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Get the lowdown on your favorite authors with Jennifer Vido.

Jennifer Vido | Jen's Jewels Interview: FINLAY DONOVAN ROLLS THE DICE by Elle Cosimano


Finlay Donovan Rolls the Dice
Elle Cosimano

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Finlay Donovan #4

March 2024
On Sale: March 5, 2024
320 pages
ISBN: 1250846005
EAN: 9781250846006
Kindle: B0C1X7LZ3S
Hardcover / e-Book / audiobook
Add to Wish List

Also by Elle Cosimano:
Finlay Donovan Rolls the Dice, March 2024
Finlay Donovan Jumps the Gun, February 2024
Finlay Donovan Knocks 'Em Dead, September 2023
Finlay Donovan Jumps the Gun, February 2023

Hey there, readers! This week's Jen's Jewels author interview features Elle Cosimano and her latest release, FINLAY DONOVAN ROLLS THE DICE, the fourth installment in the Finlay Donovan series. I had a fascinating conversation with Elle about the inspiration behind blending a girls' weekend with a thrilling rescue mission. We dove into the dynamics between Finlay and Vero, exploring how their evolving partnership adds depth to the series. Elle shared insights into the neon-lit backdrop of Atlantic City and how it brings a new vibrancy to the story. We discussed the intricate plot involving loan sharks, stolen cars, and a charismatic hot cop, offering a behind-the-scenes look at the challenges of weaving multiple threads. Elle also provided a glimpse into family dynamics and the relatable chaos in Finlay's life. As a bonus, she hinted at exciting adventures to come with Finlay and Vero in future books and a standalone novella. If you're a fan eager to unravel the secrets behind this irresistible series, don't miss this interview!

 

Jennifer Vido: What sparked the idea of blending a girls' weekend with a thrilling rescue mission for Finlay and Vero in the fourth installment of the series?

Elle Cosimano: That’s a great question. I guess you could say there were two drivers behind that decision. One was the desire to keep things fresh for my readers, and what better way to do that than with a major change in setting that took my characters out of their quiet, affluent suburban life and thrust them into the seedy underbelly of a city awash in nightclubs and casinos. The second motivator had more to do with agency. My characters are growing. Finlay and Vero are both figuring out who they are and what they want, and taking big risks in pursuit of their own goals—taking the fight to Atlantic City to confront their fears and face their aggressors—felt like the right choice for the story I wanted to tell. And of course, the only way to accomplish both of those goals was for our characters to come up with a good cover story for being there. Hence, the girls’ weekend adventure.

 

Jen: The dynamic between Finlay and Vero as a nanny/partner-in-crime duo adds an intriguing element to the story. How did you cook up their characters, and how has their relationship evolved throughout the series?

Elle: I didn’t know I was writing a story about friendship until the scene in the garage in book one, when we first meet Vero on the page. When I started writing that book, I had thought this story was just about Finlay, but the chemistry between Finn and Vero in that first scene was undeniably perfect, and I knew in that moment I was writing that scene that this story was going to be more than what I had imagined. That Vero would be a central character in this story. And that this would be a story about women supporting women as much as it is a story of one woman rediscovering herself. Finn and Vero’s relationship may have started by accident, a partnership born from necessity, but it has evolved into a true ride or die companionship. I believe these two women would do anything for each other, and we see that commitment tested in every adventure.

 

Jen: Atlantic City is a backdrop for the story, with its seedy casino hotel setting. How does this location amp up the vibe of the novel?

Elle: The location was just so much fun to play with! The set pieces in this installment are my favorite yet—casinos, strip clubs, fancy penthouse parties, underground restaurants, bars, chop shops, you name it! And by taking our characters out of their comfortable home setting, we challenge them to get extra creative in order to get themselves out of some wild trouble!

 

Jen: The plot involves Finlay negotiating with a dangerous loan shark, saving Vero’s childhood crush, and hunting down a stolen car. How did you juggle these elements to keep the story flowing, and were there any unexpected challenges during the process?

Elle: The longer the series goes, the harder it is to juggle all the different threads and characters. I suppose that’s part of the fun of writing a series—exploring the full breadth of the fictional world I’ve managed to create. But from a plotting standpoint, it can be a nightmare. This book had so many moving parts, and while I’m delighted with the way the story came together, it wasn’t without a few headaches and false starts along the way. I relied heavily on sticky notes, flow charts, scratch pads, and several critique partners who offered encouragement and feedback along the way.

 

Jen: How does the involvement of the police department, especially with hot cop Nick, add an extra layer of tension to the story?

Elle: Finlay’s biggest internal struggle comes from the fact that she has inadvertently fallen deeper and deeper into a life of crime, and this goes against the very fiber of the person she desperately wants to be. While she’s growing and becoming more self-confident as a result of the choices she’s made, two of the people she most adores in her life are police detectives—her sister and her love interest—and she spends a lot of time walking a tightrope as she tries to navigate those precarious relationships.

 

Jen: Family dynamics play a significant role in the book, with Finlay juggling her ex-husband, two kids, and her mother’s marital issues. How does Finlay navigate the challenges of her chaotic family life?

Elle: Finlay navigates difficult family dynamics the way most of us do. It’s what makes her so relatable. She’s forced to contend with the same day-to-day challenges we all face—family conflicts, romantic insecurities, parenting challenges, work deadlines . . . only she has the added burden of juggling the mob, crime bosses, and police investigations. As I’m writing about those more outlandish situations, I try to bear in mind the more realistic pieces of her life as well, making sure to take a breath between the moments of fictional chaos to pay quiet homage to the more normal aspects of her life too.

 

Jen: Sneak peek! Can readers anticipate more adventures with Finlay and Vero?

Elle: Yes! I’m hard at work on Book #5 (title coming soon). Books #6 and #7 are in the hopper too. And I do hope all my readers have read or listened to Vero’s short story Veronica Ruiz Breaks the Bank, which released in both ebook and audiobook in November. This short standalone novella tells Vero’s backstory in the months before she first meets Finlay.

 

Jen: What’s the best way for readers to stay connected with you?

Elle: Readers can subscribe to my newsletter through my website. I share all kinds of fun bonus content, FAQs, announcements, and giveaways. They can also keep up with me on Instagram or Facebook.

 

Jen: Thanks for stopping by to chat about FINLAY DONOVAN ROLLS THE DICE—best of luck with your irresistible new release.

Elle: Thank you! Fans of the series can always order a signed, personalized copy of any of the Finlay books through Bluebird & Company. Bluebird can ship signed books anywhere in the US. Check out the links on my website for details.

FINLAY DONOVAN ROLLS THE DICE by Elle Cosimano

Finlay Donovan #4

Finlay Donovan Rolls the Dice

From New York Times bestseller Elle Cosimano comes Finlay Donovan Rolls the Dice—the fiercely anticipated next installment in the beloved Finlay Donovan series.

Finlay Donovan and her nanny/partner-in-crime Vero are in sore need of a girls’ weekend away. They plan a trip to Atlantic City, but odds are—seeing as it’s actually a cover story to negotiate a deal with a dangerous loan shark, save Vero’s childhood crush Javi, and hunt down a stolen car—it won’t be all fun and games. When Finlay’s ex-husband Steven and her mother insist on tagging along too, Finlay and Vero suddenly have a few too many meddlesome passengers along for the ride.

Within hours of arriving in their seedy casino hotel, it becomes clear their rescue mission is going to be a bust. Javi’s kidnapper, Marco, refuses to negotiate, demanding payment in full in exchange for Javi’s life. But that’s not all—he insists on knowing the whereabouts of his missing nephew, Ike, who mysteriously disappeared. Unable to confess what really happened to Ike, Finlay and Vero are forced to come up with a new plan: sleuth out the location of Javi and the Aston Martin, then steal them both back.

But when they sneak into the loan shark’s suite to search for clues, they find more than they bargained for—Marco's already dead. They don’t have a clue who murdered him, only that they themselves have a very convincing motive. Then four members of the police department unexpectedly show up in town, also looking for Ike—and after Finlay's night with hot cop Nick at the police academy, he’s a little too eager to keep her close to his side.

If Finlay can juggle a jealous ex-husband, two precocious kids, her mother’s marital issues, a decomposing loan shark, and find Vero’s missing boyfriend, she might get out of Atlantic City in one piece. But will she fold under the pressure and come clean about the things she’s done, or be forced to double down?

 

Mystery Amateur Sleuth [Minotaur Books, On Sale: March 5, 2024, Hardcover / e-Book, ISBN: 9781250846006 / eISBN: 9781250846013]

Finlay Donovan is Back and Better Than Ever!

Buy FINLAY DONOVAN ROLLS THE DICEAmazon.com | Kindle | BN.com | Apple Books | Kobo | Google Play | Powell's Books | Books-A-Million | Indie BookShops | Ripped Bodice | Walmart.com | Target.com | Amazon CA | Amazon UK | Amazon DE | Amazon FR

About Elle Cosimano

Elle Cosimano

Elle’s debut, Nearly Gone, was a 2015 Edgar Award finalist, winner of the International Thriller Award, and has been nominated for multiple state book awards. Her more recent young adult thriller, Holding Smoke, was an International Thriller Award nominee and a Bram Stoker Award finalist. In addition to writing novels for teens and adults, her essays have appeared in The Huffington Post and TIME. Elle lives with her husband and two sons in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Central Virginia.

 

Finlay Donovan

WEBSITE | INSTAGRAM | TWITTER | FACEBOOK

About Jennifer Vido

Jennifer Vido

Jennifer Vido writes sweet romances set in the Lowcountry filled with southern charm and hospitality. In between chapters, she interviews authors for her bi-weekly Jen’s Jewels column on FreshFiction.com. Most mornings, she teaches an arthritis-friendly water exercise class for seniors before heading to the office to serve as the executive director of a legal non-profit. A New Jersey native, she currently lives in Maryland with her husband and two rescue dogs and is the proud parent of two sons who miss her home-cooked meals. To learn more, please visit her website.

Gull Island

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