My Writing Journey…

When I was a freshman in High School, I had the most amazing Creative Writing teacher. He was a tough teacher, certainly not one to give false praise. I remember the very first day of class…my best friend was sitting beside me. She leaned over and whispered “this class is going to be intense…I thought it was going to be an easy A.” Easy was the last word I would have used for this class. Our teacher pushed us out of our comfort zone and demanded we try new things. The day he told us we had to write a poem, I nearly got ill. A poem…I had no interest and no experience in writing poetry…

I grew up in central state New York, and it was around early November. I remember lying in bed that night dreading my assignment. I had no clue what to write. I lay there silently staring holes in the ceiling. Then I noticed a sound in the silence. It started softly like the muffled rumble of an old car. I closed my eyes and just listened as the sound slowly increased in volume. I got out of bed, walked to my window, and looked out into the night, dimly lit by the single street light. Looking out into the distance, I saw it…a light snow had started to fall. I was mesmerized by the flakes as they grew heavier, larger, and faster. I must have sat there for an hour watching the dead brown grass become enveloped by the pristine, crystal white blanket.

The next morning we had a snow day from school. As the fresh covering grew to over two feet, I sat on my bed and wrote my first poem. I was ecstatic when it received an A+.

My Dad loved it so much that he taped it up on the wall of his office. My poem was still on his wall, yellowed and worn the day I left for college. Funny the moments you can recall years ago, but the things you can’t remember that happened to you just the day before.

I continued to write all through my high school and college years. I wanted to major in writing, but my dad was always very ‘practical’ and insisted I major in something I could ‘work in,’ so I majored in business. I worked in banking, personnel, management, and managed my husband’s forensic engineering firm. When my husband decided to close his business, I was lost. What would I do? He suggested I do what I’ve always wanted to do…and write.

Six years ago, I began writing full-time and one year ago Chasing Victory was published.  How lucky am I to love what I do and have people enjoy the stories I write.

Can you recall a turning point in your life when you had to make the decision which path you would take? I would love to hear about it…

Immerse yourself in the spirit of the holidays!!

Immerse yourself in the spirit of the holidays!

Christmas Reflections was recently released. It is book one of the Forever Christmas series.

I love the holiday season, the lights and colors shimmer and shine everywhere you look. The smell of cinnamon, hot apple cider, a crackling fire, the fresh cut evergreen trees. It all brings back the memory of when I was a small child and we would head out for our yearly hunt for our Christmas tree. It 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, 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 and tied with a rope. We would all take turns hauling it back down the mountain. It was a day of hopes and dreams, frozen toes and noses, but I wouldn’t have traded a single moment for anything in the world.

This was my inspiration behind Forever Christmas. I hope it will bring back fond memories, or inspire new ones. Pick up the entire series, it is sure to put you in the holiday spirit.

What is the first picture that comes into your mind when you remember Christmas past?


The Birth of a Character ~ Article in Seattle Examiner

The Birth of a Character

November 18, 201410:58 AM MST

“Hey, I know her…He sounds just like my brother… I’m sure that character was fashioned after me.”

People often ask, do writers really use people they know as characters in their books, or are they a total figment of their imaginations?

I can’t speak for everyone, but I tend to use a combination of both. You see, I’m a people watcher. No matter where I am, whether it’s at the park, movie theater, mall, coffee shop, restaurant, or airport. I love to watch people interact and react to each other. Try it, watch people for a while and you will see that you can pick up on their quirks, irritations, favorite words or phrases. I watch for these, discreetly of course, and when something they do, or a certain way they say something catches my eye, I whip out my iPad and make a short note. I have a file full of notes on all these quirks and traits, and when I start to give a character life, I will often pull from that file to round out his or her personality.

The trick is to use these quirks, characteristics, or character flaws, to create a character more dimensional and memorable. Use them just enough to be effective, but not so much as to make them annoying or distractive to the reader. What do I mean? Here’s an example. In my romantic suspense series I gave my villain two quirks. The first, when he would meet with the heroine at his office he would avoid acknowledging her and when he did eventually show interest he would steeple his fingers, as if erecting a barrier between the two. Both of these characteristics show that he felt the heroine was inferior to him. This villain appeared in two of my novels and I used these traits only two to three times in each book.

I have to admit, I don’t always use strangers, when collecting quirks. I have been known to incorporate a few traits of friends and family into the mix. For example, the idea of The Winters Sisters Series rolled around in my mind for over a year, but I had a missing link. I couldn’t fully develop my first heroine. One day my Veterinarian girlfriend and I sat on the floor of an exam room at her clinic and talked while we waited for the acupuncture to do its thing on one of my Dobermans. We chatted about all the things we both did for our canine family and how much they are a part of our lives. It was that very moment all the pieces fell into place and Victory Winters was born; her personality is based on my dear and caring friend.

So, I guess my advice is always play nice. Because you never know, someone might be watching you….

About the Author, Joanne Jaytanie:

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. 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.

Contact me here:






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Book Review of ‘The Love List’ in the Seattle PI

TheLoveList HighRes

f you’re a fan of romance stories, this holiday season treat yourself to The Love List, a series of interconnected stories about four best friends who come up with an unusual plan – the “love list” – to find romance and how they find true love in a small town. To put it simply, each drops a name of a nice guy their friends may like into a basket, and each chooses one.with unexpected consequences.

In “Love Uncorked,” by Jennifer Conner, we meet Tegan Taylor, owner of the Que Syrah Syrah wine shop in Vine grove, the heart of wine country. She chooses Richard, but their date turns into a disaster. Richard is not at all the type of man she’s looking for. But, then, a handsome Australian cowboy shows up, and things take a turn. Maybe the love list wasn’t a bad idea, after all.

In “Love Found Me,” by Sharon Kleve, Chloe Miles never thought she could find true love, especially with someone so different from her.until she meets Mitch Brodin as he steps foot into Roy’s Pet Rescues looking for advice on how to care for new born kittens. Chloe is vivacious and unpredictable, while Mitch is methodical and predictable. Like her, he never thought fate would bring him someone so opposite, especially when he hadn’t planned on being so lucky.

In “Blind Tasting,” by Angela Ford, Dr. Rebecca Miller is devastated over her fiancé’s affair with her best friend. To heal herself, she moves from the city and gets a job in a small country hospital. From the love list, she picks up the name of Chase Tanner. Things are going well, until he discovers the love list and believes to be fooled. Can Becca convince him she really does love him?

In “Building up to Love,” by Joanne Jaytanie, Tegan, Chloe and Becca have already found true love.except Laura, so she thinks the love list is cursed, at least when it comes to her. She’s in the process of opening a B&B when suddenly Travis Jerome arrives new to town and jumps at the chance to work on Laura’s B&B remodeling. Sparks ignite, and a night of tragedy and near death brings their hearts together.

The Love List was a pleasure to read, the perfect novella collection to read at the beach or curled up in a warm sofa in front of the fire this holiday season. Written by four award-winning authors, the stories will make you laugh and will warm your heart. The writing is light, fun, and uplifting, the characters ones to root for. If you enjoy light romance stories with fun plots and compelling heroes and heroines, you’ll want to give this one a try.

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Change is a coming…. AKA ~ One Stop Shopping!

Hi Everyone!

Thanks to the ever so wonderful, Tanya Watt, I am in the process of switching my blog and website to WordPress!

On the up side, you will be able to find everything here on one site! My website, blog, books, up coming events, and more! On the downside I will lose everything on my old website and blog.

I hope you will all join me on my next adventure into WordPress.

Enjoy and Happy Reading~



Press Release for my new release ~ Christmas Reflections