To celebrate her new release, Jennifer Wilck is here to share the story behind her novel In the Moment…
Old houses speak to me. I walk in them and I imagine what it would be like to live in them. I love the details of the molding, the architectural styles, the massive fireplaces and the hidden nooks and crannies.
A few years ago, an old Victorian mansion went on the market near my home. On a lark, I took my two girls and we went to the open house. We instantly fell in love! If I had a spare million dollars lying around—plus a lot of extra to restore and decorate—that house would have been mine. We wandered through it, imagining which rooms would be ours.
And my muse tapped me on the shoulder and insisted I make the house the focal point of a book. I don’t normally begin my books with a setting, but this time, I did. I was able to use actual photos of the house and its rooms (empty) from the real estate website for my inspiration while writing the story.
The setting was a gorgeous old Victorian mansion. Cassie, my heroine, was restoring it in the hopes of one day raising a family there. She’d grown up as a foster child, and this home was the last one she lived in with her foster mother, the only place she’d ever felt truly part of a family. When her foster mother died, Cassie bought the house and began the restoration.
Since I had a heroine who was so tied to a home, I made the hero someone who was afraid to put down roots. He’s a war photographer recovering from the horrors of what he saw, and getting over the deaths of soldiers who were his friends. The last thing he wants is someone who oozes commitment from her very pores.
Of course, as you can imagine, that’s exactly who he gets. They’re perfect for each other, as he soon learns while helping her with yard work, misplaced supplies and errant rolls of wallpaper. And eventually, when they both find their happily ever after, it’s the house they return to.
Cassie Edwards, a former foster child, purchases an 1870s Victorian mansion, the one home from her childhood where she felt like part of a family. She’s spending her summer lovingly restoring it, with dreams of one day raising a family of her own here. Rayne Tucket, a photojournalist, is haunted by the death of his best friend in Afghanistan, a death he thinks is his fault. He survives day to day. Forever is not in his vocabulary. Swearing off photography, he answers an ad for a handyman—mindless, no emotion involved. As the two of them renovate her house, can Cassie show Rayne that love is strong enough to heal all wounds?
“So, Rayne, where are you from?”
He seemed to chew his food longer than necessary and swallowed slowly before answering. “I was born in Vermont. My family still lives there. You?”
“Actually, I’ve lived a bunch of places, but I spent my teenage years right here.”
He swallowed a bite of chicken. “In Fortune’s Rock?”
“In this house.”
“Your parents owned this house?”
She looked away. “Something like that.” His gaze bored into her, as if he knew she wasn’t telling everything. But he wouldn’t be here long enough for her to confide. She looked away.
“Were you happy here?” he asked.
“This house represents the perfect home to me. It’s a place you can live in forever, raise children, and pass along to the next generation. It’s my dream of what a perfect life should be.” She looked off into the distance, pulled away by her memories. Slowly, she came back to the present. Rayne wasn’t talking or eating.
She hadn’t asked her questions. “So, you mentioned you were heading south. Any particular destination?”
He clenched his jaw. “Nowhere you’d know.”
Where to Buy In the Moment
Jennifer started telling herself stories as a little girl when she couldn’t fall asleep at night. 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 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. She believes humor is the only way to get through the day and doesn’t share her chocolate.
She writes contemporary romance, some of which are mainstream and some of which involve Jewish characters. All are available through Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
Jennifer Wilck’s Online Playground