About the Author
Jaye Elliot is an award-winning author, country girl, and hopeless romantic at heart. She loves a good hero and will always sigh happily during the lights scene in Tangled. She writes from her home in the Northwoods of Wisconsin, which she shares with three cats she considers her kids. When not writing romance novels, she pens fantasy and adventure stories as Jaye L. Knight.
About the book:
Alex Jennings is done with life. After losing her brother in Afghanistan, everything has collapsed around her. Getting laid off from her day job and failing in her art career, she has nowhere left to turn. She once had faith to believe that all things would work together for good, but that faith died with her brother. Now she just wants the pain to end.
Riley Conrad served thirteen years in the military until three bullets sent him home. After a year and a half of physical therapy and scraping together a living, all he wants is to live a simple life and perhaps even open the coffee shop he dreams about. However, the weight of failing his parents’ expectations doesn’t make it easy, and working as a bartender isn’t getting him anywhere fast.
Could a “chance” meeting between Alex and Riley set them both on the path God always intended?
20% of all February sales will go to the Mighty Oaks Warrior Programs.
I knew I had to read this the instant I heard about it … A veteran, a grieving sister, and a “chance” but not really a “chance” meeting. You know, the perfect romance, to me. I love military books, military romances, and Christian military fiction, each of which could describe No Chance Meeting, this was truly a wonderful book.
With veteran suicides being the highest it ever has been I have been glad to see authors bring attention to the fact that so many soldiers need help yet when it is show in fiction it can get so sadly chlich so I was slightly surprised at the fast that ***SPOILERS*** Riley was not the one near to commiting suicide, I did like the twist on the story there.
The elements of faith were perfect, I loved Riley’s sweet ways, for a soldier that is. And I loved Alex’s character growth.
As the book got to the halfway point I was so in love with the story but realized something was going to happen, something likely bad … Knowing that I read with baited breath as the sweet interactions between Riley and Alex, the lovely story, and all until something unexpected happened. No more spoilers, so I’ll just say yikes did I love and hate the last parts at times!
I was pleased by the story overall, I was not sure how much I would love it but I knew I would like it, since I’ve loved each and every one of the books by Jaye Elliot under her other author names, especially the books under Jaye L. Knight. Each of her works is spectacular, even if they are hard to read with the good and bad truths shown in a way that one can’t help but be pulled into the story.
In the process of writing what is your least favorite step?
Most of the time I feel like the actual writing is my least favorite. I love planning books and dreaming about plots. I don’t mind editing. But that blank page when you’re writing the first draft is daunting. Too often I struggle with writer’s block. I’m much happier when the story, or at least the bones of the story, is written and then I can perfect it.
What is your favorite flavor of coffee or tea when you are writing?
I’m addicted to Twinings Irish Breakfast Tea. I have a large mug of it pretty much every day. With International Delight’s Cinnabon creamer. That’s important. I have a major sweet tooth.
What gave you the idea to write No Chance Meeting?
Sadly, I can’t remember how I even started thinking along the lines of plotting a contemporary novel. I was watching Leverage at the time and fell in love with Eliot, who then inspired Riley. I don’t remember if it started with him or not. It all happened really fast because it was only a little over a week before NaNoWriMo 2016, and I decided I’d try something crazy and write NCM. I really didn’t think I’d actually win NaNoWriMo, but I did and finished the book shortly after.
Would you say that writing No Chance Meeting helped you to grow as a writer and if so how?
Yeah, I think it did because it stretched me way outside of my usual genre comfort zone. I’m so used to writing about fantasy worlds that writing about actual real life was strange. It turns out that, for me, the real world is much more complicated to write about than a fantasy world. Surprisingly, I had to do much more research. I guess because it’s real life and you have to get it right. In a fantasy novel you can easily claim artistic liberties.
Do you plan to write more books like No Chance Meeting?
Short answer: yes. Longer answer: NCM was supposed to be a standalone book (a novella, actually). However, as my writing tends to do, it grew and spawned ideas for three more novels that are loosely tied to the story. While each one follows a different couple, they all take place in the same town. I hope to start writing the next one as soon as I finish Ilyon Chronicles. At the moment, that requires my full attention.
She climbed the stairs and entered her apartment. Mindy, clad in a comfy pair of pajama pants and t-shirt was putting a mug away in the cabinet, and Alex caught a glimpse of Zach watching TV in the living room.
“Hey,” Mindy said, looking over her shoulder.
Alex echoed the greeting but the plastic grocery bags on the table distracted her. “What’s this?”
Mindy walked to the table and pulled out football-shaped paper plates, napkins, and an assortment of other football-related items. “Can’t have a party without party supplies. Zach and I picked them up after we dropped you off.”
Trust Mindy to go all out, even for just a four-person party.
She walked around the table to Alex’s side, leaning in to whisper by her ear, “He kissed you again, didn’t he?”
Alex’s jaw dropped. How did she know? She snapped it closed, but her cheeks burst into flames. She shook her head, doing her best to sound serious. “You have to stop doing that. Honestly, Min, I’ve never blushed so much in my life.”
Mindy just grinned wickedly. “Then you’ll to have to stop walking in with that obviously dreamy look on your face.”
Alex opened her mouth again but had no decent comeback. Was it really that obvious?
“Are you two talking about kissing in there?” Zach’s voice joined them from the living room.
Alex threw her hands up. “You stay out of this.”
In answer to his hearty laugh, all Alex could do was laugh too.
It was good to have friends around again.
Books that Shaped Me
Books change lives. Anyone who says otherwise obviously isn’t much of a reader. This is especially true for writers like me. Every book we read affects the way we write and view our stories. There have definitely been a few books over my lifetime that have directly shaped who I am as both a person and a writer. Without them, I’m not sure if I would be writing today, or that my own books would be any good.
The first books I can point to that had an impact on me were the Pony Pals books by Jeanne Betancourt. I still remember the very first Pony Pals book I ever read. It was book #9, The Wild Pony. My mom found it for me at this thrift store we used to love visiting whenever we had a family trip that took us through Minneapolis. I can actually vaguely remember when my mom handed it to me to look at. For years, I was hooked on those books, being the young, horse-obsessed girl that I was. The very first (short) book I ever completed writing was my own retelling of a Pony Pals book. To this day, I am working on completing my collection of the books and hope to one day read them to my niece.
Several years after Pony Pals, The Lord of the Rings came along. Quite a difference between those two series. It shows my transformation from a horse crazy little girl to an action and adventure loving tomboy teenager. Of all the books I’ve read, LOTR, had the biggest impact on me. It was because of J.R.R. Tolkien that I decided I wanted to be a published author. And before LOTR, I didn’t write fantasy. Now, that’s what I live and breathe as an author. I can’t imagine what sort of writing I would be doing now, or even if I would be writing now. That was the period of time in my life that made me very passionate about writing.
I did a lot of learning and growing as I got into indie publishing and actually writing for an audience. I made a lot of mistakes, but around the time I was writing the first book in my Ilyon Chronicles series, I started reading Books of the Infinite by R.J. Larson. I loved her writing style and subconsciously tried to emulate it. I saw a drastic improvement in my writing after that. Books of the Infinite helped me develop my writing style into what it is today.
As you can see, without those three very different book series that I read at key moments in my writing life, I would be a very different author or not an author at all. This is why some of the best advice I can ever give fellow authors and aspiring writers is to read. Read as much as you can. You never know when God will use a certain book to shape you into the writer He wants you to become.
To celebrate the release of No Chance Meeting, Jaye is giving away a reader bundle that includes a signed copy of NCM, a hand-painted watercolor bookmark, a coffee mug, and a bag of Dove chocolates! Enter using the form below. U.S. entries only. Not open internationally.a Rafflecopter giveaway
For her second giveaway, Jaye is offering 3 ebook copies of No Chance Meeting. Open internationally!a Rafflecopter giveaway
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