Finding time for family and fiction By Jody Holford

It’s spring break for our family and that means several things: relaxing, hanging out, good food, T.V. show binges, and, of course, books. Books we read, books we write, books we obsess over and love and talk about. I feel very fortunate that I’m raising not only two readers, but two writers.

Since I’ve started writing professionally, people have often asked where I find the time to write books. I can turn that question around pretty easily and ask things like, how do you find time to run marathons, hit the gym, or clean your house (just kidding…my house is sort of clean).

When we love something, it is part of us and it becomes part of our families as well. Whether that happens intentionally or unintentionally, our hobbies, dreams, and focuses are woven into our lives as much as our morals and our beliefs.

My kids don’t love hiking. But if I did, they’d at least have had the exposure to it in a positive way. My kids aren’t into dirt bikes or video games. Not because there’s anything wrong with those things, but because they aren’t passions of mine or my husband’s. They do, however, know which Superheroes are Marvel as opposed to D.C. and what books are releasing next for their favorite authors.

My hope is that as we inspire their interests, they branch off into their own and this, in turn, allows us to foster what they come to love. For me, I needed time to write so I encouraged my children to do the same. I’m lucky that they both fell in love with books and with writing. If they hadn’t, maybe I wouldn’t have as much time, but since they were much younger, it’s been a big part of their world.

It doesn’t take much work to “fit” writing into my schedule because it’s as much a part of our regular life as having dinner or doing chores. I’m super proud of the readers and writers both of my girls have become. In fact, my oldest just entered the TeenPit contest on Twitter—her first official foray into the Twitterverse of writing. My youngest was recommended for a special opportunity to work in a small group with a young adult writer next month.

While I cheer them on and support them, like they do for me, I’ll be plotting stories and doing edits. Sometimes I wonder how our time would be spent if writing wasn’t such a strong passion for me. If it wasn’t intrinsically part of who I am. I’m grateful that I don’t feel divided in my attention because both of my children are used to me spending time with my words.

I do remind myself that we need a good dose of time away from fictional worlds so that our stories and ideas can be fostered and further inspired. So, this spring break won’t be all about the books. But it’ll definitely be a big part of it.

What do you love that your children have naturally adopted your passion for?

Former Army brat Molly Owens is ready to put down roots, and the picturesque seaside town of Britton Bay on the Oregon Coast seems like the perfect place for it. Especially when she lands a job as editor of the local paper. But she’s got one colleague who’s very bad news . . .As an experienced journalist, Molly is eager to bring the struggling Britton Bay Bulletin up to speed. But when she pushes Vernon, one of her less welcoming reporters, to dig a little deeper into the story of a prominent local family, the man ends up dead. The fact that he wasn’t well-liked makes finding the killer extra complicated. The lists of suspects range from his ex-wife to his own son to Molly’s boss, who has a secret of his own. But when Molly’s attempts to sleuth out the truth result in her receiving frightening threats, the trouble is just beginning . . .

The one bright spot is Molly’s newfound flirtation with Sam Alderich. The sexy mechanic is used to taking things apart and piecing them back together, and between the two of them they just might be able to solve this deadly puzzle—if Molly can survive peaceful small-town life long enough . . .

“The news is all good for this cozy mystery! Deadly News will make you want to pack up and move to the seaside town of Britton Bay, Oregon. The characters are vividly brought to life, there’s a perfect touch of romance, and the mystery has enough twists and turns to keep the reader guessing. Don’t miss out on a charming new series—grab this cozy while it’s hot off the press!” –Sarah Fox, USA Today bestselling author