Block and Strike by Kelly Jensen Blog Tour, Guest Post & Giveaway!

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Hi peeps, we have Kelly Jensen stopping in for a visit with the blog tour for her new release Block and Strike, we have a fantastic guest post and there’s a brilliant giveaway, so check out the post and leave a comment to enter the giveaway! <3 ~Pixie~

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Block and Strike


Kelly Jensen

Jacob Kendricks is three months out of prison, estranged from his daughter, and ready to get his life on track. Taking care of the bum curled up on his doorstep isn’t part of the plan. When he realizes the man has been assaulted, Jake takes him to the hospital, where he learns that Max is his downstairs neighbor… and that he could really use a friend. Keeping Max in the friend-zone would be easier if he wasn’t so damned cute.

Maxwell Wilson has been bullied for years and the only person who ever cared lives too far away to come to his rescue. Now his upstairs neighbor is offering support. Max remains cautious, suspecting he is little more than a project for the handsome Jake. When he learns Jake has had boyfriends as well as girlfriends, Max has to reevaluate his priorities—and muster the courage to take a chance at love.

Just when a happy future is within their grasp, life knocks them back down. A devastating blow leaves Max lower than ever and Jake wrestling with regret. They both have to find the strength to stand on their own before they can stand together.

Kelly Jensen - Block and Strike Square

Character Casting

by Kelly Jensen

I hear the voices of my characters while I’m writing. They talk to me as I type, giving me dialogue cues and gestures. It’s like watching a movie unfold in my mind and my job is to write it all down. If I miss it first try, the scene always changes slightly on my second attempt. This used to bug me, but now that I know most of my scenes will be revised in some way before I even submit a manuscript, I’ve realized it’s all part of the process.

I don’t always know what my characters look like when I sit down to write them. I have vague impressions. I know how old they are and a reasonable idea of body type—as in height and build. That impression often changes as I get to know my characters, however; as they develop on the page.

For a character like Max, I knew he was young and had a slight build. I had an impression of dark brown hair and blue eyes. As I began writing him opposite Jake, he changed a little. His eyes became a vivid, memorable blue. Jake thinks of them in terms of velvet and sapphire. And he gained a little heft. He’s still a slim guy, but more rangy than skinny, which makes sense. Max is a runner and his job at the supermarket can be physical. Also, he has presence. It’s just a smaller presence than Jake.

Jake is one of those rare characters I cast before I started writing. I have a minor obsession with Stephen Amell (Green Arrow). It’s the actor’s friendly face as well as his physique that made me think of Jake, though. Jake is almost always cheerful. He tries quite hard to turn a happy face toward the world and his most basic wish is for those he loves to be happy too. Cast opposite Max, his eyes became a grey sort of blue, and if he grows it out, his hair would be quite curly. He hates that and keeps it very, very short!

I’m in the habit of keeping pin boards for each of my books where I collect ideas for setting, scenes and characters. The Block and Strike board has some really lovely pictures of the model I eventually chose for Max. His name is Martin Albaek and he has exactly the combination of sweet and broody I was looking for! The board also has some setting images and a couple of delicious pie recipes.

Visit me on Pinterest to look through my inspiration for this book and check out the boards for my other books while you’re there. 🙂

Thanks for following my tour! At the end of every post, I’ll be asking a question. Leave a comment with your answer (and your email address). Every comment throughout the tour counts as an entry in my giveaway. Two winners will each receive $25 (US or equivalent) to spend at the Dreamspinner Press store.

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About Kelly

If aliens ever do land on Earth, Kelly will not be prepared, despite having read over a hundred stories of 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, co-written 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: Twitter | Facebook | Website

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Two winners will each receive $25 (US or equivalent) to spend at the Dreamspinner Press store!

(Just leave the answer in a comment on this post with your email. Every comment throughout the tour counts as an entry in my giveaway.)

Question: Do you ever mentally cast characters for the books you’re reading?

(Ends when Kelly picks a winner.)
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Check out the other blogs on the blog tour!

1/6       The Novel Approach   “Behind the Book”
1/6           Just Love: Queer Book Reviews “Jake’s Book”
1/9            Sinfully Gay Romance “Writing Kids and Family”
1/9         MM Good Book Reviews “Character Casting”
1/10     Joyfully Jay “The Max and Jake Playlist”
1/10          Boy Meets Boy Reviews “Chatting with Jake and Max”
1/11     Love Bytes “Martial Arts Movies”
1/11         Prism Book Alliance “Driving Movies”
1/12  Gay Book Reviews “Learning to Make Noise – Why I Study Self Defense”
1/12        Diverse Reader “Hobbies”
1/13            Rick R. Reed “Fruit of the Forest Pie”
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23 thoughts on “Block and Strike by Kelly Jensen Blog Tour, Guest Post & Giveaway!

  1. Congrats on yet another new book, Kelly. I don’t make it a habit to mentally cast the MCs in books I read; most of the time the cover just did it for me. 🙂

  2. Congratulations on the new book. I don’t cast characters while I read. I take the descriptions and maybe concoct my own visual in my head, but even that doesn’t happen too often.

  3. Most of the time, no. I have vague impressions of them just like you. The MCs remain faceless most of the time. Like no one could give them any justice. If the author chooses to show the readers their character inspiration, that’s cool. If they don’t, that’s fine too. At the end of the day, the feelings, the personality, the scenes, that made you clutch your heart are what really matters. <3

    Oh! I love Stephen! He's perfect for Jake. And Martin is gorgeous too. I like to brush that hair with my hand. ^_^


  4. Congratulations on the new release, Kelly. Based on the writer’s descriptions I make up an image of the characters in my mind.
    tankie44 at gmail dot com

  5. Happy Release day Kelly! I don’t cast the characters in a book usually the author description is enough for me to picture the characters.


  6. I usually get a visual in my head while I read, but I don’t cast the characters with real actors. Although, I do enjoy seeing how the author casts them, so will have to check out your boards.


  7. For some reason, I don’t cast book characters in my head. On the other hand, if there are vocal/film adaptations, I definitely sense if the character actor feels wrong to me…

  8. Congrats on your new release….I love finding new to me authors and can’t wait to read this book! I alway have a visual and voice idea in my head when reading but don’t usually cast them.

  9. Happy new release. I have a vague idea of how I think a character looked. Sometimes its based on the cover images but not always. Never base the images in my mind on real people or celebs tho otherwise I start thinking of another character they’ve played rather than who they are in what i’m reading.

  10. I do not cast my characters as a general rule, I have my own “diffuse” idea of how they look like, and stick to it

  11. I am not a visual version. So I can NEVER for the life of me, imagine what characters will look like. To be honest, their appearance doesn’t do anything to me when I read it as well. I mean, I never ‘remember’ whether the guy has blonde/black/brown hair or blue/green/brown eyes. Except if they have physical disability; that I can remember. I guess I’m more into the story itself rather than how they look visually.


  12. Like Ami, I have a terrible time visualizing characters or remembering what their descriptions are. I also don’t watch a lot of TV or movies so I’m not familiar with a lot of younger actors. So no casting for me.

  13. If the cover has characters on it, I picture them that way. Or sometimes an author will post a picture showing how they see their character and I can picture it that way. Otherwise, I guess I don’t usually have a mental image of them.

  14. Sometimes I do- sometimes I have a vague outline in my head. Sometimes ( not often) When I feel like a character should look one way but the author keeps throwing out a particular characteristic I don’t envision it’s off putting.


  15. I don’t usually like doing that it’s just not something that I think about when reading a book. I like to leave it to the authors as to what their characters look like.
    humhumbum AT yahoo DOT com

  16. Congratulations on your new book. It sounds wonderful and I’m looking forward to reading it! I do cast for characters that I’m reading all of the time. Usually I picture them as one or more of my many celebrity crushes. I often do the same for characters that I write as well. Thanks so much for offering a Giveaway and best of luck to you with all of your future endeavors!

  17. Congrats and thanks for the post. I don’t cast characters because I feel it would limit the experience and charcter, and I want to create the picture of the character as the authro has written it.
    TheWrote [at] aol [dot] com

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