GCC Presents: Jenny Gardiner's Sleeping with Ward Cleaver
Okay, so that title's a little misleading. To the best of my knowledge, June can relax because Jenny Gardiner's not exactly sleeping with Ward Cleaver, but she's written a debut novel by that title.
And here's the cool part. She *won* a book contract through the American Title competition (modeled after you-know-what reality show) with Dorchester Publishing, which sponsors the annual contest along with Romantic Times BookClub Magazine. Voters winnow down the finalists through successive rounds until finally the winner's humongous-sized cover is unveiled and the winner introduced at the RT Convention.
The odd thing is, Sleeping with Ward Cleaver is in no way a traditional romance. About a woman struggling with a marriage that has lost its luster, the book is more a story of second chances told with wit and no small measure of reality. Definitely not the kind of story you'd expect to win.
Yet last year, in a truly exciting moment (and I didn't even know her then) I was there for Jenny Gardiner's unveiling, and the woman was glowing. I was sitting at a table with fellow Dorchester authors, along with Dorchester personnel. I heard editor Chris Keeslar say that he'd really hoped Sleeping with Ward Cleaver would win the competition because he really, really wanted to publish it. That kind of enthusiasm is tough to come by, especially when the voting public's essentially choosing which book the editor will work with. So kudos to Jenny, and congratulations on this month's publication.
Here's what the critics are saying:
“Gardiner’s fun, witty, romp keeps readers giggly from cover to cover. For a playful novel, that will inspire the reader to find ways to bring their own sexy back, read SLEEPING WITH WARD CLEAVER.”—South New Jersey Mom Magazine
“With her sharp wit and hilarious descriptions, Ms. Gardiner has a delightful voice that left me wanting more.”—Night Owl Romance, Reviewer Top Pick
"Gardiner's potential comes through with a talent for description and a way with a sentence."
--Romantic Times Book Reviews
"SLEEPING WITH WARD CLEAVER by Jenny Gardiner is a funny and frank debut novel that will 'speak' (witticisms and various pearls of wisdom) to many a woman."
“SLEEPING WITH WARD CLEAVER was the perfect romantic comedy for a 30-something Mommy, who still wants to be a sexy sassy gal, despite the spit up encrusted on all of my clothing. I can only hope that Rob Reiner and his friends, will put this sassy book on the big screen.”—Mama Lit
“Jenny Gardiner achieves the difficult, if not impossible, task of creating sexual and romantic tension between characters who have been married more than a few years….Gardiner does a great job creating realistic and believable characters….SLEEPING WITH WARD CLEAVER is a clever and engaging romance with humor and heart.”—Armchair Reviews
”The most refreshing book I have read in quite some time. Jenny Gardiner writes from a woman's point of view and doesn't veer away from it….The way Gardiner used satire and humor to express Claire's feelings and emotions was priceless. I would recommend SLEEPING WITH WARD CLEAVER to anyone who enjoys some female insights, is frustrated with a man in her life, or who just likes a little humor.”—Roses & Thorns
"SLEEPING WITH WARD CLEAVER examines the faltering footsteps of marriage through humor, reminiscences and through love....Jenny Gardiner had me laughing and empathizing with Claire's man troubles throughout SLEEPING WITH WARD CLEAVER."
"If you enjoy funny, laugh-out-loud books, stories of women going through mid-life crises, you will enjoy SLEEPING WITH WARD CLEAVER. Although the situations are serious, the author looks at them with such a comedic bent that readers will laugh, even when the situation is somewhat grim....Well written and well paced, SLEEPING WITH WARD CLEAVER is a romp and a lot of fun—it is a book readers are sure to enjoy."
--Romance Reviews Today
"For a fresh, funny, entertaining, read; SLEEPING WITH WARD CLEAVER by award winning debut author Jenny Gardiner is sure to delight and amuse. ...SLEEPING WITH WARD CLEAVER is a fun, quirky read that most women can absolutely relate to."
"Highly relatable characters and situations bring this book straight into suburbia with the reader. Poignant and heartfelt, this book will make you laugh, cry and cheer."
"SLEEPING WITH WARD CLEAVER is a fun, cheeky, often candid and thoroughly engaging story that hits on relationship issues to which many readers will relate."
"Oh. My. Goodness. I enjoyed this book so much! Love the title. Love the cover. Love the book!"