We welcome back Navy spouse Jennifer Hart. Jennifer visit SOS Aloha in August to help me celebrate my birthday. Today we welcome Jennifer as she celebrates the release of her new book, REDEEMING CHARACTERS.
From her website,
Jennifer L. Hart has tried on many accessories including early childhood educator, Navy wife, video store clerk, photographer and mother of two. The “wife” and “mom” shoes got stuck and she found the hats of mystery writer and romance novelist are a perfect fit—and don’t clash. Jen’s works to date include The Misadventures of the Laundry Hag mystery series, the contemporary romance Worth the Wait, the romantic suspense River Rats and her newest print release Redeeming Characters.
You can catch Jen every other Tuesday at the Writers Gone Wild blog and feel free to join my book club Show Some Spine on Facebook.
Check out my interviews with my publisher over at Wild Child Publishing or with the slightly evil ladies at Culinary Carnivale!
Kim: On your website, you plead the 5th to the question if the Laundry Hag is autobiographical. Yet REDEEMING CHARACTERS could also be your life. What was the inspiration for this story?
Romance author Dakota Whitmore is in a slump. Maybe what she needs is a little help, a beta reader who will tell her that her work hasn't turned into a steaming cow pie. Enter uber sexy Drue, the man who helped her pen her first—and only—bestseller. Nothing could possibly go wrong. Right?
The Reading Reviewer wrote, "Read this book and you will remember what it felt like to fall in love." This is a popular theme in romances - a theme that is often criticized by non romance readers. A criticism that your hero even voices (I wanted to interview him, but he was unavailable ... maybe he'll join us in the new year). Have you encountered these criticisms? What keeps bringing you back to writing romances?
Jennifer: Yeah Drue’s attitude of “Why ruin a perfectly good plot with a romance” is familiar territory. It’s insulting to all of the talented romance writers out there and their audience. I was a romance reader long before I started writing and while I could talk quantum physics, politics or interstellar travel what’s the point without the human connection?
Kim: The story is also about second chance at love. With kids in tow. And a professional relationship. Wow - something for moms to relate to! Do you write to a specific audience? Who is your beta reader? How has your family responded to you as a romance author?
Jennifer: I write for me first and people like me. Women who have had to scrape and make do with whatever life sees fit to throw at them. Some of my heroines are married, some are mothers and others are single. All are stressed before I drop in to torture them more. You won’t catch my characters dining with the elite or having others wait on them or raise their children for them.
For REDEEMING CHARACTERS I had a number of beta readers that gave me partial critiques. Two other authors, Saranna DeWylde and Candi Wall, gave me brilliant feedback on the whole novel and my best friend, Amy, who tests out everything I send her, mystery, romance and sci fi for the non writer POV.
My family isn't concerned what I do as long as dinner and laundry is in there somewhere.
Kim: Sounds like my family. Let's have some fun with your new book. Hollywood wants to make it into a summer blockbuster. Which actors would you cast as the characters? Would you do a cameo?
Jennifer: Believe it or not the actor that played Drew on Scrubs Med School would be absolutely perfect for my Drue. He’s quick with the one-liners and can do that tortured thing really well.
|Michael Mosely as Drew on Scrubs|
Dakota is a little more difficult, because I’d one someone who could zing back without sounding like a hysterical shrew. Since this is pure fantasy I’d tell the casting director “think stressed and sassy”. She’s also got to pull off the squinty eye glare of death.
Uh oh, you’ve created a monster here.. I also want to put my father and stepmother’s glab mutt, Boomer in as himself. And I think it would be a total trip for me to be one of the raving fan girls at Dakota’s book signing. You know, the one who wrote the book, pretending to get the book signed by the character she created. I’m a nut like that.
Kim: What's next for Jennifer L. Hart?
Jennifer: Sky’s the limit. Literally. I’ve been writing lots of science fiction and futuristic type stories lately, getting back in touch with my science geek roots. I have one, a short that I’m working on like a Romeo and Juliet cyberpunk, tons of fun and the research is awesome. And of course, Laundry Hag 3 is on my to-do list.
Thanks so much, this was a blast!
Mahalo, Jennifer, for joining us at SOS Aloha! Check out Mary's reviews of Jennifer's books at her The Reading Reviewer's website for REDEEMING CHARACTERS and the Laundry Hag series.
1. Leave a comment about Jennifer, which character in your life you would like to redeem, and/or which non romance book you would like to make into a romance.
2. Make sure I know how to contact you - send your email to email@example.com.
3. Because the Navy goes global, this giveaway is open to all readers.
Kim in Hawaii
Other redeeming characters in Jennifer's library ...
Maggie Phillips hasn't had it easy. As the wife of a retired Navy SEAL and the adoptive mother of two little hellions, Maggie is constantly seeking new ways to improve her family's financial situation. She accepts a cleaning position for her new neighbors (who redefine the term 'eccentric'), never imagining she will end up as the sole alibi for a man with a fascination for medieval torture devices when he is brought up on murder charges.
While Maggie struggles to prove the man's innocence, her deadbeat brother arrives, determined to sell Maggie and Neil on his next great scheme and to mooch with a vengeance. If that isn't bad enough, her in-laws (cutthroat corporate attorneys), descend on the house, armed with disapproval and condemnation for the family's annual Thanksgiving celebration.
As the police investigation intensifies, Maggie searches for the killer among the upper echelon of Hudson, Massachusetts, in the only way she can--by scrubbing their thrones. Of the porcelain variety, that is....
"Laugh out loud funny, realistic characters, snappy true to life dialog, and a sufficiently difficult mystery; all the required elements for an excellent read. If you’ve outgrown some of the female sleuths currently available, as I have, I recommend Maggie Phillips." Night Owl Romance Reviewer Top Pick!
Crime and grime are everywhere, at least in Maggie Phillips’ opinion. Deep in the throes of a New England winter, Maggie’s still adjusting to her new role as confidential informant for the Hudson Police Department. When a suspicious fax is sent to one of her new clients, Maggie is sure she’s unearthed a conspiracy. With no crime to investigate, however, the Hudson P.D. can do nothing—that is until a wealthy trophy wife disappears and the FBI is called in to the hunt.
On the home front, her twelve-year-old son is growing up way too fast, while her brother is back with a few surprises destined to wreak havoc on the household. To frost the whole crappy cake, her best friend’s marriage is falling apart, which leaves Maggie worrying over her own. All of the family drama is put into perspective, however, when Maggie is arrested for kidnapping and blackmail.
Between economic woes and a now tarnished reputation, Maggie is in way over her head. Yet out of the ashes of frustration and failure, something great might emerge. If she survives the birthing process that is….
“Laundry, laughter, love and crime make for a great read….Ms. Hart wrote with so much passion and developed the story in a fashion that draws you in and keeps you engrossed until the last word in the book.”— Mary Gramlich, The Reading Reviewer
Set in rural upstate New York along the Delaware River, the Wayward Son Diner is a pit stop for tourists and locals of Sullivan County. Waitress Alex Hanson has seen it all and has no interest in the daily gossip-mongering of the natives. Knowing full well what it feels like to be the grease on the wheel, Alex takes pity on new park ranger Sam Ruiz, when he’s accosted by several eligible females whose need to satisfy their biological clocks outweighs their ingrained trepidation of a government employee.
Alex’s reluctant intervention starts a chain reaction that forces Ranger Ruiz to her doorstep, pushing the NPS agenda, even though he hates to see Alex so on edge. Despite the spark of attraction, neither Sam nor Alex is willing to explore a real relationship. Until a dangerous warning hits Sam too close to home. Before Alex can blink, she’s enmeshed herself in Sam’s investigation, and unwittingly becomes a target for the homegrown terrorists gunning for the National Park Service. And for Sam.
"This is a story for everyone who thinks they have read it all. This book has love, romance, firebombing and a hate crimes mixed in, but the core is what two people who are pure of heart and free to love can do to cleanse the evil that lurks around us." --Mary Gramlich, the Reading Reviewer