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)





Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Stop the JK Rowling Hate!


JK Rowling is a pen name goddess. 

Stop the JK Rowling hate. 

Good grief.

"I had hoped to keep this secret a little longer," JK Rowling said, "because being Robert Galbraith has been such a liberating experience. It has been wonderful to publish without hype or expectation and pure pleasure to get feedback under a different name."

I had read, about 45 minutes after the press released its statement, that JK Rowling was indeed Robert Galbraith, author of The Cuckoo's Calling.  As an author I'd heard Galbraith's name before and so was very curious to see what the book looked like.  A quick search on amazon revealed the book's ranks.  They were still what they'd been before the press release, as amazon only updates every hour or so.

Amazingly print and ebook were both 42,000

Which is incredible ranks for a no name author to have, whose book has only been out 2 1/2 months. 

And the reviews she'd received were very acclaimed as well. 

I smiled at her audacity.  It made me happy to see her succeed as an average author.  For succeed, on her own merits in a different genre, she most definitely did!  WITHOUT the pen name reveal.  She was already there.

Fact.  Your average author only sales 200 books per title.  

It has been rumored that Ms. Rowling had already sold 1500 ebook/print copies in just 2 1/2 months, before the press release.  Those are INCREDIBLE figures for your average author. Which means, she was only going to continue to sale more and more and go up from there.  Robert Galbraith was on his way to being his own success story, writer of mystery.  The more books that "he" would've published, the more popular Robert would have become.

Now, as many of you know, I have two series that I've been working on.  The Jane Austen Diaries and The Jenni James Faerie Tale Collection.  Both of those series have seen great sales with the 12 books consistently staying above your 20K ranks.  Many keeping me in the best-sellers ranks on amazon for several months now. 

However, I do have a lesser-known book, Prince Tennyson, not under a pen name, but not a series as well.  It's in its own genre fighting for itself just as it is.  And this book has Just. Barely. passed the 200 sold copies mark back in April.  Though my others have sold several thousands each.  Why?  Because the people who read that genre have never heard of me.  It's a no-name book.  And it's a standalone. It doesn't have the following of the other two series'.

My current rank for Prince Tennyson is 334K  Even though its had rave reviews, and I personally feel it is the Best. Book. I've. Ever. Written.  There it sits.

See for yourself: Prince Tennyson

Now, for all of those people out there rudely outraged by the fact Ms. Rowling would dare write under a pen name, first and foremost don't forget that MANY other authors do so.  MANY of your favorites.  And a lot of them do it for the exact same reason she did.  Because they want to know if they can make it on their own without the hype (and yes, even hatred) provided by the public.  They want to know if they can truly call themselves a writer of that new genre.

And for all those bashing the convenient release of the news she was indeed the author, because they think her book was doing so bad, let me paste this quote one more time for you.

"I had hoped to keep this secret a little longer," JK Rowling said, "because being Robert Galbraith has been such a liberating experience. It has been wonderful to publish without hype or expectation and pure pleasure to get feedback under a different name."

Not only was Ms. Rowling succeeding, her book had only been out 2 1/2 months and had already sold 1500 copies.  She was only going to continue to rise from there.  Bravo Ms. Rowling, bravo! 


And for the hatred comments on her greed in wishing to reveal her name to get more money... Do your research. I have never known a bigger philanthropist in all my life.  Yes, you may have your issues with her, but since the majority of her profits go straight back into helping those less fortunate all over the world, I say to you, shut your mouth.  Your jealousy is unwarranted and unkind to those you're viciously (and hopefully unaware) harming by trying to stop their source from helping them. 

Instead, sit back.  Relax.  Allow the world and business of someone else to go on without you.  And perhaps read something uplifting.  If it is not one of JK Rowling's books, then as an author I know of several writers who write many more stories than you can imagine. Try one of them and enjoy the peace around you without voicing opinions about something you know little about. 

Jenni James
Best-selling author, mom of seven, and secretly awesome ninja
www.authorjennijames.com

Friday, June 14, 2013

Comic Con & Book Announcements!


Eeeh! I'm going to be a guest author at Salt Lake's first Comic Con! So Cool!
Must come by and see me!  Sept 5-7th 

I'm already trying on masks for the event!
If you haven't checked it out yet, you must!
The Celebs are out of this world!
So MUCH FUN! CLICK HERE

Also THE FROG PRINCE Book Baby #13
Has been born!

If you haven't checked him out yet, what are you waiting for?
He's so adorable! I LOVE this one!
He'll be in print soon.
Meanwhile you can check him out!

Monday, April 29, 2013

SNOW WHITE!

If you think you know the story of Snow White... think again! 
I had so much fun with this retelling!

An enchanted mirror, a tale of envy—

Raven and Snow White have been the greatest of friends for years, so when Snow’s father, King Herbert, and Raven’s mother, Queen Melantha, wed, the girls’ dreams come true—now they are sisters!  However, in an act of exceeding folly, the king presents his new bride with the enchanted Lythereon Mirror as a wedding gift.  Its dark power soon corrupts the queen. 

Prince Corlan, Raven’s brother, is determined to find a way to destroy the mirror before he loses his mother completely—or it kills them all.  Already the queen’s envy of Snow has become obvious.  Corlan has been in love with Snow White since they were children and would do anything to protect the beautiful princess, even defy his mother.  But when Queen Melantha uses the mirror to force Corlan into killing Snow, he knows it will take a battle of great strength to outwit the evil spell surrounding him and save the girl he loves

She'll be in print soon, but until then, you can find her here.  Jack is also available for sale now! :)

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

RELEASED BOOKS!

So, in case you haven't noticed... I've been on FIRE lately with my writing.  So much so, after kiddos and writing and sleeping... oh yeah, there's probably food in there somewhere as well... I have no more time left.  None. 

Since the beginning of the year (just over 2 1/2 months) I've written nearly 150,000 words.  And I'm not stopping.  StoneHouse Ink, my incredible publisher for the Faerie Tale Collection has agreed to get my books rushed to the publishing process the second I finish them.  I have a new incredible editor, who also has been given the green light to stop what she's doing and edit my books with me the second they come in.  The AMAZING!! cover artist, the ebook converter, the designer... they are all pulling together to help me out too.

Why?  This girl wants to buy her own house!  I would love a house big enough for me and my seven kiddos to live comfortably and maybe... hopefully, it has an office too.  I need to prove to myself I can raise these kids on my own.  And I have a goal--one goal--and that is to take care of them. 

Thanks to some incredible sales and rising ranks with the Faerie Tale Collection, I may actually be able to do this!  I know, right?  I can actually write from home and make enough money to raise all seven kids by myself.  Yeah, it sounds pretty incredible to me too.  But it's happening.  And the more fairy tales I can write and get published, the more I am able to live off of the royalties.  And unlike other publishers where you have to wait 6 months for your royalty checks, my sales are high enough I can receive monthly checks now.  How cool is that?!  Plus they are so wonderful they have a 50/50 spilt for royalties, instead of other publishers will you will receive 10/90 or 25/75... (Have I mentioned how much I love StoneHouse Ink?)

Soo... This girl is ON FIRE!  She is writing, writing, writing... It is my full time job now.  And I LOVE it!

Meanwhile... since I've been focused solely on writing the books, I keep forgetting to mention when a new one is released.  Let me recitify that right now.  Since January, I've had 3 books released and a 4th will be out in about 2 weeks, so I'll add it here too.  :)





Jack and the Beanstalk is going through the editing process right now! :)   So TADA!  Here are my new books! I am insane, I know... but I'm a happy girl too!  These book babies are just GORGEOUS! :) Now I'm off to write Snow White (yes, finally, she's come to me!) it is soo good!

There will be 25 fairy tales altogether.  So hopefully in another couple of months I will come on here and announce the release of Snow White, The Frog Prince, The Twelve Dancing Princesses, and Rapunzel!

Monday, February 11, 2013

UTAH EVENT SCHEDULE!



Hey guys!  I'm coming up to Utah. From Feb 11-19th Would you like to see me?
Want to know the best places to come and find me?

Well here ya go!

You can GO HERE for a whole schedule. 

I can't wait to say howdy!
Definitely come up, no matter who I'm talking to, and gimme a big ol' hug!

:)

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

A Lesson in Prayer

I had decided to do a lesson on prayer for the kids yesterday for Family Home Evening.  (A time we set aside once a week to discuss gospel principals or have a fun family activity like picnic, go to the movies, etc.) This week I wanted to focus on prayer--since it is a huge part of my life, I wanted an opportunity to reinforce it in the kids life as well. 

I had come up with some great scripture stories to share, etc.  But then yesterday while sitting down to type the first chapter of Snow White, I did what I always do before I begin typing.

I folded my arms and prayed to God to give me the words he would have me write.  And then I began typing as the words flew to my mind. 

It turned out to be an incredible lesson for my kids, one that hit home especially well.  So many people think I am a very good author--I am not.  I am a good listener.  I can hear God speak and I type what he says.  He writes these books.  I don't.  Yesterday, I got to prove to my children how truly real this is.  I do not write these books.

As I began to type out Snow White, it was about halfway through the first chapter, that the name Hansel popped up, which I found odd... actually, the whole beginning of the story did not seem to fit into Snow White at all, but I trusted the lord and so continued to type.  By the end, it was definitely confirmed I was writing out the book I had hoped to write next--Hansel and Gretel and not Snow White at all.

God was definitely sneaky.  When I read the first chapter of "Snow White" that I had written earlier out loud to the kids... I did not tell them what had happened, I wanted them to experience it as I had.  And so by the time I was done the kids were giggling like crazy, but all amazed.  Asking me why I would write that story instead.

It was then that I asked, "Now do you see that it is Heavenly Father writing these stories for me?  If I was truly writing Snow White, don't you think I would have written a story more like Snow White and less like this one?"

Their jaws dropped and then hands and mouths and smiles everywhere asked how to do it themselves. How to have God help them in their lives too. Sometimes, it takes an eyeopening experience and a funny miracle to finally hit home.  I am so glad it happened to me, right before I was to teach my children the importance of prayer. 

Thank you, God.  You make being a mom so much easier!  I love you.

P.S.
If you're curious... here is the rough draft of the first chapter of Hansel and Gretel I wrote yesterday:

Snow White

CHAPTER ONE:

The boy’s cries were loud and strong—strong enough to be heard through the torrential rain and roaring wind.  It had been one of the worst summer storms the region had in years.  –Just simply breathtakingly horrid. The farmer hunched down within his thin saturated coat and wrapped his useless soaking scarf tighter around his head and mouth.  Though it was rain and not snow, it was a fierce, biting rain.  A rain that was not forgiving or kind.
It brutally pelted his face and hands, stinging them with every slash of the drops of they flew through the air to bite into his covered flesh.  The clouds had come so quickly and forcefully that though it was just past four, you would have believed it to be nigh on midnight.  So dark and cold it was.
The farmer heard the shriek again, and turned in the direction, skirting the old forest. 
“Hello?” he shouted into the sleeting rain.  “Hello?”
The answering cries were louder this time and the farmer knew he was very close to the boy.  In fact, he was most likely tucked within the rock crevice.  Attempting to climb a large boulder next to him, he slipped and banged his knee.  No doubt there would be a hefty bruise in the morning.  Mumbling a curse under his breath, the man attempted again to scale the sheer rock and this time managed to grip well enough to haul his wet body up and on its ledge.  Peering over the other side, he flinched as a great strike of lightening lit up the sky—it’s jagged lines spearing every which way. 
The loud crash of thunder that followed immediately after, shook the whole slick rock wall he was on.  When another bolt of light enraged the sky, he looked down and saw the shuddering boy about ten feet below him, right within the crevice as he had assumed. 
He was drenched, his arms wrapped around himself.
“Come here, boy!” he shouted to the child.  “Come!  And quickly too!  This lightening is getting dangerously close.”
He held out his hand and the boy stood up just as another crash of thunder exploded all around them.  “Hurry!” he shouted again.  “Grab my hand!”  The farmer’s other hand was slipping from bracing himself in such an awkward position upon the boulder.  “Now, boy!”
The trembling child, clutched his gloved fingers just as the farmer began to slide back down the sheer boulder between them.  Another flash of lightening tore into the rain as it poured all around them and then the bang of the thunder immediately descended.  In a show of superhuman strength, he hauled the boy up and over the rock as he slid down. 
He balanced the small child against the boulder above them and continued to slip to his feet.  Once he regained his footing, he quickly glided the child the last yard or so into his arms. 
The sky boomed and lit again as the farmer ran as fast has he dared in such a downpour. He clutched the boy to his chest and thankfully made it the fifty yards or so, into the waiting cottage without mishap.  His son met him at the door, and stared in great shock at the whimpering child in his arms. 
“How did you hear him over this storm?” he asked.
“The Gods, son.  They led me to him.  They must have.” The farmer shook his head as he set the boy on the table and removed his overcoat, handing it to his son.  “Hansel, will you hang my coat up for me?”  He slipped off his gloves and scarf and tossed them into a bucket near the door.  They would need to be wrung out later.  His clothes were soaked through.  One look at the sopping boy and he knew this would be a rough night. 
The child was merely dressed in knee breeches and a simple shirt, with a worn wool hat atop his head.  His shivers alerted the farmer to the great urgency needed to help him.  “Hansel, fetch me a blanket for the lad now.”  His son was quick to place the coat atop of the peg by the door and run to the bedroom. 
The father pulled the dripping hat off the child and gasped when a long golden braid plopped out.  Its end tied with a battered green velvet ribbon.
“You are no boy at all child!  You are a girl.”
She nodded and looked away, her arms going tighter around her trembling legs. 
“Where did you come from?  How are you to be out in a storm like this?”
“I,” the little girl opened her mouth to speak and then her eyes darted to Hansel as he came back in the room carrying a thick blanket.
“Yes?” asked the farmer as he took the blanket from his son and wrapped it tightly around her.  “Who are you?  How did you come here?”
Her voice stuttered through her shivers, but he finally made out, “My home—it is gone.  Th-they took it.”
“Who took it?  Who are you?  Why is such a small girl left all alone in the woods?”
“Father, let her speak.  You ask too many questions at once.  Cannot you see she is frightened?” Hansel smiled at the girl and asked simply, “Where do you live?”
She took a deep breath and tried again, this time not so unsteadily. “I do not know where it is from here, or I would point it out to you.  I became lost.”  Her voice had a distinct accent. 
The farmer hissed and stepped back.  “You are from the Larkein kingdom?”
“Yes.” She smiled, not realizing what danger she put herself in by uttering such words in this house.  “Yes.  My father was the king.”
“Your father was the—?” Hansel gasped and looked at his father.  “My word! What have we done?” he asked him.
“If they knew we had the Larkein princess in this cottage we would be hanged.” 
They both looked back at the little girl, her bright blue eyes blinked back at them. She was a very pretty child and clearly frightened.  Hansel asked, “How old are you?”
She put on a brave smile and sat up straighter.  “I am six!  How are old are you?”
“Ten.” He turned toward his father.  “What should we do, Father?  We cannot toss her back out, surely?  She is too young.”
His father stumbled back a few more steps and then slammed his palm forcefully upon the rocking chair.  “We cannot keep her here!  We cannot!  Not with the king’s men invading her home this very day.  If they knew—if they knew she was with us.”
“What if they never found out?”
His father nearly fell to the wooden floor.  “What?!  Never found out?  Are you mad?  How can we keep a child—a female child—with a distinct Larkein voice in our home without anyone being the wiser?   Hansel!  No.  I must take her back into the night and allow the Gods decide what is best to do with her.”
“Father please!  I know they are a wicked kingdom, but please!  It is not saying the girl will be too.  We can hide her.  We can.  And she can learn how to speak properly.  We will say that she is my cousin, an orphan—from your sister Claudine.  Everyone knows she has just passed on and left a score of children.  They will not think anything of it.  Please, father.  You cannot send her out there.  She will die.”
“Hansel!  It better she die than us!” He pointed at the girl and she began to cry.  “Take her outside this instant.”
“No!  I will not.  For it is not right.  She is a child, Father.  She can be trained to be good.  Let us keep her, please.”
The farmer walked around and collapsed upon the rocking chair.  “My heart is too soft,” he muttered into his hand.  “It is too soft by half.  Now what will we get ourselves into?”
“I promise I will take full responsibility for her.  I will see that she is safe and teach her our ways.  Just do not let her go back out to meet her fate.  Perhaps her fate was that she was meant to come to us?  You yourself said it was the Gods who led you to her.  It can only be good that she brings.”
His father groaned and hunched over in his chair.  “I hope you are right, my son.  I hope you are right.”  He threw his arms out. “Fine.  She may stay.  Though it is with great trepidation and folly I agree to this.”
“Thank you, Father.” Hansel walked closer and peered into the little girl's bright eyes and asked, “What is your name?  What is it they call you in the castle?”
She smiled big then, showing a missing top tooth.  “Gretel.  My name is Gretel.”

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Decareaux Family Memorial Fund Raffle



My dear friends had a tragedy happen within their family.  Dave Decareaux was out walking on a trail with his two young sons and were hit by a freak storm of freezing rain.  All three died of hypothermia.  Here is the link to find out more of the full story.  CLICK HERE

I have known this family for several years--as Sarah and I both gave birth on the same day 11 years ago in a little hospital in the Azores Islands. When they moved to England a year after we did, it was just another opportunity to bond with them. 

Now, I weep for Sarah and her three remaining children.  I wanted to do something special that would allow me to give back to this wonderful family. 

So as I am gearing up to begin writing my 9th book, it hit me--here was an opportunity!  This book will the 5th book of the Jenni James Faerie Tale Collection, Snow White. 

$5 RAFFLE

Be a character in SNOW WHITE!
3 WINNERS!


So I propose a raffle drawing.  100% of the proceeds will go to the David Decareaux Family Fund.  Each raffle ticket costs $5.  For every raffle bought, you will be entered for a chance for your name (or the name of your loved one) to be a character in my book.  I will assign out the numbers as the raffles are received.  And I will use random.org to pick the numbers for me.  Each of the 3 winners will also receive a signed copy of the book.


If you would like to be apart of my next faerie tale book, and to help out Decareaux family.  You can donate here in increments of $5.  (However much you donate, I've divide it by 5 for the number of entries you receive.)  Thank you so much!  -Jenni James  ***Raffle ends on Wed. 23, 2013***

Rumplestiltskin Snippet



Because I must.

Snippet from RUMPLESTILTSKIN that I am editing now.  It will be published soon.  Very, very soon! Eeeh!  Is it not amazing?  Simply wonderful?  :)  I love my Rumple so very much!

His smile fell.  Slowly his eyes took in her every feature.  If things were different, it would be he who would be marrying her soon.  His heart began to thump quite strangely and hollowly within his chest.
Aubrynn took a step closer.  “What?  What is it?” Her cloth-covered hands reached up and held his arms.  “What I have I said to bring such a look upon your face?”
He shook his head slightly to chase the silliness away. “Tis nothing.”
She tugged on his sleeves, her eyes searching his.  “Falsehoods do not become you, my dear.  Have I said or done something that has triggered such an awful memory to show itself upon your features?  Rumplestiltskin, I promise, whatever it is—whatever I have said—I did not mean to harm you further than you have obviously been harmed.  You, you of all the people in the world do not deserve such treatment from me; especially after all you have done—”
“Hush.” He placed a finger upon her soft lips to silence her. “You have done nothing wrong. It is life that has intruded upon my thoughts, nothing more.”  His thumb gently brushed against her bottom lip.
“Kiss me,” she said against his hand.
He chuckled. “You are intent on surprising me at every turn, are you not?”  His fingers spayed across her jaw as his thumb continued to caress her mouth.
“Rumplestiltskin kiss me now, you fool.”
His serious eyes met hers. “I am a fool.  I am fool for wanting to be here the longer I am with you.  I imagine soon, I shall never want to leave you.”
“What?” Confusion marred her sweet features. “Will you leave me soon?  Please do not leave me.  What would I do without you?”
“Shh…” He brought his mouth down to capture hers, kissing her tenderly.  “I would never leave you.  Can you not see I am completely bound to you?  Just as this magic has woven and transformed straw into gold, so has your heart woven and transformed mine to forever be changed and bound to yours.”
She inhaled swiftly and pulled back. Her lips forming a perfect O of astonishment.  “No one has ever said words such as this to me.”
“No?”
“No. No one has ever thought to do so.”
“Well, that is a shame.” 
“Rumple why would you say them?”
He glanced over her features again and smiled ruefully.  “Because they are true.”
Her breathing began to come in great gasps as she tried to process all he was saying to her.  “But they cannot be.  Not wholly.”
“And why is that?”
“Because, because…” She looked down at her dirty dress and held it out to him. “Well, look at me!  I am just a girl who lives in the village.  And you are a servant of the castle!”
Rumple laughed and glanced down at himself.  “Have you not noticed that I am not much to look at, my dear?” he asked, amazed she seemed to disregard his stilted body altogether. 
“Why?  What do you mean?” She seemed genuinely confused.
“Aubrynn sweetheart, I am a crippled young man who has been cursed to remain this way forever.  No beautiful young woman in her right mind would wish to come within three feet of me.”
“Yet, you cannot keep me away.”  She grinned and stepped toward him. 
He foolishly wrapped an arm around her.  “And why is that?” His own heart pausing to hear her response. 
“Because I do not see what you see.  I cannot.  Your true self has shone too brightly despite your crippled casing.  You are simply too marvelous, too good to be considered anything that resembles a curse.”  She cuddled up closer to his chest and wrapped her arms around his bowed back.
Rumple let out a long awaited sigh at her answer, a great feeling of warmth settled over his heart, kissing it and then slowly winding its way through his limbs all the way to the tip of his hair.  His whole being filled with the glorious enchantment of her words.  Never had he believed a woman such as she would enter into his life—never did he even dream it would be possible.