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About Jena

The stunning Leucospermum  in my garden.
Hubby and me, out for a ride

Hi there!

I live in a small town in the North Island of New Zealand where hubby and I have a lifestyle block with a few cattle. At present we have two heifers. As both were black when they arrived, we had no way to identify them at first - then realized one has white on her hind feet, so I named her Footer. That meant the other one - of course - had to be Header.

Here on the west coast, the temperatures are mild and we usually have a good supply of rain - ideal for gardens which is perfect for me as I love flowers. It's inevitable that some photos of my garden will appear on this site and occasionally turn up on Facebook.

We have four grown-up kids, all married with families. Although we miss every one of them, we visit reasonably often.


When I’m not writing, reading, or gardening, I can often be found on the pillion seat of my husband’s motorbike as we explore this very picturesque country of ours.

Although we enjoy riding his motorbike together, for our last holiday - around the South Island - we took the car. Below are some photos from our trip.



View from the ferry of Picton Harbour, South Island 

Church of the Good Shepherd, Lake Tekapo

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Clocktower, Hoktika


Massive limestone rocks at Castle Hill

Lake Tekapo

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View from the Red Tarns, looking down at

Mt Cook village, Hooker Valley beyond,

and Mt Cook middle far distance.

My Favourite Books

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Contemporary Romance:

  • A Reason to Remember, Leigh Duncan

  • And Baby Makes Three, Molly O’Keefe

  • How to Resist a Heartbreaker, Louisa George

  • In Too Deep, Tracey Alvarez

  • Long Lost Father, Melissa James

  • Sara’s Son, Tara Taylor Quinn

  • Second-Chance Family, Karina Bliss

  • The Family Plan, Susan Gable

  • To Get Me To You, Kait Nolan

  • Wish, Kelly Hunter

Women’s Fiction:

  • Border Watch, Helen Young

  • Me Before You, Jojo Moyes

  • The Guernsey Literature and Potato Peel Pie Society, Mary Ann Shafer & Annie Barrows

  • The Secret Keeper, Kate Morton​

  • Where the Crawdads Sing, Delia Owens

Romantic Comedy:

  • Call Me Irresistible, Susan Elizabeth Phillips



  • Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen

  • Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte



  • Touching Midnight, Fiona Brand

  • Ripples on the Lake, Dawn Rotarangi


Young Adult Contemporary:

  • Pushing the Limits, Katie McGarry


Young Adult Paranormal:

  • Moonwind, Louise Lawrence

  • Fire Country, David Estes

My Writing

For as long as I can remember I’ve loved reading. In fact at school, it was probably my best subject. When I was about eight years old I wrote my first story, for a competition. Didn’t win a place of course, but I did win a consolation prize of three books. Unfortunately with no further encouragement from my mother, I gave up writing…


Until a few years ago when I decided to try writing travel articles. Even sold a few to newspapers.


Later, after taking a university paper in creative writing, I found that making up stories was more fun than writing factual accounts. Ever since then I’ve been writing fiction; mostly romance novels but also a few short stories. At the same time, I studied the craft through workshops, reading, and attending the Romance Writers of New Zealand conferences. Now I write (almost) every day, trying to create the very best stories I possibly can for you, my reader.


I hope you like them!


Apart from the excerpts from my books on the BOOKS page, you can sample my writing by visiting my Free Reads page and reading my short story: Honey.

© 2023 Jena Petrie - All Rights Reserved


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Jena Petrie

Author of Sweet Romances 

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