This Time Forever

This Time Forever is the series I didn’t plan, but I already knew by the time I’d started writing the second book that these characters had a lot more stories to tell. In particular, I envisaged an epilogue-type story where all six of the main characters vacationed together. I thought it would be fun to bounce them off each other, see how the different personalities connected and conflicted.

When I got to the end of the second book, I had the perfect excuse: Frank and Tom’s wedding.

“This Time Forever” is only six chapters long, but every chapter is from the point of view of one of the main characters from the series: Frank, Mal, Brian, Simon, Charlie, and Tom. Most of my favorite secondary characters are there as well, including Josh and Ethan from Chasing Forever.

I made the story available to my newsletter subscribers first. (If you want to be on the A-List, sign up here.) Now I’m making it available to everyone to download and read for free because I write these stories for you as much as for myself. I love revisiting my characters after The End and I love sharing those visits with my readers.

If you haven’t started the series yet, you can read the first book for free with Kindle Unlimited!

If you’ve missed an extra story from another series, check the Free Reads page on my website.

Okay, that’s enough rambling from me. Go get your copy of “This Time Forever”!


YOU’RE INVITED TO A WEDDING.

This Time ForeverIt’s a beautiful day and everyone is here to help celebrate Frank and Tom’s wedding. Simon is the best man, Charlie is scaring teenagers with gory stories, and Mal and Brian are investigating a linen closet. Tom is…

No one’s quite sure where Tom is.

Frank organizes the search, which is to say, Frank panics. But everyone gets involved anyway because it’s a beautiful day and they’re all here to celebrate a wedding.

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Building Forever is now available through Kindle Unlimited!

KU-BuildingForever

I’m super excited to have Building Forever in the Kindle Unlimited program because it means a lot more readers are going to meet Charlie and Simon and the goal of most authors is to have people read their books, so…

But, seriously, I love this book! As regular visitors to my blog know, it’s one of my favorites, from the first paragraph where we meet Charlie spluttering over a mouthful of Cheez-Its, to the very last, where Simon assures Charlie that they’re ready for what comes next.

Building Forever is everything I love about contemporary romance: Ordinary people doing fairly mundane things and falling love along the way. But life is never just ordinary, and so this story takes the characters on a journey that made me laugh and cry.

Read Building Forever

Building Forever is also available for purchase at Amazon, in either ebook or print formats, while it’s enrolled in the Kindle Unlimited program. After the enrollment ends, the book will again be available through other retailers.

I will also be leaving all of my former Dreamspinner titles enrolled in KU through the holidays for readers who’d like to check out more of my books.

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Plus one more:

Wrong Direction

Frank and Tom Are Getting Married!

If you’re a newsletter subscriber, you’ll definitely want to make sure you open this month’s edition! I’ve written an epilogue story for the This Time Forever series, imaginatively titled “This Time Forever.” It’s pretty much fluff, which is what most of the in-between stories I write for my characters are. But for as much as I wanted to revisit all the main characters from the series, I figured my readers might like to too, so I plotted a gentle arc around Frank and Tom’s wedding.

It’s a beautiful day, everyone is there, including Charlie’s daughter and grandaughter, Brian’s nephew, Tom’s long-suffering ex-girlfriend, Frank’s sister, and a few extras. The only character I’d like to have included but couldn’t come up with a reasonable excuse to was Arthur Beckwith. I still have vague plans to send him to a senior singles resort in Florida, though. (He’d be inspired by Frank’s stories of what happens with the pool floaties… or maybe not.)

So, everyone is there… except Tom. Frank, of course, is beside himself and gets everyone else involved in the search, giving me an excuse to write a chapter from everyone’s point of view. Well, just the main characters–though I did think about including Josh. I’m going to have to write a story just for him, aren’t I?

Okay, enough waffling. How do you get this piece of literary magic? Newsletter subscribers get it first–tomorrow, Tuesday, November 12, which is just about bang on a year after Renewing Forever (Frank and Tom’s book) was released. The perfect time for an epilogue story featuring their wedding, don’t you think?

I will make the story available to everyone else by the end of the year–links to be posted on this blog later in December.

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New Release: Chasing Forever

It’s difficult for an author to read reviews. You want everyone to love your books as much as you do, but know, realistically, that they won’t. We all have tropes we love and plot lines we don’t really care for. Sometimes we just don’t connect, other times we find a book that really clicks at first, but fails to deliver. We’re looking for books as individual as we are. Books that work for us. And every now and then we find one we love without reason, and it stays with us for a long, long time.

I love all of my books, but I never really know what readers will think of them until the first reviews come trickling in. A good review is always a pleasant surprise (we authors will never get over thinking our books just don’t work). Not so good or critical reviews aren’t always terrible. Sometimes they zero right in on the one thing you were worried about. Sometimes they pick up something you missed entirely. That always sucks a bit, but I make a note to try harder next time and move on.

What I always hope for are reviews that show in some way that I’ve connected with a reader. When they have read the story I think I’ve written (you’d be surprised at the number of reviews I read where I wonder if they actually read my book, lol). These reviews are always my favourite–and they’re not always the five-star reviews, just so you know. But I put so much of myself into my characters and stories. I live them as I write them. I experience all the highs and lows and the ebb and flow of the plot. When I feel my reader has too, then I consider it a job well done. ❤

I didn’t expect Brian’s book to be the one that got these sort of reviews. I actually thought this would be the book most people had issues with. I can’t pinpoint why, except to say that I challenged myself with this one. I took several chances with the characters and the plot. I pushed harder, reached farther. Brian’s book was always going to be special, because I knew his backstory and I wanted to do it justice. But also because Mal is a character I’ve wanted to write for some time. My warrior, my gentle heart, the man who never gives up. I’ve written around him, up to him, but this is the first time I’ve written him, and I love him.

So, I give to you the final book in my This Time Forever series, Chasing Forever, and hope you love it as much as I do!

About the Book

ChasingForever_500x750Malcolm Montgomery was a history teacher and track coach until an accident left him with two broken legs. He’ll recover, but life has knocked his feet out twice now. He’s not sure if he’s ready to try again, especially when it comes to love—and slick guys like Brian Kenway. Still, he needs help mentoring the school’s LGBTQ society, so he asks Brian to take some responsibility.

Brian has been hiding behind his reputation as a liar and a cheat for so long that he actually believes he’s that guy—until his nephew, Josh, turns up on his couch, tossed out for being gay. Brian has never considered being a father, but he knows all about being rejected by loved ones. Now Brian wants to be more: a partner for Mal and a role model for Josh.

But when Mal’s recovery is set back and the sad truth of Brian’s past is revealed, the forever they’ve been chasing seems even further from their grasps. It’ll take a rescue effort to revive their sense of worth and make Brian, Mal, and Josh into a family of their own.

Available now at all retailers!

ebook:
Riptide | Amazon | B&N | Kobo | iBooks | Smashwords

paperback:
Riptide | Amazon |B&N

..

What reviewers are saying:

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“Intimate, sensuous, and timely!” —Zoe, Goodreads review

“This book was a gift.” —Jennifer, Goodreads review

Overall, Chasing Forever is a well written, provocative, emotional story by Jensen that does an excellent job of highlighting the challenges, prejudices, and ignorance faced by those in the LGBTQIA community and reminds us just how much guidance and support all teens require when discovering and embracing their sexual identity.” —Zoe W., Reviewer

““I thought book 1, Building Forever was my favourite book in this series, but Chasing Forever just took that spot!” —Amy Aislin, Goodreads review

 

Tour and Giveaway Details!

I’m doing another Instagram Tour! Follow along for a chance to win one of my previously published books!

#ChasingForeverTour Graphic

The giveaway for my Riptide Tour is $25 to spend at the publisher’s store and a swag pack of bookmarks, postcards and stickers.
(All my giveaways are open internationally. Comment on any post to enter!)

Monday 12/10
Boy Meets Boy Reviews
My Fiction Nook
OMG Reads
Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents

Tuesday 12/11
Book Reviews and More by Kathy
Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words
That’s What I’m Talking About
Love Bytes Reviews

Wednesday 12/12
Erotica for All
Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews
Jessie G Book Reviews
TTC Books and More

Thursday 12/13
MM Good Book Reviews
Bayou Book Junkie
Creative Deeds
Novel Approach

Friday 12/14
Joyfully Jay
La Crimson Femme
Dog-Eared Daydreams
The Day Before You Came

Win a Copy of Chasing Forever!

Look for giveaways in the following groups this week:

Annabeth’s Angels
Jenn’s Epic Adventurers
A.M.’s Pot O Gold
Felice’s Fun House

Brian’s Story

Brian’s story began two and a half years ago when I realized I’d been naming all the cheating exes of my characters “Brian.”

Poor Brian

I didn’t know then that Building Forever would become a series. I simply wanted to tell Charlie’s story. But Simon came equipped with a best friend and a dastardly ex, so when one of my first round readers asked for Frank’s story, I began to wonder if Brian might have a story too.

Obviously, he did. Everyone has a story tucked back there somewhere. I wasn’t sure I could do Brian justice, though. Redemption stories are difficult to do well and I wanted not only to give Brian a good story but for my readers to fall in love with him—or at least forgive him. That meant figuring out why. Why he couldn’t commit. Why he was having so much trouble settling down.

One of the most interesting things you can do as a writer is to take a secondary character from one book and give them a book of their own. I put a lot of effort into making my secondary characters feel real and I get a lot of lovely compliments about them! Turning them into a lead requires a fair amount of work, though. You have to retain the personality traits that make them such a good support character in the first book and meld them with who this person turns out to be.

In Frank’s case, this meant that the party boy persona he presents in Building Forever turns out to be something of a cover. I actually loved this, because it gave Frank as a man a much deeper texture. I don’t really talk about his sexual identity in Renewing Forever, other than confirm the fact he is gay. But when I sketched out his life, his love-life in particular, no relationships popped up. And he’d only had a very small number of “affairs,” Simon being the most significant. Surely having his heart broken at nineteen didn’t ruin his life?

It did and it didn’t. Frank never quite got over Tom, but not because Tom is his one and only (even though he is). Frank is demisexual. He loves to flirt and he loves to make others feel good but has to really care for someone before he wants to go there. When you consider his story with this information, a whole lot more about him makes sense.

So when I considered Brian as a lead character, I knew I had to come up with a good reason for his serial non-monogamy. My readers would need to know why he couldn’t commit. I sketched out and rejected a lot of reasons before eventually deciding that like Frank, Brian’s “course” had been diverted at a very young age. But again, I don’t outright state that what happened to Brian when he was fourteen is the root cause of his inability to commit. I hint at it, and his secret is definitely a source of angst and pain for him. It’s also something he’s never shared, which is one good reason why his relationship with Simon failed.

But I also hold Simon up to a little more scrutiny and suggest that maybe he wasn’t able to give Brian what Brian was looking for. This is partly Brian’s fault. He is unable to be “wholly Brian” with Simon—for reasons that may never be clear. But it’s also Simon’s fault for holding on to something that wasn’t a good fit—because it was comfortable enough. For not realizing that he also needed more.

Relationships are hard work, even when they’re good, and one of the themes of this series has been second chances. These stories are about men who have loved and lost and think that’s it, they’re done. So when they do fall for someone else, they have half a lifetime’s worth of experience—and hurt, and joy—to offer, which changes the stakes. Brian’s story is at once the most dramatic of the three in this series, but also in a way the easiest. His happy ever after is mostly a matter of finally finding the right guy—but to keep that guy, he needs to make the right moves. He also needs to finally, at long last, be himself.

I loved writing this book. I loved getting to know Brian and seeing him happy at last. I also enjoyed introducing him to Mal, who gives perhaps the greatest speech I’ve ever written in the epilogue of any book. Mal talks about living out loud, and his message is one that resonates through Chasing Forever, the entire series, and perhaps all of my contemporary novels.

So it’s my hope that readers will not only forgive Brian but rejoice in his happiness—and the happy ever afters I’ve given to all of the characters in this series. ❤

 

Chasing Forever

ChasingForever_500x750Malcolm Montgomery was a history teacher and track coach until an accident left him with two broken legs. He’ll recover, but life has knocked his feet out twice now. He’s not sure if he’s ready to try again, especially when it comes to love—and slick guys like Brian Kenway. Still, he needs help mentoring the school’s LGBTQ society, so he asks Brian to take some responsibility.

Brian has been hiding behind his reputation as a liar and a cheat for so long that he actually believes he’s that guy—until his nephew, Josh, turns up on his couch, tossed out for being gay. Brian has never considered being a father, but he knows all about being rejected by loved ones. Now Brian wants to be more: a partner for Mal and a role model for Josh.

But when Mal’s recovery is set back and the sad truth of Brian’s past is revealed, the forever they’ve been chasing seems even further from their grasps. It’ll take a rescue effort to revive their sense of worth and make Brian, Mal, and Josh into a family of their own.

Coming December 10, 2018
Preorder at Riptide Publishing

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