What a week I had last week at the RT Booklover’s Convention in Atlanta Georgia. I’m sure I can’t properly express what a joy it was to see so many of my old friends in the writer community and making so many new ones. Not to mention (but, totally to mention) I was over the moon about meeting, up close and in person so many readers. There are no readers like romance readers! They are the very best! And I’m proud to include myself in that mix. I’m such a fangirl that’s it’s hard to play it cool and not get all swoony when you’re in the presence of the likes of greats like Beverly Jenkins and Brenda Jackson.
A few of the fab friends in these pics. If I fail to mention you I apologize in advance. Blame it on the after con brain fog I’m still under:
Me and the Dear DH at the Atl aquarium, Aliza Mann, Our big Romance Jeopardy Winner, Lovely family from Atl, me at the Kensington signing, a sea dragon!, Me with the incomparable Beverly Jenkins, sea turtle, players at Romance Jeopardy
I also had a knee slapping good time in the workshop I had the honor or participating in called Romance Jeopardy. Thanks to the other workshop presenters: Shelly Bell, Isabelle Drake, Aliza Mann, M.K. Schiller, Sienna Snow and Sage Spelling all went well and we had the best time posing Jeopardy style romance questions to a room full of enthusiastic readers. Another fun part of this was my dear DH joined me in Atlanta and got to sit in the back during our game/workshop. He was impressed and amazed at the knowledge of readers when it came to the stories they loved. He left vowing to read more fiction which I can so get behind.
I can’t let this post go without saying what a dream come true it was having my first signing with my publisher Kensington books. It was so much fun and the Kensington team showed themselves to be as gracious and wonderful as I has come to know them to be. An extra special thanks to Jane, Vida, Tara and Esi for making me feel like one of the family and to all the amazing readers and my crew, the Destin Divas who came to my table and for the hour had me feeling like the belle of the ball!
Robin Bradford, Alyssa Cole, Reese Ryan, Zuri Day and her new fiance!, Tiffany Warren, Latoya Smith, Iris Bolling, The amazing ladies of RT Book Reviews, Sheryl Lister, Janice Maynard, Ursula Renee, Leslie Penelope, Laquette, Brenda Jackson, Jacqueline aka @fangirl_musing, The super Midnight Ace and Kelly!
Also an extra thank you to all who showed up and showed out by wearing their #WeNeedDiverseRomance tee shirts. It gave me such a good feeling to see the call for more diversity in the industry represented at the convention.
This RT was truly a hit. Even tornado warnings during a Scandal Tweet In with Sofia Tate could not dampen spirits.
Thank you to the Romantic Times team for a super con that I won’t soon forget. Big hugs to Tere Michaels, who somehow was everyplace all at once. I’m thinking she has 2 clones somewhere, but maybe I watch too much Orphan Black. I dunno.
Meanwhile, enjoy the rest of my collage of pics and see if you can spot some of your favorite folks!
Alisha Rai, Readers Kay and Lynn, Beverly Jenkins, Unicorn Slippers!, Megan Frampton, Ursula Renee, Tara Gavin, Pintip Dunn, Cynthia, Iris Bowling and Midnight Ace, me and the fab Lorel, Carolyn Hector, Pintip Dunn, Sofia Tate, Jane Nutter
Aliza Mann and Sage Spelling, Lena Hart, Lasheera, Leslie Frohberg Kaia Danielle, Carla Fredd, Alisha Rai, Sage Spelling, Aliza Manna, M.K. Schiller, Shelly Bell, Sienna Snow, Kelly, Felishia, Dina, Alyssa
Me & the DH, M.K. Schiller, Ursula Renee, Joyfully Reviewed, Sherelle Green, Kate McMurry, Frannie’s Romance, Sarah Wendell, Blue Saffire
Till next year. Happy reading!
All the best,
Who says dreams don’t come true?
I’m happy to say that today another one of just mine did. To Me I Wed, Book 2 in my Unconventional Brides Romance series is out now from Kensington Books. I’m so proud to bring the unconventional love story of Lily, the accomplished event planner, and Vin, the bad boy chef, to people. I hope you all enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. This story was a true labor of love and with it I left a lot of my heart on the page.
You can pick up your copy of To Me I Wed where ever books are sold or as any of these e-tailers:
and also enter this month’s $25. gift card giveaway!
Thanks to all of you for your continued support. It means the world to me.
All the best,
Thanks for being here and take it away Jamie!
The Family We Find
By Jamie Brenner
Last year my lifelong friend confided that something major was going on in her life. She had recently taken one of those at-home DNA tests, and was then contacted by someone also using the same testing company. My friend and this woman shared such a close DNA match, they had to be half sisters! Needless to say, this opened up a lot of questions — how had this happened? While my friend searched for answers, the writer in me created my own. And I had the starting point for The Forever Summer.
There’s probably no greater, more universal question than, who am I? Ten years ago, we could simply look at our parents and grandparents and that was enough of an answer. The idea of delving into family research was usually the domain of adoptees that couldn’t simply look at their immediate family. But now, in the era of ancestry.com and 23 and Me and shows like “Who Do You Think You Are,” ancestry research is the second biggest hobby in the U.S. following only gardening. And while it’s interesting and fun, there’s a percentage of people who get results they are not expecting, and in some cases, not prepared to deal with and as a result, have to reconsider what it means to be family. The complexity and joy of the discovered family is at the heart of The Forever Summer.
The Forever Summer begins with a surprise that brings three generations of women together. When two young women living on opposite sides of the country discover they are half sisters, they go on a road trip to meet the grandmother they never knew they had. One sister is thrilled by this development, the other is devastated; her mother has been exposed for keeping a very big secret. As for the grandmother, she is a woman who has suffered a lot of loss, and she had thought her days of having a house filled with family were long behind her. And then two young woman show up on her doorstep.
A big question for me was where this grandmother lived. What place could possibly facilitate the emotional journey these characters must go on? The answer came last spring when the CBS Sunday Morning show aired a piece about Provincetown Massachusetts.
Provincetown is past Cape Cod, the very tip of Massachusetts. It’s 3 miles long and two streets wide and framed by water on two sides. It’s remote and beautiful and has two big claims to fame: It’s the place where the Pilgrims landed before Plymouth, and it’s also one of America’s oldest arts colonies. Legends have lived and worked there: Jack Keroac, Eugene O’Neill, Tennessee Williams, Jackson Pollock and Milton Avery.
A more recent great artist, author Michael Cunningham, has lived and worked there for thirty years. He was interviewed on the CBS Morning show segment, and he called Provincetown “an eccentric’s sanctuary.” He said it’s one of the very few places he knows of that “prefers peculiarity.” That’s when I started thinking — this might be the place I’ve been looking for. A place where my characters could not only come to terms with their unconventional family, but embrace it.
Another piece of the puzzle fell into place when I visited Provincetown for research: walking around the wharf, I saw giant black and white photos on the sides of buildings. They were of older women, women who looked serious and weathered and from another era. It was an art installation called “They Also Faced the Sea,” about the matriarchs of the Portuguese fishing families who were, for many generations, the backbone of Provincetown. So of course the grandmother in The Forever Summer had to be Portuguese, and she passes this rich Portuguese to her two granddaughters.
Still, I needed something that would bring the two sisters in my story together. It’s one thing to be related to someone. It’s another to relate to them. Provincetown again provided the answer: art. Art was everywhere I looked; even the signs outside of restaurants and shops are mosaics made from bright tiles and colorful stones and sea glass. I decided that mosaics would play a part in helping the new sisters bond. With a mosaic, , there a lot of different bits and pieces, some that clearly fit together, others not so obviously — but in the end, all coming together to create one beautiful, colorful whole. Just like a family.
I hope The Forever Summer brings home the idea that our families might be messy, complicated, even not what we expected. But at the end of the day it is the most important thing we have if we can just let go and embrace it.
Pre-order The Forever Summer here now
Jamie Brenner’s latest novel is The Forever Summer (Little, Brown). She is also the author of The Wedding Sister published by St. Martin’s Press ( a Target Emerging Author pick and one of Popsugars Best Books for Women 2016) and the historical The Gin Lovers (St. Martin’s Press), named by Fresh Fiction as one of the Top Thirteen Books to read in 2013. She lives in New York City with her husband and two teenage daughters.
Check out Jamie on the web:
Jamie Brenner will be on tour!
Tuesday, April 25th, 7:00 p.m.:
Barnes & Noble, Upper East Side
In conversation with Cristina Alger (author of This Was Not The Plan)
(150 E 86th St., New York, NY)
Wednesday, April 26th, 7:00 p.m.:
Barnes and Noble, Cherry Hill
(911 Haddonfield Road, Cherry Hill, NJ)
Thursday, April 27th, 7:00 p.m.:
WORD, Brooklyn (126 Franklin Street, Brooklyn, NY, 11222)
Saturday, April 29th, 11:30a.m.:
Turn of the Corkscrew Books and Wine,
Celebration for Independent Bookstore Day!
(110 N Park Ave, Rockville Centre, NY, 11570)
Tuesday, May 2nd, 6:00 p.m.:
Savoy Bookshop and Café (10 Canal Street, Westerly, RI, 02891)
Tuesday, May 9th at 6:30 p.m.:
Ferguson Library (1 Public Library Plaza, Stamford, CT 06901)
Tuesday, May 16th at 7:30 p.m.:
Point Street Reading Series (Point Street Dueling Pianos, 3 Davol Square, Providence, RI, 02903)
Wednesday, 5/31 at 7:00 p.m.:
Summer Reads Panel
Turn of the Corkscrew Books and Wine
(110 N Park Ave, Rockville Centre, NY, 11570)
Saturday, June 3rd
BookCon, Details TK (Javits Center, 655 W 34th St, New York, NY 10001)
Thursday, June 8th at 6:30 p.m.:
Drinks and Discussion at Booktowne (171 Main Street, Manasquan, NJ, 08736)
Hi Peeps! I was so thrilled yesterday to find out that TO ME I WED, Book 2 in the Unconventional Brides Series, was chosen to be one of Goodreads best romances for April! I can’t wait until TO ME I WED is let out into the world next week on the 25th but util then here is a little sneak peek!
Have your cake—and true love too…
Nightmare bridesmaids’ dresses, tasteless fondant icing, budget-busting wedding expenses—some women just aren’t about it. They’ll laugh off tradition, make their own rules—and find the most outrageous ways possible to flip wedding day lockstep into true love.
She’s done, finished, had it. Between her family’s expectations and being always-a-bridesmaid, Lily Perry is fed up with being nagged to find a husband. She’s happy with her life—and tired of being burned by “nice guys” who demand she fit their dreams. So she’s going to settle the issue once and for all: by marrying herself. And celebrated chef Vincent Caro’s fabulous restaurant is the perfect place for a big-time, blow-out,
not-hearing-it-any-more wedding. Lily doesn’t care if everyone—including Vincent—thinks she’s crazy. Especially when his mouth-watering talent and no-commitments style ignites one sizzling, no-strings fling, or two…or more.
But no matter how hard they try to keep things light, their relationship keeps getting hotter. The more Vincent helps Lily tackle unexpected trouble, the more he finds she might be everything he’s ever wanted. Can she afford to forget caution and finally let go? And can they both take a risk to discover if what they have is meant to last long after the dessert course?
TO ME I WED
“You’re not just gaining a wife, you’re getting my best friend.” Lily Perry took one look at her sister, Sophie, and realized her mistake. Shit. Now I’ve done it. Did she really just use the same best friend line on Sophie that she had with Sophie’s twin, Audrey, at her wedding? Or was it Peggy whom she used that line on when she married Marcus? Her sisters had been getting married left and right, and all the weddings and toasts were starting to blur together. You’d think they were in some sort of great marriage race.
Lily looked around the banquet room of the VFW hall and caught her mother’s sister, Aunt Ruby pulling a face and whispering something to her newly engaged daughter, Nikki. Lily swallowed back a grimace. Jeeze, even Nikki was jumping the broom. At the rate her family was going, there would not be a broom or a groom to be snagged in all of the Rockaways. Not that Lily was actively looking for either. She had a vacuum in her apartment for sweeping, and, well, for other tasks, if her dating life hit a lull she had an electronic device to take care of that too. It was way more reliable than men anyway. Still, Lily glanced left and caught her mother, Renée Henton-Perry, staring too. The hyphenation in her name was still new to her and intentionally left off the wedding invitations. She preferring to keep things simple she said and going the traditional route of Mr. and Mrs. Perry request the honor blah, blah, blah and so forth. Her hair and makeup were flawless, as usual, and her skin was smooth and unlined. The untrained eye would never determine that she was the mother of six grown daughters—four married—with a grandchild on the way. One would also not know that right then she was highly pissed. But Lily knew. She caught the glint of disapproval in her mother’s eye and the ever-so-slight pull of tension around her perfectly lined mouth. Lily wondered if it was due to her speech faux pas or the fact that, one table over, Lily’s father, Philip Perry, was sitting with his arm draped casually around his current girlfriend, who was happily sipping on her pink cocktail and batting her long, glued-on lashes.
Lily cleared her throat as her cousin Nikki smirked and rolled her eyes in her direction. Unperturbed by her cousin’s cutting glance, Lily raised her glass higher, giving her sister what she hoped passed for a glowing smile before turning to the crowd. “I’m the luckiest woman in the world to have been blessed with the world’s best sisters. And to all my brothers-in-law, you’d better treat them right, or there will be hell to pay.” She then directed her final words to her newest brother-in-law, Simon, who looked ecstatic to be marrying Sophie. His big blue eyes shined brightly for her as they had every day since they’d met in Sophie’s improv class.
Both budding actors, they made a slightly sickeningly perfect couple. Sophie with her cocoa-brown skin and finely chiseled model features, and Simon with his wavy dark hair and captivating eyes. They looked like a couple in an aspirational car ad or in the picture that comes in the picture frame that you replace with your mediocre second best. Plus, they were always smiling and complimenting each other. If Lily didn’t know them in person and up close, she’d swear their love was faked for some reality TV show. Lily smiled at her new brother-in-law and continued from her heart. “Simon, I’m not worried about you. Your love for Sophie has been shining bright since day one. May it shine on forever.” Lily turned back to the now-beaming crowd. She had them. Hell, even Aunt Ruby was blinking back a tear.
But just as Lily took a sip of her champagne, she caught sight of a sneer from freaking Lacy Colten. Ugh, why had Sophie invited that man stealer? A nemesis since high school, Lacy was well known for frequenting weddings to get free booze and easy prey. Lily watched as Lacy stopped sneering, quickly sat up straighter, and stuck her already-on-display double Ds out even farther as she looked across the room, no doubt at her next victim. Lily’s eyes shifted.
It was him, and surprisingly, he was staring at her, not Lacy. Oh crap. His eyes so dark and intense they reminded her of hushed quiet in the dead of night. Midnight. Lily frowned as the heat of his stare penetrated her being. Working her over from the inside out. Stirring up feelings that she’d long told herself she was well and good over.
Pre-order your copy of TO ME I WED today!
All the best,
Happy Spring! So it’s the first day of spring and I still have knee high piles of snow to jump over. There is definitely something wrong with that picture, but no matter, I’m over here making my own sunshine with a spanking now look for an old favorite.
Get a lookie at the gorgeous new cover of ROMANCING THE FASHIONISTA my previously released novella from the, now sadly, shuttered Samhain publishing. This cover was done by the amazingly talented Mae from Coverfresh Designs and I’m is love with it!
If you have not picked up ROMANCING THE FASHIONISTA please do. It’s a fun and sexy romantic comedy romp that I had so much fun writing and I can’t wait to do more in that world.
Manhattan fashion maven and magazine editor Melinda Mitchell shuns the social media spotlight. That is, until a tipsy girl’s night out ends with her first Facebook account and a friend request from none other than her secret high school crush, Nolan Parker.
When Nolan lost his chance at the big leagues, he signed on with Doctors Without Borders and never looked back. Now he’s back home to help out his ailing father. Running into Mel at his fifteen-year high school reunion rekindles old feelings he thought he’d buried for good.
Intrigued by Nolan’s irresistibly sexy profile, Melinda heads to the reunion with her best friend to see if the picture matches up to the man. Their instant attraction flares brighter than the Manhattan skyline.
Although the tough fashionista and accomplished ex-jock rub each other the very right way, a few stumbling blocks will decide if the heat between them is a symptom of forever love, or a past that should be left where it belongs.
Warning: Contains a tough, no-nonsense, Big-Apple businesswoman who likes to call her own shots, and a hot doctor who can turn her on with surgical precision.
You can pick up ROMANCING THE FASHIONISTA
AT AMAZON HERE
All the best,
Hello peeps! I’m so sorry it’s been a minute since I’ve been here, but I’ve been a busy bee as you will soon see and I’m wishing you all well and hoping for Spring to bring us warmer weather and sunshine soon (I say this as I look out my window at falling snow, yet again, and take antibiotics fighting off an ear infection).
Yeah I’m over Winter.
All that said, there are some bright spots. I have some fantastic deal news that I can finally share. I’m so thrilled to say my lovely and fearless editor at Kensington Books is taking me on for two more novels in a brand new fish out of water small town series! The series will be the SUGAR LAKE series and the first book is tentatively titled:
As Good As The First Time (release date to come- see the pic of the deal announcement below).
And if you follow me here or on other forms of social media (twitter @kwanawrites or Facebook ) you’ll know I had an article in a local paper which I have come to find was shared with another local paper and, funny how these things go, was seen by Jack’s vet. Well yesterday I nearly broke out in tears when I got this sweet note from Jack’s vet office. I tell you people can be so kind and generous at times. And I’m so grateful for that. Talk about a proud moment of being a fur baby’s mama!
Thanks for hanging with me and all the support. You don’t know how much it means to me. Or maybe you do.
I think you might. Once again I hope all is well where you are.
Sending wishes of Lovely Reading!
All the best,
Because I’m editing right now and words are on the chopping block, I’m keeping them to just a few here and letting my pics do the talking…
Seeing a library edition of a book with your name on it is quite a dream come true!
Annual Divas retreat is now a highlight of my year. I’m so inspired by these amazing women.
I’ve picked up the crochet hook again. It’s been years.
My Nana taught me when I was a very young girl. This sure took me back.
There was a pretty exciting foozeball game that happened…or so I hear.
Gah! I got ARCs of To Me I Wed, Book 2 in the Unconventional Brides Series.
Can you believe this is coming out in just a few months? I sure can’t!
But you can pre-order your copy now! http://amzn.to/2krfm26
I hope things are going super over your way. Let me know what’s happening in the comments!
All the best,
All the best,
Good day! I hope the New Year is treating everyone super so far.
I recently got in cover proofs for book 3 (wow, that’s wild to say): THE BETTING VOW in my Unconventional Brides Series and I love how beautifully it sits right along with my lovely cover for book 2: TO ME I WED. They are so sweet I just want to eat them with a spoon! I think Jack is in love with them too.
So INSERT GROOM HERE (book 1) which is out now is just the beginning of the fun for the
Book 2 will be out May 1st and Book 3 will be out September 1.
2017 will be quite the ride!
Pick up INSERT GROOM HERE wherever books are sold and get in on the fun now!
Thanks so much!
All the best,
Happy New Year my Dear Peeps. Welcome to the new world.
Ouch! Does that sounds as scary as you read it as it does when I write it?
Sorry. I’ll just move right along to happier chit chat. I’m hoping you all had a wonderful holiday and a
Very Happy New Year!
I’m thrilled to say that on the very first day of the new year I got to start it off in a most exceptional way by seeing my very first mass market single title, INSERT GROOM HERE book one in my Unconventional Brides Series, on the shelves in my local Barnes and Noble for the first time. It was a pretty fantastic feeling and one I’ll never be able to recapture. Hey, your first time is your first time and I’m so grateful to my editor, Selena James and my publisher, Kensington Books for making that dream come true! (cut to me posing awkwardly while I try and play it cool blinking back tears as my husband not so discreetly snaps pics.)
I tell you what, I may be a way late bloomer, but I least I got a chance to see the sun.
There is something to this never too late stuff.
You can pick up your copy of INSERT GROOM HERE Book 1 of the
Unconventional Brides where ever books are sold !
And a bonus don’t forget: please subscribe to my mailing list on the right and click below to enter this
Hint: it’s FIRE! (Kindle Fire)
All the best,
Today is one of those days where the life I’m living feels quite unlikely. A woman like me starts to think and reverts back to the girl I was growing up in Harlem and Washington Heights. Back then I spent almost as much time on the ‘A’ train as I did off of it as I commuted back and forth to school. In those days I always had my nose in a book and if a book wasn’t to be had I would erase my surroundings and retreat to the way back of my imagination and come up with a story of my very own. On the train there were plenty of characters for story fodder.
Well today a story of my very own is out and released into the world in a way that is almost beyond my dreams.
INSERT GROOM HERE is my first single title and the first in my Unconventional Brides Series and here is the kicker, this book being release from Kensington publishing is the first for me that will be out in book stores and retail outlets and holy crackers there are even some libraries that will carry it! The thought of it overwhelms me. The thought that there may be another girl out there growing up somewhere like I did, who at a certain point may desperately need an escape from her everyday life on the commuter train or a home life which is not the fairy-tale her mask pretends it to be. The fact that she may find that escape in one of my books that she happens upon with a heroine that happens to look like her makes me so very happy.
I am grateful to God to have made it to this point in my career and know I have so much further to go, both in my writing and in helping to make more of these types of stories more equally accessible to the public.
But for now, today, I know day dreaming is not for nothing. Dreaming combined with work can lead to a moment of fulfillment greater than I ever imagined.
And now for the pluggy part about my book:
INSERT GROOM HERE Book #1 the
Unconventional Brides Series
Eva Ward has won a lavish wedding on the nation’s hottest morning show and can’t wait to kick off her
happily-ever-after in style. Too bad her fiancé backs out on-air—and cameraman Aidan Walker makes sure her private meltdown goes viral, down to the last couch-kicking moment. The only way Eva can save face and keep her perfect nuptial plans on track is to star in a new “find-a-groom” reality segment. But finding Mr. Right in one month means ignoring her handsome new producer—none other than Aidan himself—and getting their instant, exasperating attraction out of her system…
Eva soon finds there’s a lot more to Aidan than freewheeling charm. But one glimpse of his caring side can’t make up for off-camera politics, Aidan’s own secrets—or Eva’s fear that they’re too different to ever trust each other. So it’s time for her to flip this script, write twists no one will see coming—and risk her heart to get the real thing…
Be one of the first to be introduced to the
Unconventional Brides and grab your copy today where ever books are sold !
And a bonus: please subscribe to my mailing list on the right and click below to enter this month’s giveaway!
Hint: it’s FIRE! (Kindle Fire)
All the best,