Calmer Secrets by Jennifer Kelland Perry

Calmer Secrets
Jennifer Kelland Perry


Samantha and Veronica Cross had to start fresh when they moved with their mother Darlene from Newfoundland’s Calmer Cove to St. John’s.  Attending a new high school and making friends were their first challenges and soon they discovered the charms of Ben Swift, a handsome local boy with his own troubles.  As the sisters rivaled for his attention, jealousy and misunderstandings threw the Cross family off balance into a spiral of disaster.

Calmer Girls is Perry’s first coming-of-age novel about the Cross sisters.  Calmer Secrets picks up in 1998, four years later.  If they thought the teenage years were turbulent, they are now learning that relationships in their twenties can be just as complicated.

Veronica is a single mom to three-year-old Henry and Samantha is an art student at Grenfell, seven hours away.  Their old friend Ben may be far away at the moment, but he’s on the minds of both girls, for different reasons, and it will be a long time before the sisters forget what happened.  Veronica copes by finding, then quickly discarding boyfriends.  And while on break, Samantha takes up with her old friend, Kalen O’Dea.  He’s charming and gorgeous, and fronts a popular cover band in town, but there’s something puzzling about his behavior.  Veronica warns her, but who is she to give advice?

The real elephant in the room, however, is Darlene’s drinking.  She’s met a new man, Cash, who owns the Bambury Tavern and the two work side-by-side.  He’s a great guy, but can he see the problem?  How long can the family look the other way? In addition, painful secrets about the Calmer sisters’ past are coming to the surface. Are these secrets best confronted or pushed back down?

Calmer Secrets is an excellent story about the difficult and unsettled years that are the twenties.  As with all quality writing, Perry’s storytelling flair is enhanced by her descriptive talent.  Reading about St. John’s makes me want to move there and, thanks to Perry’s introductions, I feel like I already have some friends in town.  As with Calmer Girls, Calmer Secrets includes many enjoyable and relatable details about the 1990s, as well as local customs, foods and phrases, giving the Calmer series a unique brand.  In addition, Perry integrates themes of family, friendship, love and second chances, giving the reader a great deal to think about afterwards.  I especially enjoyed seeing her characters transform and step up when they are needed most. And an extra treat are the quotes from classic literature at the beginning of each chapter, a smart detail that ties her story to larger ideas.  I’m looking forward to reading more about the Calmer sisters!

I recommend Calmer Secrets to all readers who like realistic stories about family and community in a friendly and colorful setting.

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Click here for a review of Calmer Girls.


Who’s That Blogger? Jennifer Kelland Perry


Blogmaster:  Jennifer Kelland Perry

Blog name: Jennifer’s Journal –

Type of blog: is my author website. The blog attached to that is about writing, photography, and all things Newfoundland. I also feature my cats, Maisie and Vivian, under guest posts entitled Vivian’s View from Here.

Where in the world?  The province of Newfoundland and Labrador in Canada.

Blogging since when? I started on New Year’s Eve, 2011.

What’s your story? (why did you start a blog?):

The idea of an online journal came to me as a way to create consistently, in the form of a poem or musing, or in small galleries of my personal, travel and local nature photography. Usually the subject of these posts focuses on something or someone I love, a topic I feel strongly about, or a place I have visited and wanted to share through pictures.

I have also reported from time to time on my first work, a coming of age novel, Calmer Girls. My hope was, by mentioning my writing project in my blog and simply putting it out there, I would become more accountable and motivated to see it through to its completion. I can say, without a doubt, the plan has been effective, as I’ve also recently completed Calmer Secrets, the sequel to Calmer Girls. It will be published on Amazon on March 21.

What types of blogs do you follow?  I follow many different types of blogs, with topics that include food, travel, cats, and lifestyle advice, but I particularly gravitate towards writing advice and book blogs.

Early bird or night owl? (how do you make time for blogging?)

I suppose you’d consider me a night owl most of the time, usually blogging late in the day, in the evening or at night. The exception to this is when I’m creating a first draft in novel writing. I find I’m more inspired to write fiction in the early hours.

Coffee or tea? Both! Coffee (black) in the morning, and green tea after that.

Most recent binge watch:   Ah yes, what everyone seems to be doing these days! My husband and I last binged on two Netflix series simultaneously: Broadchurch and The Fall. How about you, Barbara? 🙂

Check out these recent posts on Jennifer’s Journal:

Unsettled: a Calmer Girls Excerpt
Blogger Bouquet #43 featuring George from The Off Key of Life
Video: Out and About with Vivian

Want to know more about Calmer Girls? Check out my review here.

Hey bloggers!  Are you interested in expanding your blogging world?  Email to be featured on Who’s That Blogger!

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Calmer Girls by Jennifer Kelland Perry

Calmer Girls

Calmer Girls 
Jennifer Kelland Perry


Samantha Cross has always been in her older sister Veronica’s shadow, but this could be a summer of big changes.  When the Cross girls move with their mother from Calmer Cove to the city of St. John’s, Newfoundland, Samantha’s first friend is a handsome eighteen-year-old boy, Ben Swift.  Samantha watches the inevitable sparks fly between Ben and Veronica and she knows she can’t compete with her sister’s beauty and flirtatious charms.  Maybe, she dreams, Ben will tire of Ronnie and appreciate Sam’s love of books and artistic talents.  And maybe he will notice those pretty green eyes behind her glasses.

What sounds like a simple story of first love is much more complex, however, because the Cross family has been upended by crisis.  The girls’ parents have separated, money is tight and their mother Darlene is drinking too much.  Between Darlene working the night shift and her father far away in Alberta, Sam and Ronnie are on their own to navigate the new social terrain.  High school starts in a couple months but for now it’s new friends, parties and Ben.

Ben may seem like the perfect guy, but he is keeping his own family problems shut tight in his head.  As the weeks pass, sibling rivalry, jealousy, misunderstandings and fistfights add tension to romance and friendship and the Cross family spirals towards disaster.

Calmer Girls is a realistic and at times, edgy Young Adult coming of age novel, taking the typical problems of adolescence and placing it in a part of the world many people have not seen.  Perry also includes the important subjects of alcoholism, abuse and economic downturn to make her story both relevant and meaningful.  Set in the 1990s, readers will also enjoy many references to popular music, including Pearl Jam, Green Day, REM and Nirvana.

I very much enjoyed reading Calmer Girls and I chose this book for my summer reading challenge to read about a place I would like to visit.  Newfoundland, Canada sounds like a beautiful place and it’s easy to picture the scenes, thanks to Perry’s descriptive talent.  From a sizzling plate of “chips” and gravy, seasoned with packets of vinegar and salt, to city street scenes and the beauty of the sea, Calmer Girls is both a love story and a visit to a charming place.

Follow along as I work my way through my 16 in 16 Challenge!

Book 1 – A Book You Can Finish in a Day:  The Good Neighbor by A.J. Banner
Book 2 – A Book in a Genre You Typically Don’t Read:  The Ghost Map by Steven Johnson
Book 3 – A Book with a Blue Cover:  The Vacationers by Emma Straub
Book 4 – A Book Translated to English:  I Refuse by Per Petterson
Book 5 – A Second Book in a Series:  Brooklyn on Fire by Lawrence H. Levy
Book 6 -A Book To Learn Something New: The Beginner’s Photography Guide by Chris Gatcum
Book 7 – A Book That Was Banned:  The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

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Who’s That Indie Author? Jennifer Kelland Perry

Who's That Indie Author pic

Jennifer Kelland Perry

Author name:  Jennifer Kelland Perry

Genre:  Young Adult & New Adult Fiction

Books:  Published this year: Calmer Girls

Calmer GirlsIn Prepublication: Calmer Secrets (sequel)

Bio:  Jennifer Kelland Perry is a native of St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada. In 2010, she and her husband Paul sold their house and left the city to enjoy rural life in Bonavista Bay. They live beside the ocean there and are loving every moment.

While working for years in the banking industry, Jennifer always dreamed of a time she could devote to her first passion of writing fiction. Calmer Girls is her debut novel, the first in a two-book deal with an independent American publisher. The sequel Calmer Secrets is expected to be released early in 2017.

In between working on her novels, Jennifer updates her blog, Jennifer’s Journal, where she shares her thoughts and observations on life in Newfoundland through prose and nature photography. Recently, she began contributing content for several writer websites.      

Favorite thing about being a writer:  I enjoy creating realistic characters in situations that resonate with readers.

Biggest challenge as an indie author: Marketing and distribution on a small budget makes it challenging to get my book(s) more widely read.

Favorite book: This keeps changing the more I read! At the moment, I’m working through several Thomas Hardy novels and enjoying them immensely.

Contact Information:  You can find Jennifer on many platforms!

Calmer Girls on Amazon & Amazon Author Page
Website/blog Jennifer’s Journal
Facebook: JenniferKellandPerry
Twitter: @JennKellandPerry
LinkedIn: Jennifer Kelland Perry
Goodreads, Pinterest and Instagram

Are you an indie author?  Do you want to build your indie author network? Why not get your name out on Who’s That Indie Author?

Email for a bio template and other details, and follow along on Book Club Mom to join the indie author community!

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