Thursday, February 28, 2019

Clothes Make the Character - Child of Mine by Jana Richards #smalltownromance

Clothes Make the Character

Have you ever seen a stranger, on the street or in a mall, and made an immediate judgement about their character, personality or life style based solely on what they were wearing? I think we’ve probably all done it. The guy in the three-piece business suit must be successful and have a great job. The woman in the park wearing tattered jeans, a beat-up leather jacket and too much makeup is either some Hell’s Angel’s girlfriend or a street walker.

Clothes say so much about who we are and how we feel about ourselves. That’s as true of fictional characters as it is about real people. In these scenes from my newest release, CHILD OF MINE, the heroine, Lauren, and her sister Charlotte are shopping for outfits to wear to Lauren’s wedding. The way Lauren feels about the dress she’s looking for tells us something about her concerns for her upcoming marriage:

Lauren went back to the racks to search for her own dress. It wasn’t easy to predict exactly how big she’d be by the time the wedding took place two weeks from now. She had to make sure any dress she chose had room for expansion. Not exactly a requirement of most wedding dresses.

She’d been pregnant at her last wedding, too. It had been the whole reason she and Billy had married. After she’d lost the baby soon after the hastily arranged nuptials, Billy had directed his frustration at her, blaming her for trapping him in a marriage he didn’t want. Yet he’d never once asked her for a divorce, giving her hope he wanted to make the marriage work. It had taken her five years to figure out why he’d stayed married to her.

She was starting her marriage to Cole pregnant. Would he grow to resent her the way Billy had?

She’s not the only one who’s apprehensive about what she’s wearing to this wedding. Lauren’s sister Charlotte is going to be Lauren’s maid of honor. For reasons Lauren doesn’t understand, Charlotte doesn’t think of herself as attractive:

“You’re gorgeous. No question about it, this is the dress. Wrap it up.”

“You don’t think it’s too revealing?”

“Revealing? No, of course not. Char, you’re covered from your neck to your wrists.”

“Yeah, but it’s tight.” She pulled at the fabric, trying to make it cover her knees. “And short.”

“It’s not tight, Char. It fits your body perfectly. You probably can’t tell because everything you wear is baggy and two sizes too big. And it’s not short either. With legs like yours, you should wear dresses like this all the time.”


“Yes! Really!” Lauren didn’t know what else to say to convince her.

“I thought I looked okay in the dressing room mirror, but I wasn’t sure,” she said with a frown.

“Well, I’m sure. You’re beautiful, Char. All you need is a pair of sexy heels and you’re set.”

Charlotte strained to look at her back in the three-way mirror. “I guess if you think I look all right…maybe with some nice shoes. As long as they don’t make me too tall.”

Lauren stifled the urge to strangle her sister but was relieved she’d take the dress.

Why does Charlotte feel so uncomfortable in a form-fitting dress even though her sister tells her she looks great? Charlotte’s going to get a book of her own in the Masonville series, probably book 4, and then all of us, including the writer (that’s me!), will find out!         

Child of Mine
The Masonville Series
Book One
Jana Richards

Genre: contemporary small-town romance

Publisher: The Wild Rose Press

Date of Publication: February 20, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5092-2481-4

Number of pages: 262
Word Count: 64,880

Cover Artist: Rae Monet

Tagline: Is Lauren’s love for Cole stronger than her fear of scandal in her hometown?

Book Description:

Lauren didn't intend to sleep with her brother-in-law Cole on the day of her husband's funeral. But now that she is pregnant, she's not sorry. Cole's given her a baby, a long-wished-for miracle. He's been her friend forever, though she never told him or anyone else how unhappy her marriage to his cheating brother was. And she's afraid to tell the small town that considered her husband a hero that the baby isn't his.

Cole's been in love with Lauren since he was sixteen. It kills him that everyone believes the baby is his dead brother's. All he wants is to claim the baby, and Lauren, as his own. Though she marries him, will Lauren's heart ever be his?
Lauren must tell the truth or risk losing Cole. Is her newly-discovered love for him greater than her fear of scandal in her hometown?

Amazon     AmazonCA     AmazonAU     AmazonUK

The Wild Rose Press     BN     iBooks

Excerpt #2 – 299 words:

Cole wrapped her in his arms. He held her securely, whispering reassurances. “It’s all right, Lauren. Don’t cry. It’s going to be okay, sweetheart.”
She clung to him, her face buried against his neck. How wonderful to be held, to be touched. It had been so long—
What was she doing? This was Cole, her friend. She pulled away from him. “I’m sorry.”
“You don’t have anything to apologize for.”
She turned away and tried to wipe the tears from her face. After she got her tears under control, she made herself smile at him. “Do you remember the homecoming dance? The time I tripped in my new high heels and sprained my ankle?”
“Of course I do. You couldn’t walk, so I carried you from the school gym to Billy’s car, and he drove you home. I remember you were a lot heavier than you looked.”
She swatted his shoulder, hiccupping laughter mixing with her tears. “Very funny. I was trying to make a point.”

He wiped the tears from her cheek with the pad of his thumb, his dark eyes full of tenderness. “So what was your point?”
“You’re a good friend. You’ve always been there every time I’ve needed you, and here you are again. Thank you.” He stared into her eyes, but said nothing. She couldn’t look away. He continued to stroke her cheek with his thumb, the tiny caress acting like a balm to her battered heart. She placed her hand on his cheek.

They reached for each other in mutual need. He pulled her against his chest, his mouth descending on hers in a hungry, urgent kiss. She sighed against his mouth, and he brought her closer. He wants me. It had been so long since someone had wanted her. Only her.

About the Author:

When Jana Richards read her first romance novel, she immediately knew two things: she had to commit the stories running through her head to paper, and they had to end with a happily ever after. She also knew she’d found what she was meant to do. Since then she’s never met a romance genre she didn’t like. She writes contemporary romance, romantic suspense, and historical romance set in World War Two, in lengths ranging from short story to full length novel. Just for fun, she throws in generous helpings of humor, and the occasional dash of the paranormal. Her paranormal romantic suspense “Seeing Things” was a 2008 EPPIE finalist, and in 2018 “Lies and Solace” won Best Contemporary romance in the I Heart Indie contest.

In her life away from writing, Jana is an accountant/admin assistant, a mother to two grown daughters, and a wife to her husband Warren. She enjoys golf, yoga, movies, concerts, travel and reading, not necessarily in that order. She and her husband live in Winnipeg, Canada with their Pug/Terrier cross Lou.

She loves to hear from readers and can be reached through her website at

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Jana Richards said...

Roxanne, thanks for hosting me today and thank you for all your work in putting this tour together for me!