Kyra Jacobs, here, to share some “behind the scenes” tidbits from my latest sweet romance novel, ONCE UPON A BEAST. This is the first book in my Bourbon Falls series, with each book taking a fresh, modern spin on a classic fairy tale. As the title suggests, Beauty and the Beast is the featured retelling to kick off this new series. And Isaac Manning was certainly a fun “beast” to write.
Actually, Isaac’s deaf rescue bulldog Louie is the only real beast in this story, and he’s too adorable to be called a beast. (; If you’ve followed me on social media, you’ve likely seen a post or two about bulldogs. Though I’ve yet to own one (bucket list item), I’m a huge fan. I mean, how can you resist that scrunched face and wiggly butt? The Louie in this tale was loosely based on a friend’s bulldog named Louis and he’s built like a mini tank.
In the story, Louie loves Delaney Brooks, the first stranger he’s allowed to meet in their new hometown of Bourbon Falls, Indiana. Del is the confident landscape designer and greenhouse co-owner (whose niece crashes into Isaac’s landscaping at the start of the book to kick off our story) who stops by to cut down a mangled, overgrown arborvitae. I have a few overgrown arborvitaes of my own, but they’re a great source of afternoon shade so I plan to leave them alone as long as possible.
Also, for the record, I’m terrible at both pronouncing and typing the word arborvitae. LOL
The human hero of our story is Isaac Manning, who is holed up in Bourbon Falls, hiding from the world. I won’t say why, but he’s certainly got his reasons. His former home is the Big Apple, where I’ve based a few stories after visiting there a number of years back. Given the choice between New York City and small town Indiana, though, I’m choosing Indiana every time.
What can I say? I grew up a small town girl. (Cue John Mellencamp)
So, what pulls this trio together for the story, aside from that mangled shrub I struggle to spell? (Try saying that fast five times!) It’s the lovely bookstore, Brooks Books, run by Del’s family and set in a beautiful historic building situated at the heart of downtown Bourbon Falls. Lucky for Del and Isaac, they receive abundant support from a fun cast of secondary characters, including The Sisters—three elders of the town who keep the local rumor mill churning. I love writing sassy older women in my stories and these three are a hoot. Perhaps this tendency is a nod to one of the shows I grew up watching (The Golden Girls).
And why Bourbon Falls? Admittedly, I was inspired by a road sign I saw while driving my sons to their soccer games a while back. When I turned off the main highway to take a closer look at the town of Bourbon, Indiana, I knew it was the perfect setting for the Brooks family and their bookstore. (P.S. Bourbon Street Pizza shop is amazing…)
I hope you enjoy your visit to my version of this cozy, Midwestern town in ONCE UPON A BEAST. And great news—the entire series will release between now and next April! I can’t wait to hear what you thought of my fairy tale retellings and the Brooks sisters’ happily-ever-afters.
Until next time,
About the Author:
Kyra Jacobs is an extroverted introvert who’s always called Indiana home. Growing up in the Midwest means she’s well-versed in fickle weather, pork tenderloins that don’t fit on a bun, and sarcasm. Putting her Indiana University degrees in Public Management to good use by day means Kyra does the bulk of her writing late into the night. Fueled by caffeine and funny memes, she weaves humor and chaos into her stories, which range from sweet romance to mysteries and even paranormal/fantasy.
When this Hoosier native isn’t at a keyboard, daydreaming through her fingertips, she’s likely outside, elbow-deep in snapdragons or spending quality time with her sports-loving family. Kyra also loves to bowl, tries to golf, and is an avid college football fan. Be sure to stop by kyrajacobsbooks.com to learn more about her novels and ways to connect with Kyra on social media.