Today's guest is Jennifer Wilck, a fellow writer with The Wild Rose Press. Jennifer has a new series with The Wild Rose Press called Scarred Hearts and it begins with book 1, A RECKLESS HEART. The ebook releases on March 29, 2021 but you can pre-order it today. Welcome Jennifer!
Jana, thank you so much for hosting me on your blog today! My latest book, A Reckless Heart, is a contemporary romance and is Book 1 in my Scarred Hearts Series. Here are five things you need to know:
1) I came up with the premise of the series in 2016. Four college buddies, scarred in some way, have found tremendous financial success in their careers. They use their vast wealth for good, supporting philanthropy projects that are close to their hearts. And then they meet the women who draw them out of their shells, challenge them and turn their worlds upside down. I wrote the first 5,000 words of A Reckless Heart while in Boston on a college tour with my oldest daughter—she’s now about to graduate college!
2) The heroine of A Reckless Heart is Meg, a former socialite with a secret past. Her past is actually based on a news report one of my writing buddies showed me, about a publicist to the stars who commits a crime. I can’t tell you anymore, because, SPOILERS!
3) The hero of A Reckless Heart is Simon. He’s a world renowned landscape architect, and I had a lot of fun researching the profession. They design college campuses, the landscaping around palaces, royal gardens, etc. And their work is stunning.
4) One of the things that helps Simon recover from his accident is a therapy garden. I also was able to do research into those, and they help with everything from fine motor skills, to the elderly, to cognitive therapy. It’s a fascinating topic.
5) The Scarred Hearts Series consists of four books. It’s a hero-centric series, meaning the heroes appear in all four stories, so you’ll catch a glimpse of each of them starting with Book One. And I had a lot of fun creating the perfect heroine for each of them. I hope you’ll join me in following their stories!
Simon took her arm and led her in the direction Jed pointed. The walkways were deserted, and Simon was in his element. She warmed as he talked about how much he admired the flowers and herbs, climbed on walls to get a different view of the plants, or crouched to see the stems, mulch, and rocks on the ground. His excitement was contagious, and although she didn’t know what half of the plants he named were, she admired their colors and textures.
After a few moments, he pulled his phone from his pocket and dictated notes. When he put his phone away, Meg spoke. “These gardens are beautiful.”
“Want to see what I planted when I was here?”
His work was here? “I’d love to.” She hadn’t seen any of his finished projects, just his plans. She was eager to see what he’d done. He led her once again toward the pavilion. In one area, sweeping in an arc, were leafy plants and flowers. At first glance, they looked as if they’d landed there any old way, but as she studied them, a pattern and a purpose emerged. Varying shades of greens and golds merged with reds and oranges.
She gasped. “They look like flames! They’re beautiful.”
He smiled. “When they’re in full bloom in the summer, you can see the design more clearly.”
He’d created this because of his accident. To think he’d intentionally planted to make a thing of beauty out of destruction...her chest swelled, and she blinked away unwanted moisture. She wrapped her arms around him. “Does it help you to look at it?”
He shrugged. “Now, it matters less to me. Then? I needed to remove the image from my mind and this formation helped. Instead of seeing the fire that destroyed my family, I turned those visions into something that created life—flowers that stunned and soothed at the same time. Plus, the ability to do the work myself was therapeutic as well.”
“You’re amazing.” She looked around, turning in a slow circle. “I don’t think I could ever do anything like this.” The car accident and flash bulbs flickered in her mind once again. What beauty could she possibly create from her experience?
He massaged his hand. “Took way longer than it should.”
“And probably involved a lot of cursing.”
Simon huffed. “In the beginning, I made sure to only be here alone. Toward the end, Jed allowed a few select people to work here at the same time as me. But never children. Because, you know, language.”
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?
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.