Back form a week vacation, spent mostly getting my boy ready for school (I live in south Florida. We’re having some stressor added to the usual going-back-to-school stress train).
Better Believe It by Fern Ronay released last December in the Adult, Contemporary, Women’s Fiction genre.
Jada Marlone’s life appears to be perfect on social media. She has a loving husband, a beautiful child, and a successful career. What she doesn’t post about is the disconnect she feels in her marriage, the difficulties of motherhood, and her strained relationship with her mother.
Resigned to never being truly happy, Jada runs into an ex-boyfriend. While trying to decide whether the coincidence is her second chance at happiness, Jada begins having dreams that feature her dead cousin Gina.
With Gina’s help, Jada starts to uncover the real reasons behind her life decisions. As Jada tries to figure out her future, uncontrollable events threaten her resolve. Will she be able to draw from all she learned from Gina, or will she risk making the same mistakes twice?
AUTHOR BIO:Fern Ronay has lived in NYC, Chicago, and now sunny Los Angeles with her husband, but she will always consider herself a Jersey girl. She is the author of two novels, Better in the Morning and Better Believe It, and is the host of the podcast Signs from the Other Side, as well as a host at the AfterBuzzTV network. Follow Fern on Instagram @FernRonay and check out her free ebook at FernRonay.com.
There is an episode of Sex and the City (Season 4, Episode 17) where Carrie couldn’t help but wonder if she was so screwed up about men because her father left. Miranda responds that her father was home every night at 7 and she doesn’t have a clue about men either.
I couldn’t help but wonder “Are Jada’s difficult relationships with men a direct result of her relationship with her father?”
No. Her mother.
Tell me about your mother
I imagine my protagonist Jada Marlone reclined on a lounge chair in my office. I’m the therapist. Well, in this essay, I’m the therapist. I’m not actually a therapist “in real life.” But isn’t that what we do as writers? Create messy characters and then try to figure out how to untangle them. At least, that’s what I do. Thank you for being here today as I pull the thread on untangling Jada at the beginning of Better Believe It.
“My mother? She’s awesome. She likes the color red.”
I jot this down in my notebook.
“Red. What do you think of when you see red?”
“Very interesting. Keep going.”
“I don’t know.”
“What helps you survive?”
“Food. Water. Air. People.”
“A pack. Having a pack, yes,” I say.
Jada’s head bops on the lounge chair as she nods.
“What else does the color red elicit?” I ask.
“Trying to stand out, be loved.”
“Interesting. By who?”
“Uh.The person who is supposed to love you unconditionally.”
“How do you get them to love you?” The correct answer: By being yourself.
Jada’s answer: “By trying to make your mark.”
“Oh boy,” I whisper. I shut my notebook. “Excellent work today. See you next week. We’ll charge the credit card on file for your copay.”
Making your Mark?
Jada sits up. “Don’t you want to hear about Mark?”
I check the clock behind Jada. “I suppose we have a few more minutes. What attracted you to Mark?”
“He is very good looking and does this specialized, nerdy kind of law that only a small percentage of lawyers do.”
“Handsome and successful. Okay. Well, those are surface things. What about him as a person made you want to marry him? What are his values?”
Jada hugs her knees to her chest. “He’s a good guy.”
“I should hope so. You chose to marry him.”
Jada straightens her legs. “Yes, I did.”
“What does your family think of him?”
“My mother loved him from the start. She was very impressed with him.”
Throwback Thursday? No, I said “Throw back, Todd.”
“They would not have been impressed with Todd.”
“An ex of sorts.”
“And what did you learn from him?”
“Chemistry. Schmemistry,” Jada mumbles.
“Sorry, I didn’t hear that. It’s a mystery?”
“Chem-is-try. Who needs it? That’s why I married Mark.”
“And how is the state of your marriage?”
“Last week, I was in a hotel room with Todd. Does that answer your question?”
Jada sits up. “But it’s not what you think. Not really. What happened was -“
“Well, that’s really all we have time for today.”
Jada slowly gathers her belongings and heads to the door. She turns. “Any words of wisdom for the road?”
“Your cousin Gina will visit you in your ‘dreams.’ You will not remember when you wake up but there’s a reason you may feel better in the morning. Or worse. Trust your gut as you go through the day. Those gut feelings are messages.”
Jada says, “My cousin Gina passed away.”
This post is part of a series. You can find the schedule here (http://xpressobooktours.com/2021/05/25/tour-sign-up-better-believe-it-by-fern-ronay/).
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