Between Before and After by Jessica Stilling Book Tour, Guest Post, & Giveaway! {Ends 11/24/22}

Nov 3, 2022 | 2 comments

“A suspenseful read. Jessica Stilling sets the story among a backdrop of stunning scenes of Greece described as being almost visceral with a unique compilation of romance, mystery, and self-inspection. A compelling story that comes to life off the page.”-San Francisco Book Review of the Weary God of Ancient Travelers

Book Details:

Between Before and After by Jessica Stilling

Publisher: DX Varos Publishing (November 8, 2022)
Category: General Fiction, Literary Fiction, Family Secrets
Tour Dates November 1-23
ISBN: 978-1955065665
Available in Print and ebook, 479 (or less) pages

Book Description:

Indie movie director Sebastian Foster has found his niche making movies based on the award-winning novels written by his estranged mother. However, his latest film, based loosely on the tragic death of his sister as a child, opens up old wounds best left under bandages.

Told in two concurrent timelines, now and when Sebastian was a teen, some twenty years ago in the mid-1990s, this story of learning unknown truths unwinds in the streets of Paris, where Sebastian lived as a teen and where he has returned to make his picture.

Add to Goodreads ~ Preorder Between Before and After by Jessica Stilling: Amazon ~ Barnes&Noble ~ DX Varos Publishing ~


The phone rings in the temporary apartment I’ve taken on the Rue le Goff off Saint
Michel, the same neighborhood, in the 6 th Arrondissement, where I lived as a child. It’s a
short-term rental. I’m still speaking with the agent of the building I really want to get into. I
want to say the city has changed since 1994 when I came here to live with my mother for
the summer. I was fourteen and my eyes might not have adjusted to the lights of this city. I
didn’t see it with the same oblique angles. In some ways I’m sure it has changed. Memory,
hindsight, whatever, skews the focus, the way the same set can change drastically when we
vary the lighting tech. The cafes, the cobblestones jutting up from the streets like medieval
spikes…. Even the people…fashions have changed, no more butterfly clips, no more slap
bracelets (I was a kid), no more Rachel haircuts and short plaid skirts, no more chic all-
black suits (okay maybe there are still some chic all black suits), but the place, the people,
haven’t changed.
There’s that boyish college student with long hair and a thin mustache (It seems
there’s always a college student around who thinks he’s Louis the XVIIII.) sitting at the
same café every morning reading from an actual book. The prevalence of actual books, and
therefore genuine bookstores of the not-a-glorified-cafe-and-toy-store variety, in this city is
simply amazing. There’s the photo shoot down the block where women who are too tall
with faces that aren’t exactly pretty, (but hey they’re stick thin!), prance around in clothes
for the wrong season. When I walk down these streets it's like I’m in a Truffaut or Godard
movie. Cue dissonant music. Cue superfluous sex scene that has nothing to do with the plot.
Cue black and white stills mixed with Technicolor. Cue Jean Pierre Leaud racing down the
street. It seemed Jean Pierre Leaud dominated the leading man circuit in French New Wave


Stilling, Between Before and After
cinema for a fifteen-year period. We tried to get him for this film but even at seventy-five
he’s way too expensive.
The phone rings again and I don’t answer. There’s a knock on my door and I get up
from the couch to get it. A key turns in the lock and the door opens without my consent. I
know who it is before she walks in. There’s really only one person I know who cares this
little for my consent.
“You could answer your phone, you know? No one knows the number,” Mary Anne,
my assistant, barges in.
“The press was at my door last week,” I reply.
“You could have not told people where you were staying in that little PR puff piece. I
mean really, I cannot be responsible for your stupidity, Sebastian.” She shakes her head like
she’s annoyed, her short, very bright, very dyed red hair shimmers around her face and she
looks like a pixie.
“I’m being cautious. I’m allowed to be cautious.”
“The press wants to know about your mother and what happened in the ‘90s around
your little sister’s death. Have you talked to her yet?”
“I have not,” I reply. “I’m sure she’s fielding enough of her own questions.”
“I’m sure she is, that’s why it might be nice if you talked to her.”
“It might be nice.”
“She might be helpful with your new project.”
“Might be helpful,” I quip. “But we’ve made two of her books into films already and
she didn’t call for either. She did, however, cash our checks.”


Stilling, Between Before and After
“As I recall Mommy Dearest offered you a deal on the rights and you insisted on
paying market value.”
“I’d make a terrible businessman.”
“Wouldn’t we all,” Mary Anne says.
“I don’t know if she’s even seen the films.”
“You refused to invite her to the premieres.”
“She could have crashed them. Regina Foster is not above crashing—” I stop myself.
“We’ve established a pattern by inertia.”
“Is it nice, being back?” Mary Anne asks. “You must miss your mother.”
“I call my agent, who calls her agent, who calls her PR person, who calls her. I
wonder if anything gets lost in this game of telephone.”
“We’re shooting scenes 18 through 20 this afternoon,” Mary Anne reminds me.
“Outside scenes, at the café.”
“Got it, boss. 18 through 20,” I repeat.
The phone rings again and Mary Anne answers. It’s a cream-colored corded
contraption that came with the apartment. It reminds me a lot of the one we had at our
place here in the ‘90s.
“Hello?” Mary Anne asks professionally. She’s held friendly conversations with the
likes of George Clooney and Cate Blanchet. She’s handled an angry press agent with the flair
of a Victorian hostess and stopped a homicidal rival producer from physically charging me
with a few simple words. Just now, she speaks for a while, quietly nodding, almost
whispering. Then she pulls the phone away and looks over at me with cautious eyes. I
wonder briefly who has died or what government official is making a stink about filming.


Stilling, Between Before and After
“It’s your mother,” she says.
I freeze. If I were holding something I’d have dropped it. “Say I’m not here.”
“I’m not here,” she repeats into the phone before gently returning it to the receiver.

Meet the Author:

Jessica Stilling has written three works of literary fiction, Betwixt and Between, The Beekeeper’s Daughter, and The Weary God of Ancient Travelers. She also wrote poetry and short fiction for various literary journals.

Her articles have appeared in Ms. Magazine, Bust Magazine and she writes extensively for The Writer Magazine. She has taught Creative Writing in both high school and university. She also publishes young adult fantasy under the pen name JM Stephen.

Jessica loves Virginia Woolf, very long walks, and currently lives in southern Vermont where she writes for the very local newspaper, The Deerfield Valley News.

.Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook

The Tour Schedule:

Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus Nov 1 Kickoff & Interview
Bookgirl Amazon & Goodreads Nov 2 Review
Lu Ann Rockin Book Reviews Nov 4 Excerpt
Sal Bound 4 Escape Nov 8 Guest Review
Gracie Goodreads Nov 9 Review
Suzie My Tangled Skeins Book Reviews Nov 10 Review
Nora StoreyBook Reviews Nov 14 Guest Review & Excerpt
Denise Amazon & Goodreads Nov 16 Review
Mark Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus Nov 17 Guest Review
Lu Ann Rockin Book Reviews Nov 20 Review
Laura Lee Celticlady’s Reviews Nov 21 Guest Review & Excerpt
Mindy Room Without Books is Empty Nov 22 Review
Bee Book Pleasures Nov 23 Review

Giveaway Details:

This giveaway is for 3 print or ebook copies. Print is open to the U.S. only and ebook is open worldwide. This giveaway ends on November 24, 2022 midnight, pacific time. Entries are accepted via Rafflecopter only..

To Enter the Giveaway click on the Rafflecopter link below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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  1. Jessica Stilling

    Thanks so much for sharing this! Blogs like yours make the writing and reading world go ’round!

  2. Teddy Rose

    Thanks so much for hosting! We are looking forward to reading your thoughts on the book on November 20th.

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