Home For the Challah Days
Holidays, Heart and Chutzpah Book 1
by Jennifer Wilck
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Turning the bitterness of the past…
Into a sweet future!
When big-city advocate Sarah Abrams returns home for the High Holy Days, she’s got a lot on her mind—especially whether to marry her perfect-on-paper boyfriend. The last person she wants to encounter is Aaron Isaacson, her first love and the one who broke her heart. But after Aaron and Sarah join forces to fight an act of hate, it’s clear that their deep connection never abated. If only they could forgive one another for the past…in time for a sweet new start!
From Harlequin Special Edition: Believe in love. Overcome obstacles. Find happiness.
Aaron wiped the counter with a rag, scrubbing so hard he wouldn’t be surprised if he wore a hole in the old Formica. Easing the rag away from the superclean area, he placed a piece of wax paper on the counter and grabbed two slices of rye bread. The din of the packed deli faded into the background.
His stomach clenched. Of all the people to walk into his deli, he’d never expected her. He’d hoped at one time that she’d change her mind and decide this is where she belonged. Dreamed about her for longer than he’d like to admit—how her long, dark hair brushed his chest when she leaned over and kissed him, how her soft lips teased his, how her olive skin slid smoothly beneath his hands. He’d even broken an engagement with another woman because he couldn’t get Sarah out of his head. But expected? It had been ten years.
“I asked for pumpernickel,” the wizened old man complained across the counter.
Aaron looked at the sandwich, swore under his breath and threw the rye slathered in mustard in the trash.
“Gloria!” He shouted down the line toward an older woman with a brown apron covering her T-shirt and jeans. She patted the shoulder of the woman she was speaking to and strode over.
His six-foot frame towered over her, and she craned her neck to meet his gaze.
“Can you take over for me? He wants…” He turned to the customer. Age and disappointment conspired to make the old man resemble a shar-pei. Aaron shook his head and ushered Gloria forward. “Sorry, she’ll make your sandwich. And it’s on the house.”
Wiping his hands on his apron, he weaved through the staff behind the counter. When he reached his tiny office tucked in the back, he shut the door and sank into the rickety-wheeled desk chair. He ground his teeth until his jaw ached. Other parts of his body used to ache when he was around Sarah in high school and college. They’d been inseparable. Her smile, with the one tooth a little crooked in the front, brightened any bad day. Her husky voice soothed him. Now, though?
Disappointment simmered. She’d promised him forever and broken his heart, walking away from this town—from him—without a thought for the people she’d left behind.
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.
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.
What are your top 10 favorite books/authors?
The Lions of Fifth Avenue by Fiona Davis, Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, The Wizard of Oz by L Frank Baum, This is All I Ask by Lynn Kurland, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid, Peony in Love by Lisa See, The Perfume Collector by Kathleen Tessaro, The Bollywood Bride by Sonali Dev, Life After Life by Kate Atkinson, Silent in the Grave by Deanna Raybourn
What book do you think everyone should read?
Banned books. If they’re banned, you should read them. Find out why they’re banned and decide for yourself whether or not they are valuable to you.
How long have you been writing?
All my life, but seriously with an aim to publication, about twelve years.
Do the characters all come to you at the same time or do some of them come to you as you write?
They come to me at all different times. Sometimes I hear voices in my head and write them down and that conversation develops into a character. Other times I know the hero and have to figure out the heroine. I usually have an easier time with the hero, honestly. Not sure why.
What kind of research do you do before you begin writing a book?
Unless I’m assigned a book to write, like I’ve been by Harlequin with their Fortunes of Texas series, I don’t do research ahead of time because the story happens more organically. I’ll get a hint here or there about what I want to write and develop the story from there. Obviously, during the writing process if I discover something I need to research, I do, but I don’t usually start out that way. Most of the things I have to research are jobs or locations.
Do you see writing as a career?
Absolutely! I put too much time and effort into it for it to be anything else. However, unlike other careers that I’ve had earlier in my life, I understand that this one will develop slowly. I’m in it for the long haul, rather than immediate gratification.
Do you read yourself and if so what is your favorite genre?
My favorite genre to read is women’s fiction. I like the depth of character development and how it makes me think.
Do you prefer to write in silence or with noise? Why?
Silence. It’s easier to concentrate. However, I was just at a writer’s conference, and it was noisier than I’m used to. I found it forced me to focus a little more, and I was very productive. But given my choice, I will choose silence every time.
Do you write one book at a time or do you have several going at a time?
I’m currently writing three, but I have to admit it’s challenging. I prefer to have one that I’m writing and one that I’m editing, but currently with deadlines, I can’t do that. It makes it even more necessary to keep track of the characters looks, names, jobs, and all the little details.
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