Author Q&A/Giveaway: Passenger from Greece by Norma Jennings

A Book A Week is pleased to welcome author Norma Jennings to the blog! This week I had the chance to chat with Norma about her latest novel Passenger from Greece. In addition to spending some time with us, Norma has graciously provided a couple copies of her novel to give away. If this story appeals to you, please use the widget at the end of this post to enter to win Passenger from Greece.

Can you tell us a little bit about the storyline for Passenger from Greece?

A classic tale of love, lust, and criminal behavior, Passenger from Greece tells the story of Olivia Reid, a feisty, resourceful international flight attendant who falls in love with a handsome Greek olive oil tycoon. Olivia gets caught up in a seductive affair that spans the Caribbean, New York City, Crete, and ocean voyages on a yacht called The Adonis.

That sounds like quite an adventure! The book opens with a movie-worthy crash. What was your inspiration for these cinematic opening scenes?

I was a flight attendant, and some of my dear colleagues were involved in a plane crash (a mere scheduling conflict kept me off that flight). I went back to them and asked them for descriptions of feelings, thoughts, and misery of crashing into a swamp, which really happened. They described the terror of first experience an aircraft crash, followed by the horror of being trapped in a swamp until rescue. So, when I set up a story about international romance and mystery, I thought what would be more captivating that to introduce the characters to each other in such an intense and terrifying situation.

International drug trafficking is central to the plot of this novel. What compelled you to delve into such a dark and real-world topic?

I had finished writing my first novel, Daughter of the Caribbean, and I was looking for another great story. I read about the Caribbean drug trafficking issues affecting my beloved Jamaica, where my family has an old sugarcane plantation called Twickenham. The headline-grabbing issues made me think about my next novel, which I wanted to be an international mystery. I also like to explore cultural issues and personal relationships about families and love, so I created a conflict that would impact two families in two different countries, each located in different parts of the world.

Speaking of families, the book addresses family relationships, infidelity, and mother/father influences. Why did you weave in these themes?

Motivations. I wanted to create flawed characters whose motives and desires were rooted in their familial relationships: a daughter's desire to please her mother, a son's desire to please his mother, and a grandmother betrayed by her spouse. I asked myself: What lessons could be learned? What understandings reached? How could I write relatable situations that would draw in readers? Based on the core foundation of any person's experience, one always comes back to his/her family beliefs, morals, and values.

You mentioned your family business in Jamaica inspiring your "headline-grabbing" story. Can you speak a bit more about how your personal experiences have shaped your writing?

The illicit drug trade is affecting my native homeland, Jamaica. I wanted to also dispel prejudice and ideas about Jamaicans and other Caribbean islanders. My books always deal with cultural differences through depictions of my own childhood experiences growing up at Twickenham with my grandmother, Sedith, who's featured in both of my books. She was our family's matriarch and had a tremendous influence on her children and grandchildren. I brought the stories she told me and the lessons I learned in my own life to the pages of Passenger from Greece.

With Passengers from Greece now published, what's next for you? Are you working on a new novel and, if so, what can you tell us about it?

I've made good progress on a third book, which is an action-packed historical fiction novel about the brutal colonization of Jamaica by the British, and the barbaric guerilla warfare staged by the Maroons (runaway slaves) against the planters. Raw sexual moments between planter and mulatto slave mistresses, and a sizzling romance between a rescued concubine and a young guerilla chief are weaved into the novel, as it chronicles how ferocious and unrelenting resistance by Maroon men and women led to the abolition of slavery on the island, and ultimately to the country's independence.

Our thanks to Norma Jennings for spending time with us. Passenger from Greece is available from Amazon and 3L Publishing

To enter for a chance to win either a physical or ebook copy of this novel, use the Rafflecopter form below. Open to US/Canadian residents, no PO boxes please. Ends October 29, 2015. Winners will have 48 hours to respond after being contacted.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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3 Responses to “Author Q&A/Giveaway: Passenger from Greece by Norma Jennings”

  1. This sounds like a great story, and I love all the destinations Lovely interview, good luck to the author :)

  2. A very interesting interview, captivating novel with wonderful locales and a fascinating story line which interests me. Thanks for this feature and giveaway. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

  3. Ooh. I really like the sound of this being a love and criminal affair because it seems like the combination of the two can sometimes make a truly wonderful book. Although the title makes it seems like it takes place solely in Greece, I like that it spans a lot of places!


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