Today I am so pleased to welcome J.J. Harper to Joyfully Jay. J.J. has come to talk to us about a new release, Life After Love. J.J. has also brought along a great giveaway. Please join me in giving a big welcome!

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Exclusive Excerpt

“I’m trying, Brodie, but you’re right. I’m still locked in the past. But the idea of having someone else in my life scares me. I don’t know how to love anyone else. I like Drew a lot. My pulse rate rises if I think about kissing him. How do you kiss someone new?”

“That’s exactly what I mean. You shouldn’t be looking for a replacement for Josh. No one can be that. That’s not what it should be like. Do you see yourself being alone for the rest of your life?”

Do I? Have I thought past the next couple of months? All my focus has been on making Willow happy in this new town and the new house. I’ve not even thought about how I will live once we’ve moved in there. Alone, is the answer. And I don’t like the idea as much as I thought I would.

“I don’t know. I’ve been thrown into a life I never wanted. Josh and I were supposed to grow old together, have a family that gave us grandchildren. We didn’t break up, Brodie. He was ripped away from me. How can I look for someone else when I still love my husband? How can I have someone else’s hands on me when the only ones I want are Josh’s? Do you know the answer to that? Because I’d really like to know it.”

“You know I don’t, but you’re not even looking for friends, Merrick. You’ve been here for almost three months, and you know half a dozen people, and maybe only one of them could be considered a friend, and he’s your builder.”

Brodie’s only thinking of me and Willow, but can I tell him I’m frightened to get to know anyone in case they leave me? Or that Drew makes me feel things I don’t know what to do with? That I would feel like I’m cheating if I kissed him. “Drew is a good guy. I like him a lot, and Willow adores him, but it feels like I’ll be cheating on Josh if I let anything happen. And until that feeling goes away, I can’t do anything.” I ignore Brodie’s wince and subsequent sigh of disappointment.

“I understand. I really do, but ask yourself if Josh would want you to be alone. I know he made you promise to live your life, to love again because you’re worthy of love. Were they just words to ease his mind? Because you deserve to live a happy life. You were the love of Josh’s life. He would have done anything to stay, but he couldn’t, and I hate it as much as you do. I hate seeing you only living a half life. Live for him, do as he wanted, and don’t be alone. You have so much to offer, so much love in your heart still to give. Just promise me you’ll give it a go, that you’ll start to live again, and that means meeting new people and making new friends.”

I give him a nod. “I know you’re right, Brodie. But everyone’s perception of me will change. They’ll give me pity in their eyes, soft voices, and sad smiles. I don’t want that. How will Drew react? Will he treat me differently? Maybe he’ll realise I’m not worth his time. I’ll be the one hurt again.”

“I don’t think so, and listen to yourself. Do you really believe you are the centre of the townsfolk’s minds and interests? That’s a little conceited, don’t you think? Maybe you’ll receive a couple of sad smiles, but then they all get on with the dramas in their own lives.”

“Ouch!” I cringe at his harsh words. As I lean back on the sofa, I close my eyes and take in a deep breath. When I let it out, it’s shaky, ragged in my throat. Dammit, he’s right. And I’m a dick.

“Tough love, mate. It’s time to man up. You like this Drew guy. You’ve mentioned him countless times without even being aware. So grow a set of balls and reach out to him. Be friends if you need that more than anything for now. Trust your feelings. They haven’t let you down before.”

“You can do it, babe. Don’t be scared to love again.”


Life after love coverCalston Cove, Book 1

All he wanted was a new life, not a new love.


Merrick has the perfect life: a husband, a baby, and a great future ahead of him. Until all that is ripped away, and he’s left alone with his daughter. After two years, he knows it’s time to move on. To find a new life for him and Willow. It comes in the shape of a derelict mill house nestled in the hills above a Devon seaside town.


When Drew loses the chance to buy and restore the house he’s loved all his life, the last thing he wants to do is renovate it for the mysterious new resident. But something about Merrick Green intrigues him, and he feels compelled to lift the heaviness surrounding him. The fact that Merrick’s daughter seems to have taken an instant infatuation with Drew makes it easier.

As the two men become friends, Merrick battles with his attraction to Drew. How can he be interested in the ruggedly handsome when he’s still in love with Josh?

Letting go of the past is hard, but with Drew by his side, he finds a way forward.

Life After Love is a sweet small-town, opposites-attract, hurt/comfort romance with low angst and a sweet little girl that everyone falls in love with.

The book deals with the loss of a loved one.


jj harper avatarJust in case you don’t know me. I’m a simple soul that puts all my hopelessly romantic thoughts down on my computer. I’m usually in the living room—typing away—with my wayward Great Dane, Siddiqi, next to me on the sofa.

I’m a hopeless romantic, always falling in love with my men, determined to make sure they get the happy-ever-after they deserve, even if they do have to work hard for it.

I live in a tiny village in Lincolnshire, UK, with my husband and dog, who are forever patient with me when I forget the time, and the dinner!

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To celebrate the release of Life After Love, JJ is giving away an e-copy of Life After Love & a $10 Amazon Voucher! Enter the Rafflecopter giveaway for your chance to win!

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FILED UNDER: Excerpt, Giveaway, Guest Post