Renewing Forever is the second of a series of standalone novels focused on older characters who think love has passed them by. Frank and Tom's story is a true second chance romance, reuniting childhood friends and first loves separated by an argument and thirty years of misunderstanding. I hope you enjoy reading about their renewed friendship and their plans for forever.
About Renewing Forever
A neglected resort, a lost chance at love, and one last chance to renew forever.
Frankie and Tommy once dreamed of traveling the world together. But when seventeen-year-old Frank kissed Tom, their plans ended with a punch to the jaw and Frank leaving town without looking back. Thirty years later, Frank’s successful career as a journalist is interrupted by his uncle’s death and the question of his inheritance—the family resort where his childhood dreams were built. When he returns to the Pocono Mountains, however, he finds a dilapidated lodge and Tommy, the boy he never forgot.
Tom’s been keeping the resort together with spit and glue while caring for Frank’s uncle, Robert—a man he considered father, mentor, and friend—and his aged mother, who he refuses to leave behind. Now Robert is gone, taking Tom’s job with him. And Frank is on the doorstep, wanting to know why Tom is still there and why the old lodge is falling apart.
But before they can rebuild the resort, they’ll have to rebuild their friendship. Only then can they renew the forever they planned all those years ago.
About the This Time Forever Series
Small towns and second chances.
Simon, Frank, and Brian think love has passed them by. Each is facing down his fiftieth birthday—Simon in a few years, Frank next year, and Brian soon enough. Each has loved and lost. But for these men, everything old really is new again, and it’s only when they return to their roots that they’ll find their second chances and the happily ever after they’ve been waiting their whole lives for.
This time it’s forever.
This series includes:
- Building Forever — releasing October 15, available now!
- Renewing Forever — releasing November 12, available for preorder!
- Chasing Forever — releasing December 10, available soon
If you’ve read Building Forever, the first book in my series This Time Forever, you’ve already met Frank and may have informed a brief, but hopefully favorable impression of him. He’s Simon’s BFF—and what most of us would consider a good friend. He’s there when Simon needs him, and always happy to listen. He’s in the habit of offering unsolicited advice, but only because he cares. And he has a knack for knowing when to be there, when to hold Simon back, and when to give him a gentle prod.
As for his own affairs, Frank apparently has a crush on Simon, but it’s one of many such crushes if his flirtatious nature is to be believed. He spends a lot of time ogling eye candy in the college town of Bethlehem and frequently offers to take Simon out “shopping.”
So, you’d be forgiven for thinking that Frank is fun and flirty. That he’s a good-time guy. And that the reason he’s single is that he’s too busy enjoying the scenery to pick a single location and settle down.
But there’s a short snippet of conversation early in Building Forever that gives a significant clue to Frank’s true character. Simon’s business partner, Arthur, asks about Frank:
“What about your friend’s religion? Frank,” Arthur asked.
Anything that promised an afterlife filled with fulsome young men, Simon thought. Not that Frank was easy. He looked far more often than he touched. “I expect his views are similar to mine,” Simon said. “Live and let live.”
“Just so.” Arthur nodded. “I think we’re going to get along fine.”
In Renewing Forever, Frank returns home to the Pocono Mountains to sort out the inheritance left him by his recently deceased uncle: the family resort where he grew up. It’s in deplorable condition, but the bigger surprise is that his childhood friend, Tom, is still working there. Frank hasn’t seen Tom for thirty years—not since the night Tom broke his nose. Frank had kissed Tom that night, and ever since, his heart has been in suspension. But because he’s Frank, because he believes in romance, he’s somehow remained open to the idea of love—for others.
For himself, he has managed to maintain a distance. He’s had affairs, but never a proper relationship, and in Renewing Forever, we find out why.
Frank is one of my favorite sorts of characters to write because he’s a lot deeper than expected. He’s full of contradictions. He’s a journalist, one quite in demand. And yet he’s actually very shy. Writing about people is his way of both finding connection and maintaining the distance he’s been practicing for three decades.
He’s fun and flirty, and yet he’s single and nearly always has been. But no one notices because he’s always out there having a good time.
He can come across as petty and snarky, and yet the first time Tom truly needs him, Frank is there with open arms, making a place for Tom against his shoulder—a place that was made nearly forty years before.
Later in Renewing Forever, Frank describes himself as a marshmallow covered in chocolate and it’s a pretty accurate description. He’s very sweet and super soft in the middle—and apt to melt at inappropriate times!
The last aspect of Frank’s character I’d like to share with you is his vanity regarding his appearance. He’s the first character I’ve written who does more than simply check the mirror for evidence of boogers in his nose and spinach between his teeth. He dyes his hair because he likes being strawberry blond more than Duracell battery, even though he’s now going white. And he’s always been conscious of his wardrobe—as a child because he was on the large side and wanted to dress in a way that made him comfortable, and as an adult because he likes nice things.
I enjoyed writing a man takes pains with his appearance, and even more, I loved writing Tom opposite him, a man who truly appreciates all that Frank is. Who has always loved his size, his looks, and his vanity, because to Tom, Frank has always been Frank.
For more about how I see Frank and Tom, visit my Pinterest board.
About Kelly Jensen
If aliens ever do land on Earth, Kelly will not be prepared, despite having read over a hundred stories about the apocalypse. Still, she will pack her precious books into a box and carry them with her as she strives to survive. It’s what bibliophiles do.
Kelly is the author of a number of novels, novellas, and short stories, including the Chaos Station series, cowritten with Jenn Burke. Some of what she writes is speculative in nature, but mostly it’s just about a guy losing his socks and/or burning dinner. Because life isn’t all conquering aliens and mountain peaks. Sometimes finding a happy ever after is all the adventure we need.
Connect with Kelly:
- Website: kellyjensenwrites.com
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/kellyjensenwrites/
- Twitter: twitter.com/kmkjensen
- Tumblr: kmkjensen.tumblr.com/
- Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/kmkjensen/
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/kellyjensenwrites/
To celebrate the release of Renewing Forever one lucky person will win a $25 Riptide Publishing gift card and a swag pack of stickers, art cards, and bookmarks! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on November 17, 2018. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following along, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!