Ah...night people...we are indeed a different breed, huh? My brain switches on around noon also!

    2. Ditto. No matter how early I wake up, my muse doesn't arise until sometime after noon. She's a diva.

  3. Thanks, Niki, for a great interview. And thank you, Jan, for writing wonderful stories! I loved Manila Marriage App and would definitely love to read your Christmas novella. Merry Christmas to both of you!

    1. Thanks, Kathleen. Writing about Christmas was lots of fun. Merry Semi-Precious Christmas to you!

  4. I enjoyed the interview, Nikki and Jan, thank you. I appreciate how you took a local news situation and made it your own with a romantic twist. There's ideas for stories all around us. Cheers

    1. Thanks, Marilyn. We love "our" saleswoman and it was scary to think she actually had a gun in her face less than 2 miles from our house! My sweet, sweet husband bought me a lovely Christmas present that year (sapphire earrings)to show our support--grin.

  5. Great interview, Ladies! Loved getting to know you better!

  6. Thanks for stopping by, Tanya! It was lots of fun answering Niki's questions. :)

  7. Loved finding out more about you Jan! Great interview. A Semi-Precious Christmas sounds lovely.
    Good luck and God's blessings to ALL!

    1. Thanks, Pam. Christmas blessings on the wing to you, as well!

  8. Sorry to say, I'm all Rudolphed out. A part of me wishes I had the Hallmark channel, but I don't so I settle for an annual viewing of White Christmas.

    thanks for bringing yourself and this cute story to the Inkwell, Jan!

  9. I can do do White Christmas anytime. A couple of years ago, our local concert theater, circa 1920, showed the movie on a big screen. We dressed up and had a fine time! Thanks for stopping in and Merry Christmas!

  10. What a lovely way to get to know you better, Jan! You books sound delightful and I can't wait to read them!


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We, the ladies of Inkwell Inspirations, would love to give free stuff to everybody. Since we can't, we will often have a giveaway in conjunction with a specific post. Unless otherwise stated, one winner will be drawn from comments left on that post between the date it was published and the end of the giveaway as determined in the post. Entries must be accompanied by a valid email address. This address is used only to contact the commenter in the event that he/she is the winner, and will not be sold, distributed, or used in any other fashion. The odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. NO PURCHASE, PLEDGE, OR DONATION NECESSARY TO ENTER OR TO WIN. ALL FEDERAL, STATE, LOCAL AND MUNICIPAL LAWS AND REGULATIONS APPLY. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED.