Out in the Open
by J.B. Glazer
Advertising executive Lexi Winters had a plan, but leaving her cheating fiancé, her beloved New York, and a successful career weren’t on her agenda. At twenty-seven she faces the harsh reality of starting over again. She returns to her hometown of Chicago and lands a new job, where she meets Jake Hartman, the agency founder’s captivating nephew. Their chemistry is undeniable, but Lexi is protective of her fragile heart and isn’t ready to date again. Jake is on the fast track to leading the company and has vowed to his uncle never to let anything—or anyone—get in his way. What begins as harmless flirtation soon crosses a line that threatens to destroy Lexi and Jake’s promising careers. In a relationship plagued by secrets, will they risk everything to be out in the open?
When I come back, Jason says, “We probably should get going soon.” He pays the bill, and I offer him money, which he refuses. He instructs me that he’s going to buy the movie tickets also and not to protest. We’re seeing some new action-adventure film, and there’s a long line. I’m waiting inside for him when Jake walks in with a tall blonde. I can’t pretend not to notice them because he’s already spotted me.
“Lexi, hi,” he says. “This is Ashley. Ashley, this is Lexi.”
She offers me a tight smile. “I’ll be right back,” she tells Jake.
“So I finally get to meet the infamous Ashley,” I say. I’d rather I didn’t. She looks like a Barbie doll.
Jake shrugs. “We’re just hanging out. She’s fun but not my type.”
“What’s not to like? She’s tall, blond, and gorgeous.” And she has a killer body, but I decide not to mention that.
“I prefer brunettes,” he says, looking at me.
Just then Jason, with our tickets in hand, finds me. I introduce him to Jake and feel very awkward. Fortunately we aren’t seeing the same movie. Barbie comes back, and we say good-bye. I spend the whole movie thinking about Jake and Ashley. Damn him, my first date in ages, and somehow he’s right there with us.
Let's learn a little about author JB Glazer!
What is your writing environment?
My life is filled with chaos, so when it comes to writing I like the quiet of my office. I can shut the door and with it all of the distractions from my day. I don’t listen to music or have the TV on as background. I prefer to be alone with my thoughts. In most cases I have a general idea thought out before I begin typing and let the story take over from there. I typically write small sections at a time and title them in a way that will be easy for me to sort through later, such as “The First Encounter” or “The Vacation.” These begin as separate, random snippets and the magic happens when I’m able to weave them all together. While I do my best work at my computer, I also carry a notebook with me so that when I’m out and inspiration strikes, I can capture it. These days it seems I have a terrible memory, so I find if I don’t write things down they escape me.
Who is your perfect hero and why?
Someone who is real vs. ideal. I believe a hero should be flawed in order to be relatable, but not so much so that he/she isn’t aspirational. I think readers need to be able to find a piece of themselves in a hero—something they recognize as true that makes them feel a connection. If I’ve failed to do that then readers won’t be invested in the fate of the character.
What authors have caught your interest lately and why?
I’ve been reading a lot of books by Liane Moriarty and I’m halfway through Big Little Lies. While she writes about some heavy themes she always brings in a touch of humor. I like how she introduces seemingly separate characters whose lives end up intertwining. I find myself identifying with her characters, not only because of their quirks, but likely because many are navigating the same issues as me: Crazy PTO moms, helicopter parents, and the trade-offs that come with “having it all.”
What type of book have you always wanted to write?
A mystery. I love trying to figure out “who done it.” I usually hone in on the obscure characters because I assume the author won’t go for the obvious. I think this would be one of the hardest genres to write. The author must always be three steps ahead, map out intricate plotlines with lots of twists, and drop clues along the way that still ends up leaving the reader surprised. I love an ending that I didn’t see coming. This is not my area of expertise, so for now I’m hoping that by soaking up episodes of “CSI” inspiration will strike.
Top 3 things on your bucket list?
- Writing a novel (glad I could check that one off!)
- Learning to cook a turkey (one day I will host Thanksgiving)
- Be a contestant on a game show (no progress there, I’m afraid)
How did you get the idea for this particular novel?
I was lying in bed one night and had what I like to call a grand vision. It involved Robert Pattinson (who I may just have a tiny crush on) serenading a girl, who may have borne a close resemblance to me. I always knew I wanted to write a book so I thought, “Hey, this would make a great last chapter.” I started with that seed of an idea and began thinking through other key moments: how they would meet, how they would get together, significant relationship milestones like birthdays and meeting the parents, etc. I wrote those chapters first and then let the story fill itself in.
I also drew upon my own experiences to shape the storyline and my characters. They were influenced by big life events and small details that inspired me. For example, I bought myself a Tiffany heart bracelet when I began my first job. While my husband and I were dating it mysteriously went missing. I thought he took it to have the charm monogramed as a surprise for me. It turned up a few weeks later buried under some papers in my desk drawer. In hindsight he probably didn’t even know I owned the bracelet nor was he likely aware the monogramming service existed. But I always liked the sentiment of it and so the Tiffany bracelet worked its way into my book as a symbolic thread of love, trust and luck.
What is your favorite scene in your new release?
My favorite scene is in Chapter 9, when Lexi runs into Jake at a hip lounge called Blu. Up until this point Lexi had been receiving mixed messages from Jake about his feelings for her. This is the first time he’s clear with his intentions—and their chemistry is undeniable. I love when Lexi is waiting in line to use the restroom and asks Jake to hold her drink. Before handing it over she jokingly asks him if he’s trustworthy. He leans in close and says, “That’s debatable.” Upon her return she pretends to inspect her drink, to which he responds, “I wouldn’t trust me either.” What started as harmless flirtation crossed a line that night that changes the dynamic of their relationship. And while their night got cut short it’s clear they have unfinished business.
What are you working on now and when can we expect it to be available?
I’m in the midst of a follow up to my debut novel, Out in the Open. While it’s not a series, per se, I will weave in some of my favorite characters. Titled I Should Have Said Yes, the book follows Tara Winters, Lexi's younger sister, on her journey to finding "the one." It’s a candid and entertaining look at a singleton’s dating journey when she must say yes to any guy who asks her out because of a pact. Bonus: readers will learn about Jake and Lexi's fate along the way. I’m hoping it will be released in Summer 2015.
What do you like to do when you are not writing?
I enjoy spending time with my two kids, ages four and seven (and my husband). I work part-time at the Leo Burnett advertising agency in Chicago, but it’s still a challenge juggling the demands of my job with young kids who need constant attention. So when I’m home my family is my priority. I love planning fun outings and making family traditions. We created a summer bucket list this year and checked off twelve out of fourteen. Not bad!
What would you consider a perfect date?
Ask me that question ten years ago and my response would be very different. Nowadays it’s just getting out of the house alone with my husband. A movie and dinner would be nice. I’d love to go to a fun, trendy restaurant in the city so I can relive what it feels like to be young and hip—neither of which I am anymore. And a movie would be nice because I can’t recall the last one I saw in the theater. It was likely Frozen!
What is one interesting fact about you that readers don’t know?
I am very practical and hold onto things as long as they are in good—make that usable—condition. I still use a caboodle I received as a graduation gift circa 1990 to hold my makeup. I’ve worn the same pair of sneakers to commute to and from the train for at least seven years. It’s likely been longer, I can only date them because I’ve had these shoes since before my daughter was born. I don’t upgrade my phone until well after my contract expires. I guess you could say I’m a proponent of the motto, “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.” Or perhaps I’m just a creature of habit. Sometimes my practicality might be to my detriment. For example, I tell my husband not to buy me flowers on Valentine’s Day. I just don’t see a need for him to spend that much money on something that will only last a few days. Practical, yes. But not very romantic for someone who writes romance novels. J
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
J B Glazer developed a love of writing at a young age. She followed that passion to the University of Illinois, where she graduated with a degree from the College of Communications. She pursued a career in advertising, a field that provided an outlet to express her creativity. She has fifteen years of experience at the renowned Leo Burnett advertising agency in Chicago, which served as inspiration for her novel. She’s also a wife, mom, marketer, referee, short-order cook, maid, chocoholic, shopaholic, and multitasker extraordinaire. Visit her website at www.jbglazer.com, follow her on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/JBGlazer, or connect with her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/jbglazer.
Out in the Open is available at national retailers including Amazon and Barnesandnoble.com.
The author will be awarding a $25 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Follow tour HERE