Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Princess and the Pea is HERE!!

THE PRINCESS AND THE PEA!!


LOOKIE!  LOOKIE!!  She's beautiful!  She's fun! 

Check her out live! HERE!

And she's finally here.  I hope you love her as much as I do. 

I thought I'd show you her fun twitter meme too!  Love this. :)


 And here's the blurb:


WILL LOVE REVEAL THE TRUTH?


When Princess Kyra's coach is overturned by bandits, she is forced to flee for her very life during a raging storm. Thankfully, Kyra discovers a castle and is hopeful that the kingdom might give her the shelter she desperately seeks. However, as she approaches, a guard arrives with the matching horse from her carriage, Kyra is frightened all over again and cautiously presents herself as a commoner named Marie.



The queen is not convinced Marie is merely a commoner and commands her son, Prince David, to entertain and woo the girl until the truth comes out. There is intrigue afoot in the kingdom, and the queen is bound and determined to see if this mysterious girl had anything to do with it. 



With Prince David gleaning the truth, what could go wrong? No one could have expected him to fall for the bedraggled princess, least of all Kyra! 

FIRST REVIEW OF PRINCESS AND THE PEA (found on goodreads):

Fifi rated it (FIVE STARS) it was amazing

I am new to Jenni James' work (in fact, the first one I read was earlier today so this is only the second novella by her that I've read). I had her frog prince retelling novella on my kindle app for months and I finally read it today. I enjoyed it and I loved the fairytale world her story wove, so I immediately looked into reading another Jenni James book. And this one was even better!

Princess Kyra is traveling to a kingdom by the sea because she is hoping to secure an alliance with the prince there, and if they end up being compatible, a possible marriage. On the way there, her carriage is overtaken by bandits and her guards urge her to ride away to safety. She finds safety in the castle of the kingdom, where she meets the charming Prince David.

Kyra wonders if the royal family were involved with the bandits that overtook her carriage, so she lies and says that she is a commoner named Marie. It does not take long for the queen to figure out that Kyra is lying (she does not act or dress like a commoner) and is immediately suspicious of her. She asks David to spend time with her to see if he can figure out what she is hiding/who she is.

Parts I liked the most:
I have a weakness for world building in fairytale novels. I think it is because I love fairytales so much that I want to live in one, so the more descriptions I get of the fairytale kingdoms, the better. For me, a good fairytale novel is one that makes me want to live in it. This novella doesn't disappoint.

Indeed, the castle looked triumphant and shimmered beautifully with its white stone walls, blue slate turrets, and stained glass windows.

"I cannot believe this is the same palace I found last night! Why, it is positively enchanting!" Miss Marie was bent over awkwardly, gazing out of the carriage window in such a way, she could see upwards as well as directly in front. "I have never seen it's equal. Truly your family must be exceptionally proud to own such a place."


And if that isn't enough, the kingdom is described as a prosperous one where the people are happy and well provided for, due to the generosity of a kind king and Queen. The royal family is kind and generous to all, regardless of social status.

"It was an easy trot through the streets of the village, dodging happy people and fascinating sights of families laughing and speaking with one another. She could tell this kingdom was peaceful. Perhaps as peaceful and kind as their royal family appeared to be."

How much more perfect can this book setting get? This fairytale world is a dream come true!

Kyra and David fall in love fairly quickly, but in this case, it does not seem to be something that happens out of the blue. I wouldn't even call it instalove, because it somehow all makes sense. Without spoiling anything, when Kyra and David first spend time together, he is immediately drawn to her kind and enthusiastic spirit. She handled things so well with such a good attitude that I understand how the prince would have immediately been fascinated after just one day.

"Of course not. How could we feel put upon with such happiness around us?"

She looked over the land and then nodded.

"Your kingdom is a very happy one."

When her gaze met his again, he said simply, "I was referring to you."


My second favorite part, after the world building, was the dynamic between Kyra and David. He is wary at first but her enthusiasm and good spirited nature soon wins him over.

He would defend her and protect her until his last breath. No matter what the outcome, David vowed in the wee hours of the morning to love her forever.

A handsome and doting prince in a perfect fairytale kingdom? It doesn't get any better than this!

Parts I didn't like
Literally nothing. My only complaint was that this is only a novella and I want more from this fairytale world. I hope that Jenni writes more in this series that references these characters and kingdoms, and that the rest of the series takes place in the same world. Preferably with cameos from Kyra and David.

I am officially a fan of Jenni James and I now have to go read her other fairytale novellas. Highly recommended for anyone who wants to get lost in a fairytale kingdom for a while!


Read the first few chapters in the LOOK INSIDE feature on amazon!  

And here is a sneak peek at the books being worked on now!

What am I working on now? 

EDITING! Will be out SOON!
Standalone book of fun true stories of my life.


 WRITING: I LOVE THIS BOOK!
Beauty and the Beast meets Taming of the Shrew
My third Modern Fairy Tale


WRITING: Lord Atten is definitely one of my favorite heroes. *Swoon*
My third Regency Romance 



Saturday, December 31, 2016

LOTS OF NEW THINGS!


So first off.  Happy New Year!! I hope 2017 finds you happy and well, and may your new year be full of fun surprises.

For Christmas this year, my amazingly hunky hubby created a brand new website for me.  We had someone else working on it--and hoped to have it out by the summer--when that didn't work, my hubby went to work.

Are you ready?  It's like--WOW!  I'm not kidding.  I was so blown away.  And I finally have a place that has ALL MY BOOKS.  And they're all nice and organized too.  He's just awesome.

Drum roll please...

www.thejennijames.com

Did you see what he did there?  I have a new website and everything.  THE JENNI JAMES.  Haha.

Which also means I've finally got my fanmail up and running again.

(If you'd like to say hello and drop a line-- email me: thejennijames@gmail.com or snail mail. I love that too! --Mailing address is on the homepage of my new sparkly website!)

So while all of this has been in the works--we were debating muchly about this blog.  In the end, I've decided to keep it.  And continue to use it as another landing spot.  But, if you really, really want to know what's going on with me, check out thejennijames.com, because that's where stuff will be revealed first.  Or my newsletter.  Have you signed up for my newsletter?  Click here. Do this thing. Greatness will happen.

SECONDLY:

Did you know I went to the Kingdom of Tonga (think Disney's Muana!) in September and did school visits, and teacher training classes, and writing classes..? It was so much fun.  And I'm going back. I have to. I still have a ton more schools to visit over there.  And the snorkeling!  I've never, ever snorkeled in such a magical place before!  Stunning.  (Pics and post to come!)

LASTLY:

I've been busy this year!  Here are the NEW 2016 PUBLISHED books I haven't told you about.  They are also wonderful and fun and you have to read them.  Have to.  Have I mentioned yet how excited I am to have an online presence again?  Okay. I digress.  I'll just stick these new covers right here... ahem. Aren't they gorgeous?  Click on any picture and it'll take you straight to amazon.




 Captain Hook


 Sleeping Beauty








And COMING SOON!


Other books coming out in 2017?

Beauty IS the Beast (Modern Fairy Tales)
The Revitalizing Jane Series, 2017 is the #YearofJane
More Regency Romance
Princess and the Pea (from The Faerie Tale Collection)
*grins*  Really, go check out the website... I think you'll be surprised. 








Wednesday, April 6, 2016

CAPTAIN HOOK First Chapter


 Here is a sneak peek to book three of the Neverland Series. You don't have to read Peter Pan or Return to Neverland first, but they complement each other nicely.  Don't you just LURVE this cover? He is coming VERY SOON!  (crossing my fingers for the end of the week!)




CAPTAIN HOOK
by Jenni James
 
 
 
 
CHAPTER ONE:
 
THE HONORABLE MISS YVETTE Novalie walked into her third-story room at the boarding house for young ladies who lived in London. It was a quaint little place, perfect for her when she was not working as a nurse at the hospital. She had completed her studies top of her class at her school for girls in Salisbury, and so impressed her teacher that she was hired as soon as she graduated.
Miss Novalie was one of the privileged few young ladies who had the opportunity to work as something beyond a mere seamstress, lady’s maid, or dreadful factory worker. Indeed, she was quite proud of all she had accomplished, and was grateful for every opportunity granted these past twelve years.
Yvette had no family except an aunt who still lived in Salisbury. An aunt who greatly disapproved of her lifestyle choices—all young ladies should be married.
But it did not matter, for Yvette was often so busy, she did not have time to dilly-dally in small talk with men. In fact, there were few who could keep her interest longer than a quarter of an hour, but never mind any of that. Today, Miss Novalie was particularly excited as she walked into her little yellow rented room and flung her pelisse and gloves upon the bed.
Promoted! As assistant head nurse! Why, she was only twenty-eight, and already seen as a professional in her vocation. Everything she had been planning, all those hard years were finally coming together. Her heart beat in glee at the thought.
Though she had no one to share the news with, it did not matter overly much. This was 1910, the dawning of a new age for women in England, and she was living proof of it. Oh, goodness, how grateful she was to be part of this time and world! How—
Suddenly, Miss Novalie felt a sharp tug upon her shoulders as if someone pulled her backward. Startled, she looked around, but no one was there. Then her hips began to twitch toward the left and then right. What was happening? Lunging forward, she clutched the small dresser in her room and then pulled the thing all the way to her bed as she was dragged by some invisible force.
Horrifying black smoke began to pool at her feet and slowly rise to engulf her. Panic forced air from her throat, and she found she could not scream louder than a small gasp. The smoke started to swirl and then tug at her skirts until she began to twirl as well. It felt as though she were in her own mini whirlwind of some sort. Round and round she fearfully went, bumping here and there against her bed and wall and dresser, until finally her petrified throat opened and she screamed.
Just then, a flash of blinding light erupted from above her and she went hurling into a vortex of brightness—an array of several colors. Never had she experienced such dizzying pain. It felt as if her insides were being torn out of her and her outsides being shoved in. For what seemed like several minutes, she was forced through this agony, and wham! She slammed down upon a hard dirt floor in a darkened room that stank of smoke.
“Ohhh…” she groaned as she attempted to roll over. Where was she?
“Are you all right?” asked a distinctly deep male voice, one she could not place for the life of her.
Yvette glanced around, and finally her eyes adjusted to the dark enough to make out a pair of black knee-high boots. They were folded at the top like an old-fashioned uniform, as if someone were in costume.
“Indeed, you do not look well. I am so sorry you were brought here this way, but I had no choice.”
Brought here? Someone purposely brought her here? Had she been kidnapped? Yvette turned more fully and took the hand the man offered. Slowly, she came to a sitting position, her rump still upon the hard dirt ground. Every bone in her body ached, and yet the man would not stop talking long enough for her to get her bearings.
“I am definitely excited to meet you. Indeed, I have wondered for several days what you would look like—never in my life did I expect to see such a beautiful woman before me.”
Ugh. He was one of those men. Yvette pushed her hair off her face and gazed into the most dangerously beautiful eyes she had ever beheld. They were dark blue and mysterious, with flecks of greeny-blue seafoam in them as they flickered in the light. She caught her breath. This was certainly no gentleman. With his rugged looks and odd clothing, he was not a man to be trusted. He must be a theatrical player of some sort—perhaps the opera. And now he believed he could do whatever he wanted.
“Would you like to sit down on a log?” He patted a spot next to him. “Indeed, you do not need to be upon the ground.” His hand went to help her up farther, and Yvette pushed him away.
“Do not touch me!” She glared, and then all of her years of working with pompous men who thought women beneath them came back in full force. “I am not someone who can be taken at will by boorish men. Who are you? Where am I? And what demented, tormented soul led you to believe that bringing me to this place was a good idea?”
His eyes searched hers for a moment. He was a man who engaged easily in fighting, she could tell by his stance and the way he reacted to her speech. The rugged mouth formed a wary grin as he attempted to appease her. “I am Captain James T. Hook. At your service, miss.”
“Captain?” He no sooner looked like a respectable captain then she did a mermaid. She moved away from him. “And just where am I?”
“You are in a tent. A native’s tent. The chief has walked out to give us some privacy.”
“I refuse to have privacy with the likes of you!” Pain or not, she shot up to her feet and raised a fist. Years as a nurse gave her strength many women would never know. It was not an easy task to restrain patients and force them to accept their treatments. One had to be sharp and strong, and a blow to the head a time or two did not go amiss.
The man rose too, his hands out, attempting to placate her. “I promise I will not touch you. I am not here to harm you, or any such thing.”
“What chief do you speak of? Where in London are there chiefs? The chief of police?”
“You are in Neverland, my dear. And I brought you here to remove a curse you placed on me years ago. Do you remember? Am I somewhat familiar to you at all?”
“Mr. Hook, I do not know what asylum you have escaped from, but perhaps it is best you return. I have never placed a curse on anyone before, and I certainly have never met you. Now, kindly take me back to London where I belong.”
“’Twas you! It was. Or you would not have been summoned here. It must be you.” The captain lurched forward to grab her shoulder, but met a strong fist to the mouth instead.
“Do not touch me!” She hit him in his cheek once more with the same fist and then again with the other.
He stumbled backward and held his face.
It was then that she noticed the large hook protruding from his wrist where his hand should be. It was terrifying! “Sir, I demand you return me back home at once.”
“I cannot, you blasted girl.” He sat down and rubbed his mouth. “You are here for the next three days, and then you will go back.”
“What? You must be jesting. I cannot be here three days. I will be certainly missed.”
“It is part of your curse—it has nothing to do with me. I did not make the rules. You are the witch who caused all of this anyway.”
“Witch?” How mad had this man become? “For the last time, I am not the woman who placed an enchantment on you, and I have no notion of what you speak. However, I completely understand why such a curse was used on you. I have not been in your vicinity two minutes, and already I am willing to plant you another facer.”
“Oh, no.” Mr. Hook shook his head from side to side. “Of course it wasn’t you. I had not thought of the time I have been here.” He glanced up at her. “What year is it in London?”
She blinked, yet another reason to believe he should be locked away. “Nineteen ten. Why?”
He sat up and began to mumble and count to himself, and then all at once, he smiled a devastatingly handsome smile. “You must be her great-great-granddaughter! She’s dead, and so the curse brought the next best thing. You!”
Suddenly, Yvette became rigid as a legend as ancient as it was preposterous came to perk itself into remembrance again. Something her mother had told her, and her mother before her. The tale of an evil blackguard. Very cautiously, she began to walk toward a small fire blazing in the large tent. Her heart plummeted to her feet as her hands instinctively began to form fists once more. And then, as a roaring of anger flashed through her, she hissed, “So you are the infamous Captain James Hook! The stories are true?”
“I am proud to hear that my fame is still being discussed.”
He smugly bowed before her, and she glanced around the room for any type of weapon she could find. The closest thing at hand was a burning log that had an untarnished end pointed directly toward her. Yvette picked it up and brandished the thing between them like a sword. “Choose your weapon, because I am here to guarantee you perish!”
 
 
Return to Neverland Buy Here
Peter Pan Buy Here

Thursday, March 17, 2016

The Bluestocking and the Dastardly, Intolerable Scoundrel!


 




She's Here!  She's Here!  Not only does she have a super long title--which had to be, come on! it's such a FUN TITLE--she's also as fun as her title is too.  I'm so excited about this new turn in my writing career.  Can't believe I'm actually writing Regency Romance.
Seriously, my mom should be proud of me. :)
 
I hope you love this book as much as I do.
 
 
 
***GOALS***
 
Just Published: The Bluestocking and the... (Regency)
Just Finished: Captain Hook (Faerie Tale Collection) (Editing Now)
Currently Writing: Lord Romney's Exquisite Widow (Regency)
Up Next: The Princess and the Pea (Faerie Tale Collection)
 

































Sunday, March 6, 2016

NEW BOOKS and GOALS GALORE!

Peter Pan   Return to Neverland

First off, I'm so excited to show off my new books!  This is a mini-series within the Faerie Tale Collection. (That now has 13 books!) Peter Pan came out last summer, Return to Neverland came out January and now Captain Hook (Stonehouse Ink) should be out later this month!!

Jane & Bingley    My Pride, His Prejudice
 Then after popular demand (a TON of emails asking for it!) I wrote the sequel to
My Pride, His Prejudice. Now you get Jane & Bingley's story. Which is so fun!  And I'm so grateful I listened and wrote it.  The next in the Austen in Love Series (Trifecta Books) is: My Persuasion, that book will be out Thanksgiving this year.

Not Cinderella's Type
 Not Cinderella's Type was book baby #26!  She was released at the end of February (Trifecta Books) and is such a fun contemporary Cinderella.  I hope you love her!
 
 And now for my most EXCITING announcement this year... I'm starting a new Regency series through Trifecta Books!  The first one, The Bluestocking and the Dastardly, Intolerable Scoundrel will be releasing NEXT WEEK!
 
THIS YEAR I HAVE AN INSANE GOAL TO WRITE TWENTY BOOKS!
Stay tuned I have so much more awesomeness to come!


Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Sensible & Sensational--The Day I Broke the Rules

True Story.  My sweet 15-yr-old son has high-functioning autism.  He's an incredible guy with the sweetest happiest heart you'll ever meet.  He's always been my magical leprechaun.  Red-head glory and smiles.  He's generally quiet and quick to help around the house, first to apologize and rarely gets upset.  The people that really know him--love him.

However, he gets teased a lot and bullied a lot.  And I understand he's different, but as a mom your heart breaks and you worry and wonder if he'll ever truly fit in. 

I was mulling over my son's predicament, especially as he begins high school, and wondered if there would ever be a time when difference was accepted.  I wished there was a way to change the world's perception of autism.

Then I remembered I'm a best-selling author.  I remembered I had a teen series in the works with several thousand readers.  I could make a difference. I  could be that voice.

That very rapid thought quickly jumped to Ellyn Dashwood--my sensible main character of Sensible & Sensational.  The main character I couldn't quite see yet, so hadn't began to write her--though I was receiving daily email from fans asking when the book would be out!  When you don't know what your story will be, you can't begin the book.

In that moment I knew what my story would be.  Ellyn Dashwood--the main love interest in my clean teen romance--would have autism.  High-functioning, just like my son.

So I broke the rules.  I went beyond the norm and did something I'm not sure (now don't quote me on this) but I'm really not sure if any other teen romance writer has attempted... but I knew it had to be done.

You dive right into Ellyn's head in first person.  And instantly live in her world.  But hopefully you learn to see things from her eyes.  To see her light.  To understand her trials, happiness, confusion, but most importantly--to see her heart. 

I love this book so much!  Sensible & Sensational is truly something I hope will bring a bit more tolerance, awareness, and love to those geniuses around us. 

This book is dedicated to all those who are on the autism spectrum.  Here is a romantical story written just for you.  I love you.  Be brave.  And know you're not alone.  It is time the rules were broken. 

It releases June 30th on ebook and then print will follow afterward.  You can pre-order now.  click here: http://tinyurl.com/pakfefr

Can a sensible girl learn to find her own kind of sensational? 

When Ellyn Dashwood’s family moves to Bloomfield, New Mexico, she’s not sure if she’ll fit in as easily as her wildly popular twin sister, Maralyn, will. Though they’re identical, the two sisters are exact opposites. Maralyn attracts people to her like bees to a hive. However, because Ellyn has autism, she’s positive she’ll never be considered more than awkward. That is, until she meets the totally hot Zane Ferrars. 


Zane is the tall, smart, hot, athletic, kind—and did we mention hot?—neighbor who has made it his mission to uncover Ellyn's secrets. She's a puzzle he's eager to solve. However, she soon finds out he’s got a few secrets of his own—secrets that will break her cautious heart if she’s not sensible enough to be careful. 


This eagerly awaited new installment of the Jane Austen Diaries is a contemporary retelling of the classic novel Sense and Sensibility.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

PRINT COPIES OF MANSFIELD RANCH!

I'm so excited!!!

I have 20 copies of Mansfield Ranch in printed book format for sale.

Send payment to paypal using authorjennijames(a)gmail(dot)com

USA: $16 (includes shipping)
WORLD: $24 (includes shipping)

In the comments section of paypal make sure you give me your address and who to sign the book to.

Monday, January 6, 2014

I Wrote 13 Books in 2013 and SAVED MY FAMILY!



If you haven't read my post about food stamps and raising seven kids... (Where I like honestly bare my soul for the world..?  You haven't?  Well... stop and do so now.  Here it is.

Right.  So onto my NEWS!!!

I did it!  I did it!!!

ANNOUNCEMENT:
*Ahem*  This is completely and totally epic.

Are you ready?  Eeeh!  I'm trembling just writing this, I'm so excited.  I'm so amazed and shocked and grateful.  God is good.  He just is.  Have I mentioned that He's good before?  Have I?  Well He is.

*Deep breath*

Okay.  Soo... On Saturday 1/4/14 I signed for my very own rental house!

It's gorgeous and cute and perfectly wonderful for me and my seven kids.

They're ecstatic.
I'm ecstatic.

Heck, even the people I'm renting from are ecstatic (they're fans of mine).

*tears*

I don't have a broom, or a mop, or a vacuum... or even a shower curtain rod...  As in I'll be starting over completely from scratch.  No table or couches...

BUT I have a house.  And a couple of dressers and a bunch of toys and the family piano and all the pictures I managed to save in the move... *sigh*  and a House.  I have my VERY OWN HOUSE!!!  Eeeeeh!

Okay.

Let me recap.  I wrote 13 books in 2013 and saved my family.

THIRTEEN.

I died writing them.

No really, I think I lost massive brain cells.

But I did it.  I wrote and wrote and wrote...

And 2013 actually became the greatest year... EVER!  The longest, most busiest, most insanely stressful year... but it was worth it.  It was worth every second of it.  I did it!  I did it!

My dreams have come true.

And guess what? It IS possible to create your own destiny.  It IS possible to do the IMPOSSIBLE.  And it is possible to believe it's possible.

*sigh*

No more food stamps.
My very own minivan.
And now my house!!!!

M'Kay.  Now, I'm off to pack some more.  I've got a new state to move to and only two days to do it!

I love you all!  Thank you.  Thank you for your prayers and well wishes.  Thank you for your belief in me and all the cheering you've done.  You are amazing.  :)




Monday, November 25, 2013

MY WRITING SECRETS!



So in a recent interview I was asked how I was able to juggle writing and my seven kids as a single mom.

Here was my answer.  I hope you enjoy!!

Forever Writers Podcast!

http://www.foreverwriters.com/2013/11/25/episode-39-juggling-life-and-writing-with-jenni-james/

Twelve Dancing Princesses!



WAHOOO!  This is one proud momma!  Not even a week yet and she's already in the top 10 for Fairy Tales, Mythology, and Classic Romance!  Thank you to everyone spreading the news about my latest book baby!!!  

She's on amazon here

I'll be releasing Mansfield Ranch soon... AND I've got a few more tricks up my sleeve before the year is out.  So, so exciting!  If you haven't friended me on facebook yet, why not?  

Look me up!  Author Jenni James 

I do lots of giveaways and have fun contests and freebies.  :) 

Friday, October 11, 2013

United Airlines Made My Christmas!

 An Open Letter to United Airlines--
Dear United,
For THREE years my 10-yr-old has asked for the Lego Millennium Falcon for Christmas. THREE YEARS! And every year I've had to steer him away from such a lofty gift.

As a mom of seven, the idea of spending that much on one of the kids... was impossible!  And though my son realized he probably would never get it, he still asked Santa anyway.  And then would include a much smaller gift instead.

After the first year, I expected my son to have moved on, as children do, the following year and ask for something else.  But still his dream the next two years was this ridiculously expensive and "coolest lego set ever."

This year, he hasn't mentioned it once.  But every time we go to the store he asks to go look at the toys.  I know where he'll go.  Straight to the Millennium Falcon, where he'll hold it and stare at it for forever.  He knows all the facts.  He knows all gadgets and gizmos.  As a huge Star Wars fan he even understands all the intricate designs, what part of the ship is what, all those things that just fly over my head. (pun intended.)


This year, despite the divorce and extremely tough financial situation we were in, my son has improved drastically.  He's tried so hard to do better at school, in his reading, his chores, helping with his little sisters and even being nice to his older brothers and sisters.  He knows he'll never get this toy, and is mature enough now not to break my heart to ask for it, but I know he has consistently wished for it. More than any toy any of my kids have ever wished for.

So imagine my surprise when I received a United Airlines award miles catalog.  A catalog where you could exchange your built up miles for gifts (free shipping). In that catalog can you guess what was there?  Yep. The millennium falcon.  I may have cried.  Okay. I admit it, there were definitely tears.  A lot. How could I not get it?  It was a sign.

Now, even though he won't ask ask for it.  I cannot wait to see his face Christmas morning when it's sitting there by his stocking, knowing that even though Mom could've never afforded it, Santa came through at last.
Thank you United Airlines! I LOVE You!  I don't know who chooses what goes into those catalogs every year, but of the three lego items that were being offered you couldn't have picked a more perfect one for this mom!  You've made my Christmas!  And I think my sweet son might just actually faint.  :)

Thank you!
Jenni James

(PS I was also able to get the tricycle the 3-yr-old had been asking for!)


Friday, October 4, 2013

Food Stamps, Welfare, Seven Kids, Oh, MY!



Hello. I have a story to share, so bear with me while I get it out.  It will hurt, but it needs to be said, so it is time I said it:

FLASHBACK:
June 2012-
I left my husband of nearly 17yrs. If that wasn't horrific enough, I was a single mom of seven.  I'd been a homemaker my whole marriage.  I got married at 18 (yes, I know, I know...) the kids came swiftly after that. I had my oldest at 19yrs old. Six different types of birth control brought me my seven miracles.
I stayed home and used to joke to people that wanted to hire me to work for them that they couldn't afford my daycare.  I directed theater in the summers and painted portraits to help make ends meet during the school year...

Oh, and I had a couple of books published, but hadn't seen a dime in royalties yet.

In other words, when I left I had NOTHING.  Nada.  Zilch.

And I was scared.  But there was no other choice.  None.

With seven kids and one trailer full of stuff, I moved home.  After 17 years of having my own home.  My own couches, pictures on the wall, my own Christmas tree... I'll admit it was a shock to move back into the bedroom I had when I was a kid.  But it was home.  And it was a safe place for the kids.  So we did it.

I went and applied for food stamps for the first time in my life.
Let me say that again.
I went and applied for food stamps for the first time in my life.
Yeah, it was that painful.  It was that epic.  It was that needed.

I sold my wedding ring to pay for the lawyer.  And then applied for my first credit card and went shopping/in debt with it for nice business clothes to do public events in.

My books were just starting to take off and as everyone knows--you have to look successful to be successful.  I was asked to speak at schools and do assemblies and then sign books afterward.

When the divorce was final, it was ruled I would be getting $1100 a month in child support. (I didn't take alimony or his retirement, though I was entitled to both.  So let's see?  Car payment, insurance, phone, credit card... kids.  Yeah, not enough.) I immediately applied that to my foodstamps, it lowered them, but it was still more money than I'd ever imagined I could get to feed my kids with.  It was heaven!  It was needed.

When my first royalty check came in October, I sold my gas-guzzling suburban and purchased a small Chevy Sonic (commuter car), so I could do the school visits without wasting the gas money.  The day I turned over the only vehicle big enough to fit me and my kids I nearly died.  Died.  I was officially trapped with just a tiny 5-seater car.  And seven kids.

Then I worked my butt off.
Have I mentioned how amazing my parents are, yet?  No? Well they are.  Without them I would've never survived.  And my kids wouldn't have survived.  They are AMAZING and I love them so much!

From Oct-Dec. I spoke at several schools in Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, and earned just enough money from sales to cover my expenses. And when England wanted me, I did a book signing and sold the EXACT amount I needed to cover the bare minimum plane and fare. It was a sign. I could go. (I stayed with good friends instead of hotel).  Then I worked my butt off again while I was there.  Jet-lagged and missing my kids so bad it hurt, I did it.  (My ex was in the military, i lived in England for 5 years... already been there, done that.  This was business)

I knew the more pockets of fans I could make scattered around the world--the more people I spoke with and got excited about my books--the bigger I would become. It was marketing. It was building a name for myself from the ground up.  It was Hard, Hard, HARD work!

And then all that traveling I did?  It allowed me to bawl.  Hard.  Yep. I drove and drove and drove... and sobbed.  I healed.  I needed to.  It was the break I could get from the kids where I remembered I existed. I was someone too.  That was a weird feeling--finding me.  But so needed.

Jan 2013-

I woke up.  I had kept so busy to keep the depression at bay, that by January I needed a serious kick in the butt.  That came through another publisher.  The publisher of my fairy tales. He promised to push my books through publication as soon as I got them to him.  I decided to write.  A lot.  A lot. A LOT!!


From Jan-June I wrote 7 fairy tale books.  Yeah, you read that right.  Seven.  It hurt. It was hard. My brain wanted to explode a lot. People were telling me to stop, saying I couldn't keep up that pace.  But you know what?  I wanted my own house.  I wanted a vehicle big enough that I could travel somewhere with all my kids again.  I wanted OFF FOOD STAMPS!! Those first two months I wrote 4 books alone.  But by the summer it paid off.  All of it.  I became a bestseller on amazon, my fan base grew and grew and grew, and I was finally catching up in sales.

(Oh, yeah. I lost 45 pounds too!)

By July I was able to trade in my Chevy Sonic and purchase an 8 passenger minivan. (Not outright, but I could afford double the payments!)  By Aug/Sept I was completely off food stamps.  Yes! I did it.

Let me say that again. '
YES I DID IT!!!!
*sigh*

Now, my next goal?  Afford a house big enough for me and the kids.  Ironically, I make enough now that if I only had a few kids we'd be fine.  However, having seven kids... does change things.  It means we have to wait a bit longer for our dream, but it's coming.  I know it is.

I haven't stopped writing. I've got at least three more books coming out this year alone!  And I haven't given up.  Instead, I feel like I've just begun. Like anything is truly possible.

And I know that if I didn't believe in myself and push myself, I'd still be where I was a year ago.
With nothing.

So, I say to all of those who don't believe you create your own destiny.  You do.  It hurts though, don't think that it doesn't--it so does.  But I promise you... Nothing--and I mean NOTHING--is more perfectly wonderful than when you see your wildest dreams coming true.

Now... as I begin to date again, and step into that new unknown world, I am beginning to believe that maybe, just maybe, I'll be able to find true love too.  But, first!  I'm taking care me.
Because I'm worth it.
And so are those adorable kids of mine.

Jenni James
Best-selling author, mom of seven, and secretly awesome ninja!

PS thank you to all of my fans.  All those who have supported and believed in me.  To my parents who have helped in every possible way.  You gave me strength when I had none.  And I am eternally grateful for a God who has always watched out for me... even when I felt I didn't deserve it.  I am loved. I am blessed. God is good.  :)

Author of:

TEEN:
The Jane Austen Diaries (series of 9)
Pride & Popularity, Persuaded, Northanger Alibi, Emmalee (soon Mansfield Ranch)

Faerie Tale Collection (series of 25)
Beauty and the Beast, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Rumplestiltskin, Hansel and Gretel, Jack and the Beanstalk, The Frog Prince, Snow White (soon Twelve Dancing Princesses)

KIDS:
Prince Tennyson

Andy & Annie (series of 20)
(soon A Ghost Story)

ADULTS:
Revitalizing Jane (series of 3)
(soon Part One)

The Eternal Realm Series (series of 3)
(soon Eternity)






Monday, September 2, 2013

MY SCHEDULE AT SALT LAKE COMIC CON!

SL Comic Con Panel Schedule for Thursday, September 5th, 2013
6:00 – 6:50 p.m.
CLASS: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly: Everything You Need to Know About Publishers, Marketing and Making a Living as a Writer (Jenni James)
8:00 – 8:50 p.m.
Why Fairy Tales Will Never Go Away (Jessica Day George, David Farland, Mettie Ivie Harrison, Jenni James)
SL Comic Con Panel Schedule for Friday, September 6th, 2013
2:00 – 2:50
Writing Effective Middle Grade and Young Adult Fiction: A Conversation on the Craft (Adam Sidwell, David Farland, Heather Ostler, Chad Morris, James Dashner, Brandon Mull, Robison Wells, Jenni  James)
4:00 – 4:50 p.m.
Interview with Jenni James and BC Sterrett
SL Comic Con Panel Schedule for Saturday, September 7th, 2013
10:00 – 10:50 a.m.
Bound Books vs. E-books: A Bibliophile’s Survival Guide (Adam Sidwell, Aaron Patterson, Jenni James, Dave Butler)
1:00 – 1:50
Internet & Social Media for Writers & Artists (Matt Miner, James Wymore, Dani Dixon, Jenni James, Aaron Patterson)
3:00 – 3:50 p.m.
Women in Writing, A Discussion between Young Adult & Middle Grade Writers (Laura Hickman, Heather Ostler, Ally Condie, Lisa Mangum, Rhiannon Paille, Mettie Ivie Harrison, Jenni James)
6:00 – 6:50 p.m.
Plot-Driven vs. Character-Driven to Writing What You Know vs. Research to Outlining vs. Discovery Writing to Keeping a Writing Schedule vs. Tapping into Creative Energy: What’s an Aspiring Author to do? (Adam Sidwell, Frank Cole, Brad Torgerson, Chad Morris, Lisa Mangum, Aaron Johnston, Jenni James)