The Mistress of Pennington's Tour

Friday, 4 December 2015

Welcome Women's Fiction author, Jennifer Collin...

                      Hi Jennifer! Great to have you here and to be part of your ongoing tour with Goddess Fish -                        I'm looking forward to learning more about you & your work. Let's start with my questions...

1.)            What did you want to be when you grew up?

At first, it was a teacher. Original, huh? Then, of course, a writer, although I was discouraged from that by all of those around me. “You can’t make money being a writer,” they said. By the time I reached the end of high school, I’d committed myself to becoming a social worker, only to once again be discouraged by a jaded tutor on my first day of university. Looking around her tutorial room at the fresh 17 and 18 year old faces looking back at her expectantly, she said, “Social work is really tough and most of you aren’t going to make it.” I made it to the end of that first year, switched to an English Literature major and ended up as a bureaucrat. No one discouraged me from that career choice and it’s paid the bills, but now I’ve been at it for far too long. As I drag myself to work each day, I’m still wondering what I should be when I grow up. Or when I should just take the plunge, throw it in and commit myself to writing full time.

2.)            Coffee, tea or hot chocolate?
Coffee! I adore coffee and am a total snob about it. Australian’s are quite the coffee connoisseur’s, and our baristas are in hot demand in Europe apparently. I’ve heard it’s something about the quality of the beans we use. Only the finest for us.
3.)            What genre do you typically read? Why?
When I was younger, I used to devour the most depressing novels. It started when I was a literature major. I was gripped by the worst of human nature, the stories of child abuse, drug addiction and Brett Easton Ellis-style psychopathy. But that all changed after I had my first child, when I looked into her innocent eyes and wanted to give her a world where none of that existed. Where everything was sunshine and lollipops. I can’t read depressing books anymore and I can’t even watch movies categorised as Drama.
Now I only read love stories and the happily ever after is essential. I like my romances to come with a side of humor and a sprinkling of sexy spice, much like the ones I write.

4.)            Share a favourite childhood memory.
I grew up on a farm and as such am blessed with many wonderful childhood memories. My brother and sister and I had so much freedom. We would disappear for hours on our bikes, exploring the farm and living in our imaginations. It was a true free-range childhood.

5.)            Do you have any shameless addictions? ie. Tea, Books, Shoes, Clothes?
The internet. I can’t get enough of it. It’s such a wonderful, wonderful place. If I could spend my every waking hour on the internet, I would.

6.)            What do you think is the biggest challenge of writing a new book?
For me this year, it’s been finding the time. Since Bring Me Back, my third novel and the final instalment in my Evans Trilogy, was released in January, I’ve been over-working that job that pays, leaving me exhausted at the end of the day with little energy left to write. Now that summer has arrived in Australia, I’m trialling a new approach of early starts, where I’ll hammer out as much as I can before everyone else is awake. I’m enjoying it, not just because I’m getting back into the swing of things, but because it gives me an excuse to go crawl into bed when the kids do!

7.)            Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages a day?
No. Some days it flows and some days it doesn’t. As long as something comes out each day, I’m not bothered by how much. Perhaps if I was doing it full time I’d be much more vigilant.

8.)            What are your thoughts on writing a book series?
I certainly didn’t intend to write a series when I set out. But as I was writing Set Me Free, the first book in my Evans Trilogy, the secondary characters were begging me to tell their story as well. It was tough. Like my real-life babies, I had to give my main characters equal amount of attention. And also like my real-life babies, they weren’t always well behaved, meaning some days I preferred to work more with some than with others. Ultimately though, I got to spend almost three years with them. And that was wonderful.

The Evans Trilogy
by Jennifer Collin


GENRE:  Chick Lit



Book 1: Set me Free

Disastrous love life aside, Charlotte Evans is rather content with her life. Her quaint little art gallery is plodding along nicely, and her sister Emily’s artistic career is about to take off, thanks to her tireless promotion. She even gets to see her best friend every day and drink his delicious coffee in the café next door.
But when dastardly property developer Craig Carmichael comes along, threatening to demolish her gallery and take everything away, Charlotte has an unexpected fight on her hands. Not only is she battling to stop Craig’s development, she’s also struggling against the mysterious magnetic pull that has her on a collision course with Craig himself.
Craig Carmichael is fighting the Battle for Boundary Street on more than one front. The tenants of the building he wants to knock down are mounting a strong case against him and in a hot-headed moment he put his career on the line for a project that is threatening to fail. If the project doesn’t succeed he will lose everything, but for some reason he’s having trouble maintaining his focus.
As their worlds begin to unravel around them, anyone could win. It’s what they might lose that has Charlotte and Craig wondering what it is they really want.

Book 2: Open My Eyes

Everything happens for a reason, they say. And sometimes the reason is you're stupid and make bad decisions. Sleeping with her sister's best friend is one of the dumbest things soon-to-be divorcee Emily Evans has ever done. But she's determined to put it behind her and move on. She's walked away from her cheating husband, managed to make a new friend, and found herself a real job and somewhere to live so she doesn't have to couch-surf any more. Everything should be falling into place but for one problem – there are some mistakes from which you can't move on.
Meanwhile, Ben Cameron is getting on with his life. After all, it's the only thing to do once your heart has been stomped on by the woman of your dreams. Expanding his business and getting cosy with the girl next door are proving welcome distractions. He's even happy to babysit his nephew, as long as he can to hand him back when he's done! And thankfully, Emily Evans, the woman with the heavy boots, is avoiding him like the plague.

But Emily can't avoid him forever, and when she drops a bombshell that turns Ben's world upside-down, suddenly, getting on with his life takes on a whole new meaning.
Book 3: Bring Me Back
Andy Evans is on the move. For six long, lonely years, he’s been running from his past, leaving his family and his life as a drug-addicted rock star far behind. His latest move takes him to the sleepy seaside town of Oamaru, New Zealand, to sell cigar-box guitars to tourists. The only running he’ll need to do will be training for the half-marathon in nearby Dunedin. But when Andy sets eyes on Steampunk HQ, Oamaru's main tourist attraction, he realises his days of running might not be over, especially if a certain Steampunk fan from his past catches up with him.
Annie Martin is on the cusp of great success. Her career as a Steampunk academic is about to take off, as long as she can convince one disagreeable, New Zealand-based Professor to sign up to the anthology she’s putting together. Thankfully, Annie is a master at maintaining her poise and few people, no matter how nasty, can rattle her. Not any more. In fact, it’d been a good six years since anyone had gotten under her skin, after her best friend’s brother had vanished into thin air.
When Annie finds her future career on a collision course with her secret past, Andy Evans is the last person she expects to find tangled up in the mess. With a vengeful drug-dealer or two hot on his heels, and a vindictive academic determined to ruin her credibility, can Annie bring Andy back to his family before it’s too late? Annie and Andy are used to being alone, but if they don’t work together, there’ll be much more at stake than her livelihood and his sobriety.


EXCERPTS (Please choose only ONE to use with your post):

Book 1 Set Me Free
Excerpt One:

The Evans Gallery was his last stop before he called it a day.

A little golden bell above the door tinkled daintily as he walked in. He noticed two things immediately: the intriguing painting on the wall to his right and the beguiling woman smiling lazily at him from behind a sleek-looking asymmetrical 1960s Danish-styled desk. Unsettled by the pair of slightly smoky grey eyes that came with the lazy smile, he moved directly toward the painting to take it in.

The canvas was large; it took up almost a quarter of the wall. The image was a view down a narrow alley corralled by stark grey skyscrapers that, thanks to the wash of the paint strokes, appeared to be crumbling. At the end of the alley, a small dog with a broken tail lay beside an old-fashioned dustbin, chewing a small, bright red ball.

‘Hi,’ welcomed the woman behind the counter. Her voice was as tired as her eyes and smile, but there was still something smouldering under the surface, like a combusting rain cloud. ‘Can I help you with anything in particular or would you just like to browse?’

‘Can you tell me anything about this piece?’ he asked, unwisely. She stood up to join him, swinging her hips as she walked, subtly but hypnotically. This might turn out to be the hardest conversation of them all; particularly given he was struggling to keep his eyes on her face and off those swinging hips. He looked up. Nope, no respite there.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Jennifer Collin writes quirky, and sometimes gritty, love stories about ordinary people dealing with what life throws at them.

She lives in Brisbane, Australia, with her husband, two noisy children and a cantankerous cat.

She used to party, but now her idea of a good time is an uninterrupted sleep. These days, her characters do her partying for her, and she doesn't necessarily let them sleep.

Links  (Amazon buy links)


Jennifer Collin will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour, and a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn host.

Comments?? Questions??


  1. Enjoyed the interview and excerpt.

  2. Thanks for having me, Rachel. Such a pleasure to be here!

  3. This book sounds amazing, thank you!

  4. Great interview, I love learning little tidbits about authors. I wish I had grown up on a farm, sounds like it would've been fun :).. thanks for sharing!

  5. Enjoyed the interview, sounds like a great book, thanks for sharing!

  6. Nice interview and sounds like a great series!

  7. I loved the interview. Thank you for sharing.