It’s been a little over two months since The Cottage at Firefly Lake was published. In that time, many of you have taken my story into your lives and hearts.

Thank you for buying my book and asking for it in stores. Thank you for asking your local library to order it. And thank you for leaving reviews on Goodreads, Amazon or elsewhere and sharing my book with your family and friends.

Thank you for contacting me on Facebook, Twitter or via email through my website. Your kind words about The Cottage at Firefly Lake have warmed my heart.

Word of mouth is one of the best ways for authors to gain readers, and for a new author especially, you can play a big part in helping get the word out about not only my first book, but also those to come—Summer on Firefly Lake (published on July 25, 2017) and Back Home at Firefly Lake (now with a new release date in December this year).

In whatever way you’ve already done or can do in future, thank you for being cheerleaders for my work.

Over a year ago, I wrote about the transition to calling myself an author. The transition to “published author” and seeing my book “out in the wild” has been similarly life-changing.

Although I’m glad I look like my author photo, it still surprises me when people I don’t know recognize me from it. It’s also surprising (but wonderful) when people ask about characters in my book as if they are real.

And, not least, it’s humbling when readers tell me what my book has meant to them.

Whether Firefly Lake has allowed them to “escape into another world,” given them respite from medical worries, or meant they’ve put off domestic chores to read one more chapter, each such comment makes all the hours I spend in front of my laptop worthwhile.

Since becoming a published author, my working day is much the same as it was before. I still have a word count, deadlines and social media and marketing commitments. I still do my most productive work in yoga pants and slippers. And I still angst about the blank page to be filled and how to tell stories in the best way I can and grow as a writer.

Yet, the axis of my world has shifted because now people beyond my agent and editor read my books and are invested in my fictional world to the extent that the characters are like friends. 

Despite the many other things that go along with being a published author, at the end of the day, everything begins and ends with the story and those who read it.

I’m very grateful for each and every one of my readers, and I’ll never take the bond we share for granted.

Now to the giveaway…

Many of you know that I choose a word for each year, and my word this year is kindness.

To celebrate kindness and say thank you to all the readers for what they do for authors like me, anyone who comments on this blog post will be entered into a draw to win either:

A signed paperback copy of The Cottage at Firefly Lake.


A paperback copy of Starlight Bridge, the new release by USA Today Bestselling author Debbie Mason (a second-chance romance and the second book in her Harmony Harbor series).

Debbie is a wonderful author, and if you haven’t yet discovered her books you’re in for a reading treat. She’s also been very kind in sharing my book with her readers, so I want to share her book with you in return.

Note for blog subscribers: If you receive my blog via email, head over to my website and comment on the post on the “Blog” page there.

This giveaway is open until Wednesday, 12 April until midnight ET and I’ll choose two winners at random thereafter. I’ll  mail internationally so don’t forget to tell your friends.

This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to Lally Brown, winner of a signed copy of The Cottage at Firefly Lake, and Kate Field, who has won Starlight Bridge by Debbie Mason. Happy reading to you both! 


  1. Sue Bavin

    What a lovely, heartfelt blog, Jen. You have been so busy with deadlines, edits, book promotion and everything else that goes with being a working author, not to mention being a busy mum, that it is good that you are taking a moment here to sit back and reflect on your achievements, especially seeing them in the light of what you have brought into your readers’ lives. I read a Dick Francis interview years ago, in which he said that when you write a book, you have no idea of the circumstances in which it might be read. Books can provide us with pleasure and escape, but they can also provide relief from unhappy or difficult times, and The Cottage at Firefly Lake is now out in the world, providing delight and perhaps also being there to help someone find a little solace at a difficult time. Along with your other readers and friends, I am looking forward to reading Mia’s story in your next book. xxx

    • Jen Gilroy

      Thank you for your kind words and caring, Sue. The best and most meaningful part of my writing life is connecting with readers and knowing that my stories have touched someone. So many authors have given that gift of ‘solace’ to me, and I’m humbled that in a small way THE COTTAGE AT FIREFLY LAKE is now giving that gift to others.

      When your first book, THE DESERTER’S DAUGHTER, comes out in the UK in June, you’ll know the joy of touching readers too. I’m one of those eager readers awaiting your story and look forward to losing myself in the special world you’ve created. xxx

  2. Lally Brown

    I loved this blog, Jen you are an inspiration, you’ve given me the strength to settle down and get stuck in to formatting my kindle book for paperback … I’ve been putting it off, always finding ‘better’ ‘more important’ things to do …!
    I do fancy having a pair of those cuddly slippers though, I think they’d help my concentration enormously …I shall be scouring Isle of Wight shops next autumn on the hunt for something similar …. no Walmart here but Asda coming soon! ?

    • Jen Gilroy

      Thank you, Lally. I’m glad I’ve been able to encourage you and wish you all the best with your new book. As for the slippers, I find that the ‘proper’ footwear is very important for a writer’s concentration! Happy shopping!

  3. Lynn Folliott

    Another wonderful blog post Jen! I enjoyed my escape time in Cottage at Firefly Lake,getting to know the characters, dreaming of spending time in a cottage on a lake…and I’ve had the real pleasure of getting to know you through FB and Twitter.Thank you for your kindness and generosity, they come through in your writing and will be there, I’m sure, again, in Summer in Firefly Lake. I was in Chapters again and guess what I saw there, your book!Take care Jen, HUGS

    • Jen Gilroy

      Thanks to you for YOUR kindness and generosity, Lynn. It’s wonderful that you enjoyed the world of Firefly Lake, and I’m happy that you’re still seeing my book “in the wild.”

  4. Janice Diduck

    I love escaping into the world you have created. I look forward to more.

    • Jen Gilroy

      Thank you, Janice. It makes me happy that Firefly Lake is a place you enjoy escaping to.

  5. Heidi Vanstone

    Kindness makes all the difference in this big world of ours. Whether it’s a gentle smile, an offer to hold the door for s/o, or simply a “pay it forward” act, kindness is the silver thread that enriches our days… and our lives.

    Thanks for such a beautiful post!

    • Jen Gilroy

      Thank you for reading and commenting, Heidi. I’m glad you enjoyed the post. Kindness does make ALL the difference, and the small actions you mention make our world a better place.

  6. Kate Field

    This is a lovely post, Jen, and I agree entirely with what you say. It’s a scary moment when your book first goes out into the world, but to see from a review that someone you have never met has found some escape or a few hours of enjoyment from it is an amazing and humbling experience.
    I finished reading The Cottage at Firefly Lake on the drive home from holiday, and it’s easily one of my favourite books of the year so far. Sean and Charlie both resonated with me in different ways, and the setting of Firefly Lake is beautifully described. I’m so glad that there are two more books to look forward to!
    You have thanked your readers, but we should be thanking you for giving us such a charming book. x

    • Jen Gilroy

      Thank you, Kate. I’m so happy you enjoyed “The Cottage at Firefly Lake.” Your kind words about my writing have warmed my heart.

      I’m also looking forward to welcoming you to my blog later this month to chat about your debut, “The Magic of Ramblings.” Your book is a wonderful read, and I’m excited about introducing it (and you) to my blog readers.

  7. Lynn (@lynngerridog)

    RT @JenGilroy1: Thanks to #readers & celebrating #kindness. Win #TheCottageAtFireflyLake or STARLIGHT BRIDGE @AuthorDebMason too. https://t…


    RT @JenGilroy1: Thanks to #readers & celebrating #kindness. Win #TheCottageAtFireflyLake or STARLIGHT BRIDGE @AuthorDebMason too. https://t…

  9. Lally Brown

    When Jen told me I’d won a copy of her lovely book I couldn’t believe it … I never, ever, win anything and I was absolutely thrilled. This is a great book that I admire immensely (looking forward to your next release Jen!) and I will treasure it … as soon as it arrives (has to fly across the pond first) I’ll post a pic… thank you Jen, a very special ‘prize’ and most unexpected!

    • Jen Gilroy

      You’re most welcome, Lally. Thank you for your kind words and such a lovely comment about my book. I hope the ‘book post’ reaches you soon. Looking forward to seeing a pic. x


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