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Category: writing

K is for Kick-ass...welcome to the Chick Lit A to Z scavenger hunt!

K is for KICKASS…I love a good kickass heroine, and I think you find them a lot in chick lit novels, which is likely why I was drawn to chick lit so many years ago.

Over the years the genre has evolved considerably: no longer is it the exclusive domain of the lonely-young-woman-in-the-city-with-shite-boyfriend-and-crap-job-and-expensive-shoe-habit-and-trusty-gay-male-best-friend-who-helps-her-get-her-act-together. Instead chick lit offers protagonists of all ages and stripes, and sure, they’re flawed–though often they’re funny and strong and determined and maybe a little misguided–but that’s why we love them, right? 

I’m one of millions who fell in love with the chick lit voice with books like Bridget Jones’s Diary. And while Bridget was indeed extremely imperfect, she was also hilarious and honest and charmingly self-deprecating and totally kick-ass because she didn’t let those flaws get in her way when she wanted what it was she wanted (and who wouldn’t, if the prize was Mark Darcy?). 

I read a lot of British chick lit books in the early days of the genre, and that funny, smart aleck-y, strong, kick-ass voice totally spoke to me, and it’s what drew me into writing my first novel, Sleeping with Ward Cleaver, a coming-of-middle-aged novel about a woman who married Mr. Right only to wake up years later to realize he’d become Mr. Always Right. My heroine in that novel, Claire, had to totally kick some ass (including her own, sort of) as she reconciled herself with where things had gone completely wrong in her world, but she does it, and does so with aplomb. 

Nowadays whatever genre I’m writing in, I migrate to that same type of protagonist in my novels, because I love a little bit damaged women who are not afraid to take names and kick some ass. 

Thanks so much for stopping by! Oh, and before you move onto the next site in the scavenger hunt, don’t forget to sign up here for my newsletter and you get a great prize: a digital copy of Something in the Heir, book 1 of my It’s Reigning Men series!  

GRAND PRIZE – Want to win a Kindle Paperwhite + a $100 Amazon gift card? Visit each of the 26 stops on the #ChickLitMay A to Z Scavenger Hunt and collect the alphabet word at each stop (A, B, C, D, etc.), then submit the A-Z list of words via e-mail to traciebanister@gmail.com with the subject line “A to Z Scavenger Hunt Entry.” Entries will be accepted until Sunday, May 22nd at midnight E.D.T. A winner will be chosen on Monday, May 23rd. Good luck!

The next stop on the Scavenger Hunt (the letter L) is here.

If you’d like to start back at the beginning of the Scavenger Hunt (the letter A), go here

Oh and I’ve got a book coming out May 24! It’s It’s Getting Hot in Heir, book 7 in my It’s Reigning Men series! I hope you’ll check it out as it’s available for pre-order:

iBooks                  Kindle                     Nook                       Kobo                Google Play

  

Sometimes falling in love can be a royal pain…

Gabriella Puccini, Contessa of Castiglione Girasole, is tired of having to sacrifice everything for the men in her life. So when she finally realizes that her fiancé would rather be married to his career than to her, she decides to go back to where it all began to figure out why she keeps settling for the wrong men, only to encounter her childhood crush, who couldn’t be more wrong for her…

Edouardo Squires-Thornton has been decidedly down on his luck. Unceremoniously sidestepped for the family inheritance upon his beloved father’s death, Edouardo has spent months adrift, feeling lost and confused, barely mustering the energy to do much but watch bad reality TV in his boxers. But when he’s tricked into an unexpected meeting with childhood sweetheart Gabriella, will Edouardo decide it’s time to pull on his big boy pants and figure out his life?

 

Merci Beaucoup-Grazie Mille-Danke Schoen-Muchas Gracias

search You guys totally rock! There are so many ways to say thank you, but it’s not easy to truly express how appreciative writers are that we have readers who can’t wait for our next book to release, and who happily immerse themselves in the worlds we create as if they truly exist. I know that happens because it does to me as a reader too, and there are many times I’ve reached out to fellow writers just to thank them for giving me a great place to escape to for a little while. As a writer I know how much it means for a reader to let me know that my book has touched them somehow. And when bad things happen in the world and times get particularly uncertain, even scary, what an amazing thing it is to be able to retreat to your favorite stories, to a place of comfort and good cheer. So I’m particularly thankful, as a reader, for the many writers whose words have entertained and informed me over the years, but even more so as a writer, for all of those readers who have enjoyed my books and better still reached out to let me know. It keeps me focused on writing more books, so I hope you’ll keep those emails and social network comments and great reviews coming, and I thank you for joining my crazy world for a little while!

And if you’re looking for a new author to try out, you can get a free book of mine here when you sign up for my monthly newsletter http://eepurl.com/baaewn and you’ll be first to hear about steals and deals…and I’ve got a fabulous freebie I’m going to be announcing in January, so you’ll know first!

And I’ve got all sorts of new books out!


Upcoming books

Book 5 of the It’s Reigning Men series, Shame of Thrones, which comes out December 16, is available for pre-order from iBooks, Kindle, and Kobo.

And I’ve got a release date for Book 6, Throne for a Loop! It’s going to be released March 8 and is available for pre-order from iBooks, Kindle, and Kobo.

Wishing you all a happy, healthy and safe holiday, with plenty of time to relax and read ;-)

  

  

Anywhere But Here by Jenny Gardiner Slim To None by Jenny Gardiner


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Rejection or High Praise? You Decide...

Rejection? In the publishing world? Ha! That is downright inconceivable! I mean, isn’t writing all about pouring your heart out into the novel of your dreams and then everyone loves it and you sell it for a fortune and land huge film deals and you earn enough money to quit your day job and take some fun trips and maybe pay off some loans and you all live happily ever after as you write subsequent bestsellers in your lovely Parisian artist’s garret???? Welllllllll….Gather ’round, kiddies, and let me dopeslap enlighten you! Not to complain, but just to burst your bubble open you to the potential soul-sucking vagaries realities of the publishing business… Rejection isn’t simply the rejection of your words by agents and editors and reviewers. It’s really more like the endless obstacles that threaten the potential success of your writing career/marathon. A sample of such things that you might well encounter along the way:

  • A director of sales at a publishing house who doesn’t like your book and therefore won’t do much to try to sell it (which means forget it, your book is doomed).
  • A publishing house that goes belly-up and you never see payment owed you (don’t quit your day job!).
  • Editors who are Goldilocksian in their rejection of your masterpiece (Too long! Too short! Not happy enough! Not sad enough! Lacking character development! Too much character development! Plodding! Too fast paced!). I think if the future of the human race relied upon editors loving someone’s work, the species would be long gone by now.
  • An agent who disappears off the planet after you sign with said agent, who then simply never does even the basics of what needs to be done to pitch your book, leaving you flapping in the wind and your career on default life support.
  • An editor who leaves the business halfway into the editorial process, leaving your book with no advocate (also known as Dead in the Water; see doomed book, above).
  • An editor who loves your voice and loves your book and really wants to publish it, but one editor on editorial board kiboshes it, so it’s not going to be acquired (Dead in the Water, natch).
  • A big name author who bails at the last minute with the cover blurb promised you for months.
  • You get so bogged down with marketing and publicity that you never write another book.
  • An industry that changes like the shoreline, leaving you feeling as if you are trying to capture elusive air between your fingers.
  • Life crap that decides to interrupt your creativity so that you fall off the planet and miss the myriad changes that have befallen the industry and, as an added wallop, lose your readers, while you were in a life-induced writing coma.

A career as an author is not for the faint of heart. It is for someone who has deep conviction in their product and one who is determined and hearty and perhaps a little foolish and—despite deeply-entrenched, occasionally self-sabotaging cynicism—holds out a bizarre scintilla of optimism in the face of overwhelmingly grim odds (this could simply be human survival skills at work). So my advice is this: ignore everything. Ignore it all. Because you can’t control one damned bit of it. Instead, just write. Get back to the basics: read and write and write and read and refine your craft as you so do, and to hell with the rest of it. In the early days of my career, writer friends and I repeated to one another this mantra: TPT—Talent. Persistence. Timing. Honestly, I can tell you from some books I’ve read that talent is actually optional (though desirable)—plenty of crap books get published, which still mystifies me. Persistence, however, is essential. And timing? Well, that’s the ingredient over which we have little power. If you’re lucky enough to have the fairy dust sprinkled over you and you write a book that becomes a blockbuster and you are the darling of the publishing world, well, hey, good on ya’. But if you don’t, it’s vital that you are able to maintain that very core of what started you on the process to begin with: you love words, you love stories, and you know you have an ability to combine them in a way that works. And sometimes, that’s all you can hang your hat on. I was quite frustrated recently, feeling as if launching a book nowadays is sort of like felling a tree in a remote forest—does anyone hear a thing? —wondering how anyone can hear about your book if no one is listening. And then, voila, I got a lovely review from a book reviewer, which helped me to remember what it’s all about: writing something that will touch others. Now go. Write. And to hell with all the rest of it.

The first of my IT’S REIGNING MEN series was just released: SOMETHING IN THE HEIR. Here’s the cover (alongside the covers for books two and three in the series–more to come!) … and some time soon I’m going to reissue Anywhere but Here—I’ll keep you posted. Sleeping with Ward Cleaver


The Latest Books

JennyGardiner_SomethingintheHeir200 JennyGardiner_HeirTodayGoneTommorrow200 JennyGardiner_BadtotheThrone200JennyGardiner_BiteMe200 


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