Julia Fierro’s New Novel, Santa Monica, and New Pen Name, Shared With Caeli Wolfson Widger

Lifted from Julia’s newsletter:

  • My new novel, SANTA MONICA, goes on sale on October 6th! 
     Santa Monica is a collaboration with my literary BFF, Caeli Wolfson Widger, under our shared pen name, Cassidy Lucas. When movie-star-handsome fitness coach Zack Doheny is found dead on the floor of his gym, it quickly becomes clear that things in the coastal paradise are not as glittering as they seem.  As the sun-kissed, wealthy residents of Santa Monica begin to crack under the stress of their dark secrets, one question hangs above it all: what really happened to Zack Doheny? 
    Reviewers say Santa Monica is “perfect for fans of Big Little Lies,” “propulsively readable,” and “a perfect escape, and four out of six reviewers (including my mom) call the novel “juicy.”

    Read an excerpt here.

    Pre-sales are immensely helpful to a book’s life.  All three of usme, Caeli, and even Cassidywill be very grateful if you pre-order a copy.

    Option 1:
    Pre-order a copy by clicking one of the links below (or order at any store online):
    Option 2: 
    Pre-order at your local independent bookstorean extra bonus because the book will then be stocked on their shelves, and independent bookstores really need extra support right now.

    Option 3:
    Signed & personalized copies can be pre-ordered at my local indie, Diesel, and you can request to have your book dedicated to a special book-loving someone.

    October 6th 6:30pm PST
    hosted by DIESEL
    The event is free on Crowdcast and you’ll get to hear about how fun, crazy, illuminating, exhausting, and ultimately, amazing, it is to write and publish a novel with your best friend.

    Sending you healthy vibes & oodles of gratitude,
    Julia (1/2 of Cassidy Lucas)

    Santa Monica-glam photo by Rubidium WuIf
    If you have read Santa Monica and have something nice to say about, it would be fantastic if you could leave a review on GoodReads or Amazon.

     “Part riveting mystery, part incisive domestic drama, Santa Monica is a sharp look at the lives of the pretending-to-be-perfect in gorgeous seaside California, expertly walking the line between satire, suspense and biting social commentary.”
    –Kimberly McCreight, NYT-bestselling author of Reconstructing Amelia and A Good Marriage

    “While delivering a propulsively readable escapist tale, Lucas vividly, humorously, and poignantly captures the stark contrasts between the haves, the have-nots, and those teetering on the edge; between faith in a higher power and the secular religion of fitness; between the selfish and the unselfish; and between those awash in vanities and those living in constant fear.” —Booklist

    “A vibrant cast faces a broad range of California problems—marriage and money troubles, poor body image for the haves, deportation for the have nots.”
    –Steph Cha, author of Your House Will Pay

    “Oh, how this smart, juicy thriller—Cassidy Lucas’ salacious Santa Monica—sucked me in. A perfect escape.”
    –Marcy Dermansky, author of Very Nice

    A  deft page turner and a topical mystery that’s fully three dimensional in every way, Santa Monica is a juicy yet profound thriller that seamlessly glides between the sun-kissed beaches and the long shadows of Southern California”.
    –Ivy Pochoda, author of These Women

    Santa Monica is a deep dive into the extremes of human desire and a page-turning exploration of class, love, friendship, and marriage.”
    –Elizabeth L. Silver, author of The Execution of Noa P. Singleton

    Santa Monica is one juicy read! Cassidy Lucas brings a rarified beach town to life with verve and tenderness, and she isn’t afraid to show its dark side. Compelling, sassy, and warmhearted, this book is a thrill.”
    –Edan Lepucki, author of NYT-bestselling California

    “Lucas (the pen name of Julia Fierro and Caeli Wolfson Widger) succeeds in satirizing the gilded enclave of Santa Monica while also tugging at readers’ heartstrings.”
    Publisher’s Weekly

    BOOK CLUBS! Click here to set up a visit.  
    Listen to an excerpt of the AUDIOBOOK narrated by award-winning actress Alma Cuervo
    Preorder the audiobook here
    Follow Cassidy Lucas on social media for giveaways & upcoming events
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    Julia & Caeli, Winter 2003, Brooklyn || photo by Kris Widger

    – Caeli and I met in 2003 in my Brooklyn brownstone kitchen when she answered an ad I placed on Craigslist for writing workshops, making her one of the very first Sackett Street writers (today there are more than 8,000)
    – In 2014, my family moved from Brooklyn to Santa Monica, in part to be near Caeli and her family
    – In 2017, in a yellow cab somewhere in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, during the book tour for my novel The Gypsy Moth Summer, Caeli said, “Wouldn’t it be fun to write a thriller together?” I said, “Sure!”
    – It was fun… and crazy and comforting and exhausting and incredibly illuminating, and, ultimately, the greatest lesson in writing I’ve ever experienced, even after twenty years of teaching novel-writing
    – Our agents and editor (and even our husbands) cannot tell which chapter was written by which half of Cassidy Lucas so complete was our mindmeld. 
    – Santa Monica was the last book my mom read. I read excerpts to her by her bedside in the last weeks of her life (she passed in June), and she agrees. “It is juicy! Very sexy!” Which is the best blurb any of my books have received. 
    – Caeli means heaven in Latin and is pronounced chay-lee

    Copyright © 2020 Julia Fierro, All rights reserved.

Next Sackett Street Reading Is April 7 at BookCourt


Come out for one of the best reading series in NYC!

The Sackett Street Writers’ Series at BookCourt features readings by talented SSWW members and alumni.

The Sackett Street Writers’ Workshop was founded in 2002 by writer Julia Fierro, and what began as eight writers meeting in the kitchen of a Brooklyn brownstone has developed into a creative home for over 2000 writers.

Picked as a a “Top alternative to MFA programs” by Poets & Writers, as the “Best substitute for an MFA” by The L Magazine, and as the “Best resource for developing writers” by Brooklyn Magazine,  Sackett Street offers writing workshops throughout the NYC area.

Today, Sackett Street writers live in all boroughs of New York City, and across the world, and many return to the workshops for multiple sessions. Alumni have been accepted at top MFA Creative Writing programs and writing conferences, have won fellowships and awards, and have completed and published short fiction and poetry collections, novels and memoirs.

Performer Bio(s):

Kelly Braffet is the author of the novel Save Yourself. Her previous works include the novels Josie and Jack and Last Seen Leaving, and her writing has been published in The Fairy Tale Review, Post Road, and several anthologies. She attended Sarah Lawrence College and Columbia University and currently lives in upstate New York.

Richard Fulco received an MFA in Playwriting from Brooklyn College. His plays have been either presented or developed at The New York International Fringe Festival, The Playwrights’ Center, The Flea, Here Arts Center, Chicago Dramatists and the Dramatists Guild. His stories, reviews and interviews have appeared in The Brooklyn Rail, Failbetter, The Rusty Toque, the Daily Vault and American Songwriter. He is the founder of the online music magazine Riffraf. There Is No End to This Slope is his first novel.

Ted Thompson’s debut novel, The Land of Steady Habits, will be published by Little, Brown in late March 2014. His stories have appeared in Tin House, American Short Fiction, Best New American Voices and Electric Literature’s Recommended Reading, among other publications. He received his MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and fellowships from the Elizabeth George Foundation, the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, the Ledig House, and the Truman Capote Trust. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife and their dog, Raisin, and is a proud faculty member at the Sackett Street Writers’ Workshop.

Caeli Wolfson Widger’s debut novel, Real Happy Family, has been described in reviews as a “page-turner that strikes the balance between humor and heart”; a member of the “Tolstoyan literary tradition, offer[ing] both a scathing social critique and a sympathetic look at relationships and moral indiscretions ; a “sharply funny [skewering] of Hollywood fame-seekers” and “an unsparing take on damaged family ecosystems [that] makes for compulsive reading.” She lives with her husband and three children in Santa Monica, where she teaches writing workshops and is completing her second novel.