Jen is offering one (1) lucky Grand Prize winner a $25 Amazon Gift Card and a paperback copy of Back Home at Firefly Lake. Five (5) runner-up winners will receive a paperback copy of their choice from the Firefly Lake series! This giveaway is open internationally. To enter, simply fill out the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post.
What the winter months mean to me – Jen Gilroy
Apart from the excitement of the holidays, winter sometimes doesn’t get good press. If you live in a northern place like me, there is snow to shovel, icy sidewalks to navigate, and a succession of short, dark days that have many longing to escape to southern sun.
For me, though, winter has always had a special charm. My new release, Back Home at Firefly Lake, is a winter book—a second-chance romance set in a fictional small town in Vermont’s beautiful Northeast Kingdom. And in writing this story, the third book in my Firefly Lake trilogy of small-town contemporaries, I was inspired by what this magical time of year means to me.
A time to retreat and replenish the well
Like many authors, I’m an introvert, but during the cold winter months I introvert more than usual. That introversion is not because I’m anti-social, but rather because winter is my time for cocooning.
It’s for curling up in front of the fire with a good book, or losing myself in a DVD.
It’s for baking to fill my house with comforting smells of spices, cranberry, and chocolate.
It’s also for tackling DIY projects large and small that nurture my home, as well as my soul.
And more than any other season, at this time when snowflakes swirl outside my windows to etch the trees in white, and the nearby fields sleep in a snowy blanket, I dream and replenish my creative well.
A time to rest
Winter, when the pace of the natural world slows, has always felt like a time of rest to me—a pause in the year.
So, on these cold days when the air is crisp, and the sky above is like a big, blue bowl, I stop to savor the season in a way I don’t do in the heat of summer, or even in pungent spring and vibrant autumn.
It’s winter’s wonderland that reminds me to “be still” in myself, to breathe, and refocus.
A time to play
One of my happiest childhood memories is of skating with my mom on a frozen pond near our home, and ice skating is still a favorite way to spend a winter afternoon.
When I glide across the ice with the wind at my back, I get a serenity I don’t find anywhere else. Everyday worries diminish, replaced with a sense of peace.
And when I skate at speed, it’s almost like flying—a child-like joy that’s too rare in my adult life.
Tossing snowballs, building a snow family, or making snow angels after a fresh snowfall…winter is a time to play.
A time to be content and give thanks
Although I only discovered the Danish word “hygge” last year, it’s what winter in the north country means to me. More than any other season, these cold months are a time of cozy contentment and to enjoy life’s simple pleasures.
The comfort of thermal mittens and flannel pajamas.
A cuddly dog burrowing under the blankets beside me on a cold morning, and the crisp taste of snowflakes on my tongue.
A steaming mug of hot chocolate topped with marshmallows and whipped cream, and the pattern of sunshine and shadows on new snow on a forest trail.
Or joining family, friends and neighbors to cheer for the local junior hockey team at my small-town arena, and the scrape of steel skate blades against fresh ice.
But most of all, winter is a season to reflect on what I have and be thankful. And when each winter day is done, there’s nothing I’m more thankful for than the welcoming warmth of my snug home, and the steadfast love of family that embraces me there.
Wishing you a season of your own joy and winter “hygge,” remembering too that even on the coldest days, the seasons continue to turn and winter always brings a sweet promise of spring.
In Jen Gilroy’s Back Home at Firefly Lake, Cat McGuire and Luc Simard find love and second chances in a heartwarming small-town romance that fans of Women’s Fiction and Susan Wiggs’ The Lakeshore Chronicles will love!
About Back Home at Firefly Lake (Firefly Lake #3):
Title: Back Home at Firefly Lake
Author: Jen Gilroy
Genre: Contemporary Romance / Women’s Fiction
Release Date: December 5, 2017
Publisher: Forever – Grand Central Publishing
Series: Firefly Lake
Print ISBN: 9781455569618
Digital ISBN: 9781455566938
She has a million reasons to leave. Can he give her the one she needs to stay?
Cat McGuire’s return to Firefly Lake is turning into much more than she bargained for. Sure, she missed the crisp pine-scented air and the comfort of having her family around her. But being home makes her feel less like the successful single mom she is–and more like the awkward teen who never fit in. It doesn’t help that hockey-pro Luc Simard is back in town, too. Luc was her childhood crush, the hometown hero who never noticed her, and yet somehow he still makes her heart skip a beat.
Luc’s homecoming has been bittersweet. He’s lost his wife and his career, but there’s no better place to start over than Firefly Lake. Coaching the local kids’ hockey team makes him feel alive again, and he thinks his life is complete–until Cat arrives. The shy girl he always wanted to protect is now the gorgeous woman who’s stealing his heart and making him believe in second chances. But how can he convince Cat that Firefly Lake is where she truly belongs?
Now an Amazon Best Book of the Month!
Add to your “Want to Read” shelf: Goodreads
Praise for Back Home at Firefly Lake:
“When these two broken souls come together, magic happens.” – Publishers Weekly
“Back Home at Firefly Lake is a charming small-town, second-chance story. With well-written and relatable characters, readers both new and old to the series will enjoy it.” – Harlequin Junkie
Luc’s heart squeezed. [Cat] was embarrassed to ask her family for help, like he’d have been embarrassed asking his. Except, that would never be an issue because he had more money than he could spend in one lifetime. Money to finance the creamery expansion his dad had talked about for years, and to send his folks on that cruise they’d hankered after but could never afford because of the cost of raising four kids and putting most of them through college. Money for everything except what mattered most—taking care of his wife and their child like he’d planned.
“Pay for the hockey registration when your grant comes through.” He tried to smile. “I know you’re good for it.”
“Thanks.” Cat’s voice cracked and she took one hand away from her bag to rub it across her face. “Hockey means everything to Amy. I want her to be able to play, but she’s growing so fast right now.”
“Hockey’s an expensive sport.” He slid an arm around her shoulders and gave her a little squeeze. The same kind of friendly squeeze he’d given her all those times back in high school when she’d saved his butt in chemistry. Before today, however, his fingers had never tingled when he’d touched Cat. His body had never heated, either.
Cat started and pulled away at the same instant he did. “Hockey can be a dangerous sport too, and now Amy will be playing with boys. She hasn’t played with boys since she was seven. She could get hurt.
Like he had, hurt so bad it had ended his career. “Amy’s playing minor hockey. At her age, there is a rule about no body checking.” He tried to make his tone reassuring. “I promise I’ll keep a close eye on her.” It was his job as her coach, and he’d do the same for any kid. It had nothing to do with the strange and unexpected attraction he all of a sudden had for this woman he’d known his whole life, who he’d never really looked at until today.
A woman who wasn’t Maggie. Luc’s stomach clenched in a tangled lump of guilt and grief, tied tight with a slippery ribbon of disloyalty. Maggie was never coming back, but that didn’t mean Luc could forget her. Or that he wanted to.
Copyright © Back Home at Firefly Lake 2017 by Jen Gilroy
Other Books in the Firefly Lake Series:
Some mistakes can never be fixed and some secrets never forgiven … but some loves can never be forgotten.
Charlotte Gibbs wants nothing more than to put the past behind her, once and for all. Yet now that she’s back at Firefly Lake to sell her mother’s cottage, the overwhelming flood of memories reminds her of what she’s been missing. Sun-drenched days. Late-night kisses that still shake her to the core. The gentle breeze off the lake, the scent of pine in the air, and the promise of Sean’s touch on her skin…True, she got her dream job traveling the world. But at what cost?
Sean Carmichael still doesn’t know why Charlie disappeared that summer, but after eighteen years, a divorce, and a teenage son he loves more than anything in the world, he’s still not over her. All this time and her body still fits against his like a glove. She walked away once when he needed her the most. How can he convince her to stay now?
Add to your “Want to Read” shelf: Goodreads
Praise for The Cottage at Firefly Lake:
“Gilroy’s debut contemporary is packed with potent emotions…[the] protagonists tug at the heartstrings from the beginning of the story and don’t let go. Long on charm, this story invites readers to come in and stay a while.” – Publishers Weekly
“Memories, regrets and second chances are front and center in Gilroy’s fantastic debut.” – RT Book Reviews
Summer on Firefly Lake
Sometimes love is better the second time around.
Mia Gibbs spent her marriage putting her husband’s needs before her own. And now, after a painful divorce, she’s building a new life for herself and her two daughters back home at Firefly Lake. The last thing she needs is a man to complicate things. But former bad boy turned friend Nick McGuire—and the one kiss they’ve shared—has turned everything upside down.
Attorney Nick McGuire wasn’t meant to be a family man. His career has always been his focus, and after taking time out to help his mother, he’s ready to get back to the city…until Mia and her daughters arrive at Firefly Lake. Mia is beautiful and intriguing, and it doesn’t take long to realize being “just friends” will never be enough. As the summer nights turn colder, Nick will have to choose between the life he’s always wanted…and the woman he can’t live without.
Add to your “Want to Read” shelf: Goodreads
Praise for SUMMER ON FIREFLY LAKE
“Has charm to spare… The delightful supporting cast and expertly plotted story add depth and richness to this tale, leaving readers eager for another visit to Firefly Lake.”—Publishers Weekly
“4 stars! Gilroy’s second Firefly Lake novel encapsulates the quaint, busybody small-town feel and the slippery slope of friends becoming lovers quite well… Engaging…[a] fast-paced page turner.”—RT Book Reviews
About Jen Gilroy:
Jen Gilroy lives in a small town in eastern Ontario, Canada where her Irish ancestors settled in the nineteenth century. She’s worked in higher education and international marketing but, after spending too much time in airports and away from her family, traded the 9-5 to write romantic women’s fiction to bring readers’ hearts home.
Jen likes ice cream, diners, vintage style and all things country. Her husband is her real-life romance hero, and her teen daughter teaches her to cherish the blessings in the everyday.
The Cottage at Firefly Lake, the first book in her Firefly Lake series, was a finalist for Romance Writers of America’s Golden Heart® award in 2015. It was also shortlisted for the Romantic Novelists’ Association Joan Hessayon Award 2017.