I am jumping up and down like a squealing fan girl over next week's guest, Robyn Carr. Special thanks to my co-hostess for next week, Alyson Hackett, who said, "You know, we should do Virgin River." I couldn't agree more!
To understand the full extent of my love for this series, come with me back to the summer of 2009. I had seen Virgin River around the book stores for years. I'd picked it up a few times, put it down, picked it up. You know the dance. Finally, I bought a copy and brought it home to add to my TBR. Then, after my work conference was over and my life had returned to some semblance of normal, I picked up Virgin River and decided it was time to dive in. Well, four days and seven books later I had devoured the entire series. Some of them I read on the computer because the bookstore couldn't get them to me fast enough. When I wrote to Robyn to tell her how much I'd loved the series, I told her that my children didn't get fed (thankfully they are old enough to feed themselves during a crisis), my job didn't get done (that's not entirely true and if my boss is reading this, come on, you know better!), no writing got done (that's entirely true), and I thought of little else but Jack, Mel, Preacher, Jack's Bar, and the town of Virgin River.
So what do I love about this world Robyn has created? I love that if you have a problem or are just in need of someone to listen, you go see Jack. He'll lend a shoulder while he draws a beer, and he's a damned good listener. Just be prepared for him to try to fix whatever ails you in his own special buttinsky way. If you need a hearty meal or a random piece of information drawn from the Internet, see Preacher. Having a baby? Mel is your girl. Building a house? See Paul about that. Crisis of faith? That's Noah's department. You get the picture. Everyone has their role in the small, remote town, and they look out for each other the way an extended family would. In this world in which we are so connected to each other yet oddly disconnected, too, I think that's what I loved so much about these characters. They are connected to the people in their town in a way most people aren't anymore. Everyone should be so lucky to live in a town like Virgin River.
If you haven't read this series, obviously I recommend it. However, make sure your affairs are in order because once you get sucked in, you'll be absent from life for a few days!
When I asked Robyn to come to book club she graciously agreed and offered up a signed copy of her January release, Promise Canyon, number 11 in the Virgin River series. (Yes, of course I've read them all!) I told her that I was so excited for the new trilogy to come out in 2011. She said I shouldn't have to wait until January to read the new one and offered to send Promise Canyon to me. Hmmm, what's an author/fan girl to do with an offer like that? This is what I said to her (geek alert!): "You are too kind! Even though my first impulse was to say, no, Robyn, that is not necessary because I am thrilled to welcome you to my book club, the other (less rational fan girl) half of me is saying, ARE YOU CRAZY? A sneak peek at the next Virgin River book??? I am too weak to say no to this offer, so thank you very much!" It's an addiction, I tell you!
Please help me to welcome Robyn Carr next Thursday (and do let me know if I'm acting like a dork in front of her—please!) Now I have to get back to reading Promise Canyon...