Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Blog Tour: Journey of Honor, by Jaclyn M. Hawkes

Today, I'm the stop on the tour of blogs for the debut novel by Jaclyn M. Hawkes, Journey of Honor. Here's the bio from her website:
Jaclyn M. Hawkes grew up in Utah with 6 sisters, 4 brothers and any number of pets. (It was never boring!) She got a bachelor’s degree, had a career and traveled extensively before settling down to her life’s work of being the mother of four magnificent and sometimes challenging children. She loves shellfish, the out-of-doors, the youth, and hearing her children laugh. She and her fine husband, their family, and their sometimes very large pets, now live in a mountain valley in northern Utah, where it smells like heaven and kids still move sprinkler pipe.
I thought I would chat with Jaclyn and get to know her a bit before I give my impressions of  Journey of Honor.

Welcome, Jaclyn. It's good to have you here. What type of writer are you? Do you plan ahead/plot or do you simply fly by the seat of your pants?
I have no idea how to describe what type of writer I am. I'm not sure I fit a mold. I write when I can fit it in and when the story comes. Sometimes those two don't coincide, which doesn't work very well. I write different stuff as well. Usually happy stuff. I feel like there's enough gritty reality in our gritty realities and I want to give people a happy distraction. I have everything from medieval to early pioneers, to cowboys, to modern day. Maybe I'll do pirates next!

You're not a chocolate girl, huh? Oh well, more for the rest of us! Just kidding. Maybe. Do you have any authors that inspired you?
Tons of authors have inspired me. Tons. There are so many wonderful reads out there, from great who-dunnits to how-to-manage-your-life. Some of my favorite novelists are Jennie Hansen, Dee Henderson, Betsy Brannon Green, Traci Hunter Abramson, Dorothy Keddington, Louis L'Amour and Janette Rallison. I adore Janette's humor! She is a scream! So is Betsy. You gotta love a good laugh in this life! And I totally wish I could do Marcia Lynn McClure's business model.

I'll let Janette know. What is your next project?
My work in progress is a great tale of gallant knights and intrepid ladies. It's been fun. I've never done a medieval story, but always wanted to and am enjoying it. I also have a number of books in the process of getting through publication. It's definitely a journey.

Yes, writing and publishing always is. It's been good having you here, Jaclyn. Thank you.

Thank you so much for being part of my tour. I so appreciate it.

The daughter of a diplomat, beautiful young Giselle VanKomen's life in Holland had been one of privilege and grace. When she joined the Latter-day Saint faith, not so much. Disapproving of her choice, her parents sent her father's parents to dissuade their daughter from gathering to Zion, but they, too, joined the new religion. Cast out of her home, Giselle left everything behind to go with her grandparents to America. Her path to Zion had its perils, though, including rough treatment at the hands of a Mormon-hating mob, and an accusation of theft that almost prevented her and her grandparents from making the final leg of their journey to the Great Salt Lake Valley. Only the intervention of a young man and his friends in a wagon train bound for California--that the VanKomens had paid to join--made it possible for her to escape. That intervention came in the form of a marriage of convenience to young doctor-in-training Trace Grayson, and the train got underway barely in time to avoid problems with weather at the other end of their journey.

Of course tribulations abounded on the journey, including bad weather because of unforseen delays; a bothersome Indian who wanted to buy Giselle; the fact that Trace was falling in love with Giselle, and she, him, which could complicate matters when it came time to get an annulment so she could marry a polygamist; and oh yes, the unfortunate fact that the interaction with the Mormon-hating mob had left Giselle with child.

I've dealt with some of the same themes Jaclyn put in this novel in my work, so I'll admit I expected more meat in the development of the plot and ancillary characters. Having interviewed Jaclyn, I now understand her outlook on the purpose of fiction, and that hers is not the same as mine. Be that as it may, Journey of Honor is fluffy, romantic, escapist entertainment for a rainy winter afternoon or a day at the beach, especially for readers who do not expect facts and historical accuracy to burden their romat Jaclyn M. Hawkes at her website and her blog. Purchase Journey of Honor at Amazon.com in paperback or Kindle editions.


  1. Good interview, very entertaining. Congratulations on your book--it looks like a good one!

  2. Great interview and review. Thanks, Marsha.


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