Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Caribbean Christmas by Jenna Bayley-Burke

Caribbean Christmas
Release Day!!!

First, I have to say that  Jenna Bayley-Burke is an auto buy for me, and that is a high complement because I don't read a lot of light contemporary romances. I usually find the characters to be too unbelievable--unbelievably naive or unbelievably goody two-shoes or the situations unbelievably conceived.  However, every one of Jenna's books I've read have believable characters in interesting situations that could be real. Add to that her wonderful and wacky sense of humor and she has hooked me every time. 

So, when I heard she was starting a series in the Caribbean I begged Jenna to let me feature her book on my blog and to consent to an interview. I haven't read this one yet, but I do have it on pre-order.  So, enjoy the interview and the blurb. I would strongly encourage you to join me in buying the book. You will be glad you did.

’Tis the season for unwrapping the gift of pleasure.

Under the Caribbean Sun, Book 1

When Saskia snags a last-minute ticket home to the Caribbean isle of Anguilla, she intends to surprise her workaholic father and to reconnect over Christmas. When she finds he’s away on business, there’s still plenty to fill her time while she waits. Sailing, snorkeling…and an unexpected, very adult attraction to her girlhood crush.

Joe Prinsen is certain Saskia has returned to the island only to ask for money. He feels it’s time she learns the truth about her father’s depleted financial situation from the man himself. And he intends to make sure she sticks around long enough to hear it.

Except the girl he remembers has matured into a devastatingly sexy woman. She's taking all his noble intentions and unwrapping them, one by one, until their shared desire is revealed in the warm Caribbean water. Saskia’s only home for Christmas. And once she finds out the secret he’s hiding, she’ll no doubt leave the Caribbean, and him, for good.


What are your roots?  
On one side I can trace back to the Mayflower, on the other only a few generations out of Russia, Hungary & Poland

Has your own family story impacted your writing at all?  
I think so. I come from a family of amazingly long marriages, so I do have a blind faith in love.

How do you describe yourself as a writer?  
I like to have written. I hate to be interrupted. I love falling for a new story.

What do you think is the special power of the genres you write in?  
I write contemporary, which is special because it is so easily relatable, and effortless to escape into.

Why was it important for you to write this particular novel? 
I’ve been to the Caribbean once, on a cruise with my grandmother to help her take a breather after my grandfather’s death. The beauty and the magic of the place began our healing and I’ve wanted to return since the moment we left. Now I get to spend lots of time there, if only in my imagination.

What was hard for you in writing this novel?  
Finding time to write. I’ve had a wonky year health-wise, so finding time where I could concentrate was a challenge.

Are there themes that recur in your work?  
I like modern fairytales. I seem to gravitate to Cinderella or Beauty & the Beast.

What are you working on now?  
I’m doing the edits on Caribbean Casanova, the second in the Under the Caribbean Sun series, and writing Caribbean Crush, the third interlude.

What would you like to write in the future?  
There are so many stories I wish I could hold onto long enough to get them down. ADD is not all that helpful for an author. I’d like to write more.

If you had to give one piece of advice to women who are searching for something more in their relationships, what would it be?  
You deserve moments of bliss. Too often women get caught up in making everyone else around them happy, they don’t take the time to make sure they feel the same joy. That sounds so philosophical. Who knew I had it in me?

That is great advice, Jenna!

I suggest everyone run right out and buy this book. I know I'm already wishing I was spending my Christmas in the Carribean.

Buy Links:  Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Samhain |


College confused me. I went in determined to become an orthopedic surgeon, and  came out with a triple major – Psychology, Religious Studies, and English. Thank goodness organic chemistry mystified me, or my life might have turned out completely different. Or not. I always wanted to write, it just seemed like a far away goal – a someday not a today.
After managing department stores and executive recruiting, I got lucky and had my first of three children. After two years of fertility treatments, I wanted to be with him as much as I could and opted to stay home. I started writing then, and developing recipes for magazines like Cooking Light and Better Homes & Gardens.
After my second son was born I had a health crisis, and as I lay in the ER I worried about what my boys would make of the things I’d left behind. Stories started and never finished, notes on novels never written, not to mention the rolls of film I’d yet to develop and put in albums. Grateful for life and high on pain meds, I was making some brave decisions. Like writing a book in a month for National Novel Writers Month (NaNoWriMo).
That book (after much editing) became my first romance novel, JUST ONE SPARK, published by Mills & Boon in 2006. COOKING UP A STORM followed, as have a series of single-title romances from Samhain Publishing (HER CINDERELLA COMPLEX, PAR FOR THE COURSE, COMPROMISING POSITIONS, PRIDE & PASSION, PRIVATE SCANDAL, FOR KICKS, and DRIVE ME CRAZY).
COMPROMISING POSITIONS will always hold a special place in my heart, not because it sat atop the Amazon Bestseller list for two weeks, but because it was the story I was writing when I got sick, the half-finished book I worried my boys would find and wonder why I hadn’t completed it. Nothing compares to showing my kids that when you have a dream you chase it, catch it, hold on with both hands, and never let go. 


Jenna Bayley-Burke said...

Thanks for inviting me over.

Maggie Jaimeson said...

Thank YOU for being a part of my author interviews. And congratulations on your new release. I had pre-ordered it, so now I just have to read it.

Paty Jager said...

Great interview. I just bought the book. This may be the only way I ever get to see the Caribbean even though hubby keeps saying he wouldn't mind going ONCE.

Susan said...

Wonderful interview! Your story is so inspiring, Jenna. I'm going start looking for those moments of bliss. Thanks for the reminder - I needed it. And now I have Caribbean Christmas in my to-be-read pile. Can't wait to start it :)

Terri Reed said...

I can't wait to read this. I just started Pride and Passion. I love your voice Jenna. And great advice is right! Bliss. I want a moment or two or three of bliss!

Jessa Slade said...

I've been hopping around to blogs today and been finding all these inspirational stories of writers who made it happen. And here you are; another inspiration!

Or maybe it's just that image of a beautiful sun...

Evelyn Bohn said...

This book sounds great. I'd love to spend Xmas in the Caribbean. The only place I've been that's even close is the Bahamas. I'm going to go download it right now.

Jenna Bayley-Burke said...

Thanks all! I've only been to the Caribbean once, and briefly. My grandmother needed to escape after my grandfather died following a long battle with strokes and diabetes complications. She was a caregiver for almost a decade. So, while the family de-hospitalized the house, we went on a cruise. I'll never forget how brave she was trying all these new things, or the way she looked in a hammock...or how she laughed so hard we never thought she'd get out. I think that's what drew me to the Caribbean. I have such warm, healing memories of our visits there and how lovely the people were.

Jenna Bayley-Burke said...

Terri - Pride & Passion is my angsty book...and my homage to all things Austen. I love once they get to Hawaii.

Terri Reed said...

Yes, Jenna P&P is very angst ridden. But I'm enjoying the ride.

Shannon Ro said...

Great advice, I sometimes spread myself too thin and don't focus on my own happiness. A christmas in the caribbean sounds really nice to me too!

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