It’s Time Folks. For a Gratitude Check-in.

From time to time, you just have those moments when you feel sorry for yourself. Like right now, I’m kinda riding the pity train. Riding it hard. I’m a little ashamed of myself. So it is time. Time for what you wonder? Not time to break out the Ben and Jerry’s, although that does make pity a bit more palatable. (Yes, I did use a foodie word. Sue me, I’m a plush girl.) No, I’m not going to delve into that sweet pint of Strawberry Cheesecake ice cream, I gonna write a grateful list. It’s great therapy and it does focus on the light at the end of the tunnel. The one that’s not an oncoming train.

I’m grateful for my job at Starbucks. Sometimes people drive me insane with their short quad light foam lattes with 2.3 pumps of mocha, half soy, half almond milk, steamed to 132 degrees exactly (not 131 or 133 because the difference is VAST), and extra stirred. (I mean really?! What is extra stirred? It’s a damn latte. Milk, foam, and espresso. There’s no stirring!) I love my job because it pays me so I get to eat, my dog gets to eat, I have great co-workers, I have customers I love to see on a regular basis (even quad latte, who is a peach, btw) and bomb health insurance.

I’m grateful for Rose Granbacka who, after the great bed bug infestation of 2017, helped me tear my room apart and lay a beat down that would have made Yorktown proud all while jamming to the Hamilton soundtrack. When I started to cry because I felt like I was dirty she hugged me and told me it’s okay, she knew I didn’t live in a whorehouse. She’s a good friend. (Hi! Rose editing here and I want to add that what I said was, “Girl, I know this isn’t a brothel. Your porch light ain’t red.” And when we realized the bug spray was basically Satan farts, I said, “We need to go outside. This shit is giving me a big lesson in what World War I was like with all that mustard gas.”)

I’m grateful to Ophelia’s grandmother and Jared (Baby Jay) who knit me cool beanies to cover my chemo baldness. Also, for Anna Rhodes who said: “Girl you can rock it bald.” (Rose again! We miss you, Anna! Move back! *wink*)

I am grateful for books and writers because you provide me with escape.

I’m grateful to my readers. It is an honor to be a part of your life. Thank you for your support.

I’m grateful to Kyle who would drive all the way across Riverside to take me out for pie at Corky’s. Incidentally, I also happen to be thankful for Corky’s pie.

I’m grateful for Alexa who knows the answer anytime I need it and I don’t have to leave my chair. And she plays Prince for me anytime I want it. 

I’m grateful to the mechanic at Mazda that got Gladys (my ride) up and running even though the radio doesn’t work. But the AC kicks butt now and since anyone who has ever ridden with me will tell you that I sound just like Adele, we don’t need a radio. Right? (Rose again, we do sing a lot in the car. We’re those people.)

I’m grateful for Miriam teaching me to cook and remaining patient when I ask the same damn question every time.

I’m grateful that Ranger loves me even if he insists that the only place on the bed he is comfortable is right in the middle of it. (Bastard.)

I’m grateful to Coni Lemke and Joseph Momoa because they made that beautiful man Jason Momoa and I so enjoy looking at him. MMM. Yes. 

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Okay, I feel better, now.

Much Love Jackie

a.k.a. Simone Harlow

a.k.a. the J in J.M. Jeffries

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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.