Almost Full Circle

It was January 2009, when my husband went into the loft to return the Christmas decorations.

"Remember these?" he asked as he handed me three manuscripts. They'd all been written over fifteen years ago.

"I do remember them," I said. "Put them back." But he insisted I read them again.

I'm glad I did. I thought I can do better than that. Now I've had a recent release published by Siren-Bookstrand, and 'Lessons in Love, to be published early 2010.

I've also just finished writing 'Dark Secrets', another emotional roller-coaster of a book.

Just goes to show what's lurking in the loft, and not to give up on dreams. We're almost full circle. What will 2010 bring?

HOPE EVERYONE HAS WONDERFUL NEW YEAR FILLED WITH DREAMS COME TRUE - JAN

When I'm not writing I love to paint


When I'm not writing I love to paint. Here are several paintings that I have done over the years.
Each one is made using just household paints, and canvas blocks. I found that I could repaint the canvas many times. This proved very useful in the early stages, as I hadn't painted for years.
I particularly like lighthouses and seascapes. The man standing in this one is my husband in silouhette.
A lovely desert scene. It shows a sandstorm raging in the background.








The ice scene is made using pearlescent paint mixed with household paints. This one, is a project still to be finished.




I really enjoyed painting these pyramids.









Another lighthouse, with dramatic sky.








This really is an inexpensive way of creating dramatic art work. Be assured that all the paint used is just household paints. In effect these are acrylic based paints, and work particularly well.



After the painting is ready, I spray with a protective layer of varnish.


Hope every one has a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New year

Jan


An Email I Just had to Share

I just had to share an email I received from someone who read 'The Return'. It makes all the writing worth while.

I just finished reading The Return. I absolutely loved it. The story line was very moving. It just made me think of how this situation is affecting other families in real time. The characters and situation was so real, the story just flowed off the pages. I had a hard time stopping at times. My children were very impatient with me.

Again thank you for the story. It was excellent. I have mentioned the story to many friends who have expressed interest. emailed by K

What lovely feedback. Thank you K.

A Beautiful Review By LASR


I just had to share my review from Long and Short reviews. The reviewer went into great detail about the characters and sub plots. I'm really bowled over.

The Return by Jan Bowles




The Return by Jan Bowles
Publisher: BookStrand
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short (147 pages)
Heat: Spicy
Rating: 4 Books
Reviewed by Edelweiss

Whilst on assignment in Iraq, English TV presenter and journalist Robert Tremayne is captured by Islamic Jihadists and held hostage. His soul mate, Marielle, can barely come to terms with her loss but tries to move on with her life.

Two years later Robert is discovered alive. Marielle is overjoyed, but her life has changed beyond all recognition, and the man she loved is now very different. His time in Iraq has left him cold, emotionless and detached. There's much to tell, and each wants desperately to return to the way things once were.

With the past always there to come between them, will they be able to recapture their lost love? Will they ever be happy again?



In Jan Bowles’ The Return, two former lovers grapple with a past strewn with
betrayal, misfortune, and bad judgments. Robert is a renown journalist and
author who is captured and killed in Iraq by the Islamic Jihad. Marielle, his
lover and soul mate, is shattered and listlessly accepts solace from his best
friend. But hold on. Two years later, Robert is found alive and is rescued by US
Special Forces. He returns only to discover that Marielle has married his best
friend and is a mother to boot. Robert’s happy homecoming is thus transformed to
bitterness, and much of the book is devoted to how he and Marielle deal with his
vitriolic sense of betrayal in the wake of some startling turn of events.

It is hard to describe much of this story without giving away important
plot elements. We start with a lot of pent up mysteries and tension. These are
mostly released in the early chapters, but only in a way that generates a new
plot reality and higher suspense about how this book will turn out. Equally
captivating are the characters. Marielle is complex. She feels defensive about
her past decisions and by additional secrets that Robert doesn’t want to hear.
Robert is ruled by his bitterness, and it sometimes drives him to a cruel fury.
Although this makes him hard to like for much of the story, he captivates,
making us powerless to turn away from his antics, his suffering, or the changes
he undergoes as the story progresses. Some of the middle scenes border on chaos:
the characters alternately hurting each other, then responding to passions they
cannot deny. Although these scenes are unsettling—they punish and set back
chances of reconciliation—they come across as genuine, in a real world sense,
and they add to the story’s suspense. It is only a very jagged line of events
that eventually leads upward, one strewn with more landmines from the past, but
the denouement is well worth the read.

This book is not without flaws.
Although the compact prose is a strength, flowing with exceptional energy,
better would have been proper use of commas...

...But these are minor quibbles. The Return is a complex
tale that brims with high plot tension and suspense. Plus it ultimately becomes
a beautiful love story, one the reader will not soon forget.

How I fell in love with poetry

Sometimes opinions change. Sometimes ideas that have stayed with you a lifetime suddenly alter and shift, and you find a different angle with which to view.

Take poetry. Apart from having a poem published in the school magazine I really couldn't see what all the fuss was about. For years, the well formed verses never quite did it for me. They were just words, structured, yet with little meaning.

Then everything changed.

Life changed.

Feeling at a particularly low point in my life, I just happened to be browsing a large book store. I picked up book after book. Just glancing briefly at them, and then placing them back on the shelf.

Then I pulled one particular book off the shelf. The Nations Favourite Poems as voted for by the British public. I scanned the pages, then read the poem that had been voted No.1. This poem had received twice as many votes as any other poem in the book.

The words leapt from the page. Surely the poem had been written for me. Every word had meaning. I remember tears streaming down my face. The author had connected with me. Years after he'd died he actually spoke to me.

I had a copy of the poem printed out onto an A4 sheet of paper. I carried that poem in my handbag every where I went. It really helped, knowing that poem was close to me.

Several handbags later I still have it. Even though the paper is tatty and worn, I just haven't the heart to throw it away. I have a framed copy of the poem on my wall, and a version of the poem by Ernest Shackleton (a great friend of the author).

I suppose I should reveal which poem literally changed my life. It may not be your favourite poem, but I'm sure there's a poem out there for everyone.


If by Rudyard Kipling

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or, being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;
If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with triumph and disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with wornout tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on";

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings - nor lose the common touch;
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run -
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man my son!



There are other poems I like, but this one really means something to me. Thank you for reading. Maybe you can share which poem if any is your favourite.

A Week in Reviews

I finally received my first review for The Return from Mind Fog Reviews:

"This book, at times, reminds me of Castaway the movie. The book is well written and has a couple of hot and steamy love scenes for those of us that love the hot stuff in a romance novel. The cute little father and daughter moments are so cute that it makes your heart melt."

4 Bookmarks
Carol Langstroth, Manager
Mind Fog Reviews


Then later this week I received another review for The Pen and Muse:

"What I liked: Jan tells such a beautiful story about a couple who love each other very much, but yet to the war things have changed. Jan portrays the life of these two characters as a real life drama that you could sit and watch unfold. Positively brilliant! A must read for those who love contemporary romance or are just fans of romance!"
4 Stars
Posted by Denisse Alicea
The Pen and Muse


I am very happy, it makes all the hard work worthwhile.

What Inspired Me to Write The Return

Blurb:

Whilst on assignment in Iraq, English TV presenter and journalist Robert Tremayne is captured by the Islamic Jihad and held hostage. His soul mate, Marielle, can barely come to terms with her loss but tries to move on with her life.


Two years later Robert is discovered alive. Marielle is overjoyed, but her life has changed beyond all recognition, and the man she loved is now very different. His time in Iraq has left him cold, emotionless and detached. There's much to tell, and each wants desperately to return to the way things once were.


With the past always there to come between them, will they be able to recapture their lost love? Will they ever be happy again?
A note to the reader: The reason why I wrote the Return.

Being English, I vividly remember watching the news when journalist John McCarthy was released from captivity in 1991, after 5 years as a hostage in Lebanon. His girlfriend Jill Morrell was there to greet him, and it looked as though their emotional turmoil would soon be over. They could continue their lives together. Sadly John McCarthy and Jill Morrell split up unable to resume their relationship. The Return is based on the idea of this true heartbreaking event. I wondered how two people who loved each other so dearly, would get on after such a long period of separation.

May I ask you all a question. Imagine how you would cope, if you had been held captive in a foreign country in a small cell for two years? Imagine how you would cope emotionally and psychologically. Imagine how you would cope with The Return to normal life.

The Return focuses on the emotion and distress that both Marielle and Robert must have experienced upon being reunited after two years apart. Robert returns from Iraq a changed man. Cold and emotionless he seems unable to fit back in with normal society. All the good things he has relied on have now gone forever. How can he come to terms with his new life outside of captivity? Will Robert Tremayne and Merielle Stevens in The Return be able to find their love once more? Will the emotional scars finally heal.

I Hope you enjoy reading my book.

You can learn more about Jan and her books by going to her website.

Release Day for The Return by Jan Bowles

Hi everyone, release day is finally here.

I hope to see you all soon. If you need more information on the book The Return please CLICK HERE

The Return by Jan Bowles Coming Soon


THE RETURN
Coming 1st December 2009
A Siren-Bookstrand release.
Whilst in Iraq English journalist and upcoming TV personality Robert Tremayne is captured by the Islamic Jihad and held hostage.
His sweetheart Marielle is devastated when she is told he has been executed. She had so much to tell him, now she must continue her life without him.
Two years later she learns that Robert is alive and well and returning to Britain. How can they continue where they left off when so much has changed?
Can they forgive each other? Will they ever find love again?
The Return is a roller-coaster ride of emotion and passion on their road to happiness.
Release day Tuesday 1st December. Find out more CLICK HERE

My New Video for The Return

Music supplied by www.freemusicplay.com
My new novel The Return is due for release on 1st December 2009.
Whilst on assignment in Iraq, TV presenter and English journalist Robert Tremayne is captured by the Islamic Jihad and held hostage. His soul mate, Marielle, can barely come to terms with her loss. When she's told he'll never return home, she's devastated, but tries to move on with her life. Two years later Robert is discovered alive.
Marielle is overjoyed, but her life has changed beyond all recognition, and the Robert she loved is now a very different man; his time in Iraq has left him cold and detached. There's much to tell, and each wants desperately to return to the way things once were. Can they find a way to recapture their lost love and be happy together again?
The video portrays some of the emotional turbulence that the couple share together. Whilst a haunting melody plays in the background.