Guest Author: Holly Jacobs

Please welcome guest author Holly Jacobs who has a new, December Superromance out now, HOMECOMING DAY and she’s a novice basket weaver, too! She’s having a contest giving away a basket she’s made. Here’s Holly …

Thanks for inviting me to visit today, Ladies!

I’m pretty sure most readers aren’t surprised to discover that writers are readers, too…generally they’re readers first! I can’t remember a time I didn’t read. My first book love-affair was with The Hobbit. To be honest, all my first crushes were on characters from books. Aragorn in LOTR, Lazarus Long in Heinlein’s works. I grew up in books. As an adult, I was the kindergarten story lady for years, even after all my kids had moved up in grades. There was something so exciting about seeing the kids fall into a story. Most years we all read our first big-kid chapter book together.

I can’t fathom a life without books.

I guess that’s why I touch on the idea of functional illiteracy in this month’s SuperRomance, Homecoming Day. JT, the high school freshman in the book, can read. It’s difficult and ponderous for her, but she can do it…she just can’t do it well and that impacts her school performance and her self-esteem. And it goes without saying that she has never read for pleasure.

My hero and heroine come together because of her and they work with her. The better she reads, the more her grades improve, the more she opens up.

Now, I’m going to confess, I think I rushed the JT’s reading progress. I don’t think most kids who have difficulty reading can overcome their problems in just a few months of one-on-one work. But hey, I’m writing fiction and there were a few time constraints, so let’s just agree that she’s an anomaly and did improve that quickly. What I don’t think I exaggerated was the idea that one person can make a difference in someone else’s life. That having someone care about you can alter the course you take.

And I’m totally certain that I didn’t exaggerate the notion that reading can enrich your life and open new ideas and vistas. So many writers helped raise me. When I felt lost, they helped me find myself. I wouldn’t be who I am today without those authors in my past.

Laura, the heroine of Homecoming Day, is a teacher. I have so many family members who teach and I know what a rare and wonderful breed of person they are! And the hero, Seth Keller (whose brother, Zac, was the hero in last year’s Unexcepted Gifts), is a cop. Now, I love cops…actually one cop in particular. My husband is a police Captain, and two brothers are also police officers. So I do think police officers make great heroes, even if they’re not saving the world, but are saving a few kids.

Both Laura and Seth have suffered a devastating loss. They need to heal before they can fall in love. My blurb for this book, as I wrote it, was, Life Gives Second Chances…Sometimes So Does Love! I hope you enjoy their story…that you enjoy READING their story.

See how I did that? I circled back to reading…literacy! Yeah, I’m that good! LOL Let’s talk books that made an impact on you. Is there a particular book you can remember reading when you were young…something that still stays with you?

Holly
http://www.hollyjacobs.com/

PS. According to National Right to Read Foundation, “42 million American adults can’t read at all; 50 million are unable to read at a higher level that is expected of a fourth or fifth grader. 20% of high school seniors can be classified as being functionally illiterate at the time they graduate.” (My heart breaks over these numbers!)

PPS. I’m having a contest to celebrate the release of this book. I need to preface the contest info by saying I’m a VERY novice basketweaver. And a number of friends and readers asked me to give one away, so I am!

To enter, just share a favorite Christmas memory…something that gives you that warm glow of homecoming and family. That’s all it takes. (Of course, I do hope you’ll purchase a copy of Homecoming Day, too! LOL) You can find out more at http://www.hollyjacobs.com/contest.html

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About Helen Brenna

Helen Brenna is the RITA award winning author of romances for Harlequin's Superromance line. Three more books in her popular Mirabelle Island series will be release in July, August and September of 2011. For more information, check out her website at www.helenbrenna.com.
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