Jennifer Bernard is a graduate of Harvard and a former news promo producer. The child of academics, she confounded her family by preferring romance novels to … well, any other books. She left big city life for true love in Alaska, where she now lives with her husband and stepdaughters. She’s no stranger to book success, as she also writes erotic novellas under a naughty secret name not to be mentioned at family gatherings.
First off, can you tell us a bit about you?
I write contemporary romance that’s been called steamy, delightful, and heartfelt. I live in Alaska with my husband, stepdaughters, and laptop. I’ve mostly been a city-dweller, so the homesteading life is new to me, and always an adventure. I seriously never thought I’d ever have to operate a chainsaw. But I fell in love with an Alaska man, and love can change all your plans in an instant. For the better, of course!
Did you always want to be a writer?
Ever since I can remember, yes, I’ve always wanted to be a writer. Most of my jobs (not counting chambermaid and breakfast cook) have involved writing. Sometimes I was writing pizzeria menus or encyclopedia entries, but I figure it still counts. I didn’t start my romance writing career until about seven years ago, with my first book published in 2012.
What kind of writer are you? Panster or Plotter?
I’m a Pleader. Please let this plotline make sense! Please be an appealing character! Just kidding. I’m mostly a plotter, but I leave plenty of room for serendipity and in-the-moment inspiration. I find that the real magic happens in the revision stage, so I sometimes call myself a “rewriter.” That’s my favorite part of the process, when the rough draft is on paper and I can dig in and find a million ways to improve it.
Where do your ideas come from?
In my opinion, ideas are basically magic. It’s as if they come from thin air, literally. What are they, brain cells firing in a certain way? Whispers from the ether? Messages from a higher power? I don’t know! My best guess is that ideas come from making connections, from putting two things together and imagining the possibilities. But for an idea to resonate enough for me to pursue it through an entire book, it has to touch on some emotion or conflict that’s meaningful to me. And that happens at a subconscious level – or maybe it is actually magic. Honestly, I wish someone would explain it to me.
A la Twitter style, can you describe your book (or series) in 140 characters or less.
A hotshot baseball pitcher sent down after a major league meltdown falls for a mayor’s assistant who is trying to shape up the unruly Triple A team.
What are some of your favorite kinds of stories to read?
I’ll read anything that has interesting characters or an intriguing plot or setting – as long as it’s not going to rip my heart out. I don’t care for horror or tragedy, although I’ll make an exception if it’s supremely well-written. Books have an intense effect on me, and a tragic ending can stay with me for weeks. I’m still sad about the death of Beth in Little Women. So if I’m going to cry, it had better be a very, very good book.
Do you have a favorite book and if so what is it?
That’s a tough question because I’ve read an enormous number of books in my lifetime. But I have to go back to my childhood favorites, with Little Women at the top. That book got me through much emotional turmoil when I was a kid. It was almost like my best friend when I needed one. I think most passionate readers can relate to that feeling. Your favorite books are always there for you.
What are the scenes that are the hardest for you to write?
Scenes in which my hero or heroine do disappointing, hurtful things are hard to write. I cringe the entire time. What’s wrong with you? Get a clue! But if the characters don’t screw up, it wouldn’t be so satisfying when they eventually get it right. So it has to be done. But I don’t have to like writing those scenes.
If you could have dinner with any three authors, who would you choose and why?
I’m going to start with my mother, who is a poet but now suffers from dementia. At this magical dinner, she would be her old self, and I’d ask all the questions I should have asked her earlier. I’d also invite Nora Roberts, because she’s the queen of tough love for authors, and we all need a dose of that sometimes. And lastly, I’d invite Georgette Heyer, because if she’s half as fun in person as her books are, we’d be laughing the whole dinner.
Last question, are you working on anything right now?
I’m working on the third book in the Love Between the Bases series, which is still untitled. This one has a bad boy, emotionally damaged hero and a physically damaged heroine (car crash survivor). They’re a fascinating combination, and I’m having a blast writing it.
When you’re picking a book to read, what’s a deal breaker for you, the way a tragic ending is for me?
Jennifer Bernard, the USA Today bestselling author of the Bachelor Firemen series, scores another homerun with a brand-new series about sexy, single baseball players.
Playing for the Kilby Catfish is hotshot pitcher Caleb Hart’s last chance to salvage his career after a major league meltdown. But the day of his opener with the minor league team, Caleb strikes out with the gorgeous woman who is delivering a petition to run the unruly Catfish out of town. Now to stay in the lineup, Caleb will need to score big with the feisty brunette he can’t keep out of his thoughts.
After the nasty lies Sadie Merritt’s rich ex-boyfriend spread about her all over town, she’s lucky to have a job at all. She can’t afford to screw it up by falling for the player who is supposed to be helping her change the image of the fun-loving Catfish. But that’s easier said than done when Caleb’s voice alone is enough to make her pulse race. And when he surprises her with a mind-blowing kiss, she knows there’s no turning back.
Purchase: | Amazon | Kindle | B&N | iTunes | Kobo |
Caleb made her lose her head, plain and simple.
Sadie rested her forehead against his chest, amazed all over again by the firmness of his toughened muscles. The heat of his body contrasted with the cool water in the most heavenly way. “Maybe I didn’t think this all the way through.”
“Are you telling me a dumb baseball player got the better of a brilliant future law student? Nah.” He bent his head so he could nuzzle her hair. “You smell nice. Like water lilies.”
She smelled hot man, mixed with lake water and sun-baked mesquite. Somehow they’d drifted away from the gravelly edge, so the stench of mud wasn’t as prominent. She felt so dreamy and secure, held tight in Caleb’s arms as they floated aimlessly in the lake. He grinned down at her, the light reflected off the lake water turning his eyes a soft, clear blue. Sun glinted in his hair, spangled with crystal drops of water. He really was a remarkably beautiful man. Everything seemed to still while she soaked in the details of his powerful physique, his rawboned handsomeness, the flash of vulnerability in his eyes.
She could really lose herself in him. Completely and utterly. Never before had she felt anything close to that.
“Dream on,” she told him, and flipped out of his arms. She dove under the surface, letting the slide of water through her hair and across her body wash away the effects of that alarming moment.
She’d always loved to swim, and it took only a few moments to put distance between herself and Caleb. But he wasn’t a professional athlete for nothing, and within moments he was splashing in her wake.
Shrieking with breathless laughter, she flung herself backward, as if onto a watery couch. He grabbed an ankle, and she flipped to her stomach, kicking hard. But it was no use; she felt herself being inexorably pulled toward him, his wonderfully big hands reeling her in.
And then there she was, snuggled against his chest again. It rose and fell with his rapid breaths. “There, that’s better,” he said with satisfaction, the words rumbling against her ear. “I kinda like this whole fishing thing.”
“No fair, I got distracted,” she protested, turning her body in the circle of his arms so she could see his face. Water streamed from his hair, down his neck to his wide shoulders. His eyelashes clung together, so his eyes looked bluer than ever. “I’d forgotten how much I love swimming in this lake.”
“It’s starting to grow on me too. Or at least something is.”
She giggled, and then, as a grin split his face, started laughing. As he watched her something shifted in his expression. His goofy smile vanished, replaced by an intent, hungry look. His head lowered, eyes glittering. The rest of the world receded, so only his face remained, coming closer and closer to hers, his mouth reaching for her …
Oh wow. He was going to kiss her.
And then he was kissing her. His lips burned against hers, sending pure shock throughout her body. Kisses didn’t feel like that. They didn’t turn your lips to fire, they didn’t liquefy your lungs so you could barely breathe. They didn’t make you dizzy.
She pulled away with a gasp, still in his embrace, their faces close enough so she felt his quickened breathing. Caleb looked just as stunned as she felt, his eyes gone dark and gray as a hurricane. For a long moment the two of them just stared at each other, poised on the edge of the unknown. Water lapped against her hips, and a breath of air kissed her shoulder. Everywhere her body touched Caleb’s, heat seared.
And then they were on each other again. He seemed to consume her, exploring her mouth with long sweeps of his tongue that left sparkling trails of heat in their wake. He tasted so wonderful, like summer days, like fireflies and bicycling down dusty back roads, like every time she’d laid on her back in a meadow and dreamed about the future.
Little whimpers rose from her throat. She pulled her mouth from his, her cheek brushing across his stubbly chin, its roughness sending more shocks through her. His grip loosened and she slid down his body until she stood on the lake bottom, pressed against him from head to toe. The huge bulge in his briefs made her feel a little faint.
“Sweet Jesus,” he whispered as she nibbled on his jaw. She couldn’t help it; she wanted to eat him up. “You’re making me crazy. We can’t do this here.”
“Shh.” She didn’t want to talk. She wanted this all-consuming, crazy conflagration that she’d never even imagined before. Tugging at his shoulders, she rose on tiptoe, brushing her lips against his again. With a heartfelt groan, he gave in.
Check out what's up for grabs.
- 1 A Touch by Alyssa Milano Texas Rangers Women’s Addison Slim Fit V-Neck Burnout T-Shirt - Royal Blue
- When you’re picking a book to read, what’s a deal breaker for you, the way a tragic ending is for me?
- Please fill out the Rafflecopter form.
Special thanks to Jennifer Bernard & Tasty Book Tours for sponsoring this tour-wide giveaway.a Rafflecopter giveaway