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In-Person Appearance This Saturday!

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There will be an appearance Saturday, April 8th by Jennifer Friess!!!

That doesn’t seem very glamorous. Wait, that’s me.

But, heck, I’m announcing it anyway.

Tomorrow me, and several other even more fabulous authors, will be at the Lenawee District Library from 2:30PM-4:00PM. That is a short window of time, so if you snooze, you will lose.

The LDL, as they refer to themselves, can be found at 4459 W. US-223, Adrian, MI 49221.

This will be my first event where I will have copies of Troll Gurl and the Cursed Kingdom to sell. I am so excited to be able to tell people about Ginny’s story in person!

To see other events, please click here: EVENTS PAGE

Don’t forget, if you sign up for my newsletter during the month of April you will have a chance to win TWO ROCK STAR PASSES to the Great Lakes Books Bash, October 27 & 28th! The two passes cover admission to the signing & panels Friday as well as early admission to the signing on Saturday and panels on Saturday.

Click here to sign up.

From the broken mind of Jennifer Friess, the joining of hearts & souls…
NOW AVAILABLE! Troll Gurl and the Cursed Kingdom

Spring is Giveaway Time!

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I have updated my EVENTS PAGE!

If you are a member of my newsletter, you had this information on MONDAY!

If not, you should really sign up for it, and I will tell you why in just a minute.

First off, you should know my first event is NEXT SATURDAY! It will be an Author Fair at the Lenawee District Library in Adrian, Michigan, from 2:30PM-4:00PM. Please make plans to stop out.

I also wanted to call to your attention that I have UPDATED my info for Utopia Con. Yes, ladies and gentlemen (and I use that term loosely) I will now have a table on Saturday, June 24th in Nashville, TN. And in case you didn’t know, this is the FINAL Utopia Con, so it would be great if you stopped out. You can click the graphic above to obtain tickets.

I am excited to let you know that I have TWO ROCK STAR PASSES to giveaway for the Great Lakes Books Bash, October 27 & 28th! The two passes cover admission to the signing & panels Friday as well as early admission to the signing on Saturday and panels on Saturday.

Now, more about this newsletter business. I will be giving the TWO Rock Star Passes to ONE Lucky winner (because it is always nicer to go with a friend, right?) who is on my Author Newsletter List. If you are already on it, then you are already entered for a chance to win.

You aren’t? Well, then it is super quick and easy to sign up here: http://eepurl.com/7YhHr I promise, I won’t spam you. I send out about 4-5 newsletters a year and they contain super-important information about events, books releases, and sometimes even a book trailer 😉

The contest will be open until April 30th, 2017, at which time I will pick a lucky winner and notify them by email.

Good luck! And spread the word.

From the broken mind of Jennifer Friess, the joining of hearts & souls…
NOW AVAILABLE! Troll Gurl and the Cursed Kingdom

Behind the Scenes: The Riley Sisters Series

I can’t wait to tell you about my next project. But before I go gung-ho on that, I had an idea for another Riley sisters post before I put them to bed. Not that I will stop talking about them completely, because (hopefully next month) they will still make up three out of four books I have available. But I thought this would be a nice way to bring a little closure to them by sharing some behind-the-scenes factoids.

  • The Wind Could Blow a Bug was always called that. I tried to rename it, but I couldn’t find anything else that fit better. And I really loved how the title came from the story, and was really the essence of it. People often comment on it, which gives me a great opportunity to explain it.
  • When You Least Expect It was first known as Kiley’s Turn. I had never intended for Miley or Kiley to be more than background characters in Bug, but then I wrote the scene where they go to the mall with Jane, and that started me wondering what their future lives might look like.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For was originally called Miley’s Muddle. My son is very into Thomas the tank engine, and there was a story called Milkshake Muddle, which is where I got the alliteration from. Imagine if Miley had been covered with a milkshake in her story? Her and that movie star Mark got down doing some pretty funky things. Who knows, maybe she did!
  • US223, that is mentioned in Bug, really exists. It is the main road through Lenawee County, Michigan. I have traveled on it almost every day of my life. I could drive that road in my sleep. My mother had to travel on it to give birth to me!
Real road sign

Actual road sign

  • Dave from Expect is really my dog. She is an orange Lab/Chow mix with lots of personality. I love her to pieces and when a dog showed up in my story, it just happened to be her. Note that that book is also dedicated to her. How many crazy authors dedicate a book to their dog? Probably only me.
My Dave dog

My Dave dog

  • The worn orange counter at the convenience store really exists! I worked at a Mobil station while I was in college. I used to have to wipe down that counter every night. The store has gone through several ownership changes since then, but he counter remains. I am so happy that that store got to play such a big part in Expect.
  • Blake and Luke, workers for Travis’s catering company in Wish, were originally named Parker and Dave after my dogs. (I am really bad at coming up with names for characters.) I had already used them both previously, so they got renamed after popular country music singers, whose personalities fit the dialogue I had already written quite well.
  • The messenger bag I picture Jane carrying in Bug is the one that I had made to advertise my blog.
Official limited edition INSY messenger bag

Official limited edition INSY messenger bag

  • Alva University was named in part after my dead dad.
  • I specifically named Travis’s cafe Taste of Travis because I thought it sounded really dirty. 😛
  • There is no such place as Oakley, Alabama. I made it up. But it lives on in my heart.
My version of Oakley.

My version of Oakley.

Follow the romantic entanglements of The Riley Sisters in my books:
Be Careful What You Wish ForAVAILABLE NOW!
When You Least Expect It THE CONTINUING ROMANCE!
The Wind Could Blow a BugWHERE IT ALL BEGAN!

What I Learned This Week – 9/25/16

I know 9/25 was yesterday, but the rules I set forth for my blog say that a “What I Learned” can be posted on Sunday OR Monday, but must always contain Sunday’s date to reflect the previous week.

What? Your website doesn’t have rules?

This week I learned that dreams come true.

I have told parts of this story before, but here is the definitive version.

When I was in middle school I found a kindred writing soul, my asbestos friend. (I have mentioned her on here before.) We both would write stories about what we were interested in at the time—cute boys at school, the New Kids on the Block, etc. Some of these were only a few pages long, and many were rated-R. Sometimes we would let the boys at school read them. That was fun, because they didn’t seem to realize that girls could have minds as dirty as boys—and that we could put it into cohesive sentences to share.

SIDENOTE: Ten years later I was working at a national drugstore chain. I waited on one of those boys. I asked him if we had gone to the same school, knowing full well we had. He asked my name, then left, still looking puzzled as if he didn’t remember me.

He asked his mom if she remembered going to school with a Jennifer Friess. His mom went to a trunk she kept of his school mementos. He was a bad boy then, so there probably weren’t many academic or attendance awards in there. His mom pulled out some of the stories my friend and I had written back in the day. I may even remember him telling us about getting in trouble when his mom found them back then. But, well, SHE must have liked them because she had kept them.

He came back into the drugstore about a week later and told me that. I still am proud of that. His mom must be our first fan.

In high school, my asbestos friend and I would sometimes ditch lunch to go to the computer lab and type stories. Not for homework, but just to get the ideas out of our heads. That was like 1992. I never thought I would ever be privileged enough to have a computer in my own house—such a luxury item.

On Saturday, we sat behind the same table and sold our books. Mine self-published (on my own laptop—my how times change), hers by a small publisher. If I had told that short girl in high school wearing the XL T-shirts (ME) that that would one day happen, she wouldn’t have believed me. And she would have probably gone right then and slit her wrists at the thought of all the work to get to that point. So, maybe it is good I can’t talk to her.

Two dreamers.

Two writers. Two authors. Two dreamers.

We may not have big fame and fortune, but who says that won’t be ten, five, or maybe even a year from now?

I don’t believe it will ever happen. But, I believed that once before about having book. Now I have three. This journey I am currently on continues to surprise me.

Today, it actually scored me a free T-shirt from the local Co-op! Research pays off 😀

Follow the romantic entanglements of The Riley Sisters in my books:
Be Careful What You Wish ForAVAILABLE NOW!
When You Least Expect It THE CONTINUING ROMANCE!
The Wind Could Blow a BugWHERE IT ALL BEGAN!

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I’m Not Stalking You’s 5th Anniversary!

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When I started writing on this blog, I barely knew what a blog was. I had been working for 12 years for the same company that was about to go out of business, leaving me jobless, and an infant that needed major surgery. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life, although I was already well into my 30s.

Happy Birthday to INSY, Happy Birthday to INSY...

Happy Birthday to INSY, Happy Birthday to INSY…

In the intervening five years, I had a job for 21 months that I liked that progressed into one that I couldn’t stand to stay with. Now I have finally settled somewhere closer to home that I hope to stay at for a very long time. My young son actually had to have two surgeries to accomplish what one should have done, but today he is happy and healthy and annoying me on a consistent basis, as any growing child testing his boundaries should be. (Doesn’t make it any easier though.) My family lost a dog. We have struggled, but I think that glow up there might be the light at the end of the tunnel.

Oh, and I wrote three books. And as I have said before, I don’t think I would have accomplished that if I hadn’t started emptying my chaotic brain out into this little blog first.

I welcome you to click on my comical categories or explore with the search bar my amassed collection of 520 posts. Don’t know where to start? Below are links to my most popular posts and some of my favorites.

And here is to the next five years. Make a five year plan, you say? I wouldn’t even know where to begin.

Most Popular Posts

Boxelder Bugs Must Die

Homefront

MicroMagic [Fine] Frozen Foods

Kiddie City

The O.C.

__________

My Favorite Posts

Dead Dad Movies, Part 1

Dead Dad Movies, Part 2

My Favorite TV Shows

Punky Brewster

Matthew Perry

And, well, since I’m feeling like anyone who is reading this post deserves a little gift, here it is. I have talked about it for a while. This is as close as you are probably ever going to get to seeing me karaoke Vanilla Ice’s “Ice, Ice Baby.” Don’t ask me why I feel more comfortable releasing this on the Internet to a bunch of ruthless strangers than I do a roomful of drunks who would forget me tomorrow, but I do. It is a public speaking anxiety thing, which is rendered temporarily ineffective when confronted with audio or visual equipment, rather than a physical crowd being present. Hence, the Communications degree in Radio and Television Broadcasting. Oh, and remind me to disable comments on this video.

This is a long time coming. Years ago, I bought the karaoke track of “Ice Ice Baby” off of iTunes to practice with. But I still had no words, and that version cut off the third verse, which is my favorite and the one I am best at. At some point in the intervening years I Googled the lyrics and saved them on my flash drive, where they have traveled around aimlessly since. I found a karaoke track with lyrics on YouTube and made a practice video one day. That seemed like only a few months ago, Christmas maybe? Nope. That was last APRIL! I had the idea that this may be a great stunt for INSY’s anniversary…then my mom brain took over and I forgot until like Monday.

So, I had to cram. I have been rapping the words to this song for 26 years—some of them being the WRONG words. Oy. It is hard to untrain myself. I will always say: “Falling on the concrete real fast” as “Fallin’ on the concrete grill fat.” Mmm…grill fat. Anyone hungry for McDonald’s?

Follow the romantic entanglements of The Riley Sisters in my books:
Be Careful What You Wish ForAVAILABLE NOW!
When You Least Expect It THE CONTINUING ROMANCE!
The Wind Could Blow a BugWHERE IT ALL BEGAN!

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