How much is a picture really worth? with Jenna Rutland

Please help me welcome Entangled Bliss author Jenna Rutland to my blog today. As well as talking about the thing I’ve also been procrastinating about for … ahem … a while now, she’s going to tell us about her latest release, Just for the Summer. But first, here’s a short bio:

Jenna Rutland lives in a small Michigan community with her husband, son and senior cat. Her daughter and son-in-law have recently given Jenna the awesome title of grandmother!

While her days are spent working as a medical transcriptionist, her nights are filled writing contemporary romance—stories of love, laughter and happily ever after. Guess which occupation is more fun?

She is a member of RWA and is active in her local chapter. After several years on the MVRWA board, she now chairs the group’s annual fall brainstorming weekend as well as acts as food coordinator for several other events.

Jenna takes pleasure in spending time with her family. She also enjoys reading, gardening and loves the challenge of a new recipe.

Me: Jenna, you and I have something more than writing for Entangled in common. I spent many years doing medical transcription, too. The blog is yours, Jenna. Take it away.

After I sold my contemporary category romance to Entangled Publishing, I had promised myself that I would get a professional picture taken.

So I finally made an appointment. All morning, I kept glancing at the clock, recalculating how long it would take me to get ready. I planned on an hour and fifteen minutes so I wouldn’t have to rush. But at the exact moment I was going to quit working and start getting ready, someone from work needed dictation (I work as a medical transcriptionist from home) from me as soon as possible. Rats! So I sailed through that and still had an hour to get ready. Before I even got out of my chair, I had another request for work. Hello, people. I’m trying to get ready here for something important! Certainly a patient going to surgery can’t compete with me getting my picture taken, right? (just kidding) About this time, I’m getting a bit panicky. I’ve got 45 minutes to be picture-worthy. I know what you’re thinking. Impossible.

I’d already chosen my outfit so the hard part was out of the way. I’m in the shower shaving my legs when I think, “I’m wearing pants. Nobody’s going to see my legs. And time is an issue here.” So even though I’ve got part of one leg shaved, I abandon that concept and move on. And keeping time in mind, I figured I only had time to moisturize my arms. I’d have to do my legs later.

Finally, I’m up to the makeup part. Everyone tells me peach is “my color” so even though I don’t get it, I’m going to wear peach. But I look in my makeup bag to find I have peach blush but no peach lipstick. So my second choice is to wear a bright blue shirt. I haul out the pink blush and lipstick, and while I glance at the clock every 2 seconds, I get down to business.

By the time I pull out my Maybelline Illegal Length mascara, I’m feeling the time crunch. I figure I’ll just have to make up the time on the road, kind of like the airplane pilots who say they’ll make up the time in the air. But then I worry that if I get pulled over for speeding, I’ll really be late.

But wait! If that happens, I’ll bat my long lashes at the cop and he’ll let me go. Uh-oh. Images of a whole different scenario pop into my head. The highway patrol guy, hands on hips, eyes squinted, looking me right in the eye. And notices my ILLEGAL length eyelashes. I’d be in the slammer in no time and never get to my appointment. Okay, I better stay within the speed limit cause who knows the price of a ticket for illegal length eyelashes.

What is it about hair? Every day, I have the same hair. I wash that same hair in the same water using the same products. Nothing is different. Not. One. Thing. On any given day, I can do a half-assed job on my hair and it looks great! Perfect! The day I want it to look good it looks like donkey do-do. As I’m struggling with my hair, the first drop of sweat trickles down my temple. With each tissue dab, I know I’m removing makeup. I look at the clock. I’ve got 2 minutes to get dressed.

The peach shirt is tossed aside and I grab the dark blue shirt. I add earrings and a matching necklace. Pull on black yoga pants and tennis shoes, because who gives a rip what the bottom part looks like (thank God since I’ve got dry, partially shaven legs). I briefly wonder if I’m in an accident will the fact that I’ve got on clean underwear override the fact that I’ve got partially shaven legs. Hmmm…something to research.

I look in the mirror. I hate what I see. The blue shirt isn’t working for me. I want black. I’ve got the perfect shirt and earrings in mind. I attempt to remove the necklace because it won’t match with the black shirt. I tug. I pull. Nothing. Tears rim my eyes. I tell myself to get a grip because I don’t know if my illegal lashes are waterproof.

I’m now running 5 minutes late. Screw the necklace and the blue shirt. It is what it is. I stuff the preferred black shirt and earrings into a bag and take off, making it to the photographers with 1 minute to spare.

I walk into the photo studio and look around. Utter chaos. The whole place has an open concept. Cool except there are 400 kids (okay maybe 20) running around, jumping on furniture while parents ignored them. Then I remember it’s spring break. After a mental cuss-down on my stupidity to combine pictures and spring break, I step up to the counter.

I’m a friendly sort of person and like to joke around. The girl behind the counter gave me a nice smile so I say, “I’d like the Jennifer Aniston package.” Now I’ve never claimed to be a mind reader, but by the “your-the-biggest-idiot-I’ve-ever-met” look on the girl’s face, I knew what she was thinking. Lady, there isn’t enough money in the world or cosmetic surgery available that could make you even come close to looking like Jennifer Aniston.

When I noticed her sudden eye twitch kick up, I knew she was at the breaking point. And honestly if I knew that I was responsible for taking cutesy pics of all those wild animals, I mean children, in the waiting room, I’d be twitching too.

She takes me back to a studio where she proceeds to adjust my necklace, tilt my head and tell me to smile. Then she plies me with rehearsed verbiage of, “Oh, beautiful. Oh, you’re so photogenic. Oh, these are perfect.” All the while, I’m thinking gag me with a Barbie doll leg. No one ever has told me I’m photogenic.

When we’re done, I go to the viewing area and look at a bunch of pics of myself and worked hard to narrow it down to three. After that, we head to the counter to pay. Ms. Eye Twitch says, “Okay, they’ll be ready in an hour.” Huh? I say, “When I called and made the appointment, I was told they’d be ready right away and that I could take them home with me.” She says, “Yes, that’s right. You do get them right away. In an hour.” I wanted to argue that “right away” and “an hour” were two entirely different concepts, but I figured she’d had enough of me.

So after treating myself to lunch, I went back and picked them up and took them home. The picture with this blog post is one of the three. I’m thankful it’s over and I won’t have to do it until I’m eighty!

Me: Jenna, I can so relate.

Just For The Summer 200x300Just for the Summer

His temptation. Her secret. Their summer.

Dani Sullivan has come to Lake Bliss to write her latest cookbook and take a breather. After the year she’s had, she deserves a summer retreat to reevaluate priorities and make peace with past decisions. But from the moment single dad and sheriff Matt Reagan shows up, she has a hard time convincing herself that a life away from Lake Bliss could beat the life she might have here.

Recently divorced Matt is ready for a new relationship, but he doesn’t want short-term—his son needs permanence, and so does Matt’s heart. Unfortunately, it’s the smart-mouthed and sinfully sexy Ms. Sullivan who catches his eye. But when Matt learns Dani’s secrets, will he still want her to stay? Or will her chance for love last just for the summer?

Just for the Summer is available now from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo and iBookstore.

You can learn more about Jenna and her books by visiting her website and by following her on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads

Thanks so much for visiting with me today. Wishing you the best of luck with your new release.

[wysija_form id=”1″]




How much is a picture really worth? with Jenna Rutland — 5 Comments

  1. Hi, Jenna. Funny story. I have not gotten a pic taken, and I keep putting it off. Ugh and ugh. I remember critting your story quite well. Great to see it coming out!

  2. I put mine off all last summer because for some dumb reason I got a really punk-ish, crazy haircut. I had to wait for it to grow out. LOL.

    This is a fantastic story. You had me laughing. Congrats on the release and getting your pictures finally taken.