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July 3, 2019

Jackson by Emily March ~ a Review & Interview

by MK French


Caroline Carruthers married young to a much older man and didn't have much of an identity outside of the marriage. After her husband's death, she decides to relocate to the small town she had visited. Jackson McBride had returned home after his marriage ended in disaster and he felt at loose ends. They meet and become friends, but over time that deepens into something more.

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Jackson
June 2019; St. Martin's; 978-1250314918
audio, ebook, print (320 pages); romance
Jackson is part of the overarching Eternity Springs series, focusing on the McBride cousins that live in Texas. It isn't entirely necessary to know anything about the other books in the series, as Jackson McBride explains all of those references. It's cute to see Celeste arguing with her cousin Angelina and looking less like the entirely self-possessed guru and more like an ordinary woman that can get irritated. It's also nice to see the callbacks to the other characters we read about in the Eternity Springs books, in that they're all still having their happily ever afters.

Jackson and Caroline have a meet-cute of sorts when they literally crash into each other in a hotel garden and are then formally introduced. They start out as friends, as Caroline's husband is ill and Jackson is fresh out of court when they meet, crushed that he can't have custody of his daughter. Both have considerable baggage, so the novel really picks up once Caroline tries to move to Redemption. They work well together as friends with a physical attraction and fall into a relationship intending for it to be physical only, as a way to transition out of their emotional baggage. By not naming the relationship, it develops slowly, until they get to the point where they think about the other's well being and happiness all the time, and reawaken hopes for the future in each other again. I really liked that they had the time to grow into it and that one of Jackson's priorities was always his daughter's happiness and welfare. As angry as he was with his ex, he never went out of his way to put her down in front of his daughter, and gracefully bowed out of re-entering his ex's sphere of influence. He's described as a gentleman but not necessarily a perfect man, and that is a fantastic summary of his character.

Buy Jackson at Amazon

Interview


You wrote a book! That’s pretty awesome. Why don’t you tell us a bit about what inspired Jackson and the rest of the books in the Eternity Springs world? 

The saying “Write what you know” says it all in my case. I’m a small-town girl and my family and friendships are center to my world. I write about love and family and friendships. I have roots in both the Colorado Rockies and the Texas Hill Country, so it was natural for me to set Eternity Springs and Redemption there. The idea for JACKSON grew out of my interest in the music currently being written and performed in Texas. I’ve always thought singer/songwriters are romantic figures so I was excited to create a hero with this background. Unfortunately, I’m not a musician and I’m definitely not a singer, but I am creative so it was fun for me to explore that aspect of a character.

Introduce us to your main character! 

Okay. Well, Americana singer/songwriter Jackson McBride is a bit damaged when the book begins. His famous, talented and wealthy ex has won a custody battle that severely limits his access to his six-year-old daughter, so Jackson goes home to the Texas Hill Country to nurse his broken heart. He finds solace in Enchanted Canyon hiking the trails with the dog he rescues and working to bring a historic dance hall back to life. The last thing he expects is to find love again with a woman whose heart is as battered as his own.

Walk us through a day in the life of Emily March.

Ready to be bored? Now that my daughter’s and niece’s weddings are behind me—they consumed me for months—I’m boring and happy about it. I split my time between Fort Worth where we have a condo downtown in a 1930’s passenger train station and our lake house in the Texas Hill Country. I recently gave up my office in town because I’m spending more and more time at the lake. My husband also offices out of our condo, so on days when we are both working in town, I’ve started riding the new TexRail train that runs from our building to DFW airport. It’s quiet and comfortable and I don’t have Internet to distract me. And at $5 a day, it’s much cheaper than office rent. :) When I’m at the lake I’m either working or doing yard work. My new favorite toy is my power washer.

Lots of aspiring authors out there. Any advice for them?

I’ve always thought that one of the most important things you can do for your writing is to read. And read. And read some more. Read across genres. You absorb so much about pacing and plotting and character development when you read. Plus, you get to READ! :)

How is the Jackson trilogy different than your other series? 

I don’t think it’s necessarily different from the rest of the Eternity Springs series. I write about love and family and friendship—that doesn’t change. Readers will still see old friends from Eternity Springs and a few scenes in JACKSON are set in Colorado. What’s new is we get to spend some time in the Texas Hill Country and meet a few new characters—Celeste’s cousin, Angelica, for example.

I know asking someone’s all-time favorite book is a loaded question so what’s your current favorite read?

I’m a big fan of Patricia Brigg’s Mercy Thompson series and I’m reading her latest right now, STORM CURSED.

Alright, the ultimate question: why should we read your book? 

My goals as a writer are to touch a reader’s heart, to entertain her and make her laugh, to maybe cry a little and sigh with satisfaction upon reaching the end. With JACKSON, I believe I’ve achieved those goals.

Describe yourself in 3 words. 

Family. Family. Family. :)

What is your most embarrassing memory?

Walking out of the junior high school cafeteria in seventh grade, not realizing that my very short dress—it was the 70’s—had gotten hung up in my underwear and I inadvertently flashed my rear end to the entire cafeteria—including the tables where the football players sat. Thinking about it even today gives me the hives.

Favorite quote or scene you wrote in JACKSON?

I love the ending.  Jackson is a songwriter who has lost his music and when he finds it again…the song he sings to Caroline…just makes me melt.

What is one piece of advice you would tell everyone?

Call your mother.

What inspired you to become a writer?

I’ve always loved to read, so that is part of it, but my father was my primary inspiration. He was a fabulous storyteller. I grew up sitting at his feet and listening to him tell stories about his youth and his experiences in Europe during World War II. Listening to him tell his stories was my favorite thing to do. I didn’t inherit his talent for verbal storytelling, but I think I learned from him how to tell a good story on the page.

Do you have any interesting writing quirks or habits?

Like I mentioned before, I’m pretty boring. My perks and habits are always evolving. The train writing thing is new for me. I usually write on a laptop and edit on a desktop. I listen to movie soundtracks when I write and always finish a book with The Last of the Mohicans.

What has been one of the most surprising things you’ve learned as a published author?

I’m always a little surprised and honored that readers are excited to meet me. Like I said…I’m a boring person.

What is your favorite state to visit?

Colorado, of course, because I must keep returning to Eternity Springs. :)

What are hobbies or interests do you have?

We are lake people, so I love waterskiing and boating and fishing. As I write this we’ve just finished Memorial Day weekend at the lake, so I sort of feel like chief cook and sheet-and-towel washer, too. I love, love, love hosting big holiday gatherings of family and friends at the lake house, but I will admit I do tire of the mountain of laundry in the aftermath.

Can you tell us about what’s coming up next after this for you writing wise? 

I’m writing Tucker’s story. Fun fact for this—as part of my research I attended a survivalist training school for a weekend. I searched long and hard to find one where I could return to town to spend the night in a comfy hotel rather than sleep on the ground—I’m only willing to go so far for my art. I did learn to start a friction fire, though, something I’me VERY proud of. :)

How can readers connect with you online?

My website is www.emilymarch.com. I’m active on Facebook. My Facebook page is www.facebook.com/emilymarchbooks. You can also reach me by email at emily(at)emilymarch.com.

Born and raised in New York City, M.K. French started writing stories when very young, dreaming of different worlds and places to visit. She always had an interest in folklore, fairy tales, and the macabre, which has definitely influenced her work. She currently lives in the Midwest with her husband, three young children, and golden retriever.

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2 comments:

  1. enjoyed the post very much and i would love to take a dip in that spring.
    sherry @ fundinmental

    ReplyDelete
  2. It's a great book to read. :)

    ReplyDelete

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