Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Author, author... J.L. Berg ~ When You're Ready + giveaway

Today we have J.L. Berg, please give her a warm welcome !!

Hi J.L., so glad you could make it !!  Can you tell us a little about yourself?

Absolutely!  I’m a California native, but have lived in Virginia for the past ten years and now consider it home.  I’ve been married to my wonderful husband for twelve years, and we have two adorable daughters.  I’m obsessed with chocolate and have a serious addiction to romance novels.

What did you want to be when you were growing up or did you always want to be a writer?

Growing up, I probably wanted to be everything at least once.  I was quite the dreamer.  At one time, I wanted to be an astronaut until I found out how much science was required...that dream was quickly shelved.  Since then, I've wanted to be anything from a teacher to archaeologist. Eventually I settled on a major in psychology, eventually working in higher education.  The idea of becoming a writer occur until much later, not because I didn't want to, but because it took that long to build up the courage to try.

When did you first start writing?

I’ve always had a love of writing.  When I was younger, creative writing was a hobby for me.  All too soon writing became a constant requirement in school, and creativity was quickly replaced with term papers and written exams.  It wasn’t until after I completed college and my children were a bit older that I was finally able to renew my love for reading which eventually reignited my passion for creative writing. 

What is a typical writing day like for you? 

A typical writing day for me is completely chaotic.  I work full time, and I’m also a mom/wife.  I write whenever I get a free moment.....on my lunch break, or while dinner is cooking.  But usually my most productive time is after the kids go to sleep or if I’m lucky, on the weekends.  I have a fantastic husband and he’s always willing to give me uninterrupted time during the weekend to get the words out of my head.

Do you have any specific routine you follow or specific items you need with you when you write?

I usually have my iPhone near me, so I can listen to some music if I need some inspiration.  I always have google up, and a thesaurus!  Oh, and chocolate.  Chocolate is always near.  :-)

What is your favorite part of writing?  Is there anything you don’t like about being a writer?

My favorite part of writing is when my muse takes over.  I can outline a book or specific scene as much as I want, but when I sit down to write it, something else takes over entirely.  My fingers start flying and the scene begins to build and take on a life of its own.  It’s really a beautiful thing.  Something I don’t like?  Formatting!  Formatting books for print and e-books makes me batty.  Which is why I have my husband do it!

What is your favorite length of book to write?  (Short story, novella, full length novel) Why?

Well so far I’ve only written full length novels.  Right now, I’m working on the second novel of The Ready Series.  I tend to be fairly long winded, so I don’t know if I could condense a story into an novella, but who knows!  I’m always up for anything!

How does your family feel about your writing and you being an author?

My daughters think it’s awesome.  They go around telling everyone their mommy is an author.  Of course, they have no idea Mommy writes romance novels!  But I do appreciate the support.  My husband thinks having a romance author for a wife is great.  He especially enjoys the research phase of the book writing process.  ;-)

Is there a to-be-read waiting on your bedside table?

For a long time it was Twilight.  Stephanie Meyer brought my love for reading back, and Twilight was the first romance book I had picked up in years.  But, right now it’s Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire.  I freaking love that book.  It makes you laugh and cry...you want to throw your e-reader against a wall at times.  It’s the perfect example of what a good book should be, an experience.  It should suck you in and leave your world completely altered. 

Just for fun, I have a few personal questions, 
Favorite 5
1.    Favorite Holiday
            Christmas - I love singing Christmas carols.  And yes, I can sing.  :-)
2.    Favorite Drink
            Coffee.  Which is funny because I’m allergic to caffeine.  So I drink gobs of decaf pretending
it’s the real thing.  
3.    Favorite Author
            Geez, really?  That’s a hard one.  I have several.  Right now, I’ll go with Colleen Hoover.
4.    Favorite Book
Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire!
5.    Favorite Animal - dolphin. 

And for a bonus:  What is a typical mood for you?  And is your mood different when you’re writing?

My typical mood is very even tempered.  I’m good natured, and love to laugh.  When I write however, my mood tends to match my characters.  I write in first person, and sometimes I need to be in the right frame of mind to write pain, anger or even lust.  Feeling these emotions as I write helps accomplish something equally real on the page, and I think readers relate better when it comes from an honest place. 

Where can our readers find you??  
Email: author@jlberg.com
Twitter: @authorjlberg
Facebook: www.facebook.com/authorjlberg
Website/blog: www.jlberg.com
Amazon author page:
Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/authorjlberg

Is there an upcoming or current release you would like to share with us today and where can we find it?

When Your Ready  

When Clare Murray suffers the tragic loss of her husband Ethan, leaving her alone to raise their infant daughter, she feels the grief overwhelming her, seeping into her very soul. Weeks later, she stumbles upon an envelope with the words “When You’re Ready” written in Ethan’s familiar messy handwriting, but can’t bring herself to breach the seal. Ready for what? He was her entire world, and Clare has accepted a life without him, without love. Until, years later, fate brings her to an emergency room, and face to face with stormy eyed doctor intent on changing her mind.

Logan Matthews is the son of a billionaire who has spent his entire life trying to make his absent father proud. Years of living up to man who more ghost than father, and a public failed marriage has left Logan cold and emotionless until he walks into an exam room to discover a woman who stops his heart, makes his body burn with desire and leaves his entire world altered.

But how far are Clare and Logan willing to go for love? When their love is tested, is Clare ready to put her whole heart on the line again? Can Logan learn the true meaning of love, even if it means sacrificing his own happiness? When a second chance at love is given, Clare and Logan learn you never know you are truly ready until you’re ready to risk it all.

Buy Links
Amazon UK ---> http://amzn.to/134Detz
Barnes and Noble ---> http://bit.ly/13DCXxu

Add to Goodreads Shelf:

Adult excerpt below rafflecopter!

Don't forget the rafflecopter below !!

One last thing before we let you leave us today, do you have a favorite recipe you'd like to share?  I like to cook and am always looking for new recipes to try and share.

Okay, here’s a recipe for you.  This is my Grandma’s, and one of my favorites.  I make these every year and they are always a huge hit.  One of them will literally do you in - they are really rich. 

Anna Mae Cross’s Graham Cracker Delights
2 Cups graham crackers (finely crushed - I used a food processor)
2 stick of melted butter (no joke)
1/2 cup peanut butter (don’t use natural)
1 cup coconut
1 cup finely chopped nuts (I usually use pecans, but you can sub for whatever you like)
3 cups powdered sugar
2 large bags semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted. 
Mix together graham crackers, melted butter and peanut butter in an electric mixer until well blended.  Add in all other ingredients, except chocolate.  Mix until blended. 
Melt chocolate chips over double boiler until melted.
Mixture will be crumbly.  With clean hands, form small round balls, and dip in melted chocolate, covering completely.  Cool on sheets of wax paper until chocolate has hardened. 

Rafflecopter Giveaway ($20.00 Gift Card Amazon, B&N, Kobo or iBooks)

*Contains Adult Content*

A knock on the door marked the entrance of yet another person. As I turned my head, I found myself face to face with the real-life version of Dr.McSteamy entering the exam room. Is this our doctor? Holy hell, I think I just whimpered a little.

Tall and built like a swimmer, he was sexiest thing I’d ever seen in a pair of scrubs. Like the sky right before a summer storm, his eyes bordered between gray and blue, and I couldn’t help but stare into their thunderous intensity. His hair was dark brown that edged near black and had that “just fucked” look to it. The kind of hair that made you want to run your hands through it. How did guys do that? Did they spend time creating that look in a mirror, or was it really a product of being fucked? I suddenly wanted to know. Oh shit, was I drooling? Did he say something?

He was looking right at me, waiting

“Are you the mother?” he asked. His eyebrow arched in question. A really hot question.
Seriously, Clare…get your mind out of the gutter.

“Uh, yes. I’m Clare Murray. This is my daughter Madilyn, uh, Maddie,” I said, trying to cover up the fact that I had probably been standing there for an ungodly amount of time, lamely staring at him and forming my own mini puddle of drool, while he tried to get my attention back on my sick daughter.

Yup, best mother ever.

“Nice to meet you Ms. Murray, I’m Dr. Matthews.” Turning to Maddie, he said “And this must be the princess.”

Calling Maddie a princess earned him major brownie points, and I think I even heard a faint giggle. She immediately looked up, her big brown eyes connecting with his as he began the examination.

Dr. Matthews bent down, leaning over her tiny frame and ran his hand over Maddie’s head. I knew he was checking for any bumps or abnormalities, but his gesture seemed protective and my heart did a little flip flop seeing my daughter in the arms of another man.
Done with his physical exam, he settled himself at the end of the hospital bed and motioned for me to take a seat in the chair positioned next to Maddie. It was a small room, making us all very cozy. I could feel the heat radiating off his body. His really, really hot body. His eyes lingered on mine briefly, and I felt the blush start to creep up my cheeks. A quick smirk flashed across his face before he began speaking.

“Well, your nurse already gave me some of the details on what lead to Maddie’s injury this afternoon. Sounds like you had an eventful day,” he said, giving Maddie a gentle smile. 

She looked up at him like he’s the king of the world, which surprised me. Maddie’s generally not a fan of men, having not been around many in her life.

“But it looks like a classic concussion. Her skull feels normal, and I don’t see any signs of swelling or bleeding. I’m going to go ahead and order a CT just to rule out anything major and make sure we've covered all of our bases. But more than likely she’ll be back to her old self in a few days,” he said, offering reassurance.

I nodded absently, those stark white walls starting to tighten around me. It’s not the fact that he wanted a test that sent me into an instant panic attack. I understood the precaution. I was glad Dr. Matthews was taking the time to do so, and I appreciated his thoroughness. It was the way in which he said it. The exact phrasing. One sentence, and the memory came back to haunt me, flooding my mind and taking over my senses.

Ethan sat down next to me on the bed. He looked at me with those dark brown eyes and concerned, loving look. He knew I always worried about everything.

“Baby, I don’t need any more tests. The doctor says they’re only migraines,” he said. “The CT came back normal which rules out anything major. I don’t want to fight with the insurance company to get an MRI. You know they aren’t going to pay for it, so why bother?” He pulled me down onto our bed so that we were laying side by side.

“It’s going to be fine. So please, stop worrying.” He pleaded, leaning in to kiss me slowly, desperately trying to change the subject. He pulled away, looking at me with a devious grin plastered on his face. “Besides, we have more important things to think about right now,” he whispered, looking down my body slowly and appreciatively.

“Oh, yeah? I can’t think of anything,” I said, faking a yawn and stretching my arms out wide. “I think I’m going to go to sleep. Night!”

I tried to keep my face steady, but I couldn’t help the grin that escaped, and before I could cover my mouth to hide it, he attacked and I squealed with laughter. He straddled my body, pinning me to the bed with his knees, and trapping my wrists above my head in his tight grasp.

“Shhh! This is the first night in weeks the baby has been asleep for more than an hour, and you’re going to ruin it with your squealing horse laugh!” He leaned down to kiss me, chuckling.

“I do not laugh like a horse!” I pouted.

The annoyance in my voice melted as his trailing kisses reached my neck and meandered down to my shoulder, taking the strap of my nightgown with him. He pulled my body firmly against his and slowly made his way back to my mouth, kissing me so fiercely that every other thought melted away. Tests and headaches were left in the past.

If only I had been more persistent, more demanding…taken him to more specialists…

“Are you sure the CT will be enough? Nothing will be overlooked? I asked, escaping from the memory that had held me captive. Fear was evident in my voice. I knew everything was fine, and what happened with Ethan had been rare, but the irrational panic was there nonetheless.

Maddie is not Ethan. Maddie is not going to die. I silently chant, feeling the calm beginning to return.

I looked up at Dr. Matthews, and he was watching me with concern and confusion painted all over his gorgeous face.

Awesome. Good job, Clare. Now the hot doctor thinks you are crazy.


J.L., excellent excerpt and that recipe sound delicious !!!  Thanks so much for being with us today and sharing yourself and your new book !  Please come back anytime :)

Readers, make sure you get your copy of When You're Ready.  This is one you don't want to miss out on !

Buy Links
Amazon UK ---> http://amzn.to/134Detz
Barnes and Noble ---> http://bit.ly/13DCXxu

Until next time, happy reading !!



  1. Looking forward to reading this book!

  2. Wow, great info. Thanks for sharing so much about yourself. Excellent questions. Can't wait to dive into this story.

  3. I can not wait to read when youre ready thanks for the giveaway

  4. Thank you the giveaway. I will get to meet J.L Berg in St. Louis at the Penn Con Convention. I'm excited!

  5. This book sounds great! Thanks for the giveaway :)

  6. Thanks gor the giveaway. When you're ready has become one of my favorite books!

  7. I love this book! Thanks for the giveaway!

  8. How many publishing companies did you have to go through?