Today I am so pleased to welcome Kelly Jensen to Joyfully Jay. Kelly has come to talk to us about her latest release, Block and Strike (reviewed here). She has also brought along a great giveaway. Please join me in giving her a big welcome!

The Max and Jake Playlist!

I had no idea what sort of music Max liked until I got to the second revision round of Block and Strike. Usually I have a fairly clear notion of my characters’ tastes in music. Not this time. It was… weird. He had so much quiet space inside his head—space the rest of us fill with melody and lyrics. He never hums. Instead he is soothed by the whine of Formula One engines and the sound of his running shoes hitting the trail at Pennypack Park.

Jake on the other hand is a symphony of chaos. He sings in the shower, when he is driving and while he is working. He loves to dance and enjoys the feel of music moving through him. Though his taste in music makes me grin, I don’t find it at all surprising. Jake loves pop. Whatever is on the radio is what he’s currently into. He does have some enduring favourites, however, Justin Timberlake being first among them.

When Max finally breaks his musical silence in the second to last chapter of Block and Strike, he surprises both me and Jake. He likes country music, which I don’t really know a lot about, so my choices for him are a little country, a little rock.

Love Somebody” – Maroon 5

I really like the video for this song. Throughout, Adam Levine is painted with something that looks like clay until he becomes whole. His need to love sculpts his being. This is so much Jake. He was put on this Earth to love somebody. Loving people, even selflessly, nourishes Jake’s soul. It’s his purpose and it’s what I love about him.

Hold Each Other” – A Great Big World ft. Futuristic

This song is just so darn cute and Jake needs Max as much as Max needs Jake. <3

Born Free” – Kid Rock

Max should listen to this one every day.

Mirrors” – Justin Timberlake

This is another video I adore. Also, to me this song is about love and self-reflection, so it really suits Jake at this point in his life.

Take Your Time” – Sam Hunt

This is almost too country for Jake, but the lyrics so perfectly cover the way he feels about Max.

Devils and Dust” – Bruce Springsteen

This one is for Max and Jake has to approve, because c’mon. The Boss.

Small Town” – John Mellancamp

Because if you listen to enough Bruce Springsteen on YouTube, Mellancamp is going to pop up. Also, this one really is all about Max. 😉

Unsteady” – X Ambassadors

I heard this after I finished compiling this list and smacked myself in the forehead (while driving). This song so needs to be on Max and Jake’s playlist. It’s heartbreakingly perfect.

Caravan” – Van Morrison

I kinda love the image of Jake and Max actually singing this when they finally get their hands on a Mustang and take a road trip somewhere.

Bonus Track: Jake’s Ringtone.

Rock Your Body” – Justin Timberlake

You can view the entire playlist here!

Thanks for following my tour! At the end of every post, I’ll be asking a question. Leave a comment with your answer (and your email address). Every comment throughout the tour counts as an entry in my giveaway. Two winners will each receive $25 (US or equivalent) to spend at the Dreamspinner Press store.

Question: Do you have some playlist recommendations for two young guys finding their way in the city?


Block and StrikeJacob Kendricks is three months out of prison, estranged from his daughter, and ready to get his life on track. Taking care of the bum curled up on his doorstep isn’t part of the plan. When he realizes the man has been assaulted, Jake takes him to the hospital, where he learns that Max is his downstairs neighbor… and that he could really use a friend. Keeping Max in the friend-zone would be easier if he wasn’t so damned cute.

Maxwell Wilson has been bullied for years and the only person who ever cared lives too far away to come to his rescue. Now his upstairs neighbor is offering support. Max remains cautious, suspecting he is little more than a project for the handsome Jake. When he learns Jake has had boyfriends as well as girlfriends, Max has to reevaluate his priorities—and muster the courage to take a chance at love.

Just when a happy future is within their grasp, life knocks them back down. A devastating blow leaves Max lower than ever and Jake wrestling with regret. They both have to find the strength to stand on their own before they can stand together.

Amazon | Amazon UK | B&N | Kobo | iBooks | ARe | Dreamspinner Press


If aliens ever do land on Earth, Kelly will not be prepared, despite having read over a hundred stories of the apocalypse. Still, she will pack her precious books into a box and carry them with her as she strives to survive. It’s what bibliophiles do.

Kelly is the author of a number of novels, novellas and short stories, including the Chaos Station series, co-written with Jenn Burke. Some of what she writes is speculative in nature, but mostly it’s just about a guy losing his socks and/or burning dinner. Because life isn’t all conquering aliens and mountain peaks. Sometimes finding a happy ever after is all the adventure we need.

Connect with Kelly: Twitter | Facebook | Website


Kelly has brought two $25 (US or equivalent) to spend at the Dreamspinner Press store for two lucky winners on her tour. 

Question: Do you have some playlist recommendations for two young guys finding their way in the city? Leave a comment with your answer (and your email address). Every comment throughout the tour counts as an entry in the giveaway.

  • By entering the giveaway, you’re confirming that you are at least 18 years old.
  • Winners will be selected by random number. No purchase necessary to win.  The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning.
  • If you win, you must respond to my email within 48 hours or another winner may be chosen. Please make sure that your spam filter allows email from Joyfully Jay.
  • Winners may be announced on the blog following the contest. By entering the contest you are agreeing to allow your name to be posted and promoted as the contest winner by Joyfully Jay.
  • Prizes will be distributed following the giveaway either by Joyfully Jay or the person/organization donating the prize.
  • All book prizes are in electronic format unless otherwise specified.
  • By entering you are agreeing to hold Joyfully Jay harmless if the prize or giveaway in some way negatively impacts the winner.
  • Readers may only enter once for each contest.  Duplicate entries for the same giveaway will be ignored. In the event of technical problems with the blog during the contest, every effort will be made to extend the contest deadline to allow for additional entries.
  • Void where prohibited by law.
FILED UNDER: Giveaway, Guest Post
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