Today I am delighted to interview author Jennifer Wilck. Her newest novel The Seduction of Esther released on June 3rd! Please help me welcome...Jennifer Wilck!
Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
When I was a little girl and couldn’t fall asleep, my mother would tell me to make up a story. Pretty soon, my head was filled with these stories and the characters that populated them. Each character had a specific personality, a list of likes and dislikes, and sometimes, even a specific accent or dialect. Even as an adult, I think about the characters and stories at night before I fall asleep, or in the car on my way to or from one of my daughters’ numerous activities (hey, anything that will drown out their music is a good thing).
One day, I started writing them down (it was either that or checking into the local mental hospital—the computer was way less scary). Since then, I’ve published two contemporary romances with Whiskey Creek Press. The Seduction of Esther is my first book with Rebel Ink Press, and I’m excited to be part of their team.
In the real world, I’m the mother of two amazing daughters and wife of one of the smartest men I know. I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, reading, traveling and watching TV. In between chauffeuring my daughters to after-school activities that require an Excel spreadsheet to be kept straight, I serve on our Temple Board and volunteer for way more things than I have time to do. I also write freelance articles for magazines, newspapers, and edit newsletters.
When all of that gets overwhelming, I retreat to my computer, where I write stories that let me escape from reality. In my made-up world, the heroines are always smart, sassy and independent. The heroes are handsome and strong with just a touch of vulnerability. If I don’t like a character, I can delete him or her; if something doesn’t work, I can rewrite it. It’s very satisfying to be in control of at least one part of my life.
What is your favorite thing about being a writer?
I love having to answer to myself and I love being able to be creative. So much about everyday life can turn into a boring routine, and I love being able to escape into my own world where problems are solved and everyone has a happy ending.
What genre(s) do you write?
Although I love to read historical romance, I write contemporary. I’m completely daunted by the research I’d have to do in order to write an historical. Plus, I think my voice lends itself better to contemporary as well.
What do you hope readers take with them after reading one of your stories?
I hope they’re a bit inspired. I hope the characters stick with them and I hope the story makes them feel good. And with my latest book, The Seduction of Esther, I hope they take away a little understanding and knowledge of Purim.
How do your family and/or friends feel about your book or writing venture in general?
They’re very proud of me and are my biggest fans. My mother-in-law is also an AWESOME marketer of my books! J
Do you work on one project at a time? Or do you multi-task?
Usually, I work on one project at a time. However, right now, I’m alternating between two books that I’m in the middle of writing. One is the next book in the series after The Seduction of Esther. The other one is a contemporary romance inspired by a Victorian mansion that I toured.
Please share with us your future projects and upcoming releases.
My latest book, which released June 3, is The Seduction of Esther. Here’s a blurb: Samara Goldberg has a problem even the most beautiful singing voice can’t fix. She’s a walking disaster, especially when she’s around handsome men. To make matters worse, she’s in desperate need of someone to play the character of Mordecai for the Purim spiel she’s producing and the new congregant, Nathaniel Abramson, is a perfect fit. Nathaniel is a divorced dad who’s recovering from the biggest public scandal of his life. The last thing he needs is a relationship with the choir director at his new synagogue, who also happens to be playing the lead female role of Esther in the very play he’s been coerced into joining.
Woven around the Jewish holiday of Purim, The Seduction of Esther is a story of two people whose lives mirror the plot of the Purim story. Like Esther, who had to hide her Jewish identity from the King of Persia, Samara and Nathaniel are hiding key pieces of themselves. Evil Haman wanted to destroy the Jews, and the nasty Josh will do anything to keep Samara and Nathaniel apart. Will their love survive, like the Jewish people in Shushan, Persia, or will their fear keep them apart?
And here’s an excerpt:
Samara stared at her reflection in the mirror, closed her eyes, and took a deep breath. The breath was supposed to relax her—to calm her nerves, lower her blood pressure and help her handle Nathaniel’s impending arrival. However, her body didn’t get the message, because all she achieved was a case of the hiccups. Terrific. Her stomach flopped and her hands trembled. She took another deep breath, opened her eyes and hiccupped.
This was not happening. She could not go out on a date with Nathaniel with a case of the hiccups. No way, no how. She turned on the tap, filled a glass and took a sip of water. Hiccup. She brought the glass into the kitchen, put a spoon in it and took another sip. Hiccup. She drank from the opposite side of the glass. Hiccup. Moisture on her chest made her look down. Wonderful, now I’ve spilled on my blouse. She put the glass in the sink and raced back into her bedroom to change into a sweater. She undid enough buttons to fit her head through the opening and yanked.
Her hair caught on a button. As she lowered the blouse, more hair got stuck. Now the blouse hung in front of her face, neither fully on nor fully off.
She reached her arm in front of her, felt for the bed so she could sit and untangle her hair. As she floundered, the doorbell rang.
Please, please, please don’t be Nathaniel. The three days since his phone call asking her out had made ketchup falling out of a Heinz bottle seem quick. Despite her manner on the phone with him, she’d been so excited for today. Her mind wandered to him at the most inopportune times, like when she sang, worked on the spiel, walked down the street. She examined every note she sang and wondered how he’d receive it; she contemplated, and refused, moving scenes around to give Esther more time with Mordecai; she examined every man she passed and compared him to Nathaniel.
No matter how she hid it or reason it out, she could no longer deny her feelings for him. He made her laugh, he made her relax and he made her feel like the most important woman in the room. She could stare at his hands all day and watch the way they moved when he spoke. When they touched her, her whole body tingled. The air she breathed with him was fresher, filled with more oxygen. Time froze, yet at the same time, sped by. Her worries faded away; he made her feel invincible. If he were here now, he’d laugh and have her untangled in an instant. But she would be mortified. There was no way she could let him see her like this. There was nothing she could do—she’d have to skip the date and make up some excuse later. She held her breath as her stomach dropped with disappointment. She didn’t dare move, for fear of alerting him to her presence. The doorbell rang again, accompanied by a scratchy, jingly noise.
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Buy links for The Seduction of Esther: