Friday, December 20, 2019

MISTLETOE MENAGERIE by Janine Rosche #Interview and #Review by Nicole Cook

Nicole: The fabulous Janine Rosche is joining us today at Inkwell Inspirations to discuss her newly released Christmas novella, Mistletoe Menagerie, which is the prequel to her upcoming debut novel, This Wandering Heart.  Janine, thank you so much for joining us today!

Janine: It’s my honor, believe me!

Nicole:  Mistletoe Menagerie is the perfect novella for the holiday season.  This heartwarming Christmas novella of second chances and finding love again will have readers of contemporary romance eagerly anticipating the release of This Wandering Heart in May.  (PS Download it using the book funnel link below!)        
What message or inspiration do you hope that readers will take away from Mistletoe Menagerie?

Janine: This story, as well as the three full-length novels that follow it, all carry the same underlying theme. After loss, tragedy, or hardship, there is still reason to hope. In Mistletoe Menagerie, I tried to put flesh on Psalm 27:13- “I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.” Sage and Luke have both lost someone dear to them. They are torn between honoring the person they loved and carrying on. No matter what my readers have experienced this past year, I hope they’ll see something of themselves in either Sage or Luke and welcome moments of grace and joy when they arrive.

Nicole:  After the brief introduction of Robbie in Mistletoe Menagerie, I can’t wait to read his story in This Wandering Heart. Could you share with us any information about your future releases and/or your current work in progress?

Janine: Oh, Robbie. I adore him. When I first started writing This Wandering Heart, I wasn’t sure a 350-page novel could contain his personality. He has a big, devoted heart and uses every bit of it to love his family and of course, Keira. And yet, he’s fun-loving as can be. But in his story, the same traits that make him a great hero stir up trouble and threaten the custody of his sweet, four-year-old daughter, Anabelle. Unfortunately, the best person to help him is the one he drove away once before. Keira knows the joy of loving Robbie Matthews, as well as the pain of losing him. And now there’s even more at risk: his daughter and her dream.

I hope readers will fall in love with Robbie, Keira, and Anabelle, then stick around to hear his sister Ryann’s story in Wildflower Road (October 2020) and his best friend Thomas’s story in Glory Falls (January 2021). And for those who have read Mistletoe Menagerie, this isn’t the last we’ll see of Pastor Shane.

Nicole: When chatting with Rachel Scott McDaniel recently, I shared with her that both of you are my favorite debut authors to follow on social media because of the fun ways that you interact with your followers and your eagerness to introduce readers to wonderful Christian fiction authors.  Through participation on some of the same authors’ launch teams as you and seeing your social media posts, I’ve noticed that we enjoy many of the same books.  Who are some of your favorite Christian fiction authors that you would love to recommend to our readers? 

Janine: My favorite topic! As I answer this, I’m staring at eight copies of Rachel’s book, Above the Fold. EIGHT! I’m giving them as gifts to my book club because I know they’ll love it. A clever plot, intriguing setting (1920s Pittsburgh), and a real swoony hero make it a fantastic read! I also just finished Denise Hunter’s latest, Lake Season, and must now spend hours contemplating if I loved it more than Dancing with Fireflies and Adam more than Riley (from Just a Kiss). Ugh. Another great recent release is Love You, Truly by Susan Tuttle. It’s a globetrotting whirlwind of a love story that made me a forever fan of hers!

Nicole:  It is always so fun to discuss swoony heroes with you!  You know that I’m a huge fan of Denise Hunter’s too.  Riley is one of my favorite heroes of Denise’s, but Wade from A Cowboy’s Touch will always have my heart!  Above the Fold was an amazing debut novel, and I can’t wait to read more of Rachel’s future books.  I have never read any books by Susan Tuttle, but after your recommendation, I definitely want to read Love You, Truly!

Nicole:  What books are on the top of your to-be-read pile during this holiday season?

Janine: First up is Pepper Basham’s A Match for Emma. Not a Christmas story, but it’s always a good time for a Basham book! On audio, I’m re-listening to Tinsel in a Tangle by Laurie Germaine. It’s the most adorable Christmas story about a seventeen-year-old elf who doesn’t fit in with the rest of the elves because of her human-height. She must learn to love her uniqueness while working with Niklas, the heir to the Santa Claus throne and her childhood friend-turned-foe to save Christmas. It’s a splendid ride and the sweetest romance!

Nicole:  What is one gift that you hope Santa leaves in your stocking on Christmas Eve?

Janine: Another labrador retriever puppy! Not really. Dog beds already cover most of the floor in my writing studio. So, I’d love a Jamie Fraser Funko pop. Robbie may or may not be modeled after him, so I’d like to have one to sit on my shelf!

Nicole:  Ha, ha! I have three labrador retrievers myself, and I always say I want another one too!  They are just so adorable!

Janine, thank you again for joining us today.  This has been a pleasure to chat with you!

Janine: Thanks, Nicole! Merry Christmas, everyone!

Author Bio:
Prone to wander, Janine Rosche finds as much comfort on the open road as she does at home. This longing to chase adventure, behold splendor, and experience redemption is woven into each of her rustic romance novels in the Madison River Romance series. When she isn't writing or traveling, she teaches family life education courses to college students, takes too many pictures of her sleeping dogs, and embarrasses her four children and husband with boy band serenades.

Back Cover Blurb:
Is one whimsical night enough to turn sorrow into a lifetime of hope?

On Christmas Eve, Sage Matthews races through the city zoo, desperate to honor the tradition she shared with her deceased mother. Yet a simple train ride beneath twinkling lights isn’t enough to quell the ache in her heart for the kind of Christmas she used to know. As she grieves, the last person she expects to see at the helm of the zoo festivities is her childhood crush.

Growing up, Luke Tennison never had any Christmas traditions, let alone a family to share them with. Now, as the assistant general director at the zoo and a widower, he counts down the days until the strings of lights dim and the tinsel disappears. When he approves a last-minute request for the zoo to host children from a foster home on Christmas morning, he asks Sage for help, in hopes it may bring a smile not only to the kids, but to the once-joyful girl he used to know.

Together Sage and Luke spend the midnight hours wandering through the sleeping zoo and preparing a magical and merry menagerie that the children will never forget. But with heavy snowfall threatening to close the roads, they’ll need a miracle, or all their efforts will be for naught.

Author links:

Fans of author Janine Rosche’s are in for a real treat with this enchanting Christmas novella filled with wonderful characters and beautiful Christmas traditions.

Mistletoe Menagerie, the prequel to Janine Rosche’s Madison River romance series, is the perfect novella for the holiday season. This heartwarming Christmas novella of second chances and finding love again will have readers of contemporary romance eagerly anticipating the release of This Wandering Heart, book one in the series, in May.

The zoo is especially magical this time of year for people of all ages. Holiday lights, train rides, and preparations for hosting a group of foster children at the zoo bring childhood friends Sage and Luke together for an incredible Christmas Eve that neither thought could ever be possible.

Mistletoe Menagerie is highly recommended for readers of contemporary romance, especially readers who enjoy books by Denise Hunter, Courtney Walsh, and Becky Wade.
*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author/publisher and was under no obligation to leave a review. All opinions expressed are mine.


  1. I loved this interview! Thanks so much, ladies. nice to get to know more about Janine, and I love that she's offering this adorable novella through Book Funnel! What a great way to enjoy her writing!

  2. Thanks for the fun interview, Nicole and Janine! I've got this novella on my Kindle and hope to get it read before Christmas! I'd better hurry!


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