Sunday, March 25, 2012

Welcome, Jennifer Fromke

Today, I'm excited to introduce you to Jennifer Fromke.

 Jennifer Fromke fell in love with stories years before she knew what it meant to fall in love. She literally found a hole in the wall in the basement of her house, climbed in with a pile of books and immersed herself in stories under a naked light bulb for hours at a time.
This love affair grew into an addiction, which eventually caused a shift in plans from pre‐medical student to Literature major at Wheaton College. Later, reading aloud to her children became her favorite pastime and now all three of her kids have developed a tendency toward disappearing somewhere with a good book.
Writing flowed naturally out of Jennifer’s love for story. She says, “Living a life filled with stories teaches us the importance of our own story. More than mere entertainment, it gives us insight about people, explores emotion, geographical locations, and history. Story can show us what we never want to become, and it helps us dream of all that might be possible.”
Jennifer lives with her husband of 20 years and their three children in Concord, NC. Spring sprang early there too, so right now the dogwood have just begun to bloom, and the azaleas are lighting up yards everywhere. Jennifer was raised in Michigan, so the one flower she misses most is the lilacs. “I remember driving around with my mom as a kid, and if we saw a huge stand of lilacs on the side of the road, we’d pull over and grab the garden clippers she always kept in the car. We’d cut armloads from wild bushes at the edge of a field and then race home to fill the house with the gorgeous scent of lilacs in bloom.”

A Familiar Shore is Jennifer’s first novel. It won the ACFW Genesis contest in 2010 for Women’s Fiction. The story starts when Meg Marks, a young lawyer raised off the coast of the Carolinas, is hired by an anonymous client to arrange his will. He sends her to meet his estranged family at their lake home in northern Michigan. After a shocking discovery, she finds herself caught between his suspicious family and a deathbed promise her conscience demands that she keep. Will she sacrifice her own dreams for revenge, or will she choose something more?

The story has a streak of mystery, a flash of comic relief, and a bit of romance, but it’s primarily a family drama. The story spans several locations including Southport, NC, Charleston, SC, Charlevoix, MI, Charlotte, NC, Savannah, GA, and Key West, FL. One of the main characters lives on a boat and travels up and down the southeastern seaboard, so I needed to use several different port cities along the coast.

Most of the drama takes place on Lake Charlevoix in MI. It’s a beautiful lake with an outlet to Lake Michigan. The lake is big enough to support lots of power boats as well sailing vessels. Waterskiing, sailing, tubing, kayaking and just cruising the coastline are excellent ways to enjoy the pretty blue waters. The touristy town of Charlevoix lies at one end of the lake and Boyne City sits at the other end. Residents on the lake like to take their boats to a restaurant for dinner and leave the car at home.