Sunday, August 16, 2015

Summer, Slugs, and Cell Phones


I’m not one of those lucky people who grew up in one place with familiar faces all around them. If that was your experience, I truly envy you. My family moved many times, and I continued that pattern as an adult – with one exception. When my parents were young and nearly penniless, they joined with two other families to purchase a tiny summer cabin on an island in Maine. My family still gathers there almost every summer, and that’s how I get to appreciate what time does to a familiar place.

When I was little, the entire island had exactly one telephone. It's still there, right next to the Community Hall, down near the public wharf. 
As a teenager, I spent hours on that phone with my college boyfriend, fending off mosquitoes and pesky interlopers who wanted their turn on the phone. These days, everyone has landlines and cell phones, but some things don’t change. Cell service comes and goes out there, and communication with the outside world is still blessedly sketchy.

When I was little, the woods at the north end of the island were thick and daunting. The paths were hard to find and if I ever had to walk through them at night—say, after a cookout on the beach--I would cling to an adult’s hand the entire time. I will never forget the terror I felt stepping into the world of those dark, looming evergreens. These days, there’s a sign post for the path. A sign post!

And if I need some light, I use the flashlight app on my iPhone.

What else? In our little cottage, the only toilet was in the basement where the slugs and spiders lived. When you had to pee at night, you had a choice between the dreaded trek downstairs and a chamber pot. Every night I held a long, agonized internal debate about which was better, or at least less horrid. We had no shower, so we ran around all day long with ocean salt drying on our skin. Occasionally my mother would heat water on the stove and stick us in a washtub. The only means we had of cleaning our clothes involved an old tin washboard and lots of scrubbing. These days? Over the protests of the younger generation, the elders put in an actual bathroom with tub, shower, and laundry. I’ve never seen a single slug in there. Peeing has become a drama-free experience.

It’s amazing how things change even in timeless places like Cliff Island, and how some things don’t.
We have Internet access now. The island has a Facebook page and a website for renting cottages. Washing machines are common, but we still hang our clothes out to dry in the sun. The kids of today are offered organized activities—soccer games and sandcastle contests—while we had nothing but bikes, swimsuits and lots of free time. But some things never change.
On a sunny day, if the tide is right, kids still spend all day at “the cove,” then skip down to the wharf for an ice cream cone.

I wouldn’t trade my tech-challenged, slug-infested memories for anything. On the other hand, you won’t catch me complaining about WiFi and hot showers. And those flashlight apps – they’re fantastic.

Is there a place you return to every year, or maybe where you've been living since childhood? I'd love to hear about it!

xoxo
Jennifer

Friday, July 17, 2015

New York on My Mind: RWA 2105

For me, resident of faraway Homer, Alaska, the journey to New York City feels absolutely epic. It starts with a 5:30 AM wakeup call and a drive into town, where a tiny plane will take me to Anchorage. Then there's the flight to Seattle and a red-eye to JFK airport, where at 6 AM the next morning I will suddenly be confronted with the equivalent of Homer's entire population in about three minutes. I'm still a little unclear on the details of how to get from JFK to my cousin's apartment, but I have a good 24 hours to figure it out.

Anyway, the purpose of this trek is the 2015 RWA National Conference, which is being held at the New York Marriot Marquis in Times Square this year. Do you live in the New York area? If so, I hope you'll come to this amazing event. I'll be signing books at the RWA Literacy Autographing, at which all proceeds promote literacy. It takes place from 5:30-7:30 on Wednesday, July 22. Here are all the details in one handy graphic. The best part? It's completely free and open to the public! And if you come say hi, I'll have a special gift for you.


Also, if you're attending the conference, I'll be part of Avon Book's open signing on Thursday, July 23, from 9:45 to 11:15 in Westside Rooms 1 and 2. That event is always a blast!

See you in New York!

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Limited Time Sale



If you've been waiting for the perfect chance to give ALL OF ME a try, this could be it! The ebook price wasn't supposed to be lowered yet, but for a VERY limited time, it is. It's only $2.99 on Kindle, Nook, Kobo and iBooks. Fun, sexy summer reading for an awesome price ... but not for long. Happy reading!




Tuesday, May 26, 2015

ALL OF ME is out!

I feel as if I've been waiting for this day FOREVER. I've been alternating between excitement and nerves for weeks, and now, here it is!

ALL OF ME, my first book not featuring a fireman, is now available in paperback and ebook. Caleb Hart and Sadie Merritt kick off my baseball series, Love Between the Bases.



Playing for the Kilby Catfish is hotshot pitcher Caleb Hart’s last chance to salvage his career after a major league meltdown. But the day of his opener with the minor league team, Caleb strikes out with the gorgeous woman who is delivering a petition to run the unruly Catfish out of town. Now to stay in the lineup, Caleb will need to score big with the feisty brunette he can’t keep out of his thoughts.

After the nasty lies Sadie Merritt’s rich ex-boyfriend spread about her all over town, she’s lucky to have a job at all. She can’t afford to screw it up by falling for the player who is supposed to be helping her change the image of the fun-loving Catfish. But that’s easier said than done when Caleb’s voice alone is enough to make her pulse race. And when he surprises her with a mind-blowing kiss, she knows there’s no turning back.



Purchase in Ebook ...






or print ...





... and enjoy! 

You can read the first two chapters and some glowing reviews right here. Any questions about ALL OF ME? Post them here! I'll do my best to answer.

xoxoxoxo
Jennifer 

Saturday, May 23, 2015

ALL OF ME Birthday Bash Invitation


With a book birthday (May 26) and a real birthday (May 27) within two days of each other ... how could I not throw a party? While I wish I could invite everyone up to our place in Alaska (there's plenty of space, if you count the wilderness), it's a lot easier to do it on Facebook. So .... you're invited to my ALL OF ME Birthday Bash on Wednesday, May 27th!

https://www.facebook.com/events/803556226396737/


The party will run for seven hours (from 3pm to 10pm EDT) to accommodate as many time zones as I can. The list of guest authors includes:

Lori Wilde
Julie Brannagh
Erin Nicholas
Candis Terry
Sierra Dean
Kelly Jamieson
Sierra Dean
LizBeth Selvig
Cara Connelly
Meg Benjamin
PG Forte

With special appearances by Eloisa James, Lorraine Heath, Darynda Jones and Regina Kyle. We'll be giving away prizes galore and have a few fun games planned for you! So I hope you'll join us. Click here or on the banner to find the party page. Feel free to invite your friends as well!

Hugs!

Jen

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

ALL OF ME Tour and Giveaway!


With release day RIGHT around the corner (six days, OMG!) the big blog tour is underway! It's extensive and includes reviews, a few interviews and guest posts, and a tour-wide giveaway courtesy of Avon Books.

I'm posting this not only so you can stop in and take part, but so I can remember where I'm supposed to be! If you have any questions or comments along the way, please post them. If you just want to say "hi," please do so! I would love that. I hope to see you somewhere along the road to release day ... and beyond!

Tour Schedule


May 18th- A Tasty Read Book Reviews- Rev/P
(Stop 2) My Book Snack- Rev/GP (3)
May 19th- Lush Book Reviews- Rev/P
(Stop 2) Urban Girl Reader- P/Exc
May 20th- Written Love Reviews- P/Exc
(Stop 2) Christine's Words- Promo
(Stop 3) All Romance Reader- Rev/P
(Stop 4) Ramblings from This Chick- Int/P (1)
May 21st- Life with Two Boys- Rev/P
May 22nd- Mignon Mykel Reviews: Rev/Exc
(Stop 2) We're Jumpin Books- P/Exc
May 25th- Unwrapping Romance- P/Rev
(Stop 2) Born to Read Books- Rev/P
May 26th- Crystal Blogs Books- GP (1)
(Stop 2) What I'm Reading- Rev/P
(Stop 3) Wicked Reads- Rev/Exc
(Stop 4) Harlequin Junkie- Spotlight
May 28th- Kawehi's Book Blog- Rev/P
(Stop 2) Sizzling Pages Romance Reviews- Rev/Exc
May 29th- SiK Reviews- Rev/P
(Stop 2) Love.Life.Read- Rev/P

May 30th- Happily Ever Chapter Rev/P
June 1st- The Book Tart- Rev/P
(Stop 2) Books N Pearls- Rev/P
(Stop 3) Okie Dreams Book Reviews- Rev/P/Exc
June 2nd- The Many Faces of Romance- P/Rev
June 3rd- Manga Maniac Cafe- GP/Exc/P (2)
June 4th- Book Reviews and More by Kathy-P/Exc
(Stop 2) Pretty Sassy Cool- Rev/Exc
June 5th- Pretty Girls Read Books- Rev/P
June 8th-  Jen's Reading Obsession- P/Rev/Exc
(Stop 2) The Book Cellar- Rev/Exc/P
June 9th- My Book Addiction and More- Int/P (3)
(Stop 2) Karen's Killer Book Bench- P/Exc
(Stop 3) Roberta's Dreamworld- Int/P (2)
(Stop 4) Books Need TLC- Rev/P
June 10th- Cat's Reviews- Rev/Exc
(Stop 2) Travels N Reads- P/Exc
June 11th- The Sassy Bookster- Rev/P
June 12th- Storm Goddess Book Reviews- Rev/P
(Stop 2) Fic Central- Rev/P
  
Avon will be hosting a Tour Wide Giveaway for a Touch by Alyssa Milano Texas Rangers Women's Addison Slim Fit V-Neck Burnout T-Shirt - Royal Blue 
 
Look how cute this is! Now if only it said "Kilby Catfish on it" ... but "Rangers" works too. See you on the Internet!





Monday, May 11, 2015

RT and Me

I'm at the Anchorage airport, about to board a flight for Dallas and the Romantic Times Booklovers Convention. I'm convinced I don't have enough outfits for five days, and that I will either run out of promo items or no one will want my silly "All of Me" Cracker Jacks. In other words, the usual pre-journey jitters.

If you're in Dallas and would like to say "hey," here's a handy guide for where to find me. I plan to use it myself. So ...

Tuesday May 12 - I mentioned the Cracker Jacks, right? Tuesday evening will find me and some helpful lovely people attaching excerpt booklets to these babies. If you have a driving need to put promo swag together, let me know. I can totally hook you up. You will find this swag in Promo Alley unless it runs out, or no one wants it and I make a big bonfire and call the fire department.

Wednesday May 13 - The First Party. It's very important to set the tone for the entire conference with a few drinks right off the bat. (You didn't hear me say that.) I'll be rocking some cowboy-ish boots at the Taste of Texas Romance Rodeo in the Landmark Ballroom. Yee-haw! (I promise not to say that anymore for the rest of this blog post.)

Thursday May 14 - 11:15 Avon Presents:  A Texas Homecoming Craft-Along. I'm a consultant for a table of crafty people making ... sashes? Corsages? I'm really not sure, but I think it will be a blast. Are you crafty? Please come help! Because I'm not. At all. I can bribe you with ... hmm ... Cracker Jacks?

Thursday May 14 - 7 pm - Avon Books Margarita Mayhem. If you're an Avon Addict or a blogger or anyone who has received an invitation to this cocktail party, I hope to see you there. Avon parties are always fun, and margaritas are fun, as is mayhem. This one can't miss.

Thursday May 14 - 9pm - The Wild West Steampunk Party - Thanks to my friend Boone Brux, I have a costume, so I'm going! Yeehaw! (Oops, sorry.)

Friday May 15 - 4pm Avon's Paris in Texas Cocktail Party - I'll be signing books and sipping wine, which is a dangerous combination that I'm amazed hasn't resulted in disaster before now.

Friday May 15 - 10pm Pitch Perfect 2 Party!! This is a sold-out excursion, so if you signed up on time, I'll see you on the bus! (There's a certain exclamation I could use here, but didn't. You're welcome.)

Saturday May 16 - 10am - 2pm  The Giant Book Fair. Signing books, most likely regretting the wine and late night Pitch Perfect screeching from Friday. Please, please come by and revive me.

Saturday May 16 - 8:30 LizBeth Selvig and I are hosting a private get-together. If you are interested in joining us, let me know and I will send you an invitation.

Sunday May 17 - Zero Dark Ass-Crack of Dawn -Shuttle, airport, back to reality.

Of course I will also be attending workshops, roaming the bar, looking for trouble wearing a cowboy hat, and who knows what else. And I'll try to keep on top of Instagram and Twitter and Facebook and all that. (Click the icons to follow.)

xoxox