This novel is a culmination of many different events and how my creative soul sorted them all out.

The first burst of inspiration was when I watched a dear friend bury her child. Evie Sinclaire became a way for me to process my own thoughts and feelings of being friends with my own worst nightmare as a mother. 

The second was when Lt. Jefferies true personality began to shine: My husband and I lost the life we’d been building for the better part of 20 years when his company closed, the industry changed, and his work experience was so highly specialized it took 14 months to find a new job. Everything in our life broke, including our home and my health. I had two freak infections, the first I was told I had an 87% chance I would not survive. The second I was told I might have 8 hours left. The single hardest thing I’ve ever done is write my children letters telling them how sorry I was I wouldn’t be there to watch them grow up. 

I survived, and in the midst of researching Lt. Jefferies, aka, Navy SEAL, and life’s storms raging all around us and knocking us down, I found a collective community of warriors who inadvertently taught me to stand back up. To keep pushing forward, no matter the obstacle. Don't ring the bell. Funny how sometimes a little idea can give your entire life a new direction. 

The SEAL ethos, the never quit mentality, The Only Easy Day Was Yesterday, began to mingle with my own ethos. I wasn’t so much as inspired or in awe of them, as I wanted to learn from them, for me, not for the book. So I did. I reached out to Thom Shea, and placed myself at his feet through Lord knows, that decision has led to some crazy personal events. My husband and I learned to honor our word to ourselves, walk for 24 hours, and then did a 48 miles in 48 hours challenge, and the list keeps growing. Check out my interview with him. You can read all about my continuing adventures of learning to be Unbreakable here and on raising warrior kids while doing battle with dyslexia on my blog “The D Word, Diary of a Dyslexic.

Yes I am dyslexic. You’ll probably catch a few typos here and there. A few are bound to slip by so please forgive me—it’s not done on purpose. 

A Time To Serve is a romance military novel. I’m a fan of reading romance, well, the good kind. The relationships and how people interact with one another intrigues me. Which is why in A Time To Serve I explored the team brotherhood, the love interests between Jefferies and Evie, and the relationship to one’s country in service when it costs a man greatly. 

Romance books are not just about sex and attraction, they are defined as being focused on relationships of all types. While I do have some saucy steamy scenes, they’re not pornographic nor are they often. This story is about a seasoned warrior who falls in love with a woman who refuses to quit, her decision to fight for a new life that she never wanted, and to conquer her fears the Navy SEAL way. They learn to not back down when life hurts. 

It is written in deep perspective, meaning that the reader only gets the perspective of Lieutenant Jefferies. It’s immersive. The male comraderie grabbed my husband’s attention, who in his words said, “I hate romance shit and you hooked me, Jen. What comes next?” 

I’m confident it will hook you too, well… As long as you’re into all things badass, military, warrior-like, strong leadership characters and hard things. This book will have you laughing, cringing, heart racing, and crying—possibly all within the first chapter. It’s about real things. Hard things. And lots of love between friends and strangers. 

If you’ve ever lost someone you will enjoy watching Evie stick it to a few people who try to hallmark card her feelings. She’ll make you go, “YES! What she said!” And if you’ve never lost someone, and tend to feel awkward around those who have, Evie might just teach you a thing or two. She certainly taught me.

Jefferies, oh my wonderful alpha male character who’s been a real pain in the tuck-us, a wonderful imaginary friend, and drill sergeant of an inner voice in my head (especially when I swim I can hear him saying, “Go 100 more yards.”). The character who introduced me to the real SEALs who taught me to own my life instead of being blown around by it—he will forever be my favorite. 

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