Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Writing Update


As if one looming deadline wasn't enough, I just picked up another one at the post office.

You're looking at the page proofs for ALL OF ME, due in a week. Whenever I get page proofs, I make a trip to the drug store and pick up some kids' colored pencils. I wear one to a stub making corrections, then I always manage to lose the box before the next page proofs arrive. Anyway, I have my red pencil and I'm ready to rock. As soon as I meet my other deadline, which happens to be one day earlier.

That, my friends, is the first draft of book 2 in the Love Between the Bases series, CAUGHT BY YOU. Due this Monday. Not that I'm panicking or anything. You know what, though? I enjoy a good challenge. I can do this thing. But if you do feel inspired to send chocolate, hunky massage therapists, or other assistance, I wouldn't say no.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Report from Lava Zone 1

*Lava Zone 1 is a real estate term for those places on the Big Island with the highest risk of being covered by lava.*

*We live in Lava Zone 1.*

*There's a chance we're completely out of our minds. But it's really, really pretty here.*

Since June 27th, lava has been oozing in molten swaths down the slopes of Kilauea volcano toward the little town of Pahoa. Despite the constant, unnerving threat of destruction, so far only one home has been lost, a few businesses closed, and two people arrested for sticking golf clubs in the lava. Lately I've been wondering if Pele, the Hawaiian goddess of the volcano, has a wicked sense of humor.

Who else could get throngs of tourists to come to a tropical paradise and visit ... a dump?

The Pahoa "Transfer Station" -- aka "the dump" -- came within one drainage ditch of being buried under lava. It was shut down and evacuated, and the whole town mourned the loss of our brand-new, $5 million eco-friendly waste facility. Then, in October, the lava just ... stopped. Right at the edge of the dump. We held our breath for about a week, until a new lobe of lava took off, heading for a different part of town.

The dump survived, but County officials jumped at the opportunity to offer visitors a way to view the lava flow. Here are a few pictures from Pahoa's newest tourist attraction. It's well worth a visit to see how breathtakingly close the lava came, to admire its elegant, primal swirls, and see the steam still leaking from the newest rock on earth.

Locals have left tributes to Pele, which is understandable since we're really happy to still have our dump. But tributes would be left no matter what; to live in Hawaii's Lava Zone 1 is to know that things could change at any moment. It's best to honor the mighty forces at work here.


In fact, another change is coming March 1. The dump will be reopened for business. We'll still get to view Pele's handiwork as we drop off our recycling. :-)

Have you ever seen the lava flowing here in Hawaii? Do you think we're nuts to live here (only part-time, but still?) 

Thursday, January 8, 2015

New Look

Hey, I have a new look for the New Year! Or at least my website and blog do. (Me -- I'm pretty much the same.)

The big changes are the inclusion of baseball in the design, some brighter colors, and more sexiness, all in anticipation of the new series. Love Between the Bases will start hitting shelves on May 26, with the first book, ALL OF ME. I love the new design, and I hope you do too.

Another change is this blog. I debated changing the name to Jen's Un-Blog because I have a mental block about blogging. I want something more free-form, more relaxed, more spontaneous than a "blog." I'd like to be able to chat with people here, hang out, connect more. Jen's Space fits that concept better, so I'm trying that name out, see how it fits. I'll be visiting this space often -- at least a couple times a week -- and I hope you do too!

So here's to new beginnings, new looks, and new books. Are you making any big changes this year?

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

It's a Wonderful Fireman in Paperback

Do you prefer paperbacks to ebooks? Or maybe you like having both versions? Many people have asked me when the last book in the Bachelor Firemen of San Gabriel series will be out in print, and the good news is .... NOW! Since this is a digital first book, there may not be much distribution into bookstores or the big chain stores like Walmart. But you can order it at several places online to be delivered into your mailbox.

Amazon: http://amzn.to/16LucXr

Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/1ATZKDu

HarperCollins: http://bit.ly/1zYy42f

This book is getting fantastic reviews from readers and bloggers, which makes for a very happy Christmas for me -- though still a little sad.  I love these Bachelor Firemen, and I'm going to miss them. I hope you enjoy Lizzie and Mulligan's story, as well as one more appearance of the firemen heroes from the previous books. Happy holidays!


Friday, December 19, 2014

Christmas at the Firehouse ~ A Bachelor Firemen Short Story

 Christmas at the Firehouse  

A Bachelor Firemen Short Story

Photo courtesy of Bill Bailey, The Calhoun Chronicle

The sexy, smoldering “Bachelor Firemen” of San Gabriel were usually seen in turnouts, SGFD t-shirts, or without any shirts at all. But on a day shortly before Christmas, Station 1 was awash with Santa gear as the firefighters competed for a role only one could play.

“Why shouldn’t a woman be Santa? We’ve never had a female Santa.” Sabina Jones wore a Santa hat that kept falling over one eye, probably because it belonged to her husband, Chief Roman, who had the build of a gladiator.

“Only one person here has the belly to be Santa.” Double D patted his stomach, which always grew a few inches around the holidays, what with all the baked goods the citizens of San Gabriel kept dropping off at the firehouse.

“Santa Claus isn’t about the belly.” Vader, the fittest guy on the crew, shouldered his way to the front of the small knot of firefighters. “It’s about personality. Kids love me. I’m like a superhero to them. Fire-Man to the rescue.” He struck a pose, his open Santa jacket exposing his bulging muscles.

Fred Breen snorted. “Santa isn’t a superhero, Vader. He’s the spirit of Christmas, meaning peace and joy and giving. I should play Santa. I get along great with kids. For six years I played an elf in the San Gabriel Christmas pageant. Beat that, superhero.”

“Then again, Santa is called Father Christmas, and I’m the only father here,” said Captain Brody proudly. As the first Bachelor Fireman to tie the knot, he savored his new role as dedicated family man.

“Fine, pull the Dad card,” grumbled the station heartthrob, Ryan Blake. “I’m the one who should be Santa, because I never had a decent Christmas in my life before I came here.”

“Hey, if that’s the standard, I’m your front-runner,” said Dean Mulligan, the newest member of the crew. “But I’m not in the running,” he added quickly. “Unless you want to scare kids away from the fire truck. Then I’m your man.” No one argued with that. Mulligan’s broken nose and tough guy attitude were catnip to the ladies, but probably wouldn’t make for the best Santa.

“This is ridiculous,” declared Sabina. “While we’re standing here arguing, who’s going to pack all the gifts into the rig? Or string the twinkle lights? Or hang the wreath on the front of the engine? The truck has to be ready to roll by six.” Their traditional delivery of Christmas gifts to families across San Gabriel was scheduled for that evening. The crew had been collecting presents for weeks, and the community had been pitching in with enthusiastic generosity. Everyone loved the Holiday Fire Truck -- perhaps the crew most of all.

“Brody, you decide,” said Fred. “We’ll go with whoever you say.”

Amid a chorus of agreement, Brody surveyed the firefighters, with their motley array of Santa adornments. “Hmmm … well, it’s a tough choice. I know you’d all make great Santas. You’re all kind, you’re all generous, you’re all good-hearted. But since we can only have one Santa, I’m going to say—”

“Ho ho ho!” A booming voice interrupted Brody. A huge, broad, white-bearded man strode into the training room. He wore a red velvet suit with white trim – classic Santa attire. A profusion of white hair covered most of his face, and a pair of wire-rimmed spectacles balanced on his nose. “Merry Christmas!”

The crew stood frozen to the spot. No one seemed to recognize this Santa. Stan the Dog zipped out of the captain’s office, where he’d been napping. Overcome with excitement, he jumped up and down on his hind legs, a trick no one had ever seen him do before. They all watched in amazement. When they looked up from the little beagle, the strange Santa had disappeared.

“Was that Joe the Toe?” Mulligan asked, referring to a fireman at the Porter Ranch station. “He’s the only guy I know that size.”

“Pretty good makeup job it if was,” said Vader.

Brody shook off the spell. “Come on, let’s catch up to him. He strode down the corridor, the others following in his wake. When he reached the entrance to the apparatus bay, where the pumper, truck and engine were housed, he stopped short. The others piled up behind him. “What the …?”

Engine 1 radiated color cast from twinkle lights that outlined every door, every compartment, every sleek line of the rig. Soft pools of glowing light, orange and red and green, filled the garage. Fresh pine scented the space -- thanks to the giant wreath adorning the engine’s grille. And inside …

Oh my.

The firefighters ran to the engine door and peered inside at piles of brightly wrapped presents of every size and shape, wrapped in gold or green paper with red velvet bows, with shrink-wrapped candy canes sprinkled here and there.

“Wow,” breathed Vader.

“Who did this?” Fred whirled around. “”Where’d that Santa go? I was in here half an hour ago and this rig was empty.”

“I bet Porter Ranch sent a whole crew over here to do this. That must have been Joe the Toe,” said Ryan Blake.

They all ran into the street, while Vader called Joe on the phone. “Joe’s with his family in Boston,” he informed the crew. “Everyone spread out. We have to find that Santa!”

But as hard as they looked, no one ever saw any sign of the huge man in the Santa suit. No other station in town – and no other fire department in Southern California – ever confessed to the deed.

But the children of San Gabriel had a wonderful holiday season, as did the Bachelor Firemen. When the crew spoke of it in later years, it was in hushed tones, and with the general agreement that it had definitely, without a doubt, been the best firehouse Christmas prank ever.

Unless it wasn’t … 

Wishing you a fire truck full of joy, peace and holiday cheer!  

xo Jennifer 

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Cookies + Kisses, New Release + Giveaway!


Hello everyone, and welcome to San Gabriel Fire Station 1, where the holiday season is in full swing -- though not everyone is happy about that.

Mulligan surveyed the shabby, workaday training room, now lit with twinkle lights and scented with spruce boughs. “It’s not even Christmas yet. Why are we doing this?”
“Christmas is in two days. When are we supposed to do it?” Vader Brown, the new captain of the engine company, gripped a steaming mug of coffee in his enormous fist.
“Don’t ask Mulligan that,” Sabina answered, strolling in from the kitchen with a red-and-green-iced doughnut. Mulligan used to have a crush on her, but he hadn’t thought about her that way lately. Not since he and Lizzie had started their . . . whatever it was. “Mulligan’s the original Scrooge. He actually said we should ban Christmas for safety reasons.”
“Christmas lights . . . electrical hazards . . . family stress . . . it’s a nightmare. Ask any suicide hotline..” Mulligan headed into the kitchen to pour himself a mug of coffee. “Oooh, cookies.”
“Don’t touch those,” Fred warned. “A lady wearing an elf costume brought them in. You might get Christmas fever.”
Mulligan popped a fudge cookie—the least Christmassy of the choices—in his mouth. “An elf costume. Like, a hot elf?”
Sabina rolled her eyes, while Vader made a “little bit” gesture with his fingers. Stan, the firehouse dog, trotted into the room. His head drooped under the weight of felt reindeer antlers.
“Who did that to poor Stan?” Mulligan demanded, nearly choking on the rest of his cookie.
 Yes, firefighter Dean Mulligan has a few issues with Christmas. But little does he know, as he consumes his cookie, that he's about to go through one of those miraculous experiences that change your life forever. If you've ever seen the movie "It's a Wonderful Life," then you know what I'm talking about.

The entire story unfolds in IT'S A WONDERFUL FIREMAN, which is out today in ebook format (only .99), and will be out on December 23 in paperback.

Hard-edged fireman Dean Mulligan has never been a big fan of Christmas.  Twinkle lights and sparkly tinsel can’t brighten the memories of too many years spent in ramshackle foster homes.  Although he’s established himself as one of the top firefighters at San Gabriel Station 1, he doesn’t think he’s good enough for someone like gorgeous Lizzie.
Lizzie Breen is used to fighting—from her alpha male brothers who try to smother in the name of safety to the childhood life-threatening illness she overcame.  She knows what she and Mulligan feel for each other is a lot more than a fling, but she can’t get him to see that.  The only gift Lizzie wants to give him this season is her love, but he’s not willing to accept it.
When Mulligan is trapped in the burning wreckage of a holiday store, a Christmas angel arrives to open his eyes. But is it too late? This Christmas, it’ll take an angel, a determined woman in love, and the entire Bachelor Firemen crew to make him believe … it is indeed a wonderful life. 
To celebrate, I'm giving away a download of any previous book, full-length or novella, in the Bachelor Firemen series! Start at the beginning or fill in a gap, it's up to you. Since we're also celebrating Tawny Weber's new Cookies and Kisses Cookbook (yum!), I'll also give away a Bachelor Firemen Season's Greeting mug.
All you have to do is tell me what your favorite holiday treat is. Is there something you look forward to every Christmas? I'll pick a winner on Thursday, December 4.





Have a wonderful holiday season filled with Cookies and Kisses, peace and joy! Click here for more about Tawny's awesome new free Cookies & Kisses Cookbook -- which includes my recipe for Firefighter's Cookies!


Monday, September 22, 2014

On Tour with Giveaways

As you can see, I'm going to be all over the Internet talking about The Night Belongs to Fireman for the next few weeks. Here's a (nearly) complete list of where I'll be giving interviews and where you'll find reviews and excerpts. There's also a big Rafflecopter giveaway that you can enter at each stop. Three winners will win the first three books in the Bachelor Firemen series. So have fun, stop by and say "hi," and enter for a chance to win!

Sept 22nd- Booklovers for Life-Exc/P
(Stop 2) Ramblings From This Chick- Int/P
Sept 23rd-For the Love of Bookends- Rev/P
Sept 25th- Storm Goddess Book Reviews- Int/Rev
Sept 26th- What I'm Reading- Rev/P/Exc
(Stop 2) Save Your Money for Books- Rev/P

Sept 29th- Unwrapping Romance- Rev/P
(Stop 2) Christine's Words- Promo
Sept 30th- Bitten by Love Reviews- Promo
(Stop 2) Harlequin Junkie- Int/P
Oct 1st - Crystal Blogs Books- Rev/P
Oct 2nd- The Lusty Literate- P/Exc
Oct 3rd - Fab Fantasy Fiction- Int/P (Rev)

Oct 6th- Jen's Reading Obsession- P/Exc/Rev
Oct 7th- Manga Maniac Cafe- Int/P
Oct 8th- Romancing the Readers- Rev/P
(Stop 2) Pretty Girls Read Books- P/Exc
Oct 9th- Gone Pecan- Rev/Exc/GP
Oct 10th- Books N' Kisses- Rev/Exc
(Stop 2) I am, Indeed- Rev/Exc

Oct 13th- A Bluestocking's Place- P/Exc
(Stop 2) Book Liaison- P/Exc
Oct 14th- Booklover Sue- Int/P
(Stop 2) Renee Entress's Blog- Rev/P
(Stop 3) Book Suburbia- Promo
Oct 15th- To Each Their Own Reviews- Int/Rev
(Stop 2) The Many Faces of Romance- Rev/Exc
Oct 16th- Underneath the Covers- Rev/P/Exc
(Stop 2) Written Love- Exc/P
Oct 17th- Forever Book Lover- Rev/P
(Stop 2) Clever Girls Read- Rev/Exc

I hope to see you somewhere in my virtual travels! Hugs!