September is here. Can we have a moment of silence for summer. It was a strange one certainly. Hubby and I have been on a few camping trips. Last weekend was amazing and we met such great people. We fell in love with Darla the dachshund next door in particular. This weekend were home in New Jersey and it's great to have a fellow Jersey Girl around the fire. Below is one of our latest fires. I hope you enjoy not only the fire but the great conversation around it. Be kind. Be safe. Be the sort of person you'd like to call friend. Now without further yapping from me...
Today I’m welcoming contemporary romance author and fellow Garden State homegirl, Jennifer Wilck, to the fire. Glad you could join us Jennifer, what’s your preference, coffee, tea, cocoa, wine? The camp fridge is like Aladdin's lamp, you speak it, you get it.
Oh gosh, I have to choose? Well, since we’re sitting around the fire looking at the stars, I’ll have cocoa, please.
One cup of my secret recipe for cocoa coming up. While my brew is bubbling, tell us, have you ever camped, or as I call what I do, Glamp?
Ha! Well, yes. My husband used to go camping with his family when he was young, so we started camping when we were first married. However, our ideas of what’s acceptable for camping out are very different—he’s more of a “put everything you need in one backpack and sleep on the ground” and I’m definitely “where’s the hotel and tile shower,” so we compromised. We had a nice tent, an air mattress or two, and comfy pillows. My two favorite trips were 10 days through the Smoky Mountains, although we never went more than two in a tent (we’d break it up with a stay in a hotel for my sake), and then several years later with friends at a wolf preserve. It’s been a while since we last went, and I wouldn’t mind trying it again.
Oh my I wonder if it was the Lakota Wolf Preserve in Columbia NJ? That's one of my favorite places. But in the meantime, tell us about your latest project. What book are you talking about today and what’s on the horizon? My latest project is Whispers in Washington, a contemporary Jewish romance that’s part of the Ticket To True Love series. The TTTL series is a multi-author anthology. All the stories incorporate a ticket of some kind—mine are parking tickets—and a small town in the Poconos with a natural spring that supposedly helps you fall in love. It was a little tricky fitting all that into my story, but it was fun to do! I was so honored to be asked to join the group—there are some really good authors in it—and Whispers in Washington comes out September 29.
Just came back from a Pocono's camping adventure, so you have my attention. Do you have a tagline? Life Motto?
I think the tagline on my website represents me pretty well: Love, Laughter, and Happily Ever After. Because really, life is so much easier to handle when you laugh and love.
I love that and it's so true! How long did it your book take you from conception to publication?
I just had to look that up. For Whispers in Washington, it will be almost exactly a year. Wow, that flew by!
Very few writers can go it alone. Are there any mentors, authors, or books, you would like to give a shout-out to?
Well, I’d like to send a big thank you to JB Schroeder, Eli Collier and AJ Scudiere/Savannah Kade for inviting me to be a part of the Ticket To True Love series. They’re wonderful writers in their own rights and they were so helpful with all my questions.
Jennifer, tell us. What does literary success look like to you?
It’s a balance between writing what I love, attracting a following of devoted readers, and being able to make those readers laugh, cry and escape the world for a little while.
I agree. Touching the life of a reader and giving them something away from the onus of our busy lives are important. Do you have any Life Hacks for Authors. Tips, tricks, or anything you specialize in that you would share with others. I’m also interested in how you have been managing your life and writing with COVID-19.
I think my best tip is keeping a schedule to help with time management. Regardless of what’s going on, I try to divide my day up into writing, marketing and household activities (which vary constantly). Especially during quarantine, when things are so uncertain, knowing that on Wednesdays I always do X, Y, and Z keeps me productive and semi-sane. And especially when I’m having a hard time motivating, setting a word count—even a short one—or doing writing sprints—enables me to get the WIP done.
Being organized certainly is helpful . Thank you for sharing. Now the fun questions
Do you have a special object like a piece of jewelry or keepsake of some sort? Can you tell us what makes it special to you?
A fuzzy dice (the kind that hangs from the rearview mirror)—my husband won it for me when we were dating, and he put my engagement ring in it when he proposed.
What is your favorite mug or teacup if neither T-shirt with graphic or Meme.
“They whispered to her, you cannot withstand the storm. She whispered back, I am the storm.” I’ve seen this as a meme, on T-shirts and mugs, and I love it.
Years ago, there was a commercial that talked about a “Kodak Moment.” It’s a moment in time you catch in a picture. One you never want to forget. What is yours?
Family game nights during the COVID quarantine. None of us were where we expected to be, but my husband and two college kids were here with me laughing and trying to beat each other at Dominion.
Teach me something I don’t know in two sentences. The trick to making light and airy matzah balls is to boil them in seltzer, rather than regular water. Otherwise they come out heavy and sit in your stomach like a rock.
Favorite childhood book?
The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe series
Last movie you saw?
Jennifer, thank you so much for joining me around the fire today. I'd love for you to leave some information about your book and where readers can find out more about you.
Naomi's life has been destroyed…
When Naomi Adelman’s crooked politician husband was arrested, her life, and that of her daughters, was destroyed. Divorced and rebuilding her life, Naomi is wiser, stronger, and determined not to let anyone hurt her or her family again. Her new life doesn’t include falling for her charming and good-looking neighbor.
Max bet everything and lost...
Max Bruder bet his entire career on the Adelman story and lost everything. So, he figures that karma has smiled down on him when Naomi moves in next door. This is his chance to revitalize his career. Except the closer he gets to her, the deeper he falls for her. And soon, the line between interview subject and lover blurs.
If they fall for each other, they may jeopardize their chance at a future.
When Max’s true motive is revealed, will Naomi be able to forgive him? And will Max be able to stop the whispers to protect her before it’s too late?
“Problem?” Max asked. They’d stopped in front of their building.
She turned so fast, her hair caught on the stubble at his jaw. “No.” She brushed the hair away from his cheek, the slight textured stubble rubbing against her palm and sending heat straight to her belly. His lips parted, and he leaned forward.
Would he kiss her? Did she want him to? She shouldn’t, she barely knew him, but her skin tingled, her breasts tightened and her breath came in short gasps.
He didn’t kiss her. Instead, he reached his free hand out and stroked the side of her head, smoothing her hair in place. “Yes,” he whispered.
She frowned, and tried to hide her disappointment. “Yes, what?”
“Your hair is as silky as I wondered.” He let his hand glide down her neck to her shoulder, and the contact brought out goose bumps. “Are you cold?” he asked.
She didn’t know how to answer. Was it okay for her to say, “no, I’m attracted to you?” Or should she say “yes”?
As if he understood her dilemma, he let go of her hand, slid his arm behind her shoulders, and drew her into the warmth of his body.
The man was a furnace and she wanted to groan in pleasure. They stood toe to toe, his hand running up and down her spine, her breasts pressed against his hard chest. Would he kiss her? Should she kiss him? Her brain short circuited and desire flooded through her. All she could do was focus on the warmth flooding her, the soothing sound of his humming something she couldn’t quite catch, and the zings of desire running throughout her body.
Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/whispers-in-washington-jennifer-wilck/1137178511?ean=2940163042593