Jenny Cressman: Kisses and wishes and much more!
Throughout the ages, storytellers have been loved and highly revered. With novels, short stories, poems, screenplays, and plays, creative writers have sought to penetrate our psyche, defying time and space, transporting our inner attention to new worlds and experiences so that we might discover our own.
Jenny Cressman, a resident of Huntsville, published her first novel Cuban Kisses in 2020. Inspired by her love for the people, culture and beauty of the island nation of Cuba, “her second home”, Cressman continued the series with Cuban Wishes, and completed a third book, Cuban Missus, in 2021. The third book, soon to be published, completes the trilogy and follows the adventures of Cressman’s heroine, Jackie, as she plunges into the exotic world of Cuban life, awakening to her own empowered passions, purpose, and destiny.
Cuban Kisses thrusts Jackie into the midst of a romantic liaison with an alluring, mysterious horseman who works at the resort that she escapes to. Running from a tumultuous, traumatic marriage, Jackie is trying to recover her own sense of worth after years of alienation, trapped in a possessive, overbearing relationship with a man who loves himself far more than he ever loved her.
Drawn by the stunning vistas and seascapes of her temporary refuge, Jackie quickly surrenders her customary defenses and rapidly falls into a torrid, physical affair with the handsome horseman, Pepe.
Cuban Kisses is written in a plainspoken narrative, almost as if Jackie were telling the story to a friend. An intimate and complex portrait emerges of a woman for whom choices have led to despair but who hopes for renewal and freedom. Jackie longs for a new life of love and exploration, unfettered by the confines of the past.
Peppered with saucy bits of tantalizing frolic that will make even the most avid reader’s glasses steam up, Cuban Kisses moves slowly from the past to a new present. By its conclusion, the reader is prepared for the next step in Jackie’s life.
Cressman found that she wanted to keep the story moving and alive. She released Cuban Wishes soon after the publication of her first novel. The second part of the series delves deeper into life on the island and finds Jackie pursuing a grounded life and finally a “healthy relationship” but her adventures and entanglements with mayhem, murder, and intrigue persist as she faces an unforeseen future.
Jenny Cressman grew up loving words in a family that loved books, reading, and writing. She spent most of her professional life as a journalist, editor, and proofreader. After she visited Cuba in 2009, she became fascinated with the island as a preferred destination—often visiting several times in a year. She established a travel advisory company through which she took groups on themed tours designed to acquaint travellers with a deeper appreciation for the land and especially with its inhabitants.
Besides leading tour groups, Cressman promoted an initiative called ‘suitcase sponsors’, bringing clothes and other sundry items to the island to be shared with the locals, but had to discontinue due to regulatory concerns from the local Cuban authorities. Most of her activities are centred on Club Amigo Marea del Portillo in the Granma region of southeastern Cuba.
Along with these trips, Cressman began to self-publish a blog about her escapades, and she began to formulate a plan to write a novel about a woman who falls in love with Cuba. Although she has written professionally, writing a full-fledged novel intended for publication had not been one of her accomplishments.
It takes a high degree of energy and drive to pursue the writing of any book but Cressman really did not experience any roadblocks. She found her central character easily and knew precisely what she wanted her characters to encounter in the story—rollicking embraces combined with transformative arousal. After searching for a publisher, Cressman was delighted to find a local publisher, Ripple Press Publishing, but then the pandemic struck and all her well-placed plans evaporated.
Cressman was limited to Zoom for public readings and appearances to promote the book, and the customary book signings and other promotional events were all cancelled. Pressures eventually forced her publisher out of business but Cressman’s books are available locally and regionally, as well as through her Facebook page. She is cautiously optimistic on the negotiations for publication of the third book but feels sure it will soon be in print.
Watch an virtual reading from Cuban Kisses below:
Throughout this disruptive period, Cressman has been writing non-stop—poems, prepping the third novel for publication, and beginning an exciting new project of short stories. All of her work focuses on her love for Cuba.
Cuba has a long-established history of conquest, colonialism, and exploitation, from Christopher Columbus until the Cuban revolution in 1959. Indigenous populations mixed with African slaves and Spanish-dominated religious imperialism have endured and developed a uniquely music-loving, industrious, and joyful populace, despite trade embargoes and misplaced political alliances. Cuba has been a popular destination for Canadian tourists over many years.
Since her first embrace of the island Cuba in 2009, Jenny Cressman has entered into an exciting, prolific chapter of her life. She hopes soon to be able to travel once more to her beloved seaside resort and visit locales and friends she deeply misses.
Her trilogy is a marvelous blend of fantasy and acuity. Cressman wants to roam ever more deeply into the perplexing wonders of a land that revives her heart and spirit. Moreover she wants to share the thrill of discovery with her fans and readers.
All storytellers are united in a common aim—to take the reader somewhere they’ve never been before and to arrive renewed, invigorated, and where they have always been: home.
For more information or to order books, visit Jenny Cressman’s Facebook page. Books are also available at The Great Vine and the Algonquin Outfitters location in Huntsville, or online at muskokaunlimited.com.
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