Wednesday, March 29, 2017


Sixteen-year-old Noa has been cast out in disgrace after becoming pregnant by a Nazi soldier and being forced to give up her baby. She lives above a small rail station, which she cleans in order to earn her keep… When Noa discovers a boxcar containing dozens of Jewish infants bound for a concentration camp, she is reminded of the child that was taken from her. And in a moment that will change the course of her life, she snatches one of the babies and flees into the snowy night. 
Noa finds refuge with a German circus, but she must learn the flying trapeze act so she can blend in undetected, spurning the resentment of the lead aerialist, Astrid. At first rivals, Noa and Astrid soon forge a powerful bond. But as the facade that protects them proves increasingly tenuous, Noa and Astrid must decide whether their friendship is enough to save one another—or if the secrets that burn between them will destroy everything.

“…Jenoff has written a tribute to the human spirit that soars.”  NPR

"Readers who enjoyed Kristin Hannah's The Nightingale and Sara Gruen's Water for Elephants will embrace this novel. " —Library Journal
"Secrets, lies, treachery, and passion…. I read this novel in a headlong rush." —Christina Baker Kline, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Orphan Train

Some Q & A with Pam ~ 

Tell us a little bit about yourself, and how you started writing.

I always wanted to be a writer, but for many years I never got started.  For me the turning point was the events of 9/11.  This marked an epiphany where I realized that I didn’t have forever, and that if I wanted to be a writer I needed to get started right away.  So I took a night course called “Write Your Novel This Year.”  At that point I was an attorney working full-time, so I used to write from five to seven in the morning before heading to the firm.

What are some things you enjoy when not writing?

Between raising three small children, writing and teaching law school, there isn’t a lot of free time!  I enjoy spending time outdoors with my family, outlet shopping with my mom, going to Philadelphia Eagles games with my brother, and running.  I would also like some sleep.

Do you have a ‘day job’ as well?

I do.  I am a law school professor at Rutgers. My students are the best in the world. I love it!

Where do you get your ideas?

Generally speaking, my books are inspired by my years working on Holocaust issues for the State Department in Europe.  I became very close to the survivors and was moved and changed by learning their stories. I call my books love stories to the people who lived during that most tragic era.

Is there a particular author or book that influenced or inspired your writing or decision to write?

I give a lot of credit to Natalie Goldberg and her book Writing Down the Bones.  Her writing approach, inspired by Zen Buddhism, where you just keep writing without allowing your inner editor to stop you, really broke me open as a writer and I continue to use it to this day.

Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your first book published?

It was not a hop, skip and a jump to publication for me.  Rather it was 5 years and 39 publisher rejections until one publisher (the same one I am with today) made a small offer 11 months after submission.  Now that things have gone well lots of people in publishing like to act like they knew it all along.  But I have rejection letters from all of them!

How do you market your work?

I don’t.  I’m not the slightest bit entrepreneurial.  But I have found that by building relationships with readers and other writers, supporting each other, you can organically develop a network of support.

What are you working on now?

A story about 12 female special agents from Britain who went missing in Europe during World War II and what might have happened to them.

Is anything in your book based on real life experiences?

The Orphan’s Tale was inspired by two true stories I found in the Yad Vashem archives.  The first was a horrific account of a train of unknown children, babies taken from their parents too young to know their own names and headed for a concentration camp.  The second was the remarkable tale of a circus which rescued Jews.  I combined these to create Noa, a young Dutch girl who finds the train and takes one of the babies.  She finds refuge with a German circus that is sheltering Jews.

Do you have a favorite chapter or scene?

I can’t call it a favorite but a pivotal scene for me is the one where Noa finds the babies on the train.  I knew it would be an opening scene but I wanted forever to write it because I knew that in order to do it justice, I was going to have to figuratively put my own children on that train.  It was the scene that it broke me to write.

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

Don’t quit your day job! Joking, sort of. This is a tough business and it is important to have every possible support structure in place, financial, emotional, etc.  It is important to be disciplined and carve out your writing time because no one is going to do it for you.  Also be tenacious – the only difference between me and some much better writers I know is that on the path to publication, I didn’t give up.

What are the downfalls of your writing career? The best parts?

Writing can be hard and lonely, but it is my rock star dream come true!

Is there anything you’d like to say to your readers and fans?

First of all, thank you.  Second, I really value the change to connect with readers on an individual basis, so please feel free to find me on e-mail, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or wherever you hang out online so we can continue the conversation.

To connect with Pam:


Tuesday, March 21, 2017


Violet and Finn were “meant to be,” said everyone, always. They ended up together by the hands of fate aligning things just so. Three years into their marriage, they have a wonderful little boy, and as the three of them embark on their first vacation as a family, Violet can’t help thinking that she can’t believe her luck. Life is good.

So no one is more surprised than she when Finn leaves her at the beach—just packs up the hotel room and disappears. And takes their son with him. Violet is suddenly in her own worst nightmare, and faced with the knowledge that the man she’s shared her life with, she never really knew at all.
Caitlin and Finn have been best friends since way back when, but when Finn shows up on Caitlin’s doorstep with the son he’s wanted for kidnapping, demands that she hide them from the authorities, and threatens to reveal a secret that could destroy her own family if she doesn’t, Caitlin faces an impossible choice.
Told through alternating viewpoints of Violet, Finn and Caitlin, ALMOST MISSED YOU is a powerful story of a mother’s love, a husband’s betrayal, connections that maybe should have been missed, secrets that perhaps shouldn’t have been kept, and spaces between what’s meant to be and what might have been.
"Perfect for readers looking for something new after all of the 'Girl' thrillers ... Gritty, witty, and a worthy addition to the recent slate of domestic dramas." —Booklist

Once in a great while, along comes a novel that defies the odds, a true mystery that bars no holds and plays no tricks, leaving the reader both deeply moved and thoroughly astonished. ALMOST MISSED YOU is just such a book." Jacquelyn MitchardNew York Times bestselling author of The Deep End of the Ocean

A skillful, insightful debut: a deft exploration of the mysteries of marriage, the price we pay for our secrets, and just how easy it is to make the worst choices imaginable. —Chris Bohjalian, New York Times bestselling author of Midwives and The Sandcastle Girls

Some Q & A with Jessica~

Tell us a little bit about yourself, and how you started writing.
I’m the editorial director of Writer’s Digest magazine, where for the better part of a decade I’ve been working with, interviewing and editing talented writers at all levels. I’ve always been a journalist and essayist, but also a voracious fiction reader. It was only a matter of time before I could no longer resist the pull to jump in and try it myself.

What are some things you enjoy when not writing?
I have a 3-year-old and a 5-year-old, so my non-work time is almost all kid time right now, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. We all love spending time outdoors—bike trails and state parks and anything by the water—and we all like to keep a page-turner on our bedside tables. A glass of wine with my husband or a good friend is the perfect cap to any day, and there’s nothing like travel to refill my well when it runs low.
Is there a particular author or book that influenced or inspired your writing or decision to write?
Too many to list, really. Anne Tyler, Alice Walker, Liane Moriarty, Maggie O’Farrell, Jodi Picoult, David Sedaris, Chris Bohjalian—voice draws me in above all else.

Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your first book published?
I had an earlier novel that attracted an agent but never found a publisher, and then I parted ways with that agent with Almost Missed You just kind of hanging out on my hard drive. When I found my second agent, she felt I should shelve my unsold first novel but was beyond enthusiastic about my newer one, and I put my trust in her. Almost Missed You sold in a preempt within two weeks.

If you had to go back and do it all over, is there any aspect of your novel or getting it published that you’d change?
You’d think I’d say yes, because there were years of uncertainty and rejection and waiting. But it was all a learning experience that helped me land the way I did, so I guess in that respect the answer is no.

How do you market your work?
Somewhat uncomfortably! I’m active in a number of writing groups, including the Women’s Fiction Writers Association and the Writer’s Digest community, and through my social media accounts (on Twitter @jessicastrawser and on Facebook @jessicastrawserauthor). I also speak/teach occasionally at writing conferences—I’d cut way back on work-related travel when my babies were born, but this year I’m looking forward to getting back out there and pursuing some more opportunities along those lines. My book also includes a reading group discussion guide, so I hope to do outreach to book clubs.

What are you working on now?
I have another stand-alone novel in a similar vein due out from St. Martin’s Press in Spring 2018. I’m wrapping my revisions on that one now.

Is anything in your book based on real life experiences?
Very little, if anything. My first, unsold novel was inspired in part by a tragic circumstance in real life, and that writing took an emotional toll. I can also acknowledge from a craft standpoint that I may have been too close to the material. It was freeing, after years on that project, to write something that was pure imagination.

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
There will be moments where you’ll be tempted to give up. Resist. Hang onto whatever it is about your writing that brings you joy, and don’t let anyone take it from you. Have faith.

To connect with Jessica:

By day, Jessica Strawser is the editorial director of Writer’s Digest magazine, North America’s leading publication for aspiring and working writers since 1920. By night, she is a fiction writer with a debut novel, ALMOST MISSED YOU, forthcoming in March 2017 from St. Martin’s Press and another stand-alone novel to follow in 2018. And by the minute, she is a proud wife and mom of two in Cincinnati, Ohio. Her diverse career in publishing spans more than 15 years and includes stints in book editing, marketing and public relations, and freelance writing and editing. She blogs at and elsewhere, tweets fairly regularly @jessicastrawser and enjoys connecting on Facebook.