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Jenny Hale

Grab the hot cocoa!

It’s September already! Where has the summer gone? In 22 days, the warm Virginia air will whip around, showing off it’s new chill, and the leaves, now bright green will reveal their personalities–red, orange, purple, vibrant yellow. Football will blare from our televisions and hot cocoa will replace our cocktails. After a scorcher of a summer, I’m ready! As Autumn beckons the cooler temperatures, and we settle in to our favorite pair of fuzzy slippers, I thought I’d let you know what has just gone up for preorder!

AllIWantForChristmas

All I Want for Christmas is a big, cozy story about the importance of family, the strength of childhood friendships, and learning to trust your heart. It’s available for preorder from Amazon directly from my website, (or by visiting Amazon) or on October 6th, you can head over to Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iBookstore, or Kobo to get your copy. I hope you’ll enjoy it with a steamy mug and a warm blanket.

Introducing A Barefoot Summer!

This summer has been a busy one! I’ve been waist deep in edits on this Christmas’s book, which should be out in October, 2016. But before I start getting all hot-chocolate and candy canes, let’s talk about those warm months, shall we? I’m delighted to introduce my latest title and cover (*formerly Love Me for Me)! Those who read Summer at Oyster Bay, might remember Libby, who worked at Water’s Edge Inn. A Barefoot Summer is Libby’s story. Check out the blurb below! Also this summer my website has had a makeover! Now you can buy all my books straight from the website. I’d love to hear from you! If you want to drop me a line about one that you’ve read, you can now leave me a message on the books tab. Happy reading!

ABarefootSummer

A Barefoot Summer is a beautiful, touching story about coming home, the importance of family, and the special place that first loves hold in our hearts. Fans of Carole Matthews, Trisha Ashley, Susan Mallery and Susan Wiggs – and anyone looking for a perfect, feel-good summer read will enjoy this.

Sometimes you find perfect where you least expect it …

Libby Potter has just lost the perfect job, the perfect apartment and the perfect boyfriend. Moving back to the home town that she couldn’t wait to escape when she was younger was definitely not on her to-do list. Especially as it means running into the man whose heart she broke when she left.

Pete Bennett can still make Libby’s world stop with just the sound of his voice – even ten years on. Only now, she is the last person in the world that he wants to see.

As everyone else welcomes Libby home with open arms, she realizes she’s missed that special closeness that comes from lifelong friendship. And, as Libby seeks to make amends with Pete, she begins to wonder whether she made the right choice in leaving all those years ago.

When an amazing career opportunity gives her the chance to leave again, Libby will have to decide what her version of perfect is… and where she really belongs.

A Barefoot Summer was previously published as Love Me for Me.

What people are saying about Love Me for Me

A perfect romance read. Full of tension and heart wrenching feelings that have you biting your lower lip in either frustration or sadness. Have a lump in your throat, a tear in your eye or giggling like a schoolgirl… Oh I really did enjoy it, I know this will be a turn to read when I need a relaxed paced read that is genuine, believable and beautiful. One to lift my mood and put a smile on my face and warmth in my heart.

Full of charismatic characters, family love and bonds, honesty, small town loveliness and soul mates. Reading perfection!’ 5/5 Pajama Book Girl

‘I loved the synopsis of Love Me for Me, it sounded like a heart-warming, romantic, enjoyable story and it was all of those things…plus a whole lot more

I was really happy with the ending of this novel too, it was completely satisfying, everything was tied up and I found I had a big cheesy grin on my face when I finished. You’ll love Libby’s heartwarming journey as her life changes in ways she’d never have expected…

It’s a novel that will get you thinking and feeling appreciative for what you have in life. You might also end up asking yourself ‘What If…’ about situations of your own. A warm, light, brilliantly romantic story.5/5 GirlsLovetoRead.com

‘What a journey! I can’t recommend this book enough – it’s a book that will keep you guessing right up until the final pages – a book that isn’t all hearts and flowers yet has left me feeling happy and content, perfect!5/5 Crooks on Books

‘This was a delightful read. It isn’t a heavy plot so it is ideal if you are looking for something light to whisk you away to an idyllic setting and a cast of lovely characters.’ Rea Book Review

Who’s your book boyfriend?

Everyone loves a quiz! That got me thinking about the heroes in my books… Let’s see which of my summer book characters you’d fall for! Are you more Summer at Oyster Bay’s Charlie Peterson, Summer by the Sea’s Jake Buchanan, or Love Me for Me’s Pete Bennett? Good luck!

 

  1. While reading on a cold day, how would you warm your feet?

(a) tucking them under the legs of your man

(b) curling up under a quilt

(c) travel somewhere warmer

(d) all of the above

 

  1. What type of vacation best describes you?

(a) visiting an island

(b) flying to a beach

(c) kicking back in your back yard with good friends

(d) They all sound great!

 

  1. What would you most like to do in your free time?

(a) be with your family

(b) see a good band and have a few drinks

(c) start a project around the house

(d) I’d like to do all of these at one point or another

 

  1. Which alcoholic drink best describes you?

(a) margarita

(b) beer

(c) wine

(d) Any of these!

 

  1. What would most likely excite you for dinner?

(a) a cookout

(b) a home cooked meal, made by your significant other

(c) take-out from your favorite restaurant

(d) All of these are totally fine by me.

 

  1. Which would you most like to try?

(a) surfing

(b) co-piloting a plate

(c) horseback riding

(d) They all sound fun.

 

Tally up your A’s, B’s, C’s and D’s. Which number was the highest? Check below to find your book boyfriend!

Mostly A’s: Pete Bennett – Love Me for Me

Mostly B’s: Jake Buchanan – Summer by the Sea

Mostly C’s: Charles Peterson – Summer at Oyster Bay

Mostly D’s: All 3 of them!

Summer at Oyster Bay in Pictures

This coming Thursday, June 9th, my sixth book Summer at Oyster Bay will be released! If you remember Libby from Love Me for Me, she’ll be making an appearance, as Summer at Oyster Bay is set in the same location, Virginia’s Northern Neck peninsula. Why do I have two books set there? Because it’s one of my most favorite places.

I visited just the other weekend, and snapped a ton of photos that looked as though they’d jumped right out of my mind while writing the book! So, to whet your appetite, I thought I’d share a few pictures from the novel! Hope you enjoy them! If you’re a fan of Pinterest, I have an entire board dedicated to each book and there are lots more images to see for Summer at Oyster Bay! Here’s the link: www.pinterest.com/jhaleauthor/summer-at-oyster-bay/

Wouldn’t you agree that life is better with sand between your toes?

Jenny x

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Summer at Oyster Bay!

I am delighted to share with you the details of my latest novel! It will be released June 9th, but is available right now for preorder. The links are below! Introducing SUMMER AT OYSTER BAY!

UK: http://amzn.to/1QSOrRZ
US: http://amzn.to/1T37yAh

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They say falling in love is easy. But what if you know it’ll break your heart?

For Emily Tate, returning to her charming childhood home Oyster Bay is like coming up for air after the fast pace of her city life. At the farm her grandfather built, surrounded by sister Rachel’s chatter, Gram’s buttermilk biscuits, and the soft, white sand, Emily is reminded of exactly who she is and what she holds most dear.

When Emily starts work at elegant Water’s Edge Inn, Charles Peterson, the handsome new owner, asks for her help. He wants to expand and needs Emily to teach him the local ways, so he can convince the planning commission. Emily vows to make him fall in love with her hometown, just the way it is.

At work, Charles is reserved and serious, yet once Emily has him kicking off his shoes in the sand and sailing across the glistening Chesapeake Bay, she sees another side to him, and their easy rapport feels like the start of something big.

But when it becomes clear Charles’s plans for the inn involve bulldozing Oyster Bay, Emily is heartbroken. Will she lose her home and Charles all at once, or can she save Oyster Bay, and give true love a chance?

Summer at Oyster Bay is the perfect, feel-good summer romance, about the importance of home and family, learning what love is, and living in the here and now.

 

Christmas Cookies

Why do I have cookie baking in Christmas Wishes and Mistletoe Kisses? To me, Christmas is mostly about love and how that love is shared with friends and family. Growing up, we used to bake an old Amish family recipe for sugar cookies. My mother remembers her aunt baking these cookies when my mom was a child, and then she made them for me when I was growing up. We’d cut them into different shapes, add icing, sprinkles—all sorts of things. Since it was my mother’s family recipe, I asked her if I could share it, and she agreed. After all, Christmas is about sharing, right? So, from my family to yours, happy holidays!

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Aunt Mary’s Amish Sugar Cookies

In Bowl 1: Mix together 6 ½ cups flour, 2 teaspoons baking soda, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon cream of tartar

Separate bowl (Bowl 2): Mix together 1 cup soft butter, 3 cups sugar, 2 eggs unbeaten, 3 tablespoons vanilla, 1 cup sour cream (Fun fact: It was originally written “commercial” sour cream because the Amish got their cream from their milk and the recipe was rewritten for us.)

Add flour mixture (Bowl 1) to Bowl 2 and beat or mix with hands until well mixed.

Place in refrigerator and chill for one hour or longer.

After that, roll out dough, cut cookies, and add to well-oiled cookie sheet. Bake on 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 8-10 minutes.

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Christmas in Richmond, Virginia

My three Christmas books are set in Richmond, Virginia, so I thought I’d share photos of Christmas decorations from Richmond! I think Abbey in Christmas Wishes and Mistletoe Kisses would love these! 🙂

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Christmas Wishes on Location

I hope everyone is getting into the festive spirit! The Hale family certainly is. We have our trees and decorations up, presents to be wrapped, and I even hung some mistletoe in honor of my latest, Christmas Wishes and Mistletoe Kisses.

In the novel, Nick takes Abbey to The Jefferson Hotel to hear his mother’s news. Nothing in Richmond, Virginia says Christmas quite like The Jefferson Hotel. This past weekend, I got to visit this grand hotel, and I took a few photos. Does it look the way you imagined it while reading?

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Writing in Many Forms

Often, when doing interviews, I’m asked when I first decided to become a writer, or why I became a writer. I often struggle with the answers to these questions. I think one can’t just decide to be a writer–the skill is a part of us, and we either have the drive to do it or we don’t. I was on the newspaper staff in high school, I kept journals, I wrote poems as a girl. I didn’t set out a career path and work toward writing novels, I just wrote. It so happened that in adulthood, my writing took the form of novels.

I thought I’d share with you a poem that I wrote probably 20 years ago. (It’s amazing how relevant it is today.) When I wrote it, I was worried about how the world seemed to be moving away from compassion for each other. I’ve always tried to keep that compassion, and now, I try to instill it in my children. So, in the spirit of Christmas, may we all find that nobility. Here is a little of my writing in a different form. I hope you enjoy it. 🙂

An Era Found

The dignity of finer stroke,
A page, a glance, of timeless folk,
Whose elegance and grandeur gleam,
Who soak my heart with their esteem.
I often wish to pace their steps,
To follow dreams that fate accepts,
Open my eyes to splendor’s time
Of gallant verse and perfect rhyme.
As I glance at time gone by,
I look ahead with opened eye.
Souls have gone, yet we are still.
Light remains on windowsill.
Nobility does not know death,
It only lacks a heart and breath,
And in it lie the very souls
That leave when time must take its toll.

 

Characters Have Calendars Too!

It’s that time again; it comes twice a year and lasts for a few months–draft one writing time.

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I’m about half way through this summer’s upcoming novel, trying to reach a draft deadline of the beginning of February when my manuscript will go to my editor for the first time. Those who know me know that there isn’t anything of mine that isn’t color-coded and organized, so when I’m creating characters, I feel they should be the same.

A character needs to feel like a real person, so I treat them as such. We don’t ever write outlines for our lives, nor do we ever really know what each day will bring, so why should characters be any different? When I’m writing, my main character has a calendar. It’s color-coded, when necessary, just like mine would be, and, also just like me, any notes would be left on sticky notes, stuck to my mirror, the steering wheel of my car, my phone–wherever. The characters live on the pages in my computer, so their notes are usually stuck to the bottom of the page I’m writing.

On any given day, if you open my work in progress, you may see a line that says, “Don’t forget, you’ve got the party tomorrow. You need a dress.” That way, when I get back to my manuscript the next day, I won’t forget that little task of finding a dress or attending that party.

I have a vague idea in my head of a beginning, middle, and end; I know basic events that will take place, but how my characters get there evolves as they interact with each other. So, I write my character’s calendar as I go. Below, you’ll find Abbey’s calendar in Christmas Wishes and Mistletoe Kisses. Do you recognize anything from the novel? (I originally had her working two nursing jobs, and one of her jobs was cut from the manuscript, so in the final copy, she slept in for those 4:00 a.m. shifts.)

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Here’s the calendar I’m working on at the moment for my summer book. Any guesses about the plot? 😉

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While I’m busy typing away on Book Six for this summer, I hope you’re getting into the Christmas spirit with Christmas Wishes and Mistletoe Kisses. I’m delighted to see the reviews coming in! One blogger really made me smile. Here’s a quote from her review:  “I absolutely loved this book! … A beautifully written story you won’t be able to put down and one of the best festive reads I’ve ever read.” 10/10 This Chick Reads 

I’d love you to pick up a copy if you haven’t read it yet, and if you have, I’d really enjoy reading your review on Amazon. Leaving reviews is very helpful to me as it lets people know what others think of the book, thus helping to inform readers’ buying choices.

Happy holidays and happy reading!

Buy Links:

UK:

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