Today it’s my pleasure to welcome Jenna Bennett to CABR 🙂
We’re chatting about her NA novel, BEFORE YOU,
part of the “Sex on the Beach” trilogy.
Fellow SOTB author, Jen McLaughlin (BETWEEN US) will be stopping by tomorrow while
Jennifer Probst (BEYOND ME) will be here Friday 🙂
Be sure to enter their tour-wide giveaway to win some really cool prizes.
Welcome to CABR Jenna 🙂
If you had to explain the SEX ON THE BEACH trilogy on Twitter, what would you say?
3 authors. 3 books. 1 NA series. 3 friends go to Key West for spring break & find love + a bit of unexpected trouble.
What is your book about?
In BEFORE YOU, good girl and preacher’s kid Cassie Wilder goes to Florida with her friends with the express purpose of getting laid. She’s not supposed to fall in love or get attached to anyone; it’s supposed to be all fun and games: no muss, no fuss, getting rid of her pesky virginity once and for all.
But instead of no muss, no fuss, she falls for Ty, who refuses to sleep with her, and she also finds herself the target of a serial rapist preying on the college students who come to Key West for spring break.
Is there a particular reading order? If so, what is it and did you and the two other authors agree on major plot points before writing?
No, there’s no particular reading order. Each book is independent of the others, and they can be read in any order, since they all take place at the same time. The characters do interact occasionally, and have something of an impact on each other’s stories, but each book is a complete standalone. That said, of course we hope you’ll try them all!
We did not work much of anything out before we started writing, other than the very basics of characters, time and place. Nobody really wanted to approve or disapprove anyone else’s ideas, you know?
Once we’d all gotten started on the writing and had some idea of how our stories were shaping up, we created a Google Doc and shared our timelines so we could see where our plots intersected. For instance, there’s a common breakfast scene that appears in each book, where we each had to write the same scene from our character’s point of view.
As we went along, we’d share snippets and scenes to make sure we were all on the same page, and once we were finished, we exchanged manuscripts to make sure each person’s portrayals of “our” character and timeline were accurate. We didn’t influence each other’s writing, though. Each story is unique to each writer.
Tell us about your favourite scene in your book.
There are a lot of favorite scenes. 🙂 I’m partial to the first chapter, though, when Cassie and Ty first meet. They’re just so cute with it!
I turned back to my glass. But before I could reach for it, someone whisked it away. “How about I get you a fresh drink?”
It went into the hand of the bartender, who carried it away.
The guy who had spoken had green eyes and hair that straddled the line between dark blond and light brown. The streaks through the front could have been sun, or just expensive highlights. He was wearing jeans—good quality but not designer, faded but not ripped—and a navy blue T-shirt, one that said FBI in big white letters across the chest. I had to lean closer to see that below, in much smaller letters, it said Female Body Inspector.
“Nice shirt,” I said.
He glanced down and up again. “Thanks. I’m Ty.”
Good name. Cute guy. Sense of humor. Check, check, and check.
I smiled. “Cassandra Wilder. Wanna inspect my body?”
He grinned. “Maybe later. Where d’you blow in from, Cassie?”
“Chicago,” I said. “University of. You?”
He shook his head. “D.C. But I’m from Florida originally.”
“Jacksonville. North Atlantic coast.”
“I’m from Ohio,” I said. “Small town in the middle of nowhere. Lots of cornfields and cows. Chicago’s a lot more exciting.”
“Sounds like.” He folded his arms on the bar. Nice arms. Nice smile. Good teeth and a dimple. “So how long have you been in Key West?”
I told him we’d flown down the day before and arrived in the afternoon. “We’ve been here about,” I checked my watch, “thirty-two hours.”
“You come down with friends?”
I nodded. “There are three of us. Mackenzie is over there in the corner. Quinn already left.”
His brows lowered at that. “Alone?”
“She had some guy following her. Part of that group over there.” I pointed to where some of Ivy League Dude’s friends—just as Ivy League, Abercrombie and Fitch all the way—were still hanging out, knocking back shots of tequila like there was no tomorrow.
Ty watched for a second and then turned back to me. “How long ago did they leave?”
“I don’t know. Twenty minutes? Why?”
He shrugged. “No reason. There’s a lot of people in town this week. Safer not to go off alone.”
“She wasn’t alone. Ivy League Dude followed her.”
He tilted his head, and a hank of blond hair fell across his forehead. “But she doesn’t know Ivy League Dude, does she?”
“Same way I don’t know you,” I said.
Dammit, was he just talking to me as an excuse to find out about Quinn? I mean, I know she’s pretty and all, but I’m not that bad. Am I?
He grinned. “Wanna see my driver’s license?”
“I’ll show you mine if you’ll show me yours.”
“Deal.” He fished in his back pocket and pulled out a wallet.
Will there be a sequel, whether part of a follow-up trilogy or on its own?
Not impossible at all. 🙂
We’ve talked about it, even tossed some ideas back and forth. Nothing’s set in stone yet, but we’re open to the possibility.
I had a great time doing this project, and I think the others had fun, too. I believe we’d all be onboard with doing it again!
It’s all fun and games
I had a simple plan for spring break.
Sun, sand, and a hot guy. Sex on the beach, with no strings attached.
A chance to get rid of this pesky virginity once and for all.
And when I met Tyler McKenna, I thought I had it made.
Until someone gets hurt
But then girls started turning up at Key West landmarks. Girls who looked like me, but with one crucial difference: They’d all been drugged and relieved of their virginity.
The virginity I still have. The virginity Ty refuses to take.
And now I’ve begun to wonder whether there isn’t more to him than meets the eye.
Suddenly, sex on the beach doesn’t sound so good anymore…
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Jenna Bennett (Jennie Bentley) writes the Do It Yourself home renovation mysteries for Berkley Prime Crime, and the Cutthroat Business mysteries for her own gratification.
She also writes a variety of romance for a change of pace.
CONTACT THE AUTHOR:
Win a HUGE Theme prize pack including signed books, jewelry, t-shirts, sunglasses, shot glasses, and lots more!