Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for The Fiction Writer by Jillian Cantor. This tour is being hosted by HTP Books.
The Fiction Writer : A Novel
On Sale Date: November 28, 2023
ABOUT THE BOOK: From USA Today-bestselling Jillian Cantor, THE FICTION WRITER follows a mid-list writer hired by a handsome billionaire to write about his family history with Daphne du Maurier and finds herself drawn into a tangled web of obsession, marital secrets, and stolen manuscripts.
Last night I dreamt I went to Malibu again…
The once-rising literary star Olivia Fitzgerald is down on her luck. Her most recent novel–a re-telling of Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca–was a flop, her boyfriend of nine years just dumped her, and she’s battling a bad case of writer’s block. So when her agent calls her with a high-paying ghostwriting opportunity, Olivia is all too willing to sign the NDA.
At first, the write-for-hire job seems too good to be true. All she has to do is interview Henry “Ash” Asherwood, a reclusive mega billionaire, twice-named People’s Sexiest Man Alive, who wants her help in writing a book that reveals a shocking secret about his late grandmother and Daphne du Maurier. But when Olivia arrives at his Malibu estate, nothing is as it seems. Ash is hesitant to reveal any family secrets, and he seems more interested in her than their writing project. The more Olivia digs into his grandmother’s past, the more questions she has—and before she knows it, she’s trapped in a gothic mystery of her own.
With as many twists and turns as the California coast, The Fiction Writer is a captivating story exploring the boundaries of creative freedom and whose stories we have the right to tell.
Apple Books: https://books.apple.com/us/book/the-fiction-writer/id6444363552
Last night I dreamt I went to Malibu again.
I stood barefoot on the sand, the cool water nipping at my ankles. And there, high above me, perched on the edge of that magnificent cliff, his stunning house sat as it once had, alive, whole. It had ten bedrooms and was on three private cliffside acres, with a lap pool, a tennis court, and a garden blooming flush with pink and white bougainvillea. But from the beach down below all I could see was its long wall of privacy-tinted glass windows, slanting out toward the sea.
He could see me here, out on the beach. I was certain he could, even in my dream.
He was still behind those windows, watching my every step. Though I couldn’t see him. The glass was one-way. But I imagined him there behind the glass so vividly, it had to be real.
Until it wasn’t. Until the heat from the flames would shatter all the windows, break them apart, send smoke spewing from the piano room, down the cliff, evaporating in wisps into the lonely Pacific.
But in my dream, the flames hadn’t existed yet. Or, maybe they never would. He and his house were there, watching me. Wanting me. Haunting me.
“Come back!” His voice was a desperate echo, my undoing. The smoke was so thick, even out on the beach I couldn’t see, and I couldn’t breathe.
So that’s why I did it, in my dream. I turned away from the house, and I walked into the bone-chilling water. It was so cold, it numbed me, but I walked into the sea, up to my shoulders, my neck, my chin. Until I could no longer smell the smoke or hear his voice.
And then my entire head was underwater, and the tide was strong. It sucked me in, held me there.
But I wasn’t trying to drown. I really wasn’t. I was merely trying to escape the fire.
Excerpted from The Fiction Writer by Jillian Cantor, Copyright © 2023 by Jillian Cantor. Published by Park Row Books.
Jillian Cantor is the USA Today and internationally bestselling author of eleven novels for teens and adults, which have been chosen for LibraryReads, Indie Next, Amazon Best of the Month, and have been translated into 13 languages. She has a BA in English from Penn State University and an MFA from the University of Arizona. Born and raised in a suburb of Philadelphia, Cantor currently lives in Arizona with her husband and two sons.