A few months ago I had an email from Jennifer Theriot asking me to read her first novel Out of the Box Awakening. I was new to the blogging scene and had the time to get to it right way. After reading her book I knew she was an original individual. She took a life crisis for a middle aged woman and made it fun and sexy and down right inspiring. We have become friends over the last few months and I have learn so much about her. She never stops amazing me with her creative marketing ideas, her determination to succeed and most of all her never say die attitude. I am very proud to introduce you to Jennifer Theriot. This is a small interview with her, there is no way I can capture her whole personality in one interview, but I hope you will see the same wonderful woman and author that I do each time I talk with her.
What inspired you to write Out of the Box Awakening?
I love to read romance novels and after reading the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy, it occurred to me that all of the romance novels are basically about twenty something year old girls and younger men. I felt that there might just be an audience for a romance novel written about middle-aged lovers, so I decided to give it a try. I took two of my close girlfriends who are voracious readers to dinner and sprung my idea on them, fully expecting them to laugh and discourage me but it was quite the opposite. They felt the same and encouraged me to “just do it!”
Did you always want to be an author?
Heavens no! I wrote poetry as a kid and was in several competitions up until junior high school. I gave it up when we moved from Florida to Texas. I’ve always liked to write poems and have done so for special occasions but nothing serious.
What is the greatest experience you have had since your first novel was released?
Wow. This is a hard one because there have been so many! I think that once the book began to take shape and friends and family took me seriously, the encouragement was amazing. I remember driving to work the day my book went live on Amazon thinking that I’ll always remember this day for the rest of my life. I felt like I had accomplished something.
Who did you base your characters on?
Oddly enough, my kids all made the comment that each one of Olivia’s children’s names bore the first initial of their own names (I honestly didn’t set out to do this, contrary to their beliefs). I wanted to create a beautiful fifty something year old woman who was a good wife and mother, young at heart and loved music the way I do. I wanted to bring family into the mix because family is important to me. There had to be a sexy handsome man (that’s just a given). Since music is such a big part of my life, I knew I needed a band and some tatted up band members. From there, the list just kept growing.
Each character seemed to inspire me to create the next. I felt as if the next character I created had to gain acceptance from the other characters and prove themselves worthy of being in the mix. Sounds weird I know…..but that’s how it came down.
As a reader of your book I must add that Todd is based off the very sexy Adam Levine, yes ladies, she did a great job putting Adam into our hands with the character named Todd.
How do you come up with your creative marketing ideas. can you explain what you have in developed already?
After I finished the book, I wanted a coffee cup for myself that said ‘Mornin Sunshine’ to remind me of Ash. I love wine, so I needed a wine glass as well.
I found an artist on Etsy and contacted her to see if she could custom design a coffee mug and wine glass. In my mind, I came up with what I call OOBA-isms, phrases from the book and had the artist paint the OOBA-isms on the wine glass. Once I got the mug and wine glass I loved them so much I thought it would be really cool to have some made up as gifts for those who read and reviewed my book as a token of appreciation. An author friend of mine offered the services of her teenage daughter to custom mix an ‘Olivia’ fragrance which smells so yummy. We found the perfect perfume bottles, and then decided the fragrance would be perfect made into candles. Every day it seems I come up with something else I’d like to include……this is so much fun!
Some readers will be confused by the way you use POV’s in your book, can you explain why you did it that way?
Several readers have commented that the book is filled with dialogue. It is. When I read, I look for a lot of dialogue because that’s how I get to know and connect with the characters. In my book, I use different POV’s because that is the best way I felt I could get my story told. I think of it as kind of like a movie – riddled with dialogue, but necessary in what I wanted to do with the book. As I wrote, I felt Todd was standing beside me telling me what to write. Besides Ash, Todd is probably my favorite character by the way.
Who is your favorite author and why?
I have several. I love Cherrie Lynn, Tina Reber and Lisa Renee Jones. Of course, M.L. Willis is awesome as well. There are too many to pick one favorite!
Do you have more books coming out and can you tell us anything about them?
I am currently working on book 2 in the series, Out of the Box Regifted and I’ll have a 3rd and final in the Out of the Box series. Book 4 I plan to write from Todd’s POV. I also have plans to co-write some books with a good friend who shares my love for romance novels.
Acceptance of people, situations, life changes is the major topic in your book, was that something you set out to show your readers or did it just come with the characters?
Absolutely! I wanted to write a book that would inspire women and make them realize that life doesn’t stop when you hit middle age. It doesn’t stop when someone you love stops loving you. We still love to do fun things, dress young, listen to music, dance and enjoy – yes enjoy sex. By the time we reach middle age, I’d say we have a lot of experience sexually, so why not seize the moment and keep the fire going. Doors close, windows open and it’s up to us as women to realize that we can be confident, beautiful sexy and desirable.
In addition, I wanted to show how you don’t have to be blood related to be part of a family.
How did you come up with the title?
Once I had Olivia in my mind and I developed the story line, I thought of what she was going through and how her personality was a worrier and an over thinker. She was afraid of change and had to step out of the box; hence Out of the Box. My friend and I were sitting out on my patio having a glass of wine (OOBA on the patio as we call it) and I was trying to come up with another word to put in the title. We talked about my writing more than one book in the series, so decided Out of the Box needed a first step. Awakening came out of our mouths almost at the same time, so I decided Awakening it was.
When reading the book you can tell you have a love for music, can you explain how you blended your love of music into your book?
Music is such an integral part of my life, so I was compelled to make that a foundation in the story. It was so much fun coming up with the playlist and my son Dale, who created my website included the playlist on the website and even has a few clips of songs you can listen to when you visit the website. He’s also incorporated iTunes into the site so that visitors who want to download songs from the playlist can do so from my website. Pretty cool I think!
What else would you like readers to know about you and this journey?
Another amazing part of this journey is the wonderful friends you meet. I’m fortunate to have developed some wonderful friendships throughout this process. I’ve met so many talented bloggers and authors and I’m so blessed. I’ve learned so much and am so thankful to those who encourage and pass on information to me. It’s like a huge sorority!
Jennifer Theriot lives in the Great State of Texas. By day she works as CFO for a real estate investment firm and writes in every spare minute of time she is afforded. She enjoys reading and took a chance that there just may be a demand for romance novels written about middle-aged couples.
Her debut novel, Out of the Box Awakening centers on the hope of finding happiness and passion though unexpected heartache and emphasizes the need for family and friends. “Mature sexy” is a description of the book from a reviewer.
She is an admitted music junkie, loving every type of music, which takes up most of the memory on her iPhone . She listens to music from sun up to sun down and also enjoys being outdoors; preferably somewhere on a beach curled up with a good book, spending time with family and friends, watching baseball and loves a good bottle of wine. She has three grown children and 2 grandkids, all of whom she adores.
Her second book, Out of the Box Regifted is currently in the works and she’s got a final book 3 in the series planned and a book 4 from Todd’s POV. She also has plans unfolding to co-write a new series with a good friend who shares in her same passion for a good romance novel.
Olivia is a good woman, a good mother, a good wife. She’s got it made. She doesn’t want anything to change.
Of course, it does…
Swept from her perfect paper-doll life in Houston, Olivia finds herself in Chicago, alone, betrayed, and far from home. Soon everything she thought she knew about herself and her life will be challenged. She has only courage, love, and her passion for music to carry her through the maelstrom—or draw her further in.
Ash is the man who has everything—everything except healing from the losses of a lifetime. His only peace lies in the sweet flow of music pouring from his guitar.
What happens when the married woman and the widower are thrown together by fate?
Out of the Box Awakening is a story of shared passion and shared joy. Jennifer Theriot has written a compelling book about what happens when two people find new life and new love for themselves and for those around them.
Sneak peeks from book 2, Out of the Box Regifted
“Ash, that sounds perfect. Look, about last night…..”
He cuts me off mid-sentence, takes his glasses off and pulls me tight into his arms “Olivia, no explanation needed. Like I told you last night, the time wasn’t right. I rushed things and for that I’m sorry. I got a little bit ahead of us. We’ll both know when that time comes, trust me. It’s no big deal! I love you and that’s all that matters to me. If you aren’t comfortable then we’re not ready.”
I love that he’s so patient with me, and that he’s actually concerned with my feelings. I do want this so bad and I just wish I could just let go and not be so damn inhibited! It makes me so mad at myself and I don’t understand why I can’t just let go and be comfortable experimenting. I do feel lucky though that I have this understanding man who is set on my needs and is ever so accommodating to me.
“Ash, I promise, I’ll try really hard to get into this. I want it so bad and I’m close, so close. I just need a bit more time please.”
“And time is what I’m willing to give honey. We’re working on it together. Together, remember?
Excerpt 2 from Regifted
“Permettez-moi de faire l’amour fou de vous!”
“Huh?” I look confused.
“Let me make mad love to you!” He whispers.
“Well then how do you say please make love to me sir in French?” I flirtatiously ask.
“Well, let’s see..” He takes my face into his hands, looking me seriously in the eye and in his sexy French accent says
“S’il vous plaît me faire l’amour monsieur.” He then winks at me.
“Ummm. That sounds marvelous! Okay then, I’ll have one of those. Please and now!”
I sashay into the bathroom and seductively remove the plush white robe I’ve been wearing. He’s right behind me and gently ushers me into the shower. Once in the shower his mouth is hungrily on mine. As his tongue slips into my mouth I begin to suck on it, working it with my mouth. “Ummm Liv! Your kiss is such a turn on!” He reciprocates, this time taking my tongue into his own mouth and sucks. Hard. Jesus his kiss gets better by the day. Is it even possible? With every suck, the bottom half of my body is tethering on release. He stops, knowing I’m on the brink. “Liv, don’t you dare come yet. I’m not near finished. Turning me around to face the wall, he slowly and sensually places my hands on the cold marble. He moves in behind me rubbing his virile body against mine all the while kissing and blowing on the back of my neck. He’s swaying slowly, grinding into me, his hands lightly caressing my arms. I can feel the stiffness of his erection working behind me as I flinch in pleasure and my body reacts with chills. He then takes one of my hands off the shower wall and slowly brings it down it to where he engages me to touch myself. I’m so turned on but I’ve never done this and I freeze.
“Liv it’s alright honey. Don’t you ever do this to yourself?” He whispers as his hand moves atop mine so that we’re both rubbing my spot together.
“Ash, please, no.” I plead.
“It’s okay Liv, we’ll do this together then. I want you to come this way first.” His hand remains on mine, rubbing in circles and in unison until my body shudders and my knees became weak.
“God Liv that’s such a turn on for me. You have no idea. Feel what you do to me.” He takes my hand and places it on his erection.
Unsure about what just happened, I suddenly feel the need to be in his arms, so I turn around to face him and he hugs me tight. I rest the side of my face on his chest where I can feel his heart beating fast. I put my hand over it and kiss his chest. He knows this was unfamiliar to me and holds me all the more tight in reassurance of his love. Somehow, I don’t feel ashamed that I’ve just pleasured myself. It felt good, damn good actually.
Turning me back around, he slowly moves down my body and every inch he’s touching tingles. He expertly kisses the back of my neck on each side and with his tongue begins to move down my spine. He has my breasts cupped in his hands lightly caressing them. My nipples are rock hard and he’s working them, pinching and twirling each one until I can’t stand it anymore and I cry out in pleasure. He drops to his knees and I the feel of the warm of the pulsing shower, which only intensifies the moment. Once at the small of my back, he licks softly and breathes into me. He blows on my back and it wildly arches out of pure reflex. I can’t refrain my moans. He is kissing and licking me into oblivion and at this very moment, I feel as though I could pass out. I breathe out through my lips several breaths, attempting to gain my composure. I’m light headed as he turns me around to face him, moving down to my forbidden place and begins to bring me there again, but this time, with his tongue…to the place I love, ecstasy!”
Excerpt with the sexy TODD from Regifted
We sit on the floor with big pillows and put on some music. “So Olivia, I’ve been waiting a long time to hear your story about losing your virginity. Tonight is as good a time as any for you to spill the beans to me.”
“You think so?” I cock my head and ask.
“Yeah. I do.”
“Well, here goes.”
I go into detail and tell him about that whole night. It brings back a lot of memories for me. From start to the finish of the evening I tell him everything. I’ve never talked about it to anyone.
“So that’s how I lost it. Pretty romantic huh? Nowhere near the intensity of you and Kyra. Just a plain old screw.”
“Olivia, you can’t look at it that way. You don’t know he felt that way. Maybe he was scared. Hell you know I was. Did you ever see him after you guys broke up?”
“Nope. Never did. Never even had any inkling to contact him.”
“Ever looked him up on Facebook?”
“Oh heavens no!” I say.
“Get your laptop. Let’s see if we can find him. Aren’t you even curious what he looks like now?”
“Are you crazy? No I’m not curious. That was ages ago. For all I know, he may be dead.”
“Well, I’m curious. What’s his name? I’m gonna look him up.”
“No, you are positively not! This is crazy and what if he’s on Facebook and sees someone creeping him?”
“Not a chance. Come on. It’s either that or strip poker!”
“You’re crazy Todd O’Malley. Has anyone ever told you that?”
“All the fucking time Olivia! Come on chicken.”
More excerpts with Todd (yes readers he is one of my favorites and he melts my heart in this one)
I read the memorial program I was given at the door and see that they will be singing 3 songs. They begin their first song and I’m astounded. Their beautiful harmonious voices are singing a very sad bluegrass song, which they sing a capella, almost wailing in haunting and beautiful voices. They sing about a soul seeking another home, a brighter world in exchange for the world below and traveling to get there. There isn’t a dry eye in the church, myself included.
I look down at my legs and watch the tears fall one by one onto them. Just then, I feel a hand on my shoulder and look up to see Todd. He motions for me to scoot over then hugs me tight whispering in my ear “I couldn’t let you do this alone amigo.” He rubs my knee and then pats it softly. His hand rests on my knee and he puts his arm around me rubbing my shoulder. Tears stream down my face and I’m overcome.
“Thank you Todd. I…how did you?”
He wipes the tears from my face with his thumbs and quietly says. “Tommy told me and no thanks are necessary Olivia. I owe you more than you know and I wanted to be here for you.”
We reverently listen to the beautiful songs. As they sing their second song called Bright Morning Stars I can see Kelly’s mother put her head on her husband’s shoulder. What grief they must be going through. I can’t even imagine losing a daughter or an unborn grandchild. I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy.
“Is that your ex old man in the wheelchair?” Todd whispers and I nod.
“He’s pretty messed up damn.”
Make sure you grab your copy of Out of the Box Awakening now and be ready for her next book………Out of the Box Regifted.