Author Jacquelin Thomas is back with a new book in her Polk Island series. We recently spoke with her about Her Hometown Hero.
Tell me about your latest book.
Her Hometown Hero is the second book in the Polk Island series for Harlequin Heartwarming. Trey Rothchild returns to the island a wounded man, having lost both legs and his entire team. His childhood sweetheart, Gia Harris, isn’t looking for romance, but refuses to give up on him or let him give up on himself. Trey doesn’t want to pass on this second chance with Gia, but he has to find the strength to fight through PTSD, survivor’s guilt and the nightmares that haunt him.
Why did you decide to write it?
Her Hometown Hero was born out of my desire to honor the active-duty service members, veterans and their families. I also wanted to highlight a man who desired to serve and protect his country—a desire that cost him his legs and the ultimate sacrifice from his team.
What do you want readers to learn from the story?
The main message I’d like readers to take from this story is that life is precious. Tomorrow isn’t promised to anyone, so we must live each day on purpose. In the middle of writing this book, I lost my oldest daughter, so I have to confess it was a challenge to finish this story, but I pushed through. As I mentioned earlier, it took me a little longer because it was an emotional story to write, and I was heartbroken. However, writing this story helped me through my own grieving process. It was through writing about Trey’s reluctance to be called a hero that I realized that we honor the people we’ve lost by living our lives to the fullest.
What do you want readers to learn from your life?
I am a wife, mother, grandmother. As an author, I am those same things, but I write about life and its struggles. As a person and an author, I try to encourage and inspire others by sharing some of my personal experiences.
If you could pick another profession, what would it be and why?
A psychologist because I am interested in why people do what they do—I’m interested in behavioral analysis.
When did you fall in love with the written word?
Oh wow… I was in third grade, and it was my teacher who took note of my “gift” as she called it. She actually nurtured this gift in me by taking me to a book signing and introducing me to local authors in my area. I didn’t publish my first book until 1997, and I’m forever grateful that she lived long enough to attend my first book signing. She stood up and shared that she’d always known I’d be a writer.
What’s something readers would be surprised to know about you?
That I’ve lived with chronic panic disorder for almost 30 years. For a long time, I was ashamed and kept it a secret, but I’ve discovered that the more I talk or write about my own struggles—I have found that I’m not alone. Suffering in silence isn’t a good thing, so I use my voice and my writing to let others know that they are not alone. I no longer allow my fears to keep me silent—I use them to empower me and others.
What books have you read lately and loved?
The Bible. I was blessed in 2021 to have received four book deals, so right now, my focus is writing those eight books.
What’s next for you?
I’m happy to announce that my third book in the Polk Island series: Her Marine Hero will be released August 25, 2022 and my first romantic suspense Evidence Uncovered will release in October 2022.
Do you have anything you would like to add?
As always, thanks for the opportunity and the support. Also readers, please call your local independent bookstore and request the book.
Use the Black Fiction Addiction affiliate link to purchase your copy of Her Hometown Hero.
To learn more about Jacquelin Thomas, visit her website or connect with her on Facebook.