Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Inviting You to Hollyhill

It won't be very many more weeks until Scent of Lilacs, my first inspirational fiction book will be available again for readers. The book has been out of print for several years, but in March it will hit the store shelves with a brand new cover. Some of you have already read my Hollyhill books and I thank you for that. There are three of them. Scent of Lilacs, Orchard of Hope and Summer of Joy. 

 I appreciate the many kind comments I've gotten about the stories. Scent of Lilacs got a starred review in Booklist with this review. Thirteen-year-old Jocie Brooke prays God will send her a dog and wishes her senile aunt would stop quoting scripture. The setting is semi-rural Kentucky. The story revolves around Jocie's dad, David, a newspaper editor and the "interim" pastor of a little Baptist church. Where is Jocie's mom? She left seven years ago, taking Jocie's older sister with her. David's strange marital status explains why he's always "interim" and also why he's so sad. Jocie gets her mutt, the onslaught of Bible verses is ameliorated, and real drama emerges as Jocie explores her family's secrets in this universal tale of growing up. 

I call my Hollyhill books Small Town, America stories because I  pulled so much of the background for the books from the little town here in Kentucky where I grew up. All the characters are completely made up - and none of you hometown friends are going to convince me differently. Well, maybe there were a few minor characters I might have pulled a bit of this or that from someone I remember from years ago. Maybe. The thing is, all my characters in all my books probably pull a little of this or that from people I've met or read about or imagined over the years. That's where characters spring from - that mysterious well of experience and imagination in a writer's head. 

I did enjoy writing about Jocie Brooke and her family and friends in Hollyhill. I especially liked it when Jocie and Wes, who was a grandfatherly figure to Jocie, got to talking. In Scent of Lilacs, I have them thinking about writing a book called The Hollyhill Book of the Strange. 

So guess what? Jocie and Wes are writing it now to celebrate the re-issue of the Heart of Hollyhill series. Once a week I'll be visiting Hollyhill and let Jocie or Wes or who knows who in Hollyhill tell us what's going on there. I started to just substitute the Hollyhill posts for my regular Wednesday night posts here on One Writer's Journal, but a name like "The Hollyhill Book of the Strange" simply cried out for its own space. So here's the Hollyhill link if you'd like to go over and see how Jocie is introducing her new venture. With a little help from Wes, of course. 

If you grew up in a small town or community, I'd be glad to hear the "strange" things you might remember about your towns. Who knows? Jocie might suddenly remember something along the same lines that might have strangely happened in Hollyhill. :) Small towns are great places to grow up, but they are also hot beds of interesting and unique characters who give rise to some entertaining if odd stories.  Maybe even a little strange.

Let me know what you think. Either here or on the new blog. Leave a comment here or there before March 1 for a chance to win an autographed copy of Scent of Lilacs. I'll give away three copies and your name will go in my hat twice if you comment both places. Thanks for giving Jocie's new venture a try. Happy reading!
 

12 comments:

  1. I Love Jocie,she is one of my all time favorite book characters!!Scent of Lilacs is an amazing story I think its great that its being rereleased and others will have a chance to meet Jocie and read all about Holyhill.Don't forget the other two books in the series that are equally as good.I can't wait to read what new adventures Jocie and Wes willl be getting into and look forward to The Hollyhill Book of the Strange.Thanks Ann for creating such wonderful characters and storylines you are awesome!Keep it up and God Bless you and yours.

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    1. Thanks, Carrie Lynn. I remember that Jocie was the beginning of our reading friendship. Hope you enjoyed the new blog hollyhillbookofthestrange.blogspot.com too. Jocie and friends will be making weekly appearances there.

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  2. Hi Ann, This is so fun! Can't wait to read Scent of Lilacs. Does it help that I love lilacs and a part of my childhood was spent in a small town? Some of my best memories were made there. Thanks for making reading fun! You're the best. Thanks, too, for the opportunity to win an autographed copy! Linda

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    1. Thanks, Linda. Hope you will enjoy Jocie and friends sharing their Hollyhill fun every week on the Hollyhill Book of the Strange blog. Lilacs and small towns - we can share loving those.

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  3. Hey Ann , I have not read this series but would love too. I can"t wait to read
    Scents Of Lilacs . I do love flowers & can smells them now. I consider myself from a small City. I have always lived in this area. Thanks for having this giveaway & really hope to be a winner so i can read this one...
    Elizabeth Dent

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    1. The scent of the lilacs turns out to be an important part of the story, Liz. Small towns where everybody knows everybody can be fun and interesting. I hope so anyway as I have Jocie visiting on my new blog, www.hollyhillbookofthestrange.blogspot.com. Maybe I should have come up with a shorter name. :)

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  4. Ann, this reminds me of my days living in small towns. I still love that picture. I would love to have one. Thanks for the give-away. Maxie ( mac262(at)me(dot)com )

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    1. Small town people can have a lot of fun memories. Right, Maxie? But in some ways most everybody has a small town experience even if they live in a big city. Then it's their community or neighborhood that produces the growing up memories. Perhaps a church that gives them memories of the people who supported and loved them as they grew up. At least that can be our hope.

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  5. This looks like a fantastic book Ann!!! I can't wait to read it! I have lived in several small towns and love them! Now I live in the country and enjoy how peaceful it is here. Thanks for the great giveaway and hope you have a great weekend! God Bless
    Megan
    makeighleekyleigh at yahoo.com

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    1. Megan, thanks so much. I'm hoping Jocie and friends will find some new readers to follow them through the Heart of Hollyhill series. That's why I'm trying to introduce people to Jocie and friends on her very own blog writing about Hollyhill, www.hollyhillbookofthestrange.blogspot.com. We'll see how that works in the weeks ahead. Got to come up with some Hollyhill stories for that. Strange or otherwise.

      Country living is the best!

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  6. I would love to read Scent of Lilacs! Sounds wonderful. Kathleen
    lanehillhouse[at]centurylink[dot]net

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    1. Thanks, Kathleen. Hope if you do get a chance to read Jocie and friends' story that it will bring you smiles and touch your heart. And check out Jocie's new blog if you have a minute. You can leave a comment there to get your name entered in the giveaway again. www.hollyhillbookofthestrange.blogspot.com. I definitely should have named it something shorter. LOL

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Thanks for joining the conversation. I like hearing what you have to say. Thanks for dropping by.