In addition she competed in and taught figure skating for over a decade.
She thought she had everything she wanted – a new apartment in Manhattan, a first-rate education at NYU, a group of trusted friends and Nicholas, a boyfriend who she once believed was her soul-mate. But somehow, it isn’t enough.
Stumbling through her relationships, Amalia encounters Michael. An attractive classmate who quickly moves from being one of her close friends, to an inconsistent friend-with-benefits. After all, the only thing consistent about New York is its beauty.
Amalia is essentially torn between two men, and Michael is torn between two women. Her best friend Cassandra is being strung along by her “boyfriend”, Bryce, and even her friend Olivia is having a secret relationship!
After getting terribly lost searching for love in all the wrong places, Amalia finds herself asking – what happens to men when they move to Manhattan?!
A. I heard this quote once, and I can’t for the life of me remember who said it… but it goes something like “when you’re filming in New York City, any direction you point the camera in looks good.” Writing about NY is kind of like that. There’s so much to write about, so much is changing so fast, yet some things never change so you always have certain reliable scenery.
Q. If you had a choice where would you choose to live, and why?
A. I would love to live in a small, creek side town somewhere here in North Carolina. I really do love living here in the U.S but it would be nice to spend maybe a a year or so in London.
Q. What comes first when you write a story?
A. The setting is first, and the characters come very quickly after that. The conflict definitely takes the most thought and the most work because that’s probably the part of the story that is most attractive to the audience. Especially, when you’re picking out a book to read. You can think, I want to read a book that takes place in Seattle, but then the synopsis of the book seems utterly boring to you, merely wanting to read a book about Seattle isn’t going to make you want to pick up that book.
Q. Can you name five characteristics we’re likely to find in your heroes, and same for heroines?
A. Smart, emotional, outspoken, confused, self-sufficient
Q. What’s your idea of a perfect day?
A. 83 degrees and sunny at Huntington Beach, California.
Q. Can you tell us anything about your next book?
A. My next novel is part two of the trilogy. It picks up two months after the second book ends with Amalia having to deal with the repercussions of all the decisions she made the year before. As opposed to the first book, which is only written from Amalia’s POV, the second book flips between Amalia and Olivia’s first person narrative from chapter to chapter. You learn a lot more about Olivia, and also about Amalia too because now you get to see her the way her friends see her.
Q. If you weren’t a writer, what would be your next choice of career?
A. I don’t have another career choice but my dream would be to write for a television show! I dream of walking the red carpet and receiving a primetime Emmy J
Thanks for stopping by, Jill!
Read on for an excerpt, buy links plus details of where you can find out more about Jill...
“What are you doing?” I asked.
“I’m not doing anything. We’re dancing,” he said, taking my arm.
The only time I had slow danced with a man was at my younger brother’s Bar Mitzvah seven years ago, with my first boyfriend. I spent half of the night stepping on his feet until he finally got so fed up that he refused to ever dance with me again. The thought that Michael and I would have a similar experience fueled me to stop him.
“No”, I answered quickly.
Michael took a step back, and pretended to be offended.
“I mean, not no, I don’t not want to dance with you, per se. I just don’t know how to dance,” I said, resisting his grasp.
Without looking at me, he said, “Then it's a good thing I do”.
Before I knew it, Michael enveloped my right hand into his, and placed my left on his chest. His left hand rested lightly on my hip, and pulled me close until his face was inches away from mine. I felt a deep shiver run up my body and focused hard on my foot work. A few seconds passed and we were dancing flawlessly. I looked around the floor and saw everyone I knew from school dressed up, looking elegant and elite. I could get used to a life like this.
“Listen, I heard what happened with Nicholas,” he said, softly.
I stopped dancing and let go of his hand.
“How did you know?” I asked. “I haven’t really spoken to anyone about it”.
I wondered why he had to bring this up and ruin our perfect moment.
“Alex told me,” he answered. “I was asking around if anyone had seen or spoken to you lately, and he told me you were too upset to come to class. I was going to come visit you, but I couldn’t remember your address”.
For a moment, I was utterly stunned. For one thing, how did Alex know anything about my break up? Also, did Michael say he was going to come to my apartment to essentially check on me?
“How does Alex know?” I asked, genuinely confused, but my question came off more as irritated.
“I’m really sorry, I shouldn’t have brought it up,” he said, looking embarrassed.
He took my hand back into his and resumed dancing.
“I just want you to know that if you need to talk, I’ve been told I’m a good listener,” he said, taking the opportunity to dip me.
I started wondering if his girlfriend, Marge, was the one who granted him the title of “good listener”. Or if she knew he slow danced with other girls.
“Thank you, Michael,” I said. But I am more of the suffer in silence type”.
Suddenly, Olivia angrily stormed over to us. Michael and I dropped hands immediately, preparing to be scolded for doing something wrong.
“Have you seen my phone, I can’t find it?” she frantically searched the tables.
Locating her phone on the next table over, she grabbed her jacket and threw it on.
“Never mind, here it is. I’m leaving.”
I took a step away from Michael and, began to walk in her direction.
“Olivia!” I called after her, picking up the pace. “What’s wrong? Where are you going?”
I started chasing her through the lobby, dodging caterer’s holding the plates of hor dourves. I chased her past the bellhops and the concierge desk, and then out onto Church Street.
Why had she ran out?
I was suddenly clearly aware of the harsh winter air and wished I had grabbed my coat. I walked quickly up and down the block, calling her name, but she was nowhere to be seen. The Financial District was a ghost town this time of night and it seemed as though she had virtually disappeared. Feeling defeated, I decided to give up and go back inside when I felt a hand on mine pull me around. I signed with relief and unclenched. I felt relieved that I had found her, but when we stood face to face, I saw that it wasn’t Olivia, it was Michael.
Still holding my hand, he pulled me closer, this time not leaving any space between us. He ran his hand down my back, then through my hair, and then over my lips. I stood frozen in a mixture of fear and ecstasy as he rested his hand under my neck and passionately pushed his lips onto mine.
I had wanted this all along, even from the first moment I met him, even when I had a boyfriend, even before I really knew it. A large part of me had always wanted Michael. I should have been happy, should have pushed him into a cab and made out with him feverishly in the back seat until we finally made it back to my apartment, but I didn’t. Instead, I stopped him.
“I’m sorry, Michael. I can’t, ” I said, pushing him off of me.
I felt my face turn about three different shades of red, but I was too mortified to see what his face was doing. I turned abruptly and following in Olivia’s footsteps, I ran down the street until I reached the nearest subway.
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