A Christmas Carol + A splash of romance = A story to remember
Other than the added bonus of selling more product from her mistletoe farm, Christmas can rot as far as Caralyn Benzer is concerned. Life has taken her down some dark paths since her mother’s death, seven years ago. When her mom appears to her on December first, demanding for her to change or else, for the next thirty days, Caralyn is sent on a journey through her past, present, and future with the only person who can help her remember who she was before Caralyn’s Christmas was destroyed.
Her dreams start affecting reality, and when her childhood friend Bobby shows an interest for Caralyn, her resolve to keep him at an arm’s length melts, along with the hard shell around her heart as she reviews the choices that have taken her so far from who she used to be.
The only standing between her choices and her desired change is herself. Can she put the past aside long enough to be the person in the future she years to be?
After going on over 150 first dates, Jenny has a wealth of dating experience. She lives with her husband and three kids near the mountains, drawing inspiration from the constant ups and downs of relationships. When she’s not writing clean, swoony romances, she’s following some other dream to make a difference in the world.
Social Media Links:
Newsletter sign up
Please sign up for my newsletter so you can be up to date on all of my current projects
When Betty Palmer’s sister dies under suspicious circumstances whilst landing her Tiger Moth, Betty and three other women pilots of the Air Transport Auxiliary in WWII England unite to discover who killed her and why. Estranged from her family, Penny Blake wants simply to belong. American Doris Winter, running from a personal tragedy, yearns for a new start. Naturally shy Mary Whitworth-Baines struggles to fit in. Together though, they are a force to be reckoned with as they face the mystery that confronts them.
Against the backdrop of war, when ties of friendship are exceptionally strong, they strive to unravel the puzzle’s complex threads, risking their lives as they seek justice for Betty’s sister.
Mick is a hopeless romantic who was born in England and spent fifteen years roaming around the world in the pay of HM Queen Elisabeth II in the Royal Air Force before putting down roots and realizing how much he missed the travel. This he’s replaced somewhat with his writing, including reviewing books and supporting fellow saga and romance authors in promoting their novels.
He’s the proud keeper of two Romanian cats, is mad on the music of Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys, and enjoys the theatre and loving his Manchester-United-supporting wife.
Finally, Mick is a full member of the Romantic Novelists Association. A Wing and a Prayer will be his second published novel, and he is very proud to be welcomed into The Rose Garden.
Mick has kindly answered a few of my questions about his writing life.
Tell me about your book / series? What do you want readers to most remember after reading it/them?
The people, my characters. I try to make them all as human as possible, fallible, normal, everyday humans. Just like you and me, they each have a journey to take and I’d like readers to recall what they went through on that journey and how that changed them.
Does writing energize or exhaust you?
Both, usually at the same time! Since a health scare a while back, I’ve never felt more alive than when I have my laptop in front of me and am tapping away. Being able to escape into a make-believe world takes me away from the problems of the real-one and I get a real buzz from that! I tend to get tired a little quicker than I used to, a hangover, but I don’t tend to let that stop me finishing a chapter.
Have you ever got reader’s block? What’s your favourite genre to read?
Sometimes. I’ll pick up a book I’ve been dying to read, and it’s down before I’ve barely started. I actually have to be in the mood to read and if I’m not, I simply can’t. As for a favourite genre, it’s a mix of three. I love Romantic fiction, including writing it; am newly into WW2 Historical Sagas and still love to read anything by Terry Pratchett.
If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
Start writing earlier! Simple.
Is there a famous novel you didn’t finish reading? Why?
I really Hope some of my author friends won’t hate me for saying this, but I’ve never finished Pride and Prejudice. I blame the BBC tv version for this as I’ve watched that so many times – my Lady Wife is a huge fan – I find it difficult to concentrate on it.
As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?
How did you know I’m a huge fan of His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman? It would have to be a Scottish Wildcat. I love how they’re such a bundle of energy for such a small creature.
How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?
I’ve got three unpublished books and maybe, three or four unfinished ones. A Wing an a Prayer was actually the fifth book I finished and the first in this genre.
What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
For this book, and the others in the series to come, once the idea came, I then spent probably only a few hours on the internet researching to see if anyone had written the same idea. I then tend to begin writing, researching for what I need as and when I need to.
How many hours a day do you write?
As long as I can get away with it. Once I start writing, I like to get a complete chapter done, no matter how long it turns out to be. I usually start writing in the afternoon, just after midday, so it can be into the wee small hours.
What did you edit out of this book that you really wanted to keep? Will you reuse it at a later stage?
I took out a scene where some male members of the ATA stalk out of the Flight Line Hut when they meet my lady pilots. I thought it slowed the pace down and as it was early in the book, I didn’t want it. Something along that may make an appearance in book 3, a Christmas one, I’m currently writing.
How do you select the names of your characters?
Often, they’re based on something I’m watching on tv, or a combination of names from books on the shelf, or my TBR pile. I do have a couple of books full of first and surnames next to where I write but, for some reason, I don’t reach for those as often as I should.
Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?
Only having had one book published before, I do recall reading the reviews. Is it a bit much to mention none were lower than a four star?
What comes first for you, character or plot?
Plot! Or, to be more precise, the idea for the first half dozen chapters. I’m not a planster, I’ve tried but it doesn’t seem to suit me, so I fly by the seat of my pants. My characters seem to write themselves in as the scene progresses. Sometimes, they’re not even thought of before that scene is begun
What was your hardest scene to write? Why?
The last, because it meant saying ‘goodbye’ to my characters at a time when I hadn’t sold the book. I didn’t know if I’d ever be writing them again.
Do you Google yourself? What did you find that pleased you most?
Heck no. 😉
What are you writing now?
Book 3 in the series. This is a Christmas one and seems to have become full of just as much mystery as the first. The second in the Broken Wings series, Wild Blue Yonder, is now with my editor and isn’t as much a mystery as the first, more of a story full of twists and turns for my characters as their relationships blossom.
Thanks so much for this, Mick. Looks like you’ve got your hands full. Lots of luck with A Wing & A Prayer and the Christmas story.