A Sparkling Vintage Life



Photo by Cary Burnett

Okay, I’ll admit it. There’s a lot to love about living the 21st century.

The Internet, for example.
Indoor plumbing.

However . . .

There’s a certain charm, elegance, and grace to an earlier era that need to be recaptured. In our continual quest to be “modern” we too often toss out the proverbial baby with the bathwater.

In my life and my writing, I seek to celebrate the best of the past–anything from an artifact to a long-forgotten skill to a sense of neighborliness–and weave it into my life as an ordinary twenty-first century woman. The result will be, I hope, a Sparkling Vintage Life that preserves those gracious objects, customs, and attitudes that are teetering on the edge of being lost forever.

Is there any place better to spend an afternoon than a dusty attic or musty basement, digging through treasures from “the olden days,” the flotsam of jetsam of bygone eras? I used to think such places were heaven on earth (and still do). But one day I realized that it wasn’t the objects themselves that captured my imagination—it was the stories behind them.

As an author of inspirational historical fiction, my first novel, set in 1920s Chicago and titled You’re the Cream in My Coffee, is slated to be published in September 2016 by Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. “Cream” takes the heroine, Marjorie Corrigan, from a small town to Chicago. The sequel takes her from Chicago to Hollywood in the Golden Age of the 1930s. I am currently scribbling madly on a third novel inspired by the Chicago’s Eastland disaster of 1915. And a fourth novel, Moondrop Miracle, chronicles what happens when a spoiled socialite must survive the crash, not only of the stock market, but of everything she holds dear.

I’ve also written a couple of “Marjorie Corrigan” short stories. “The Christmas Robe” imagines Marjorie’s adventures at Christmastime, shortly after Queen Marie of Romania visits Marshall Field’s. And “Trouble Brewing” tells what happens when Marjorie’s landlady, Mrs. Moran, starts brewing “spring tonic” in the kitchen downstairs.

You’d think that, with all these stories set in Chicago, I must live there. I did grow up near there, and still love the Windy City to pieces. But I live with my husband, Thomas, in rural northern Idaho, on the side of a mountain. Northern Idaho is filled with natural gorgeousness: lakes, mountains, huckleberries. But the greatest gifts have been silence and solitude—two of a writers’ best friends—along with a lively literary community. I’ve gotten far more writing done here than in all my years in Illinois. (The winters are long and dark, and I don’t ski. Writing—and reading—keep me connected to the world.)

I’m also a playwright and once-in-a-while actress. My plays have included the comedy-melodrama Baked Alaska and a one-woman historical portrayal, One Thing Certain, I Will Not Cry: The Nell Irion Story.

In nonfiction, I’ve published many magazine articles on regional and historical topics and co-authored a book of local history, Hanover Harvesters. In addition to maintaining A Sparkling Vintage Life, I blog about the Roaring Twenties at Miss Marjorie’s Jazz Age Journal  and am a founding contributor to Writing North Idaho,

I’m active in the local literary community, American Christian Fiction Writers, Bonner County (Idaho) Historical Society, and the Historical Novel Society.

If there’s anything else you want to know about me, just ask.


Keep the Love-Light Glowing (novel, work-in-progress)
Finalist, Historical Fiction category, 2014 Genesis Award, American Christian Fiction Writers

You’re the Cream in My Coffee (novel, to be published in 2016 by Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas)
Winner, Fiction Award, 2013 Inland Northwest Christian Writers
Winner, Cascade Award for unpublished fiction, 2013 Oregon Christian Writers
Finalist, Historical Fiction category, 2013 Genesis Award, American Christian Fiction Writers

“Serving Time at the Tick-Tock Cafe” (short story)
Second place, IDAHO Magazine Fiction Contest, 2010

This website features my fiction and other creative writing. If you landed here by accident while trying to find my corporate writing, marketing communications, copywriting, and editing services, please visit JennyLeo.com.

Disclaimer: FTC Regulations Effective December 2009 require disclosure that compensation is received for the placement of advertising on A Sparkling Vintage Life, compensation may be received for giveaways, and compensation is never received for reviews. Regardless of whether compensation is received from a seller or advertiser, my opinions are always my own.