Jenny Milchman’s debut novel is Cover of Snow, a thriller released in January 2013. The story grabs you by the heart in the first chapter and doesn’t let go until the surprising conclusion.
The unexplained suicide of Nora Hamilton’s cop husband sends her on a quest for answers that turns upside down a cozy fictional town in New York’s Adirondack Mountains. Twists and turns take you on a white-knuckle ride of corruption, betrayal and deceit – refreshingly absent of lewd expletives and graphic descriptions of violence.
Jenny expertly knits together the heartache of a loved one’s suicide and the icy cold resistance of the townsfolk to defrost the dark secrets that destroyed Nora’s comfortable life. Each question Nora asks puts her and everyone who talks to her in danger. While not a how-to, the thriller walks you through the grief process in a sensitive way.
This book is definitely worth the read!
But, what I want to talk about is the author. I saw Jenny speak at Cozy Con, a gathering of people who, like me, love to write, read, and discuss the kinds of spine-tingling mysteries that Jenny expertly wrote. The event’s host was the famous Poisoned Pen Bookstore in Scottsdale, Ariz., which specializes in crime fiction.
“Writing is a siren’s call that won’t let go,” she said when it was her turn to describe her journey from psychotherapist to traveling author. I couldn’t agree more. I, too, have heard – and answered – that siren’s call.
I was so impressed with Jenny’s humility and persistence in getting her book published that I requested an interview. We spoke on the phone as she and her family drove through the desert between Tucson and San Diego – on what she called a seven-month family book tour.
“It was a family endeavor,” said Jenny about the 13-year effort of finding a publisher for Cover of Snow. “We love being on the road. Bookstores are important to me as a writer, so we decided to hit as many bookstores as we could in seven months.”
The family rented out their house, settled on a homeschooling curriculum for their 7- and 9-year-old children, and traded in their car for one more suited for the weather extremes they would encounter while traveling from sea to shining sea.
Not only are the children seeing rather than just reading about their country, they’re weaving important life lessons into their studies.
“I’m teaching them when you have a dream, go for it,” said Jenny. They’re learning that going after your dream isn’t always easy and that joy isn’t always found in the highest paying job you’re qualified to do.