Monday, March 4, 2013

March Madness -- Alaska Style

Talk about March Madness! When it comes to sports, things get a little strange here in Alaska. Especially at this time of year, when winter has been going ... and going ... and going. Sure basketball's fun, but what about this event from the recently completed Fur Rondy in Anchorage?

Yes, Outhouse Races!

Why aren't these races on national TV, I ask you? The most important rule in this demented event: someone has to be on that toilet seat during the entire race.

Then there's the World Ice Art Competition, which is going on right now in Fairbanks. The sculptures are incredibly elaborate and beautiful, but seriously -- don't you have to be a little crazy to work in below zero temperatures carving ice with a chainsaw?

The madness takes a unique form in certain men. The Alaska Beard Competition is proof of that. Why else would so many fine gentlemen compete for the title of "Mr. Fur Face"? If you think this picture is ... odd ... imagine the photos I didn't post. Believe me, you can't.

And sometimes the madness affects an entire community. Take the Nenana Ice Classic, which is a lottery for guessing the precise minute when the ice will begin to break up on the Tanana river, causing a tripod to crash. Here's a shot from the webcam trained on that tripod all winter long. Bored? Why not check the webcam? Because nothing's more fascinating than watching ice not thaw.

The pool currently stands at $350,000. Last year the winner drilled his own holes in the river ice to study the conditions. That's serious business. Or crazy. I can't decide which.

March Madness? Oh yeah. We've got it bad here in Alaska. I'm so tired of winter, I'm dying to heat things up. Like, maybe with some hot firemen. (How's that for a segue?) In case you don't know me, I write the Bachelor Firemen series about the sexy, smokin' hot firemen of San Gabriel California. I'll give away a signed copy of HOT FOR FIREMAN to one randomly chosen commenter. All you have to do is tell me which Alaska event looks the craziest. :-)

Click this link to enter a Rafflecopter giveaway.

And click here for a complete list of participants in the March Madness Blog Hop. I hope you're having a blast! <

Friday, March 1, 2013

Reviews and the Flight or Fight Response

Even though SEX AND THE SINGLE FIREMAN is my third book, I still get heart palpitations every time I get a new review. I'm not exaggerating. I see my name pop up, or the title of my book, and my heart goes into overdrive, as if I'm facing some life or death, flight or fight situation.

Luckily, no matter how bad a review, it's not a wolf in the wilderness trying to rip your throat out (though it may feel that way on occasion). Three books down, and I've learned how to handle reviews without squinting as I click on the link, ready to dump out if it's a bad one.

I've learned to accept that everyone has their point of view. Once the book leaves my hands, it no longer "belongs" to me. It belongs out there on the open ocean of opinion, and it can handle whatever comes its way. My job is to write the next book, which will, of course, be perfect and please absolutely everyone!

Overall, I've been very fortunate to have received some wonderful reviews. In that spirit, I thought I'd share a couple of new reviews I've gotten for SEX AND THE SINGLE FIREMAN.

Here's my first ever review from Affaire de Coeur Magazine. Key lines:

Jennifer Bernard's latest is an awesome tour de force that readers won’t be able to put down. ... Don’t miss a tale that is fantastic from start to finish!

And here's a review from Romance Reviews Today. Key lines:

Jennifer Bernard has once again brought the brotherhood of firemen to a pinnacle of perfection. ... Sabina and Rick's road to love is scary for both of them, but you'll totally enjoy the sights along the way.
Thank you to all reviewers who take the time to read books and write such well thought-out reviews. We authors truly do appreciate it, even though at times we have to read with a squint. :-)

Do you like writing reviews? As an author or a reader, what's your advice to authors about reviews?