Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The Monkeys are Here!

Remember how I mentioned that people who pre-order THE TRUTH ABOUT US will get a BRAVE MONKEY key chain? Well. They arrived at my house yesterday. So. Much. Cuteness.  Remember to send me your proof of purchase and I'll send you out your own BRAVE MONKEY!!

Monday, October 27, 2014


Coming April 2015,  THE TRUTH ABOUT US!

Sometimes the person who's most different from you is the one who makes you feel like you belong.

When Jess is caught drinking and inappropriately face-timing boys, her dad orders her to spend the rest of the summer volunteering at the local soup kitchen. Thrust into a world where her own problems no longer seem so insurmountable, Jess meets Flynn, a guy from her high school who comes to the soup kitchen for meals with his adorable little brother. Slowly, Jess and Flynn begin to know and trust each other, despite their different backgrounds and the prejudice of their families. But as their relationship intensifies and outside pressures escalate, can they find the strength to stay together?

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Jenny Hubbard- 2014 Contemporary Scavenger Hunt

As part of the 2014 Contemporary Scavenger Hunt I am so excited to welcome author Jenny Hubbard to my blog.  I was a big fan of  William C. Morris Debut Award Finalist book, PAPER COVERS ROCK and Jenny's new book, AND WE STAY sounds equally delicious. I've got it on the top of my books to purchase list!

Jenny has written a thoughtful and useful guest post about how she writes!

Please enjoy!

Guest Post:

Jenny Hubbard:  How I Write

 Every writer’s process is different.  There is no one path to follow that leads to a complete novel.  But here are a few things that I do that help me get the job done.

 I don’t try to write every day of the week.  That’s either too much pressure or, given my non-writing life, too unrealistic. I write five days a week. When I first started, I treated it like physical exercise: an hour or two in a single sitting.

At the end of a writing session, I leave off in the middle of a chapter, the middle of a paragraph, the middle of a sentence, even. That way, it’s much easier to dive right in the next time I sit down at the computer.  If I leave off at the end of a chapter, I’ve found that it’s harder to get started again, with all that blank space staring me in the face.

Before I reread what I’ve written, I produce at least 25 pages, and preferably 50.  I’ve learned the hard way not to edit myself too soon.  And I’ve learned to give myself permission for the first draft to be messy, weak, and flawed.

I’m often asked how to combat writer’s block. I have now three sure-fire weapons in my arsenal. 

1) I go for a walk with my dog Oliver to clear my head, where the story is jumbled, and, if I’m lucky, a thread will unravel itself so that by the time Oliver and I get back home, I’m able to sit back down and weave it neatly into the narrative.

2) Because I also write poetry and plays, I simply switch genres.  Working on an entirely different piece for a little while recharges me.

3) This is the one that works every single time:  I take ten pages of the book I’m working on and start over from a different point of view:  same story, but a different character telling it.  The voice in both of my published novels arose as a result of this process.  (In fact, I wrote the entire books over using different point of view, but if that seems too daunting, try ten pages.)  Finding the right voice, the right perspective, for your particular story is probably the most essential part of novel-writing.

And how do I get started on that very first day?  I start the story in the middle of the action, which automatically propels me and which will always place the reader right there with the characters. 

And what do I do once a finish a complete draft?  I set it aside for a week, and when I return to it, the real craft/work/fun begins.  The art of writing is in the rewriting.  Rinse, lather, repeat, over and over again, and you might very well have a novel in your hands.



If you'd like a chance to win an audio book of And We Stay, please comment below. (US only)

 Book Summary

When high school senior Paul Wagoner walks into his school library with a stolen gun, he threatens his girlfriend, Emily Beam, and then takes his own life. Soon after, angry and guilt-ridden Emily is sent to boarding school in Amherst, Massachusetts, where two quirky fellow students and the spirit of Emily Dickinson offer helping hands. But it is up to Emily Beam to heal her own damaged self, to find the good behind the bad, hope inside the despair, and springtime under the snow.


Author Bio:

A former high-school and college English teacher for 17 happy years, Jenny now practices what she preached: the discipline of rewriting, which, in her humble opinion, is the key to a writer’s success.
Thanks so much to Jenny for a wonderful post!!
If you live in the US and would love to win a copy of Jenny's Audio Book, please comment below. One winner will be randomly drawn from comments on October 31 at midnight.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Road Trip

I'm off to Saskatchewan!

Road Trip.

Me and 28 of my favorite swimmers. And 2 coaches and another chaperone. And a bus driver. Wheee!

Yup, I'm one of the chaperones for the Foothills Stingrays Swim Club. One of the benefits of working from home.

Pack all these kids on the bus for an eight hour ride and then 3 days of fast swimming before we head back home.

It'll be a busy few day of making snacks (swimmers love to eat) and well, chaperoning. But also a few extra hours on the bus each way that I will be using to write!

Go Stingrays!

Don't forget to check in to the blog on October 26 as I'll be hosting an AMAZING author as part of the 2014 Contemporary Scavenger Hunt.

Look for my COVER REVEAL for THE TRUTH ABOUT US on Jennifer Brown's site.

Monday, October 20, 2014


The cover reveal for The Truth About Us is coming next week as part of the 2014 YA Contemporary Scavenger Hunt!

Also, if you pre-order THE TRUTH ABOUT US and send me your proof of purchase (scan, email, etc) I will send you your very own BRAVE MONKEY keychain.

Brave Monkey shows up a few times in THE TRUTH ABOUT US and he can be yours to hang on your purse, backpack or keychain to help you be brave!!

Find my email on my website. and send me your proof of purchase to get your own BRAVE MONKEY!!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

October Truths

I wonder if it's a good sign that October has arrived in such a lovely way in my part of the world.  I hope so.
Beautiful colored leaves are drifting to the ground just the way they're supposed to. A warmth is in the air, with a hint of cool underneath, perfect for sweaters and high boots.

Fall. I really do love it, even though it's followed by winter and winter is well. Cold. And Dark.

September was a month of getting back to routines. Swimming and school for Superson and back to writing for me.  I'm working on my adult romance trilogy now and having a blast with it. I hope to release the first two right after Christmas, along with a free companion story about a mysterious woman who ties the romance stories all together, brewing up magical coffee meant to bring lovers together at The Incanto CafĂ©.

The romances are sweet but with complicated characters. The characters always have to run a little dark and twisty when Janet Gurtler writes them. WINK WINK.

It's contemporary romance with a twist of magical realism. And it involves coffee. Wonderful magical coffee that may or may not bring troubled souls together. Mmmm. Coffee.

The first story is Sedona and Samuel's. It's hard to tell which one needs the other more but their lives are both complicated and plagued by dark secrets they keep from the world. Will they be able to trust in each  other and find the love they deserve, or will doubts and darkness keep them apart?

I'll post more when the stories are ready! Lots to be done before then. Like finishing them!

Later this month I'll be REVEALING the new cover for my APRIL 2015 YA Release, THE TRUTH ABOUT US! The first reveal will happen on the wonderful Jennifer Brown's blog as part of  The 2014 YA Contemporary Scavenger Hunt!

As part of the hunt I'll be hosting Jenny Hubbard, the author of AND WE STAY.  I can't wait to read this one, it's being moved to the top of my always HUGE To Be Read list. I'll read it before Jenny is here, why don't you join me!!!

Check back soon!

Happy Autumn!!!

Love Janet