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I try to share a variety of authors and books with you, and today I have the privilege of introducing you to a new-to-me author as well. June McCrary Jacobs recently released her first full-length novel, Robin’s Reward. She’s offering a giveaway copy — perhaps you’ll have an opportunity to read even more from this new author!
Welcome, June! What inspired you to write Robin’s Reward?
My favorite place to visit is the Mendocino County coastal region of Northern California. We have spent many fun, happy vacations there in the past twenty-five years. Not only is the scenery magnificent, but I find it a very peaceful, tranquil place to spend time. I love being near the ocean because I feel rejuvenated by the cool, clean air and the sound of the surf. The coastal mountain range of California is beautiful with the groves of redwood trees and occasional spots of serene pastureland. The wildflowers are abundant there in the spring and summer seasons when there has been a lot of precipitation.
The Mendocino Botanical Gardens are a favorite spot where we spend lots of time whenever we’re at the coast. This garden becomes a key setting in ‘Robin’s Reward’ because the main character, Robin Bennett, loves to garden and she loves to visit the ocean (sound like anyone you know?).
Almost five years ago I began to formulate a story in my mind in the fictional small town of Bonita Creek. I decided to make Robin a librarian because of my love of books. She is a master gardener because of my love for all things flora and fauna. (Other than those two similarities, our personalities are nothing alike.)
I wanted to tell a story of a strong, independent woman who had been hurt by some of the men in her life. I matched her up with Jeff Clarke, a nice guy who makes some bad decisions at the beginning of their relationship. I’ll let you in on a little secret—Jeff redeems himself big time later on in the book!
What a beautiful picture, and a great inspiration! What do you hope your readers take away from this novel?
The themes of honesty, trust, and forgiveness are foundations of this book. I’d like readers to see the imperfections of the characters and realize that none of us is perfect no matter how hard we try. I learned from writing this book that I need to behave with respect, honesty, and kindness in every situation I encounter.
I’d also like readers to have a good laugh at the wit and humor sprinkled throughout the book. This is fiction, after all! I hope people read the book for enjoyment and to take a breather from their everyday tasks and responsibilities.
You mentioned you’re not much like Robin. Have you given any of your own personality quirks to your characters? If so, would you be willing to share about it/them?
I don’t really see myself as quirky, but there are a couple of things . . . Robin/June doesn’t serve food on paper plates—ever. She doesn’t buy fast food for herself or her guests. She likes to use a tablecloth and cloth napkins and dress the table with her good china, crystal, and silver when she has guests. She cooks her biscuits and waffles from scratch. She plans her menus with care and shops organic whenever possible. She tries very hard not to step on anyone’s toes, sometimes to her own detriment.
Robin’s best friend and cousin, Penny Ralston, surprisingly has a lot in common with me. She loves to design and sew clothes, and I love to design and sew although I don’t design clothes. Penny takes great joy in creating gifts for her friends, and shares her sewing skills as much as possible with others. Penny is extremely shy—June, not so much.
Back to that love of books part… What are you reading right now?
I read a lot of Amish fiction, and I just finished a great book by one of my favorite authors, Beverly Lewis, ‘The Love Letters’. I highly recommend it to readers who enjoy Amish fiction, clean fiction, or historical fiction. I’ve got some new Debbie Macomber novels, ‘Every Fifteen Minutes’ by Lisa Scottoline, and as many Amish fiction books as I can squeeze in stacked in my virtual To Be Read pile.
I also enjoy reading non-fiction, particularly books about sewing, quilting, and crafting. I’m fortunate that our local libraries purchase a lot of titles in the 646 and 746 call number sections of the catalog so I can intersperse these DIY hobby-type books in between my fiction reading without going broke!
I also read to learn. For instance, I’m reading the 2015 Crafter’s Market Guide to bring myself up to date on the various markets for my original sewing designs. Your readers can view some of my original published designs on my website at: http://www.junemccraryjacobs.com/portfolio-of-designs/
How fun! Can you give any hints about your next book?
My current work project is Book Two in the Bonita Creek Trilogy. It will be Penny’s story and is titled, ‘Penny’s Promise’. As I mentioned previously, Penny is an extremely bashful, gifted designer and seamstress. We’ll follow Penny’s journey as she tries to break out of her shell, solve some issues from her earlier years, and hopefully fall in love. (Alert—this is an inspirational romance story). I expect this book will be published in early 2016.
Many readers of my debut novella, ‘A Holiday Miracle in Apple Blossom‘, have requested another Christmas story. Apparently I’m not the only person who loves Christmas stories. And, yes, I do read Christmas stories year round!
The book I’m envisioning will not be a sequel to ‘A Holiday Miracle’ nor will it contain the same characters or setting. Instead, I’m toying with the idea of a historical setting around the second and third decades of the twentieth century—post World War I.
That sounds interesting. Thanks for taking the time to visit with us today, June! 🙂
Thank you, Sarah, for your warm hospitality. This was fun! I appreciate your sharing ‘Robin’s Reward‘ and my story with your readers. I wish you all the best in your blogging and writing endeavors. All my best, June.
Bonita Creek’s librarian Robin Bennett is heartbroken after being abandoned by her husband, Thomas. The mysterious and handsome Jeff Clarke arrives unexpectedly and touches Robin’s life with his wit and warmth. Then, without warning, Jeff’s harsh words and abrasive actions scare her off, and Robin’s hope of finding true love withers again.
Just when it seems Robin and Jeff might have a future, Susan Stinson, whose cruel taunting has plagued Robin since they met as young teens, decides Jeff should be hers, not Robin’s. Susan’s anger and jealousy escalate dangerously. Her vindictiveness threatens the foundation of Jeff and Robin’s young relationship.
Robin’s journey through the peaks and valleys of her life meanders along the twists and turns of new challenges. Is a relationship which began with both parties harboring secrets destined to survive? Can they move past their troubles and the obstacles in their path to find love and happiness together? When their pasts rear their ugly heads, Jeff and Robin must use their faith to remain strong and true. But will it be enough for them to embrace a life of love, trials, and blessings . . . together?
More about June McCrary Jacobs:
Award-winning author, June McCrary Jacobs, was the winner of Cedar Fort Publishing’s 2013 Holiday Tale Contest for her debut novella, ‘A Holiday Miracle in Apple Blossom’. ‘Robin’s Reward’ is her first full-length novel, and is set in her favorite location in California—the Mendocino coastal region. This book is the first installment of the ‘Bonita Creek Trilogy’.
June’s original sewing, quilting, and stitchery designs have been published in over one hundred books, magazines, and blogs in the past few years. When she’s not writing, reading, or sewing, June enjoys cooking, walking, and visiting art and history museums. She also enjoys touring historic homes and gardens and strolling around the many historic Gold Rush towns in the Sierra Nevada foothills. In the summertime you can find June at a variety of county fairs and the California State Fair admiring the sewing projects, quilts, and handiwork other inspired seamstresses, quilters, craftspeople, and artists have created.
You can connect with June online:
Website & Blog: http://www.junemccraryjacobs.com
Amazon.com Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/author/june-mccrary-jacobs
Goodreads Author Page: http://www.goodreads.com/June-McCrary-Jacobs