Jennifer Bernard is the author of some of the sexiest firemen to grace the pages of romance novels but that's not all she is - this amazing author who made her debut last year with Avon Romance has lived the life of a romance heroine if ever there was one. After attending Harvard, she worked in publishing, lived on a fishing island in Maine, moved to L.A. where she worked in promotion before picking up her whole life to move to Alaska. Jennifer Bernard can give most heroines a run for their money.
I hope you'll all help me welcome Jennifer to Unwrapping Romance ...
Amy: Hi Jennifer, thank you so much for taking time from your busy schedule to join us today, it's such a delight to have you here.
Jennifer: Thank you for having me! I’m excited to be here.
Amy: Well, I'm excited to have you here. Perhaps you'd like to tell us a little bit about yourself for those who don't know you yet.
Jennifer: I live in the cold, ice land of Alaska, where I keep warm by writing books about hot firemen. J I write the Bachelor Firemen of San Gabriel series for Avon Books. I’m married, with two stepdaughters. I started writing romance after I completely upended my life, quit my job in Los Angeles, sold my house, and started new in Alaska. I had no idea I would meet my future husband two months after I moved up there and get stuck! But fate works in mysterious ways.
Amy: She also just spent the last weeks, including the holidays & the frigid month of January in Hawaii but don't worry, she's sharing the warmth with us through SEX AND THE SINGLE FIREMAN.
Jennifer, you've already led a vastly more interesting life than most of us can imagine. What first inspired you to write and why romance?
Jennifer: I’m one of those “always been writing” types. From a very early age, reading was my greatest comfort, escape and entertainment. Of course I wanted to try my hand at creating that magic carpet ride. As an adult, I made my living writing everything from news promos to encyclopedia entries before deciding to try the genre that I’d loved from about age 14 – romance. The romance genre, in my eyes, is about hope and joy and optimism and fun and sexiness, and I adore it.
Amy: Your appreciation of the romance genre and its true attributes show clearly in your wonderful romances. and your great love for firemen. What is it about firemen that inspire you so much?
Jennifer: I think of firemen as “everyday heroes.” They put their lives at risk for others, but they’re also the guys down the street, the ones at the coffee shop, showing kids around the fire engine, or shopping at the supermarket. They’re brave and daring, but also rooted in their communities – I find that combination fascinating.
Amy: Well, your Bachelor Firemen definitely reflect that affection and appreciation for all firemen.
Jennifer, you were a debut author in 2012. Do you have any favorite authors that you enjoy best and have they influenced your writing?
Jennifer: Oh my gosh, that is such a long list! My formative romance reading years were devoted to Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Georgette Heyer, Victoria Holt, Judith Krantz, Nora Roberts. In more recent years I’ve come to love Kristan Higgins, Eloisa James, Lisa Kleypas, Rachel Gibson, Loretta Chase, Mary Balogh – the list goes on and on. I’m sure all my favorites have affected my writing, but I’ve also been highly influenced by my experience in screenwriting. When I lived in LA, I wrote several screenplays before ever attempting a novel, and much of what I learned carried over into romance.
Amy: With a reading list like that tucked away in your subconscious, it's no wonder your romances, and your heroes, are so dynamic. Your Bachelor Fireman series has been so much fun to read. Every time I think you've created the most delicious man, you create another. Roman, the hero of SEX AND THE SINGLE FIREMAN, is now my dream man. Where does your inspiration for such swoon-worthy men come from? Do you really know men like this? *wink*
Jennifer: Oh, Roman! I’m so glad you like him! I have to say, I just love that man. I don’t know where he came from – maybe he is real, and some lucky woman somewhere is having a very happy life with him. I fall in love with every single one of my heroes. I think my inspiration is men, in general. They have their flaws, but they’re also protective and devoted and passionate and the best of them have a fundamental sweetness that I like to celebrate in my books.
Amy: If there's a real Roman out there, I wish I'd met him 25 years ago. LOL!! My half-Italian hubby comes close but a girl can dream. *wink* Do you have a favorite Bachelor Fireman or is each one your favorite until the next is conjured?
Jennifer: I fall for every single one. When I started writing the most recent Bachelor, it was hard because I was still under Roman’s spell. I felt as if I was cheating! But sure enough, the new guy turned out to be just as entrancing as his predecessors.
Amy: I think I'll be under Roman's spell for a very long time, but since I've said that about each of your heroes, I suppose I'll fall just as hard for next one to confront the curse. I hear the next bachelor up will be Psycho. How many books do you see in the future for the San Gabriel Bachelor Firemen and us, your lucky readers?
Jennifer: Yes, Psycho’s next! He actually has a name, Patrick Callahan, and he’s a wild one with a story that’ll tug at your heart once it all comes out. He’s the hero of the 4th book, and two more have been contracted by Avon. So there will be at least six books, with a couple of novellas thrown in as well. Many smoking hot firemen to come! Just the way I like it. :- )
Amy: Love his name and can't wait to read his story. I've always gotten a kick out of his contributions - he's a bit of a smart mouth and I like that about him. More to come, huh? *fanning my face* Did it just get warmer in here?
Jennifer, as a contemporary romance writer, have you ever considered allowing your writing talents to take you off into another time or world?
Jennifer: My first finished (but unpublished) novel was actually paranormal. And I have this great idea for a pirate romance set in the early 1700’s – I have it all plotted out. I’d love to find time to actually write that book someday. Nothing’s out of the question, but I’m having so much fun with my contemporaries that I’ll probably stick with them for now. I love the idea of staking a claim for romance in the here and now. We live in such a complicated, often cynical time, that I believe we need romance more than ever.
Amy: Well, I'm sure many will agree with me when I say we're happy you're sticking with your firemen for a while but I do hope you return to that paranormal some day and I'm all for a pirate romance in the early 1700's - I love pirates!!
Well, my last question and the one I love asking most - IF you could be ANY character in ANY book, who would it be and why?
Jennifer: Elizabeth Bennet from Pride and Prejudice. Because she’s full of flaws, but Darcy loves her all the same. She has a happy nature, which is such a blessing in life.
Amy: Elizabeth Bennet is certainly a character standard worth striving for. It seems Miss Bennet is someone that a lot of romance authors admire and wish to emulate. I wonder what Jane Austen would think of that?
Jennifer, as a huge fan of your hunky Bachelor Firemen of San Gabriel - Station 1, let me say thank you for giving us such wonderful stories and sexy heroes. Thank you for joining us today and I'm sure my readers join me in wishing you even more success with this fabulous and fun-filled series.
Jennifer: Thank for you all the fun questions, I had a great time here today! I know that you’re doing a giveaway, but I also want to mention a fun sweepstakes going on at my Facebook page. This is your chance to show your hometown pride and have a firefighter from your town appear in my next book! Click here to enter or sign up for my newsletter, which goes out 4 times a year. The details are on my website and at my FB page.
Amy: That's an amazing thing to win! I hope everyone takes a moment to enter and sign up for your newsletter - I already get it. The sweepstakes runs through to Valentine's Day and is so easy to enter and three other winners will win signed books - so what are you waiting for, sign up for her newsletter then come back for a chance to win a digital copy of Jennifer's brand new release, SEX AND THE SINGLE FIREMAN.
If you'd like to learn more about Jennifer and her books, please feel free to visit her website, follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
As you've learned, Jennifer Bernard has led a rather eclectic life and experienced living from the coast of Maine to the cold wilds of Alaska, if you had a chance to do something wild and extraordinary, what would it be?
That's your question to comment on for entry in the giveaway. Good Luck!
GIVEAWAY PRIZE: One Digital Copy of SEX AND THE SINGLE FIREMAN by Jennifer Bernard
Blurb for SEX AND THE SINGLE FIREMAN:
The toughest captain on the East Coast, single father Rick Roman has come thousands of miles to San Gabriel to put an end to the "Bachelor Firemen" media hype. But when a stunning woman he nearly hooked up with in Reno turns out to be a firefighter from his new station, Roman realizes it's going to be tough keeping the tabloids at bay.
But there's even more Sabina isn't telling him. Before dedicating her life to battling blazes, Sabina led a very different life, one that made her famous. The last thing she wants is to have her secret exposed. The papers, bloggers, and TV gossips will have a field day with that—especially when they sense the obvious sexual heat between Sabina and Chief Roman, who's torn between firing her...and falling in love with her!
** This Giveaway is OPEN TO EVERYONE (International included) - void where prohibited.
** In order to enter this Giveaway, you must leave a comment with a valid email address so I can contact you if you win. Remember the magic formula:
THIS GIVEAWAY IS CLOSED. THANKS FOR PLAYING!
** This Giveaway will run through 11:30PM EST, Friday, February 1, 2013 when one lucky comment will be chosen by randomizer and the winner will be contacted by email and announced in a special post on Saturday, February 2, 2013. The winner will have until the end of day, Thursday, February 7, 2013 to contact me with format information or another comment will be chosen at random and the prize will be awarded to someone else. GOOD LUCK!
Happy Reading Everyone!
SEX AND THE SINGLE FIREMAN, a Bachelor Fireman novel by Jennifer Bernard, Avon Romance, available now in print and ebook formats.