Today I am so pleased to welcome Kelly Jensen to Joyfully Jay. Kelly has come to talk to us about her latest release, Renewing Forever (This Time Forever #2), which we reviewed here and loved. She has also brought along a great giveaway. Please join me in giving Kelly a big welcome!
As I mentioned in a similar post for the release of Building Forever, I often share my hobbies with my characters. The same is true for Frank and Tom.
A theme that follows Frank throughout the book—making me laugh—is that he’s never far away from food. Frank loves to eat. In his youth, he struggled with his weight, but it’s not a subject I cover too deeply because I didn’t want the book to be about Frank’s body image—even though the subject crops up on occasion. More, I wanted him to represent a man who, like most of us, hasn’t always been in love with who he sees in the mirror, but has reached an age where he likes himself regardless.
At nearly fifty, Frank is comfortable with himself. He dyes his hair—because he prefers being strawberry blond to somewhat carroty—and takes pride in his wardrobe. He eats whatever he wants (within reason; when you’re approaching fifty, some things just aren’t on the menu anymore), and keeps to a fairly routine exercise regimen. The only time he really obsesses over his weight is when he starts thinking of Tom in a romantic sense, and Tom quickly puts those thoughts to rest. Tom has always loved Frank just the way he is. He couldn’t imagine Frank any other way.
Frank is a great cook. While he loves to experiment, he does tend to stick with the classics, though. He likes simple, yet rich flavors. Foods that stand on their own without a lot of embellishment. He’s a fan of cheese, wine, and a perfectly cooked steak. Having traveled extensively, he’s also ready to try anything new.
Frank’s other hobby is reading. Before he arrived in the Poconos, I don’t know that he took a lot of time to read, despite all his travel. He had a bit of a social media habit and one of the aspects of Renewing Forever that I enjoyed was separating Frank from his usual life—providing him with a bubble through which he can look at what he’s done, what he’s doing, and what he wants to do. While on a larger scale, he decides he wants to write different stories, keeping up with Twitter is something he doesn’t want.
I like to imagine that between directing the renovation of Bossen Hill Family Resort, and writing about it, he’ll be taking time to rediscover his favorite genre: historical romance. I of course also have a soft spot for lords, ladies, and the trope-laden romances of the past.
Tom’s hobbies are closely related to his career choices. He carries a camera nearly everywhere, because he tends to look at the world through a lens. I talk about this more in my post about their careers. Photography is more than a career choice for Tom, though. He also simply loves to capture moments that he’d like to remember.
His other hobby is simply being outdoors. Hiking the trails of the resort is Tom’s way of escaping for a while, and the maintenance he does—cutting back the brush along the creek, arranging rocks to form a pool, clearing the trails, checking nesting boxes—feels effortless to him. It’s a bit like gardening for me. I live on two acres and it takes me nearly two hours to mow the lawn, and by the time I finish weeding all my flower beds, I pretty much have to start back at the first one. My garden is truly a labor of love, though. People compliment me on it all the time—and I enjoy that. But mostly, I like sitting on my patio in the afternoon being surrounded by the evidence of my hard work: an emerald lawn sloping down to arrangements of rocks dug from the back acre, now surrounded by native flora. I love the buzz of bees and the flash of color from butterflies and hummingbirds. I love the sense of peace I gain while sitting there.
It’s the same for Tom when he walks the trails. He enjoys listening to the birds and the chipmunks and is always on the lookout for signs of the more shy forest denizens. But also, his time on the trails represents something he has accomplished. He can see not only evidence of his hard work, but of one of the not so insignificant successes in his life.
A neglected resort, a lost chance at love, and one last chance to renew forever.
Frankie and Tommy once dreamed of traveling the world together. But when seventeen-year-old Frank kissed Tom, their plans ended with a punch to the jaw and Frank leaving town without looking back. Thirty years later, Frank’s successful career as a journalist is interrupted by his uncle’s death and the question of his inheritance—the family resort where his childhood dreams were built. When he returns to the Pocono Mountains, however, he finds a dilapidated lodge and Tommy, the boy he never forgot.
Tom’s been keeping the resort together with spit and glue while caring for Frank’s uncle, Robert—a man he considered father, mentor, and friend—and his aged mother, who he refuses to leave behind. Now Robert is gone, taking Tom’s job with him. And Frank is on the doorstep, wanting to know why Tom is still there and why the old lodge is falling apart.
But before they can rebuild the resort, they’ll have to rebuild their friendship. Only then can they renew the forever they planned all those years ago.
If aliens ever do land on Earth, Kelly will not be prepared, despite having read over a hundred stories about 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, cowritten 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:
- Website: kellyjensenwrites.com
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/kellyjensenwrites/
- Twitter: twitter.com/kmkjensen
- Tumblr: kmkjensen.tumblr.com/
- Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/kmkjensen/
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/kellyjensenwrites/
To celebrate the release of Renewing Forever one lucky person will win a $25 Riptide Publishing gift card and a swag pack of stickers, art cards, and bookmarks! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on November 17, 2018. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following along, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!
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