BOE: We Bitches are excited to welcome our dear friend Jas T. Ward back, welcome it is so good to see you.
JTW: It’s great to see you all. I must say, you are the nicest Bitches I have had the pleasure of calling friends. And trust me, that’s saying a lot!
BOE: You sure have been busy, Bounce, a novella for The Shadow-Keepers Series just released, and I understand you released a book this summer called Love’s Bitter Harvest. Could you tell us about it?
JTW: Would love to! This book is actually a new genre for me – Dramatic fiction/romance. It came about from a challenge from my fans. They loved the romance aspects in my paranormal books and writings, so they dared me to write a “traditional romance”. I admit—I completely failed. So, I subtitled it “Romance – The Ward Way”. I wrote romance my way- hard on the emotions, full of realism and no fluffy hearts and sweetness.
The book is about a couple that had ended it years ago when one wanted to live a broader life and the other thought their lives were just fine. It’s about love, loss and marriage. How stubbornness and personal resolve can really get in the way of happiness. Katy, the main female, is an ambitious and strong woman who is rebelling against her small town roots. Matt, the main male, is perfectly fine with that small town life and the world as small as it is. Sounds pretty formulated up to that point- Right? It’s not. There are so many real issues in this book that I honestly think all of us can relate to. And, I believe it’s the first alpha, strong male we will see dealing with a crippling disability and there is no fix. He has to learn to live and love as he is now. Something that is true to my heart.
This is also the first of my titles to hit the Amazon Best Sellers list with a very proud rating of #13 and in the top 20 for a week. I was over the moon about that. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this book and its characters. I owe the fans SO much for giving me that dare.
Here’s the blurb:
Romance- The Ward Way
Matt and Katherine McCall were high-school sweethearts and in love from first kiss. But time changes people and sometimes the strongest seed of love can only harvest bitterness. Fast forward four years--Katy has a new life far from the one she had with Matt. And she thought it was all worth it.
Matt McCall's last four years were full of loss, doubt and sorrow. And now? He's only half the man Katy left behind.
Can love survive in hardened, bitter tainted soil? Or does it eventually die under the coldness of heart-break.
BOE: How does Love’s Bitter Harvest differ from The Shadow-Keepers Series?
JTW: I love writing in the paranormal/fantasy genre. There’s such an escapist aspect of it where we can make up our own worlds, races, the works, without worrying about the impact it may have on a reader’s sense of reality. It’s escapist fiction. The Shadow-Keepers series is in that wonderful genre.
With LBH, there is no escape. The issues that hit very hard in LBH are issues we all have dealt with or see every day. Reality is the driving force in this book. But that’s also part of its charm with the readers. Who doesn’t have a sister like Matt’s, Beth? Or those little group of ladies in town that love to gossip and whisper about this or that? Or lost a parent and just have the hardest time dealing with it? Lost Love, marriage, even a child? It’s all in there. And we can see a bit of ourselves in Matt and Katy. And we cry, curse and laugh with them along the way. It’s like an intimate look into very private lives that we can all easily see being a part of our own. And possibly already have. It also takes place on my actual farm in Kentucky in the small town I loved and real people from that town. I also included some of the fans as characters in it as well to show my appreciation for standing by me and keeping me going.
BOE: Will this be a stand all or part of a series?
It’s a standalone, but I have several other contemporary romances in the works. All of them will be done with the tagline – Romance- The Ward Way. As in, no fluffy, bra and panty melting romance in my books. Just reality and faith to believe that in spite of very real drama, love can survive. Or it can die and we can and will move on.
BOE: What other releases do you have planned for this year?
JTW: Since I use writing to help me with bi-polar depression and post traumatic stress disorder, I write A LOT. It’s my therapy and actually keeps me off of heavy medication (even my therapist asks if I am writing to maintain!) so its life saving as well as keeping my mind stable. So I have several more books in the works.
Besides the second book of the popular series Shadow-Keepers series titled LUST coming out in the winter, I’m also releasing my long-awaited novel – Soul Bound: Warrior.
This book has been put through so much. It was picked up by a big 6 publisher years ago, but…they wanted to tone it down and remove the suicide aspects of it. Make it more fluff for the readers (I don’t think publishers give readers any credit for being able to handle dark drama). That is a very strong component of the book and what makes the main character so deep. I refused and didn’t accept the offer. I didn’t care if the book ever got published if I couldn’t keep what is a huge social sadness to me – losing someone to suicide. So lucky for me, Dead Bound Publishing is going to publish it as it should be. And I am both scared and nervously excited for its release. There is SOO much of me in that book.
Then, I’m also planning on releasing my book one – Light of my Light and Dark Series. It’s my demon and angel love story which brings Heaven and Hell into a war on the battlefield of Earth. It’s been called the Harry Potter book for adults. And I hope everyone thinks the same.
BOE: As an author, when you have multiple books in the works how do you decide which gets written first?
JTW: First, what a great word. Wish I knew what it meant! LOL
I don’t write just one at a time. It helps me from getting burn out or writers block. Since writing is so crucial for my mental health, I work on several at a time. Get a bit bored or slowed down on one? Move to another one. The voices are always more than ready to speak to me when I jump back and forth. Some days I would have written 2-5K words in four different books each. Sometimes I do that within hours, depending on my energy. I am a chronic insomniac so when I can’t sleep? I write. It’s worked well for me but I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone else. I’m told it’s not healthy… ;)
BOE: As a woman author, do you ever find it hard to get inside the head of a male character?
JTW: Actually no. I find it easier to write in a male voice. If you ask anyone that knows me, they’ll tell you have a bigger set of balls than most men. I’ve never been “a girly girl” but I think I find it easier to write in a male perspective because it goes back to being a victim of abuse. If I write big, strong, don’t mess with me men, maybe I can find that strength via their voices not to be hurt or abused again as a woman. My first “female” main character is going to be in LUST. But uh, I might have failed in that one too. McKenzie has big “balls” personality wise too. Maybe she and I have a kindred spirit from the get-go.
And, as some may know, I was a “male” writer on social media for almost four years and everyone was so convinced I was a guy (I didn’t deny nor confirm to protect a me that wanted to hide) that when I came out as being a female, some people completely freaked. They had no idea and I guess that was a bit flattering…guess I write as a man pretty well.
BOE: Thanks so much for stopping by, we love having you, and we look forward to having you again.
JTW: No, the thanks go to great bloggers like you ladies. We writers would have such a smaller avenue to get our works out there without the assistant of blogs such as yours. You ladies were my first blog to ever post on and being my first, I will always appreciate making my first time both gentle and pleasurable. You never forget your first after-all.
And since you all were my first.... here’s a sneak peek at LUST, the second book in the Shadow-Keepers Series.
From Book Two of the Shadow-Keepers Series by Jas T. Ward
(Three Months Ago)
“Snap! You got a customer. Get your ass out here.”
Kenzie hated that nick name most of the time, but when the asshole she worked with said it? She hated it more. She had it since she was a juvenile punk, given to her by one of her foster parents due to her mood being able to snap from good to bad instantly which led to a tattoo of snap-dragons that went from her left shoulder to twist its way up the back of her neck. She regretted telling the whys of the ink to another co-worker when it was asked about and before she knew it, the whole auto repair shop was using it. Rolling out from under the F-150 truck she was replacing a main bearing on, she laid on the car crawler to pull out her ear buds with its blasting classic Rolling Stones song playing to look over at the customer counter. Sitting up, she grabbed a shop rag to wipe her hands as she got to her feet to walk over to find out what the latest abuser to automotives had done.
She had been working at Sal’s Auto Salon (stupid ass name for a greasy chop shop) for over six-months, which was the longest time she had ever spent at a job. It wasn’t easy being a female that knew cars better than she knew how to cook (which wasn’t at all) with a tainted past of being slung around the foster system worse than a yoyo in a blender. Her father had taught her how to work on cars and Kenzie could work on just about any mode of car from foreign to domestic as well as figure out anything with moving parts. She could also kick someone’s ass who dared to call her a girl or weak. Those were two things she made sure she proved wrong. From her swagger to her intense glare, McKenzie Miller was not a girl—but a force to be reckoned with and not one you wanted to piss off.
She was tall and lean, standing at five-foot, eight inches with almost no boob and very little ass. Her hair was dark that tended to change colors depending on what color she felt inclined to dye it that week. She kept it up in a pony tail most of the time, with twin tendrils of brightly color locks loose at her temples. She wore little makeup beyond eyeliner and that was just because she thought her eyes were the only thing attractive about her.
They were purple. You know, just like that old actress Elizabeth Taylor, so were Kenzie’s. Everyone always asked her if they were her real eyes and she would just scoff and usually reply, “No. They’re someone else’s eyes idiot.” Yes, Kenzie you are a real kind and sweet person. And, as she walked up to the counter, she mumbled, “Liar. Sweet my ass.” She saw Sal at the counter and she approached still cleaning her hands. “What’s up?”
Sal threw a thumb at a gentleman that stood with his back to them in the sunlight beyond the overhang of the shop. “Fancy pants asked for you. Said he needs you to look at his Beemer. Said you came recommended.” Sal smirked as he snorted, “Who the hell would recommend you? You ain’t even ASC certified. And a Beemer? Hell…”
Kenzie wondered that herself but no way she was going to let Sal know it. “I can handle a beemer. Don’t you have some Redtube.com to go watch?”
She didn’t give Sal a moment to even respond as she walked over to the car owner and cleared her throat. “Sal says you were looking for me? You got me.”
Kenzie was not expecting the man that turned to face her—even though he was a complete stranger. There was something about his smile, slow and spreading over perfect teeth that gave Kenzie some inner gut twist. It wasn’t unpleasant, but it was also strange as it was something she had never felt before.
Her always present inner dialogue warned her and she rubbed her hand on her coveralls before she held out her hand. She could tell the man had money as his suit was undoubtedly designer and tailored to fit his tall and lean frame. His hair was pure white above a face that said older aged, but yet so handsome and strong. But it was his eyes that struck Kenzie, causing that inner twist to tighten—they were the most brilliant pure blue she had ever seen. As if they glowed from the inside out—it was the freakiest gaze she had ever seen.
“McKenzie Miller yes?” He reached out to take her hand in his as that smile spread even more, clasping his other hand over hers in his grasp. “You came highly recommended to me as the mechanic that could figure out what is the matter with my high priced POS BMW. I hope I haven’t caught you,” let his eyes trail down her body and let out a soft sigh as if he liked what he saw, “at an inconvenient time?”
Kenzie smirked at the guy’s visual appraisal of her—dudes like this one could most likely have whatever female they wanted, if the guy was straight that is, so she highly doubted he would want a thin as a rail woman like her with oil smeared most likely on her face, dressed in a pair of coveralls that were loose and even if she did have an ass and tits, wouldn’t put either in the best silhouette. She looked down at their hands and pulled hers away, feeling the oddest sensation as if the man had been electrically charged, causing Kenzie to shove her hands in her pockets. “There’s no such time as inconvenient if you can pay the price Sal charges.” She walked over to the beautiful, sleek BMW X6 M G-Power Typhoon Widebody. “My god, I’ve never actually seen one of these, just read about them in Car and Driver.” Her voice held so much awe; it was like seeing Jesus walking down the street in her mind, as she walked around it. “You own this? Or stole it?” Her hands ran over the sleek black matte finish of the hood, fingers brushing over the hood scoops that feed the 725hp, 5.5cubic inch beast.
The car’s owner laughed. “Oh I own it. Bought from a private seller,” watched her with his lids going down to hide the pleasure he found in watching her, “but I know nothing about cars other than how to drive them. And in this case, break them.” He tossed her the key which she caught without even looking—just as he had expected. He walked over to stand next to her and said low, as to not break the worship of the car the woman seemed to be having, “Can you perhaps take a look at it and I’ll return tomorrow?”
Kenzie looked down at the key fob and then up at the man. “You’re kidding right?” She threw a thumb over her shoulder to point towards the shop. “I’m going to take your lack of not being around here that you haven’t noticed we do domestics. And not new domestics. Shit, we’re lucky if the cars even run when they are brought in. And you want to bring a car that’s worth over four-hundred grand here?” She laughed and held out the fob. “I’m going to cut you some slack and the car’s by sending you on your high dollar way. We work in penny drives here buddy. Now if you get an old beat up Ford or a spewing oil Chevy, we are definitely the shop for you.”
The man just kept that smile and leaned in to whisper, “I want you Kenzie.” His hand didn’t go near the fob as he turned away to a waiting limo parked on the curb. “I shall be back tomorrow. Do not disappoint me. It would benefit you to please,” stopped and turned to look back at her over his shoulder, “and I do pay well to those that please me.”
Kenzie couldn’t help but stare after him before looking down at the fob in her hand and then to the car and purred, “Oh come to Kenzie baby.” She quickly shrugged off her coveralls down to her Paramore concert t-shirt and ripped up jeans to prevent getting any grease or oil on the hand-tooled leather interior before she opened the driver’s door to sit in the seat. “Oh god, I need to change my under-roos right this moment,” as she ran her hand over the dash and hit the start button on the dash. The car’s powerful engine roared into life and she closed her eyes, now a purr of pleasure coming out of her lips. “You and me are going to rock. All night long. And one of us is going to need a shower when we’re done, baby.”
Epsilon slipped into the backseat of the limo with its dark tinted glass and cool air-conditioned plush interior. “Drive.”
His assistance looked up from his laptop. “So, your thoughts Master?”
Epsilon smiled as he sat back, glancing out the window at the woman as she shed her work clothes. “Lust has found a new toy. The toy just doesn’t know it yet.” He gave his assistant a cold, calculating glare as they pulled away, the beacon from the tracer on the BMW already giving a nice beep of location on the man’s laptop. “And I want to play with it first.”
We Bitches are honored to have been your first, and hope to continue to help you and other authors in the future. We want to thank Jas T. Ward for these opportunity to talk and for sneak peek to Lust. We look forward to having you back when it is released!
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