Today is the illustrious Jessica Wren’s birthday! She is the author of the suspense thriller, Ice, and a huge indie author fan. I met Jessica through the book of the month club she started on Goodreads at the beginning of this year and we have become fast friends. Her dedication to indie author’s promotion and success is inspiring and really is the reason that my blog and my writing life bleeds indie author promotion too. Since she has been busy being the hero of my writing life, not to mention wife, mother, daughter, friend, professor, etc…, instead of an author interview, I will be giving you a sneak peek into her writing, her passions, and her life.
First of all, let’s start with the cover of her book.
I believe that is one of the best indie covers for suspense I’ve ever seen. Compelling and intriguing, it makes you want to see what’s inside.
How about a teaser?
I dreaded telling Uncle Andy that Stephanie had not shown up for class, especially after seeing her with Cierra.
When I asked Robbie if I could borrow his cell phone to make the call, he snapped. Like an over-inflated balloon that finally pops if you blow in too much air, Robbie’s tension level reached a breaking point. He got out of his seat and bolted out of the room. Everyone in the classroom,including Mr. Chan, stopped and watched in shock. Tommy and I followed him out. Robbie made it no further than ten feet outside the classroom when he collapsed.
“Stephanie! Mom! Stephanie!” Robbie sputtered inhysterical agitation.
“And where the hell is Carolyn?” Tommy wondered.
“And Jackie,” I added.
Robbie briefly recovered enough sanity to hand mehis cell phone. I do not own a cell phone; they are so useless in Minterville that I see no point in paying the monthly bill. I spotted Logan Canfield and Tate Shields, two ninth-graders, down the hall. I noticed that Logan was also talking on his cell phone, and Tate was looking at him worriedly, as if expecting news. I motioned for them to join us.
“Do either of you have any idea what’s happening?” I asked. “The whole town’s gone to hell.”
“I know,” Tate said. “My aunt’s gone.”
“Your aunt Carrie?” I asked.
“Yeah, and also Logan’s grandma and Sarita.”
Carrie Shields was the mail carrier in Minterville. Linda Canfield suffered from late-stage Alzheimer’s disease, and Sarita Velasquez, a silent, almost unfriendly nurse’s aide in her late twenties, was Mrs. Linda’s caregiver.
“Okay!” Tommy tried to take control of the situation. He looked so much like his father that it was not hard to picture him as the future mayor. If Tommy did ever decide to run, he would have a fierce opponent in Shay Holmes-Carter, the elder daughter of Walter and Francine Holmes. Shay made no secret that she had her eye on Mr. Tom’s chair. “Does anyone have any clues?”
“Not a thing,” I stated as we looked at each other apprehensively. “But to start with, where is everyone supposed to be?”
“Well, let’s see,” Tommy began. “Jackie would be at home. Mrs. Barbara would be in Eden II. Mrs. Carolyn would be at the jewelry shop.”
“Aunt Carrie would be at the post office,” Tate added.
“Sarita was supposed to take Grandma to an early morning appointment at the clinic today,” Logan said. There was no clear connection between any of them.
Stephanie should be here. Clearly, that’s what everyone was thinking, but for Robbie’s sake, no one stated the obvious. Playing junior detective was going to be a waste of time, so I started to call Uncle Andy at the police station. Before I could finish dialing the numbers, Robbie cracked under the tension again.
“Stephanie!” Robbie yelled as he bolted for the exit. For the next ten seconds, the rest of us were too stunned to move.
Finally, Tate said, “Wow, he’s really in love with her.”
We ran off after Robbie, and caught up with him in the parking lot of Seymour’s Grocery Store, about a block away from the school. He was not in the best shape, and sprinting at full speed from the school to the grocery store gave him shortness of breath and a stitch in his side that forced him to stop and rest. Several customers in the parking lot, who were undoubtedly wondering why the five of us were out of school at that hour, gave us quizzical looks. Leonard Seymour, the proprietor, came outside, wondering why there was a commotion in his parking lot.
“Mr. Leonard,” Robbie said in a panic-strickenvoice, “something bad is happening. My mom is not in the garden. Jackie’smissing. Mrs. Carolyn’s not at the shop, and Mrs. Linda-,” his vocal cords,paralyzed by terror, stopped functioning midsentence.
“Ginger Wells,” Mr. Leonard said, suddenly wide-eyed with alarm. “She didn’t show up this morning, and she’s always so dependable. Shedidn’t even call in. What’s going on?”
“We don’t know, but there are some people missing. All women,” I told him, struggling to keep my composure. It occurred to me a few seconds earlier that everyone who was missing was a woman. That could not possibly be a coincidence. Remembering that I still had Robbie’s cell phone, I finally made that call to Uncle Andy at the station.
“Uncle Andy, something’s going on,” I began.
“I know that, son. We have an emergency. I can’t talk now. Why aren’t you in school?” Uncle Andy said irritably.
“Uncle Andy, there are women missing.”
“I’m aware of that, Elliot. Get back to–Wait! Elliot, who all is missing that you know about?” It was clear that a major catastrophe was unfolding.
“Barbara Jenkins, Carolyn Holcomb, Jackie Stein, Linda Canfield, Sarita Velasquez,Carrie Shields, and possibly Ginger Wells,” I told him.
“Kira Holmes, Tuyen Lam, and Mary O’Brien are also missing. And now Cynthia Harrison just walked in, so either Dawn, Courtney or both.” he told me. I could hear the feeling of helplessness in my uncle’s voice. The sense of dread in me was growing exponentially.
“Uncle Andy, I think I should come to the station,” I said hesitantly.
“Why? Is there something else?”Uncle Andy was frantic.
“Did you talk to Mom and Aunt Jill?”I asked evasively.
“Yes, they’re still at the house,” Uncle Andy probed further. “Elliot, is there something else I need to know?”
It was time to deliver the bad news. I would not have been able to avoid doing so for too much longer.
“Yes,” I said quietly. “Stephanie is also missing.”
Ooooh, we have a kidnapping going on and it’s insane! I’m going to tell you now, things just get more insane as the book continues. And some readers noticed the literary license that Jessica takes with her book. Go read her post on it here. And in case you are wondering, Jessica does in fact speak Spanish and loves that beautiful language.
So, let’s talk about Jessica’s indie author passion. She inspired me to exclusively read indie author’s this year with her own commitment to the same. She started the Author Promo Co-op on Good reads and Facebook and I want to encourage each of my readers to go have a look at both. You will definitely want to join whether you are an author or a reader. Both groups feature indie authors exclusively and Jessica is amazing at finding the gems of the indie world. Don’t worry, there is a lot of variety in genres.
Ok, now you know a bit about her. Where can you find her? Let me list the ways:
One more thing. How about a little bio?
Jessica Wren is an avid reader of many genres but her favorites are thriller and dystopian novels. She developed an interest in Latin American-style magical realism while working on her master’s degree in Spanish literature at Georgia Southern University. She and her husband live in Georgia and have one daughter.
Oh wait! One more thing! I swear this is the last. Her BLURB!
Something is very wrong in the small, telepathically-connected town of Minterville, Georgia. The reclusive and mistrustful people of Minterville have been living in a state of anxiety for the past six months, since the arrival of two unknown and suspicious families. Meanwhile, the magic of The Minter, the town’s most prized and treasured possession, has slowly begun to fade away until nothing remained of it.
Mayor Tom Watson and Police Chief Andy Thompson are desperate to figure out the reason for the families’ sudden move to Minterville, as everyone agrees that the families are there for sinister motives. They discover they are right one Friday morning. The families have been sent by Manuela Escribano (“The Ice Queen”) to settle a decades-old score with one of Minterville’s residents. The powerful and vindictive Ice Queen, with the help of the families, has already set a diabolical plan in motion in order to inflict as much harm on Minterville as possible. Tom, Chief Andy, and the rest of Minterville must band together and act quickly before innocent people die and their beloved community (and along with it, The Minter) is destroyed forever.