Spotlight & Giveaway: The House at the Bottom of the Hill by Jennie Jones

Posted January 11th, 2015 by in Blog, Spotlight / 35 comments

Today it is my pleasure to Welcome romance author Jennie Jones to HJ!

Hi Jennie and welcome to HJ! We’re so excited to chat with you about your new release, The House at the Bottom of the Hill!

Thank you HJ and hello readers. I’m excited to be here.

Please summarize the book for the readers here:

THATBOTHThe House at the Bottom of the Hill is the 2nd in the Swallow’s Fall series (but you can read them all as “stand alone” stories) I needed to introduce a new hero and heroine to the town: enter Daniel and Charlotte. They’re both owners of accommodation businesses so there’s an undercurrent of friction from the start. Dan has been in town six years and has big plans for his small community and his Aussie outback pub and he thinks recent newcomer and the owner of the B&B, Charlotte, is up to no good. But he’s wrong. Charlotte is only in town to find answers about her mother’s death. She doesn’t intend to stay… so he really doesn’t have anything to worry about, does he?

Please share the opening lines of this book:

Daniel Bradford leaned his shoulder against the doorframe of Kookaburra’s Bar & Grill and settled in to watch the ruckus at the northern end of Main Street. Observing the redhead deal with the townspeople had become a daily ritual, as long as he wasn’t too close to the kerfuffle.

She’d only been in town two weeks and already she had the committee on her back.


Please share a few Random facts about this book…

The title gave me some sleepless nights. It’s 8 words long! We refer to it as THATBOTH for short. But I was determined it was the only title I wanted, especially after my 18 year old daughter said “I love that title, Mum.” Fortunately, my editor agreed that she loved the title too – so it stayed.

Please tell us a little about the characters in your book. As you wrote your protagonist was there anything about them that surprised you?

Daniel is easy-going, likable and a bit of charm-boy. Charlotte is ever-so-British but not prudish, she’s just hiding hurts. After writing a few chapters I knew they were going to hit it off soon but after the first kiss happened – I definitely got a surprise from both of them!

What, in your mind, distinguishes this book from other books out there in the same genre?

Difficult for me to say. I’d love to hear what reader’s think about this. If I have to say something though, I’d say the humor I love to wind around the quirky secondary characters and the fast-paced dialogue between the hero and heroine are some of the qualities that make up my style.

The First kiss…


She was trying her utmost to appear her usual flippant self but it wasn’t working. Not today. ‘I said come over here. I want to hear that apology again.’ Dan gave her a serious frown. ‘Do you have any idea how much trouble you could have got into, Charlotte? Could have got me into? Our reputations are at stake.’

She stepped forwards as though in a rush, then stopped as the door closed behind her with a clunk. ‘I’m very sorry.’

‘It’s okay,’ he said. ‘I was joking. Just want a closer look at your bloodshot eyes.’

Her resolve fired up, the clear whites of her eyes shining against the pupils. Ready to run or fight. Dan folded the hotel plans and tucked them beneath the bar. When had he begun to read her so well?

‘I’m still joking, Charlotte. Come on over here.’ He beckoned her. She took a step and stopped again. ‘Right up here.’

She walked to the bar, stopped in front of him and pulled in a breath. ‘I suppose there’s a pay off?’


‘All right then.’ She wiggled her fingers at him. ‘I’m ready. Give.’

Cute, but was she really ready? Dan smiled as the adrenaline inside him rose at the expectation of what was to come – the heightened moment before a fight or a tackle, when the hairs on the back of his neck stood up and his blood pumped faster.

‘I can take it,’ she said. ‘Don’t hold back.’

‘Okay, I won’t.’ He leaned forwards, took hold of her under her arms, pulled her over the bar and hit her mouth with his.

Her hands slapped on the counter to steady herself and suddenly the bar was too wide for him, too much of a barrier. She was braced on it, her waist against it, her feet off the ground but she made no attempt to move from his kiss. He pressed his mouth on hers, prising her lips apart. Holy Jesus, he was kissing Red. She tilted her head, giving him a better opportunity to taste her. Firecracker Charlotte had her tongue against his, soft and gentle, but probing nonetheless, and she wouldn’t get an iota of an argument about it from him. He hadn’t felt sparks like this in – not ever. Electric sparks in his fingers, on his lips, running down the back of his legs.

He broke from the kiss and let her down. She slid to her side of the bar, holding onto it, but she didn’t lose his gaze. What would she do now? He straightened and put both hands on the counter. What would he do now?

‘Well,’ she said, unblinking, looking as though he’d sent a volley of flaming arrows her way. ‘Some pay off.’

‘What’s that supposed to mean?’

‘I’m not sure.’

Neither was he – of anything except the current still washing through him. He made his way around the bar.

‘What are you doing?’

He didn’t exactly know, but it was going to involve her mouth.


Did any scene have you crying or laughing (or blushing) while writing it?

Yes! I cried and cried at one point but I can’t tell you where or why. I had to write that scene though, I just had to.

If your book was optioned for a movie, what scene would you use for the audition of the main characters?

I think I’d use the first real meet (they’ve only nodded to one another across the street up until this point):

Charlotte gathered herself. Stay calm. He’s just a guy. So why did she feel like panting her dog did on warm afternoons?

‘Something wrong?’ he asked with a quizzical half-smile.

‘There’s a queue,’ Ted said, both hands flat on the counter as he leaned forwards, his frown meant to scare.

‘It’s okay,’ Daniel said to Ted, taking his foot off the crate and turning to face Charlotte. He hooked his fingers into the back pockets of his jeans, and thrust his left leg forwards.

Alright, so he wasn’t just any male specimen. Hot farm hand on hay stack, the caption said, as a vision of Daniel Bradford standing on the baler of his John Deere tractor erupted in her head. Wearing only his jeans, with fifty-five hay bales he’d hefted at his booted feet, he ran a long-fingered hand down his bare chest where rivulets of dirty sweat trailed down to his … Charlotte looked down at his— For God’s sake. This was not the dream she should be having. Not in daylight.

‘Looking for something particular?’ Daniel asked, amusement in his tone.

The flame of embarrassment singed her cheeks. He’d caught her looking.


If you could have given your characters one piece of advice before the opening pages of the book, what would it be and why?

Oh, I think they’d be more likely to give me advice!

What are you currently working on? What other releases so you have planned for 2015?

2015 should see the release of the next two books in this Swallow’s Fall series: The Turnaround Treasure Shop and Magic on Main Street. While this is happening, I’ll be busy starting two new series. One set in Arizona and one set in Australia. I’m really looking forward to writing these books.

Thanks for blogging at HJ!


Giveaway: All 3 books in the Swallow’s Fall series will go to one reader (ebooks – giveaway open worldwide): The House on Burra Burra Lane, 12 Days at Silver Bells House and The House at the Bottom of the Hill.


To enter Giveaway: Please complete the Rafflecopter form and Post a comment to this Q: Would you live in a small country town with under 100 people? Or would it be scary (or annoying) that everyone knew everyone else’s business?

a Rafflecopter giveaway



Thank you so much for hosting me HJ! I had a ball answering your questions. The House at the Bottom of the Hill was written a year ago so it was fabulous for me to revisit my story. Here’s an excerpt:

Dan took a slug of his cold one. ‘Had a tough day.’

‘How tough?’ Ethan asked.

‘People are asking questions about my apartment.’

‘What apartment?’

‘Exactly.’ Dan scanned the bar. It was gone nine o’clock, only a few stragglers left, all men. The kitchen had closed a half-hour ago. Dan liked to let Lily leave early on a Friday night. Josh was at the far end of the bar, serving the few guys Dan knew he’d be kicking out in under an hour’s time.

He leaned on the counter and spoke quietly. ‘I sort of got myself tangled up in a lie.’ He raised his hand as Ethan lifted an enquiring eyebrow. ‘A partial lie.’

‘A little white one, eh?’

‘Maybe the size of Mount Kosciuszko.’

‘I take it this is to do with your hotel plans.’

Dan nodded. ‘Seven toilets arrived unexpectedly early and I made up a story about renovating the upstairs area for an apartment.’

‘That’d make a damned big apartment for one single guy.’

‘They haven’t figure that out yet.’

‘The committee guys?’ Ethan put his glass down. ‘Maybe not, but wait until the ladies hear about it. They’ll suss you out faster than a tumbleweed gathers dust.’

‘That’s what I’m worried about.’ Grace already knew about it, which meant most of the women in town knew about it.

‘How’d you get the idea in the first place?’ Ethan asked.

‘Charlotte asked what was upstairs and mentioned it looked a big enough space to have three or four apartments up there.’

‘Or seven ensuite hotel rooms.’ Ethan grinned. ‘How’s it going with Charlotte?’

‘I think she might be warming to us.’

‘Just as well, because Sammy is out to marry you off to her.’

Book Info:

From the best-selling author of The House on Burra Burra Lane, comes a brand-new story about opposites, attraction, an outback pub, and a pink house…

The mysterious death of her mother has left Charlotte Simmons on edge and off-balance for too long. Searching for the truth, Charlotte buys a Bed & Breakfast establishment in Swallow’s Falls, a small town in Australia’s Snowy Mountains, as a ploy to get close to the man who might have the answers. She’ll jazz up the old place, flip it, get her answers, and be gone in two months – max.

What she doesn’t count on is opposition from the dogmatic and slightly eccentric members of the town council. And the hotshot owner of Kookaburra’s Bar & Grill and his two-hundred-squats-a-day physique is simply poking his handsome nose in when he offers to act as mediator between Charlotte and the council.

Easy-going Daniel Bradford knows progress is slow in Swallow’s Fall. He’s finally about to put his plans into place to upgrade the hotel when a prim-and-proper, citified redhead blows into town, putting everyone on edge. The only way to contain the trouble she’s about to cause is to stay close – he knows trouble when he sees it, and soon it becomes very clear that there’s absolutely nothing containable about Charlotte, or the way he feels about her.
Book Links:  

Meet the Author:

Jennie JonesBorn in Wales and now living in Australia, Jennie Jones loved everything with a romantic element from an early age. That’s why she became an actor before she started writing. She toured the UK in all the grand old theatres, becoming someone else for two hours, eight performances a week and loved every second.

Now, Jennie loves writing rich, warm-hearted and refreshing stories of adventures of the heart. She’s a self-confessed would-be small town country girl and longs for the day when she and her family can set up home in a cute country cottage in the middle of a huge field. Until then, Jennie is enjoying life a five minute walk to the beach. She can hear the ocean as she types her stories.

She says writing keeps her artistic nature dancing and her imagination bubbling and like acting, she can’t envisage a day when it will ever get boring.
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35 Responses to “Spotlight & Giveaway: The House at the Bottom of the Hill by Jennie Jones”

  1. Sue

    I think I could do it…as long as there was lots of space between the 100 people, lol! Sounds like a great read!! 🙂

  2. Morgan VanLier

    I`ve always wanted to live in a small town, I`m a very private person so that aspect of it might annoying at times but what`s more important is the way everyone is their for eachother and that I would love.

  3. Devika Fernando

    I grew up in a tiny German hamlet among the Alps where we had more cows than people. As I was just a small child back then, I remember it fondly. But now I’m living in a small village in Sri Lanka, and I do indeed think it’s annoying that everyone knows everything about you.

  4. Kelly

    I live in a small rural town of 2200, everyone THINKS they know everyone’s business and make up stories. I guess with under 100 at least everyone would pretty well know the truth 😉 I love the country life, gossips and all far outweighed by the community spirit and the way everyone rally’s together in times of trouble which was proven this week with a fire in our town 🙂

  5. doveknoll

    When I was a kid we lived in a very small town for several months. I loved it and still think of it fondly. Everyone knows you and your business but they also would do anything to help you. It was like having a big extended family. This series sounds great. This is an awesome giveaway and I’ve got my fingers crossed. Lol

  6. Mary Preston

    I have lived in small towns. I found that if you don’t go around telling everyone your business you can still be quite private.

  7. marcyshuler

    I’ve always wanted to live in a small town where everybody knows you and cares about you.

  8. Jennie Jones Romance Author

    Wow – love all these different takes about living in a “very” small community and have to say I agree with them all in one way or another. I’m a very private person, like most of you. Interesting to see how many of us are keen or willing to give small-town life a go, so long as we are able to keep ourselves to ourselves when we need to. I think that’s the answer, and what I hope I’ve portrayed in my stories – although, of course, meeting a tall hunky guy with a sense of humor and a partiality to falling in love helps quite a bit 🙂 Thanks so much for your comments – I’ll be taking note of them all when I write my next stories. (And I totally understand those who say they wouldn’t want to try living in such a small town – I know where you’re coming from and those thoughts too will be taken into account in my next books – I usually have an “outsider” coming in to the small-town fold so this will help enormously.) Jennie x

  9. Suzanne

    I get up in a community not much larger than 100 people. Outward appearance was everything. There was no place for bad reputations. While this possession of sterling character was laudable, many young people left the community to get away from the microscope. There are good points and bad points to both arguments. Most of those who left remembered their childhood as really good and many tried to return. A some point however the small community maintained numbers of older people and youth disappeared. Interesting, if you grew up there, you were always welcomed back for a visit by the aging community.

  10. Colleen C.

    I always wanted to know what it was like to grow up in a small town where everyone knows everyone… but at the same time it would be strange having people know every little thing about you…

  11. Ashley H

    I think it would be kinda neat. If it was like Gilmore Girls’ Stars Hollow. Then it would be very cool!

  12. ndluebke

    I grew up in a small town. It now has 2 stoplights. Where I live now is somewhat small and people tend to know about each other. As long as it’s not too far from a bigger town so you can shop for things you need. I’m up to it.

  13. mrsmac19

    Less than 100 people is a little too small for me. I’m over my big city phase (grew up in NYC), but I like the idea of suburbia a bit better. I don’t want everyone knowing my business!

  14. Amy Rickman

    I would live in a small country town with under 100 people, I live in a town of under 3500 and if you want to know someones business it’s easy to find out even at that size.

  15. Mary C.

    I grew up in a neighborhood where everyone knew each other’s business – both comforting and annoying. I prefer a little distance.

  16. Glenda

    I’ve lived in one about 3 times the size… There are both good and bad things about it. 🙂

  17. erinf1

    great on paper, but i don’t think I’d like it in real life 🙂 Thanks so much for sharing!

  18. Christine Woinich

    I have not lived in that small a town, but I think that I would enjoy it. I like the idea of knowing my neighbors well and being able to rely on them.

  19. Christina Riggs

    I have lived in both kind of towns. And I like both. But I have to say I loved living in the small town in Colorado very much. It felt like a tight-nit commitment.

  20. Mala Garava

    I know what you are talking about, but I live in a slightly larger village, and still, everyone knows everything about everybody:)))… I am affraid that 100 would be just…too small for me – but I would try!

  21. angela smith

    it might be nice to try and see what its like but only 100 people might be too small.

  22. Leanna

    I don’t think I would like to live in a small towns. I am very private about some parts of my life. I sometimes like being able to disappear among all the people in the city, there are places that I go in the city where people know me.

  23. Glenda S. Hefty

    I already live in a small town although there may be over 200 population and I don’t mind it too much. One thing about small towns…they may know or think they know all your business but if you ever need help of any kind the people rally around and do what they can to help.

  24. Jennifer Zorko

    I would love to live in a small town where everyone looks out for each other and everyone knows everyone. Thanks for the chance

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