First off, I MISS YOU. I haven’t been here in ages because, sadly, mi blog es no mas (my duties as Bumble and bumble‘s copy director leave me no time to properly shake my beauty. Or anyone else’s). The other thing? I finished my fourth novel! My first adult one since The Accidental Diva! The Perfect Find comes out in April — but you can pre-order it now and I’m aching to tell you all about it!
Backstory: When I was 18, I created a life goals checklist. Be a magazine editor, publish a novel, get married, buy a beautiful apartment in a fancy New York ‘hood. By 28, I’d done it all. By 37, I’d lost it all. I found myself laid off with no job leads in my downsizing industry. Divorced as fuck. Forced to sell the home I bought with my first book advance. I moved to a building attached to an empty lot populated by feral cats and empty Hennessy bottles — and fell catastrophically ill. For years. Friends, for a Type-A perfection addict, failing in this way (and in front of people, lord) was almost an ender. But I have a little girl. You don’t get to ugly-sob into bags of Pirate’s Booty forever. You fight. I wrote.
I invented my alter ego, Jenna Jones! She’s a 40-year-old superstar fashion editor who, in one nightmare week, gets dumped by her fiancé of two decades, fired by Darling magazine, has a messy nervous breakdown, and flees to VA for two years. Finally, she begs her evil rival, Darcy Vale, for a job at her street style site. But Jenna, who worries that gifs cause strokes and has never “Twittered,” is digitally clueless and surrounded by uber-cool millennials who think she’s a dinosaur. Worse? At her first party back in NYC, she gets wasted and hooks up with a fine 22-year-old, Eric Combs, who ends up driving her nuts in all the right, but also wrong ways (especially since he has a secret identity that makes him the one person who could destroy her big comeback). Will she risk it all for amor? I can’t give everything away — but click here to read the juicy (free!) chapter when Jenna and Eric first meet 🙂
Anyway! There’s an over-the-top villain, there’s fashion, there are flawed/hilarious/weird/witty/dorky/snarky/fun black characters, just being black and excellent out in the world (imagine that) and, at the heart of it all, is a delicious, sexy, star-crossed love story. A “that orgasm almost killed me” love story. Now’s a good time to note that the amount of sex in a novel is inversely proportionate to the amount of sex the author is getting #IRL. So, there’s mad sex.
Guys, I created Jenna as therapy. As Jenna rebuilt herself, redefining what “having it all” looked like — she helped me do it, too. No, I’m not who my teen self forecasted I’d be. I’m better (besides at 18, most of my goals were derived from Pretty Woman, so…perspective). In this IG era, we all put Valencia filters on our lives to make everything looks so glamorous. But the older I get, the more I realize that the fucked-up tales of loss, and hot messes, and failure — and having the sheer badassery to overcome it all — these are the most glamorous parts of a woman. I wear them proudly. Jenna does, too. And I hope you love her story as much as I fucking adored writing it.