Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Today's Special - - Jessica Scott

It's my pleasure to welcome Jessica Scott to the Romance Dish today.  I was first introduced to Jessica a few years back at various romance internet sites where we both posted - at the time, she was on active duty in Iraq - and I've followed her writing, and military, journey since then.  She's a career army officer, mother of two daughters, three cats, three dogs and two escape artist hamsters, wife to a career NCO and wrangler of all things stuffed and fluffy.  She has commanded two companies, served in Germany, Korea, Fort Hood and Iraq.  She says she's a terrible cook and an even worse housekeeper but she's a pretty good shot with her assigned weapon.  Her children are pretty well adjusted and her husband still loves her, despite burned water and a messy house.  Her debut novel, Because of You was released last November and October brings another new book, Until There Was You.  You can find Jessica on the internet at her websiteblog, FacebookTwitter and Goodreads.  Sign up for her newsletter here.   

Welcome, Jessica!  Congratulations on the upcoming release of UNTIL THERE WAS YOU.  Please tell our readers what they can expect from this book. 

Evan & Claire are an opposites attract storyline. They battle so often and so much when they actually start getting along, neither of them can believe it. Here’s the official blurb:

From the back cover:

He plays by the rules, she’s not afraid to break them. Now these two strong-willed army captains will prove that opposites attract . . .
A by-the-book captain with a West Point background, Captain Evan Loehr refuses to mix business with pleasure—except for an unguarded instance years ago when he succumbed to the deep sensuality of redheaded beauty Claire Montoya. From that moment on, though, Evan has been at odds with her, through two deployments to Iraq and back again. But when he is asked to train a team prepping for combat alongside Claire, battle-worn Evan is in for the fight of his life.
Strong, gutsy, and loyal, Captain Claire Montoya has worked hard to earn the rank on her chest. In Evan, Claire sees a rigid officer who puts the rules before everything else—including his people. When the mission forces them together, Claire soon discovers that there is more to Evan than meets the eye.
He’s more than the rank on his chest; he’s a man with dark secrets and deep longings. For all their differences, Evan and Claire share two crucial passions: their country and each other.

Sounds like a story I'm going to enjoy!  Jessica, as an Army officer, you’re already intimately acquainted with military life.  How does this knowledge help – or hinder – your writing process when creating stories set within the military?

Thanks so much for having me here today! I’d say the military experience makes it harder b/c I speak the lingo and understand so much more intuitively than non military readers. I don’t say or think improvised explosive device, I say/think IED. I don’t say physical training uniform, I say PTs and everyone around me gets that. So forcing myself to translate makes things a lot tougher, you know? That’s usually something I save for the round of revisions.

That has to be difficult when using acronyms is the norm.  My late husband was career military (though we didn't meet until after his retirement)  and I was forever asking him to translate the lingo.   

Many scenes from books and movies end up on the “cutting room” floor.  What’s the one scene you would never cut from UNTIL THERE WAS YOU?

Oh wow. In my last book there were a couple of scenes that made it through every single draft. On this one, I can’t think of a single scene that survived since the first draft. I think the one scene that could not change, though, would be the one where Claire first learns Evan’s secret. It’s probably my most favorite scene.

Most military-set romances are romantic suspense yet your books are straight romance.  Was this a conscious decision you made before you started writing or did the characters dictate their story to you?

Well, first off, I suck at writing suspense. Love reading, can’t write it worth a damn. But that not withstanding, I did make a conscious choice to write these books as contemporary romances. I wanted to showcase real things soldiers were facing and have more emotional connection to them, if that makes sense.

That makes perfect sense!  I know a lot of readers who enjoy romances in a military setting but don't want the suspense.  

UNTIL THERE WAS YOU is your second novel.  Is it a stand-alone or will readers enjoy it more if they read BECAUSE OF YOU first?

It’s a stand alone novel. Originally, it was connected and the last book of the trilogy but my editors worked with me to change things up to make the storyline more powerful. There’s actually no overlap between UNTIL THERE WAS YOU and BECAUSE OF YOU.

You’re a wife, mom, active duty Army officer and author.  That’s a lot of balls to keep in the air!  How do you balance all of your roles? 

I don’t. Some days, being a mom wins. Some days, being a soldier wins. Other days, being a writer takes precedence. Anyone who tells you they’ve got everything covered, well, that person isn’t me. I drop things all the time. My housework for instance. There is a mountain of laundry in my hallway that I should be deeply ashamed of. Instead, I’m writing
J and happier for it, I should add.

I imagine the above-mentioned roles also bring a great deal of stress into your life.  What’s your favorite way to relax and “get away from it all?”

Every so often, when things get really out of control, I go get a massage. It’s therapeutic in a lot of ways.

I'm a firm believer in the therapeutic benefits of massage.

We never tire of hearing how a new author receives “the call.”  The story of your first sale is unusual and fascinating.  Will you share it with us?

Last year, right after the Navy SEALS got Bin Laden, the romance world went nuts for military romance. Sue Grimshaw had just been hired on at Ballatine Bantam Dell and I saw a blog where she said she was looking for a military romance that was not romantic suspense. I sent her a note on twitter because her old email address had bounced and well, the rest as they say is history. Seriously, DO NOT do this unless editors/agents say they’ll accept pitches that way.

What’s next?

Next up is finishing up BACK TO YOU which will tie into BECAUSE OF YOU. That will be the last book in this leg of the Coming Home series. After that, we shall see where the muse takes me!

Thank you for visiting with us today, Jessica.  It's been a pleasure!  Do you have a question for our readers?   

Tell me how you decide to try a new author?  

I’m giving away a digital eARC of UNTIL THERE WAS YOU to someone today!   


Jessica is having a preorder giveaway - the UNTIL THERE WAS YOU PREORDER SWEEPSTAKES -  all throughout September until Oct 7th! If you preorder UNTIL THERE WAS YOU, you get entered into a chance to win a Kindle Fire HD or a Nook Color. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Here’s the official excerpt! UNTIL THERE WAS YOU by Jessica Scott, Excerpt You can preorder UNTIL THERE WAS YOU at these ebookstores or wherever ebooks are sold! B & N | Amazon | Powell's| iBookstore


  1. Hi Jessica, Congtatz on the rlease of your second book.
    I can really understand the growing need for romance involving the military and am so glad that good writers like you are there to meet this need so well.

    I find books and authors through blogs like TRD and others as well as authors recommentations of other authors, friends recommendations and novellas that introduce new authors. Anthologies of short stories are also a good source of new books and authors as well.

    1. Morning, Flora! Like you, I find many new and new-to-me authors through the blogs I visit as well as recommendations from authors and other readers who have tastes similar to mine. What did we ever do without the internet? ;-)

  2. Congratulations on the new book, Jessica. I'm still thrilled that the Loveswept line is available again. I've discovered some terrific new authors, and I love buying reissued old favorites for my ereader.

    I sometimes discover new authors when I'm asked to review a book. Most often though, I discover them through the recommendation of a friend who knows the kinds of books I like best. PJ is a near infallible source. :)

    1. Hi Janga! It's always exciting to find a new author through a book I'm sent to review. It's like opening a wonderful present on Christmas morning! :)

      Thanks for the kind words. As you know, I've found some of my favorite authors through recommendations from you!

  3. Good Morning, Jessica! Thanks so much for visiting with us today. Congratulations on achieving your writing dreams with the publication of Because of You and the on your upcoming release of Until There Was You. Can't wait to read it!

    I also wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for your service to our country, both as a career Army officer and as a military wife. It's a tough, sometimes thankless, job and we are so fortunate to have people like you who are willing to put their lives on the line to protect us. Thank you.

  4. Hi Jessica! It's great to meet you here at The Dish and congrats on your new release!

    When it comes to trying a new author, I rely on places like The Dish, reocmmendations from trusted friends and basically whatever catches my eye as I'm browsing the shelves. I also give a lot of weight to recommendations from my favorite authors. Chances are, if they like something, I will too!

  5. Congratulations on your new book Jessica! I find new authors from recommendations and reviews from sites like this one.

  6. I find a lot new authors through blogs that do reviews and giveaways. I also will pick up a book when the cover catches my eye and read the back. If it sounds like a really good book, I will try it.

  7. Jessica is having problems commenting. We're trying to get the problem fixed. Thanks for your patience!

  8. All right we're in!

    Janga, I was thrilled to be a part of Loveswept's relaunch last summer and I've got to say the whole thing has been just an incredible experience! So glad you're finding new authors, too!

  9. PJ, Publishing Because of You really was a dream come true! I'm so incredibly fortunate in so many ways. I'm grateful to have the chance to tell the stories that speak to my heart, you know?

  10. Lisa

    I pay attention to author blurbs, too! Especially from trusted authors who are on my auto buy list, you know?

  11. Maureen I love review sites like The Dish! As an author, it's important to me that we have reviewers who are honest about what worked and what didn't you know?

  12. Ellen,
    I love an eye catching cover that stands out. That's the number one thing that will make me pick up a book.

  13. Thanks for a fun post and congrats to Jessica on the upcoming release!

  14. I really enjoyed Because of You and I'm looking forward to reading Until There Was You. I know I'm going to love it.

  15. Hi, Jessica! Welcome! Congrats on the new release!

    There are a couple of reasons I will try a new author. First, the story/blurb has to appeal to me. The other reason is because of the recommendation of a trusted friend. I have discovered many an author this way! :)