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Jess Wells

Jess Wells is the author of four novels and five books of short stories. She is the recipient of a San Francisco Arts Council Grant for Literature. Her work is included in more than three dozen anthologies and literary journals has been reprinted in the UK and translated into Italian. Her previous historical fiction includes The Mandrake Broom, set in the European Middle Ages, and she teaches writing via online classes and at schools and conferences nationwide.

Of her historical fiction, Wells writes: “I’m drawn to the late Middle Ages or early modern period, 1300-1550, because it was a time of tremendous change in Europe.  I’m particularly interested in how inventions changed the social landscape.  For instance, in The Mandrake Broom, the main character sees herself in one of the first full-length mirrors.  In our day we worry about footage of ourselves showing up on YouTube, but here’s a woman who, like most of the day, had never seen an accurate reflection of their entire body.  It must be a startling moment.

Praise for Straight Uphill: A Tale of Love and Chocolate

“…Wells captures love and longing, death and grief, hope and fortitude in writing that is lucid, clear and immediate. I am in awe of how much is going on in this short novel, and how vividly it is presented.” —Seymour Hamilton, author of The Astreya Trilogy 

“The arrival of a grief-stricken American sparks a series of unlikely alliances in a remote Italian village known only for its chocolates. Sweetly sensuous, the story spins across centuries as only Jess Wells can do, weaving historic fiction into a contemporary tapestry of tale of loss, love, second-chances and chocolate.” Nisa Donnelly, author of The Bar Stories

“Author Jess Wells has written an insightful, delicious novel in Straight Uphill: A Tale of Love and Chocolate. The reader is engaged in the story from the first page to the last, while contemplating the sumptuous chocolates, delicious Italian meals, and budding love relationships. Along the way, there are some surprising twists and turns. A simply delightful book!” —5 Stars from Deborah Lloyd for Readers’ Favorite

“Straight Uphill is lush, lovely and enchanting, merging past and present with the tang and sweetness of chocolate, and proving that redemption and healing, and even love are there waiting where one least expects it. I had a marvelous time getting wrapped up in this spellbinding and beautifully written novel. Straight Uphill: A Tale of Love and Chocolate is most highly recommended.” 5 Stars from Jack Magnus for Readers’ Favorite


04/05/2014 – Podcast Interview with Jess Wells, A Slender Tether

Jess Wells, the author of A Slender Tether, talks with Seymour Hamilton (author of the Astreya Trilogy) about her fascination with medieval Europe, those who have influenced her writing, and the importance of ‘place’ in this new podcast interview. We thank Seymour for hosting this interview


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