“Riley, do you have any friends that are girls?” asked Nana. Riley dreaded that question. She didn’t know how to go about making new friends. Spring in central Idaho mean birthing season on a cattle ranch and with Grandpa sick and Delly pregnant, Riley is up to her knees in mud, blood and babies. To top it off, the new friend Riley has chosen isn’t making life any easier.
Jacci lives with her husband in Nevada's high desert. They spend their mornings hiking through the sagebrush with their big yellow dog, Rocky.
Jacci loves chocolate, babies, and coffee with friends. She's worn many hats in her lifetime: therapist, school counselor, campus minister, and mom. Her favorite hats are her writer and grandmother hats, which come in wild colors and don't fit too tightly.
Jacci has written Bending Willow,about Riley and Mia, in search of a father who doesn't know they exist. It is the first book in The Finding Home Series. Bending Willow has been on Amazon's top 100 Middle Grade Action/Adventure list since it came out and represented Nevada at the National Book Festival in Washington D.C. In addition to sharing her stories about Riley and Mia, Jacci is the author of the Amazon best-selling young adult series, The Finding Home Series.
Jacci has an active blog and has written articles for Middle Shelf Magazine and Conversations Journal. She loves connecting with readers so give her a buzz on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, Linkedin, Tumblr, or Instagram.
Working as a school counselor has brought me into contact with many children on the Autism spectrum. I find these children delightful and wanted Riley to have a friend on the spectrum. People don't really use the term Aspergers anymore, but it worked for the purposes of this story. Riley is trying to navigate friendships and has chosen Sierra as a friend, then finds out Sierra has Aspergers. This makes for some interesting friendship issues and I'm glad to say the girls become good friends as they get to know each other.
“He told me once about a student he had with Asperger’s Syndrome. He said they are usually very bright but sometimes don’t understand social cues, so they can be . . . a little socially awkward. Oh, and he said they usually have one thing at time that they’re very interested in. Luckily for Mr. Brown, this student was interested in math. He was a powerhouse on their team that year.”