Title: The Scent of Jasmine
Author Name: Lila Bruce
Publication Date & Length: October 6, 2014 – 55pgs
Four years ago Jessica Taylor thought she was ready to leave small town living behind and headed West. Now she’s back in Cedar Creek, a little older, a lot wiser, and ready to live the quiet life for a while.
It’s been eight months since her fiancée walked out and shattered Grace Donnelly’s dreams of a happily ever after. Her friends tell her it’s time to put herself out there, but the breakup with Emma was still just too raw for Grace to wash and move on
After a meeting a chance meeting at her brother’s bakery, Jessica finds herself unable to get Grace off of mind. She’s sure she feels an attraction from Grace as well, but will Jessica be able to convince Grace to stop living in the past and take a chance on a future together with her…
Characters are always my favorite part of any story, and I loved the two main characters, Jessica and Grace. They’re both strong, independent professional women, yet they’re remarkably down-to-earth and relatable. They each have their vulnerabilities which round them out as people.
Personally, I would have liked to see this as a longer story. It seems like there’s a lot underneath these two women that I would have loved to discover. There wasn’t quite enough spark or tension to really grab my interest, but with a longer story, I think there would have been.
This book was a quick, easy and very sweet read. The characters had their own personalities that meshed together with a strong sexual tension throughout the majority of the book. I was worried for a while because it’s set up like it could be a full-length novel, but I was completely satisfied by the ending of it.
The two characters run their own lives and are very successful women. They each have their careers but aren’t afraid of how a relationship will affect that. It was very nice to read and see that; I don’t think it’s done enough. Both women in this story carry their own.
It’s very well-written. There are a few words missing here and there, which is distracting but not to the point where I wanted to put the book down. Overall, this is a fantastic read for a rainy day.
Lila Bruce lives in the North Georgia Mountains, where the air is sweet and the summers are hot. When not writing, she spends her time adding to her ever-growing pack of basset hounds and dreaming of being able one day to leave behind her evil day job.
- Can you describe in detail what your writing environment is like?
I have this very large, very nice desk setup in the back room of my house. I love it because it gives me room to spread out and still have room for my writing partner, Fin Foo the Beta Fish. I typically will have The Cowboy Junkies playing on Pandora Radio and the door to “my office” closed to keep the Basset Hounds (my number one distraction when writing) out. If you’ve ever had a Basset then you would know the only thing they love more than going outside, is coming right back inside. Over and over and over again.
- Is there one of your characters that you relate to (from any of your works)? Why?
Honestly, any and all of them. I think there are small pieces of me in all the characters I write. Small pieces of people that I know, certainly. I think at some point in all our lives we’ve been “that person”. That person who’s been dumped by someone they thought was ‘the one’, that person who freaked out because everything wasn’t just right for an important meeting, that person who left for the big city in search of something more but found themselves missing the simple comforts of home and family.
- If you couldn’t be an author, what would you do instead?
Well, it would be nice to just be an author. Sadly, the Evil Day Job beckons forty-something hours a week. But, if money was not an object and writing was off the table, then…I don’t know. I think I’d like to run a bed and breakfast in an old house somewhere near a lake. The sort of place that I could set my own hours, see people who are generally happy, and be able to go fishing whenever the mood strikes.
- Is there anything that you learned during the writing process that you wish you had known before hand?
To always keep a notebook with me. Or at least a pad of some sort to write down the ideas when they come flooding in.
- Is there anything that you wish you could change about your book now that it is out?
Probably about a million things. I’m the sort of person who checks the alarm clock three times before going to bed to make sure it’s set on AM and not PM.
- How do you come up with new ideas for your story?
For The Scent of Jasmine I got the idea after being dragged to a nail shop by a friend of mine to have a pedicure. I am not a ‘foot’ person and despised every second of it, but did learn firsthand the dangers of what can happen when one bets on a football game and loses. There were lots of women at the nail shop, all talking about relationships and giving each other advice on what they would do in the other’s shoes, that sort of thing, and it occurred to me that was the perfect place to start a story. The rest of it just grew from there.
- What’s next for you as a writer?
I want to continue Jessica and Grace’s story. At least for a little while. I feel like I left them on a cliffhanger of sorts and I’d like to see what happens next in their relationship.
- Where do you live? Do you think this influences how or what you write?
I live in Georgia at the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. It certainly influences how I write as well as what I write. I think there are a lot of stereotypes about people in the South and their attitudes towards the LGBT community. Deep down most Southerners are polite to a fault and tend to treat everyone like family, whether they are or not. But stereotypes exist for a reason. I would say that a large portion of the population (of at least North Georgia) has no ‘issue’ with homosexuality, but at the same time still whispers the word lesbian in polite company. A really good friend of mine just got married to her partner and had to go out of state to do it. While they threw one hell of a reception here at home, they fact that couldn’t get married in their own backyard is (in my humble opinion) wrong. There is no way you can write about a modern lesbian relationship in the South and not have its social attitudes color the story in at least some small way.
- What is your favorite genre outside of the one you write in? Why?
Deep down I’m a straight up Sci Fi / Fantasy girl. I grew up reading Mercedes Lackey, Robin McKinley, and Elizabeth Moon. I loved these authors and their books and still have a tattered copy of The Blue Sword around here somewhere. It’s the original version of the paperback, the one that has Harry looking all badass on horseback while holding up the glowing blue sword. These authors spoke to who I was growing up. They didn’t write about damsels in distress, but strong, not always confident women, who kicked ass and took names in ‘a man’s world’.
- Do you have any vices? Shoes, coffee, shopping…etc?
Coffee certainly. The day does not begin until I’ve had my second cup. The Blacklist definitely. Don’t even bother calling my house while that’s on television.