Author Interview with Jennifer Wilck for Unlock My Heart

Please join me in welcoming author Jennifer Wilck. Unlock My Heart is a perfect for read for anyone looking for a new contemporary romance.

ABOUT THE BOOK:

Title: Unlock My Heart

Author: Jennifer Wilck

Genre: Contemporary romance

BLURB:

Abby Marlow, computer security expert, lands a job at the best IT security firm in the country. Her sole focus is financial independence so she never has to rely on others again, especially a man. But why does her boss make her wires short circuit?

Ted Endicott, CEO and founder of the IT security firm, is hard of hearing. Although an expert in his field, he’s still uncomfortable admitting his difficulty hearing to his clients or employees. So why is he willing to accept Abby’s help?

As Ted and Abby work together, barriers fall away, and soon the lines blur between colleagues and lovers. But a security glitch in a client’s system indicates one of his employees is the hacker, and all signs point to Abby. Can they get past the suspicion and find a future together? 

INTERVIEW:

What was the inspiration behind your latest release? 

This is the second book in my Scarred Hearts series, although each can be read as a standalone. I’m a big fan of the wounded hero trope. The inspiration for the series came from having coffee with one of my author friends. We were discussing ideas for future books as we were lamenting the scary/crazy/depressing world news. I always try to write books where the reader can escape, and I started thinking about how to change what was going on around me. What if a billionaire used his wealth for good? What if he joined forces with his friends from college to do so? What if they all had secrets they hid from the world? And so, the idea for the series was born: Four college buddies have found financial success and risen to the top of their fields in media, architecture, landscape architecture and computer security. All of the men are damaged in some way—physically, psychologically, emotionally—and all of them have resigned themselves to a life focused solely on their careers. Yet something is missing and they seek fulfillment their careers can’t give them. They pool their extra money and form CAST, an investment group to help the less fortunate. They support coding for kids, therapy gardens, senior living facilities and shelters for abused kids. And then they meet the women who draw them out of their shells, challenge them and turn their worlds upside down. For this specific book, I wanted to create a hard-of-hearing hero who hid his difficulties from everyone—except the heroine, of course. And I wanted a strong, intelligent heroine, so I made her a talented computer programmer who rose from the depths of poverty to make a career for herself.

Where do you get your ideas?

Well, other than coffee with my author friends, I find them everywhere. Sometimes I’ll see a character on a TV show or in a movie that inspires me, or whom I want to flesh out and take in a different direction. Other times a piece of conversation or a scene will come into my head while I take my dog for a walk or while I’m falling asleep at night.

Do ideas for plot or characters appear first? 

Characters usually appear first for me. Whether it’s their black moment or a conversation or just a type of person I want to write about, that’s what I usually see first. Then I create the plot around them.

When did you begin writing? 

I’ve written forever and always had partial stories written. But I began seriously writing when my kids were little, in 2006 or so.

How many hours do you dedicate each day towards writing? 

It varies. I try to get about 1,000 words a day, but life happens and inspiration ebbs and flows, so I’m not always successful.

What has been your biggest challenge? 

Currently, I’m fighting with my muse for inspiration, which is very frustrating. But I’m persistent and I’m determined to win.

What writing tips or marketing advice would you like to share

Writing is a muscle, so use it regularly. Marketing is essential, but you can’t do everything. So pick one thing you’re good at or comfortable with and do it regularly. Once you’ve mastered that one thing, add in a second thing.

What project are you currently working on? 

I’m currently working on the third book in the Scarred Hearts series, A Heart Restrained. It’s about the third friend in this friend group, a media mogul who is afraid to show emotion. He’s a big, bald, tatted guy and I’m having so much fun with him.

AUTHOR BIO:

Jennifer started telling herself stories as a little girl when she couldn’t fall asleep at night. Pretty soon, her head was filled with these stories and the characters that populated them. Even as an adult, she thinks about the characters and stories at night before she falls asleep or walking the dog. Eventually, she started writing them down. Her favorite stories to write are those with smart, sassy, independent heroines; handsome, strong and slightly vulnerable heroes; and her stories always end with happily ever after.

In the real world, she’s the mother of two amazing daughters and wife of one of the smartest men she knows. She believes humor is the only way to get through the day and does not believe in sharing her chocolate.

Jennifer Wilck is an award-winning contemporary romance author for readers who are passionate about love, laughter, and happily ever after. Known for writing both Jewish and non-Jewish romances, her books feature damaged heroes, sassy and independent heroines, witty banter and hot chemistry. Jennifer’s ability to transport the reader into the scene, create characters the reader will fall in love with, and evoke a roller coaster of emotions, will hook you from the first page. You can find her books at all major online retailers in a variety of formats.

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS:

Website: : http://www.jenniferwilck.com

Facebook: : https://www.facebook.com/groups/879114386079365

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JWilck

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/authorjenniferwilck/

Pinterest: : https://pin.it/7FplFjL

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Jennifer-Wilck/e/B005BT260M

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5032661.Jennifer_Wilck

PURCHASE LINKS:

Amazon

https://www.amazon.com/Unlock-Heart-Scarred-Hearts-Book-ebook/dp/B09PJWJZBR

Barnes and Noble

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/unlock-my-heart-jennifer-wilck/1140834495

Apple

https://books.apple.com/us/book/id1602136611

Universal Link

https://books2read.com/u/3yK1De

Book in the Spotlight: A Trifling Murder, by Jo A. Hiestand

Please join me in welcoming author Jo A. Hiestand. If you’re looking for a delightful cozy mystery, A Trifling Murder is a perfect pick.

ABOUT THE BOOK:

Title: A Trifling Murder

Author: Jo A. Hiestand

Genre: Cozy crime mystery

BLURB:

The annual Robert Burns Birthday Dinner celebration is underway in the small Missouri town of Beaudin Trace. Guests gather to honor Scotland’s national poet with bagpipes and haggis and a trifle for dessert. But everything isn’t as smooth as Scotch whisky. The Society’s president and vice-president have a very public haggle over the haggis. And less than an hour later, one of them is found dead.

And found by Kate Dunbar, owner of The Cookie Cutter Bakery. It wouldn’t be too bad except the victim was murdered with her knife.

Gossip hints she is the killer. The majority of her customers must agree, for her bakery sales fall drastically. If she is to keep the business from crumbling, she needs to investigate.

But sleuthing is harder and more dangerous to Kate and those around her than she thought. Luckily, she gets help from the town’s zany songwriter and his Scottie dog. Murder is no trifling matter.

AUTHOR BIO:

Jo A. Hiestand grew up on regular doses of music, books, and Girl Scout camping. She gravitated toward writing in her post-high school years and finally did something sensible about it, graduating from Webster University with a BA degree in English and departmental honors. She writes two British mystery series—of which three books have garnered the prestigious N.N. Light’s Book Heaven ‘Best Mystery Novel’ three years straight. She also writes a Missouri-based mystery series (of which “A Trifling Murder” is the second book) that is grounded in places associated with her camping haunts. The camping is a thing of the past, for the most part, but the music stayed with her in the form of playing guitar and harpsichord, and singing in a folk group. Jo carves jack o’ lanterns badly; sings loudly; and loves barbecue sauce and ice cream (separately, not together), kilts (especially if men wear them), clouds and stormy skies, and the music of G.F. Handel. You can usually find her pulling mystery plots out of scenery—whether from photographs or the real thing.

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS:

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/jo-a-hiestand

Book Gems: https://bookgems.com/profile/mclgirl1/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jo.hiestand.3

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/AnglophileJo

Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/joahiestand

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/JoHiestand

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JoHiestand

Website: http://www.johiestand.com

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/MysteryAuthorinSTL

PURCHASE LINKS:

Trade Paper – Amazon: https://amzn.to/3Itqgwb

Ebook – Amazon: https://amzn.to/3fMlLAD

B&N: https://bit.ly/3fLZjHW

Kobo: https://bit.ly/3rG5H9d

iTunes: https://apple.co/3IyJh0i

Book in the Spotlight: Arid Sea, by Norm Harris

Please join me in welcoming author Norm Harris. Be sure to check out Arid Sea if you’re looking for a new mystery thriller.

ABOUT THE BOOK:

Title: Arid Sea (Spider Green Mystery Thriller Series Book 2)

Author: Norm Harris

Genre: Mystery Thriller-Legal/Military/Psychological

BLURB:

Help me! I am a girl lost and alone. I do not know who I am or where I am. Please find me.

When the woman awoke, she did not know much. She knew her head hurt and her body ached. She knew there was blood streaking the side of her face, obscuring her vision. She knew the sun was beating down on her, hot and ruthless. But she did not know how she had gotten here, in this sandy, desert hell. She did not know where her injuries had come from. Most importantly, she did not know who she was.

EXCERPT:

In five minutes, her sister would be gator chow. She looked back to the spot where she had last seen Pearce. Her sister was swimming for all she was worth, with the gator hot on her heels. Pearce was a good swimmer. As Fay watched her sister make a valiant attempt to stay ahead of the gator, she recalled an observation Charles Darwin, the evolutionist, had once made: “He who hesitates is… lunch.” Fay grabbed the remaining speargun and prepared to swim to her sister’s aid. Just as she was about to leap from the boat, she spotted a shark. A giant bull shark hovered about three feet back and about five feet below the boat’s stern. Pearce was heading directly away from the gator’s jaws into those of the waiting bull shark. Were these two creatures working this area together? The gator herded Pearce toward Jaws Junior, and fish and reptile would split the profits? Out of the frying pan and into the fire, as they said – or in this case, out of the fire and into the inferno. Fay needed to think fast. She pointed the speargun at the shark. After shoving the gun into the water, she fired. She must have hit the fish, as the speargun ripped from her hands and disappeared into the water. This was not a good move on her part. Now there was an angry alligator, a wounded bull shark, and a blood trail in the water.

AUTHOR BIO:

Except for time spent in military service I live in the Pacific Northwest with my legal-beagle son K-K. and seven large tropical fish from the Amazon River. I am a second-generation Seattleite (that’s what they call those of us who dwell in the shadow of Mr. Rainier). I have had the opportunity to travel our planet many times over. My stories are created from my memories of my personal experiences, the places I have visited, and the people and friends I have known.

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/norm.harris.3386

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Norman-A.-Harris/e/B002BOH4R0?ref_=dbs_p_ebk_r00_abau_000000

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/60133494-arid-sea?from_search=true&from_srp=true&qid=8MUo5amdGY&rank=1

PURCHASE LINKS:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B09N8QWTF5/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_hsch_vapi_tkin_p1_i1

A Rose by Any Other Name, by Alana Lorens

Congratulations to Alana Lorens on her new release, “A Rose by Any Other Name.” Please join me in getting to know Alana and learning more about her book.

Genre

Contemporary romance, high school reunion, second chance romance

Blurb

Up-and-coming mommyblogger and single mom Marisol Herrera Slade returns to her old hometown in western Pennsylvania for her 20th high school reunion in 2005, reluctant and yet compelled to see her high school sweetheart, Russell Asher, who dumped her for the homecoming queen.

Russell’s marriage to the golden girl, however, ended in a nasty divorce, and he has been systematically excluded from his sons’ lives. In his Internet wanderings, he’s found feminist blogger named Jerrika Jones, who glorifies single motherhood, essentially putting a stamp of approval on what’s happened to him. His group of single dad advocates have vowed to take this woman down.

What Russell doesn’t know, when he thinks to rekindle what he had with Marisol, is that Marisol and Jerrika are one and the same. When his group discovers the truth, will their drive for revenge derail any chance the couple have to reunite? Or will they find they have more in common than they ever expected?

Q & A with Alana Lorens

Have you ever traveled while researching information for a book?

I’ve made a couple of road trips cross-country in a motorhome, visiting Montana and California to gather information for both my romance novels and fantasy work.

When did you begin writing?

I wrote my first story when I was eight. It was a tragic tale of how my cat killed and ate a rabbit. Then I wrote my first novel—a horrible time travel Gothic story—when I was 14. I actually submitted it to Doubleday! And I got a personal rejection letter from the editor, very kind.

How many hours do you dedicate each day toward writing?

Most days I do an hour or two; but my critique group meets Thursday and Saturday evenings for several hours, one for critique and one for writing together and inspiration. I get a lot of work done those nights.

What has been your biggest challenge?

In the last few years, I’ve been diagnosed with several chronic diseases, which make energy sometimes few and far between. With the whole rounded experience of author life—not only writing, but promotion and marketing and editing, etc., it is a strain to get all of it done on a timely basis.

What does literary success mean to you?

Gee, we’d love to have all the big bucks, right? But the likelihood of that hitting is about the same as winning the lottery. So I’d be pleased to have people simply read and enjoy my work—especially if they’d let me know!

What project are you currently working on?

A suspense novel where a woman lawyer wakes up in the Everglades next to a burned car with a dead body inside; and she can’t remember how she got there, and what happened. The story revolves around her life situation and dysfunctionality of herself and her family. I put a lot of myself into this character, and I’m really proud of it.

About the Author

Alana Lorens has been a published writer for more than forty years, after working as a pizza maker, a floral designer, a journalist and a family law attorney. Currently a resident of Asheville, North Carolina, the aging hippie loves her time in the smoky blue mountains. She writes romance and suspense as Alana Lorens, and sci-fi, fantasy and paranormal mystery as Lyndi Alexander. One of her novellas, THAT GIRL’S THE ONE I LOVE, is set in the city of Asheville during the old Bele Chere festival. She lives with her daughter on the autism spectrum, who is the youngest of her seven children, and she is ruled by three crotchety old cats, and six kittens of various ages.

Author Links

Website       http://Alana-lorens.com

Facebook    https://www.facebook.com/AlanaLorens/

Goodreads   https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4829967.Alana_Lorens

Amazon Author Page  https://www.amazon.com/Alana-Lorens/e/B005GE0WBC/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/alana-lorens

Twitter:  @AlexanderLyndi

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/alexander_lyndi/ 

Purchase Links: Ebooks

– https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B09KQWTDPF/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i3

Paperback  https://www.amazon.com/Rose-Any-Other-Name/dp/1509239294/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-rose-by-any-other-name-alana-lorens/1140380664?ean=9781509239290

Secrets, Shame, and a Shoebox, by L.B. Griffin

Please join me in welcoming L.B. Griffin sharing details about her new release. Secrets, Shame, and a Shoebox is a historical romance filled with mystery and suspense.

Blurb

When Harriet Laws loses her grandmother and her job, her happy life in London seems over. Alone, grief-stricken and penniless, she thinks wildly about ending it all. Fate steps in as Tom Fletcher saves her, gives her hope, and guides her to new employment. He takes her to dinner, and she finds him attractive. He’s older, but she doesn’t mind. Does he? Tom, a quiet, hardworking man, is unsure of Harriet’s feelings, but he’s also very busy building his business interests. So it’s no wonder a suave, sophisticated man walks off with Harriet right under Tom’s nose. What follows, no one could have predicted, as Harriet not only loses contact with all her friends but must again fight for her very life…will she ever see Tom again?

Purchase Links

Amazon

Goodreads

Barnes and Noble

www.thewildrosepress.com

Q&A with D.B. Griffin

What was the inspiration behind your latest release?

It is my debut novel, but the inspiration was to show just how courageous women can be and are in the face of adversity and come out strong.  Those people I write about are inspirational.

Where do you get your ideas? Do ideas for plot or characters appear first?

Great question, though I’m not sure I can give you a straight answer. For my debut novel the plot was definitely first, followed swiftly by the characters. In all my books I’ve found there is a running theme. Courage and survival. You see, over the years I’ve been in an amazing position to teach and work with wonderful groups of people. I’ve been on the front line listening to their stories and they have taught me so much, it has been a truly humbling experience. Knowledge is key to writing plots and knowing your characters. My stories are a fusion of everything I have ever learned. 

Have you ever traveled when researching information for a book?

Yes. For example I’ve been to London numerous times, but recently revisited, and took my granddaughter to see it through her eyes. That was a fab experience.  

When did you begin writing?

I’ve been writing for years, though never had the confidence to send any of my work until a friend said “you better get it out there before you pop your clogs mate!” That was a bit of a wakeup call. After considering her words I thought did I really want my epitaph to read shoulda woulda coulda?

How many hours do you dedicate each day toward writing?

Phew, that is a hard one. Some days I can write for hours. Other times I just get twenty minutes or so drive in me as I can be pulled in many directions. It was different when I wrote around the full time paid job. I really had to be more organized. I often left the house toothbrush in hand, flinging on shoes but with my brain still typing on the keyboard but having to rush to get to work!

What has been your biggest challenge?

I guess you are asking me in relation to writing, so I have to answer honestly – 1. Being brave enough to send it to a publishers. I am incredibly shy, though no-one would believe it and marketing myself was a huge struggle, still is.

What does literary success mean to you?

When I got my novel published and held it in my hands. Goodness. That was really strange. To see copies are being sold in Waterstones and available all over the world. I can’t believe how many copies have been sold to date! I know I’m not in the same genre pool as the big names, but I do have to pinch myself from time to time, amazed at the fab reviews. I really never believed it would happen.

What marketing tips or advice would you like to share?

I write a blog, for budding writers. It’s lovely to hear from so many people. I love it when they say they found a post really helpful. It gives me a bit of a happy buzz so I carry on.

Marketing, as every writer knows, is really hard. Unless I guess you are in JK Rowling’s league, and can afford to pay for all that stuff. I don’t believe in wasting money on marketing in the huge sense. After all it would wipe out any royalties I might get, so I ask myself what the point is. From everything I have learned from the great bunch of TWRP authors, there doesn’t seem to be one ad, or promo place that makes you money (if that is what you are after). For me I’m happy with my lot. Just getting my book read is fantastic and payment enough. Don’t give up on your dream, if a gran can, so can you!

Which authors inspire you?

Hmm. I read so much it would be hard to put my finger on just one author. Roald Dahl is one for sure. Palahniuk, Kesey, Steinbeck.

What project are you currently working on?

I have two projects on the go. The Twenty One Year Contract, follows on from Secrets, Shame and a Shoebox. They are intertwined but also standalones. The other project is strictly confidential at the moment.  

Upcoming books, events, appearances, giveaweays?

Kindle version of Secrets, Shame and a Shoebox has been reduced for the holiday season. I hope that people will find it more affordable, say as a stocking filler or to download for friends and family, who love a good read. Iceland’s tradition of sitting with family on Christmas Eve reading, sounds like an excellent one!

About the Author

LB Griffin is happily married and retired and still has plans to trek around the world. When she returned from Spain, Covid raised its ugly head and sadly changed people’s lives forever. However, it was then a whole new chapter in her life was born. She was offered a contract for her debut novel and the day after, had another wonderful surprise, the safe arrival of her fifth grandchild.

LB Griffin loves her family, writing, reading a good book, being with friends and British strawberries.

Social Media

Website: https://www.wifeinthewest.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lynngriffinauthoruk/

Twitter: @LBGriffinAuthor

Facebook @lynngriffinauthor