Friday Favoruites #18: Kelly Jensen and Jenn Burke


This is the first time I'm having two authors for my Friday Favourites post. Kelly Jensen and Jenn Burke are a writing duet and co-authors of the Chaos Station series - science fiction romance series. Read on to learn what their favourite things are and there is a short exclusive exceprt of their upcoming release, book 4 in the Chaos Station series, Inversion Point.

1. Favourite place

Kelly: Tasmania, Australia. Tasmania is beautiful. A lot of it is protected, so the population is quite small and mostly scattered around the coast, leaving the interior largely untouched. Mount Wellington (known locally as The Mountain) in Hobart was the first mountain I conquered on foot. I spent so much of my childhood holidays roaming those slopes. 

Jenn: Oh, tough one. I have two: Drumheller, Alberta, and the North Shore of Prince Edward Island. Drumheller was my favourite destination as a kid—I found the hoodoos (rock formations) and promise of dinosaur fossils fascinating! Now that I live on the other site of the country, “the Island” is my getaway of choice, though. It is absolutely idyllic, with its red sand beaches and gentle rolling hills and dunes. A perfect place to soak up some peace (and maybe write a bit!).

2. Favourite food and drink

Kelly: Pizza. It’s all the food groups in one tasty package. I like the crust not too thin, but definitely not thick. It should have crunch when you bite into it and a good amount of chew. Not too much sauce and go easy on the cheese. Kalamata olives and anchovies, please. As for drink, I’m an Aussie. Give me all the beer. I have probably toured more breweries than I have museums. There’s actually a really awesome brewery (Cascade) nestled into the foothills of Mt. Wellington and I have fond memories of that hoppy, yeasty smell. When I’m not drinking beer, I drink tea. 

Jenn: I’ve got to go with the homemade perogies my family makes every winter before Christmas. No, we’re not Ukrainian or Polish, but we picked up the tradition when we lived in Edmonton, Alberta. It’s a family endeavor to make them, and then we serve them, fried, with bacon, onion and sour cream on Christmas morning. SO. GOOD.

As for favourite drink… give me a cold Alexander Keith’s India Pale Ale with a shot of lime cordial. Perfect complement to a hot summer day.

3. Favourite music/genre/artist/song

Kelly: A perennial favourite is Underworld. Anything Underworld. I particularly love their collaborations with John Murphy for movie soundtracks (Sunshine and 24 Days Later). 

Jenn: Alternative rock is my favourite musical genre. Right now I’m loving Twenty One Pilots and Death From Above 1979, but you can’t go wrong with classics like the Foo Fighters or Our Lady Peace. 

4. Favourite movie/TV series

Kelly: Just one?? Okay, how about a tie between The Good, The Bad and the Ugly and 2001: A Space Odyssey. My favourite TV shows get replaced from year to year by the new shiny but I can always watch an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation. Always.

Jenn: Knight Rider. I was all about KITT as a kid and I desperately wanted the attempt at remaking the series in 2008 to succeed (spoiler alert: it didn’t). But I own the original series on DVD and I’ve watched (and re-watched) every episode with my kids.

5. Favourite hobby besides writing, if you consider writing a hobby

Kelly: Reading, gaming (PC/Xbox/board games/RPGs), drawing, hiking, gardening, eating, sleeping.

Jenn: Reading and gaming. Shining up and driving my Camaro when I take it out of the garage for the summer. 

Favourite books 

Kelly’s List—All Time Favourites

Dune by Frank Herbert
One of the few books I’ve actually re-read. It’s just such an amazing story. It’s about faith—one of my personal favourite journeys—civilization, love, family, obligation. It’s a wonderful, wonderful book.

Glasshouse by Charles Stross
The scope of Stross’ imagination never fails to astound me. His world (he tends to write most of his far future SF in just the one) is so well conceived. Also, it’s post singularity, which is one of my pet subjects. What sets Glasshouse apart from his other novels, though, is the faux-twenty-first century setting, which basically takes everything that is wrong or weird about our society and turns it inside out. Imagine looking back at how we live and love from about a thousand years in the future. Then there is the journey of Robin, the main character. The questions of personality, sexuality, love and what memories are required to make up a lifetime of experience.

Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
This book WRECKED me. I cried for a week after I finished reading it. Ishiguro’s books sneak up on you. You’re not sure if you’re enjoying them at first. They’re almost boring, but not quite. There’s something going on beneath the text that keeps you hooked. I DON’T KNOW WHAT IT IS. I wish I did. Before you know it, the book has you captured and you can’t put it down until you’re done, even though it’s emotional torture to keep reading. Never Let Me Go is another book about faith. It’s also about love, family and humanity—and all the horrible things we do to one another. 

March by Geraldine Brooks
March is the story of Peter March, as imagined from the content of the letters he sends home in Little Women. It’s assumed, of course, that his letters are much more optimistic than his actual experience. Much more. This was the first novel of the Civil War I’d ever read and I found it fascinating—not only as a way to learn the history that I was supposed to find interesting during my school years, but as a character study. What it was to be a father, husband, soldier, man—in that time. The relevancy to any time period won’t be lost on the reader, either. It’s also a glimpse at the absolute brutality of that war. It’s a really, really engrossing book.

The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith
I had a really hard time picking a fifth book. There were so many I wanted to recommend. The final choice came down to two—this one and Agincourt by Bernard Cornwell. Seeing as I’d already included a war story (of an entirely different calibre) I went with Ripley. If you haven’t read this book, you must. It’s short! And oh so mesmerising. Also, like The Great Gatsby, always relevant. In fifty years, this book will have the same meaning, regardless of setting, you know? What’s it about? Yearning is the first word that comes to mind. It’s also about the search for identity. 

Jenn’s Favourite Books 

Mercedes Lackey’s Diana Tregarde series 
Is it too strong for me to say that these books changed my life? Maybe…but before I read these books, I didn’t know urban fantasy was a thing. The way Mercedes Lackey blended magic/fantasy with reality really stuck with me and I would say it definitely influenced my writing.

Abigail Roux’s Cut & Run series
Cut & Run was not the first male/male book I read (I think it was the second!), but this was the first m/m series I followed from start to finish. Ty and Zane will always have a special place in my heart.

Christmas Kitsch by Amy Lane
This is one of those books I can read and re-read. Rusty…oh my god, Rusty. He’s just one of those characters that grabs your heart and doesn’t let go. 

Mary Calmes’s A Matter of Time series…or her Marshals series…or her Change of Heart series…or…
Yes, I’m a big Mary Calmes fangirl. Her books are like warm blankets and I love pulling them out when I need a good comfort read. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve re-read the A Matter of Time series (and I adore Jory, but I fall in love with Sam a little more every time). 

The Life Lessons series by Kaje Harper
The story of closeted cop Mac coming to terms with loving out-and-proud Tony in the open is just wonderful. There are fantastic emotions in these books, but also a great dose of police procedural, which I love reading.

Authors Bio and Links
Jenn and Kelly met in 2009 through a mutual infatuation with a man who wasn’t real. After all but crashing the video game’s forums with daily dissection of their obsession, they started writing together, discovered they really liked writing together and began plotting stories in worlds of their own creation.

The CHAOS STATION series aren’t the first books they’ve written together, and they’re pretty sure they won’t be the last. As long as their so-called smartphones keep making autocorrects that trigger brainstorming sessions, they’ll have enough character ideas and plots to keep them writing for years to come.

Connect with Jenn: Twitter | Facebook | Website

Connect with Kelly: Twitter | Facebook | Website

Inversion Point (Chaos Station #4) 


Zander and Felix's relationship has been to the brink and back: the Human-Stin War, imprisonment and death/resurrection. Zander's death, to be specific, and the experience has left him…changed. The mysterious race known as the Guardians chose to revive him and appointed him as their emissary. A high honor, but he could do without the group of would-be cultists following him around the galaxy.

When a recently discovered species destroys a stin probe, Zander's new role soon commands all of his time and focus. The human ambassador—Felix's ex-lover, much to Zander’s annoyance—pulls them into strategy talks aimed at preserving galactic peace. Soon everyone is relying on Zander's Guardian tech to telepathically communicate with the strange aliens.

Only Felix seems concerned with the strain piling up on Zander, but he has his own resolve tested when the very stin that imprisoned him show up to a summit. Zander and Felix will both have to find a way to face their doubts and preserve their love—while preventing another galaxy-wide war.

Available January 25! Pre-order links: Amazon | Amazon UK | B&N | Kobo | iBooks | Carina Press


“I think Zed’s jealous of Theo,” Felix said.

One of Elias’s brows quirked. “Well, that’s ridiculous. Who would be jealous of a guy who looks just like him and has a weird habit of touching you? All over, all the time.”

“They look nothing alike.”

“Seriously? You don’t see the resemblance?”

Dipping his chin, Felix sought to ignore the color creeping across his cheeks. “I didn’t go looking for Theo, you know. Back then. He found me. Chased me. Wouldn’t stop bugging me until I went hiking with him.”

“Was he always so touchy-feely?” Elias could be touchy-feely too, but never inflicted himself on people who didn’t deserve it.

Eyeing the nice spread of cushions between them, Felix thought about that difference and why Theo’s seemingly casual touches stood out. “Yeah. He touches people. He always did. I asked him about it once and he…” Unbidden, a smile caught his mouth.


“No, not that.” Felix flapped a hand between them. “Well…Shit. I’m not going to discuss an ex with you. It’s bad enough that Zed wants to know all about it. What everyone seems to be overlooking is the fact I left Theo twelve years ago. Broke it off. Decided we should be friends. And I did that so I could wait for Zed, and have been pretty much waiting for Zed ever since. You think I’d waste all that time if Theo was the one?”


“Spend. Whatever. I love Zed. The whole galaxy knows that. Even the fucking Guardians know it.”

“Yeah, but men are dumb. Maybe you need to remind him.”

Felix stared hard at Elias. “You’ve been spending too much time with Nessa.”

Elias returned a grin. “Never a bad thing.”

No, it wasn’t.

You Might Also Like


Flickr Images