Guest Author: Jessica Marie Holt and Reluctantly Yours

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!

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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! 

Blurb 
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.

Unmarried grandchildren.

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

You can find Jessica at her FB author page and on Amazon, Goodreads and Bookbub.

About Patricia Kiyono

During her first career, Patricia Kiyono taught elementary music, computer classes, elementary classrooms, and junior high social studies. She now teaches music education at the university level. She lives in southwest Michigan with her husband, not far from her five children, nine grandchildren (so far), and great-granddaughters. Current interests, aside from writing, include sewing, crocheting, scrapbooking, and music. A love of travel and an interest in faraway people inspires her to create stories about different cultures. Check out her sweet historical contemporary romances at her Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/Patricia-Kiyono/e/B0067PSM5C/
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14 Responses to Guest Author: Jessica Marie Holt and Reluctantly Yours

  1. Grant at Tame Your Book! says:

    I love the book blurb, Jessica! Thanks for sharing your friends — the two grannies — and how you brought the premise to life.

    Like

  2. Welcome to 4F,1H, Jessica!
    The stories sound wonderful, fun, friends and family! I am so tired of books and shows where there are no likable characters.
    I am a grannie myself, but the grandkids are at the point where ‘they-better-not-marry-early-like-their-parents-did’ point with me! I come from an older family older where marrying before 25 was considered marrying too young,(although mine were really young), so I can’t really relate, but I am up for family and fun.
    Best wishes to you.

    Like

    • Jessica Marie Holt says:

      Thank you so much, Tonette! I’m with you. I am really tired of morally ambiguous, unlikeable characters. In all of my books, the dramas and the comedies, I like to keep things wholesome, with likeable, relatable characters–even the frustrating ones–and storylines that have a moral compass, even if the subject matter is difficult. My comedies are escapist fun, but they’re not really fluff. I like to think they have a lot of heart.

      Also, I feel your pain. My daughter married last year at 18! Sigh. In a couple of years I could have kids under 10 and a grandbaby! I’d love to be a grandma, but I hope they wait!

      Like

  3. Jeff Salter says:

    This sounds great… and I’m sure I’ll identify with snack-loving grandpa Henry.
    Interestingly, I’m currently reading a diff. “granny” series at present — Book One of which I’ll highlight here on Apr. 14.
    After I finish that series, I hope to try out this one.

    Like

    • Jessica Marie Holt says:

      Grandpa Henry is a fan favorite! He’s a little hyperactive and always on the go, so his wife June uses his love of baked goods to get him to stay put for a minute. I’m curious to see what granny series you’re reading. And I look forward to you try out this one!

      Like

  4. Welcome Jessica! I love the idea of this storyline! It sounds like it would be a lot of fun to not only read but it seems like you have had fun coming up with the concept and the story lines. I downloaded book one and am looking forward to reading it soon.

    Like

    • Jessica Marie Holt says:

      Thanks so much, Angela! I had a lot of fun coming up with it, and really the books are a joy to write. They’re fun and funny and a little over-the-top, so I get to roll with whatever comes into my head. Enjoy the book!

      Like

  5. What a fun premise! This series sounds like a lot of fun!

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    • Jessica Marie Holt says:

      Thanks, Alina! It is certainly a lot of fun to write. They grannies are so smart and savvy in some ways, and so clueless in others. And they have such distinctive personalities. I feel like I know them so well, and love getting in their heads and just rolling with whatever crazy things. they say and do

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  6. Okay, this sounds fantastically adorable!!! I loooove it!

    Like

    • Jessica Marie Holt says:

      Awww, thank you! The grannies are pretty adorable, I think. And there are so many sweet, heartfelt moments between them and their grandchildren, who they just adore. I particularly love the animals who come into the story and steal the show a little. 🙂

      Like

  7. Elaine Cantrell says:

    Welcome, Jessica! Your books sound fantastic. I too like older heroines and heroes. I’ll have to give your first book a try.

    Like

    • Jessica Marie Holt says:

      Thank you so much! I have older characters in significant or memorable roles in almost all of my books. It’s really important to me, because of all of the wonderful older people who have influenced and mentored and loved me all my life. I hope you enjoy the book! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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