July 23, 2017

Jennifer Wilck Takes Us on a Walk of The Garden State: New Jersey



New Jersey is the Garden State, and at no time is that more apparent than in the spring. Give us a few days of warm, sunny weather, a bunch of rain, and magic happens. Our trees start budding. Our grass greens. Our flowers bloom. Beauty returns after a long, cold winter, transforming our state from grey to green—nothing like what most people picture New Jersey.


I’m always astonished at people’s perceptions of where I live. I grew up here, but attended college in the Midwest. Everyone I met, when they heard where I lived, asked me what exit I was from. Few of them had been to New Jersey, and those who had hadn’t seen much beyond the highways surrounding the airport. Or they knew we had a lot of shopping malls. No one mentioned how beautiful our state can be. Today, people know about us because of the show Jersey Shore, which did little to highlight the beauty of our beaches, and a lot to highlight some unfortunate people with crazy accents.
 
As an adult, I live in a part of the state where open space is protected, trails cross much of my county and beauty is everywhere. Despite the seasonal allergies, its beauty is awe-inspiring and refills my soul.

Most mornings, I take my dog on a long walk around our lake. The walk takes about an hour, with a distance of three and a half miles. Although it’s suburban, I’m constantly seeing beautiful nature everywhere I look. One morning I even saw a bald eagle! I walk for exercise—for her and for me—but I also do it because it’s often on those walks where I get my writing inspiration. I’m the crazy lady talking to herself or dictating into her phone, trying my best to get down what pops into my head before it flies right out again. Once home, I can flesh it out and hopefully use it in my books.



Many of my books take place in or around New Jersey. It sometimes feels a little odd to me to include towns I know, but at the same time, there’s comfort in the familiar, and it’s easy to describe what I know. I’ve set books in Morristown, a picturesque small town with a town square and beautiful Victorian houses; Hoboken, a small city popular with the twenty-something crowd because of its nightlife; and Ridgewood, another small town with lots of shops and restaurants. I’ve had characters hike the Patriot’s Path trails that wind through Morris County. They’ve taken the PATH train to New York City and worked in Jersey City. They’ve seen shows in Newark, visited relatives in Livingston, and yes, even flown into the airport. I love adding the local flavor and showcasing parts of my state some readers would never know about until they read my books (http://jenniferwilck.com/books.html).

My latest book, Addicted to Love, is set in Hoboken. The heroine, Hannah, lives there with her grandmother. The hero, Dan, also lives there with his teenaged daughter. Hoboken is a great place for characters in a contemporary romance to live. It’s a commuter’s hub, which means they can work in New York or other parts of New Jersey and easily commute. There are a ton of restaurants and bars and there is a beautiful view of the Manhattan skyline. It was a great location to use and I was also able to add pictures to my Pinterest board (https://www.pinterest.com/jenniferwilck/addicted-to-love/) so readers can visualize it easier.

Here’s an excerpt to give you a glimpse of their story:  
Dan Rothberg struggled after an accident killed his wife and he nearly lost custody of his daughter. He can no longer allow himself to get attached to anything or anyone. Until he meets Hannah.


Hannah Cohen is a young executive with a meddlesome grandmother and a troubled brother. She’d like nothing better than to find her own Mr. Right, after too many Mr. Wrongs. A sexy older man with a teenage daughter was never in her plans.
As they navigate their relationship through adolescent attitudes and grandmotherly interference, they realize age is just a number and love can be right in front of them. But when the terrible truth of Dan’s former struggles is exposed, Hannah must decide if she can get past his deception and allow love to conquer all.


Thanks for stopping by to read about why I love living in and writing about New Jersey. I have two prizes to give away to a lucky blog reader—a copy of Addicted to Love (Kindle version) and a “Devoted to Dessert” spatula from Carlo’s Bakery (that’s the bakery featured on Cake Boss, and it’s also located in Hoboken. Simply tell me where you’re originally from and what you like best about your state.
Jennifer Wilck’s website information is http://jenniferwilck.com/index.html There you’ll be able to see all her releases plus some other great stuff about her! Stop on over. 
(information provided by author)

27 comments:

Jennifer Wilck said...

Thanks for hosting me, Annette!

Charlotte O'Shay said...

Hi Jennifer I'm a New Yorker but have tons of family and friends on the Jersey side. My sister in law commutes from Hoboken via ferry every morning to Manahattan. Congratulations on your release!

Renaissance Women said...

Jennifer, the whole of New England has a draw for me. I confess to only visiting Boston, but posts like yours allow me to live vicariously through you. I confess, I'm rooted and happy in the West, but...*Smile*

Thank you for sharing what you find beautiful where you live. The love you feel for the region shows through. I think when we enjoy a place it shows up in our work. I wish you well with and continued success as you take this writers journey. Doris

traveler said...

I enjoyed your descriptive and interesting post. I have visited the Jersey Shore and love it. The old school feeling, the 1950's beach towns which are wonderful and the beaches which are the most beautiful in the country. I am originally from Mtl. but live in NM. NM has a endless horizon and the blue skies and sunshine are incomparable. Best wishes on this captivating novel. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

jrlindermuth said...

New Jersey is Pennsylvania's neighbor-state and I know there's much more to it than the false image some hold. I've had some good times in your state, Jennifer, and you've painted its portrait well. Congratulations on the new book.

Mia Lansford said...

Hello Jennifer,

I live in NJ and its kinda cool seeing different parts of it. Recently, I dog sat my niece's lab. She barked at every car and person who passed by. The garbage men were the worse. Which made me look at her like she was strange. Until I realized the area of NJ my niece lives in is quiet with mountains and open space. So my part of the state could almost be considered city living-at least to this big dog it was.

Congrats on the release and thanks for showing us your part of the Garden State.

Linda Swift said...

Hi Jennifer, Thank you for sharing this view of your state. I've never visited New Jersey but I'd like to now. I am a native of Kentucky and I love the contrast of different regions of the state. I live in the western lake area and the best known section is Central KK with the beautiful horse farms (and KY Derby). The eastern part of KY has the scenic mountains. Your books sound very interesting and I wish you the inspiration to write many more.
Linda Swift LSwiftR@aol.com

petite said...

New Jersey has a great deal of unique places which sound special. What appeals to me are the many beach areas since I love summer and the ocean. Your book sounds so enjoyable and I love the names which you chose for the characters since they are so real and reflect the individuals. Wishing you happiness and much success.

Jennifer Wilck said...

Thanks, Charlotte. I used to commute to NYC from Jersey City when I was working, so I know the area well.

Jennifer Wilck said...

Hi Doris, I love New England--especially in the fall! Thanks so much for your well-wishes.

Jennifer Wilck said...

Traveler, the beaches are a lot of fun, and a big draw in the summertime! Thanks for visiting and commenting.

Jennifer Wilck said...

Thank you, John, I'm quite familiar with Pennsylvania, as well and enjoy my visits there. Thanks for the well-wishes.

Jennifer Wilck said...

Hi Mia, I love the diversity of NJ--it's amazing for such a small state! Thanks for stopping by and your support!

Jennifer Wilck said...

Linda, I love horses and visiting Kentucky is on my list of places to see. Thanks so much for your support!

Jennifer Wilck said...

Petite, thank you so much for your kind words!

Maggie King said...

Thanks for sharing, Jennifer. I grew up in North Plainfield and know the Morristown area well. Not Hoboken, though. I lived close to a bus line that owuld put me in Manhattan in less htan an hour. Now I live In Virginia.

Fran Orenstein said...

Hi Jennifer,
I'm originally from NYC, which everyone can read about right here next month. I lived in NJ for 37 years and even worked for state government. Morris County as you described is beautiful. I lived at Exit 8 in Monmouth and then Mercer Counties which are suburban, urban, crowded and FLAT, although Princeton is beautiful as is the area along the Delaware River. My son went to Steven's Tech in Hoboken, so I knew it well once upon a time. NJ has lovely towns like Cape May, Lambertville, and great places for antiquing. I lived ten minutes from the famous Englishtown Market, when you could snag real antiques at dawn armed with flashlights.
Thank you for your view of NJ, where my daughter, and many friends and relatives still live.
P.S. Romance is not my genre for reading, but I wish you great success. Fran

C.B. Clark said...

Must admit, my impression of New Jersey is from books and movies. You make it sound beautiful. I'd love your lakeshore walk. Sounds lovely. All the best on your book. Happy sales.

Anna Taylor Sweringen said...

HI Jennifer,

Thanks for the post. I used to go through Hoboken rather than Secaucus because I loved being able to see the water. I look forward to reading Addicted to Love and visualizing the corners and streets I know in Hoboken.

Jennifer Wilck said...

Maggie, I love Morristown, and recently I took my daughter to Hoboken. Such a fun place and so beautiful on the water!

Jennifer Wilck said...

Hi Fran, wow, you certainly know a lot of the state, and how different all the areas are! Thanks for your well-wishes and good luck with your book!

Jennifer Wilck said...

Oh CB, please don't just from TV and movies! It's much nicer (at least parts of it are!). :)

Jennifer Wilck said...

Thanks, Anna! Hope you enjoy it.

K.K. Weil said...

I live in NJ, too and this is a great description of the state. I love Hoboken. For ten years, I lived 2 towns over in Edgewater. Great area and a wonderful setting for a book. I can't wait to read it.

Salvatore Buttaci said...

Having lived most of my life in NJ, it was a pleasure reading your article. Before moving to West Virginia upon my retirement from teaching, Sharon and I lived in Lodi, NJ, a city in Bergen County.

Jennifer Wilck said...

Thanks, KK. It was a fun setting to describe.

Jennifer Wilck said...

I'm familiar with Lodi, Salvatore, as I also lived in Bergen County growing up. I'll bet West Virginia is very different!