by Jennifer Peel
There is a law irrevocably decreed in the state of Alabama that you must choose a team. You’re either an Auburn fan or an Alabama Fan. There is no fence-sitting or waffling. It’s one or the other. However, it doesn’t mean that you can’t fall in love with someone from the opposing side. They even have a name for it … House Divided.
Ellie Eaton and Brady Jackson were just such a couple, but unfortunately they were separated by more than just their loyalty to a university. Against the odds and against the rules, Ellie and Brady dove right into the forbidden current of friendship and then love. Their sweet, innocent romance was one for the storybooks, but old rules and family prejudices ultimately tore them apart, just as they were each ready to depart to their beloved universities, Ellie to Auburn and Brady to Alabama. But years later, when near tragedy strikes, they’re brought together again and given a second chance at love, this time with help from some very unlikely sources.
“Having grown up in Alabama where the line between Auburn fans and Alabama fans is clearly drawn, I enjoyed the creative and romantic spin Jennifer Peel took with this novel. More than just football divided these two lovebirds, and I couldn’t put the book down, anxious to find out if love really conquers all.”
“This book gave the reader this inside look at the love fellow Alabama’s have there way of life.”
“Peel knows how to breathe life into a story!”
CIR: What inspired this book?
PEEL: I have lived in Alabama since 2006 and I just love the culture and southern charm of it all. I’m also fascinated with the Alabama – Auburn rivalry and how seriously people take their football down here. The term ‘House Divided’ is used quite frequently down here and I thought it was a great play on words, so I took it and ran with it.
CIR: What is your writing process like?
PEEL: Once I get an idea I’ll mull it over in my mind for days, sometimes weeks. Then I start having conversations with the characters in my head. Yes, I have great imaginary friends. Once I have a good feel for it, I’ll hand write notes. I keep a notebook with my ideas. I’ll write out some of the conversations and the feelings I’m looking to invoke. I don’t use an outline per se, but more like a timeline. I always know how it’s going to end, before I even begin to type.
CIR: What would you compare this book to?
PEEL: I would compare it to Steel Magnolias. Lots of southern charm, with some humor, but mostly it has a lot of heart.
CIR: What is the main character like?
PEEL: Ellie, is a well-bred southern woman with a little sass and a lot of style, but she’s vulnerable and extremely loving. The term ‘Velvet Steel’ would fit her well.
Learn more about Jennifer Peel at www.jenniferpeel.com