Welcome Jennifer. A Reckless Heart is your eleventh contemporary novel. What motivates you to write?
Well, thanks to the pandemic, my writing motivation has pretty much flown out the window. I’m jealous of authors who are inspired and can take advantage of this time to settle into a manuscript. However, before the pandemic, I’d just get this urge to write something down. A voice would pop into my head and repeat itself until I sat down and wrote what he or she was saying. Usually it’s the male character who speaks to me first, and they’ll whisper a scene or the black moment or just a chunk of dialogue. Once I write it down, I have to figure out if it’s enough to take me through the rest of the book.
That leads me to my next question. Without giving away too many details, what was the main factor that helped you choose the MC for this novel?
He entered my head and wouldn’t shut up. I love the beauty and the beast trope, and Simon presented himself as the perfect “beast”—outwardly forbidding, but with plenty of heart so the reader hopefully falls as deeply in love with him as I have. He likes to keep to himself, and he has a guesthouse he rents, so of course, I gave him a tenant who was exactly who he said he didn’t want—young, pretty, and personable. Once the pins were lined up, I basically just shoved him into the situation and watched him squirm.
What was your most memorable moment from writing A Reckless Heart?
The Scrabble scene! I love playing Scrabble (or similar word games) and I thought it would be a great way for my characters to bond and flirt. It probably couldn’t happen in real life—no one would be lucky enough to get those tiles in that order—but I loved writing it.
That is a great scene. What would you like your readers to take away as a lasting impression of A Reckless Heart?
With times the way they are, I think kindness matters. The premise of the Scarred Hearts series, of which A Reckless Heart is the first in the series, is four friends from college who are wildly successful in their fields, and who use the money they’ve made for good. All of the heroes require the women who fall in love with them to dig deep and to see below the surface. And I think that’s an important lesson to take away as well. People are not always as they seem, and the truly worthy ones require a little effort.
You are so right. Just for fun—if you had one superpower while writing this novel what would it have been and why?
Oh, that’s a great question. I’d love the ability to enter the world I created, just for a little while, to experience what my characters were going through.
Jennifer, please drop by again. Best wishes for lots of sales!
Meg Thurgood, former society girl, took the blame for her friend and paid a steep price. Now all she wants is solitude and a chance to rebuild her life. She thinks she's found that in an isolated house she rents from a mysterious stranger.
Simon McAlter has hidden in his house on the coast of Maine since a fire left him scarred. A successful landscape architect who conducts his business and teaches his classes remotely, he's lost his inspiration and is trying to pretend he's not lonely.
Simon's new neighbor is more than he bargained for. When he learns Meg's secret, will he retreat into the shadows or will he learn to see past the surface and trust in Meg's love?
Nervous laughter bubbled in her chest. They’d been close before and held hands. Granted, he’d covered hers on the ladder, but still. It wasn’t the first time they touched. Why was this different? She remembered the sensations when he’d covered her hand on the roof— warmth and roughness and safety. And she wanted it. She bumped her hand against his, on purpose, to feel his skin. It wasn’t smooth like hers. Its texture, unique to him, fascinated her. A moment later, he rubbed his arm against her.
Was it accidental, too? She snuck a glance at his profile. Although his hair blocked most of his face, she’d swear when the wind blew it, a ghost of a smile hovered, like they shared a private joke. Her belly warmed, and the air between their knuckles, where they almost touched, crackled with electricity.
The next time their bodies touched, she slipped her hand through his elbow. His body jolted before he pressed her arm against his side, and they walked to the curve of the shore connected.
When they stopped, they watched the waves lap over the rocks, their froth sputtering into the cracks.
“This is the only place I’ve ever not felt alone,” he whispered.
“How long have you been alone?”
“Too long,” he replied. “This is the only place I’ve ever felt seen.”
“I can’t imagine you invisible,” she said.
“When “It Girls” and camera bulbs surround you, it’s easy to fade into the background.”
The sky and water darkened as the light faded, and she shivered in the chill air. Her hand grew icy as he pulled away from her. As she was about to complain, a weight landed on her shoulders. His arm drew her close. He remained still, as if he waited to see if she’d object. Instead, she leaned against his side. Heat emanated from him, and tingles ran through her body. A desire to turn into him, to press her body against his, to kiss him, overwhelmed her. He positioned her in front of him and rested his chin on the top of her head. His heart beat against her back. A soft moan escaped her lips, and they both froze. All of a sudden, she was aware of how close she was. His jacket was warm from his body and smelled like him.
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. When she’s not writing, she loves to laugh with her family and friends, is a pro at finding whatever her kids lost in plain sight, and spends way too much time closing doors that should never have been left open in the first place. She believes humor is the only way to get through the day and does not believe in sharing her chocolate.
She writes contemporary romance, some of which are mainstream and some of which involve Jewish characters. She’s published with The Wild Rose Press and all her books are available through Amazon and Barnes & Noble.