Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Wednesday Promo- Jenny Andersen
I'm excited to bring you Jenny Andersen. Jenny and I met years ago at an RWA conference in Victoria BC. We've remained in touch over the years and are now both Wild Rose Press authors.
Jenny Andersen is the quintessential day dreamer. She grew up splitting her time between a farm and a big city, always dreaming about horses, working with them, or reading about them. In high school, she worked at a local store until she'd saved enough to buy one of her very own...and being a typical teen, never stopped to think how much it would cost to support him. Fortunately, she had nice parents.
Reversing the usual pattern, her life was marriage and children, then college and a number of weird jobs(field camp cook, mineral museum curator, geologist, materials analyst) and strange experiences(dropping a student off a dry waterfall, riding a horse that tried to jump a cement truck).
Jenny has an M.A. Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University in Pennsylvania; the master's thesis turned into her first book for Wild Rose. She lives in California with the world's most wonderful husband and a herd of dust bunnies. In addition to writing, she plays the Celtic harp (badly), sells antique jewelry, and does needlepoint in her copious spare time.
JA: Paty, thank you for inviting me to blog here today...it's my very first blog! I want to be brilliant and witty, and know I'll end up being just me, unlike my fun and sometimes funny characters.
PJ: When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
JA: Until you asked, I had forgotten that the answer to that question is, "Always." I've been envying those laser-focused kids who made mimeographed neighborhood newspapers, and who wrote fan fic on their yellow school tablets. I was never that together, but my first—only—play was performed and recorded when I was nine. By a friend of my mother's, and on a 78 RPM disc, which tells you that this happened a while ago.
I don't remember any other writing incidents until high school, when I wrote really terrible poetry and short stories. Worse, I submitted them. And suffered the rejections with true teen angst. Finally a local writer read one of my stories. Verdict? No conflict. I was crushed and put fiction on the back burner, behind horses—and cowboys .
Many years later, I realized that writing scientific reports didn't satisfy my soul and I signed up for an adult ed class in writing fiction. There I found Louise Vernon, who dedicated the last part of her life to mentoring beginners. I was so lucky to be taken under her wing. Even with that boost, it took more years than I want to admit to sell a full-length book. But I did.
Which proves that not giving up is a really good idea.
PJ: How did you come up with the premise for this book?
JA: Love horses, dogs, cats, ranches, mountains, cowboys. Especially cowboys. And we all know they're hard guys to pin down, so I got to wondering what could make one stick around long enough for the heroine to get a brand on him. One thought led to another, and pretty soon there was Luke in his prison garb, as hard a man as I've ever imagined, craving a way to prove his innocence, wanting to go home even while he knew his home was gone.
Cut to tourist activities: since I live near San Francisco, visiting Alcatraz was easy. There I began to understand how prison might have affected Luke, and I wondered what kind of woman could deal with those emotional scars.
Enter Hannah, a strong, independent woman who has loved Luke all her life. She needs help with her horse training business. Luke needs a job to get paroled. So far, it's a no brainer. Then the parole board ups the ante by balking at sending him to live with a woman on a remote ranch, and Hannah offers to marry him.
Luke wants to prove his innocence and leave. Hannah wants forever. Who's going to win?
PJ: What do you have in the works right now?
JA: Happily, I have things in the works after a grim, post-surgical summer. I'm so relieved to be writing again!
Almost finished is a book that shares location with Luke and Hannah's story. This time the hero is Zeph, the private investigator who proved Luke's innocence. He's grateful for a case that brings him back to Allie, the prettiest, most dedicated veterinarian in the state. She's boots and jeans, a country girl from the get-go, with a brand new practice and a hatred of cities. He's upscale and urban to the fingertips, a man who thinks life without the latest in restaurants and clubs and concerts is impossible.
Someone has to be convinced to change.
Luke Stone has spent ten years in prison for someone else’s crime. The last thing he wants when he gets out is to return to the town whose people falsely accused him, but a man with no possessions, no home, and no future has little choice.
Hannah Bluefield has loved Luke all her life, but he doesn’t know it. She knows he's innocent, and his parole is a godsend. Luke needs a job. Her struggling ranch needs a strong back. And Hannah needs to know if she’ll ever mean as much to him as he does to her.
Luke wants desperately to leave Stone’s Crossing, but he can’t resist his attraction to Hannah. Can he put aside his past and let himself care for her, or will the pull of freedom be too much?
“There's a problem, Luke,” Hannah said. “I've been talking to an attorney. One of the parole board members is waffling at letting you live in an isolated location with a single woman. I don't know if the others will feel the same, but if one is against it . . ."
It wouldn't do a damned bit of good for him to say he hadn't killed Chrissy. Everyone in here claimed to be innocent. And even if he were guilty, he'd never hurt Hannah. “Now what?” he asked.
She fidgeted in her seat. "Well, how badly do you want to get out of here?"
"If you're planning to send me a cake with a file in it, I have to tell you it won't work." He laughed at the thought of honest-as-the-day-is-long little Hannah Bluefield breaking him out of prison, and the laugh surprised him. He thought he'd forgotten how.
Her chest heaved with fast, nervous breaths. "If you're willing to work for me, I think there's a way."
In spite of his certainty that he'd never get tangled up with a woman again, he eyed the rise and fall of her breasts with interest. Little Hannah Bluefield had certainly grown up.
"We could get married," she said.
You can purchase her book at Wild Rose Press