Sunday, December 14, 2014

99¢ Sale ~ Anniversary Celebration!

I can't believe it's been almost two years since I published my first book!

To celebrate, I'm offering Pursued by the Playboy for 99¢ on Amazon for a limited time. You can learn more on Free Kindle Books and Tips.

Happy reading!

Anniversary celebration sale! Pursued by the Playboy ~ only 99cents!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Eva's brother Logan gets his own story!

The Santa Monica Trilogy continues: Coming Home (Book 2)

New Contemporary Romance from Jill Blake!

Eight years ago, Grace went to New York to meet the father she never knew. Drawn into a frenetic life among Manhattan's über-rich, she ends up staying. But when her new marriage collapses in a firestorm of scandal, she flees back to California to recover.

After his college girlfriend dumped him without explanation, Logan spent eight years building his career and sampling some of L.A.’s finest talent. Now that Grace is back in town, Logan can’t stop thinking about her, and wondering What if…?

Sometimes first love deserves a second chance.

Available on Amazon 

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Bake, LOVE, Write

105 Authors Share Dessert Recipes and Advice on Love and Writing

What do most authors have in common, no matter what genre they write? They love desserts. Sweets sustain them through pending deadlines and take the sting out of crushing rejection letters and nasty reviews. They also often celebrate their successes—selling a book, winning a writing award, making a bestseller list, or receiving a fabulous review—with decadent indulgences. And when authors chat with each other, they often talk about their writing and their lives. 

Recipes. Relationships. Writing. 

In this cookbook 105 authors (including yours truly) not only share their favorite recipes for fabulous cakes, pies, cookies, candy, and more, they also share the best advice they’ve ever received on love and writing.

Bake, LOVE, Write

Available now from:

AMAZON ~ Paperback / Kindle 
KOBO ~ eBook 
Barnes & Noble ~ NOOK Book
iTunes ~ iBook

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Where it all began...

Pursued by the Playboy was my debut book. It began as an experiment to see if I could write a contemporary romance that was true to life--only better.  Along the way, it turned into a labor of love.

After completing a few more books, I recently revisited Kate and Marc’s story. With fresh eyes, I tightened, polished, and re-released it, along with a boxed set containing the entire Doctors of Rittenhouse Square trilogy.  Though the characters do overlap, each book is a self-contained story with its own beginning, middle, and end--and, of course, a happily-ever-after.  

For those of you who enjoy reading about smart women and sexy men, I encourage you to pour your favorite beverage, pull up a comfy chair, and see where the journey began.  Happy reading! 

Spicy Contemporary Romance by author Jill Blake

A bachelor who's finally looking to settle down meets a career-driven woman who doesn't believe in love...

Kate Warner isn't interested in romance. After years of bearing silent witness to the disaster zone of her parents' marriage, the last thing Kate wants is a husband and kids. Besides, she's on the fast track to academic success at an Ivy League university.

Enter Dr. Marc DiStefano, star of the university hospital's department of gynecology. Tired of the Barbie-doll wanna-be's of his past, he's looking to settle down. And he's set his sights on Kate.

...That's when the problems begin.

Excerpt from Pursued by the Playboy:

Marc wondered what it would take to get her to lose her cool. Unable to help himself, he leaned forward and smiled. “You don’t think it’s possible, do you? Combining work and family?”

“Maybe for some,” she conceded. “But you can’t expect to rise to the top of your field if you’re always getting distracted by what’s going on at home. You either have to focus on work or on family. Trying to do both means you’re constantly torn and everyone ends up suffering.”

“That’s a pretty cynical attitude. Especially for a woman.” He raised his hands, palms out. “Sorry, no offense. But don’t you want kids?”

“No.” Her sharp tone took him by surprise. She took a breath, then continued in a calmer voice. “I wouldn’t have gone into academe if I’d wanted kids. You know the odds of actually making tenure if you take time off for maternity leave or because your kid has a sniffle or daycare is closed for the gazillionth obscure holiday of the year? There’s a reason these hallowed university walls are lined with photos of men. They have stay-at-home wives to take care of the domestic life. If I could get a stay-at-home wife, I would too.” She unclenched her fingers and raised her water glass. “Pity I’m not into women.”

The off-color remark startled a laugh out of him. “Where does the cowboy fit in?”

“What cowboy?”

“The one you were with at the gala.”

“You mean Jake? We’ve known each other for ages. His family sort of adopted me in college.”

His eyes narrowed as he tried to gauge what she wasn’t saying. “So I won’t have to ask him to step outside?”

“Step outside? What is this, the 1880s? The ‘my gun is bigger than yours’ approach?” She shook her head. “Whom I choose to spend time with is exactly that: my choice.”

“I see. Well, in that case, thank you for choosing to have lunch with me.”


Book Hooks is a weekly meme hosted by the MFRW Authors Blog

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Santa Monica: an insider's guide

Full disclosure:  I am actually an East Coast gal, transplanted to sunny Southern California. But after over a decade of living, working, and raising my children here, I feel sufficiently well-versed in local culture to offer this insider's guide to Santa Monica. The fact is, most of the people I've met here are not native to L.A., but rather transplants like me who relocated in search of better weather and opportunity.

So, for those of you who plan to visit Santa Monica and want the 411 on this marvelous little enclave on the Westside of Los Angeles, here goes...

What to wear:  

casual chic

Casual chic. Short sleeves, shorts or jeans, and don’t forget the sunglasses. We’ve got 310 sunny days a year. Except in the mornings. May, June, and part of July brings a morning mist off the ocean fondly known as “June Gloom.” Temperatures range from 60 to the low 70s Fahrenheit during the day, rarely going above 80-something even in the summer. Don’t forget your jacket at night! Thanks to the cold ocean waters, night temps can get as low as 50 degrees F.

Things to do:

Santa Monica Pier, Ferris Wheel

Visit Santa Monica Pier.While it’s also a big tourist attraction, plenty of locals (especially those of us with young kids) go here. There’s a huge old fashioned indoor carousel, a trapeze school, plenty of rides and restaurants, and the iconic Ferris wheel. (In my latest book, Max and Eva come here on a date.)
Browse the art galleries at Bergamot Station.
Attend a Sunday morning concert at McCabe’s Guitar Shop.
Go surfing, sailing, running, biking, hiking. (See exercise below.)


Thanks to its proximity to the beach, and its year-round temperate climate, Santa Monica has a “skin culture” mentality. Everyone exercises. (And if they don’t, they lie about it.) We’ve got the beach for running, walking, roller-blading, playing beach volleyball, and surfing. The entire town is very bike-friendly, with bike paths running along the beach, and on the surface streets (look for the fresh green paint!).

There are also the Santa Monica Stairs – several steep sets of stairs that attract both locals and visitors who want to challenge themselves. The tallest of these, near 4th street, runs 189 steps. And yes, the views are amazing.

Did I mention the hiking? Will Rogers, Temescal Canyon, Malibu Creek (okay, we’re branching out here, but it’s still the Santa Monica Mountains).


Going Vegetarian in Southern California

You can get everything from fast food to haute cuisine. Some of my fave’s:

· Wilshire Restaurant (yep, this also features as a date venue for Max and Eva)
· Bru’s Wiffle – a waffle joint. You heard right: waffles aren’t just for breakfast anymore!
· High end: Melisse, Valentino, JiRaffe, Sugarfish
· Warszawa – best Polish (and other Eastern European) food west of the Mississippi
· Vegetarian: RFD (Real Food Daily), Native Foods


There are three main shopping districts. If you really want to pass for a native, you’ll stick to the first two, since the third is mostly for tourists.

o   Montana Avenue, a chichi stretch of boutiques and cafes 
o   Main Street, which caters to a younger, funkier crowd
o   Third Street Promenade, a 3-block pedestrian-only collection of mostly chain stores like Barnes & Noble (yay!), GAP, H&M, etc, as well as a few movie theaters, many eateries, and an open-air mall at the south end called Santa Monica Place. 

Stay tuned for more insider info on life in Southern California. 

If you're a local, please feel free to add your favorite tips.


Jill Blake lives in Southern California. 
Her latest contemporary romance, Without a Net, is set in Santa Monica.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

And the winner is...

Thanks to everyone who entered the drawing for a free digital copy of Without a Net.  

The following winners were selected at random, and have been sent an email with instructions on how to download their free copy (if you haven't received the email, please check your SPAM folder) :
  • Laurence O.
  • Dora B.
  • Cyn

If you didn’t win this time, you can still get Without a Net on Amazon or Smashwords.

You can also take advantage of the following limited-time offer to get This Time for Keeps for only $0.99 (that’s 70% off the cover price!):  

(Offer ends July 6)

To be notified of future contests/giveaways and updates regarding new releases from Jill Blake, please  CLICK HERE.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Cover Reveal: WITHOUT A NET

new Contemporary Romance by Jill Blake - Release date: July 1, 2014

a new

Contemporary Romance

by Jill Blake

Eva  has always played it safe…and where has it gotten her? Betrayed by her husband, left alone to raise her young son, and fighting to hang on to what's left, the last thing she needs is another philandering male.

Max  has always pursued adventure…until he gets sidelined by an accident.  While recovering from his injuries, he discovers that the biggest adventure of his life may be closer than he ever imagined—in the form of Eva, his baby sister’s best friend. 

The problem?   Convincing Eva to risk it all…without a net.

Look for it

 JULY 1, 2014

CLICK HERE to enter drawing for a free digital copy  

Winner will be announced July 1st!

Saturday, May 3, 2014

How to Make a Book Trailer in 7 Easy Steps

Book trailers are all the rage.  So my kids tell me. 

And they must know, since they spend a lot of time on YouTube.  That’s where they saw the trailers for Diary of a Wimpy Kid, books 1 through 8.  Ditto Big Nate and all the Harry Potter books (yes, the books!). They loved the trailers so much that they promptly hit me up for the books they didn’t already have. 

Thanks to my kids, I am now expanding my digital media and marketing horizons.  If book trailers can get them to read, why not try my hand at making a book trailer of my own?

Remember, I grew up before the internet age.  Back when TV’s still had vacuum tubes, and phones came with cords and rotary dials.  This whole computer thing still baffles me.  But I’m always up for a challenge. 

It took me a few sleepless nights, but I finally managed to put together a book trailer for my contemporary romance, This Time for Keeps.  Along the way, I kept notes.  The result is a handy-dandy “how to” guide for creating your very own low budget book trailer.  Believe me, if I can do it, anybody can!

Here it is, how to make your book trailer in 7 easy steps: 

1. Watch a bunch of book trailers, particularly in your genre, to get a sense of what’s out there.  You can find examples on YouTube or BookTrailers.

2. Select images or video clips.  Make sure you have appropriate permission to use them, to avoid copyright infringement.  If possible, use your original work (with appropriate releases if you photograph models, or property which does not belong to you—including public landmarks, works of art, etc.). Alternatively, you can search online for royalty-free images and video clips that are available for download either free or for a small fee.  Some of the more popular sites include:

3. Write a script.  This can be as easy as using a short blurb that you already have for your book, or teasers from the book itself, or quotes from reviews, or any combination of the above.

4. Familiarize yourself with a movie making/editing program.  There are many user-friendly ones available, such as:  
  • Windows Live Movie Maker (if you have a PC, you likely already have this program on your computer)
  • Prezi 
  • Animoto 
  • Photo story

5. Import your photos/videos into the program.  Add your text.

6. Add a soundtrack.  Again, make sure you have permission to use the material you choose.  Here are some online sites which offer royalty-free sound clips:

7. Upload your video to a distribution channel such as YouTube or BookTrailers.

And that's it--you're done!!!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Surprise! I’m pregnant!

The surprise pregnancy/secret baby storyline has been a part of Romance for as long as there's been a Romance genre.  

Remember those “Old Skool” heroines who marry because they have to?  And those jet-setting Harlequin heroes who get their mistresses pregnant, then go all he-man possessive once they find out, demanding marriage or else?  And what about those parted lovers who meet up years later by pure chance, with the hero doing a double-take: surely that mini-me clinging to the heroine isn’t really a mini-me

(Seriously, if contraceptives in the real world failed as often as they do in Romance novels, we’d have billions more people on earth.)

Well, Virginia, I am here to tell you:  there is nothing hearts and roses about pregnancy.  I know some women have easy breezy beautiful Cover Girl pregnancies, nary a dry heave to mar their oxytocin-primed sense of well-being.  Not me.  And I’ve been through the whole pregnancy-delivery-postpartum thing three times.  And don’t get me started on the sleepless nights, poopy diapers, spit-up, colic, and realization that you will never again have a moment to yourself.  Especially when there’s three of them and only one (or two) of you.

So, we’re agreed:  there is nothing the least bit romantic about pregnancy or its aftermath.

Why, then, do so many women (myself included) still love to read about it, especially if it’s an unexpected or secret pregnancy? 

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Judging a Book by its Cover

There’s a reason Madison Avenue uses scantily clothed models in suggestive poses: SEX SELLS. All you have to do is click on the television, open a magazine, or drive by a roadside billboard to know this. The more out of context or unrelated the sexy imagery is to the product it’s supposed to advertise, the more jarring the effect, and the better people tend to remember it. This is called the Von Restorff effect.

I learned this the hard way. Taking a Chance, the second book in my Doctors of Rittenhouse Square trilogy originally came out with this cover…

Book 1 and book 3 in the same series looked like this…

Can you guess which sold better?

After doing an informal poll of friends, family, and readers, it seems that the issue really is the cover. (If you need more convincing, check out this more thorough treatment on the subject: Sex and Advertising.)

So, introducing the new cover of Taking a Chance

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The Social Media Addiction

This is why I resisted doing social media for so long:  it's addictive!

Forget heroin, cocaine, cigarettes, and chocolate--wait, maybe not the chocolate--one taste of FB, twitter, Goodreads, Google + and you're hooked.  And did I mention all those lovely blogs by authors, reviewers, doctors, politicos, and talking heads with impressive degrees and quirky leanings? You could read and read and read and still have more material to keep you awake more nights than you can count. Who needs to do dishes? Clean house? Cook? Help kids with homework? See patients, pay bills, actually have live conversations with your partner, family, and friends?
Clearly not me.  Nope, I'm stuck here mainlining tumblr as we speak.

Until my eyes glaze over and the iPad runs out of juice, and my kids run in screaming: Earthquake, mommy! Earthquake! Did you feel it?

No, sadly, I missed it, and it was 3.2 on the Richter scale, according to twitter.

Mommy, mommy!

I'll be with you in a minute, kids, as soon as I finish pinning this to Pinterest...

Monday, March 17, 2014

Sample Sunday: This Time for Keeps

Remember that Saturday Night Live skit with Rob Morrow, where he's sitting with some friends, and always seems to lag five subjects behind the conversation?  Here's the clip:

Anyway, when it comes to digital media and marketing, I feel like Rob Morrow as he enters the bathroom: on the verge of an entire new world of possibilities!

Like many writers who struggle to fit writing into an already overflowing schedule (day job, family, keeping the fridge stocked and the bills paid), I need to prioritize how to spend my time.  Do I work on my next book or market the ones that are already out?  Do I tweet, post on Facebook, or blog?  And how about promotion?  So many services!  Blink, and a new one pops up.  Which are worth the investment of time and money?

I don't know what the right mix is, and would be happy to hear from more experienced writers about their thoughts.

In the meantime, I'll continue to fly by the seat of my pants.  Always a little behind.  Always trying to catch up.  Bear with me, and I promise to eventually get it right!

Today, I'm trying something new.  Sample Sunday - where a writer puts up a sample of her latest work for readers to enjoy.  It's Sunday night (actually, 1:28 am Monday morning--do you sense a theme here?), and this excerpt is from This Time for Keeps (Doctors of Rittenhouse Square, Book 3).  Each book in this series can be read as a stand-alone, though some characters do overlap.

And now, without further ado...

This Time for Keeps

(Doctors of Rittenhouse Square, Book 3)


Jill Blake

A random act of violence...
When a senseless act of violence shatters her perfect world, Dr. Isabelle DiStefano struggles to rebuild: 
new life, new job, new man.

A second chance at love...

But sometimes the past can be hard to let go of, especially when old flame Luca Santoro reappears in her life and decides he wants to start over
...this time, for keeps.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Cover Reveal: vote for your favorite!

This Time for Keeps (Doctors of Rittenhouse Square #3)

Vote for the cover you like best:

Choice #1

Choice #2:

Monday, January 27, 2014

The wait is almost over...

This Time for Keeps 
(Doctors of Rittenhouse Square, Book 3)

A random act of violence...

When a senseless act of violence shatters her perfect world, Dr. Isabelle DiStefano struggles to rebuild: new life, new job, new man.

A second chance at love...

But sometimes the past can be hard to let go of, especially when old flame Luca Santoro reappears in her life and decides he wants to start over...this time, for keeps.

Coming in February to Amazon Kindle!

Also available on Amazon, Doctors of Rittenhouse Square Books 1 and 2:

Pursued by the Playboy - Kate & Marc's story
Taking a Chance - Samantha & Alex's story 

Stay tuned for the cover reveal...