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The possibilities for agony and defeat lurk everywhere for a writer — at the start of the process when a book idea is forming in your mind and doubt is pounding on the door; in the middle of the process when you begin to show your words to the world and fear gnaws at you like a disease; and at the end of the process when you hope your work will find an adoring audience and must come face to face with how much greed and envy have taken up residence in your heart. It can be a brutal business. In The Writer’s Guide to Agony and Defeat, book coach and author Jennie Nash takes you inside 43 of the worst moments in the writing life. The enlightenment gurus say that you should “feel what you feel” and this book is designed to help you feel the gut-wrenching misery of the writing life – and then get over it.  

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NOVELS AND MEMOIRS


It's 1952 in New York City, the height of the Red Scare. When the sheltered secretary of a prominent book editor becomes obsessed with the story of a glamorous French lipstick, she becomes convinced that it was the story she was born to write. To do so, however, she must overcome her belief that surrendering to passion of any kind is dangerous -- especially when she enters into a high stakes game of kiss and tell with the editor’s star author, who is in desperate need of a story and a muse. They fight for the right to tell the tale, and ultimately, for the right of an author to tell their own truth. 

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  • “A whipsmart, wildly original ride that’s a heady mix of chemistry, politics, mystery, obsession and a 1950s heroine daring to find her way. The writing sparkles on the page, and the essential question — what would you do for your passion? — becomes as provocative as it haunting. Perfect Red is more than perfect — it’s absolutely dazzling.” — Caroline Leavitt, New York Times bestselling author of Pictures Of You
  • “Captivating from the first sentence, impossible to put down, Perfect Red leaves you inspired, energized and ready to take on the world. Powerful storytelling at its most potent.” — Lisa Cron, author of Wired For Story: The Writer’s Guide To Using Brain Science To Hook Readers From The Very First Sentence

The Threadbare Heart is a love story inspired by my mother’s recent marriage to a man she met on the same blind date where she met my dad, 54 years ago. It’s a mother-daughter story, as well. Readers of my last book, The Only True Genius in the Family, won’t be surprised to hear that the mother-daughter relationship is fraught with jealousy and tension. This time, however, I really amped it up. At the same time that a daughter loses the great love of her life, her mother — a woman in her mid-70s — gains the great love of her own. In the midst of all this, a prized piece of fabric, which the daughter has been saving for more than 40 years, is the last thing saved from a house destroyed by wildfire. That piece of fabric becomes the bridge between a mother and a daughter torn apart by grief, jealousy and misunderstanding.  

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  • The Threadbare Heart is exquisite. I was riveted to the many hairpin turns in Nash’s lovely prose, and having just finished reading, feel both the trauma and comfort of a  deeply felt and written novel." -- Luanne Rice
  • "Jennie Nash gets all the details right: the quirky obsession of fabric hoarders who dream of the possibilities woven into a piece of cloth, the smell and panic of southern California brush fire season, and the roller coaster ride we call marriage.The Threadbare Heart may do more than "Project Runway" to bring sewing machines out of storage." -- Kitty Felde, NPR
  • "With The Threadbare Heart, Jennie Nash has accomplished the extraordinary: a quietly profound novel about the many jagged, heart-wrenching, transcendent ways one person can love another. The story of Lily and Tom stayed with me long after the last page was turned." -- Hope Edelman, The Possibility of Everything

An IndieNext Notable Pick, this is a story about three generations of artists who are grappling with the source of creativity and the limits of love. Claire has a successful career as a food photographer, a loving husband, a gorgeous home on the beach, and a daughter whose career as a painter is in the brink of taking off. The one thing she doesn’t have is the acceptance of her father, a legendary landscape photographer who believed that, in their family, genius skipped a generation. When her father drops dead, Claire suddenly loses confidence in herself and her art. Even worse, she starts to feel jealous of her daughter’s success. As she helps prepare a retrospective of her famous father’s work, she uncovers evidence that he struggled and loved in ways she never imagined – a revelation that changes everything she believes about herself. This story was inspired by the years I spent as a child in the wildnerness of the American West with my dad, a leading figure in the environmental movement.

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  • "I absolutely loved it. In fact, I couldn’t put it down." Melissa Donovan, Writing Forward
  • “My heart started pounding as I read it. You touched on some profound ideas. It’s a beautiful story.” -- Jim Brandenburg, wildlife photographer,
  • “Honest, deeply felt, smartly paced, and highly relevant.” -- Beth Kephart, novelist

After five years cancer-free, April Newton should be celebrating, but instead she’s suffering. She feels her husband slipping away, and though the spectacular, stylish house he’s building for her should be a fresh start, April finds herself resenting it. As their move-in date approaches, she becomes obsessed with winning the right to buy the last Redondo Beach bungalow, convinced that the quirky, lived-in little house represents everything she is missing in her life—comfort, completeness, survival. And though her quest for the bungalow will take some surprising twists, it may put back together the pieces of her heart…

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  • A lyrical first novel from Nash about a breast-cancer survivor searching for a home…A sensitive novel that will appeal to many women and resonate with cancer survivors.”—Kirkus Reviews 
  •  “Nicholas Sparks, move over.” – Lazy Readers’ Book Club   

Breast cancer made me a wise old woman at the age of thirty-six. I learned, among other things, that the fight against breast cancer can be a surprisingly positive, life-affirming experience for patients, family and friends.From detection and surgery to reconstruction and recovery, I give readers a road map for a journey no one chooses to take. I details both the large and small lessons learned along the way: the importance of a child’s birthday cake; the pleasure of wearing a beautiful, provocative red dress; and how to be grateful rather than guilty when someone brings lasagna to the door. A celebration of survival for everyone, this story transforms one of life’s most harrowing experiences into a story of reassurance and enlightenment.

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  • “More revealing than a low-cut blouse and more uplifting than a Wonderbra! I laughed, I cried, I checked for lumps! Celebrate life and buy this book today.”--Rosie O’Donnell
  • "Jennie Nash more than survives cancer; she transforms the experience of the disease for herself and for others. Celebrating life as she accepts the spectre of death, her story makes it very clear that life is bigger than any disease. She tells her story from a place so close to her heart, that you can’t but feel it in yours.” -- Marianne Williamson