Book, Reviews, Excerpt
Holly Jacobs

A Hometown Hearts Story

Crib Notes
by Holly Jacobs

You can’t cheat at life…
You can’t cheat at love.

Eli Cartwright has her life all figured out—she has a career she loves and a sensible boyfriend. Then life tests her. She’s dumped, pregnant and totally lost. Then Zac Keller comes into her life. Is she ready for a new relationship?

Eli life isn’t going the way she thought it would, but maybe this is one test she can pass with flying colors.

Readers of Jacobs' bestselling book, Just One Thing, will love this book about second chances.


B&N Nook

Crib NotesA special kind of differnthomecomingsuddenly a father
Something BorrowedSomething BlueSomething Perfect
Hometown ChristmasHolly Jacobs

Hometown Hearts Series:
Crib Notes 1/20
A Special Kind of Different 3/20
Homecoming 6/20
Suddenly a Father 9/20
Hometown Hearts Wedding:
Something Borrowed 1/21
Something Blue3/21
Something Perfect 5/21
A Hometown Christmas 9/21
A Hometown Hearts Short Story
Something Unexpected 7/21


"When family sciences teacher Elinore Cartwright finds herself single and pregnant in her 40s, her college professor boyfriend Arthur wants nothing to do with fatherhood. Unwilling to give up her potentially last shot at motherhood, Eli goes forward with the pregnancy and finds help from an unexpected source. Store owner Zac Keller had always had a crush on her, but her boyfriend's presence kept him away. Now that she's single, Zac makes his desire for her-- and her baby--very clear. Jacobs' characters display real warmth, and her touching story shows that family isn't always about blood relations."  ~ RT Book Reviews 

"All time favorite author Holly Jacobs centers her writings around the importance and security of family love. [Crib Notes] is no different as Ms. Jacobs portrays the very real problem of teen pregnancy and the life changes it poses. A twist to this story is the teacher having some of the very same difficult life choices as her pregnant teenage students. Beautifully told by a master writer." ~ CataRomance

"Holly Jacobs has written yet another wonderful story. After so many books where Holly Jacobs has endeavored to make us laugh, it is a change in direction for her to now want to make us cry in an oh-so-good way, as she’s had a few books now more serious in tone, but this is a change that works incredibly well for her."
~Loves Romance

"From the very beginning, it's obvious that the relationship will work out for Zac and Eli. And, it's that big, loving family, of adopted brothers and sisters, that offer glimpses of hope. [This] is the story of two people falling in love, despite problems. Zac sums the book up beautifully. ‘Life happens. What truly defines us as people is how we handle what life throws at us.’" 
~Lesa's Book Reviews 

"Warning: Holly Jacobs can cause sleep deprivation!  As with all of Ms. Jacobs books you start out “Oh, I will just start reading it before I go to bed, it will help me sleep”.  Right.  The next thing you know it is 11:30 at night and you have to find out what is going to happen before you can set the book down and sleep.  The stories are well worth the lack of sleep and, hey, you can always sleep the next night."
 ~Writers Unlimited

Book, Reviews, Excerpt

EXCERPT Crib Notes
copyright Holly Jacobs

“There’s no way to cheat nature.”
—Crib Notes: Pregnancy, Childbirth and Parenting for Teens, by Mary Jeanne Lorei
ARIEL MAYORS KNEW that, until recently, she’d been teacher’s pet. A favorite. The student who could do no wrong.

She’d cultivated that status with the same care that a gardener used looking after prized orchids. By the time Ariel had reached her senior year of high school she’d practically perfected the art of perfect. She was always the first one to raise her hand, the first one to volunteer and almost always the best student in class.

Popularity was a game that she didn’t just play with the teachers, she played it with fellow students as well.

To garner the girls’ admiration she made sure she never poached boyfriends, that she always offered a shoulder in any cry-worthy moment and that she was never without an extra Tampax in her purse for those time-of-the-month emergencies.

She’d discovered the basic truth that once you’d borrowed a tampon from someone, it was hard to hate them.

Ariel was a cheerleader, which provided her a readymade social group, and also meant she was one of the girls all the boys wanted to date. She knew this part of her popularity didn’t stem from any planning of hers. Biology had blessed her with blond hair and a long, lithe body. But she’d worked at the rest—worked on knowing what clothes to wear, how to apply makeup flawlessly. She worked at knowing when to laugh, when to draw closer, when to pull back.

Well, she thought, she’d known when to pull back until that one night in Charlie Markowski’s Lumina van.

She stood in front of Ms. Cartwright’s desk. Her teacher wasn’t beautiful, but there was something appealing about her averageness. Brown shoulder-length hair, blue eyes. A little shorter than Ariel’s five feet, six inches. Ms. Cartwright was the kind of person who was so normal-looking she could easily get lost in a crowd in a way Ariel never could. That was, until she smiled. Then Ms. Cartwright was beautiful. Ariel wasn’t sure how that worked, she just knew it did. She wanted to be like Ms. Cartwright someday. Calm, collected—a woman in charge of her own destiny. Someone who got more beautiful when they smiled.

Only Ms. Cartwright wasn’t smiling today.

“Ariel,” Ms. Cartwright said, disappointment right there in that one word and echoing so fiercely in her favorite teacher’s expression.
Ariel had disappointed so many people in the last few weeks. She’d worked so hard to please this one woman, and now, she’d disappointed her, too.

“Ariel, Mrs. Brown came to see me. She says she found this in your book.” Ms. Cartwright slid the small piece of paper across the desk. “Is this crib note yours?”

“Yes,” Ariel whispered.



“Do you have an explanation?”

“I worked at the restaurant last night and planned on studying during my break but Dale, the dork manager at Barney’s, wouldn’t give me one. We had a bus come in and…” She simply shrugged. What more was there to say? She’d done it—she’d cheated. She could add that to her growing list of descriptions.


Student council rep.

Straight A student.

Pregnant teen.


Ms. Cartwright didn’t yell, didn’t scream. She just shook her head sadly and asked, “Do you really think this is the way to handle things? By taking the easy way out?”

“I just didn’t know what else to do.”

“Did it occur to you that you could go to Mrs. Brown and explain the situation to her. Or, you could have come to me. It’s part of my job description…helping you find options. There are always some. I know you’re new to the program, but it’s pretty much our mantra—finding options.” She sighed. “Listen, Ariel, this stopped being about you when you became pregnant. You will be this baby’s role model. He or she will look to you to see how to live. Is this what you’d want your child to do? Do you want them to take the easy way out?”

“No. I didn’t think of it like that.”

“You have to learn to think about everything you do in that way—how it will impact your baby. You need to do what’s best for them, always. Even when it’s difficult for you. Now, how do you think we should handle this?”

“You know, those are the kinds of questions all us kids hate. You make us decide on a fair punishment.”

“I make you take responsibility for your actions. Most teens have a few more years to learn about actions and consequences—the girls in this program don’t have the luxury of time. You don’t have that luxury.”

She looked pointedly at Ariel’s stomach and the barely there baby bump.

“Ariel, I see so much potential in you. Don’t blow it. If you have a problem, come see me, see Mrs. Brown. There are people here for you. Don’t forget that.”

“Maybe I should start by writing an apology to Mrs. Brown?”

“I think that’s an excellent place to begin. Come see me tomorrow and we’ll talk about what else you think is required in order to make this right.”

Darn. Ariel had hoped that a letter of apology would be all that she had to do to smooth this over. Obviously, it wasn’t.

“Okay, I’ll think about it and see you tomorrow.” She practically sprang for the door, anxious to escape Ms. Cartwright’s sympathetic gaze. It would be easier if the teacher would get pissed off and yell. But no, not her, she only looked as if her girls screwing up hurt her.

Ariel turned the doorknob, and pushed at the door, ready to make her escape when Ms. Cartwright’s voice stopped her. “And Ariel?”

She turned back and saw pain in Ms. Cartwright’s smile. She’d do almost anything to replace that look of disappointment with one of pride.

“You can’t cheat nature. You are going to be a mother in a few months and there are no crib notes that will let you fake your way through being a good parent. And that’s what you owe this baby. Being the best parent, the best example you can be.”

“Yes, ma’am.”

“And for that matter, Ariel, life happens. You can’t cheat your way through it, either. There are no crib notes. You have to live each day as well as you can. I’ll see you tomorrow.”

Finally, dismissed, Ariel hurried away before Ms. Cartwright could say anything else profoundly painful.

There were no crib notes for being a parent. For being an adult.

Ariel desperately wished there were.

Book, Reviews, Excerpt

hit counter script 

Site designed by
Stonecreek Media, Inc