Stacey Agdern is not only one of my favorite authors, she’s also a friend and fellow Tule writer, so it’s a special treat to welcome her back to the Author Spotlight. I love how she brings her culture into her stories and her new series, Last Girls Standing, with Tule Publishing is no exception. Book one in the series, B’nai Mitzvah Mistake, drops today!
Stacey is an award-winning former bookseller who has reviewed romance novels in multiple formats and given talks about various aspects of the romance genre. She incorporates Jewish characters and traditions into her stories so that people who grew up like she did can see themselves take center stage on the page. She’s also a member of both LIRW and RWA NYC. She lives in New York, not far from her favorite hockey team’s practice facility.
Stacey, the floor is yours, my friend…
The Heroine’s Journey in B’nai Mitzvah Mistake
When you reach a crossroads in your life or career, you have to make a decision. The thing is, there are many questions, concerns and ideas meant to guide people towards that decision. Like :
What’s coming? What are you doing? What path are you going to choose ?
It’s often difficult to balance the answers to any of these questions. Sometimes you just have to find the one that works for you. For example, there’s the question that guided Judith Nachman, heroine of the B’nai Mitzvah mistake, and also guided me in writing her story:
For Judith, the answer was obvious. As she got comfortable in her job with the Mitzvah Alliance, in Jewish spaces in general and Jewish philanthropic spaces in specific, the fact that she hadn’t had her Bat Mitzvah as a child became much more obvious to her. So at this crossroads in her life, she makes the decision to sign up for Adult Bat Mitzvah classes. This single choice puts her on a collision course with both her past and her future.
For me, the answer was also obvious. The core of the Last Girl Standing series is family. I’ve written a whole bunch of books that sits family at the side, but never a series that takes on one of my favorite Romance series tropes: the family. The bond between the four Nachman cousins serves both the core of the last girls standing series as well as my love letter to the Romance Novel families I grew up loving.
My hope is that I did Judith Nachman, her sister, and her cousins justice, because like with all romance novel family series, these Last Girls Standing have a lot they need to do, and deal with, before the series is over.
B’nai Mitzvah Mistake
Judith Nachman loves working as a project manager at the Mitzvah Alliance charity, and after five years, it’s finally her turn to have the bat mitzvah of her dreams. Judith is enjoying every single moment of the process—until she learns she has to share her day with the annoying hockey player who derailed her sister’s career.
Retired hockey player Ash Mendel is determined to start an organization to support Jewish athletes, and the first step is to have his bar mitzvah. He’s not sure what he wants his day to look like, but he knows he definitely wants forgiveness from Judith, the woman he’s sharing the date with.
But Judith’s nephew needs to interview an athlete, and Ash needs professional advice for his foundation, so they exchange favors. Except as they get to know each other and their worlds start to mingle, Ash and Judith will have to decide whether sharing their lives as well as their B’Nai Mitzvah is the best decision they could make, or the biggest mistake of their lives.