Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Kerry Lonsdale | Exclusive Excerpt: NO MORE WORDS
Author Guest / July 7, 2021

She runs to the car. When she reaches Josh, she grabs his elbow, startling him. He takes a swing at her. The back of his hand connects with her cheekbone. She rears back, palm cupped over her cheek. “Ow.” She rubs the burn from her face. “What was that for?”  Josh points at the car. “Go.”  “I’m not leaving you.” He’s scared and confused, she won’t walk away from him.  “Go.” He reaches for the passenger door, and she realizes he’s telling her he wants them to leave.  “All right, we’ll go.” He opens the door again and drops into the passenger seat.  She starts to close his door and stops. “That man in the picture, you sure you’ve seen him before?” she asks with trepidation, hoping she’s wrong. That he’s wrong, and he’s mistaking Dwight for someone else. Josh nods. “He’s my dad, your grandfather.”  A tear rolls down his face. “I know.”  Olivia feels a sting in her eyes. It hurts to breathe, like she’s cracked a rib. “When did you meet him?”  “Before.” He touches the spot on his hat that covers his scar.  Before his head injury.  Olivia glances away. Oh. God. She takes a breath….

Jennifer Vido | Jen’s Jewels Interview: DON’T MAKE ME TURN THIS LIFE AROUND by CAMILLE PAGAN
Author Guest / May 14, 2021

Jen: What inspired you to write DON’T MAKE ME TURN THIS LIFE AROUND, the follow-up to Life and Other Near-Death Experiences? Camille: Of all the characters I’ve ever created, Libby, the protagonist of Life and Other Near-Death Experiences, has always been my favorite—her wry but optimistic outlook is arguably the closest to my own—and I knew even before finishing the first novel that I’d write about her again one day. Even so, the ending of Life and Other Near-Death Experiences was deliberately ambiguous, so I didn’t want to pick right back up where she left off, which was finding the courage to begin cancer treatment and start a new family. I wanted to wait a while and find her at a different stage of life. Jen: What is happening in Libby’s world at the beginning of the novel? Camille: Thirteen years have passed since Libby’s cancer diagnosis; she’s now 46 and by all accounts, her life is going swimmingly. Though she suspected her cancer had returned, she’s just received a clean bill of health. Her marriage is happy, if a bit routine, and one of her 12-year-old twins, Charlotte, has been successfully managing her own health crisis. Yet if Libby’s…

Jennifer Vido | Jen’s Jewels: HADLEY AND GRACE by Suzanne Redfearn
Author Guest / January 22, 2021

Jen: What inspired you to write HADLEY AND GRACE?  Suzanne: The idea for HADLEY AND GRACE came from my enduring love for the movie Thelma and Louise. I wanted to write the same sort of exciting road-trip adventure that also had an underlying theme of self-discovery and empowerment. As it turned out, I couldn’t actually tell the story as it was originally conceived by the talented Callie Khouri. Fortunately for us, times have changed and we’ve come a long way from gawking truck drivers, bar-swine rapists, and patronizing do-gooder cops as typical male stereotypes. So while the plot is similar–two women on the run who become accidental outlaws–the story is very different.  What causes Hadley to flee from her home with her two kids?  Hadley is in an abusive marriage, and her husband is cunning and controlling. The opportunity she’s been waiting for comes along, and she seizes it. What is going on in Grace’s life that makes her yearn for a fresh start?  Grace’s husband has a gambling problem, and when he loses their rent money, Grace realizes the only hope she has for her and her infant son is to try and make a fresh start.  What draws…

Jennifer Vido | Jen’s Jewels: CLEO MCDOUGAL REGRETS NOTHING by Allison Winn Scotch
Author Guest / August 14, 2020

Jen: What inspired you to write Cleo McDougal Regrets Nothing? Allison: Well, I wanted to write something that reflected how it feels to be a woman in this particular moment in history and time. I tried a different approach with a different manuscript – I rewrote about 100 pages of that book several times, and it just wasn’t working. I knew what I wanted to say, but I wasn’t quite sure how to get there. Then, as good ideas often do, the version of Cleo, the Senator, struck me one night, and from there, I looked for an interesting way to examine her life. Not as a politician, but as a human, and I settled on exploring her regrets, which wasn’t an approach I’d ever read. And thus, Cleo McDougal, unapologetic Senator, was born. What role does the word “power” play in relation to the story? Oh great question! For me, this book is not about politics at all. I worked hard to ensure that. Rather, it is about power in all of its iterations, which is something that I think so many women are considering now too. Who has it, who abuses it, who gives it generously, who takes…

Jennifer Vido | Jen’s Jewels Interview: LIZ FENTON & LISA STEINKE
Author Guest , Interviews , Jen's Jewels / July 12, 2019

Every reader has favorite authors, even writing teams. Liz Fenton & Lisa Steinke are a personal favorite of mine because, with each new release, their writing style evolves. Case in point … their latest book, The Two Lila Bennetts. The storyline is told in alternating viewpoints. The protagonist, Lila Bennett, is a multilayered character with a complicated life. Everyone makes mistakes, right? Well, so does Lila and the choices she makes ultimately defines her future. Thanks to Liz and Lisa for giving us a sneak peek at their upcoming release in the interview below. The Two Lila Bennetts will be available on July 23rd. Preorder your copy today wherever books are sold. It’s one of this summer’s hottest reads! And, don’t forget to check back for my next Jen’s Jewels interview next month, here on *** The Two Lila Bennetts is a tale of regret and retribution. How did you arrive at the premise? We knew we wanted to write a book with a “Sliding Doors” premise. When we began exploring our storyline, we decided to focus the story around a complicated female protagonist who had made a lot of mistakes in her life. In the dual storylines, we…