Amazing Spring Reads

DSC03185 Spring is here! I’ve been enjoying it to the fullest by walking around my yard everyday to see what new color iris blooms will surprise me. I’ve also been busily working on my new book (which is tentatively titled “Giving up Hope”…but that could definitely change over time). And last, but not least, I’ve been reading.

One author that has become one of my new favorites is Jennifer Peel. I’ve mentioned her before after reading House Divided, but I’ve now finished all her works and loved every single one. I thought I’d spotlight each and interview her so you can get to know her better.

Professional Boundaries is a cute, contemporary love story set in an office. The characters are completely lovable and will coax smiles onto your face with their witty dialogue. Kelli is ready to be promoted to Director for Chandler Enterprises. But when she comes prepared to move into her new office, she instead finds a new boss has stolen her dream job…and it happens to be an ex-boyfriend who left her 13 years ago. The office tension between these two is completely hilarious! If you need a book to brighten your day, definitely read this. 

Other Side of the Wall is a poignant romance about two broken people who live in the same apartment building and how they become whole again. This story has a bit of cute, a sprinkling of heartache, and a dash of laughter all stirred into a hearty romantic stew that warmed my heart. I love seeing characters grow and develop, then falter, stumble, and begin again. This book has lots of that.

The Girl in Seat 24B is a tale of a struggling marriage that swept me into Carly’s and Bishop’s world immediately, and the river of sorrow kept pulling me along in tears clear until the waterfall ending. Though it is a tragic romance for the majority of the book, the theme that love is the most powerful force in the world comes through magnificently and makes all the sorrow you wade through worth it. Yes, this book will make you cry…but it will also make you laugh and cherish being a mother, and value good fathers. It will make you adore love…and want to choose to work to make it last.

And her newest book, Trouble in Loveland, was just released this week. I was honored to be able to beta-read this book before it was published and loved it in then…but it’s even better in the final version (I’ve read it three times now). Charlee has been in love with her next door neighbor since she was 14 years old. Only problem is…he’s eight years older and has never even noticed her. Skip forward 11 years, and the age difference isn’t so much a problem anymore…at least for Charlee. Ryan still has issues, but that’s to be expected since he’s divorced and has a child. Again, the characters are completely adorable and cheeky…but Charlee prefers to be labeled witty. Charlee’s voice made me laugh…and the fun never ended (except for the times I wanted to cry and throw my laundry across the room). And don’t get me started on the butterflies in Charlee’s stomach—they’re hilarious! Only Jennifer Peel could make butterflies such an interesting and funny part of the plot.

So, you have no excuse not to read now! I’ve given you awesome books to consider…and I hope you will. Jennifer Peel is a Colorado native who now lives in Alabama. I’ve asked her a few questions, and she got right back to me with her answers (I love promptness).

What candy bar would be your motto for life?

Jennifer: I would have to say Payday because my life is a little nutty and I can be salty, but I try to be sweet. All together though it isn’t half bad.

What’s one of your favorite books you’ve ever read?

Jennifer: The Count of Monte Cristo

That’s a good one. Where would you love to be stuck at with a box full of books?

Jennifer: Definitely the beach.

Do you have any quirks?

Jennifer: I’m extremely claustrophobic. So much so I have made my family promise me I will not be buried. It’s a sepulcher for me all the way.

What’s your favorite thing about writing?

Jennifer: I love when the characters I’ve been thinking about come to life on the page and that moment when it has all come together and you get to write, ‘the end’.

What’s your least favorite thing about writing?

Jennifer: I really dislike marketing myself and I stress a lot over reviews.

Yes, that’s the bane of being an author. Who’s your favorite character you’ve written about so far?

Jennifer: This is so tough. It is probably a toss up between Carly (The Girl in Seat 24B) and Charlee (Trouble in Loveland), but I would probably go with Carly. I admire her strength and tenacity and would love to have her grace and courage.

How long have you been writing?

Jennifer: I started writing just over two years ago. I never in a million years thought I would write a book, much less publish one.

You amaze me what you’ve done in such a short time. If you won $50,000 in a writing contest, how would you spend it?

Jennifer: I would save it, so I could quit my nine to five job and just focus on writing. Two full-time jobs are a killer.

DSC03183Thanks, Jennifer, for taking time to let us get to know you better, and especially for writing awesome books for me to read. I hope everyone else will get to enjoy your stories too. Good luck with the release of Trouble in Loveland!

Now, go make time to smell the flowers (unless you’re allergic to them, then I’m sorry, you’ll have to go sniff chocolate or something). This is such a fun, lovely time of year!


13 thoughts on “Amazing Spring Reads

  1. Hi Char!
    Are those your irises? LOVE the brown ones – I hardly ever see them and they remind me of chocolate (duh!)
    These books sound fabulous, so I’ll add them to my list. And, you’re writing another book?? You always inspire me, friend. Happy Spring! Happy Reading! Happy Writing! xo

    • They are my irises that I collected from my Grandma’s yard a couple years before she died. I love them! The brown/yellow ones are so pretty and unique (I’ll call them my chocolate flowers–the best of both worlds). Yes, I’m writing another book. It’s done…and not done (if you catch my drift). Story is there, but it needs a LOT of revising and editing. Happy spring to you too!

  2. Your garden is gorgeous. Nice interview, but now I want a Payday! Enjoy the spring!

    • Who doesn’t want a Payday–both kinds? Yes, the irises are making me incredibly happy right now. It’s rainy and cold today, but maybe tomorrow I can go stare at them again closer. Yesterday when I took these pictures, a duck flew out of a big bunch of them (almost hit me in the face). I guess she had a nest in the middle of them and I was weeding and got to about a foot of her and scared her. I didn’t even know she was there, poor thing. So I went inside so she’d go back to warming her eggs and not be freaked out by my scary human self.

  3. These books sound great. Such a prolific writer! I like the tension dynamic in “Professional Boundaries.” Could make for some interesting character interactions. 🙂

    • That one definitely had some awesome interaction going on–and it would change depending on whether they were in the office, or on their way out to the parking lot. So funny!

  4. They sound like such fun reads—well, except for the tear-jerking parts. 😉 And your irises are absolutely beautiful!

    Best wishes to your guest on the continued success of her writing and to you for the revisions to that new novel. That can be such a daunting task!

    • Thanks, Jacqueline. They were awesome books that I know I’ll reread. And my irises do make me incredibly happy. I guess we’re kind of doing the revision stage together (well, you’re ahead since you have yours to alpha readers)

      • There are still some bits missing from my rough draft that I hope the alphas can help me address. So if you have all your scenes drafted, you’re ahead of me there. 🙂

  5. Beautiful irises. Mine haven’t bloomed yet, but spring is late for us up here this year. My apple tree is in full bloom and I’m loving that!

    Those books sound delightful. Good luck to you with your new book, whatever you end up calling it!

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