Alex Monroe

Alex, Alex, Alex.

When I get feedback from people who have enjoyed the JACT series, it almost always includes a plug for Alex, and the question: Is Alex getting his own book? (Or the demand: Alex better get his own book!)

The answer to that is YES!! I promise, Alex will have a book. There’s even a page on my website for his future untitled book, under the JACT series heading. The best way to find out WHEN Alex will be happening is to subscribe to my newsletter or join my Facebook reader group. Both links can be found here.

So what’s the deal with Alex? Why has it been forever since Wildflowers was released and still no Alex? I actually just looked it up and it’s been two years since I released Wildflowers! It’s honestly surreal that I’ve even been writing that long. Crazy. Anyway, I’ve mentioned this before so you may have heard it once, twice, or ten times, but when I published Our Moon, I had planned for it to be a standalone. In fact, in all my efforts to find reviewers and do blog promos in the very beginning, I said “STANDALONE!!!!” I honestly didn’t know if I’d ever write another book, let alone a follow-up to Our Moon. But readers loved the characters and I loved the readers, so I decided I’d proceed with the series (a book for each band guy) when their stories came to me. I hadn’t planned out additional books, and I didn’t want to force a story and make it crap.

I got inspired to write Hearts in the Sand when I was on vacation in the Outer Banks right after I published Our Moon, in the summer of 2015. I didn’t know it was going to be Trevor’s story until I was thinking one day…hey…this could totally work with Trevor has the main character. The JACT crew can go on vacation, right?! Wildflowers was pretty much already finished in the sense that we all know in Our Moon that Joey and Evie were married and it was a whirlwind, so it was just a matter of filling in the blanks. So that was a piece of cake (Even though it took forever! I actually started it before Hearts in the Sand, it was slow going).

That leaves Alex. My little trouble maker. I know what I want to do with him. I have a lot of his book outlined in my head, it just doesn’t translate to paper in the way that I want it to. Alex is my favorite, no lie. He’ll also be the last JACT book, so I want it to be the best.

Anyway…without further ado, I’m going to share with you the first chapter of Alex’s story. It’s literally all I have written thus far, but I know y’all miss him!

Thump.

“What the-?”

Thump thump thump thump thump.

I pull Sara’s Jeep to the side of the road and turn off the ignition.

The thumping stops.

Good.

I open the door and get out, walking around to the front of the vehicle. I look at the hood, but have no earthly idea how to open it. Not that it matters, if I could see under the hood I wouldn’t know what to look for anyway. We usually pay people to do this shit for us.

I know, I know. #firstworldproblems

Pulling my cell phone out of my pocket, I hope for cell service. Ally and Chase had chosen a beautiful, private mountain inn for their wedding ceremony and reception. Only problem? It’s in the middle of nowhere and we had no cell reception or WiFi. I actually had to go to the business center in the inn to update my social media. That’s some primitive shit right there, but I do what I have to do for my fans.

Two bars, I note as I look at my phone. That’ll be enough. I pull up the web browser and search for a tow truck near me. There’s only one hit, and it about twenty-five miles away, but it will do. I tap the screen to call Joe’s Garage.

“Joe’s,” a woman’s voice says.

“Hey, I need a tow.”

“What’s your location?” she asks.

I turn in a full circle, seeing nothing but woods. “I’m not sure. I’m not from here. I’m coming from the Tall Pines Inn and there’s nothing but woods. I can check the map on my phone if-”

“I know where you’re at. It’ll be about twenty minutes.”

“Don’t you need my-” I hear a click on the other end. “Hello? Hello?” She hung up on me. I scratch my head, unable to believe that I was just hung up on. I didn’t even give her my name. I take one more look around the desolate roadway before heading back to the driver’s seat to contemplate my next move.

I’ll get a lift with the tow truck back to the shop. Then what? I can’t exactly call my brother or sister for a lift. Ally’s already left for her honeymoon and Trevor is celebrating his engagement with Sara. Joey and Evie are doing some partying of their own since she just told him they were expecting baby number two. I can’t bother any of them doing all their couple-y shit. Maybe I can find a driver to get me back to Charlotte? I make a mental note to check Uber when I get to town.  

I pull up one of my rock playlists on my phone and press “shuffle,” leaning my head back and letting the music roll through me as I wait for the truck. I’m deep into 10 Years’ “Novacaine” when I hear the rumbling of a big diesel engine. I lift of my head just in time to see the truck pass by. I watch in the rearview mirror as it expertly pulls a three point turn on the narrow roadway, then passes by again, pulling to a stop in front of the Jeep.

I get out of the Jeep and approach the driver’s side door of the rig, pausing in my tracks as the door pops open and the driver hops out. She—yes, she—is wearing a charcoal jumpsuit, not the trendy kind chicks usually wear, but the kind a mechanic would wear. It’s darker in some spots due to what I imagine is dirt and grease. She’s wearing a backwards black, ball cap on her head, covering her pin straight black hair. Think Megan Fox in Transformers, only a little more girl next door.

“Can you put it in neutral for me?” she asks, making her way to the panel of levers on the side of the truck.

I stand there, staring at her. Did she just say something? Her lips are a soft pink, just the right contrast to her lightly tanned skin. I swear they just moved.

“Hello?”

“Huh?” Not my finest moment, I admit.

“The Jeep. Neutral. Please.” She annunciates each syllable as if I’m hearing impaired. I suppose I deserve that.

“Right,” I say, pulling the keys from my pocket and returning to the Jeep. I turn the key just enough to be able to change gears, then keep my foot on the brake since we’re on a slight incline. It would really suck if the Jeep rolled right into her truck.

Hot Mechanic Chick now has the flatbed of the truck on an angle, with the end meeting the road. She’s messing with some metal cords as she walks towards me. Her head disappears in front of the Jeep right before I hear a clanking sound, accompanied by a few vibrations. Then she’s back.

“Watch this line,” she says, pointing to the cable that seems to attach the Jeep to the truck. “When it gets taught, slowly let your foot off the brake. Once the front tire hits the ramp, take your foot completely off the gas and let the cables do the work. Got it?” She’s all business, no bullshit.

I give her a quick nod, and watch her ass as she walks back to the control panel. When I hear the whirring of the machines, I quickly redirect my attention to the line she told me to watch, and follow her directions. Once the Jeep is fully on the platform, she tells me I can get out, so I do. Then she flattens the bed and we both get in the cab of the truck.

“Is your spare tire flat?”

“What?” I ask, surprised at the question.

“That spare tire on the back of the Jeep. Is it flat?”

What is she talking about? “I don’t know.”

She looks me over, taking in my light blue jeans and plain white t-shirt. “Do you know how to change a tire?” The corner of her mouth is twitching…she’s trying not to laugh…at me…

“Of course I know how to change a tire,” I lie. I totally don’t know how to change a tire. Again, we pay people to do that shit for us.

She raises her eyebrows and gives me one of those condescending nods, you know the type. The ones designed to pacify the recipient and stop them from having a hissy fit. Yeah, well those nods only made me want to throw a hissy fit, but considering I’m riding shotgun with Hot Mechanic Chick, I’ll tamper down my inner diva.

“Why do you ask? About the tire thing?” I ask as an afterthought once we’re down the road a ways.

“Because the Jeep has a flat. Isn’t that why you called it in?”

What. The. Hell? Really? Really Alex? A flat freaking tire.

Shit.

This is embarrassing.

“Honestly,” I tell her. “I didn’t even look. I heard a thump and pulled over. The Jeep belongs to my brother’s girlfriend and it was having trouble a while back, but we got that fixed. I figured it was related. I didn’t even look at the damn tires.”

I can tell she wants to laugh again, but I’m thankful she doesn’t. I’m not sure my ego could take it. “Understandable.”

Right.

The rest of the ride to the service station is in silence. I’m afraid to open my mouth and let more idiocy spill out. I can’t even believe the damn Jeep has a flat tire. Not that I’d know how to change it if I had noticed, but how could I be that oblivious?

“I can drop the Jeep in the lot and you can just change the tire there,” she says as she gets out of the cab. I hurry out my door and run around the front of the truck to catch up with her.

“It’s all good. Wherever you want. I don’t think there are tools in the Jeep,” I tell her, shrugging my shoulders. “I can pay you guys to do it.”

She stops messing with the control panel and turns to face me, hands on her lean hips. “You don’t know how to change a tire, do you?”

I tuck my hands in my jean pockets and give her one of my signature smiles. This one, I call “the bashful.” “You caught me.”

She eyes me for a long minute, and for the first time, I wonder if she knows who I am. The members of the band, JACT, and our families are often recognized in bigger cities, particularly around our hometown, or a location where we’re playing a show and people are expecting us, especially if we’re all together in a group. When we’re alone, or there’s just a couple of us, we blend in. We look like regular people and, while I do enjoy some of the spoils of celebrity life–or many of them–we all live relatively modest lifestyles. We don’t stand out. Well…I stand out, but that’s only because I’m so damn good-looking.

“All right, we’ll get your tire changed. There are a few seats just inside. Why don’t you go sit and wait, and I’ll have this ready for you in a few.”

“Sounds good.” A small bell rings as I open the door, and a gust of warm, oil-scented air greets me. I take a seat in one of the black reception chairs and pick up an old People magazine to flip through while I wait.

I peer out the window and watch as what is, quite possibly, the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen in my life, changes my tire.

The guys are going to take my man card when they hear about this shit.

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Cover Reveal, Pre-Order Sale, and Giveaway!

 

Presents : Cover Reveal
 
Say Something
 
by
 
Jennifer L. Allen
 

 

Available for 99 cent Pre-Order!
 
 

 

Seeing my ex-husband four years after the ink dried on our divorce papers was not part of my plan. Returning to the small town where we’d grown up and fallen in love to rebuild my life at the exact time he’d chose to do the same thing wasn’t part of my plan either. It was, however, the reality.
 
Back in the place where it all began so many years ago, memories of our past, both good and bad, consumed me. I’d never stopped loving him, needing him, wanting him. I couldn’t stop thinking about him, seeing him. Stolen moments told me he felt the same way.
 
But could he ever forgive me?
 
Could I ever forgive myself?
 
Infertility had torn our marriage apart, bit by excruciating bit. Was our love strong enough to put it back together?
 
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Top ten best things about writing and authoring and publishing…

The writing prompt I picked for today was the top ten best things about 2015. I’m editing that, obviously, to something more general since 2015 is old news.

So here is my list of the top ten best things about writing and authoring and publishing, in no particular order.

1 – All the awesome people along the way.
2 – Sharing my stories.
3 – Messages from people who have enjoyed my stories.
4 – Signing events are tons of fun.
5 – Being welcomed back with open arms from readers and authors after having to take a time out for my health.
6 – Having an outlet for the random, crazy, and silly ideas that pop into my head.
7 – The terror/excitement that comes with finishing a new book.
8 – Creating and briefly living the lives of a bunch of different characters.
9 – Being inspired to tell a story by the simplest of things.
10 – Providing for my family in a different and fun way.

What’s your top ten list?

 

Fun Fact: Working Titles

If I don’t have a title for a novel that I am outlining (or even writing), then I’ll label it with some random relevant piece of the book. So if I’m writing a book about a teacher, I might title the draft “Teacher” until I have a name for it.

I’m currently working on the outlines of two very different books and I just noticed that I sort of went with a Friends theme for the titles. One working title is “The One with the Tattoos” and the other is “The One with the Funny Guy.” Maybe I’ll name that funny guy Chandler…

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Five Things I’d Like To Do More

Recently, I pinned a whole bunch of journal prompts on Pinterest. I figured I could use them for ideas for posts here and on my breast cancer blog.

I’m starting today with: Five Things I’d Like To Do More

  1. Write. This is probably on every writer’s to do list. We’re writers, but sometimes we can’t find the time to write. I’ve struggled over the past year with writing due to chemotherapy and “chemo brain.” I couldn’t write, no matter how hard I tried. The fog cleared and boom! I was able to finish one book and articulate ideas for two others. It’s such a great feeling. So that’s absolutely number one on my list. Write write write.
  2. Build friendships. I don’t mean networking, though that does often happen naturally when you build friendships. I’ll save that for another goal, though. I have little friendships here and there with people in the book community, some of which I haven’t been able to give proper attention to since getting sick. I want to work on those.
  3. Network. This is another thing that’s probably on every writer’s list. I believe networking is crucial for success in any field. I remember when I was on a nationwide marketing committee, one of the other members said “Why try to create something new when someone else is probably already doing it better?” I know that’s kind of sketchy to say as a writer, but I’m not talking about books here. I don’t mean everyone should go create their own versions of Harry Potter and Fifty Shades. But why reinvent the newsletter wheel? Swag? Networking is about helping each other out and sharing ideas. I have made so many connections since I published my first book 3 years ago, and I really want to get organized and network with these folks.
  4. Live. I love to read. I love to write. I love my day job. But sometimes I have no life. Seriously. I get up, go to work, come home, read, maybe write, go to sleep. Repeat. Hubs and I made a list on Day Zero Project and we have begun working on it. It’s like a mega bucket list. We have a “Someday” list with more extravagant adventures, and a “101 in 1001” list for more realistic things (that’s 101 things to do in 1001 days).
  5.  Market myself. It’s probably my weakest area, which is ironic since I used to do work in marketing. It’s hard though. Being a brand yourself and having to sell it–that takes a lot of faith and hope and energy. But that’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to believe in my brand and do my absolute best.

What is something you’d like to do more of?

What’s new?

Hey there!

Just wanted to give a quick update. I’ve been fairly quiet the last several months due to some health issues. I was diagnosed with breast cancer back in August, and was just declared cancer free last week. I’ve still got some preventative treatment ahead of me, but I’m finally on the mend.

Needless to say, my writing took a major back burner while I was going through chemotherapy. It’s not that I didn’t want to write or that I didn’t have ideas flowing, it’s that I couldn’t. Chemo brain is a real thing, people! Every time I opened a word document, my brain just shut down. It didn’t matter how detailed my outline was, the words just wouldn’t come.

I’m slowly getting back to the swing of things. I’ve got a few projects I’m ready to tackle, and lots of ideas in the works, so you’ll absolutely be seeing more stories published. I’m not making any promises (since I know first hand that sh*t happens), but right now things are looking good for a release this year.

Some new content will be coming to my Facebook reader group, Jennifer’s Chapter Chicks. Click here to join, if you’re not already a member.

I look forward to this new year full of brand new things!!

Am I going to see anyone in Baltimore for the Rebels Hit the Road event next month?

For Love of Books and Florida

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I had such a great time at For Love of Books and Florida in Sarasota, Florida. As always, I come back from these events feeling refreshed and motivated. I meet readers and authors and industry pros, learn new things, and end up with book ideas. I’ve been in such a rut lately, overwhelmed with stuff, and this trip was just what I needed!

A huge thank you to Kelly, Red, Jen, Cary, and everyone else who made this event as awesome as it was. The For Love of Books and Alcohol blog/group/queens are amazing and they put together a fantastic event. I will definitely be checking out another one before I see them in Dublin, Ireland in 2019!!

Get Rocked! in Vegas is LIVE!

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I can’t believe it’s finally here! This has been a serious work in progress and it’s finally out in the wild. I hope you’ll snatch it up and check out my short story, Force. I absolutely LOVE the characters in this story, it was a project I was so passionate about. I hope you’ll love it as much as I do.

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What else?

Jenna Galicki ~ Jade C. Jamison ~ Theresa Hissong
Lisa Gillis ~ Lashell Collins ~ Jennifer L. Allen
Bella Jeanisse ~ Maria Bernard ~ Sadie Grubor
Kacey Hamford ~ Toni Kenyon ~ Lindy S. Hudis

There are 11 other authors in this anthology that you just have to read. Some may be old favorites, others may be new to you, but they’re all amazing. You will not be disappointed with this boxed set.

Buy it at your favorite ebook retailer for just 99 cents! The price will go up soon, so grab it for 99 pennies today.

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06VW6MKPD
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B06VW6MKPD
Amazon CAN: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B06VW6MKPD
Amazon AUS: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B06VW6MKPD
Nook: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/books/1125773197
iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1205304072
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/get-rocked-in-vegas

Here Without You is Live!

Presents
 
Release Blitz: Here Without You 
by Jennifer L. Allen
 
Release Date: April 18, 2017
Genre: Contemporary Romance / Military Romance
 
Add to your TBR
 
Available Now!
 
Amazon
US UK CA AU

 Anna Romano had the picture perfect life. As a brilliant high school student and talented artist with a supportive family, she couldn’t imagine her life being any better. Her days are spent fantasizing about finishing high school, and dreaming of a future with her loving boyfriend.
 
Ryan Jacobs had his life figured out. He was enlisting in the Navy, and his high school sweetheart was applying to art school. Just a few more months and the life they’d planned together would become a reality.
 
On a cold February day, tragedy struck and flipped Anna’s life upside down. The bright and colorful world she once lived in turned to gray. Retreating into herself, she pushed Ryan away. She pushed everyone away. Then she ran.
 
Ryan was lost without Anna, but truthfully, she had been gone long before she even left. He did the only thing he could do, he went on with his life. Years later, the last thing he expected was to bump into her more than two thousand miles from home.
 
Love, pain, distance, and secrets.
 
Would their challenges tear them apart?
 
Or was their love strong enough to mend them forever?
 
*Here Without You is a standalone romance with a trigger warning. A mass shooting takes place in the prologue and is referenced periodically throughout the book.
 
 
 
 
Excerpt
Ryan: Whatcha reading?
Anna: Can it, Jacobs.
Ryan: No can do.
Anna: I’m not telling you anything.
Ryan: I knew it!
Anna: Knew what?
Ryan: You are reading the sexy books.
Ryan: I bet you did read the one with the whips.
Ryan: Anna?
Ryan: Hello?
Anna: Goodbye, Ryan.
Ryan: I’m like a dog with a bone, Anna. I’m not giving up.
Anna: You’re going to be greatly disappointed.
Ryan: Doubt that.
Anna: What makes you so confident?
Ryan: Because I know I’m right.
Anna: Hate to tell you this, but you’re wrong. I haven’t read that book.
Anna: Yet …
Ryan: *groans*
Anna: lol


 
About the Author
 
Jennifer was born and raised on Long Island, in New York. She relocated to South Carolina in 2002, where she met the love of her life. They got married and live their happily ever after just outside of Charleston with their fur-kids; a spoiled rat terrier, a cat who thinks he’s a dog, and a cat who think she’s an MMA fighter. When she’s not reading or writing, she works a day job in an office, and is an evening graduate student, pursuing a degree in clinical counseling. She enjoys amateur photography, traveling, and music … it’s a bonus when she can combine all three. She independently published her debut novel, Our Moon (JACT 1), in June 2015.
 
Follow the Author
 
 
 
 
Hosted by Read Review Repeat

Here Without You Cover Reveal

Presents
 
Cover Reveal: Here Without You 
by Jennifer L. Allen
 
Release Date: April 18, 2017
Genre: Contemporary Romance / Military Romance
 
Add to your TBR
 
Pre-Order today for 99 cents!
 
Amazon

US UK CA AU

 Anna Romano had the picture perfect life. As a brilliant high school student and talented artist with a supportive family, she couldn’t imagine her life being any better. Her days are spent fantasizing about finishing high school, and dreaming of a future with her loving boyfriend.
 
Ryan Jacobs had his life figured out. He was enlisting in the Navy, and his high school sweetheart was applying to art school. Just a few more months and the life they’d planned together would become a reality.
 
On a cold February day, tragedy struck and flipped Anna’s life upside down. The bright and colorful world she once lived in turned to gray. Retreating into herself, she pushed Ryan away. She pushed everyone away. Then she ran.
 
Ryan was lost without Anna, but truthfully, she had been gone long before she even left. He did the only thing he could do, he went on with his life. Years later, the last thing he expected was to bump into her more than two thousand miles from home.
 
Love, pain, distance, and secrets.
 
Would their challenges tear them apart?
 
Or was their love strong enough to mend them forever?
 
*Here Without You is a standalone romance with a trigger warning. A mass shooting takes place in the prologue and is referenced periodically throughout the book.
 
 
 
 
Excerpt
Ryan: Whatcha reading?
Anna: Can it, Jacobs.
Ryan: No can do.
Anna: I’m not telling you anything.
Ryan: I knew it!
Anna: Knew what?
Ryan: You are reading the sexy books.
Ryan: I bet you did read the one with the whips.
Ryan: Anna?
Ryan: Hello?
Anna: Goodbye, Ryan.
Ryan: I’m like a dog with a bone, Anna. I’m not giving up.
Anna: You’re going to be greatly disappointed.
Ryan: Doubt that.
Anna: What makes you so confident?
Ryan: Because I know I’m right.
Anna: Hate to tell you this, but you’re wrong. I haven’t read that book.
Anna: Yet …
Ryan: *groans*
Anna: lol

 

 
About the Author
 
Jennifer was born and raised on Long Island, in New York. She relocated to South Carolina in 2002, where she met the love of her life. They got married and live their happily ever after just outside of Charleston with their fur-kids; a spoiled rat terrier, a cat who thinks he’s a dog, and a cat who think she’s an MMA fighter. When she’s not reading or writing, she works a day job in an office, and is an evening graduate student, pursuing a degree in clinical counseling. She enjoys amateur photography, traveling, and music … it’s a bonus when she can combine all three. She independently published her debut novel, Our Moon (JACT 1), in June 2015.
 
Follow the Author
 
 
 
 
Hosted by Read Review Repeat