December 10, 2015

Pain, Writing, and Fun Stuff Like That

Dear readers and friends, 
In the craziness that is my life, I've been pretty neglectful of this blog. I think about it and my following here (thank YOU) a lot, and I think about what I could share, but the fact is, my author hat has had to hang on its peg (I really don't have a peg for my hats; it's a metaphor) these last several months. I may or may not have a new book coming out next year, and the idea of that makes me pretty sad and frustrated. But things here at home are demanding and some things have to give.
I'm not referring so much to our new little boy and the adoption, though that is a huge, incredible portion of my life right now. He does take nice long naps most days and I have lots of helpers after school. Will is transitioning really well and thought it's a ton of work, it's worth it. I've raised four of my bio toddlers into nice, somewhat functional grown-up toddlers. I've got this.
No, I'm referring to the demands, the selfish, relentless tyranny of physical pain (dramatic, huh?). Some of you know I fight chronic back pain and have done so for most of my life since a car going 65 mph slammed into my car while it was stopped. I was 22 years old. I missed death by feet. Since then I've ridden a roller coaster of rising and ebbing pain, I've had years of different treatments (please don't suggest any, really, I've had them all), and various diagnosis, and because of the instability in my lower back, have suffered through several disc issues, including bulging, rupture, and now a protrusion in a precarious position. In summary, it hurts.
As I recently told my editor, it's hard to focus on romance when you feel like you're being ripped in half.

And now, after so many years of hearing, "We want to save surgery as a last resort," it's time for a last resort. I meet with the neurosurgeon next week. I'm frightened, but also fine. I don't hope to be cured, but a little relief would be nice. Just enough so I can start writing again. So I can lose myself in a story and a struggle and a happy ending. 
Yes, I've heard lots and lots of back surgery stories, horrific to miraculous. I know. A few weeks ago I made the comparison of what to expect in the outcome of back surgery to playing roulette. I'll be peeking through my fingers and praying. Feel free to join me.
I do have 30,000 words into a new romance. But I already know I have to rewrite it. When I'm in pain my writing dives into a darker place and that's not what I had in mind for this story. I had to let my wonderful editor know I couldn't make my deadline. I'll still be working on the story. I like it and I think it needs a place outside of my head. I'd also like to be working on my fantasy stories. I can dive a little darker in those, and escape a little further. But until I get this newer injury taken care of, it's a struggle to even focus on my own world. That's a pretty important place, too.
I hope you'll stick with me as I crash through this particular hurdle with my usual tenacity and grace. I'd like so much to share my stories. I'd like so much to try to put a little more hope and triumph into the world.
Thank you,

June 20, 2015

Rain is Good: A Photo Tour

I promised readers that at the end of the blog tour for Kisses in the Rain I would post a photo tour of some of the settings in the story. I love the Pacific Northwest. I know it rains a lot, but look at what rain does? And really, that's what the story offers:
Rain is good.

We'll begin our tour at Deception Pass. This image doesn't quite capture the height you feel as you walk on that bridge. Isn't it gorgeous, though?

This is Jace's view from his duplex. Pretty sweet. It's about the only thing he loves about his living arrangements.

Camano Island waterfront homes like Faye and Tru's. No wonder Georgie comes here to heal.

Pines, ferns, blackberry bushes on a Camano Island road. I can totally picture Jace on his motorcycle.

As we leave Camano we are greeted by snow geese on the fields. Thousands migrate through Skagit Valley every year.

Jace and Georgie visit the daffodil fields in the morning mist on their quest for good food.
Swinomish Channel-front dining in La Conner, Washington, and Rainbow Bridge, where Jace answers another one of Georgie's many questions.

Sunset over La Conner with Mt. Baker backdrop. Romantic.
Finally, we end our tour with the damp, ethereal tulip fields of Skagit Valley. *sigh*

I was told that a presenter at a recent writers conference was teaching that putting romance in a rainy setting was ridiculous, because it's cold and shivery and wet. But I would offer that if you can take such a setting and make it buzz, make it tense or breathless, despite the cold and wet, then you've done your job. 
Dave Farland teaches that you choose your setting, any setting, and make it sexy.
Look at this. I didn't have to try too hard. 

And I loved writing this story for you. Every raindrop.

I hope you've enjoyed our photo tour of Kisses in the Rain. Kind of makes you want to visit, huh? 
Thank you so much for coming!

June 17, 2015

Blog Tour and Giveaway for Kisses in the Rain

We are halfway through a blog tour for Kisses in the Rain, and I have to say, I'm feeling the love. I've never done this before so I was curious to see how it would work. My publisher organized the tour and found all of these book bloggers who were willing to read my story and tell the world how they feel about it. Which, you know, is somewhat terrifying but part of the biz.

Have a look, and while you're browsing, enter to win a $25 Amazon gift card and a copy of Kisses in the Rain! And stay tuned, because I'm following up the blog tour with a little tour of my own. I've been able to track down some perfect images of Camano and the surrounding areas from scenes in the book!

Thank you to all of the book bloggers for sharing your reviews!

Blog Tour Schedule
*June 15th:

*June 16th:

*June 17th: 

*June 18th: 

*June 19th: 

June 3, 2015

Release News for Kisses in the Rain

News! I have news news news all over the place.

"I'm just looking out for her," he said.
And fate laughed.
Georgie Tate is a survivor. She survived an abusive relationship. She survived the car accident that took the life of her controlling fiancĂ©. Now she just needs to survive the memories that haunt her. Escaping to her aunts’ cozy home on a tiny island outside of Seattle, Georgie finds just the change of pace she needs to pick up the pieces of her life. Taking a job at a local seafood restaurant is the first step in reclaiming her sense of self, but she is completely unprepared for the battle that awaits her there.
Jace Lowe has loved and lost, and he’s determined that it will never happen again. Hardened by heartbreak, he stays focused on his work as sous chef at one of the island’s top seafood restaurants. When beautiful Georgie takes her place on the restaurant’s staff, Jace is resolved to keep her at arm’s length, and his downright rudeness her first week goes a long way in achieving that goal. Georgie, on the other hand, doesn’t want anything to do with Jace anyway and prickles against his abrasive behavior. As the combative pair comes together on a joint project for the restaurant, they find their distaste for one another dwindling. The connection is undeniable— and it terrifies them both. Can two people jaded by the past be softened by the promise of once-in-a-lifetime love, or is this just another recipe for disaster?

1. Kisses in the Rain should be making appearances in bookstores this and next week! Orders have been sent, so shelves should be stocked with a few copies soon. I would love to see this for myself, so if you happen to snap a pic of you and my book on a bookshelf somewhere, send it to me on Facebook and you'll be put in a drawing for something fabulous of which I have not yet decided! Click on the links to learn more: Seagull Books, Deseret Books in store and online, and Amazon for paper and Kindle versions. Oh! Also, Barnes & Noble and Nook. Which I may or may not have known about until just now...

2. A blog tour! My publisher has set up a blogger book tour with giveaways and excerpts and reviews of Kisses. I've never experienced one of these before, so I'm curious and excited. The blog tour happens June 15-19, with 18 participants. That's a lot of participants. Whew. Now I'm kind of nervous...

3. A Book Launch and Signing at Far West Books in my home town of Kennewick, Washington! This event takes place on Saturday, June 13th, 1:30-3:30. I'll be hoping most of the graduation festivities will be just about done by then. *crosses fingers* But I will be there with a smile and a pen and probably some sort of treat of which I have not yet decided.
8508 W Gage Blvd #C-103
Kennewick, WA 99336

Store Hours
Monday - Saturday: 10:00am - 6:00pm
Closed Sunday

Keep up to date on all--well most--of my latest book news by following my Facebook author page here. I promise, I don't bite. But it's the easiest, fastest way to learn about things like the blog tour and contests.

On a more personal note, we'll be hearing any day now from our adoption agency about our travel date to go get our little boy from China. It's happening so quickly! I could have left a month ago. So lots of exciting events happening. Another crazy year for the Jensens.
This is Will. I need to go get him.

April 10, 2015

One. Year. Later.


I used to post on here fairly regularly and share all kinds of writerly stuff. The last time I posted I was sharing all the wonder of releasing  THREE books in one month! That was pretty sweet and I remember it fondly.

But life is funny and when lots of big things happen, priorities have a way of slamming themselves in order, and sadly, this little blog took bottom rung, patiently waiting for me to, well, remember it existed as we traversed life's wrecking balls and celebrations. Our family has been reminded that stumbling blocks can become stepping stones, and our journey here moves forward in surprising, exhausting, wondrous ways, whether we want it to or not.

That sounds way more cinematic than I intended. If you'd like to catch up with what we've been up to lately, visit the kickyloo&co blog. It's a little crazy over there.

And now, what do you know, I'm back here. Which has made me consider what I want to use this blog for. In the past, I've shared things I've learned about the writing process and industry. I've shared all of the news about my books and their releases, and I've conducted contests for those occasions. I've interviewed other authors and I've had regular post series (Tuesday Edit Crunch, anyone?).

But blogging has changed a bit in the last couple of years. I know I still visit blogs if I'm researching a specific topic or following an interesting link. But I remember the days of blog lists and weekly visits to my favorites. Ah, the sweet bygone days of where-did-I-find-the-time-to-do-that.

Honestly, my favorite posts were the shared writing tips, thoughts on writing, and the news about my own books. So maybe if I just focus on those things, I'll be more apt to hop over here and post. Simple. I'll still conduct giveaways and such for my book releases, etc, but I'll do that from Facebook. I've been posting from my FB Author page for most of that news. If you'd like to keep up-to-date on how things are going, like my page HERE. It's not too in-your-face, and pretty laid-back. Promise.


So go on over there and see what my next book, KISSES IN THE RAIN, looks like! There is also a sneak-peak at the back cover! And a contest! Yup, a chance to win a signed copy of KISSES. It comes out in JUNE. THAT'S CLOSE.

See? I may have been absent from this blog, but I was working hard. I love this job. And I hope you love this new book.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...