by Jennifer Shirk
Kendall Grisbaum has been trying to pick up of the pieces of her life since the death of her firefighter husband almost two years ago. The last thing she’s interested in is love and feels the best way to start moving on is to concentrate on opening up her new bakery business. Unfortunately, she’s finding it hard to remember those two points now that her old friend and policeman Brad Mayer is back in her life and giving her a helping hand.
After losing her husband in the line of duty, Kendall doesn’t want to get involved with another man with a dangerous job, and refuses to give in to her attraction to the handsome police officer. But Brad has always loved Kendall from afar and now that he senses she might feel the same, he’s determined to show her the real danger would be to lose another chance at love.
Brad startled her by reaching out and stroking the side of her face with his finger. “Hey, why the frown? I pay you a compliment and you look unhappy. Next time, I’m going to tell you your cupcakes suck if that’s what it takes to get a smile out of you.”
“Oh, stop,” she said with a halfhearted laugh, lightly batting away his hand. “It’s nothing you said. And I am happy.” Mostly. At least she was happier than she’d been a few months ago.
Brad narrowed his eyes. “No, I know you. What’s really going on?”
She should have known better than to think she could hide anything from him, so she gave up the pretense. “I don’t know. I…I guess I feel a little alone sometimes. Grammy never seems to be around when I need her—and she’s all I have now. Even though it’s just you and Georgie, you two are close and share so much. And I…” She flushed, realizing she was babbling and embarrassing herself further. “Never mind. I’m sorry. I’m just being silly.”
“Hey, you’re not being silly.” Brad stepped even closer.
His aftershave tickled her nose, but the fresh scent was a welcome change to her senses. All she wanted to do was lean in farther and just inhale. She hoped he didn’t notice her swaying into him, but he smelled a thousand times better than cupcakes and wet paint.
“You can’t help the way you feel,” he said, placing his warm, broad hands on her shoulders. “But I want you to know that I’ll always be around, so you never have to feel alone.”
She wanted to argue that point, but his kind words were overwhelming. Brad pulled her into him, wrapping his arms around her. She stiffened at first, but the way he positioned himself made it clear that he had no intention of letting her go any time soon.
Her shoulders relaxed and she dropped her chin to his chest with a sigh of pleasure. Somehow Brad instinctively knew she needed this—a good old-fashioned hug—more than she knew she needed it herself. She wound her arms around his waist and sank deeper into his chest. An aching need to be held by him and have all her worries disappear squeezed through her. She felt safe, almost believing his words that he would always be around and she’d never be alone.
It was nice to pretend for a few minutes, anyway.
Brad shifted, gathering her even closer. He brushed a gentle kiss on the side of her forehead and a shudder passed through her. He felt so nice. This felt so nice. Brad inclined his head a few more inches and his breath softly fanned her face.
Without warning, her senses began to spin from the heat of his body and the scent of his skin. That’s when she knew she was in trouble.
Her eyes sprang open. Suddenly their embrace didn’t feel like a friendly hug, but something much more intimate. What were they doing? What was she doing?
Brad is only trying to comfort you, she kept telling herself. Until she looked up into his eyes and saw that he felt what was passing between them as well. His blue eyes were filled with heat. Desire. She swallowed hard.
Hi, all! Jennifer here!Thank you so much for having me and wanting to hear a little bit about me.
Each one of your books is so different, where do you have the inspiration for the wide variety of characters?
**Hmm…that’s a good question. Sometimes it’s situation that inspires me or sometimes it’s mood. For SUNNY DAYS FOR SAM I was in Disney World and decided to write my character like a Disney princess. For GEORGIE ON HIS MIND, I wanted to write a funny over-the-top “Lucille Ball” kind of character. And for KISSING KENDALL, I just wanted to take things in a completely different direction and write a character who actually had a happy marriage but whose husband had died. But of course the type of story it is will dictate what kind of character evolves too.
Which character in your books are you most like?
Honestly? I have a little bit of me in ALL of them. I’m anal like Sandra (THE ROLE OF A LIFETIME), sweet like Sunny (SUNNY DAYS FOR SAM), childish like Georgie (GEORGIE ON HIS MIND) and enjoy baking like Kendall (KISSING KENDALL) J
When did you know you had a gift and would become a writer?
I didn’t start writing until later in life (my 30’s). I took my writing to an author seminar at my local library. It was a four day seminar and on the last day, the author wanted us to share a piece of our own work for critique. It was the first time anybody had read my writing, but I remember I got some great feedback that day and somebody came up to me afterwards and told me that she hoped I continued to write because she thought I had a lot of promise. That’s when I knew I was on to something. J
What is the perfect setting for you when reading a book?
Curled up in my favorite comfy chair, no kids in the house, a cup of tea and a cookie next to me, and it snowing or raining outside. LOL How’s that for a visual?
Thanks again for having me!
I hope you get to check out KISSING KENDALL. And be on the lookout for my Valentine’s Day novella, A LITTLE BIT CUPID, that should be released the end of January from Entangled Publishing too!
And feel free to join us Bliss authors on Facebook! We chat, post contests, and the editors stop by there as well!
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Jennifer Shirk has a bachelor degree in pharmacy-which has in NO WAY at all helped her with her writing career. But she likes to point it out, since it shows romantic-at-hearts come in all shapes, sizes, and mind-numbing educations.
She writes sweet romantic comedies and won third place in the RWA 2006 NYC's Kathryn Hayes Love and Laughter Contest with her book, The Role of a Lifetime.
She's also a board member for Straight Ahead Ministries, an organization involved in helping spread the gospel and aiding medical and pharmacy students in Russia. She resides in a beach resort in NJ, and when she's not involved in all the above, she's taking care of her most treasured possessions: her husband, daughter, and four hermit crabs.
Jennifer will be awarding a free ebook of Kissing Kendall or an ebook from her backlist (winner's choice) to a random commenter at each stop. (There must be a minimum of 5 comments on each blog for a winner to be chosen).
Leave a comment and follow book tour for your chance to win.