Monday, November 19, 2012

5 Surprising Things to be Grateful For

My Thanksgiving confession: I haven't always been good at gratitude. The truth is, I didn't entirely understand the concept. I'd heard the phrase "attitude of gratitude" but it didn't mean much to me. I was thankful enough for the good things in my life; that part was easy. But what about all the rest? Was I supposed to be thanking someone for the breakups, the miserable jobs, the nonstop family drama?

Well, now that I'm older and (at least a little bit) wiser, I realize that the answer is yes. To me, gratitude is about appreciating everything we've been given, big, little, or seemingly unpleasant. I now try to remember that all the apparent "crap" is something to be thankful for. It's all part of this incredible gift of being alive. If things were always easy, how would you ever grow as a person? How would you ever know compassion? Empathy? Looking back, I owe so much to the rough times I've experienced, in life and in writing. I can honestly say I'm grateful for all of it.

So in that spirit, I'd like to offer thanks to those who have helped in my writing journey. But not just people like my beloved editor, agent, and critique partners, but also to ...

1. The agents who turned me down. You helped me focus my writing and my own "marketing" of my writing.

2. The editors who rejected my books. You taught me the value of working with someone who really loves my writing. You made me strive harder for what I wanted, and I thank you for it.

3. Reviewers and readers who were less than enchanted with my books. Sometimes you helped me see things I want to do differently. But you also relieved me of the impossible burden of trying to please everyone all the time.

4. Those who disdain the genre of romance. You made me think hard about why I love it as much as I do.

5. Authors who are so incredible you make me question what the hell I think I'm doing. On the bright side, you give me something to aspire to.

So there you have it. I'm not saying I enjoy the rough moments. They can still knock me offstride. But looking at the big picture, I'm truly grateful to them.

How about you? What are your thoughts about gratitude? What are you thankful for?

Sunday, November 11, 2012

You're Invited!

You and as many guests as you like are cordially invited to a Twitter Party!

Occasion: the release of ONE FINE FIREMAN
Date: Tuesday, November 13
Time: All day
Hashtag: #finefireman
Fun stuff: Fireman photos, fireman stories, prizes, and more!
Hosts: @Jen_Bernard, @AvonBooks

Have you ever gone to a Twitter party before? Twitter parties are great because you don't even have to leave your house. You can wear your PJ's, your ratty sweats, or nothing at all. You can attend a Twitter party while you're at work (not necessarily recommended), in between doing dishes, or while hiking the Appalachian Trail, as long as you can get online. Pop in and out whenever you like, search for the hashtag #finefireman, and see what's going on.

My Twitter name is @Jen_Bernard, but you don't have to follow me to attend the party. All you need is the hashtag #finefireman. I hope to see you there!

(For more about ONE FINE FIREMAN, click on the cover photo.) 

Monday, November 5, 2012

Print, E-book or Both?

Are you someone who enjoys holding an actual printed book in your hand, turning pages the way they did in days of yore? I know I am. Nothing gives me quite the same sense of satisfaction as curling up in an armchair with a paperback, or reverently caressing the gorgeous cover of a hardback.

But -- I love reading on my iPhone too. I use the Kindle app for deals from Amazon, books I can't wait to get my hands on, and books you can't find anywhere else. I love the instant gratification. I love the knowledge that I have plenty to read right there on my phone. And I can read at night without bothering my husband. ;-)

So I have a foot in both worlds, and I'm happy that way. I wouldn't want to give up either method of reading books. As far as I'm concerned, the more ways to read, the better for everyone.

So I'm very happy that my upcoming e-novella, ONE FINE FIREMAN, will now also be available in print. (Many have asked me about this.) The e-release date is November 13, and the print version will be available on December 4. Keep in mind that it won't be in bookstores. It can only be ordered from Amazon or another online book retailer. I'll also hunt down those links, but for now, here's the Amazon link:

Print pre-order link

A smoking-hot prequel to Jennifer Bernard’s fabulous Bachelor Firemen series. If you love the novels of Rachel Gibson and Bella Andre, then this is for you!

Kirk, aka Thor, one of San Gabriel’s infamous Bachelor Firemen, certainly lives up to his nickname. He’s tall, handsome, and has a chiseled body worthy of any Viking god. But he’d give it all up for one glance from her.

Sweet, shy Maribel has no idea he’s been pining for her. There’s nothing he’d like better than to sweep her off her feet and show her just how exquisite their love could be. But Kirk has a secret and he won’t let anyone get close, least of all the sexiest woman he’s ever met.

Can a feisty little dog and an even feistier little boy help these star-crossed lovers to find the true love they both so richly deserve?

And let me mention again that a portion of the royalties will go to support the Firefighters Cancer Support Network.

So how do you prefer to read? Print, ebook, or both?