As a current Wisconsinite, I am happy to welcome as my first guest former Wisconsinite, romance author AJ Nuest, discussing her fond memories of life in our state and the unique accent we Midwesterners have. She also shares an excerpt from "Jezebel's Wish," her latest book available from The Wild Rose Press. And one lucky commenter will receive a free .pdf of "Jezebel's Wish," so please enter for a chance to win!
Wisconsin, doin cha’ kno?
“Where, exactly, are you from?”
This question has plagued me more than any other throughout my life. Born and raised in the unspoiled wilderness of Northern Wisconsin, I grew up blissfully unaware of my northern twang, until I graduated from high school and moved to the center of the universe (aka Milwaukee, WI) to attend college.
But even then, my accent was most often met with mild curiosity. My assumption is most folks either didn’t hear it because they carried the same inflection themselves, or they ignored the way I sounded altogether, instinctively knowing I must be from the Great White North. Still, I got the occasional query, people asking if I hailed from Canada or Minnesota, how come I said words like door (dowr) and out (ouit) so strangely and wasn’t I cute with my quaint country lingo.
In all honesty, I hated the way I sounded. Living away from home for ten years, my ear became attuned to the way others spoke, and when I returned for a visit I was horrified to learn the true nature of my voice. Did I really sound the same as all those backwoods hicks? Did I carry that same disturbing lilt which immediately made the listener doubt my intelligence? Why couldn’t I have been born with an accent like Audrey Hepburn? Maybe I could take lessons and learn to speak like Grace Kelly? For crying out loud, how had I made any friends?
Aside: If you’ve ever seen the movie Fargo, you know exactly what I’m talking about (aboot). Although Frances McDormand portrays a quick-witted, highly intuitive police officer, when you first heard her speak, didn’t you instantly think, “Boy, she’s a couple of watts short of a bulb.” I mean, come on! Who actually says, “Is there a phone down here, do ya’ think?” People from northern Wisconsin, that’s who! Ms. McDormand nailed that accent like she’d been reared a stone’s throw away from my childhood home.
Ten years after my move to Milwaukee, I made an even larger step and moved to Chicago. With nothing more than a job interview and two hundred dollars in my pocket, this country girl was making good on her dream to live in the big city. This is when the questions began in earnest. I literally couldn’t meet someone without them asking where I was from. Being a single, young woman looking for love, I can’t tell you how annoying this was.
I tried to rid myself of the northern drawl. I thought the longer I lived away from home, the more it would fade, right? RIGHT!? No such luck. Twenty-five years later, I still carry the same silly sound.
The other night my family sat down to watch America’s Got Talent. As luck would have it, the auditions took place in Minnesota. So I wasn’t surprised when several of the contestants arrived on stage and answered the judges’ questions with the standard, “Oh, yah” we northerners like to use.
One gentleman in particular carried a very heavy accent, and when he came out in his goggles and bike helmet, everyone in my family laughed. Heck, everyone in the auditorium laughed. The guy had to be a complete doorknob. But, not so..not so, at all. Turns out he performed a special “chain reaction” talent by arranging popsicle sticks so they snapped into the air, and when he received three YES votes from the judges, I smiled and heartily applauded.
You see, now that I’m older I’ve realized something. My accent didn’t stop me from meeting the perfect guy, having two beautiful children or becoming a published author. If anything, the way I speak helps me stand out in an area where people say “warsh” for “wash” and “pin” for “pen”. I know sometimes I sound silly and people may assume I’ve got an empty noggin, but that’s okay with me. The way I speak is a part of who I am.
Now I carry my northern twang proudly, and hope that it never fades. So, go ahead and ask me where I’m from. I’ll smile proudly and answer, “Wisconsin, doin cha’ kno?”
Haunted by nightmares, tormented by guilt, Jezebel came to Redemption Ranch to escape the past—except now she's stuck in the middle of nowhere with no redemption in sight. When her mother pushes her into riding lessons with local veterinarian Matthias Saunders, Jezebel balks. Sure, the doctor is gorgeous, but he’s completely obnoxious and knows how to push every one of her buttons.
Only her deep connection with The Reverend, a gentle stallion who guards her darkest secrets, has her agreeing to spend any more time with Dr. Saunders. Caring for the stallion is the first bright spot in her life in months, and if being around the horse means she has to deal with Matthias Saunders, then so be it. Surely a city girl like her can handle one country vet—even one with disturbing blue eyes. Can't she?
Jezebel’s Wish Excerpt:
Jezzy stopped. “I thought I was having a riding lesson.”
“You are.” He nodded toward the empty paddock. “Go in.”
“Go in?” Jezzy propped a hand on her hip. “You sure you know what you’re doing? Because it was my understanding that an actual horse is needed for a riding lesson.”
“Don’t you think it would be wise at this juncture to leave the understanding up to the professionals?”
Jezzy rolled her eyes. “You’re making this way too easy. Professionals? Please. Don’t get me started.”
“Why not? Getting you started is exactly what I’m here for.”
Jezzy’s jaw dropped. She didn’t quite know how to interpret that remark.
He held out the rope. “Now go in. And take this lead line with you.” Steely blue determination glinted in his eyes. There was no way he was going to give in.
Jezzy snatched the lead line from his hand and stormed through the gate, then turned when he closed it behind her.
He put a foot on the bottom railing and rested against the gate, facing the horizon. “Take the chair to the center of the paddock and sit down.”
“And just exactly how is that supposed to teach me to ride?”
He cocked an eyebrow. “You want out of the deal?”
Jezzy’s fist clenched tight around the lead line. What she wanted was to march back to the fence and smack his face.
AJ Nuest lives in northwest Indiana with her loving husband and two beautiful children. She is the author of two contemporary romance novels.
Visit her on the web at:
Facebook: Tattered Pages http://tinyurl.com/3qvxyn6
Jezebel’s Wish Buy Links:
The Wild Rose Press: http://tinyurl.com/446f7r3
Check out the trailer:
Coming June 27: Guest Blogger Calvin Davis discusses "The Phantom Lady of Paris!"
FIVE STARS: "Excellent writing! Enjoyable hero and heroine! Great romance! Fast pace! I read it straight through! Author thorough in research! I lived the experience!"--A reader on Amazon.com
FIVE STARS: "Erica Kingsley, a twenty-nine year old spoiled woman had to be taught a lesson and her CEO father planned with the help of her ex-lover to do just that! The Holiday Channel needed a huge cash flow shot in the arm or it was at the mercy of his enemy. Erica hosted "The Lap of Luxury Show" and her ex hosted "The Wildman Show." Both shows could not survive and he got the idea of filming Erica as she tried to survive in the Belize jungle while they searched for Montezuma's Treasure!
Trey Zacco was told not to give the pampered Erica any help and he rode her hard! His crew was being picked off one by one and all eyes were on Erica as the culprit, but would she go as far as murder to get back to Miami?
Does Ms. Chambers hold her readers captive with a book that you just can't put down and gives her opinion on where the king's daughter buried his gold! From the descriptions of the jungle, the visions fairly leaped off the pages and I can't wait to read her next!"--A Reader on Goodreads.com
FIVE STARS: "A Wild Sultry Ride! Wonderful, action-packed story! I was completely lost in the author's words. Ms. Chambers created quite a world for us to lose ourself in. The chemistry between Trey and Erica is fantastic. With curves, twist, romance and action. Take the chance, The Montezuma Secret is well worth your time."--A reader on Amazon.com
The Secret Sentinel
Available from The Wild Rose Press
Reviews for The Secret Sentinel
FIVE STARS AND A TOP PICK FROM NIGHT OWL REVIEWS--" The Secret Sentinel is a wonderful read and I highly recommend it. Look out Nora Roberts...there's a new author on the horizon."
FOUR STARS FROM THE ROMANCE STUDIO--"The constant action and adventure made this a very enjoyable read. If you loved the movie 'Romancing the Stone' this book will be a treat for you."
RT Reviews--"Deception is the watchword in Chambers' thriller. The action is fast moving and the characters intriguing."
NIGHTS AND WEEKEND REVIEWS--"A wild mixture of National Treasure and Indiana Jones."
FIVE STARS--GOODREADS--"Savannah Rutledge Unlocks Pandora's Box When She Takes Her Father's Secret Map and Loans It To Her Boss For Display For A Southwest Fest And To Save Her Job, But Instead of Crowing With Delight She Was Running For Her Life With Murder Charges, Her Disabled Father Murdered, And A Zorro Stranger Kidnapping Her! A One Hundred Year Old Secret Has Been Released And It Refuses To Get Back In The Box!"
Time of The Eleven
Now Available on Amazon!
The Time of the Eleven
A daring prison escape in Mexico. An explosion in the Hague. Tourists disappearing in Scotland and the Sahara. Reporters murdered or reported missing. Seemingly unrelated incidents. Or parts of an ingenious terrorist plot? After her fiance mysteriously disappears, Kiley Prescott has a chance encounter with a seductive stranger in Mexico. But who is this man? FBI agent Peter Rushing is sure her new lover, handsome Armand Rachet, is really the notorious international terrorist, Gabriel Roca, suspected in a series of devastating bombings overseas. After Kiley learns Rushing was fired from the FBI, she fears he is hiding something even more sinister. The chase for the truth takes her cross country, from Washington to Chicago, Las Vegas, and finally San Diego, where Kiley learns the deadliest secret of all--everything is timed to happen at eleven. Eleven men. The eleventh hourof the eleventh day of November, 2011. It is "The Time of the Eleven."