I’m happy to welcome back Wild Rose Press author Jennifer Wilck. Today, Jennifer shares her reinvention story and new release, Unlock My Heart.
Reinvention is an awesome thing, and one I think many women find themselves doing at some point in their lives. I know I’ve done it, and for anyone who is considering reinventing themselves, my advice is GO FOR IT!
When I graduated college, I worked in public relations for several firms in New York City. I loved my job. I loved meeting people, finding out what messages they needed to convey, and figuring out ways to do that. It was exciting. I learned how to pitch story ideas to editors, how to translate complicated technology descriptions into common English that the average person could understand, and to help clients through product releases. I must confess, my favorite part was hiding behind my youth—sitting in a client meeting, quietly listening to what the men thought they wanted, and finally speaking up with an idea and watching their expressions turn from shock to acceptance to admiration. It was a nice ego boost.
Eventually, I realized I liked the writing part the best, and I moved over to the editorial side, where I worked for technology magazines. Again, I loved it. It was a bit of a reinvention, but more like flipping to the other side of the same coin. Now I sought out the companies, read the press releases, interviewed people who could have been former clients. I loved the writing, but there was less creativity involved. I had to stick to the facts, rather than coming up with marketing campaigns. My creative juices were less in demand, but I drew pride in writing for myself rather than for a client and seeing my byline rather than my clients’.
I took time off when I had children, lucky enough to be able to devote my time to them. But something was missing. I needed a creative outlet for everything that was whirring in my brain. And so, I reinvented myself again. I’d always been a romance reader. I read lots of different genres, but romance made me happy. I liked the happily ever after endings and the escapism. One day, when my girls were sleeping, I wrote down a story in my head. That story eventually turned into my first romance, A Heart of Little Faith. From then on, I was hooked. I learned everything I could about my craft—I’m still learning—as well as the business side. I entered contests, queried editors and agents, and eventually landed with my current publisher, The Wild Rose Press. I’m a hybrid author, so I also self-publish (that first romance, along with two more, Whispers in Washington and Better Together in Boston). And I was lucky enough to find an agent who I hope will help me find a home for a manuscript I’ve been working on for a long time.
Reinvention is scary. It’s easy to stay with what you know. But if you listen to your inner voice, you can do it. Talk to others. There are a lot of us out there who have done it. We’re happy to share our successes and failures.
Abby Marlow, computer security expert, lands a job at the best IT security firm in the country. Her sole focus is financial independence so she never has to rely on others again, especially a man. But why does her boss make her wires short circuit?
Ted Endicott, CEO and founder of the IT security firm, is hard of hearing. Although an expert in his field, he’s still uncomfortable admitting his difficulty hearing to his clients or employees. So why is he willing to accept Abby’s help?
As Ted and Abby work together, barriers fall away, and soon the lines blur between colleagues and lovers. But a security glitch in a client’s system indicates one of his employees is the hacker, and all signs point to Abby. Can they get past the suspicion and find a future together?
Tagline: Can love break through their firewalls?
“You always run alone?”
She pointed to a nearby jogger. “I’m not alone.”
“But you’re not with anyone.”
Standing this close to him, she wished for things she shouldn’t. “No, I’m not.”
“How far are you going?”
“The end of the trail and back.” Or however long it
took to get him out of her mind.
He put his helmet on. “Come on, I’ll keep you company.”
“It’s not necessary.” Clearing her mind would be impossible with him next to her.
“It’s safer this way.” He looked down the trail. His desire to protect her sent warmth curling up and down her spine. It had been a long time since anyone was concerned about her. All of a sudden, the idea of company appealed to her. Touching his arm— and trying not to squeeze his bicep like you would if you tested the ripeness of a peach—she waited for him to turn. “You’re welcome to join me if you want. If you can keep up.” She winked and raced away, his bark of laughter a brief punch in the silence behind her.
She no longer kept an easy pace, easing into the morning. This time, she sprinted hard. The slight whir of his bike wheels warned her as he reached her a few moments later.
“You’re pretty fast, but I’d suggest you slow down.”
She turned toward him. “Out of pity for you?”
His lips twitched, and his nostrils flared, but he kept his humor reined tight. Instead, he cycled next to her, his head turned slightly toward her. “The only pity I ask for is please don’t make me carry you home when you’re too tired to continue.”
“Wouldn’t dream of it, sir.” She made sure he could read her lips.
He grinned, and the last of her tension disappeared. He accepted her teasing.
“Oh, you’ll pay,” he said.
He rode ahead, and she thought for sure he would leave her in the dust. But he turned around, a gleam in his eye, and returned to her side. When they reached a part of the trail farther on, he pulled ahead a little and skidded in a puddle, splashing her legs.
She gasped and looked at her mud-spattered shins and ignored the twinkle in his eye. “You play dirty—literally.”
Ted stopped while she paused to clean her legs off. Given the opportunity—two could play this game—she took her mud-streaked hands and wiped them on his chest. She drew in a breath and realized her mistake. Sure, she’d repaid him for splattering her with mud, but a sudden awareness of his body overrode her satisfaction. His muscles were hard, and she wondered what the rest of him felt like. Her pulse pounded in her ears, and her gaze shifted to his lips. What would it be like to kiss them?
She jerked and pulled her hand away. No. She jumped at the strangled sound from the mouth she’d considered kissing and raised her glance to his eyes. His surprise mirrored her own.
Mistake, mistake, mistake! An internal voice blared a warning. She’d intended for it to be like when she and Max, her best friend from childhood, challenged each other as kids. In fact, when he teased her, Ted reminded her of Max—something about the glint in his eye and the “need to win” coupled with concern. But she hadn’t counted on the sexual component.
She closed her eyes. She was not like her mother. She wasn’t.
She stilled. Maybe he couldn’t see her. Right, and maybe unicorns are real.
“Open your eyes.” She opened them.
“Let’s get breakfast.”
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Author Bio and Links
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. She believes humor is the only way to get through the day and does not believe in sharing her chocolate.
Jennifer Wilck is an award-winning contemporary romance author for readers who are passionate about love, laughter, and happily ever after. Known for writing both Jewish and non-Jewish romances, her books feature damaged heroes, sassy and independent heroines, witty banter and hot chemistry. Jennifer’s ability to transport the reader into the scene, create characters the reader will fall in love with, and evoke a roller coaster of emotions, will hook you from the first page. You can find her books at all major online retailers in a variety of formats.
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I love this book cover, Jennifer, and the excerpt is great! Congrats on this upcoming release! As for reinvention, I think we all do it over and over in life. When my husband passed away in 2009, that was my biggest reinvention effort. I had to begin a whole new life alone. Thank you for this thought-provoking post!! And thank you, Joanne, for hosting! Best wishes, Jennifer!
What an interesting life of reinvention you’ve had, Jennifer — very inspiring. I have to admit I’ve had a lifetime of mostly forced reinvention that sometimes didn’t work out very well. But I probably learned more from the failures than the victories. Such is life.
‘Unlock my Heart’ sounds like another winner for you – such unique stories you write! Wishing you lots of success with it!
I think reinvention is part of life these days, I’ve been a paralegal for a criminal law firm for 18 years, decided it was time to move on when you couldn’t tell the criminals from the lawyers. LOL then I found I loved IT and got a job as an IT Manager at and electrical contracting firm, the finally decided the voices in my head wouldn’t shut up, so embarked on a writing career, I love it! My advise too is go for it! Loved your post! Thanks for sharing!
A wonderful post, Jennifer. Lovely to get to know you better. As always, wishing the best for you.
Thanks so much, Judith!
I love tales of reinvention! Most authors I know have good ones–like yours!
Awesome writing! I wish you great success with this!
Thanks for your inspirational personal story. After teaching middle school for 36 years, I’ve become a horror novelist! (Some say there’s not much difference!) I’m having a blast in my second career!👻
As a Journalism major turned fiction writer, I can totally relate to fiction being more fun to write! Congrats and best wishes on the new release!
Way more fun! I didn’t realize we had that in common. 🙂 Thank you!
I think most of us go through many changes in our lives. How we handle them is the most important. You seem to have done very well. Best on the book. It sounds very good!
Thanks, Ilona. I agree with you–most authors I know, and non-authors as well, have changed careers and life circumstances many times.
Love your stories of reinvention. Or evolving? 🙂 I’ve had a few of those myself and they can be unsettling at the beginning. But I’m glad you made it to the writing part LOL. Wishing you all the best with Unlock My Heart.
Thanks, Barbara. Change is always scary at the time, but looking back, I’m so glad I did it!
I seem to reinvent myself with each new decade, though I prefer to call it my journey of learning and discovery. Wishing you all the best “Unlock My Heart,” Jennifer! It sounds like another fabulous winner.
Oh, I like that, Mary! I may steal it. 🙂 Thanks for the well-wishes!
Thank you so much for hosting me today!
You’re very welcome, Jennifer. Best of luck with sales. 🙂