Good morning and Merry Christmas! I celebrate the season knowing this is not the actual day of Jesus birth. No one really knows what day it is, but its the spirit of the day and time. Love is the theme no matter who you are or what you believe I think you can join me in trusting that Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. So as you either celebrate with others or in the quiet of your heart I wish you many blessings and happiness. In regard to sharing my scheduled guest for today was unable to make it. However, in the spirit of sharing she sent today's lovely guest my way. Please help me welcome today's Around The Fire visitor, Jeanine Lauren.
Jeanine, welcome to my fire. I'm so happy to meet you and nothing helps a person relax but a flickering flame, whether we are inside at the fireplace or outdoors around the campfire. What are your thoughts and preferences?
I am not a camper anymore, as I prefer cabins with beds and sheets, but I still love chatting around a good campfire (even the imaginary fires I used last summer due to our dry conditions here in British Columbia, Canada). My preferred summer drink? Kambucha of the ginger and lemon variety. In winter? Hot cocoa with a dash of vanilla.
I looked up Kambucha. I wasn't familiar with it. I'll have to give it a try. I do enjoy a good cup of tea. But today, hot cocoa it is. While I grab some vanilla, can you tell us about yourself and Who you are other than your bio? What interests besides writing do you enjoy? For instance, what do you read or hobbies you have?
I am a course junkie -both my parents were teachers and so I come by it honestly - this constant need to learn something new. Every year I feed my learning by taking a degree, a class, joining a group or club, or by reading everything I can find on a subject for a few months.
This year I am learning French, and Pilates on the reformer machine. To learn French, I use the Duolingo app and practice at least ten minutes a day – I am nearly at a 200-day streak! I have been learning the Pilates since October, something I decided was necessary after falling victim to the pandemic-15 weight gain that hit so many of us in the past year.
Next year? I hope to have to learn about a new country firsthand if I am finally able to travel again, or, perhaps, I will join a walking club, to get better prepared to fulfill my dream of walking through the Cotswolds in England.
Très agréable. Though not as ambitious as you, I do enjoy learning especially while traveling. In these times of distancing I think we all still count on others. Who is your network or support system?
I am lucky to have a family who supports my dream of being a writer, but I think that, as a writer, only another writer really understands what it involved in conjuring characters and stories out of nothing but some tenuous connections to memory and research and stray ideas that pass through our brains at random and inopportune times (like in the pool when you have no way of writing them down)!
The writing community I turn to are members of the Creative Academy. It is an online writing community that offers many opportunities to meet and interact with other writers including group writing sprints, book clubs, and opportunities to read your work. They are a great group with a very positive vibe.
You are so right. Last year I was able to attend a conference and Florida and it so energized me as an author. I also belong to two online small writers chats. Speaking of other writers, who or what books or authors are your inspiration?
I read a variety of writers- most recently quite a number from England such as Tricia Ashley, Jenny Colgan, Judy Leigh, and Ali McNamara. I love the small towns, the quirky characters, and how they make regular everyday experiences so fun.
Do you have any fun or outrageous talent?
I like to sing and have been told I am not half bad. I can’t wait to be able to join a choir again.
What is your neighborhood like? Are there any places you frequent? What makes them special?
I am new to the neighbourhood as I moved this year, but the thing I most love is that I am only ten minutes from the beach. My husband and I walk our dog there on the weekend and we love to watch the herons waiting patiently for fish to pass by.
That sounds lovely. We live near a lake with a blue heron and many other types of birds. Since you are a tea drinker, what is your favorite mug or teacup
My favourite mug is one that says Create on it. I received it the last time I met in person with my writing group here in Vancouver, BC. It was at our annual Valentine’s Day luncheon in 2020. It reminds me of happier times.
Simple, yet inspirational. Years ago, there was a commercial that talked about a “Kodak Moment.” It’s a moment in time you catch in a picture. One you never want to forget. What is yours?
A picture of my children, my husband and I when we were last all together, before the kids left for university.
What is your favorite childhood book?
I was an avid reader, but I suppose my favourite as a child was Anne of Green Gables.
Worst household chore?
Decluttering my bookshelf – I hate to part with them!
I've been contemplating mine and trying to make decisions so I feel your pain. I think I know the answer to this one but... Would you rather have unlimited international first-class tickets or never have to pay for food at restaurants?
Do you play board games? What games do you like?
I like scrabble but I play cards more often. I have a standing cribbage game on Tuesday nights with several of my new neighbours.
Oh fun! I love to play cards DH and I play Hearts, Kings in the Corner, and Whist are a few of our favorites. About your writing, what kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
If I need to know about a certain medical condition or the occupation of my characters I read, or watch YouTube videos (or if I can, I will try it myself). For Angel and the Neville Next Door, one of the characters is a glass blower, so I observed someone blowing glass and read a book on the subject to learn more.
How do you select the names of your characters?
I decide on the decade they were born and look up popular names from that timeframe and for the person’s heritage, on the internet.
So many of us live on a tight budget. Can you share what was the best money you ever spent as a writer?
I paid for a private mentorship early on in my career and continue to take courses and seek feedback to improve my craft.
Jeanine, it has been so nice getting to know you. Before you leave, would you share a bit about your book and where we can find out more?
Angel and the Neville Next Door
Can a cat person and a dog person find common ground? And maybe even love? Come to Sunshine Bay and find out!
A year after a difficult marital separation, Helen is alone for the holidays for the first time in years. She wants nothing more than to leave her house full of memories behind and spend her holiday somewhere where no one knows her or her ex-husband.
When her friend from Sunshine Bay asks if she would sit with Angel, her beloved cat, for the holidays, Helen jumps at the chance for a peaceful holiday away from everything she knows.
All is well until she meets the neighbors: Neville, a devilish Westie determined to escape his yard to pursue Angel, and Joe, Neville’s reluctant dog-sitter, who makes Helen’s heart beat a little faster whenever he’s around.
Joe is spending the holidays alone this year except for his son’s West Highland terrier, Neville, a dog that hasn’t met an obstacle he can’t dig under or squeeze through. Neville’s antics are interfering with Joe’s ability to get his work done and, worse, Neville has attracted the attention of the new neighbor, Helen, a bewitching woman Joe is finding hard to ignore.
The more Helen and Joe try to keep Neville happy and out of trouble, the more sparks fly between them. Will the pair solve the problem of Neville and be able to have the peaceful holiday they both crave? Or, with Neville’s help, will they see they belong together?
If you like a story of friendship, love and second chances in the second half of life, this one may be for you.
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More about the author
Jeanine Lauren writes stories about friendship, love and second chances in the second half of life, because let's face it, the second half is the most interesting.
Though Jeanine has been writing most of her life, many (okay, almost all) of her words have been for her day jobs, term papers, volunteer work, or used to make endless 'to do' lists she rarely looks at.
In 2019, Jeanine finally published the first book in her Sunshine Bay series -Love's Fresh Start - followed by three more so far, and is now writing as fast as she can, trying to make up for lost time.
Jeanine lives in the lower mainland of British Columbia, Canada not far from the fictional town of Sunshine Bay where most of her characters live.
To find out when Jeanine's next books are coming out, head over to her website at https://jeaninelauren.com/
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