Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Guest Blogger: Jenna Kernan

From Jenna:
I might be the only author in history to begin a Christmas story with the hero shooting the heroine.
Let me explain about that (and possibly apologize). Those of you who have read my stories know I mostly write fast-paced action with details that my editor politely calls ‘gritty’.

When I was asked to join the Christmas anthology A WESTERN WINTER WONDERLAND, I was so thrilled I momentarily forgot that I’ve never tried feel-good, warm and fuzzy, home and hearth story in my life. My characters seem to be pretty much homeless for most of the book as they pursue for whatever (or whomever) it is they are hunting for.

The dust hadn’t settled from my happy dance before I recalled my shortcomings. I admit to being concerned (panic-stricken) about how to create a tender story that glowed with holiday cheer in 120 pages. Thinking of the Gift of the Magi and repeating my yoga chants did not help.

Shooting Abby in chapter one of FALLEN ANGEL might not seem like the logical first step, but it did help in two ways. I got that ‘gritty’ stuff out of my system and created a situation where Abby needed to convalesce. And what better nurse than the bounty hunter that clipped her? Okay, I hear you out there thinking, I can think of about 100 better choices and she can too, but her limited resources restrict her choices to one surly hero. Her injury forces Ford and Abby to spend a lot of quality time together (120 pages to be exact).

In defense of my hero, let me explain the shot was accidentally. She stepped between the shooter and the Ford.

So, instead of Santa with his sack, Ford clomps into town carrying a wounded woman, a crying boy and a dead body tied on his horse.

And you think your holidays are chaotic.

It gets warm and cheerful after that…I promise.





  1. Hi Jenna, I won a copy of this anthology from Cheryl and I enjoyed all three stories tremendously. Looking forward to reading more of your work.

  2. Hello, Jenna, glad Cheryl was able to connect with you (thru Melissa?)
    I too won a copy from your colleague but haven't read your story. Love glimpses of behind-the-scenes:
    << dust hadn’t settled from my happy dance... Thinking of the Gift of the Magi and repeating my yoga chants did not help.>>
    What visual images!! No WONDER you are a successful writer (pun intended- and I used to GROAN when my Dad said them! LOL)
    So must grab my copy and read even at this hour-haven't done that in forever.

  3. Loved your story. It grabbed me from the beginning and kept my interest to the end. I can't imagine how difficult it must be to develop GMC and a plausible scenerio in such a short time. Well done!

  4. After reading your blog I can't wait to get the book! I'll be checking my local Walmart after work today. Wish me luck!

  5. OMG! Hi Jenna! It's Melissa. I met you in New London, CT at Boats, Books, and Brushes. I had a mohawk and lots of piercings. Remember me? I'm thrilled you're here! Oh, thank you, Cheryl! (I swear I'm putting you in my will)
    Jenna, I recently purchased AWWW and was gonna save it for Christmas reading but I don't think I can wait. I've heard so many wonderful things about the book. Ya'know you and Cheryl are both auto-buys for me. :-)
    I have pictures of us at BB&B but I don't think I have the disk. I just moved back to Newport, RI and only brought a few things. I left my honey and moved to FL for 4 months but I'm back and we're getting married. I've been in RI (except for that 4 months) since July '05. We don't get many signings here. Have you ever considered a signing in Providence? Or somewhere else in RI?
    I think the way you've chosen to start your story in AWWW is brilliant! No apology necessary.
    I have enjoyed ALL your books immensely. But, I'm pissed 'cause I never win your website contest. lol! Anywho, it's great to see you here at Cheryls. Hope we chat soon.

    Melissa Lawson (soon to be Melissa Keith) Wheeeeeeee!!

    Thanks, Lou!!

  6. I knew you were going to be over the moon, Mel! I was waiting for you to see Jenna's blog.

  7. LOL! You're right! Thank you so much, Cheryl. So glad Jenna's here!

    Jenna, I can't wait for OUTLAW BRIDE. Wish I could make it to the NJ signing.

  8. The story is wonderful I had never read any of your books until this one. I will be looking for more of them.
    Thanks again Cheryl for another great Author

  9. I too, won from our dear Cheryl's contest and couldn't put it down! It was unusual for the beginning to start that way, but I loved the 'development' you put it. I also read it in one seating. Made me feel good inside. Thank you so much for joining us and for your terrific story.

  10. Hooray!!! I've got the book. Now I have to leave the computer and start reading immediately. I can't believe my Walmart had it. I am so excited. Now...on with my reading glasses!

  11. Cheryl, I am doing so good at getting to your site these days, I can even navigate around my son Brian's use of the link. WOW, I'm so proud of myself AND grateful to be back in touch. Those MONTHS seemed like YEARS of drug withdrawal!!

  12. Jenna, I work part time at Borders so did a bus man's holiday and stopped in this evening so will get to your story Thurs evening after I finish Pam's. Don't want to change horses in mid stream although Cheryl knows I can read up to 6 stories at a time; Seabiscuit now, plus 4 more.

  13. I am glad you were able to find your way back, too, Lou Ann! Next time leave a bread crumb trail.

  14. Hopefully, she'll check here to see the messages! She knows the post is up this week.

    Next up is HOLLY! Whoo hoo!

  15. Hi everyone~
    I'm so sorry I didn't write sooner. I'm on a deadline for my edits for OUTLAW BRIDE, February 08.

    I'm overwhelmed with all the posts and the number of people who are anxious to begin the Christmas holiday a little early!

    Melissa, of course I remember you. You are the very first person who ever asked for my autograph. I'm so happy to hear of your upcoming marriage. That is wonderful news. Congratulations.

    Cheryl, you have a great bunch of faithful readers. It is such a pleasure to hear from all your fans.

    Mickey, thanks for trying one of my stories. One of the great things about anthologies is that it allows readers to try a new author while reading a old favorite. Can't do better than that!

    I hope some of you can make it to The Sheraton at Woodbridge Place
    in Woodbridge, New Jersey this Saturday from 4 to 5:30 PM for the booksigning. There will be a ton of authors there. Her is the website so you can see who will be there.

    I'll stop back to chat again.