About Jen

Growing up under the big sky of western Canada, and spending summers in a little Ontario town where my Irish family roots run deep, books were my passport to other worlds.

I started writing poems and stories in elementary school and, as a teenager, reached the semi-finals in a local short story contest. Even after all these years, I still remember the thrill of the judge encouraging me to keep writing.

Then life and work intervened, and I set aside the craft of fiction to study, teach and work in marketing communications, business development and academic editing.

Along the way, I read romances and women’s fiction, escaping into a world where characters grew and changed their lives for the better. And one day, I realized that by losing my creative writing, I’d also lost part of what makes me who I am.

Now I write the kind of stories I like to read–heartwarming romance and uplifting women’s fiction about finding home, family and community–where ordinary women overcome challenges to earn hopeful, happy endings.

In the US, I’m published in romance by Harlequin Heartwarming, Grand Central Forever and Soul Mate. Some of my books have also been published in German translation by Penguin Verlag.

I lived in England for many years and earned a doctorate in geography (with a focus on British cultural studies and social history) from University College London where I was a Commonwealth Scholar.

I’m mum to a university-age daughter and now live with my tech guy husband and a floppy-eared rescue hound in a small town in Eastern Ontario, Canada. The same area I loved as a girl in those summers long ago.

When I’m not writing, I enjoy reading, ballet, ice cream and paddling my purple kayak.

 

Photo by Robin Spencer, Spencer Studio

I’m featured in a regional tourism promotion: “15 Amazing Authors from South Eastern Ontario”

I'm surprised and delighted to be one of the authors featured in a regional tourism promotion, 15 Amazing Authors from South Eastern Ontario, showcasing writers living in my part of Canada. Read the article here. I'm #12 under "1000 Islands & Rideau Canal...

‘The Sweetheart Locket’ on tour with Historical Fiction Book Tours May 9-20, 2022

From May 9 through to May 20, 2022, The Sweetheart Locket, my new dual time, WW2 and contemporary women's fiction novel is on a virtual blog tour with Historical Fiction Book Tours. Follow the tour stops here and enter the giveaway for a chance to win an Amazon gift...

‘A Canadian Love Letter to Britain’: Guest post about ‘The Sweetheart Locket’ on Susanna Bavin’s Blog

I was delighted to write a guest post for author friend Susanna Bavin's blog about how my Second World War dual-time novel, The Sweetheart Locket, was shaped by my love for Britain and links with the UK. "From wartime bravery to the British sense of humour, my...

‘The Sweetheart Locket’ featured on Aaron’s Reading Room, #MyRomanceJourney Book Vlog

Thanks to Aaron of Aaron's Reading Room for featuring The Sweetheart Locket on #MyRomanceJourney Book Vlog 3. "One of my favourite parts [of the book] was...the pure amount of heart that...came from every...character...And as well, the interweaving of the timelines...

Small-town settings: A conversation with Heartwarming author Jen Gilroy (Write for Harlequin Blog)

I'm delighted to feature on the Write for Harlequin blog chatting about how living in a small town influences my writing and what I love about small-town settings. I also spoke about my debut Harlequin Heartwarming, Montana Reunion, and how aspects of my own life and...

Guest post in Frost Magazine, Sunday Scene: A favourite scene in ‘The Sweetheart Locket’

For Frost Magazine's 'Sunday Scene' feature, I shared a favourite scene from The Sweetheart Locket, celebrating London's Bloomsbury area. I lived in England for many years and first fell in love with London and Bloomsbury when I studied at University College London...

UK readers: Get ‘The Sweetheart Locket’ for 99p on Kindle

For UK Kindle readers, my publisher, Orion Dash, is currently offering a Dash Back in Time historical fiction promotion which includes The Sweetheart Locket for only 99p. Find out more and get a bargain on my book here.  The other fantastic books in this promotion are...

Making local & national news: “Jen Gilroy Signs Deals with Top Publishers”

Brandon Mayer, a journalist at my local newspaper, The North Grenville Times, wrote an article about me which was picked up by other papers including The Toronto Star, Canada's largest online news site. Read the article, "Jen Gilroy Signs Deals with Top Publishers"...

“Introducing ‘The Sweetheart Locket’ on Susanna Bavin’s blog

Author Susanna Bavin (who also writes as Polly Heron and Maisie Thomas) introduced The Sweetheart Locket to her readers, calling it "a dual-time story of family and romance, love and loss, loyalty and longing [as well as] a story of profound courage." She also says...

‘The Sweetheart Locket’ is out in ebook today!

The Sweetheart Locket, my women’s and historical fiction debut is out in ebook today. Published by a British publisher, Orion Dash, it’s also my British debut and the first book I’ve written set mostly in England. When I started writing this story in 2019, I could...

Photo by Robin Spencer, Spencer Studio