J.S. FurlongMay 15, 2023 07:22AM ● By Lenora Kruk-Mullanaphy
What happens when you move Stacy Goldman, a Jewish chess champion, from the hustle and bustle of New York City to southern Richmond, Virginia? You get a book that’s hard to put down called “Hidden City: The Unimaginables Book 1” by J.S. (Jen Selby) Furlong. Described as a must- read for fans of shows “Supernatural,” “The Queen’s Gambit” and “Buffy: The Vampire Slayer,” the book’s cast of characters combines coming-of-age heart to supernatural action and surprise-packed adventure.
In Furlong’s debut novel, the main character attends St. Ignatius Prep to graduate early and head back to her roots in New York. She befriends Finder, who is the lone Black girl with the school’s highest grade point average. Finder’s white boyfriend Tully is a vegetarian and rugby player with a secret kept even from her. Stacy’s friends tell her the city of Richmond’s secret--it’s home to a supernatural subculture run by a monster as old as the city. Readers will follow Stacy’s struggles with what’s real and what’s not.
If that’s not enough to entice you to get the book, the fact that it’s earned numerous awards will. First place winner in the Fall 2022 BookFest Awards for Young Adult Action and Adventure and National Indie Excellence Awards Finalist, “Hidden City” has also earned the praise of “Kirkus Reviews,” which said it was “an exciting and compulsively readable work about a teen’s empowerment.”
Furlong makes Stacy’s coffee-loving character come alive and one readers feel they come to know, especially when visiting the website where “Stacy’s Favorite Coffee” recipe is featured. In fact, there’s a luxury chocolate version for those with a sweet tooth.
Furlong, who is an author, producer and actor, was raised in the D.C. professional theatre. She found her niche in her teen years, learning to inhabit other people’s lives on stage and making them real.
When Furlong’s college professor noted that one of her papers “wasn’t bad and she should consider publishing it,” it started the ball rolling. Furlong wanted to write something her own children would read someday. The mother to four teens, who also writes about young heroines who struggle with the truth, possibility and who they are, writes books she hopes teens through adults will enjoy.
Furlong’s readers won’t have long to wait for her next book, “Tattooed Angel.” Stacy finds out monsters are real in Richmond. When something goes wrong with her science fair partner, this page-turner will see if she can find out who—or what—is behind it. Readers will find out if she loses her project, as well as her partner.
A graduate of Duke Ellington School of the Arts, who attended Ithaca College and the University of Mary Washington, Furlong’s career in television and film includes a role on “Buffy: The Vampire Slayer.” She lives in Virginia with her husband and animals.
To purchase Furlong’s books, view Fan Art, read about upcoming events and more, visit the website at jsfurlong.com/home. Fans can follow Furlong on TikTok @jenwritesvampirebooks or email her at [email protected]