22 May, 2015

#SpecialFeature :: #CharacterInterview with Robin Bennett

'Interview with Robin Benett'

Hello, Robin. Tell us a little bit about yourself. ROBIN: I'm a twenty-seven year old librarian from Bonita Creek, California. I went to college in Oklahoma and then moved to Wisconsin to earn my master's degree in library science. I've been married once for about two years. Unfortunately, the marriage ended when my then-husband, Thomas, wanted to pursue a career in country music. I live by myself in the cottage where my grandparents, John and Estelle Chaplin, lived for a few decades. They raised me from the age of fourteen, so this has been my home for about as long as I can remember. What are your hobbies and interests outside of your job? ROBIN: I love to bake, cook, and read; but my favorite past time is gardening. I love to work in my vegetable and flower gardens and would do so from sunrise till sunset if I could get away with it. I also enjoy visiting the botanical gardens on the coast. Here are some snapshots I took of the gardens and the ocean from the bluff.

I like visiting history and art museums and historic homes. My favorite historic home is the magnificent Hearst Castle in San Simeon, California. I don't have any photos to share with you because they don't allow visitors to take photos inside, but you can visit their website to get a feel for the castle. It's astonishing how they built this huge compound on the top of a mountain back in the 1930's and 40's! There are 165 rooms and 127 acres of gardens. It's elegant and very over-the-top. Link: http://hearstcastle.org/ When the weather is bad and you can't get out to garden, what captures your interest? ROBIN: I enjoy going through seed catalogs to figure out what I'm going to plant when the weather does allow planting. Here are some photos of seed packets I purchased earlier this year--Heirloom Cornflowers and Tomatoes. I planted a lot more vegetable and flower seeds, but these were the only packets I saved.

After I decide what crops and flowers I want to plant, I draw detailed sketches showing where each packet of seed will be planted. I try to use my space to get maximum yield. I share my extra crops with neighbors, church friends, and the food bank in town. I also enjoy shopping for Dahlias for my collection. They're a little bit pricey, so I have to limit myself and show great discipline to stay within my limited budget. Sometimes I can get dahlia tubers on sale at the botanical gardens. Here are a couple of photos of the bags of dahlias I found there last spring. These magenta pompom dahlias are my absolute favorites! How would you describe yourself? ROBIN: You mean my physical appearance or my personality traits? Your personality traits, please. ROBIN: I'm detailed-oriented, hard-working, ambitious, and outgoing (most of the time). I've been told I'm a good hostess because I make others feel welcome in my home. I'm a perfectionist, so sometimes my self-esteem takes a beating if I don't meet my goals and objectives. Most of the time I'm cheerful, unless I think too much about what some not-so-nice people have done to me or I start missing my parents and grandparents. I can be moody if I don't get the rest I need. I'm cranky if I get too stressed. I'm disciplined about certain things and lazy about other things. (That's all I'll say about my weaknesses.) I try to always be kind to others. I think kindness and compassion are two of the most important traits people can possess. Oh, and I'm honest and I try to take responsibility for my actions. I learned the value of all of these positive traits from my parents and grandparents when I was young. Where do you see in yourself five years from now? ROBIN: I'd like to be happily married and have a baby or two if that's God's plan for my life. I hope to be in good health and to be able to continue my gardening and other hobbies. My work at the library is important to me, so I'd like to continue working there in some capacity even after I have my family.

About the Book:

Bonita Creek’s librarian Robin Bennett is heartbroken after being abandoned by her husband, Thomas. The mysterious and handsome Jeff Clarke arrives unexpectedly and touches Robin’s life with his wit and warmth. Then, without warning, Jeff’s harsh words and abrasive actions scare her off, and Robin’s hope of finding true love withers again. 
Just when it seems Robin and Jeff might have a future, Susan Stinson, whose cruel taunting has plagued Robin since they met as young teens, decides Jeff should be hers, not Robin’s. Susan’s anger and jealousy escalate dangerously. Her vindictiveness threatens the foundation of Jeff and Robin’s young relationship.
Robin’s journey through the peaks and valleys of her life meanders along the twists and turns of new challenges. Is a relationship which began with both parties harboring secrets destined to survive? Can they move past their troubles and the obstacles in their path to find love and happiness together? When their pasts rear their ugly heads, Jeff and Robin must use their faith to remain strong and true. But will it be enough for them to embrace a life of love, trials, and blessings . . . together? 

Book Links:
Goodreads I Amazon I Barnes & Noble

About the Author:

Award-winning author, June McCrary Jacobs, was the winner of Cedar Fort Publishing’s 2013 Holiday Tale Contest for her debut novella, ‘A Holiday Miracle in Apple Blossom’. ‘Robin’s Reward’ is her first full-length novel, and is set in her favorite location in California—the Mendocino coastal region. This book is the first installment of the ‘Bonita Creek Trilogy’.

June’s original sewing, quilting, and stitchery designs have been published in over one hundred books, magazines, and blogs in the past few years. When she’s not writing, reading, or sewing, June enjoys cooking, walking, and visiting art and history museums. She also enjoys touring historic homes and gardens and strolling around the many historic Gold Rush towns in the Sierra Nevada foothills. In the summertime you can find June at a variety of county fairs and the California State Fair admiring the sewing projects, quilts, and handiwork other inspired seamstresses, quilters, craftspeople, and artists have created. 

Connect with the Author:
June enjoys connecting with readers, authors, aspiring writers, bloggers, designers, sewers, quilters, and crafters. Please connect with June at the following platforms:
Website I Facebook I Amazon Author Page I Goodreads Author Page I LinkedIn

1 Digital Copy of Robin's Reward by June McCrary Jacobs

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