Title: The Seduction of Esther
Author: Jennifer Wilck
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Samara Goldberg has a problem even the most beautiful singing voice can’t fix. She’s a walking disaster, especially when she’s around handsome men. To make matters worse, she’s in desperate need of someone to play the character of Mordecai for the Purim spiel she’s producing and the new congregant, Nathaniel Abramson, is a perfect fit. Nathaniel is a divorced dad who’s recovering from the biggest public scandal of his life. The last thing he needs is a relationship with the choir director at his new synagogue, who also happens to be playing the lead female role of Esther in the very play he’s been coerced into joining.
Woven around the Jewish holiday of Purim, The Seduction of Esther is a story of two people whose lives mirror the plot of the Purim story. Like Esther, who had to hide her Jewish identity from the King of Persia, Samara and Nathaniel are hiding key pieces of themselves. Evil Haman wanted to destroy the Jews, and the nasty Josh will do anything to keep Samara and Nathaniel apart. Will their love survive, like the Jewish people in Shushan, Persia, or will their fear keep them apart?
Nathaniel tucked Zoe into bed for the night, scrunched the daisy print quilt under her chin and behind her shoulders, smoothed her bright red hair off her forehead and planted a kiss on the tip of her nose.
“Good night, Stinky.” He reached for the green and white gingham bedside lamp and hid a smile as he anticipated her reaction. Ever since he’d read her I Love You, Stinky Face as a toddler, Stinky had been his pet name for her. She was reluctant to let him use the nickname, even in private.
“Daaaad.” The drawn-out word and the roll of the green eyes, while expected, gave him a glimpse of what she’d be like as a teenager, and he shuddered.
“I love you, Zo.”
“I love you too, Daddy. And I am not stinky.”
He chuckled as he doused the light, picked a discarded purple sweater off the floor, patted the head of her battered elephant and left the room, leaving the door open a crack. He cleaned up the dinner dishes, grabbed a Sam Adams from the fridge, the latest Dan Brown book from his shelf and sighed in relief as he sank into his recliner.
Endless meetings and conference calls, in addition to the normal demands of a seven year old, made him feel like an old man. With his book open on his lap, he took a swallow of beer and savored the flavor as he put his head back and closed his eyes.
Like an old-fashioned film reel, images of black, curly hair, angry brown eyes, luscious curves and potatoes danced behind his eyelids. He opened them and looked around. He half expected to see ugly spuds rolling around the floor under his feet. But all he saw was blue Berber carpet. He leaned back in his chair and opened his book. Instead of words, he saw the flush creep up her neck when the produce guy yelled at her, the surprise in her gaze as she slipped on the potato, the curve of her ankle in the black high heel as she rushed away.
About the Author:
When I was a little girl and couldn’t fall asleep, my mother would tell me to make up a story. Pretty soon, my head was filled with these stories and the characters that populated them. Each character had a specific personality, a list of likes and dislikes, and sometimes, even a specific accent or dialect. Even as an adult, I think about the characters and stories at night before I fall asleep, or in the car on my way to or from one of my daughters’ numerous activities (hey, anything that will drown out their music is a good thing).
One day, I started writing them down (it was either that or checking into the local mental hospital—the computer was way less scary) and five years later, I’ve gotten two book contracts from Whiskey Creek Press. A Heart of Little Faith came out in June; Skin Deep is coming out in November.
In the real world, I’m the mother of two amazing daughters and wife of one of the smartest men I know. I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, reading, traveling and watching TV. In between chauffeuring my daughters to after-school activities that require an Excel spreadsheet to be kept straight, I serve on our Temple Board, train the dog we adopted from a local shelter, and cook dinners that fit the needs of four very different appetites. I also write freelance articles for magazines, newspapers, and edit newsletters.
When all of that gets overwhelming, I retreat to my computer, where I write stories that let me escape from reality. In my made-up world, the heroines are always smart, sassy and independent. The heroes are handsome and strong with just a touch of vulnerability. If I don’t like a character, I can delete him or her; if something doesn’t work, I can rewrite it. It’s very satisfying to be in control of at least one part of my life. My inspiration comes from watching the people around me and fantasizing about how I’d do things differently.
Official Website: http://www.jenniferwilck.com/