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Y’all, we have a debut author in the house today!!! Let’s make her feel right at home and remember to say hi in the comments. OH, and you’ll want to comment so you can enter to win the giveaway, especially after you read the sweet excerpt!!!
About the Author
Welcome, Sara Jane! Please, tell us about yourself.
Sara Jane Jacobs: I began writing as a hobby while raising my two children. In 2015, I dusted off my stories and my dreams to see if I could turn my hobby into a career.
My first story, Season of Hope, was inspired by summer vacations which always included a trip to Franklin, North Carolina, to visit family and explore The Smoky Mountains.
When I’m not writing, I enjoy spending time with family. I love most any activity that involves being outdoors, especially camping, hiking and spontaneous excursions to splash in the ocean.
I currently live along the Emerald Coast of Florida with my cat Selah and her delightful offspring, Colby, Jack and Tuesday.
Sara Jane: My favorite inside activity would be playing board games. There’s almost always sure to be lots of laughter.
My favorite outside activity is a tie between spending time at the beach and in the mountains. If I had to pick one it would be the beach since it’s close by and I can go more often.
Beth: Both are special places for me too but neither one is close!
Favorite Book Cover
Sara Jane: Currently, Rescue Me by Susan May Warren. Pretty sure the first time I saw it in a post it evoked an involuntary gasp.
Super cute guy, the mountains, action and adventure, super cute guy . . . oh wait, I said that already.
Beth: Sam is so nice, you SHOULD say it twice!!! ????
Favorite Fictional Couple
Sara Jane: Jane Austen’s Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy. So much to love about those two!
Favorite Book Setting
Sara Jane: Any place where you might not be able to get cell phone service or internet, and the night sky is full of stars.
Beth: Unplug and unwind… sign me up!
Favorite Bookish Memory
Sara Jane: Sharing books with my children. I loved getting books for them through the library, school book orders or on a trip to the bookstore.
We moved five times while they were growing up so finding the library and getting that library card was always a fun adventure.
Beth: Oh yes! We love trips to the library!!!
Tell us about your latest release
Sara Jane: My debut novel, Season of Hope, is the coming of age, friends to more journey of Amanda Jarvis and Tyler Armstrong.
When Amanda prays that a special friend will move into the vacant house near her isolated mountain home, she isn’t upset when God sends a boy instead of a girl. Tyler turns out to be the best friend anyone could ever hope to have by their side.
The story highlights some key moments in their friendship through the years before bringing on the emotional struggles of a life that is changing way too fast as graduation nears. This perfect friendship is about to meet obstacles that Tyler and Amanda could have never imagined.
Unrevealed love, an unexpected career path, and a controlling aunt could change everything between them.
Beth: This sounds like a lovely story! Friends to more stories have a special place in my heart!
Sara Jane: There’s kind of an interesting little backstory behind Season of Hope. It was just supposed to be a few additional scenes to the original book one, Season of Deception (which is now book two in the series).
Author Robin Hardy (The Streiker Saga) was doing some editing on Season of Deception and suggested that I show a little more about Tyler and Amanda’s younger years. The original version went from Tyler and Amanda meeting in chapter one, to “ten years later” and their graduation in chapter two. Then, on to “four years later” with Tyler’s deployment in chapter three.
As I began adding a few more scenes, I kept getting new ideas. I loved writing these new scenes. Their friendship just became even more precious to me. It wasn’t long before a new book one was born.
Tell us about your next release
Sara Jane: The next book in the series, Season of Deception, is currently with the editor. Tyler and Amanda’s story continues, along with the introduction of someone new (you can get some sneak peeks on my Pinterest page!) And soon I’ll be starting book three, Season of Forgiveness – Hannah’s Story. You’ll meet her briefly in book two.
Beth: I’m so excited for you! Thank you for sharing your five favorites and bookish news, Sara Jane! Readers, you’re in for a real treat now… enjoy the excerpt and make sure you enter the giveaway!
Three pairs of eyes watched with anticipation as Catherine set a platter of southern fried chicken among bowls of collard greens, mashed potatoes, and milk gravy. She slipped into the chair beside her husband, reaching for his hand. “The biscuits need a few more minutes. If you want to go ahead and pray, everyone can fix their plate while I get them out of the oven.”
Ethan gave a consenting nod, bowing his head. Catherine, Tyler, and Amanda joined hands and followed his lead. His prayer was sincere and to the point, as always. The timer sounded with the chorus of “amen” and Catherine disappeared into the kitchen.
“Only one more week of freedom,” Ethan stated, piercing a chicken thigh with his fork and passing the platter to Tyler. “Are you guys excited about starting high school?”
Amanda and Tyler exchanged eager glances.
“Yessir,” Tyler spoke first.
“I’m looking forward to it.” Amanda reached for the bowl of collards, looking up at her mom as she joined them. “Mom, how old do I have to be before I can date?”
Catherine glanced over at Ethan. “I’m going to pass that question off to your father.”
“Thirty,” he answered, with no hint that he was teasing.
“Daa-aad.” Amanda shook her head, looking back to her mother.
“Why the sudden interest in dating, Amanda?” her mother asked, passing her the plate of biscuits.
“I don’t know. Debbie Sinclair asked me the other day at church. Apparently, she and her mother have it all planned out. She can date boys from church until she’s sixteen. When she turns sixteen, she can date boys from school if her parents know them.”
Amanda’s father gave an indistinct grunt.
“Why do you want to date?” Tyler’s confused look was not an act.
“I didn’t say I wanted to date. Debbie’s question just got me thinking. That’s all.” She studied Tyler. “Don’t you think you’re going to want to ask girls out on a date?”
“Not anytime soon,” he mumbled, reaching for his glass of sweet tea.
“Why don’t you both just focus on school?” Ethan suggested.
“Sounds good to me,” Tyler agreed. “In fact, AJ, I say we make a pact to bypass the high school dating distraction. Let’s focus on school and have a little race to the top of the class.”
“Deal.” Amanda wasn’t about to pass up a challenge.
Ethan smiled across at both of them. “I’m glad that’s settled.”
Tyler concentrated on buttering his biscuits. “If I want to become a Navy SEAL I won’t have time for dating anyway,” he remarked.
His comment caught Ethan by surprise. “I didn’t know you were interested in becoming a SEAL, Tyler.”
“Yessir.” Tyler gave the man an unpretentious nod. “And I read that you should go out for as many sports teams as you can in high school since you have to be in top physical condition to become a SEAL.” He directed his next comment at Amanda. “And if I’m going to beat you to the top of the class and stay focused on getting into shape, I won’t have time for female drama.”
Tyler’s words evoked a smile from Amanda’s father. Glancing over at his wife, he caught her unamused look and quickly removed the smirk, turning back to commend the lad and deliver a surprise. “Hey, Tyler?” The boy looked up from his fork full of mashed potatoes and gravy. “That’s a very noble goal. You’re going to need some experience with a gun, too. I’ve already talked with your mother about taking you hunting this year, and she okayed it. Are you interested?”
“You bet I am!” Tyler’s enthusiasm was almost palpable.
Ethan was more than satisfied with his reaction. “Awesome. We’ll start making preparations for a fall hunting trip then.”
Amanda looked at Tyler, disappointment and worry twisting her innocent face. “You’re gonna kill a deer?”
“It’s food, AJ,” he said in his defense.
“They’re living, breathing creatures. I hate that people kill them.”
Tyler looked puzzled. “But you still eat the meat.”
“I don’t like to think about it, though. Just don’t show me any pictures.”
Ethan, seeing his wife’s pleading look, intervened. “Okay. Let’s change the subject before the girls lose their appetites.” He reached for his wife’s hand and gave it a gentle squeeze. “Amanda gets that tender heart of hers from her mother. Tyler and I will keep our hunting stories to ourselves.”
“Thank you,” Amanda said, relieved. “Pass the chicken, please.”
Tyler grinned. “You know, Amanda, that chicken used to be a—”
“Uh, Tyler,” Ethan interrupted. “Just pass Amanda the chicken.”
Sara Jane Jacobs has generously offered to provide Season of Hope ebooks for TWO winners!
open internationally where available
Let’s talk “friends-to-more” romance! Do you know any real-life examples?
What do you like about these stories in fiction?