Wednesday, June 20, 2012

A FAMILIAR SHORE - Jennifer Fromke - One Free book

Welcome, Jennifer. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
I’d say there are bits and pieces of myself. I try to sprinkle different things across characters and stories, so no one character is ever “Me.”

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
Last summer I took my kids to audition for Hunger Games extras. I ended up being cast as one of the game control room technicians. I got to experience wardrobe fittings, hair, and makeup (sat next to a Hollywood heavy hitter in the makeup chair). It was quite an experience to see how a big budget film operates behind the scenes. And since my scenes had significant special effects, it was fascinating to see how everything looked onscreen compared with what we saw in the studio.

When did you first discover that you were a writer?
It started out as a dream. I fell in love with “story” at a very young age. I always wanted to write, but I decided I needed to live until I was at least 35 before I would have anything good to say. I received lots of affirmation with anything I wrote - even Christmas letters! :-) I turned 35, and began dabbling. I heard God’s call to pursue writing after that, and here we are, a couple years later. So it was a process, but looking back, I see that I’ve always been a writer.

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I love Kate Morton, Kristin Hannah, and David Baldacci. I enjoy a sweeping historical, almost anything with an old castle in England, international intrigue involving spies and great danger, and a contemporary story that evokes powerful emotion. I also like a little bit of magical realism, done right. Susan May Warren, Carla Stewart, and Cara Putman are recent reads of mine. So basically, I’m all over the map.

How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
Breakfast in the Bible. Dates with my husband. Time with my kids.

How do you choose your characters’ names?
I think about the significance of the character and a theme or word that might be important for them. Then I search meanings/definitions/synonyms and I found a great reverse name-meaning tool online. You type in the meaning, and it pulls up names with similar meanings. I like the major character names to mean something.

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
Aside from marrying my husband and raising three amazing kids . . . Winning the Genesis competition is probably the highlight of my career so far. Publication is a very close second, but winning that competition was an enormous encouragement and gave credence to other people that I was actually doing more than just typing on a laptop all day long.

If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
I let this question sit awhile. If I have to pick one, I’d say a butterfly. (Though I hate comparing myself to a bug). But I have a tendency toward flitting from one thing to another. When I clean the house, I start in one place, get distracted by clutter in another room, get distracted by a third mess and end up cleaning a tiny bit of each space without finishing anything! I’m also a bit of a talker, and more than a few have dubbed me a social butterfly. I do love to work a room full of people. J Plus, I love bright colors and showing them off.

What is your favorite food?
Strawberry Shortcake. Nana’s biscuit recipe, fresh picked berries, whipped cream on top. In May, it’s pretty much breakfast, lunch and dinner. Oh yeah, and dessert too.

What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
Time. With young kids, it was difficult to carve out the time, so I didn’t tackle writing seriously until all three kids were in school all day. As far as craft goes, I needed to learn about plotting. Once I began to see what elements appear in every good story, it all started to make sense for me.

Tell us about the featured book.
A Familiar Shore is my debut novel. It brings the reader alongside Meg, a young lawyer raised off the coast of the Carolinas. An anonymous client hires her to arrange his will, and sends her to meet his estranged family at their lake home in northern Michigan. After a shocking discovery, she finds herself caught between his suspicious family and a deathbed promise her conscience demands that she keep. Will she sacrifice her own dreams for revenge, or will she choose something more?

A good deal of the story takes place over Memorial Day weekend, making it a great summer/getaway read.

Please give us the first page of the book.
            In a daze, Meg barreled down the highway toward her father. An unfamiliar urgency in his voice drew her to the coast like true north pulls a compass. Her gut fluttered as she drove a rented RAV4 into Southport, North Carolina, and parked across from Provisions, her favorite coastal dive on the eastern seaboard.

            Stepping out of the car, she took a deep breath and pulled on the cuffs of her jacket as she slowly exhaled. Don’t rush in. Be controlled. Her jeweled sandals provided little protection as she picked her way through the maze of potholes masquerading as a parking lot for the shack-like restaurant.

            Provisions perched on the edge of the Cape Fear River. As Meg neared the building, a mixed of fried seafood and boat fuel assaulted her nose. A smile crossed her face and memories crossed her mind each time she breathed the incongruent scents.

            The lunch crowd spilled out the front door in a line displaying great anticipation and remarkable patience. Meg pressed past the people waiting to order and shoved her way onto the porch. Rolled up canvas “walls” hung from the eaves around the perimeter.

            Popsie waved to her from their favorite table, in the corner furthest from the kitchen and closest to the water. Though Meg usually visited whenever he docked Gilda near Charlotte, she burned up the asphalt today for a potential client Popsie wanted her to meet. But he sat alone at a table for two.

How can readers find you on the Internet?
Twitter:           @jenniferfromke

Thank you, Jennifer, for the interesting interview.

Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
A Familiar Shore - paperback
A Familiar Shore - Kindle

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)

Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.

The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 4 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

If you’re reading this on Feedblitz, Facebook, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link.


Maria Mainero said...

Congrats on achiving your dream! Maria in Michigan

Jennifer Fromke said...

Thanks, Maria! It's always great to meet a fellow Michigander online! :-)

Patty said...

I was raised in MI, but now live in the Carolinas! Would love to read your first novel Jennifer.

Patty in SC

Katie said...

Please enter me! Sounds mysterious :)I'm from NC.

Jennifer Fromke said...

Patty, just like me! I hope you'll like the story - it should feel like home for you. Katie, I love a good mystery too!

scottsgal said...

sounds like the perfect summer read - love the cover
cheryl in IL
msboatgal at

Jennifer Fromke said...

scottsgal: I love the cover too: the lake looks just like Michigan.

Ladette said...

sounds great! please enter me!

Bethany said...

I'd love to be entered! I'm in Ohio :)

cbus.blogger at gmail dot com

Linda Kish said...

I would love to win a copy of this book.


lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Mary Preston said...

Working on THE HUNGER GAMES would have been an eye opener.

I enjoyed the first page for A FAMILIAR SHORE thank you.

Mary P


Jennifer Fromke said...

Working on the Hunger Games WAS an eye opener. Making a movie is a completely different way to tell a story - and much more complicated than writing a story. I'm happy I'm in the writing business and NOT the movie business. :-)

Amy C said...

Great interview! Book sounds great!
Amy Campbell
Southwest VA

Joanna Richmond said...

It Looks and sounds interesting, enter me. Thanks
Joanna Richmond
Blanch NC

Merry said...

A Familiar Shore sounds like a great summer read, I love lakeside settings.
Merry in TX

apple blossom said...

please include me in this giveaway thanks

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

Sharon Richmond said...

Enter me!!
Sharon Richmond
Blanch, NC.

Sarah Rebekah Richmond said...

Enter me!
God Bless!

Abigail Mitchell said...

Enter me!
Blanch, N.C.

misskallie2000 said...

Hi Jennifer, Dreams really do come true. Congratulations and may you write many more books.
Enjoyed your interview.Thanks for stopping to chat and share with us.

Brenda from Georgia

misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

Unknown said...

This sounds like a fascinating read, Jennifer. Thanks for sharing bits about your life in the interview! and the great chance to win this giveaway.

Marianne from Northern Alberta

mitzi underscore wanham at yahoo dot com

Liz R said...

Sounds like a good read!

Liz R in AL

Diana Gardner said...

Looks great. Please enter me in the drawing. Portsmouth, VA

Jackie Tessnair said...

Great interview.Sounds like a very interesting book.Please enter me.I would love to read this book.Thanks.Jackie Tessnair fromN.C.

Kristie said...

I love strawberry shortcake too. Actually a store near where I live has strawberry shortcake cheese. Yup! It's seasonal. I have not tried it yet but I want to. I did not know about the reverse online naming tool. Thanks for the heads up. Your book sounds great and suspenseful. I'm from Ohio. kristiedonelson(at)gmail(dot)com Thank you.

Kandra said...

This sounds like such an intriguing story! I'd love to read it here in Tennessee.

Jennifer Fromke said...

Wow! Strawberry shortcake cheese - I never would have come up with that! But now I think I need to check it out. :-)