Happy Monday! I can’t believe we are nearly in June – this year is going way too fast. I have another lovely set of answers for you this week, and it’s author Jen Gilroy.

All About Books with Odd Socks and Lollipops - colourful books stacked on grey background

I will hand your straight over the Jen!

Jen Gilroy worked in higher education and international marketing before trading the 9-5 to write warm and emotional contemporary romance and women’s fiction to bring readers’ hearts home. After many years in England, she now lives with her family in a small town in Eastern Ontario, Canada.

All About Book - Week 16 - profile photo

Photo courtesy of Jen Gilroy.

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. Her current release, Back Home at Firefly Lake, was chosen as one of Amazon’s best books of December 2017.

Which book(s) are you currently reading?
I usually read multiple books at the same time, depending on my mood. At present, I’m in the middle of Sarah Morgan’s Sunset in Central Park and have also started The Summer That Made Us by Robyn Carr.

Because my teen daughter has a chronic illness, I’m also reading a book about living well with chronic conditions.

What was the last book you read? And what did you think of it?
I’ve just finished reading Lost and Found Sisters, a women’s fiction title by American author Jill Shalvis.

It’s a touching and emotional portrayal of sisterhood, family, and friendship and also includes two love stories—all wrapped up with the Shalvis trademark humour and heart.

What book is next on your “to be read” list?
Released in February 2018, Kristin Hannah’s new book, The Great Alone. She’s one of my favourite authors and as both a writer and reader, her books give me ‘all the feels.’

What is your favourite genre to read?
I read many different genres but my favourite(s) are those I also write—contemporary romance and women’s fiction.

What genre do you tend to avoid?
I avoid thrillers and romantic suspense. I do most of my reading before bed and don’t like to be scared before going to sleep!

I know this one is a tricky one, but what is your favourite book or series of books?
That’s a very tricky question! My all-time favourite book and go-to comfort read is The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery. Lesser known than her Anne of Green Gables series, it’s a romantic adult fairy tale. No matter what life throws at me, it never fails to give me hope and restore my faith in love and happy endings.

Who is your favourite author? Or authors if you simply can’t choose one (It is a bit of a mean question)
I have so many favourite authors that I can’t choose one! L.M. Montgomery and Louisa May Alcott are authors I first read in childhood but still come back to for comfort, inspiration and hope. Amongst contemporary authors, I enjoy Kristin Hannah, Kristan Higgins, Melissa Hill, Emily March, Jill Shalvis, RaeAnne Thayne and Susan Wiggs.

I’m also blessed to have some wonderful writing friends and always look forward to their books—Susanna Bavin and Kate Field in particular.

What is your favourite book from your childhood?
I have to choose two!

In early childhood, I delighted in Beatrix Potter’s The Tale of Two Bad Mice and my love of dolls houses and miniatures stems from that story.

Later on, I devoured L.M. Montgomery’s books and, in particular her Emily trilogy about a girl who wants to become a published author. Those books helped me believe in my own writing dreams.

If you have children, which books can’t you wait to read to them?
My daughter is now a teen so sadly, I don’t have the opportunity to read to her as often as I used to. However, I was excited to share favourites from my own childhood with her including Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfeild, the Little House series by Laura Ingalls Wilder, and Beatrix Potter’s animal tales.

Through my daughter, it was also lovely to find new favourites—the Maisy books by Lucy Cousins and Blue Kangaroo by Emma Chichester Clark.

If you could visit the world of any book, where would you go? Who would you spend time with? And what would you do?
That list is long! It would be a special thrill, though, to visit the Regency world of Jane Austen’s Persuasion. Captain Wentworth and Anne Elliot are one of my favourite fictional couples and I’d like to experience ‘Somersetshire,’ Lyme Regis and Bath alongside them.

And if there happened to be a ball…fans self… because of course, I’d be dressed appropriately for my visit, complete with a fan.

If you could bring any character from any book to life for a day, who would it be? And what would you do?Another difficult question! However, if I had to choose only one, it would be Jo March from Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women.

As a woman who was independent in her own time, I’m curious as to what Jo would make of our twenty-first century world. I also think I’d enjoy talking about writing with her—ideally over afternoon tea in London.

For any Harry Potter Fans, which house do you think you would be sorted in to? (This seems like a kind of random question but I am strangely curious about which house people would be in)
Although I live in a Harry Potter obsessed household, I haven’t read the Harry Potter books—much to the dismay of my husband and daughter. I know what a ‘muggle’ is but there my knowledge ends!

You can find Jen at her website JenGilroy.com, on Twitter, Facebook or on her blog.

Jen’s latest book is Back Home at Firefly Lake, is book three in the Firefly Lake series, which is available on Amazon*. and here is the blurb!

All About Book Week 16 - Back Home at Firefly Lake cover

Image courtesy of Jen Gilroy.

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?

Thank you so much Jen for answering my questions, I loved reading your answers and it is always lovely to chat to you on Twitter. I will definitely be checking out The Blue Castle, it sounds like the perfect comfort read. I am the same with thrillers if I read something with too much suspense I would never sleep!

If you would like to take part them please send me an email: oddsocksandlollipops@gmail.com and I will send over the questions and information to you.