Author events, whether in-person or online, require a lot of work, but one of the most valuable rewards is the opportunity to meet other authors with fascinating premises for their books. One of the authors participating in a Christmas event I attended last December caught my attention because the continuing characters in her series was a pair of “seasoned” women – ladies I’d love to know! I invited Jessica Marie Holt to come and share the first in her four-book Granny Pact series with us, and she kindly agreed. Without further ado, here’s Jessica!
I didn’t write Reluctantly Yours with the intention of doing anything epic. I just wanted to create a fresh and funny take on a traditional romance. First I decided there should be a granny matchmaker, because I love grannies, and I love matchmaker romances. Then I thought, if one granny is fun, two would be even more fun! And it would be even more fun if the grannies were best friends and worked as a team.
But how exactly?
The answer came to me out of nowhere. I always liked those marriage pacts you see in the movies – “if neither of us is married by the time we’re thirty, let’s marry each other.” So I thought, what if I reworked that concept a little, and these two grannies made a pact to set their grandchildren up together if they weren’t married by the time they were twenty-five? They’d marry their treasured grandkids off, and they’d become family! Win-win!
I added in cats, pie, coffee, a sweets-loving Grandpa Henry, and a lot of mischief and mayhem, and the book was born.
Readers really loved the grannies, and as I wrote more books. I grew to love them, too. They feel like very real people to me now. Even more than that; they feel like friends.
I love that the grannies are the real main characters in this series. I enjoy creating older protagonists who have nuance and depth and are central to the story. Ellie and June are a sweet mix of silliness, profound wisdom, mayhem, and ordinary magic. Much like most of our grannies, I suspect!
The books aren’t just romances; they’re stories of friendship, and family, and the bittersweet changes that life brings about. We follow Ellie and June’s growing families, and their changing roles as they move into a different phase of their lives. They’re not raising kids (or grandkids) anymore, but they’re still so full of spunk and vibrancy. They want to be needed, and they need to be busy and have a sense of purpose. So they get ideas, and those ideas get them into trouble.
These ladies might be a bit mischievous and conniving at times, but it’s never for their own selfish ends. They really do love their friends and family with all their hearts and want what’s truly best for them.
So far, the series has four novels and two novellas. A spring novella is in the works, followed by book five in the series. I have two six-book arcs planned. The current arc is focused on June’s family–in the second arc we’ll follow Ellie’s.
After that, who knows? With marriages, and births, and pets, and new friends and neighbors, there will always be more stories to tell!
Ellie and June have been neighbors and best friends forever. Together, they’ve weathered it all—marriages, babies, strange wardrobe choices, terrible haircuts, small-town gossip—only to have their friendship come out stronger on the other side.
But now, they’re up against a hurdle unlike any they’ve faced so far.
Tragically—and inexplicably—James, Ellie’s absolute treasure of a grandson, is single. And so is Sarah, June’s unmatched delight of a granddaughter.
But these Grannies aren’t worried. They have an ace up their sleeve.
The Granny Pact.
Yes, these doting grandmas have vowed to engineer the romantic happiness of their grandchildren—by any means necessary.
Unfortunately, James and Sarah are not that easy to convince. And, unbeknownst to the grannies, their two grandkids share a past that will make their job much, much harder—and might even test the limits of their fifty-year friendship.
Reluctantly Yours is available at Amazon.