featuring guest authors; crafting tips and projects; recipes from food editor and sleuthing sidekick Cloris McWerther; and decorating, travel, fashion, health, beauty, and finance tips from the rest of the American Woman editors.

Thursday, November 19, 2015


In the second grade, Jessie Clever began a story about a duck and a lost ring. Two harrowing pages of wide ruled notebook paper later, the ring was found. And Jessie has been writing ever since. Armed with the firm belief that women in the Regency era could be truly awesome heroines, Jessie began telling their stories in her Spy Series, a thrilling ride in historical espionage that showcases human faults and triumphs and most importantly, love. Learn more about Jessie and her books at her website.  

What Happens in Portland, Maine…

When She Knows came about as I said a rocky goodbye to my 20s, and dove head first into the new responsibilities and headaches of my 30s. I found myself looking back on those carefree days of my 20s with longing only to adjust my view to the present, and wish for nothing to change.

But it got me thinking. And thinking often leads to a book—in this case, my first contemporary romance.

The story of Shannon Wynter, a twenty-something year old grappling with the pressures of work, family, and a love life (if you could even call it that!) could not have been told without the proper backdrop. That backdrop was the very city in which I played out my own crazy 20 something-year-old days: Portland, Maine.

Portland is the last cluster of civilization before Interstate 95 disappears up into the great unknown that is most of the state of Maine. People often say that once you’re past Portland, you’re in the wilderness. I was fortunate enough to go to school in Portland and land my first job there, leading to four incredible years in an incredible city.

Portland is not a big city, but it’s big enough to have all the sights and attractions you expect from a city: Theater, restaurants, and a hopping music scene, beautiful sights and historical districts. But while any city can boast a long list of tourist traps, Portland carries with it something else—the feeling of a small town in a metropolis.

When you travel into Portland, you can escape down to the waterfront and the Old Town. Once you’re there, you’ll forget that you’re in a city at all. You’ll forget the highway zipping by you in all directions and the industrial sector just over the water. It all falls away as the comforting spirit of Old Town surrounds you, wrapping you in its small village feel. With cobblestone streets, intriguing shops, and an array of restaurants, Old Town can almost be called quaint. But as the life oozes from between the old buildings, as it moves in waves through the pedestrian ways, it does not feel like a little village at all.

That is the enigmatic ways of Portland. The city that’s not quite a village, and the village with too much life to be just that. The divide between the two perfectly mirrors the conflict faced by Shannon Wynter in When She Knows, making Portland the perfect location for a little shake-up in an otherwise ordered life.

When She Knows
A Franconia Notch Trilogy, Book One

His latest problem is her newest assignment.

Shannon Wynter has it all figured it. Abandoned by her mother and left to care for her agoraphobic father, Shannon focuses on building her career as a journalist to the detriment of all else including her love life.

Ian Darke has his own problems. Battling past failures, Ian sets his eyes on launching a new factory for his father’s defense firm. But it’s the very father he failed that will do anything to sabotage Ian’s progress.

And when Shannon follows an anonymous tip that leads her to Ian’s factory door, the last thing she expects to discover is what she already knows.


Jessie Clever said...

Thank you so much for having me!

Anonymous said...

I love Portland. My parents lived there when I was in college, and I was there in the summer and over the holidays. My mother and I attended concerts on the Kretchmer (?) organ which was in sad need of repair. I spent time in the Longfellow house, walked the city from one end to the other. Both my parents ashes are scattered there.
Nice blog. Thanks for the memories. KB Inglee

M. Johnston said...

Great job of describing what is obviously a town you love. I have only passed through the city on my way to leaf peeping, but I found it charming. I wish you great success with your book sales and future writing.

Angela Adams said...

Jesse, like you, I wrote stories in a school copybook. My grandmother, bless her heart, would read and praise each one. I inherited my love of reading and desire to write from her! Thanks for the post!!

Jessie Clever said...

Thank you all so much for visiting! I've loved sharing my memories of Portland with you all!