On the outside forty-year-old Jules Kanter seems to have the perfect life--a beautiful daughter, a loving husband, and a successful career as the arts and entertainment editor for an award-winning newspaper. But, Jules also has well-hidden secrets.
While celebrating the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's recent Pulitzer Prize win, Jules meets Erin, a thirty-four-year-old musician/bartender who instantly catches her attention. As a talented performer who rose to stardom in Nashville, Erin's career faded almost as soon as it began. After using drugs and lying about her sexuality, Erin lost her record deal and narrowly escaped jail, only to find herself back in her hometown, working at a bar and caring for her ailing mother. Intrigued by Erin's checkered past, Jules becomes a regular patron at the bar and consistently hounds Erin for permission to write her story. Though repeatedly turning down her attempts for an interview, Jules begins to pique Erin's interest as well. Soon the pair finds themselves in the midst of an illicit (and very secret) affair.
Then, on a snowy January night while driving home from Erin's apartment, Jules is tragically killed in a car accident. Weeks later, her husband, Will, who is struggling with grief and sobriety, discovers evidence of her affair on her cell phone.
Attempting to understand how his wife could be involved in a same-sex affair, Will uncovers an article Jules wrote about Erin, as well as poetic and confessional letters she addressed to herself. Needing the truth, Will tracks Erin down and angrily confronts her, but the pair begins to realize just how much Jules hid from them both. But, another unexpected twist surfaces when Jules' editor comes forward with an unpublished column in which Jules intended not only to publicly admit her affair with Erin, but also explain her long-denied sexuality--a truth, she says in her own words, that must first be admitted when facing yourself in the mirror.
On Burning Mirrors has received the following awards and recognitions:
The Eric Hoffer Award - 2019 Honorable Mention
The Eric Hoffer da Vinci Eye Award - 2019 Finalist for cover design
Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Award - 2018 Finalist for LGBTQ Fiction
American Fiction Awards - 2018 Finalist for LGBTQ and General Fiction
What readers are saying about On Burning Mirrors:
"Wow is all I can say about this book. It's bittersweet, tragic, and even difficult at times, but I can honestly say I haven't read a story quite like it before."
"The character development of Will and Erin is beyond reproach and left my heart aching for them both."
"The story bounces back and forth from past to present, I love how the author did this beautifully with no loose ends."
"A thought-provoking character study on sexual identity, marriage and family, and self-authenticity."
Readers who choose On Burning Mirrors for its insights into same-sex relationships and marital struggles will find it a powerful emotionally-driven exploration of love, friendship, closely-held memories and unexpected futures. The novel is particularly recommended reading not just for fans of gay fiction; but for those outside the genre who can anticipate an emotional story of the processes of coming together, moving apart, and forging new connections.
- D. Donovan - Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review
On Burning Mirrors is a deeply thought-provoking and affecting story that will linger in readers' mind for quite some time. Issues such as sexual prejudice, addictions, social stigma, and mental health are dealt with quite well. All in all, a worthy read.
- Lit Amri for Readers' Favorite
Klinger-Krebs succinctly portrays William's ambivalence, in particular; after discovering his wife's affair, William expresses, rather adroitly, that "as much as I hate her right now, I loved her one hundred times more." Indeed, the book is at its best when it explores the mixed feelings that make relationships what they are.
What this story lacks in suspense, it makes up with an honest investigation of love and loss.
- Kirkus Reviews
While primarily a love story, On Burning Mirrors also addresses important social and career issues like sexual gender preferences, gender bias and drug usage in the music industry, along with a needed wariness of media and newspaper reporting. This is a novel that keeps readers thinking while they are enjoying the story...and even after they have closed the book.
- Viga Boland for Readers' Favorite
Jamie Klinger-Krebs writes with the simplicity of language that only a very skilled writer can use and the narrative flows with grace, featuring vivid descriptions that capture details of the story without sacrificing the main elements of plot. There are twists in the story that readers won't see coming. Here is a tale of love and loyalty and sexuality, a tale of secrets that is crafted to keep the reader mesmerized.
- Divine Zape for Readers' Favorite