Today we're visiting with author Jennifer Shirk on her tour with Goddess Fish Promotions for the sweet romance novel, "Kissing Kendall".
Jennifer will be awarding a free ebook of Kissing Kendall or an ebook from her backlist (winner's choice) to a random commenter at each stop., so comment today AND follow her tour (if you click on the banner above, it'll take you to a list of her tour stops)! The more you read and comment, the better your odds of winning. You could be introduced to a great new author AND win a book!
The floor is yours, Jennifer.
Thanks so much to It’s Raining Books for hosting me today!!
I do write more lighthearted (even romantic comedy) type stories. So I was asked how I go about keeping it funny.
Basically, it’s not easy.
Especially for my latest release, Kissing Kendall.
In the book, my heroine (Kendall) is a widow and has not moved past the hurt of losing her husband.
I wanted to write a more emotional book, but also wanted to keep it lighthearted enough for readers who expect that sort of thing from me. Plus, I happen to laugh a lot in real life (it’s either that or cry) so I don’t want to spend a lot time writing a story that is depressing.
It’s very natural for me to add a little humor in my stories, so it’s not that big a stretch. But I made sure my secondary characters (Kendall’s friends) livened up the mood a bit with their dialogue exchanges. Even if a situation is not funny, people always are and that’s what I tried to concentrate more on in this book: the people rather than the plot.
Another way to keep things funny is through animals or children. I did that with my last book Sunny Days for Sam. Technically, that book wasn’t a comedy either. But I wanted to make it amusing. Children and animals often do funny and unexpected things that readers can relate to so it becomes funny (with a little help from the author’s imagination, of course).
I hope you all get to check out Kendall’s friends and the humor they bring to my book KISSING KENDALL, which is available now at Barnes and Noble and Amazon! Thanks so much for having me today!
After losing her husband in the line of duty, Kendall doesn’t want to get involved with another man with a dangerous job, and refuses to give in to her attraction to the handsome police officer. But Brad has always loved Kendall from afar and now that he senses she might feel the same, he’s determined to show her the real danger would be to lose another chance at love.
Brad startled her by reaching out and stroking the side of her face with his finger. “Hey, why the frown? I pay you a compliment and you look unhappy. Next time, I’m going to tell you your cupcakes suck if that’s what it takes to get a smile out of you.”
“Oh, stop,” she said with a halfhearted laugh, lightly batting away his hand. “It’s nothing you said. And I am happy.” Mostly. At least she was happier than she’d been a few months ago.
Brad narrowed his eyes. “No, I know you. What’s really going on?”
She should have known better than to think she could hide anything from him, so she gave up the pretense. “I don’t know. I…I guess I feel a little alone sometimes. Grammy never seems to be around when I need her—and she’s all I have now. Even though it’s just you and Georgie, you two are close and share so much. And I…” She flushed, realizing she was babbling and embarrassing herself further. “Never mind. I’m sorry. I’m just being silly.”
“Hey, you’re not being silly.” Brad stepped even closer.
His aftershave tickled her nose, but the fresh scent was a welcome change to her senses. All she wanted to do was lean in farther and just inhale. She hoped he didn’t notice her swaying into him, but he smelled a thousand times better than cupcakes and wet paint.
“You can’t help the way you feel,” he said, placing his warm, broad hands on her shoulders. “But I want you to know that I’ll always be around, so you never have to feel alone.”
She wanted to argue that point, but his kind words were overwhelming. Brad pulled her into him, wrapping his arms around her. She stiffened at first, but the way he positioned himself made it clear that he had no intention of letting her go any time soon.
Her shoulders relaxed and she dropped her chin to his chest with a sigh of pleasure. Somehow Brad instinctively knew she needed this—a good old-fashioned hug—more than she knew she needed it herself. She wound her arms around his waist and sank deeper into his chest. An aching need to be held by him and have all her worries disappear squeezed through her. She felt safe, almost believing his words that he would always be around and she’d never be alone.
It was nice to pretend for a few minutes, anyway.
Brad shifted, gathering her even closer. He brushed a gentle kiss on the side of her forehead and a shudder passed through her. He felt so nice. This felt so nice. Brad inclined his head a few more inches and his breath softly fanned her face.
Without warning, her senses began to spin from the heat of his body and the scent of his skin. That’s when she knew she was in trouble.
Her eyes sprang open. Suddenly their embrace didn’t feel like a friendly hug, but something much more intimate. What were they doing? What was she doing?
Brad is only trying to comfort you, she kept telling herself. Until she looked up into his eyes and saw that he felt what was passing between them as well. His blue eyes were filled with heat. Desire. She swallowed hard.
She writes sweet romantic comedies and won third place in the RWA 2006 NYC's Kathryn Hayes Love and Laughter Contest with her book, The Role of a Lifetime.
She's also a board member for Straight Ahead Ministries, an organization involved in helping spread the gospel and aiding medical and pharmacy students in Russia. She resides in a beach resort in NJ, and when she's not involved in all the above, she's taking care of her most treasured possessions: her husband, daughter, and four hermit crabs.