(This Time Forever #1)
by Kelly Jensen
Date Released: October 15, 2018
About Building Forever
A new town, a new neighbor, and a new chance to build a forever.
Charlie King is doing fine. Sure, he’s a widower raising a teenage daughter who just got her first boyfriend, his book series isn’t writing itself, and he has a crush on his new neighbor — the guy next door. But everything’s just fine.
Simon Lynley is doing better. He moved to Bethlehem to fall out of love and rebuild his career. An affair with his neighbor isn’t part of the plan, but the attraction between them is too hard to ignore.
But when Simon’s ex follows him to Pennsylvania seeking reconciliation, and Charlie’s life starts to feel like a video on repeat, everything comes apart. Charlie worries that he’s failing as a father, and Simon is a distraction he can’t afford. Meanwhile Simon doesn’t know if he could survive being left again, and he hasn’t come all this way to make the same mistakes. But despite their fears, it’s only together that they’ll find the strength to slay old foes and build the forever they’ve been waiting for.
Add Building Forever on Goodreads.
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 Note from Kelly Jensen
Building Forever is the first in a series of standalone novels focused on older characters who think love has passed them by. I loved writing these second chance romances, and I hope you enjoy reading about the books—especially this one because Charlie and Simon will forever be the characters who started me on this journey.
A Guest Post from Kelly Jensen
If You Could Be Any Animal…
There’s a scene in the second book of this series, Renewing Forever, where Frank visits Simon and Charlie at home. Frank knocks at the front door and waits as several people visit him in the doorway, none inviting him inside. Then Charlie arrives:
The dog appeared next, followed by Charlie, who seemed to move in much the same manner as his canine. Buoyant steps, mouth open in a wide grin. His tongue didn’t loll about, but he did whuff slightly before saying, “Hey!”
My editor left an amused comment next to this paragraph and her opinion is one I happily share: Charlie is like a dog, a Labrador or a Golden Retriever.
This morning, before I sat down to write this post, I took a peek at the advance reviews of Building Forever, and spied this quote from reviewer, Beth Laycock:
“Charlie reminded me of a Labrador bouncing from thought to thought, full of energy, and quite funny too.”
I laughed. Yep! Absolutely and totally. Charlie is a big, friendly dog. Loyal and loving, he’s perfect for families with kids—but while he looks like a big soft marshmallow on the outside, he’s ready to protect his people. He’s energetic, and nothing seems to get him down. He’s playful and joyful. He’ll eat anything. Really, he’s the perfect addition to any family and even though I’m not really a dog person, he’d be the kind of dog I’d have a really hard time not falling in love with.
It’s little wonder Simon feels the same.
Simon warns himself off Charlie a number of times—first when he thinks Charlie is married, second when Simon doesn’t feel he is emotionally equipped for a relationship. But he is won over in much the same way a winsome pet wins over any family: by the small gestures that don’t meant a lot, but stacked together mean everything. By the fact Charlie is who he is. No apologies, no excuses.
When deciding to write a post like this (and I intend to try and find an animal for everyone in this series), I had a really difficult time trying to figure out what Simon could be. He’s probably never had a pet in his life. In fact, until he met Charlie, I’m not even sure Simon understood the reason for pets. Why people adopt them, raise them, and love them. (I’m not sure he really gets children, either.)
Simon is a very self-contained individual, which is a lot of why his relationship with Brian didn’t work. At this point, if you’ve read Building Forever, you might think their split was all Brian’s fault. That’s only demonstrably true. Simon is a difficult nut to crack. He’s like that cat who hides under the couch watching everyone with suspicion. The cat who only has one trusted companion and to that person, is everything.
To say that Simon is an introvert is putting it mildly. He can be quite sociable, but until you get to know him, he will seem quiet and perhaps aloof. Like the cat under the couch. And because he’s probably most comfortable with just that one person, he’ll make you feel like you aren’t enough—until you get to know him. Then you’ll realize he’s just shy.
I don’t see him as a domestic cat, though. Domestic cats are more usually sociable. He’s wilder than that. He’s a jaguar, and obviously of the black panther variety. Rarer and more beautiful. He’s a loner, and content in his own company. And yet, when it comes to Charlie, he’s much more like that aloof little housecat hiding under the sofa. He really does want to be friends. You just have to coax him out into the light first.
Any comment on this post counts as an entry in my giveaway, but for this one, I’d love to hear about which animal you’d like to be!
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
To celebrate the release of Building 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 October 20, 2018. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following along, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!