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Author Spotlight: Kyra Jacobs Takes Us Back to Bourbon Falls!

I’m so pleased to welcome fellow Tule author and fellow Hoosier, Kyra Jacobs to the Spotlight today!

Kyra Jacobs is an extroverted introvert who writes of love, humor, and mystery in the Midwest and beyond. Her romance novels range from sweet contemporary to romantic suspense and paranormal/fantasy. No matter the setting, Kyra employs both comedy and chaos to help her characters find inspiration and/or redemption on their way to happily ever after. When this Hoosier native isn’t pounding out scenes for her next book, she’s likely outside, elbow-deep in snapdragons or spending quality time with her sports-loving family. Kyra also loves to read, tries to golf, and is an avid college football fan.

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Not Everything in a Story Appears IN the Story

Happy May, everyone!

Kyra Jacobs, here, stopping by to share some behind the scenes plotting work that went into my latest contemporary romance release, ONCE UPON A SUMMER NIGHT. As some of you may know, this was the final book in my Bourbon Falls series which was based off a small town near Warsaw, Indiana. I had so much fun writing about my home state and many of the things I love about it in this series, as well as adding a modern twist on a classic fairy tale in each book. For SUMMER NIGHT, Cinderella was the featured retelling. Though there were no talking mice or pumpkins turning to carriages, it took a lot of author magic to make this book shine.

(I count my blessings for the amazing editor I’ve been paired with at Tule Publishing—I’d be lost without her!)

But rather than talk about what you can read about in the book and risk spoiling anything for new readers, I thought I’d share about a few things that happened off-page but still were integral to the story. Because behind every solid story and the characters you connect with is a whole host of backstories, and they’re just as important as the main storyline. Sometimes, even more so.

I’ll start with a huge backstory fork in the road: Fire Chief Stephen Brooks and that infamous night. For those of you new to the series, the youngest of his three daughters, Hannah, was absent from town in the first two books. And though there were hints and suspicions on why she left, her older sisters never knew the real story. In SUMMER NIGHT, we finally get to see what drove Hannah from town…and why she’s stayed away all this time. And let me tell you – having to think through that “moment” and look at it from all angles to get it just right was brutal. I can’t tell you how many times I found myself in tears, hurting for the father scared of losing his daughter and the daughter who called her father’s bluff. But did my suffering end there? Nope. I had to also imagine what it was like for each of them in the aftermath, too. In the days and weeks and even years that followed. The hurt. The loss. The missing each other.

When you hear that writing isn’t for the weak of heart, I’m here to tell you, it’s not.

Thankfully, this story gave Stephen and Hannah the chance to reunite and decide how to proceed with their relationship. Hopefully, readers are happy with the decisions they both made.

Another peek behind the veil of backstory development that put me through the emotional wringer was developing Chase’s childhood story. Oh, my. I’m not sure why I was so intent on making myself suffer through our hero’s story as well, but ultimately I needed him to be as in need of rescue as the Brooks family…and then some. As a mother, it was difficult to imagine some of the things his stepmother did to him—spoiler alert: Chase was the story’s true Cinderella—so I tried to keep as much of her mental and physical abuse off-page as possible. But his brokenness allowed me to show Stephen Brooks’ caring, protective side. That Chase turned out to be the amazing, caring man he did is in large part to Chief Brooks and his family…which made the romance between Chase and Hannah that much sweeter.

Okay, any guesses on the last character backstory development that I’m going to mention?

If you guessed Aunt Faye’s story, you’d be right. Hannah, Mia, and Delaney’s Aunt Faye is their father’s sister, and about the nicest, most supportive woman you can imagine. Again, we don’t see all of her story on the page, but we definitely get more glimpses into her past. In my early draft, I had her having a boyfriend who helped Hannah get her start as a firefighter. But that got a little messy, and, honestly, it didn’t fit Faye well. Here’s a woman who dropped everything the minute her brother called to say his wife had just been in a terrible accident (and wouldn’t survive it). And I mean everything: her career, her home, her lifestyle. All of it. And, as far as the rest of us know, she never looked back. But that doesn’t mean her moving to Bourbon Falls was a smooth transition, or that stepping in to try and fill Gretchen Brook’s shoes was easy. I pictured Faye in those early days hiding behind many a closed door, crying out of sight from the others as she struggled to be everything the family needed her to be.

And, oh, aren’t we all so glad that she stayed?

While Chase and Hannah had their time in the limelight, Stephen Brooks and his sister, Faye, are still sitting in my beloved town of Bourbon Falls, waiting for their happily ever afters to appear/come around again. Perhaps I’ll let those story ideas simmer for a bit and see what comes of them. My next series heads west to Montana, where I’m exploring Big Sky Country for the first time. It’s not my usual setting, but you know I’ll be bringing plenty of laughter, love, and smalltown charm along for the ride.

And maybe, just maybe, I’ll eventually swing back to Bourbon Falls and see if I can’t bring a few more happily ever afters to the Brooks family and their wonderful friends and neighbors.

Only time will tell.

Wishing everyone a safe and magical summer,


Once Upon a Summer Night

Home is a refuge—but is it always the right choice?

Hannah Brooks left home eight summers ago to help her friend Beth hide a surprise pregnancy. Their unplanned adventure also helped her escape from beneath her fire chief father’s thumb. Now Beth has died and Hannah faces a brewing custody battle for Noah, the boy she helped raise from birth. It’s time to return to Bourbon Falls and make amends with the family she loves and needs.

Chase Redding finally gave up hope of ever seeing Hannah again, and is focused on being part owner of Oak Barrel Farms and climbing the ranks in his firefighting career. But now that she’s back, he’ll do anything to convince her to stay in their hometown, even if it means sharing his beloved fire station.

But amid their budding romance at Brooks Farm, family tensions resurface and the custody suit takes a turn for the worst. It’s going to take a little summertime magic to keep Hannah and Chase’s happily ever after from slipping away a second time.

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