Archive | May 2014

Release Day

My life has been crazy busy! Between work and being a baseball mom, there hasn’t been time for much else. My poor little blog has been sorely neglected, which will change after June.

But I’ve also been preparing for the release of my third book, I Run to You. I’m both excited and terrified, just like I was with the first two. It’s the same roller coaster of emotions I go through any time I do anything new with my writing. My palms are sweating just thinking about it!

But I wanted to invite you to join me for the Cover Reveal and Release Day. If you’re a blogger, I would love for you to sign up for the Release Day Blitz! https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1A-FGIBTMNGzxu1G9MSjK3dCzKt7wBO3kUKtjP35_FFI/viewform

Or join me on my Facebook page for release day on July 2nd https://m.facebook.com/events/1499212766964532?view=permalink&id=1499212770297865 and the Cover Reveal on May 31st https://m.facebook.com/events/236001313275158

For as nervous as I am, I’m also beyond ecstatic to share this book with you!

I hope you’ll join me!!!

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I Run to You~Excerpt

I wanted to share an unedited excerpt from my most recent work, I Run to You. Set to release on July 2nd with a Cover Release on May 31st, this is an exciting project that I’ve been working on for about nine months. Told in first person from the perspective of Alyssa Bennet, I Run to You, is a story of one woman’s quest for self-discovery and love, all while trying to survive the fight of her life.

I Run to You
-Unedited

I didn’t have a ton to move but I knew it wouldn’t all fit in my Ford Focus. To avoid making multiple trips I bribed one of my friends from work, Landon, to help me in exchange for beer. I knew he would be great to help carry some of the bigger items, and he had a truck. He was an easy target as he was one of the nicest guys I had ever met and wouldn’t say ‘no’.
The first time Landon and I ever hung out together, a year or so earlier, we pledged our everlasting friendship.
“You’re the only female I know, who isn’t crazy,” he’d said. “If I even hang out with someone once, the girls I see act like we’re in a committed relationship and they go nuts. It makes no sense.”
“Yes, women are freaks,” I laughed at him, good-naturedly. “Myself, included.”
“No. You’re different. That’s why I like hanging out with you. You’re not clingy, and needy, and all emotional and whacky.” He rolled his eyes, his cute face morphing into sheer goofiness. “We should be friends. Good friends.”
“I agree. We should be friends. And it helps that you are incredibly ugly and I’m not attracted to you in the least,” which was mostly true, mostly. So Landon and I easily became very good friends, with natural chemistry and an easy banter.
He was ridiculously hot with thick brown hair, dark brown eyes, and a perfect athletic body. Even though he was fun and we spent numerous hours together, Tom and I were dating and neither Landon nor I believed in cheating, ever. I felt completely at ease with him from the moment I first met him, which was unusual for me. We even spent a lot of sober time together, when one of us wasn’t working or at school.
Tom never cared because he slept mostly during the day but I was always up and moving like most of the world, unable to sleep during daylight hours.
Landon jokingly called himself my “stand-in boyfriend” and I was his “substitute girlfriend”, since he never seemed to hang out with a girl for more than one night. But we knew where we drew the line. Besides Anna, he was someone I could count on and feel comfortable around.
Nobody understood how we could only be good friends without hooking up. His nickname for me didn’t help matters. No matter how many times I protested, he refused to acknowledge how dirty “Kitten” sounded, and eventually I gave up. I found a little secret pleasure in the fact that he had a nickname for me, at all. In the years that Tom and I were together, there were no terms of endearment for either of us. We were simply “Tom and Alyssa.”
I knew that Landon was painfully attractive, I had eyes after all. He was definitely a 10 where I was more like a 7. I knew a 7 and a 10 could only be friends and I was perfectly fine with that. With that to consider, and the fact I technically had a boyfriend when I met Landon, I never thought of us any other way. I liked being his friend. He was funny and brought out what little bit of funny I kept buried deep inside.

Being Mom

I never pictured myself being a mom, when I was a young girl. I didn’t think about being one when I was a teenager or even as a young adult in my twenties. I didn’t even know if I wanted to be one when I got married. Being a mom just wasn’t anything I considered, although I knew at some point I would have to figure it out.

The first time I held a baby, the poor thing cried because I was so nervous. It’s not that I didn’t like kids, in fact I loved them. I babysat, was a camp counselor, and spent a lot of time with my niece who was my favorite kid.

But fortunately being a mom got to be a conscious decision, for me. I knew it meant giving up a lot of who I was and the life I was accustomed to. I knew being a mom meant sleepless nights and lifelong commitment to people I didn’t yet know. Then one day, having children became something I wanted more than anything and I’ve never looked back. I LOVE being a mom. It’s fun, exciting, fulfilling, demanding and rewarding. In addition to loving and absolutely adoring them, I really LIKE my kids and I think they LIKE me, as well.

But when I was a younger mom, I forgot one major thing. Me. I was so caught up in the diapers, sleepless nights, and juggling new motherhood, family, and career, I completely and totally lost sight of myself. It’s a common phenomenon and every mom I’ve ever talked to experiences the same thing. After nearly a decade, I’m learning that being Mom doesn’t mean I have to cease being ‘Jen.’ Finally discovering that, makes me unbelievably happy. It’s not that I am not completely in love with my two crazy, beautiful children. But I also want to love and be proud of myself, too.

I’ve been able to find a way to do that through a love and passion, temporarily forgotten. Writing.

Writing has helped me in every aspect of my life, as I feel a sense of accomplishment and fulfillment that I’ve been missing. It’s not that career, family, and motherhood haven’t been enough for me. They’ve been more than enough and to have all of those things in my life make me feel incredibly fortunate and blessed. But from a young age, I was always a writer. And getting to write again, has made having a career, family, and being a mother tremendously sweeter. It has opened my eyes to just how beautiful and fulfilling my life is, and it has made everything better.

While being Mom is without question, the most important role I have ever lived, getting to be ‘Jen the writer’ is a wonderful role as well. As a parent, we put themselves on the back burner, often forgetting ourselves completely. Whether it’s writing, crafting, an hour at the salon, a visit to a coffee shop, or a night out with girlfriends, it’s important we remember who we are and what makes us happy. It means we get to be more content for our children and ultimately, makes us better parents.

I’ve come to the realization that one of the greatest gifts I can give my children, is Me. I’m their protector, encourager, motivator, and teacher. But I’m also the person to teach them that following your path in life means being true to yourself. And even though I have boys, I’m hoping this lesson will sink in when they are fathers or they need to support and encourage their overwhelmed wives.

My life has nearly come full circle from a place I wasn’t happy to be in-a few years ago, to a place I am ecstatic to be in-now. I have everything I love; job, family, life, and my writing. I give myself permission to write and shut out the world, when I want to or even sometimes need to. Not because it’s something I’m able to ‘do’, but because it’s who I am; a dreamer and a story teller. Writing takes me back to my childhood where I was enthralled with myths and fairy tales. It thrills my imagination, excites my soul, and awakens my spirit. It’s the miracle of creating something from nothing, and blending creativity with tenacity, which is ironically how I’ve always regarded motherhood. And through it all, I realize the two go hand in hand.

Now I know now how amazing my life is, being Mom.