Are We Done Yet? ~ Outside the Margins with Kelly Jensen

Join Prism Book Alliance® as Kelly Jensen goes Outside the Margins today.


I’m a silver lining kind of person. That whole thing about one door closing? Put in me in a windowless room with only one door (closed) and I’ll take a nap. It’d be an effective use of my time, right? Then I might look for another exit. Test the thickness of the walls, measure the vent on the AC system. There will be another answer. There is always another answer! But I am so done with 2016.

I don’t need to recap what went wrong. We all lived through it—though some of the best of us didn’t. As for me… I don’t even know where to begin, so I won’t. Suffice to say, I faced challenges I never met before, and I had to dig so deep I wasn’t sure I’d find my way back to the surface. When I did get back? Well, let’s just say that on more than one occasion I fantasized about having a car accident. Nothing too major, but spending some time in a body cast seemed like a good way to put a buffer between me and the world for a while.

I didn’t give up, though. If I can be proud of anything this year, it will be the fact that somehow I kept going. Every time someone closed a door, I found another exit. Sometimes one found me. Friends reached out and good things happened.

So, I made it this far and there’s only one month left of this awful year. Pity it has to be December. Yep, despite looking for the sparkle of opportunity in all things, I’m actually a bit of a Grinch when it comes to Christmas. I hate decorating. I hate spending money. The kitchen is still recovering from Thanksgiving (as is my belly) and I don’t need any more stuff.

(Better be something for me under the tree, though. My pout is epic.)

I try. For the sake of my daughter and husband, I try. Mostly, I dream of body casts while they’re trimming the tree and flinging tinsel all over the house. I have examined my aversion to Christmas from several angles—while making myself bake and decorate cookies for Santa. I love giving gifts (even if this requires spending money). I like making other people feel special. I just don’t want to wear a silly sweater and listen to Christmas music while doing so.

This year? I need it. All of it, wrapped up with bows.  I want sugar plum fairies and blankets of indoor snow. Let’s burn a yule log for all thirty one days of December! I’m changing my ring tone to something seasonal, and I’m going to download holiday mods for all my games. I NEED TO SEE GERALT OF RIVIA IN A SANTA HAT.

What I do not need is to see the impression my husband left in the dirt when he fell off the ladder this past Saturday, leaving the lights on the outside of our house half-strung.

Why, 2016? WHY?

He’s fine, by the way. Shaken, bruised, not able to finish the lights. I did that. Well, most of it. Once we had the extension ladder fully extended, my body cast fantasy became a little too real. I decided we can leave the decorating at the lower eaves this year. One call to 911 wasn’t how I planned to start this year’s holiday season. A second call would be too much—even if it would make a great story. Oh…

makes some quick notes

Anyway, now that the ladder is away, I’m diving back into HOLIDAY JOY. I’ve written a fluffy short story for Henry and Marc (Counting Fence Posts), which you can read here. I’ve queued up holiday movies on Netflix. I bought the stuff to make a gingerbread house. My Kindle is stocked with sparkly seasonal romances.

Now it’s your turn. I want to give away $20 in Dreamspinner store credit a couple copies of my holiday novella, Counting Fence Posts. I wrote this, okay? So it’s not tinselly. In fact, it’s, um, sort of a disaster scenario set to holiday music. But it all happens on Christmas Eve! And Henry and Marc are stuck in a blizzard. That means sharing body heat. 😉

To enter, leave a comment below recommending your favourite holiday movie(s) or book(s). Don’t forget to include your email address so I can contact you. Next Friday (12/9/16) I’ll pick two winners, who will each receive $10 to spend as they wish at the Dreamspinner store and a copy of Counting Fence Posts in their preferred format.

I hope everyone has a safe and happy December and that 2017 treats us all a little more kindly. <3

~Kelly Jensen


Title: Counting Fence Posts
Author: Kelly Jensen
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Publication Date: 07/23/2016
Cover Artist: Bree Archer
Genre: Contemporary, Gay, Romance, Winter Holiday


There are over two hundred thousand fence posts between Syracuse and Boston. Henry Auttenberg likes numbers—it’s his job—but he isn’t going to count them all, even if the view outside the rental car is less confounding than the driver, his attractive but oh so obnoxious colleague, Marcus Winnamore. It’s Christmas Eve, and Henry would much rather be home with his family. When the blizzard that grounded their flight forces them off the road, however, he’s stuck with Marc until the storm passes—or a plow digs them out.

As the temperature outside plummets, the atmosphere inside the car slowly heats up. Henry learns the true reason for Marc’s chilly distance—he’s not exactly straight… maybe… and he’s been fantasizing about Henry’s mouth, among other things. Confession laid out, Marc is all for sharing body heat… and more. Henry isn’t interested in being an experiment, but as the night and cold deepen, he could be convinced to balance certain risk against uncertain reward.


Counting Fence Posts on Goodreads
Dreamspinner Press
Amazon US
Amazon UK
Amazon CA
All Romance eBooks

About Kelly Jensen

If aliens ever do land on Earth, Kelly will not be prepared, despite having read over a hundred stories of 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. At lot of what she writes is speculative in nature, but sometimes 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.

You can chat with Kelly on Twitter @kmkjensen or visit her blog at where she rambles on about anything and everything.

Farewell Giveaway
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.

Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,

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21 thoughts on “Are We Done Yet? ~ Outside the Margins with Kelly Jensen

  1. For movies, Miracle on 34th Street and Love Actually. I also love the old cartoons of the Grinch and Rudolph. I watch them every year. I also read almost all holiday romances this time of year. Heidi Cullinan’s Minnesota Christmas books are favorites along with Josh Lanyon’s and Harper Fox’s holiday stories. Also Blame It on the Mistletoe by Eli Easton and The Winter Spirit by Indra Vaughn. I better stop there! violet817(at)aol(dot)com

  2. Love Actually and While You Were Sleeping are among my favorite Holidays movies; no reasons really other than I love watching ’em. 🙂
    As for book/story? Josh Lanyon’s the Dickens with Love. Re-read it all the time.

  3. Counting Fence Posts is actually one of my favourite holiday stories this year, along with Andi Van’s Krampus Hates Christmas. I recently watched The Mistletoe Promise and loved it. I really love the actress Jaime King; she’s so underrated.


  4. My favorite holiday movie is A Christmas Carol with George C. Scott. A couple of my favorite holiday stories are Blame it on the Mistletoe by Eli Easton (both the ebook and the audiobook) and Sock it to Me Santa by Madison Parker.

    I really enjoyed Counting Fence Posts, too. And am excited about the follow-on story. Will be reading that later today.

    I am glad you made it through 2016 so far and hope it ends with a very happy holiday for you.

    P.S. Your new release – Block and Strike – sounds awesome. Just added it to my TBR list.


  5. Favorite holiday stories include Christmas Kitsch and Blame it on the Mistletoe. Thanks for the chance at your giveaway. ardent(dot)ereader(at)gmail(dot)com

  6. Nothing like a little snow to bring out the best in someone. I love watching the Home Alone movies and The Christmas Card.

  7. Yikes, I sympathize! I always like A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS, the first 70 showings of A CHRISTMAS STORY, and the Christmas party scene in the movie MIRACLE (nothing like a bunch of darling hockey guys giving each other gag gifts!)…

  8. My favorite holiday movies are definitely Home Alone and National Lampoons Christmas Vacation. I like the ones that make me laugh! Hope 2017 is a better year! 🙂

  9. I’m so done with 2016 we have lost so many wonderful people this year and made so many weird decisions. I don’t watch Christmas films but enjoy reading Christmas stories like “Christmas Throwaway” RJ Scott “Turkey In The Snow” by Amy Lane and Astrid Amara’s “Holiday With The Bellskis Series”

  10. My mother has burned me out on many Christmas movies (I can only watch them so many times!), but I still love Eloise at Christmastime. Talk about precocious!

  11. You poor thing. Things WILL get better, usually when we all start feeling a little of the holiday season infusing into our bodies and minds!!!
    My favorite Holiday movie is Last Holiday with Queen Latifah. If you haven’t had a chance to watch it, give it a whirl. Plus, there is nothing like singing along with Heat Mizer and Snow Mizer in The Year Without a Santa Clause…LOL
    Will keep you in my thoughts!!! xoxo

  12. Hi, Kelly! First off, I love your and Jenn’s Chaos Station series. Are you going to write more sci-fi?
    Now, some Christmas books I read (I do not watch many movies) are: A Chance for Christmas by D.J. Jamison, Merry Christmas, Mr. Miggles by Eli Easton, Humbug by Joanna Chambers, Minnesota seirrs by Heidi Cullinan, The Winter Spirit by Indra Vaughn, A Family for Christmas by Jay Northcote, Kiss and Ride by Teodora Kostova, Where the Lovelight Gleams by Keira Andrews. I don’t remember them all 😛 but this is a good start. I also liked Counting Fence Posts.
    You said you are not much into Christmas but I hope you have wonderful holidays! 😊

  13. I don’t watch many movies or TV but I do like It’s a Wonderful Life, The Year Without a Santa Claus, & The Grinch Who Stole Christmas (cartoon one).
    For holiday books I enjoy Heidi Cullinan’s Minnesota Series & anything Eli Easton.

  14. I don’t watch a lot of holiday movies (I have something of a love/hate relationship with Love Actually) but I do have a soft spot for the Holiday with Jack Black and Jude Law.

    Happy holidays everyone! 🙂

    hankts AT internode DOT on DOT net

  15. It is always hard to pin-point favorite holiday movies/stories because it can change every single time depending on what my mood that year is. But safely to say, I LOVE “Love Actually” because it has multiple Christmas stories, from the romantic to the rather sad (Emma Thompson & Alan Rickman part, everyone?). “When Harry Met Sally” is also another favorite.

    This year, few of my favorite holiday stories I’ve read were “A Family for Christmas” by Jay Northcote and “Resolutions” by Emma Keene (from DSP – Bah Humbug collection)

  16. @Didi – Yay, another Love Actually fan! I’ve added the Lanyon story to my list, thanks!

    @ElleLainey – Aw, you made me blush! So glad you enjoyed Counting Fence Posts. Thanks for the movie recommendation!

    @jenf27 – I’ve heard so many good things about Blame it on the Mistletoe! Added to my list. So happy you enjoyed Counting Fence Posts. I’ve really enjoyed writing these guys. I hope you like Counting Down just as much! And thanks on Block and Strike. I’m super excited about the release. 🙂

    @Ardent Ereader – I enjoyed Christmas Kitsch too!

    @susana – My daughter also loves The Nightmare Before Christmas. 🙂

    @debby236 – I haven’t heard of The Christmas Card! I’m going to have to look that one up.

    @Trix – There’s a reason the classics still play every year, eh?

    @Jenn – I haven’t watched the National Lampoons one for a while! Thanks for the reminder. 🙂

    @Shirley Ann – It’s been a year, eh? Thanks for the recommendations!

    @Ashley – Agreed!

    @blaineleehall – I LOVE The Last Holiday. It’s such a wonderful movie. 🙂

    @Serena – Thank you! I do have plans to write more SF. I’ve been outlining a project I’d like to start next year. Jenn’s current WIP is paranormal and we have a paranormal project we’d like to work on together as well. Thanks for the recommendations!

    @lisa44837 – Thanks for the recommendations. 🙂

    @Kaetrin – YES on Jack Black and Jude Law. I tend to watch movies just because they’re in them. 🙂

    @Ami – and another Love Actually fan! My absolute love for this film is seeming less and less weird. 🙂

    @Lee – I love The Santa Claus(e)!

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