From Raven’s Ramblings Blog –  the wonderful writer, Raven McAllan, invited me for a Nine for the Weekend – 

Nine facts about one of the characters in my book ‘Welcome to Paradise’
Over to you, Jenn…

Hi Raven and thank you so much for this opportunity!
9 interesting things about my heroine Sugar, in “Welcome to Paradise”
1) Sugar would think she was too boring to write about – she would be embarrassed with all this attention. You see, she’s super shy. She grew up with a huge scar that cut her face nearly in two. A wave dashed her into the rocks at the foot of cliffs and cut her face. In St Thomas, the rocks are volcanic and can be as sharp as glass. She had to wait until she’d stopped growing to get the scar fixed.
2) I wrote the whole book without mentioning her name once. When it was done, my editor said, “But what is the heroine’s name?”  Once, in the book, someone called her “Sugar”. It was a term of endearment, but it became her name.
3) I based a lot of Sugar’s story on my own childhood, because I grew up in the Virgin Islands. The people, the birds, the insects (& the tarantulas!), and the beaches are all part of my life.
4) The house Sugar lives in is the replica of a house I used to live in. It had a balcony that overlooked the ocean, a hibiscus garden, and a path that led down the cliffs to the sea.
5) Sugar speaks fluent Spanish, because her grandparents are from Puerto Rico. She loves to go to Puerto Rico to visit them – they let her watch TV – (something her parent on’t have in their house!)
6) What happens to Sugar in Germany was the hardest part of the book for me. Abuse is a sensitive subject, and it was incredibly difficult to write about it. After, I had to address the story of her father’s abuse, and that was hard too.
7) Sugar’s fiancé, Reliance, is named after a boat I fell in love with.
8) Sugar and Reliance make love in a secluded bay that is a copy of the one I used to swim in when I was living in St. Thomas. Sometimes at night, during the hottest part of the year, phosphorescence glows in the shallows. It’s incredibly beautiful, (and very romantic!)
9) Sugar becomes a model, and I used my experience to describe her work, which was a lot of fun!
Blurb:  Growing up on an island paradise isn’t as easy as one might think. Sugar is infatuated with the boy next door, worried she won’t make the cheerleading squad, and even more worried that she will. She is paranoid that because of the horrendous scar on her face, no one really expects her to succeed at anything. Her sister is smart, her mother is a legendary model, and her father is a famous artist. Her family’s success sets a high bar for her to live up to.
Everything changes for Sugar when a plastic surgeon removes her scar. The surgery makes her beautiful, but she makes the shocking discovery that being beautiful can be awful. When she finally discovers who she is, and what she wants from life, it nearly destroys her tightly knit family. She must confront abuse, an elopement, loss, and a secret her father has kept from her all her life. Sugar is struggling to pull everything together and find her own version of ‘Happily Ever After’.