Friday, November 09, 2018

SAFE HAVEN (THE GREAT LAKES LIGHTHOUSE BRIDES) - Rebecca Jepson

Dear Readers, here another of the authors of a novella in The Great Lakes Lighthouse Brides novella collection. Reviewers have often mentioned how the like the fact that all the stories are so different. I really loved her story.

Welcome, Rebecca. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
I’ll often give my heroine a struggle that’s similar to something I’ve been through. If I learn anything from my mistakes or trials, I like to share those things in the hope of helping someone else. But subconsciously, I probably write lots of my day-to-day thoughts and feelings into my characters.  

Things like that are what make our stories more compelling. What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
When I was a teenager, I was running from our house to our van, hurrying so we wouldn’t be late to church. I was carrying a thermos of hot cocoa, which I managed to spill—and my family still marvels about this—on the back of my head. (I was holding my hood up over my head to protect my hairdo from the rain, and the hand that was holding the hood was also holding the thermos. I didn’t notice that the thermos was tilted, or that the hot cocoa was spilling down onto my hair. I didn’t notice it, in fact, until after we’d been at church for a while, and my poor friend Laura spent the church service in the nursery with me, trying to comb out the goo.)

When did you first discover that you were a writer?
When I was a kid, I loved creating stories for my siblings and me to act out together, and people always told me I had a big imagination. Then when I was thirteen, a librarian gave me a brochure for a writing contest for kids, and I saw that the winners received a publishing contract. Suddenly, those two words, publishing contract, seemed like magic to me. I went to the library, found books by previous contest winners, and poured over them. I dreamed and dreamed of one day seeing my name on the cover of one of those books. I entered the contest several times, but never won. Thankfully, the writing dream refused to die. J

We readers are glad that it didn’t die. Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
My current favorite genre is women’s fiction. I also love historical fiction, and I will read a mystery as long as it’s Agatha Christie . . . I guess that’s a pretty specific criteria for mysteries, isn’t it? J

How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
I take long walks downtown along the river with my husband, or go on a drive with him at night, admiring the lights of the city. These peaceful times together give me a fresh perspective. I also like to escape the craziness with a good book (surprise, surprise!) or by watching a TV series that has an inspiring female lead. 

How do you choose your characters’ names?
I look online and find lists of the most popular names in America during whatever decade my character was born. Usually one of the names will fit the persona I have in my mind. 

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
I am probably most proud of my three published works (two novellas and one novel), and of the time I spent working at a job I didn’t care for so I could help my husband through college.

Good for you. If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
I would be a goat, because they are so full of spunk, a trait I admire. (I know about the spunkiness of goats firsthand, because I grew up on a farm in northern Oregon and we had lots of goats.)

What is your favorite food?
Pizza, especially if it has black olives and mushrooms on it.

Yum. What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
All the waiting. When I was younger, I waited to hear back from contests. Later, when I got really serious about writing, I waited to hear back from agents. Now I’m often waiting to hear back from publishers. Not to mention all the waiting on myself, since I have to write each book before I can even begin all the rest of the waiting! I’m not sure I’ve overcome this problem yet, but this quote from Elizabeth George has helped me. “Talent develops itself in secret.” All the time I’ve spent holed up in my office at home writing, with no accolades or fanfare—or for that matter, even readers, for many years—wasn’t wasted time. It’s about honing the craft, about constantly learning, about putting in the time it takes to create.

Tell us about the featured book.
Rose Miller takes over as lighthouse keeper when her grandfather, the former keeper, passes away. Just before he dies, he tells her he isn’t really her grandfather, but that he found her on the lighthouse steps when she was an infant. The only clues as to how she came to be there were child-sized footprints in the sand and a hair ribbon caught in the bushes. He warns her to keep all of this a secret, saying he always had a bad feeling about investigating too much into her past. But Rose desperately wants to know if she has a family out there somewhere, and decides to search for answers. It becomes hard to keep her quest a secret, especially from steamship captain Nathan Perry, a friend of her grandfather’s who insisted on staying in Mission Point to help her through her first winter.

Please give us the first page of the book for my blog readers.
Old Mission, Michigan, New Year’s Eve, 1892
Rose Miller tried to silence her grandfather’s warning, but it kept whispering in her mind, an echo that seemed to fill her wintery world with peril. It had been their tradition, watching the moonrise from the lighthouse tower on New Year’s Eve. The lake always shone silver, illuminated by the thousands of stars that twinkled in the northern night sky. Now those same celestial lights cast shadows that crept toward the shore like malevolent intruders.
   
Before she’d learned about the child-sized footprints in the sand, the hair ribbon caught in the bushes, her lakeside dwelling had been a sanctuary. Whether enveloped by nighttime shadows or sunbursts at dawn, she’d known nothing but wonder as she stood at her grandfather’s side and gazed through the decagonal windows at the sparkling lake below.

Only a few weeks ago, she’d watched as the government agent, sent by the US Lighthouse Board after receiving her telegram, buried her grandfather. Or rather, the man I thought was my grandfather. Her very kinship with this windswept shoreline, her sense of belonging, had suffered a blow that day. A fact that did nothing to lessen her longing for the security of his presence. He’d stood guard between her and . . . something.

A soft breeze ruffled the frost-covered bushes below. Rose craned her neck, as though if she looked hard enough, the footprints would appear. But that was absurd. Not only would they be buried under feet of snow, any traces of the past had long since been swept away by wind,
rain . . . time.

How can readers find you on the Internet?
www.rebeccajepson.com. There are links from there to my Facebook author page and Twitter.

Thank you, Rebecca, for sharing some of your life and your story with my blog readers and me.

Readers, here are links to the book.

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. You must follow these instructions to be in the drawing. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory or country if outside North America. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)

Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.

The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 4 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

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13 comments:

Elly said...

Thanks for the interview! I'm giddy about this book's release!!
Elly -Indiana-

Robin in NC said...

I really enjoy novella collections & lighthouses. Win-Win :) Thank you for sharing!

Robin in NC

Kay Garrett said...

Enjoyed the interview with Rebecca Jepson. I'm glad for her perseverance to continue writing. I admire a woman that ,like me, supports her husband with his goals as he does mine.

Can't wait for the opportunity to read "SAFE HAVEN" in "THE GREAT LAKES LIGHTHOUSE BRIDES". I do love that they are all different which is what I love about collections like this. Plus you get a sampling of each author's writing enjoying those you know and an introduction to new to you authors as well.

Thank you for the wonderful opportunity to win a copy of this book!
Kay Garrett from Mountain View, AR
2clowns at arkansas dot net

Karen G. said...

I love these collection books from Barbour. Can't wait to read this one! Thank for the chance to win a copy.

Karen G., Troy, NY

Wendy Newcomb said...

I love the collections books and have this one on my wish list. Thank you so much for the chance to win a copy.

Wendy in South Sioux City, NE

wfnren at aol dot com

Emma said...

"SAFE HAVEN (THE GREAT LAKES LIGHTHOUSE BRIDES) by Rebecca Jepson" sounds wonderful. Thank you for the opportunity to win.I enjoy reading your books.PA.

Rebecca Jepson said...

Thanks so much for stopping by, everyone! It's an honor to be on Lena's blog with you all. :) So, so grateful for your encouragement and support!

Connie Porter Saunders said...

Another great story in this collection! Thank you for sharing.
Connie from Kentucky
cps1950(at) gmail (dot)com

Lori Smanski said...

Illinois
This looks like a fabulous book. I would love to read it. I like that you would like to be a goat if you were to be an animal. I grew up on a farm, and goats were one of our FUN things on the farm. They loved to be around people and make fun where ever they were.
quilting dash lady at comcast dot net

rubynreba said...

I'd love to read this collection of lighthouse stories!
Beth from IA

Sharon Bryant said...

Enter me in your awesome giveaway!!
Conway SC.

Vivian Furbay said...

Would enjoy reading this very interesting book. Vivian Furbay of CO

Shelia64 said...

sounds great! Shelia from Mississippi