Award-winning novelist Ruth Logan Herne has written dozens of novels and novellas. Her latest romance is A Hopeful Harvest(Love Inspired), the latest in the Golden Grove series: When her family’s apple orchard is damaged by a storm, single mom Libby Creighton knows the harvest she’s depending on is in jeopardy. Though he prefers a solitary life, Jax McClaren has the skills to revive Libby’s orchard—and her guarded heart. But he’ll have to overcome the secrets of his past if he and Libby are going to have a fruitful future together. In this exclusive interview, Ruth shares some details about her main characters, outlines the big picture of the series, and reveals the spiritual themes of the book…
No spoilers, but what can you tell us about A Hopeful Harvest?
Single mom Libby Creighton has a lot on her plate. She’s running her grandparents orchard, raising her little girl and taking care of her grandfather as his dementia worsens. Finances aren’t tough: They’re non-existent. The words discretionary income aren’t in her dictionary. When a rogue windstorm takes down their aged barn, Libby is pretty sure God’s given her a sign that she’s trying to do too much with too little.
When Jax McClaren realizes what’s happening, he has to help. He shouldn’t… After witnessing a tragic war accident, Jax has had his own private battles. Battles he can’t seem to win. But he was brought up raising apples. He’s handy with power tools and he lost his grandmother to Alzheimer’s, so he’s got all the experience Libby needs to survive this current season.
Her plight touches him. Her determination and faith draw him. Can he keep his distance while being close enough to help?
Tell us about your main characters. What about these two made you want to tell their story?
I love writing about heroines who have to rise above and do it. Life can be tough. Mistakes can trip us up, but a plucky heroine who owns her mistakes or bad choices is so relatable—and their success makes readers smile! Libby Creighton is the perfect heroine for this story…bowed, but not breaking. She’s like Ruth in the fields, gleaning. And her recently renewed faith is strong. She’s a woman every woman can cheer for.
Jax is the quintessential wounded hero. Suffering from PTSD, he’s been so mad at himself and God that his therapist’s help and advice hasn’t quite sunk in because he doesn’t really think he deserves to get well when he lost so many good men to a tragic accident. An accident he watched happen and narrowly missed.
But working with Libby’s grandpa, and talking with CeeCee, her little girl creates a spark of life in Jax. Working at this old orchard, with this family, makes him want to get better and that’s a whole new feeling, but Jax isn’t just any old handyman. His family is one of the pioneer fruiting families in Central Washington, owners of a huge fruit processing business that’s been buying up small farms all over the valley, and they want Libby’s farm.
How can he explain to her who he is, when her grandfather threw his older brother out of the house a few months back? She would never trust him if she knew.
What spiritual themes run through the book?
A Hopeful Harvest is a beautiful story of healing and hope. It’s a story of second chances and new beginnings, how the tiniest flicker of faith can help reignite the love of God within a wounded soul and give strength to the weary. Set in the beautiful plateau of Central Washington, this small-town Cinderella-style romance is sure to touch hearts.
How does this book fit into the larger picture of the Golden Grove series?
The Golden Grove series is a trilogy set in this small Central Washington town. The books focus on kindness, sacrificial love and helping others. The opening book gives readers a glimpse of the setting and the town.
Book two is the touching romance of a widowed county sheriff whose daughter launches and internet search to find her dad a wife, much to her new teacher’s chagrin. A beautiful story of God’s perfect timing.
And book three finishes the series with another sheriff’s deputy whose family is on the verge of adopting triplets they’ve fostered since birth when their mother passed away. But when DNA testing alerts a Seattle doctor that she has a full sister in Central Washington, that the sisters were split up by an adoption agency, she’s determined to be a part of the triplet’s lives. And that means bringing them to Seattle.
What do you hope readers will take away after reading A Hopeful Harvest?
The thread of sacrificial love and God’s timing winds its way through each story, reminding us to trust and hope and reach out to others.
Visit Ruth Logan Herne’s author page:
A Hopeful Harvest
Golden Grove Series
Ruth Logan Herne
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