Today the Spotlight is on Jennifer Theriot, whose novel Out of the Box Awakening I recently reviewed as part of Rosie’s Book Review Team.
BLURB OUT OF THE BOX AWAKENING
Olivia is a good woman, a good mother, a good wife. She’s got it made. She doesn’t want anything to change.
Of course, it does…
Swept from her perfect paper-doll life in Houston, Olivia finds herself in Chicago, alone, betrayed, and far from home. Soon everything she thought she knew about herself and her life will be challenged. She has only courage, love, and her passion for music to carry her through the maelstrom—or draw her further in.
Ash is the man who has everything—everything except healing from the losses of a lifetime. His only peace lies in the sweet flow of music pouring from his guitar.
What happens when the married woman and the sexy handsome widower are thrown together by fate?
Out of the Box Awakening is a story about second chances, shared passion and shared joy. Jennifer Theriot has written a compelling book about what happens when two people find new life and new love for themselves and for those around them.
Out of the Box Awakening by Jennifer Theriot is a contemporary family drama with a hopeful ending.
Olivia, who is in her late 50s, is faced with making major life changes. Her children have grown up and left home, and she has to move from Huston to Chicago due to her husband’s new job. Her husband, Alan, is staying with his friend, Ash, who becomes Olivia’s supportive friend as her life unexpectedly falls apart.
We will follow Olivia through the discovery of betrayal and her traumatic divorce, as she gradually falls in love with Ash. She realizes she hadn’t really been in love with her husband for a long time before their marriage ended. For example, she loved music and dancing, while Adam didn’t, so she had abandoned her hobby until Ash and his son, who is a musician, open up a new world of music and dancing. The realization that she has been drifting through life with Alan, who had never really appreciated her, comes as a shock. For instance, there’s a scene when she’s in hospital and Ash phones Alan to ask about her medical history to fill in a form, but he doesn’t know the answers.
‘Alan, tell me you actually know something about your wife? I’ve got to get these forms filled out and I goddamn need your help.’
Alan replies: ‘I honestly don’t know.’
It’s devastating, but at least Olivia is fortunate enough to have found Ash, who is supportive emotionally and helpful from a practical point of view too. He teaches her to value herself, her body, her hobbies and her freedom. He encourages her to find a part-time job, to keep herself busy, motivated and independent.
Most romantic novels have young main characters, so it was refreshing to read a novel about a more mature love story including characters who were my age. There are also plenty of young people in the novel, such as Olivia and Ash’s young adult children, who liven up the story.
Although it can be read as a standalone because there is no cliffhanger ending, and the ending is happy, there’s still a story to be continued. I was thrilled to discover that there are two more books in the series. How will their new life together work out? They both have families and personal baggage, will they be able to start again? Life with Ash will be better than life with Alan, because at least Ash respects and supports Olivia, but Ash also has his secrets. His job in government security, which we know little about and keeps him away for periods of time, is intriguing. I’m looking forward to reading the next installment, Out of the Box Regifted which is already on my kindle!
Interview with Jennifer Theriot
1- Most romantic novels are about young couples, what were the challenges you faced writing a romance involving a mature couple?
There really were no challenges, per se. At first I wasn’t sure how well the readers would take to it though. Here you have a middle-aged couple, young at heart, still sexually active,falling in love and doing silly things.
2- I’ve read and reviewed book 1, Awakening, but there are two more, Regifted and Everlasting, what inspired you to write the ‘Out of the Box’ Trilogy?
When I finished Out of the Box Awakening, my characters wanted to go on – there was more of the story to tell, so I went with Out of the Box Regifted (where Olivia was ‘regifted’ to Ash by Alan). This one has a lot more ‘steamy romance’ in it, as Ash and Olivia’s relationship flourishes and he encourages her to be more spontaneous and uninhibited. The characters wanted to go one more, so I left a little ‘cliffy’ at the end of Regifted. In Out of the Box Everlasting, the story comes full circle. I have a little political conspiracy theory in Everlasting – with this being an election year and all. I figured why not throw in a little Trump-esque scenario 😉
The trilogy is complete and the order of it spells ARE (Awakening, Regifted, Everlasting)
My thoughts: I know what you mean when you say, my characters wanted to go on, because I had the same feeling as I wrote and even now that I’ve finished my trilogy! Some characters seem to have a mind of their own!
3- What’s your writing process like?
By all means, non traditional! I live outside the box, so don’t follow the rules. I don’t use an outline, I’m pretty unorganized and I wait for my characters to guide me. I write at night and on weekends, because I have a full-time day job crunching numbers.
4- What are you working on now?
Last Christmas, I wrote a little novella called Unwrapping Noel. It’s about a full-figured thirty something year old woman who was in a tumultuous and toxic marriage. She owns a PR firm and goes to the Silicon Valley on business during the Christmas holidays, where she meets a sexy silver fox named Leon Hallas who falls head over heels for her. (Did you catch the palindrome?)
I’m now working on the sequel to that, called Finding Joy. I love writing this couple!
5- What would you like readers to know about you?
I love connecting with new readers and I love to hear from them. I’m a people person by nature.
Here’s my author biography:
USA Today Bestselling Author Jennifer Theriot (pronounced Terrio) hails from the Great State of Texas. She is a career woman, working as CFO of a Texas-based real estate investment firm by day and does her writing at nights and on weekends. In her limited spare time, Jennifer enjoys being outdoors; preferably somewhere on a beach curled up with a good book. Spending time with family and friends, listening to music, watching a baseball game and enjoying a good bottle of wine are usually on her to-do lists. She’s mom to three grown children and ‘MiMi’ to four grandkids – all of whom she adores!
Jennifer took a chance that there could be an interest in romance with middle-aged couples who are finding themselves at a crossroads and wrote her debut novel Out of the Box Awakening, which centers on the hope of finding happiness and passion through unexpected heartache. It emphasizes the need for family and friends as Jennifer has learned in her own life. Grownup romance from the other side of 30 is how she characterizes her books. The books have also been described as “Mature Sexy” by one reviewer…
6- How can readers contact you or find out more about you?
As you can see below, Jennifer is very active on social media, so take your pick!
GOOGLE PLUS: https://plus.google.com/102404514817870981129/posts
AUTHOR FACEBOOK: Jennifer Theriot, Author https://www.facebook.com/JenniferTheriotAuthor
TWITTER: @ JenTheRiot https://twitter.com/JenTheRiot
BOOK BUB: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/jennifer-theriot
GOODREADS AUTHOR: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7082754.Jennifer_Theriot
AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE: http://www.amazon.com/Jennifer-Theriot/e/B00D8SW61C
7- Where can readers buy your books? buy links.
UNIVERSAL BOOK LINKS:
Thank you so much for your visit, Jennifer. I’m looking forward to reading and reviewing more of your novels, which I’ll be sharing on this blog with my readers at a future date!