Message From The Author

JoAnn Ross

Book Title: A WOMAN'S HEART
Genre: General Contemporary Romance, Contemporary Romance

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Author's Message

"Sweetheart, Im off to fetch the mail, JoAnn calls out to her husband.

Okay, thenbut are you taking the shortcut? he responds.

No, no its such a beautiful day that Im going to take the scenic route, so Ill see you back here in an hour.v An hour? For most of us, the task of checking the mailbox takes just a few minutes, a routine action taken for granted. But not JoAnn Ross. Living in the mountains of Arizona, some 7,300 feet above sea level and 50 miles from the nearest town, she dearly appreciates communicating with her fans. Perhaps this is why she rewards us with a consistent stream of novels ranking high on the bestseller lists.

Her latest full-length title for Mira is A WOMANS HEART, set in Ireland, the land of the authors ancestors. It seems as if Ms. Ross has entwined her own family history into the novel, for the storytelling capacity of two of the main characters reflects that of JoAnn and her grandfather.

Years ago, when he was a young man, her grandfather fell in love with a young girl whose parents forbade the relationship. Refusing to give up the woman of his dreams, JoAnns grandfather kidnapped her future grandmother for a lifetime commitment. With such romantic blood in her veins, it is no wonder that JoAnn Ross has evolved into such a magnificent teller of tales.

And she has her own fair share of love conquers all history to share. JoAnn and her husband have been married 32 yearsin total. Wed at a young age, she and her high school sweetheart, Jay, grew up at different rates. Since Jay traveled frequently with his job, the two decided to split, eventually living in different states.

That was until the day that Jay had to have his wisdom teeth extracted, back in Arizona, where JoAnn still lived with their son. Agreeing to assist her ex in his time of need, she agreed to drive him to the near-by hotel. When I saw the condition he was in, though, I couldnt help but offer him a place to rest. Jay stayed, and stayedand basically refused to leave. The two rekindled their relationship and JoAnn now refers to the hiatus as Jays time off for bad behavior.

Besides spending lots of time together in the country retreat, the two will be traveling together later this summer. JoAnn recently received word that she will be representing Harlequin in Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong Guangzhou and several of the Chinese provinces. After two years, I thought the project was scratched, she admits, and then coupled with RTs Career Achievement award, what a month its been!

Not that Ms. Ross doesnt deserve all of the notorietyshe has been writing romance since the early 80s when she began producing novels at a fast and furious pace. Since then she has written over 70 books ranging from romantic suspense and family relationship novels to time travel and paranormal. JoAnn is admittedly thrilled to be focusing on straight romance and charmingly dysfunctional families. One of the reasons that she moved to her mountain retreat was to slow down her writing pace; even though there will be fewer novels, the tried and true Ross quality is ensured.

JoAnn is ecstatic about recently moving to Pocket Books for her mainstream novels. She laughingly states that her purpose of writing is to find out what occurs to her characters. In her decades of scribing, JoAnn Ross was never required to submit a synopsis of her work to publishers, a clear reflection of their confidence in her ability to sit in her glass-enclosed office, look out into the forest and magically conjure up a story that pleases the masses of romance readers.

Recently, Ms. Ross requested bookmarks on behalf of a friend who was not feeling up to par. What she received was more than I could have ever imagined, an abundance of bookmarks, and the books, too! She is so thankful to be part of the close knit romance community.

An Excerpt from A Woman's Heart:

I believe I owe John an apology, Nora said suddenly.

John? Your brother?

Aye. Hes been telling me I should read your books, but Ive hesitated. Oh, Im sure youre a fine writer, she said quickly, as if afraid she may have insulted him. But Ill admit to preferring stories that dont give me nightmares.

Having heard that remark countless times, it no longer bothered him. Horror has its own reality, he said, twisting her earlier words concerning myths.

As a lone cloud came from behind the velvety mountain to move across the sun, Nora looked up at him, studying him with the solemn, serious way she sometimes had. The way that made Quinn feel as if she were seeing all the way to his soul. Not that she'd be able to see anything but darkness, he thought grimly, unable to remember when hed last believed he possessed a soul..

I suspect thats true enough. She reached up, as if to touch his cheek, apparently thought better of it and lowered her hand back to her side. But any man who can feel the magic and the mystery of this place is a man whose books I want to read.

She was suddenly too close. Quinn felt in danger of suffocating. If youre looking for a way in, he said, sensing that she might actually be naive enough to believe that she could steal into his sealed-off, private places by reading his books, youll be disappointed. Because there isnt any. His fingers tightened on the hand he was still holding. And even if there was, believe me baby, you wouldnt want to go there.

And youd be knowing where I want to go? Her lilting tone remained soft, but she lifted her chin in an obvious challenge.

Id be knowing where you damn well shouldnt want to go, he practically growled. How the hell had they ever gotten on this subject in the first place? Its a dark place, Nora. Teeming with things you could never understand.

She surprised Quinn by smiling at that. A faint sad little smile that tore at something elemental deep inside him.

Now theres where youd be wrong, Quinn.

This time she did touch his cheek, her fingertips feeling like a burning brand against his scarred skin. Then, before he could come up with an appropriate response, shed tugged her other hand free of his and was headed back the way theyd come.

Cursing, Quinn jammed his hands deep into the pocket of his jeans and followed her. Without the warmth of the buttery spring sun, the day had suddenly turned as cold and as dark as his mood.

And his heart.

Since JoAnn Ross is an avid hiker, she doesnt mind trekking back and forth a few miles from the mailbox. Especially with fan letters! You can write to her at: HC 31, P.O. Box 428, Happy Jack, AZ 86024 or e-mail JoAnnRoss@aol.com A self-addressed stamp envelope is always appreciated.


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