One of the things I really like about the internet and social media is that I've been able to meet some wonderful, wonderful people all over the country. Over the years I've met people I have come to consider friends--even though I've never actually spoken with them in person. One of these friends has just published her debut novel and I am so excited for her!
It's been an insanely busy few weeks and I have enjoyed reading this book at night to unwind a bit. Here's the cover blurb:
Kate Sinclair wasn't planning on inheriting her family's 100-year-old farmhouse. She wasn't even planning on going back to Rose Creek. But when her aunt unexpectedly passes away, leaving her the house, she finds herself forced to confront her past, including the family she hasn't spoken to in years.
When she finds a journal belonging to a distant ancestor in the attic of the old house, she begins a journey that reconnects her with her faith, her family, and herself.
But trouble looms. Kate's new love interest, Andrew, has a past full of secrets. And the state department of transportation wants to bulldoze the old farmhouse for a highway project. Will Kate be able to see through Andrew's past? Most importantly, will she find a way to save her house and hold onto the fragile threads that tie her to her family?
Jenny has a warm, engaging voice and is particularly gifted with setting. The house almost becomes a character because it is described in such a beautiful way. The same with the location of the story--I very much felt that I was there.
The book is a clean romance and is geared towards Mormon female readers, but there is more to the book than the romance, describing as it does the protagonists spiritual journey and conversion to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The theme of family, particularly family history and inter-generational relationships, resonates through this book.
Jenny was kind enough to answer some questions about her work:
1. What inspired The House at Rose Creek? The novel is about a woman named Kate who finds an old journal in the attic of her family’s century old farmhouse that was written by her great grandfather four times over. I actually wrote a short story about the grandfather first then Kate’s story evolved from there. I love family history and I love the idea that the things we struggle with, the human struggles that we endure are the same, no matter the century we live in. The book is about romance and conversion, but it’s also about that family connection that we have to our ancestors.
2. How long did it take you to write The House at Rose Creek? When do you write? I have six children, so finding time to write is never easy! Mostly I write late in the evenings or early in the mornings. Sometimes I’ll find little snatches of time during the day, but it’s rare. I’ve learned not to stress when days go by and I don’t have time to write at all, but I’m happier when I get to write a little, so I try pretty hard to stay consistent. The House at Rose Creek took me three months to draft, then another six months to edit and revise.
3. Is there a sequel? There isn’t a sequel, but my second book takes place in the same mountain town, and has a few characters in common. If you don’t read the first one, the second one can absolutely stand alone. But if you do, you’ll enjoy getting a little update as to what Kate is up to after her story is over.
4. Is Rose Creek a real place? YES… and no. Though the name is fictional, everything about the town, from the mountains to the description of Main Street really is an accurate description of my hometown here in Western North Carolina. It was much easier describing a place that I know and love so well.
5. Kate experiences quite a bit of opposition when she decides to join the LDS Church. Is this based on real experience? Absolutely. I grew up in Western North Carolina, as one of the only Mormons in my entire high school. Nearly every conversation that Kate has with her family in regards to her conversion were influenced by real conversations I’ve had with others. In many ways, things are much better now, even than they were fifteen years ago, but there are still a lot of misconceptions about Mormons and what they believe, particularly in the South. Conversion is a different experience here, when there is so much religious feeling that exists already.
Jenny Proctor was born in the mountains of Western North Carolina, a place she still resides and considers the loveliest on earth. She hikes to spend time with her family, runs because her love for food requires it, and writes because it keeps her calm in an otherwise crazy world. She believes that life in the south has a certain flair to it--and works to capture that flair in her novels.
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