Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Jana Richards

Guest Post, Excerpt and Contest by Jana Richards

Dating at Work

Eight years after he leaves her at the altar, fate throws Tony back together with Olivia when they find themselves working at the same museum. In my humorous contemporary romantic novel, “There Goes the Groom”, working together ends happily for Tony and Olivia, but in real life, is dating at the workplace a good idea? As Careercast.com asks, is it more likely to lead to marriage or unemployment? 

You probably know of people in your workplace who have dated, sometimes happily, but sometimes with disastrous results. After all, if you date a ‘civilian’ and you decide after a few dates that you can’t stand the sight of him, you can just break up. But if he works in the same office as you, you’re going to have maintain a professional relationship with him, which may be difficult if you now want to gouge his eyes out.

If workplace romances are fraught with peril, including potential unemployment, why do so many people take the plunge? According to Psychology Today, anywhere from 40 to 47% of employees have engaged in a workplace romance, with another 20% indicating that they would be open to having a romance at work. Psychology Today identifies four main reasons these romances are so prevalent: 

Time. As individuals spend more time at work, it’s natural that they develop relationships. As one participant of the Psychology Today study says “That’s who you spend your time with [so] that’s the person you’re going to share the more intimate details of your life.” 

Ease of Opportunity. The workplace fosters close working relationships. One participant of the study said: “I think because it’s convenient, honestly. You meet people and if you’re working in the same environment, you have common interests in terms of what you believe in.” 

Similarity. People who enjoy the same kind of work naturally have things in common. Participants in the study “believed people engage in workplace romances because of the similarities they uncover by being with coworkers in a comfortable environment.” 

The Hookup. Some workplace romances are driven by the desire to have a physical relationship. A participant described: “One three letter word: sex.” 

It turns out that who you date at the office makes a difference as to how the rest of the staff treats you. Psychology Today reported that employees perceived coworkers dating superiors to be less credible than those dating peers. Also, employees indicated they would trust coworkers dating superiors less, feel less close to those coworkers, and lie to those coworkers more than colleagues dating peers.

If you decide to date a co-worker, even though you know the potential risks, here’s a few tips from Glamour.com to (hopefully) keep your hookup from turning into a disaster (read all the tips here):

If One of You Manages The Other, Just Don’t Date, PeriodDon’t date or sleep with your boss or subordinate. It puts both of you in an awkward (and fireable) position. If you really think this might be the love of your life, consider leaving your job before you start a relationship. If it’s just a fling you’re after, don’t do it.

Once It’s a Relationship, Go Public (to the necessary parties) ASAPIf you and a co-worker actually start dating, and plan on being a couple for a while, stop keeping it a secret. Tell your bosses/HR Representatives/whoever needs to know, and assure them that you’ll continue to keep your work life as professional as possible.

Your Career Comes FirstIf you’re wondering what behaviors are and aren’t okay when dating a co-worker, remember that your career comes first. Anything that might make you look unprofessional should be avoided, so never engage in public displays of affection, and don’t let your relationship become the center of office gossip. 

Have you ever had an office romance? How did it end?

Her Best Man 
Left at the Altar Series 
Book One
Jana Richards

Genre: Humorous contemporary romance

Publisher: Uncial Press 

ISBN: 978-1-60174-019-9

Number of pages: 166
Word Count: 55,000

Cover Artist: Judith B. Glad

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Sony Chapters

Book Description:

Sarah Stevens experiences a bride's worst nightmare; being dumped at the altar. When she goes on the Caribbean cruise meant to be her honeymoon in order to lick her wounds, she discovers her ex-fiancé has sent his brother, Will Marshall, the former best man, on the cruise as well. Everyone on board thinks they're newlyweds, and Sarah is too embarrassed to set them straight. How is she supposed to share a tiny cabin with a man she barely knows? Even worse, how is she supposed to pretend that she and Will are on their honeymoon? Sarah discovers the best man for her really is the best man. 

There Goes the Groom
Left at the Altar Series
Book Two
Jana Richards

Genre: Humorous romantic comedy

Publisher: Uncial Press 

ISBN: 978-1-60174-159-2

Number of pages: 157
Word Count: 52,500
Cover Artist: Judith B. Glad

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Book Description: 

Eight years ago Tony left Olivia at the altar. He was sure she didn't really want to marry him. Now he's back, and they're forced to work together.

Coming home isn't easy for Tony, because his father wanted him to work at a trade instead of going off to college. Their relationship is still unsteady. Even before Tony's return, Olivia began questioning the depth of her love for her fiancé, a man she chose because he was safe and reliable. Yet the last thing she wants is a loveless, faithless marriage like the one her parents suffered through.

When Tony, who never stopped loving her, insists her fiancé is the wrong man for her, Olivia sets out to prove him wrong. But the sexual chemistry between them is still strong, and so are her feelings for him. Even so, how can she break her engagement, hurt her fiancé as she was once hurt? And how can she trust Tony not to abandon her as he did before?

If anyone does the jilting this time, she will.

Always a Bridesmaid
Left at the Altar series
Book Three
Jana Richards

Genre: Humorous contemporary romance
Publisher: Uncial Press

Number of pages: 201

Word Count: 61,000

Cover Artist: Judith B. Glad

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Book Description:

Dani Dipietro has always considered herself an ugly duckling in a family of swans. She's the bridesmaid her friends count on, but never the woman any man wants for his bride. So she plays the funny girl and guards her emotions, and her secrets, closely.

When Zach Morrison was dumped at his wedding, Dani was there to help him through the humiliation. A year later they meet again and once more Zach needs her help. To fend off the unwanted attentions of his former fiancé, he asks Dani to pretend to be his girlfriend. They play their roles a little too well, and make believe turns into reality. But their relationship comes crashing down around them when Zach's trust issues cause him to accuse Dani of cheating. Telling the truth means Dani will betray a friend, something she will never do. But keeping her secrets means she may be destined to remain a bridesmaid forever.

About the Author:

When Jana Richards read her first romance novel, she immediately knew two things: she had to commit the stories running through her head to paper, and they had to end with a happily ever after. She also knew she’d found what she was meant to do. Since then she’s never met a romance genre she didn’t like. She writes contemporary romance, romantic suspense, and historical romance set in World War Two, in lengths ranging from short story to full length novel. Just for fun, she throws in generous helpings of humor, and the occasional dash of the paranormal. Her paranormal romantic suspense “Seeing Things” was a 2008 EPPIE finalist.

In her life away from writing, Jana is an accountant/admin assistant, a mother to two grown daughters, and a wife to her husband Warren. She enjoys golf, yoga, movies, concerts, travel and reading, not necessarily in that order. She and her husband live in Winnipeg with their Pug/Terrier cross Lou and several unnamed goldfish. She loves to hear from readers and can be reached through her website at www.janarichards.com

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