About Jena

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I live in a small town in the North Island of New Zealand where my husband and I have a lifestyle block with a few cattle. We have two older heifers named Black-eyed Pea and Broad Bean (because she grew wide very quickly!), and just recently, we bought two heifer calves. These are both black so we had no way to identify them at first - then realized one has white on her hind feet so I've named her Footer. That meant the other one - of course - had to be Header.

When they arrived in the paddock (field), they started eating the grass straight away and they've pretty much had their heads down ever since - apart from when they're sitting, chewing their cud. Even when an older heifer tried to make friends (captured in the photo above), the calves ignored her attempts and carried on eating. Don't you feel sorry for

Black-eyed Pea? I did.

We have four children who are all married and have families of their own. Although we miss every one of them, we visit reasonably often.

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 since I love flowers. It's inevitable that some photos of my garden will appear on this site and occasionally turn up on Facebook.


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.

One of the hobbies that hubby and I love doing together is riding the motorbike. The photos below are from our recent trip with two other couples around the South Island.


And yes, that's us in the top right photo.



The winding gravel road to French Pass, (along the green peninsula middle distance, & over the other side. Marlborough Sounds


 Mt Cook and reflections at Lake Matheson


The hub of the old gold mining town of St Bathans, Central Otago


French Pass Bay


Clyde Hydro Dam


The Blue Lake, St Bathans. This lake was created by the  gold miners, sluicing for gold in the 1800s

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 mind you, 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 for adults. At the same time, I learned 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 do 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.

My Favourite Books

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Contemporary Romance:

  • And Baby Makes Three, Molly O’Keefe

  • How to Resist a Heartbreaker, Louisa George

  • In Too Deep, Tracey Alvarez

  • Long Lost Father, Melissa James

  • A Reason to Remember, Leigh Duncan

  • Sara’s Son, Tara Taylor Quinn

  • Second-Chance Family, Karina Bliss

  • The Family Plan, Susan Gable

  • Dancing Away With My Heart, Kait Nolan

  • Wish, Kelly Hunter

Women’s Fiction:

  • Me Before You, Jojo Moyes

  • The Secret Keeper, Kate Morton​

  • Border Watch, Helen Young

  • Where the Crawdads Sing, Delia Owens

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

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

© 2022 Jena Petrie - All Rights Reserved


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Jena Petrie

Author of Sweet Contemporary Romances that pull at the heartstrings