Jennifer Gilby Roberts

Women's Fiction/Chick Lit Author

Last Few Days to Enter to Win a Paperback Copy of Early Daze

dfw-jgr-ed-cover-GOODREADS-My Goodreads giveaway of a paperback copy of Early Daze will be ending soon, so make sure to get your entries in before 31 December.

To enter the giveaway you need to be a member of Goodreads, but you can sign up for free.  You’ll then need to go to my giveaway page to enter the draw.  While you’re there, come friend me!  And please add Early Daze to your ‘to-read’ shelf.

Good luck everyone!

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Win a Paperback Copy of Early Daze!

dfw-jgr-ed-cover-GOODREADS-This month, I’m running a giveaway through Goodreads of a paperback copy of Early Daze!

To enter the giveaway you need to be a member of Goodreads, but you can sign up for free.  You’ll then need to go to the giveaway page to enter the draw.  While you’re there, come friend me!  And please add Early Daze to your ‘to-read’ shelf.

The giveaway will run 1-31 December 2014.

Good luck everyone!

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Can Someone Who’s Read Early Daze Do Me a Favour?

Hi everyone.

I want to apply for a promotional opportunity for Early Daze, but it requires 25 reviews on Amazon.com and at the moment it’s got 24.  Could someone who’s read it write me a couple of lines?  Please?

If you haven’t read it yet, look out for a sale sometime in September.  There will also be a sale on After Wimbledon later this month and I’ve scheduled some more paperback giveaways on Goodreads in the autumn.

 

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The Reality of Breast-Pumping

One of the reviewers for Early Daze wondered if it was realistic to have Jess hand-expressing in the early days after Samantha was born.  I can promise you that it is.  Although fortunately I didn’t have milk-production issues, all the rest of Jess’ pumping journey is drawn from personal experience.  Of course, there’s likely to be variation between hospitals and countries in what happens, but this is how it went for me:

Knitted boobOn the day my daughter was born, one of the nurses brought round an instruction sheet and a knitted boob to show me how to massage my breasts.  Basically, you knead them.  You make a fist, press down and move your hand from your chest to your nipple all around the breast.  Then you form a circle with your hands (thumbs and first fingers touching), put that over your breast with the nipple area exposed and squeeze.  Milk comes out of the nipple and you do indeed pick it up with an oral syringe.  In the first days after birth, you make only a tiny amount of very concentrated milk known as colostrum, so this is a viable method.  After a day or two, you move on to an actual breast pump.  You can get manual, or electric ones like Jess uses in the book.

The candy floss milk?  Fact.  Apparently it’s quite safe for babies to drink, however much it freaks out the mother.  The Fenugreek smell?  Fact.  And it really does affect your urine as well.  I had a damaged nipple, a nipple infection and mastitis (twice).

In terms of research, you can’t mess with Early Daze.  While it may not be that way for every mother, it was for this one.

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Last Few Days to Enter to Win a Paperback Copy of Early Daze

My Goodreads giveaway of two paperback copies of Early Daze will be ending soon, so make sure to get your entries in before 30 June.

To enter the giveaway you need to be a member of Goodreads, but you can sign up for free.  You’ll then need to go to my giveaway page to enter the draw.  While you’re there, come friend me!  And please add Early Daze to your ‘to-read’ shelf.

Good luck everyone!

Leave a comment »

Deleted Scenes from Early Daze #3

SPOILERS

In this last deleted scene from Early Daze, Jess and Gwen discuss Ben.  This one takes place after the other two.  The remaining part of this scene actually appears in the book.

~~~~

I call Gwen later.  Partly to check she’s got home safe.  Partly to talk about Ben.

‘So… you turned Ben down?’ I ask tentatively.

‘Yup.  I take it you didn’t.’

‘No.’

I half smile.  ‘It’s funny… out of all of us, you’d think you would be the most likely to… well…’

‘Cheat?’ Gwen asks shortly.

I wince.  ‘I was going to say “make a mistake”.’

Gwen sighs.  ‘You know, I do get very tired of people assuming that being bisexual means you’ll shag anything with a pulse.  I doubt I’m any less selective than you.  I’m only attracted to a tiny proportion of the people I meet.  It just so happens that some of them are male and some are female.’

‘It’s not that…’ I start.  ‘Well… I guess maybe that’s part of it.  For some people.  And I’m not saying that’s right, just that… that’s how some people think.’

Including me, not long ago.

‘It’s… you’re always telling stories about crazy things you’ve done.  Impulsive things.  Stuff most people wouldn’t do.  And I think… that gives people the impression that you’ll just do anything.’

Gwen purses her lips.  ‘You may be right,’ she says reluctantly.  ‘And I hate that.  Just because I’m capable of being spontaneous doesn’t mean I have no impulse control.  I choose to say yes or no.  I don’t cheat.’

I kick the sofa.  ‘And, apparently, I do.  Does that mean it’s your turn to judge me?’

‘I could, but well… it’s this place, isn’t it?  It’s a marathon.  And none of us trained for it, so we just fall down and struggle to pick ourselves back up.  We’ve all got our coping mechanisms.  Some people eat.  Pretty sure some drink – though hopefully not the pumpers.  Some people get obsessed with how much milk they’re making or how much weight they’ve lost.  And I run around trying to convince all the other mums that life isn’t so terrible, in a futile effort to convince myself.  Let’s face it, you’re just one of a bunch.’

That makes me feel a little better.

‘Should I tell Ryan?’

‘Dunno.  What do you think?’

‘I don’t know!’ I say, throwing up my hands.  ‘That’s why I’m asking you.’

‘Well, I don’t know him.  I only know you to a limited extent.  Morally, you should.  But it depends on what impact you think telling him will have.’

‘Like what?’ I ask, feeling uneasy.

‘Well, if you tell him, will he leave you?’

I consider this briefly.  ‘No, I don’t think so.  We’ve been together so long and now we have Samantha.  And I don’t think he’s all that keen on change.  And…well…’

‘Well?’

I shift awkwardly.  ‘When he proposed…  Well, he said he’d always known I was the one for him.  And we started going out at fifteen.  And Ryan… he doesn’t say stuff like that.  He must have meant it.’

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Deleted Scenes from Early Daze #2

SPOILERS

The second of my deleted scenes from Early Daze.  When I wrote the previous deleted scenes, I felt I needed something that would give Jess a boost to make her act on her feelings for Ben and I came up with this.  I deleted it partly because it wasn’t needed after deleting the other scenes and partly because I felt Jess would actually react more negatively than she did here.  But I include this for your interest.

Think I should have kept it in?  Leave a comment and let me know.

~~~~

Predictably, when I start needing the loo we’re miles from any shops so I have to use the public toilet.  One of those ghastly boxes with the sliding doors.

I’m mid wee when said sliding doors gently opens, leaving me in full view of a group of young lads.  Luckily, Gwen and Cassandra spot what’s happened and hastily move in front to block their view and manage to get the door closed again.  I quickly finish and get myself together.

The lads have not left when I get outside.  My face is absolutely scarlet and I want to die.

‘Keep calm and eat popcorn,’ Gwen says, thrusting the bucket at me.

‘They are never going to forget that.  Ever,’ I moan.

‘And you’ll probably never see them again.’

‘That’s not the point.’

‘Then what is?’

‘I just… I’m not comfortable, Gwen.  Some things are just private.  I don’t want people seeing… that.  I really don’t think that’s unreasonable.’

She casts a look at the group of lads, who still have their eyes firmly on us.  ‘If you want, I could do something that I guarantee will make them forget all about it.’

My brow furrows.  ‘Like what?’

‘Just trust me.’

‘Okay.’

And what Gwen does is to lean forward and kiss me.  And I don’t mean on the cheek.

I hear whoops and wolf-whistles in the background.

‘There,’ she says complacently when she pulls back.  ‘Memory erased.  That will be all they can talk about for days.  You know what men are like.’

To be fair, she’s probably right.

‘Uh… thanks?’

I’m really not sure of the etiquette in this case.

‘Have you ever done that before?’ Gwen asks thoughtfully.

‘What?  No!  Why?’

‘Just wondering.  Doesn’t matter.’

‘Have you?’ I hear myself ask.

She shrugs.  ‘Oh yeah.  I’ve been out with a few women and had one serious girlfriend.  But then I met my husband and I knew he was the one straight away.  Who knows what would have happened if I hadn’t met him?  You know… you’re pretty much my type.’

I stare at her for a few seconds.  ‘I’d really like to stop this conversation.  Right now.’

She sighs.  ‘Okay, fair enough.  Enough boundary-pushing for one day.’

Cassandra, to whom this is clearly not a surprise, wiggles her eyebrows at me.  I blush.

I find myself grinning.  I’m almost buzzing.  Not from the kiss itself.  I wouldn’t say it was unpleasant.  It was gentle, the lack of whisker rash is definitely a plus and Gwen’s lip balm tastes really nice, but it wasn’t exciting.  Which, quite honestly, is something of a relief.

It’s probably ridiculous in this day and age for kissing someone to feel crazy and daring, just because they’re the same sex, but that’s what it’s done.  My whole life I’ve been conventional, bordering on old-fashioned, but I’ve finally done something my mother would be shocked to hear about.  I feel a burst of adrenaline.  I feel like I should run out and dye my hair green or get my nose pierced or something.

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Deleted Scenes From Early Daze

I thought it would be interesting to share a deleted scene from Early Daze, as I did for After Wimbledon.  This has SPOILERS, so don’t read if you haven’t read it yet.

Early Daze went through a lot of changes while I was writing it.  When I first started, I thought it might be a ‘life-changing experience makes girl leave terrible boyfriend’ book.  But when Ryan showed up, he was too good a guy.  Then I was going to do a love-triangle – but I’m a bit crap at those.  I’m just not comfortable portraying an MC being involved with two people at the same time without major restrictions (a dysfunctional current relationship that should clearly end, and no sex).  I have a bias towards fidelity, marriage and families being together.  Not to say I won’t ever deviate from that in my writing, but I felt it wasn’t right for this book.

However, before I came to that realisation, I actually wrote Jess and Ben getting “together.”  Here are the relevant scenes from the first draft for you to read.  Do you think I made the right decision to change the plot?  Leave a comment and let me know.

~~~~

‘Hey,’ he says, pulling me into a hug. ‘Look, we’ll both get through it, all right?  Life sucks now and we’re going through hell, but we just have to keep going and we’ll get out the other side.’

‘Thanks,’ I say, slightly muffled by his shoulder.  I lift my head, intending to kiss his cheek, but he turns his head at the last moment and I find his lips instead.

And then we’re kissing.  It starts off gentle, but his touch is electric and soon it’s hungry.  He lifts me up onto the table and I wrap my legs around him to pull him closer and we’re still kissing and…

 

I’m not absolutely sure what happened next.  Or rather, I’m not absolutely sure how what happened next happened.  All I know is that when my phone bleeped to tell me I needed to pump, I woke up and I was naked in Ben’s bed.  And, judging by the used condom in the bin, we didn’t just cuddle.

I extracted myself and scuttled off, first to my own room to get my pumping bag and then to the pumping room to hide.

Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck.

That wasn’t meant to happen.  That was… what?  Grief?  Hormones gone mad?  Anger at Ryan?  Passion I haven’t felt in years?

What do I say to Ryan?  What do I say to Ben?

I plug in my headphones and listen to crying babies and try to block out reality once again.

 

I next see Ben outside the hospital when I go out for my walk.  He falls into step beside me without asking.

‘So… oops,’ he says.

I stop.  ‘Oops?  That’s the best thing you can think of to say?’

He shrugs.  ‘Pretty much.’

I don’t know why I’m criticising.  I can’t think of anything to say either.  We start walking again.

‘It’s kind of nice, actually.’

‘What is?’

‘Well, we’re a bit more equal in the fuck-ups department now.’

I let out a slow breath.  I can see it in the air.  ‘I suppose so.’

‘Are you going to tell Ryan?’

‘I don’t know.’

‘Are we going to do it again?’

‘No.’

‘Sure?’

‘Yes.’

‘It was good, though.’

‘Yes.’

Better than with Ryan.  At least for a long time.  If not ever.

But passion fades, doesn’t it?  You can’t maintain the excitement over the years.  It’s just that Ben is new and Ryan is old.  Familiar.  That’s all.  It doesn’t mean anything.

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FREE OFFER: My Non-Fiction Books for Mothers

You probably don’t know that I’ve also written two short non-fiction books.  They are aimed at mothers of premature babies, such as those in Early Daze.  I’ve published them under the name Jennifer Daggett.  They are:

They are available from all major ebook stores, but if either would be relevant to you or someone you know, you can download them FREE from Smashwords using the coupon code DN89M (NICU) or AX66A (Pumping).  These codes are valid until the end of June 14.

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Win a Paperback Copy of Early Daze!

This month, I’m running a giveaway through Goodreads of two paperback copies of Early Daze!

To enter the giveaway you need to be a member of Goodreads, but you can sign up for free.  You’ll then need to go to my giveaway page to enter the draw.  While you’re there, come friend me!  And please add Early Daze to your ‘to-read’ shelf.

The giveaway will run 1-30 June 2014.

Good luck everyone!

Leave a comment »

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