I’m back! (Updates, News, Where I’ve Been)

So it has been a long time since I’ve done a blog post, but life has been a tad bit complicated. Between dealing with a major surgery (I am now down a few girl parts), The Big C, and all the ish that goes with chemotherapy, I’ve been busy napping. Because that’s what you do for about the first ten days after chemo– nap… a lot. That and count your eyelashes as they fall out because you’ve made peace with losing your hair, but your damn eyelashes, too?! What a freak show. Once Miriam and I were at Target picking up my personal pharmacy, and I knew I was forgetting something (because chemo brain is a thing). Then I remembered and told her I’m heading toward the shampoo aisle when she started laughing at me. Oh yeah, I’m bald. What do I need shampoo for?

Between the dog and cat, we had three visits to the vet, ensuring he could make his mortgage payments. Simon, the poor kitty, was attacked by another cat that came into our home through the dog door. He was attacked in his own house! Poor little guy. He’s such a sweetheart. We found out cats like Pedialyte. Grape flavor. Who knew?! Ranger was just being Ranger. What’s new there?

Miriam broke her wrist. Don’t ask. She also needs to have her own surgery, on her knee. (Insert long, exasperated sigh here.)

So meanwhile, back to the writing career. I did get a lot of writing done while I was down for the count. Writing as Simone Harlow, working to finish the second book in the Scorned Lovers series. I Hate Myself For Loving You will be out in mid-September. I have to admit I loved loved loved finding the not so perfect woman for Declan Shaw aka The Golden God. And I just finished Malcolm’s story Just a Girl. He and his hot mess of life are on their way to the editor. Gavin is up next, and the poor baby rock star is going to get the last thing he thinks he wants… the woman of his dreams.

As for writing with J.M Jeffries, we just turned in the second to the last of the Torres books staring baby sister Lola. She is in for a fun ride with her perfect hero. The release date and title are to be announced. And we have the final story in the can also. Yippy! After that, we are working on a series of books about sister animal trainers. Because if you can teach a monkey to take a shower, you can tame a hot man.

So now that were all caught up, I’m going to drag Miriam to go see Spiderman. Again, sorry for the long silence, everyone. It’s been a bitch to get through, but chemo is officially over, and I can get back to talking to you lovely readers.

Much Love,

Jackie
Aka Simone Harlow
Aka the J in J.M. Jeffries

This is Happening

It’s really, truly happening. I am publishing an indie romance. About Rockstars. The mock up I got today is perfect and I could not be more excited! My imaginary friends will be out there for everyone to meet.

Advanced Reader copies will be going out soon. Until then, stay tuned. Big, big things!

My Team

I’m a busy ass woman. I write with a partner as J.M. Jefferies, I work for Starbucks, and I write solo novels. Plus, I got a mamma I love, a man in another state, and I like to sit on my couch and watch Hot Man Television. Then there’s Mr. HM (High Maintenance) Ranger to worry about. So I have two lovely ladies who help me get shit done. My bitches get shit done.

Rose Granbacka

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My personal assistant and resident grammar freak. Rose has actually been working for me now for about two years. She mostly helped me with personal errands and keeping my bedroom a no dust bunny zone. But we had actually bonded as friends long before while she was planning a library romance novel (that she still hasn’t published — hint hint, woman) and I first started thinking about the Scorned Series. She’s awesome. She can hold my laissez-faire godson on one hip while she dusts a glass-fronted bookshelf and sings Foreigner songs. Her “To Be Read” bookshelf is always overflowing with Medieval history, regency romance, high fantasy, and sci-fi. (She makes a lot of Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter jokes.) I call her SN – Super Nerd.

Anna Rhodes

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The original badass MG.Mighty Geek. Anna got on board recently to help me manage some of the public relations aspects of this business. She’s kind of a big deal. Anna likes to listen to audiobooks in the car while she hunts for Pokémon. She’s either a saint or has totally lost her marbles because she willingly teaches teenagers how to drive. I met Anna because her mother and I worked together at Starbucks. Then I found out that she reads romance and like any smart woman, I immediately recruited her to help me out. She also puts my teasers together and helps Rose manage her aspects of this business when she’s swamped with school work. Her “To Be Read” list mostly consists of modern romance and young adult fantasy.

Together, these two ladies make up my team. They help me by being my first set of beta readers, viciously (or not) critiquing and tweaking my genius. They sometimes make decisions with me and help manage my social media, answer emails, and edit this blog. Their help is invaluable.

Spiders in the Loo

     WTF! My bathroom has been turned into a spider maternity ward.
*Imagine there is a spider picture here. My assistant is too afraid of spiders to look one up for me and convinced me this was funnier. Looking you, Rose Granbacka.*
     This morning I finally stumbled into my bathroom at zero dark thirty. Okay, it was really11:34 a.m., and I hit the snooze button about twenty times before that. Hey! Ranger tinkled at sevenish so he was good to go. And the pillows were in just the right place. It was dark like a vampire coffin (’cause that’s how I roll), the blankie was in the right place, and the dog was in the right place. The AC was blasting so I was happy, and I had the day off from the BUX. It was Baby Warwick day which meant I wasn’t going to be doing any writing so I could snooze. (Baby W is my roommate’s grandson.) Yes, I am justifying the fact that I slept in, just in case my mom reads my blog because she’s German and Catholic and sleeping in is against the 15th commandment. Commandments 11-14 are for another blog post on another day. Who wanted to get out of bed on a day like that? Let’s be real sleep is the only thing in the world where you can accomplish something by doing absolutely nothing. I like that concept.
     Back to the spiders in my the loo. Those little bastards. By the way, that term which is technically and grammatically correct because spiders don’t marry before they birth their babies. I’m sure most baby mama spiders kill their mates after he does his business ’cause, you know, she’s hungry after they have canoodled. I have nothing against spiders, per se. They don’t scare me (unlike some people I know. Looking at you again, Rose Granbacka). I am secure in the knowledge that I am the alpha predator at least in my bathroom, and I can kill them. They are quick, but I have the bigger brain, and if I don’t hit my head on the sink while I’m in hot pursuit I’m gonna win the war.
     One of those little jerks was doing the samba across my bra. I hook it on the door handle to dry after I wash it out to dry because working at Starbucks means a lot of things go down your shirt. Last night it was white mocha sauce. Tasty but sticky. (Remind me to tell you about the day I got a hot almond sliver down there. I still have the scar. That is a pain you can’t deal with because you’re in the Front-of-House, and you have to watch your language and where you stick your hand.)
     I felt a tad guilty killing the spiders since they were babies but they broke the rules. Yes, I have a bathroom rules. Nature is not allowed in there under any circumstances. The only one who gets to see me naked in the bathroom is the dog. And only because he doesn’t judge my bumps, rolls, and jiggles. He just loves me because I know where the dog food is, and I’m always happy to share it. Well really it’s all his, but this is my how I maintain control or there would be anarchy. Anarchy is messy, and I don’t have a full-time maid.
     This is why I’m a big supporter of environment causes. I want nature to have a place to exist… as far from me as possible. My idea of enjoying nature is the Nat Geo channel or my patio with a cocktail and a cigarette. You go out in nature, and you became part of the food chain. I don’t have to worry about a leopard stalking me in my backyard or a Great White in the pool. I should not have to live in fear of spiders in my bathroom or the one time the cat brought a gopher into my bed. Thanks, Kitty. Hey, Nature I’m going to have to Gandalf this again. “You shall not pass the doggie door.” Who doesn’t love a chance to quote Lord of the Rings? The movie, not the book. The book wasn’t in American.
Much Jackie
AKA the J of J.M. Jeffries
AKA Simone Harlow

J.M. Jeffries Releasing New Book in California Passions Series

The new J.M. Jeffries installment in the California Passions Series is officially available for pre-order on Amazon! Kindle and mass market versions are both available for you to pre-order and will be delivered to you on September 1st!

Her love may be the ultimate prize… 

Greer Courtland and her family have been designing floats for Pasadena’s Rose Parade all her life—but have rarely had a client as determined as Daniel Torres. The talk show host intends to win the prize for best float in a much-publicized charity wager. As they spend time together, he makes it clear that he intends to win Greer, too. But the former Rose Parade queen isn’t dazzled by wealth and fame—even when delivered in a sexy and sensual package.

From the moment he invites her on his show, Daniel is enthralled by Greer. Beautiful, effervescent and talented, she keeps him grounded in a way no one ever has before. But as their relationship becomes tabloid fodder, Greer backs away. And unless he’s willing to be vulnerable and expose his heart, Daniel risks letting wonderful possibilities of forever float away…”

A Sink, A Fridge, And the Solution

It was a rough day at the Bux. A refrigerator went down, and I had to dump a river of milk. Damn, I felt the price of my stock plummeting with each gallon of milk that went down the back sink. But a barista gotta do what a barista gotta do. Then to add insult to injury, my front drain decided it was the perfect time to back up. Thanks, Starbucks. The fridge was a relatively easy fix I just had to pull it out adjust the dohickey, plug it back in, and wait. And wait. Oh and wait some more for it to drop down to a milk-friendly temp. Which it finally did. Then I had to stock that bad boy back up, and you know rotate and date everything again.
So back to the drain and the ensuing flood. I had thought of using the stir sticks to build myself an ark. But I digress. Contrary to what my boss might think, I’m no plumber, but you know I’m game to stick my hand down a drain and see what’s going on. Eeek you say. Let me tell you: I spent some time in the trenches. I used to work as a daycare provider and as a lifeguard. So I’ve dealt with my share of sick babies and drunk Marines. The sick babies pull at your heartstrings, but drunk Marines, that’s just funny.
Do you know how hard it is to get a milk cap out of a drain? Yeah. And with my fat Vienna sausages fingers, it ain’t no picnic. For the love of Starbucks people, if I told you once I’ve told you a thousand and two times: no coffee grounds down the drain. Baby Baristas, that’s what that little trash can next to the espresso machine is for.
So I’m digging all kinds of things out of the drain, and I’m talking to the Baby Jesus. Who am I kidding? I’m talking to Allah, Shiva, Papa Legba, Odin, Zeus, Buddha, Krishna, Jehovah, Hecate, and Lakota Woman (’cause Regina Jumping Eagle is part Lakota, and I don’t want her to feel left out). I will take help from whoever might be listening to get me through is whirlwind of figurative crap.
But I got through that and got my store back in closing shape and was only twenty minutes late. I needed some love after that. So I drove Sonic and ordered myself a hot fudge sundae. The only thing wrong with the Sonic hot fudge sundae it doesn’t come in “girl-had-a-bad-day-at-work” size. I shoulda ordered two, but that would have looked bad.
Amazingly the sundae made it home intact, ’cause you know friends don’t let friends stuff their face and drive. I stuck that bad boy in the fridge and divested myself of my stinky smell-like-a-sewer uniform and freed the girls from my bra. Because, as every woman will tell you when you are having a rough day, your bra shrinks down a size and your ta-tas start screaming. I got in my jam jams (PJs) after a very long hot shower. Sorry Cali, I know we’re in the middle of a drought, but I had plumber funk on me. Made myself a cocktail. That’s right I’m gonna eat ice cream and have a drink. Don’t judge me there was black slimy gunk in my hand. BTW Starbucks customers, I washed all the way up to my elbows before I made your latte. I know you were thinking about it, but I got you.
All settled in front of my ‘puter, I’m going to put the cherry on my therapy sundae. I spent the next hour looking at hot guys with puppies. That’s right I spent the rest of the evening with some gorgeous men. Shout out to Jason Momoa and the awesome pooches (especially Charlie the one-eyed brindle pit bull), Sonic ice cream, and bourbon. I say it turned out to be a good night.
Much Love Jackie
Aka the J of J.M. Jeffries
Aka Simone Harlow