Book Spotlight: Chasing Forever by Kelly Jensen

Chasing Forever
(This Time Forever #3)
by Kelly Jensen
Date Released: December 10, 2018

About Chasing Forever
Old wounds, new directions, and a forever worth chasing.

Malcolm Montgomery was a history teacher and track coach until an accident left him with two broken legs. He’ll recover, but life has knocked his feet out twice now. He’s not sure if he’s ready to try again, especially when it comes to love—and slick guys like Brian Kenway. Still, he needs help mentoring the school’s LGBTQ society, so he asks Brian to take some responsibility.

Brian has been hiding behind his reputation as a liar and a cheat for so long that he actually believes he’s that guy—until his nephew, Josh, turns up on his couch, tossed out for being gay. Brian has never considered being a father, but he knows all about being rejected by loved ones. Now Brian wants to be more: a partner for Mal and a role model for Josh.

But when Mal’s recovery is set back and the sad truth of Brian’s past is revealed, the forever they’ve been chasing seems even further from their grasps. It’ll take a rescue effort to revive their sense of worth and make Brian, Mal, and Josh into a family of their own.


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About the This Time Forever series
Small towns and second chances.

Simon, Frank, and Brian think love has passed them by. Each is facing down his fiftieth birthday—Simon in a few years, Frank next year, and Brian soon enough. Each has loved and lost. But for these men, everything old really is new again, and it’s only when they return to their roots that they’ll find their second chances and the happily ever after they’ve been waiting their whole lives for.

This time it’s forever.

Learn more about the This Time Forever series on Riptide Publishing.


A Guest Post by Kelly Jensen
Careers I Could Have Had
I’ve talked about the careers of my characters throughout the tours for this series, because the jobs reflect a lot of my own interests and careers I have either experimented with, or might have had.

In this final edition of “Careers I Could Have Had,” we’re going to explore construction management and teaching. I worked briefly for an engineering and construction firm when I was about nineteen, and aside from loading and unloading the dishwasher and answering the phone, I got to help copy the plans (with large machines that used funky smelling chemicals) and then deliver those copies to building sites around Melbourne (Australia). 

A couple of the projects were down near the beach and since I had a company car and an hour or two…

Anyway, when I got to the site, I usually had to find the project manager to hand over the plans and take back any instructions. This is in the days before cellphones were an affordable and convenient thing and pocket pagers (which I sold briefly the year before) were limited in their message capability. Much easier to have a teenager run back and forth delivering messages. 

It was during this time that I learned what a project manager does—which is “phonetic” in a way. They manage projects. You know those movies where the architect wanders through a site with a hard hat and directs business? Yeah, no. That doesn’t usually happen. The architects are the dreamers. They will visit a site, but they’re not usually directly involved in interpreting plans for the construction team. That’s the manager’s job. They run the project, liaise between client and contractors, and make sure everyone is doing what they’re supposed to be doing. 

When I put together the team of Simon and Brian, I decided Simon was the architect and Brian was the project manager. It’s the perfect role for Brian, because it’s a role that requires both flexibility—thinking on the move—and control. Also, project managers don’t usually get their hands dirty. They manage, which was the perfect way to illustrate one of Brian’s difficulties: he’s done a lot of good with his life and his check book, but always from behind the scenes. Just as he hides behind the label “asshole and cheat” he hides behind his wallet. In Chasing Forever, Mal and I encourage Brian to step out into the light in a number of ways and it’s lovely to watch how he grows as a result.

On to Mal’s career: teaching. Back when I was tossing around a hundred ambitions, all of them vague, and definitely stacked behind the more definite, but never voiced, “I want to marry someone very rich and go out to lunch every day,” I thought I might like to be a teacher. Mostly, I just wanted to assign homework instead of do it. It hadn’t occurred to me back then that correcting the assigned homework would be about the same as having to do it myself. But I was young and idealistic.

I didn’t get married until I was thirty-two, and not to someone who was rich. There was no lunch every day. So I had the chance to explore a lot of my vague ambitions and getting into teaching was something that just sort of happened. Twice. First time, I was copy editing and type setting course material for WordPerfect. Remember WordPerfect? Our instructor couldn’t make a session and so my father, who was my employer, asked me to take the class. I had been massaging the material for months and I was also pretty expert at using the software—the manual had been produced using WordPerfect. So I taught the class… and really, really enjoyed it. I continued doing so for a couple of years, until I fell in love and followed a guy half around the world to the U.S.A. We got married and moved to Texas, where I volunteered to work in a community garden. I didn’t have a green card, so my first two years in the U.S. I did mostly volunteer work. This garden was attached to a small private school and one of my responsibilities as a volunteer was to shepherd small children through the garden, show them how to plant, maintain, and harvest. Then we donated all the vegetables to charity. 

I LOVED this project and continued working with the garden for all my years in Texas. My enthusiasm for it endeared me to the school director and they offered me a job. And so began my second career in teaching. I taught computer skills to the adults—I redesigned their report card system and then taught all of the teachers how to use the MS Access reporting features. I taught computer skills to 5th-8th graders—Word and Photoshop. I took private students over the summer for computer skills and sometimes filled in for other electives. I also continued teaching kids how to look after the garden. 

Here in PA my teaching is limited to writing classes for teens and adults. I still enjoy it and the engagement with my students is something I really loved sharing with Mal. I like writing teachers. He’s my second and I got to spend a lot more time with him—imagining how he ran his classroom, infusing him with what I’d learned during my brief time, and adding in tidbits I’ve learned from other teachers, especially those who teach the core subjects. 

Teaching is perfect for Mal because he is keyed into his community, but in a sort of sheltered way. Outside of the classroom, he’s not quite the same guy. He’s less sure of himself. More shy. All kinds of awkward. In Chasing Forever, I really enjoyed widening Mal’s horizons by showing him who else he could be. He already has the respect and admiration of his students. Heading up the GSA Club and actually helping them realize their goal takes this one step further. Guiding the kids opens up new avenues of possibility for Mal, too, and he also grows as a result.

Chasing Forever is the final book in this series and in a way, it ties up a few loose threads, particularly for Brian. But it was also a chance for me to finish exploring characters I’ve always wanted to write, and to give them the sort of story they deserve. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this last edition of “Careers I Could Have Had” and that you go on to explore these careers through the story of Brian and Mal.


A Note from Kelly Jensen
Chasing Forever is the final book in the series This Time Forever. Brian and Mal's story is special in all sorts of ways. Even though these books all standalone, Brian has been there since the beginning--as the character everyone loved to hate in the first book, and the character who seemed to have more to him in book two. In this final story, I share who Brian really is, and hope you'll all come to love him as much as I do. Then there's Mal, his other half, my serious soldier who has been waiting all his life for a challenge like Brian. Sometimes we have to be knocked lower than ever before in order to reach that high, and Mal's journey is one I treasure. I hope you enjoy reading this story of redemption and learning to live out loud.


About Kelly Jensen
If aliens ever do land on Earth, Kelly Jensen will not be prepared, despite having read over a hundred stories about the apocalypse. Still, she will pack her precious books into a box and carry them with her as she strives to survive. It’s what bibliophiles do.

Kelly is the author of a number of novels, novellas, and short stories, including the Chaos Station series, co-written with Jenn Burke. Some of what she writes is speculative in nature, but mostly it’s just about a guy losing his socks and/or burning dinner. Because life isn’t all conquering aliens and mountain peaks. Sometimes finding a happy ever after is all the adventure we need.

Connect with Kelly
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | Tumblr | Goodreads



Giveaway
To celebrate the release of Chasing Forever one lucky person will win a $25 Riptide Publishing gift card and a swag pack of stickers, art cards, and bookmarks! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on December 15, 2018. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following along, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!


Comments

  1. On my TBR!
    jlshannon74 at gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you for sharing. They sounds like easy jobs that could be both positive and negative in experience.
    humhumbum AT yahoo DOT com

    ReplyDelete

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