Monday, November 12, 2012


Today I'm participating in a blog hop. If you're a first time visitor, welcome and thanks for stopping by. One of the purposes of these things is to generate interest in authors, their blogs and their books. So if you find my ramblings interesting, I hope you'll stop back by sometime.

Now, I don't have any published books as of yet, though I am waiting to hear from Entangled Publishing any day now about my short story, A Snowball's Chance in Texas, which is book one to Children With a Chance of Marriage, which is the topic of today's blog. So let's get to it!

What is your working title of your book?
--> Children With a Chance of Marriage

Where did the idea come from for the book?
--> It's actually the story of a secondary character from A Snowball's Chance in Texas. Pilar is sassy and smart and a lot of fun to write. As I delved into her background of why she was the way she was for the first book, I knew she needed her story told.

What genre does your book fall under?
--> Sexy contemporary

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
--> Naya Rivera from Glee would be perfect as Pilar, just picture her a little older though. But Naya's character, Santana, was always in my head when I first brought Pilar to life during her brother's book.
--> For Drew, it took me a while, because I already had an image of him in my head, so I had to find an actor who fit. But then I came across a really nice black & white image of Chris Hemsworth and decided he was perfect.

Visit Google/Images and search for these two. All the images of Naya perfectly reflect the many facets of Pilar. As for Chris, the pics with the short hair and facial scruff best represent how I imagine Drew.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
--> Just one sentence?? Hmm... Okay, it took me a while,  but I finally did it. Here you go:

One night stand + sudden single parent = Children With a Chance of Marriage : Drew McMillan longs for head-over-heels love and Pilar Jackson no longer believes in it, so when the two of them are faced with a marriage of convenience for the sake of the children, Drew settles for chemistry and Pilar is shocked to find herself falling for this uniformed stranger.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
--> CWACOM will not be self-pubbed at this point. Once I hear back from Entangled on the first book, I'll be submitting it there. If Entangled passes on book one, then I'll try Samhain.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
--> Approximately three months.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
--> Oh, man...I don't even know. With the plethora of e-books out there, I probably haven't read anything anyone would necessarily recognize. But because I was targeting Entangled's Flirt line, I read the other Flirts available and tried to capture the essence of the line.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?
--> As I mentioned above, it was a secondary character who needed her own story.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
--> Well, my hero's a Naval officer, although the story doesn't focus on that aspect of his character much.
--> And I've been told that my books are emotional, so if you like that in a romance, then I hope you'll give it a read when it gets published.

If you're interested, here's an excerpt (it's 999 words):

“Ladies room, be right back.”

Pilar Jackson slipped away from the wedding reception. The farther she got from the ballroom, the fainter the laughter and music became, and the easier she breathed.

It had taken every ounce of inner strength she possessed to hold it together all day, and she just couldn’t do it any longer. Didn’t want to have to.

She kept on walking.

The sound of deep bluesy jazz caught her ear, resonating inside her so elementally that she couldn’t help but slip into the cool, dim hotel bar to listen.

A black baby grand sat in a lit corner, and a quintet of suited men belted out the music. Her pulse thumped in time with the underlying beat.

“What’ll you have?” asked the bartender.

“Safe Sex on the Beach, please.” She had to drive.

The bartender placed her drink in front of her and moved to the other end of the bar. Pilar sighed in relief.  She didn’t want to make small talk. She just wanted to nurse her drink in peace, virgin though it was.

The mournful refrain floated through the air and surrounded Pilar, echoing the melancholy that thrummed through her veins.

The bar door opened again, and a man entered and scanned the room. His perusal stalled when it reached her. Though visibility was minimal in the dim interior, his lingering gaze short-circuited her lungs.

His button down shirt, open at the collar and rolled at the sleeves, and tailored slacks did nothing to hide his muscled build. Want rolled through Pilar and settled between her legs. Shit. It had been far too long since she’d last had sex if just the sight of a hunky man affected her so strongly and swiftly.

He moved down the bar and sat two seats away and around the corner of the bar from her. Close enough for conversation, but far enough to ignore without being officially rude.

Unable to help herself, she checked him out, though she did so from beneath her lashes. There was no way to tell his true hair color without better lighting, and she couldn’t determine his eye color without looking him in the eyes. Not something she was prepared to do at the moment. The shadow of stubble darkened the strong set of his jaw. The subtle murmur of attraction arced between them. It couldn’t just be her then.

The bartender returned to this end of his domain. “What can I get for you?”

“Killian’s Irish Red?” Mystery man’s voice was strong and deep.

What would it sound like whispering words of encouragement in her ear during sex?

Shit. Where had that thought come from? Sharing an attraction was one thing. Thinking about sleeping with a stranger was something else.

But it lingered and teased. She shifted in her seat and crossed her legs. Jesus, Mary and Joseph, she must be really hard up if all it took was the sound of a man’s voice to make her hot.

The murmur turned into a hum, caressing her skin, and making her hyper aware of his every move. He didn’t outright stare, but the heat of his gaze returned over and over.

The bartender delivered the man’s glass of beer, but didn’t remain in their vicinity.

Mystery man’s Adam’s apple bobbed as he took a long swallow, drawing her attention to the column of his neck and his five o’clock shadow. She swallowed as well.

Turning slightly toward her, he said, “I’m Drew, and you’re beautiful.”

Her gaze crashed into his as warmth flooded her face and neck. Her breasts tightened at the caress of voice. There was no mistaking who he was talking to. His eyes rested squarely on her and she couldn’t look away.

Blue. His eyes were blue. The color of the ocean on a summer’s day.

As pick-up lines went, it was about as non-pick-up-y as you could get and she liked that. “Pilar. And thank you.”


The sound of her name of his lips brought back her earlier thought. Would his voice get deeper while in the throes of passion? Somehow, she thought so.

She re-crossed her legs.

“Pilar, why are you alone in a hotel bar?”

“My best friend just got married. And I’m thinking I’ll probably never get married because she told me she thought she was pregnant and I can’t have kids and she married my brother.”

A surprised expression flitted across his handsome face. Dammit. “Too much information, huh?”

He shrugged, one corner of his mouth lifting along with a shoulder. “I asked.”

“That you did.”

The corner of his mouth lifted in a half-hearted smile that lasted all of three seconds. He leaned his forearms against the bar and his shoulders slumped forward.

She rotated her glass on the cardboard coaster. “What about you?”

He raked a hand through his short hair. “I’ve just seen my niece for the first time since her birth three months ago.”

Pilar wasn’t sure why that warranted drinking alone in a bar, or why he’d suddenly gone somber, but whatever. She wasn’t about to question it. She lifted her glass. “A toast then?”

“A toast.” He lifted his glass as well and said, “To Amee Joy.”

“To Amee Joy.” They clinked the rims of their glasses together and each took a drink. He held the glass with both hands and stared into the reddish-brown liquid. “She’s the most perfect little thing you ever did see. Little blonde curls and big blue eyes, just like her mother.”

A different emotion drifted off him now. “There’s something else,” Pilar said, tensing. Something not so good.

“You sure you want to hear this?” A dark brow arched and his gaze flicked down the bar.

“My best friend married my brother and I can’t have kids. Hit me.”

The ghost of another smile drifted across his full lips and Pilar wondered how they’d feel pressed against hers. She really needed to stop that. He was a perfect stranger.

Thanks so much to my critique partner and good friend, Lavender Daye, for tagging me. I'm spreading the love by tagging my RWA chapter mate, Lara Lacombe.

Hope to see you Wednesday when I tell you about my date with Sonshine yesterday.


Clover Autrey said...

Great excerpt, Jen. Love wickedly self-assured characters like these.

Regina Richards said...

I agree with Clover! I'm betting Entangled will snap this up.

Gina said...

Very good, Jen!

Lynne Kensington said...

Wow, Jen! Nicely done. I'm sure you'll have no problems with getting this pubbed. Love the descriptions of the characters--you can tell their one night stand is going to be one to remember. Your description sounds a bit like, "Fools Rush In", which is one of my favorite movies. Good luck with it! Love it! (And let me know when it's pubbed so I can buy my autographed copy. :D)

Unknown said...

Can't wait to read more of this Jen--I love marriage of convenience plots!