Thursday, July 29, 2021

Tangled Memories—Even books have history by Jan Scarbrough

We all have a history, don’t we? Good times and bad times. Happy times and sad. Well, books have a history too. Updates, new names, re-edits, new covers are some of the ways self-published authors can change their books. But before the advent of self-publishing, we had to go the traditional route (as some authors still prefer). 

Tangled Memories, a book of my heart, was originally called Window of My Heart. It had a good run in RWA’s contest circuit in the 90’s, culminating as a 1994 Golden Heart finalist in Romantic Suspense/Gothic. Before that happened, a fellow author pulled me aside after I failed so terribly in 1993 and taught me about plotting. (This was one of my first books, after all. I was still learning.) I swear after I got into the groove of this book, it wrote itself.

After being a finalist in the Golden Heart, I couldn’t sell the book to a traditional publisher. You know, the dreaded rejection letters. I did “sell” it to a brand-new e-book publisher. What? In 1999, there weren’t any e-book readers to speak of. So, of course, my book, now called Tangled Memories, didn’t go far.

Over the years, Tangled Memories hopped from publisher to publisher: Imajinn, Wild Rose Press, Turquoise Morning Press. By this time, e-books were in style and readers could read e-books on their phones! Finally, in 2016, I got my rights back and self-published Tangled Memories after a re-edit, update, new blurb, and new cover.

Tangled Memories remains one of my favorites. In it, I switched my heroine from present day to Medieval times. Today, I see this done by many writers—the dual-timeline novels. I don’t know if I was ahead of my time, or if it simply worked for the story I had to tell.
You can grab a copy for your summer reading pleasure for 99 cents at most e-book stores. Sadly, the paperback is not on sale.

After losing his wife, Dr. Alexander Dominican is determined his infant daughter will not grow up motherless as he did. Offering sensible, kind kindergarten teacher Mary Adams a marriage of convenience seems like the perfect solution. The widow’s husband left her with a mountain of debt. For Alex, paying it off is a small price to pay for his daughter’s happiness. Until his sensible new wife begins to lose her mind.

On the day of their marriage, Mary starts having frightening hallucinations of medieval England—visions that feel more like the memories of woman who lived centuries before. More terrifying, someone—or something—is stalking the new mistress of Marchbrook Manor. Could it be one of the sinister servants? Or Alex himself? Alex is reawakening hidden desires and longings in Mary, but until she can untangle the web of nightmares and secrets, she can trust no one. Not even Alex.

Alex has no idea he’s unleashing a destiny that’s taken him seven hundred years to fulfill.

If Alex and Mary are to salvage their future, they must first unravel centuries of…Tangled Memories.


  1. I love reading the histories of our stories! We all have a few to tell, don't we? Thanks for sharing that, Jan.

  2. The plot sounds really intriguing!

  3. Your book has had many lives and from the sound of it…so have these characters!

  4. When a story needs to be told, it reinvents itself! Sounds fab!


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