This week’s guest on Books Spark Joy is Jennie Jones.
Jennie is one of the first writers I connected with when I started my publishing journey and it’s been such a pleasure to see her career go from strength to strength. Jennie writes stories about love, life, laughter and everything between. A proud Australian with equal pride in her Welsh roots she wrote her first book seven years ago and hasn’t looked back. She now has eleven published novels under her belt in the genre of small-town and rural romance and is currently thoroughly enjoying working on two women’s fiction novels for HarperCollins/Harlequin. One a dual timeline with heartbreaking issues from the 1940s through to the 1970s that still resonate today, and the other about a contemporary Australian family dynasty on the brink of losing everything.
Over to Jennie …
While I’m not quite a full-on neat-freak I am the kind of person who likes symmetry and aesthetically pleasing visuals, so my bookshelves are a place of honour for a number of special items in my life, not just books. Although books are the main value-added attraction of course.
Apart from the odd photo frame (my paternal grandmothers in this instance), I tend to keep objects alongside my books that resonate with quiet contemplation and the cosy passing of a rainy afternoon. Like playing cards, and the old dominoes box I’ve had for years, along with the odd little knickknack.
I don’t keep every book I read and space isn’t the only reason for this. It’s because I don’t like to hold on to something that didn’t deeply resonate with me in some way. I keep signed books and books written by colleagues or friends because they mean something to me.
I keep books I read many, many years ago, too. Just looking at them on the shelves—most of them over twenty years old with slightly faded print and covers—reminds me of where I was when I read the book and fell for it. It reminds me of what I was doing, who I was hanging around or working with, and what life was like at that time and how it’s changed. So when I add a newly read book to my shelves, I know I’m going to remember the exact moment I placed it there and that it’s going to stay there for a long time and create a new memory.
One of my favourite books is Tied to the Tracks by Sara Donati. This is a book that sparks joy when I hold it in my hand. Sara Donati wrote the Into the Wilderness series and I breathed in every word from each book—they were remarkable. But Tied to the Tracks isn’t an historical novel, and it somehow found its way to the top of my book pile when I first started writing fiction. I used it frequently as a means to learn more about my craft. If I had a moment’s doubt or struggled to get into the writing zone, I’d open the book at any page and read a few paragraphs. The writing is so wonderful that it inspired me to carry on.
It will always hold a very special place in my heart and on my bookshelves.
Jennie’s latest release A Place With Heart was recently #1 Top 10 Romance Fiction, Sydney Morning Herald
Can three misfits build a family in this remote Australian town?
Jaxine Brown has made a good life for herself in the Western Australian outback town, Mt Maria. But the homecoming of her secret teenage daughter, Frances, changes everything. At only seventeen, Jax was coerced to give up the baby to Frances’s father and his wife. Finally, she has a chance to make it right, and hasn’t got time to think about recently returned Detective Senior Sergeant Jack Maxwell, who inexplicably disappeared in the middle of their only date last year.
But Jack’s back in town to investigate suspicion of drug trafficking and the man he’s watching works at the closest mine to town. He expects to have this case wrapped up in four weeks, and feels he can take his time, not only with the case but also with Jaxine Brown, the woman he hasn’t been able to get out of his mind.
When graffiti and vandalism escalate in an issue involving stolen animals, Jax and Frances are unwittingly drawn into a mystery that suggests a connection to the same mine Jack has under surveillance. Can Jack get to the bottom of the furtive goings-on, and do whatever it takes to protect the would-be family that’s wound its way into his heart?
You can buy A Place With Heart worldwide in eBook. Also available in paperback in Australia and New Zealand
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