Gunn, Robin Jones 1955–

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Gunn, Robin Jones 1955–

PERSONAL: Born April 18, 1955, in Baraboo, WI; daughter of Travis Garland (a teacher) and Barbara (a teacher; maiden name, Clawson) Jones; married Ross Gunn III (a pastor), August 13, 1977; children: Ross IV, Rachel Elizabeth. Education: Attended Biola University, La Mirada, CA. Politics: Republican. Religion: Protestant.

ADDRESSES: Home and office—P.O. Box 56353, Portland, OR 97238. E-mail[email protected]

CAREER: Writer and radio host. His People Radio Magazine, weekend announcer and interviewer; host of Kids Korner weekly program, KNIS Radio, Carson City, NV, and KCSP Radio, Casper, WY; speaker at women's group meetings, public and private schools, retreats, and writer's conferences.

AWARDS, HONORS: First place in article-writing contest, Biola University Writer's Institute, 1988; Sherwood E. Wirt Award, Biola University Writer's Institute, 1989; Lucille Gardner Poetry Award, Mount Hermon Writer's Conference, 1993.

WRITINGS:

"JESUS IS WITH ME" SERIES; JUVENILE

Jesus Is with Me When I Celebrate His Birthday, illustrated by N.C. Gary and David Acquistapace, David C. Cook (Elgin, IL), 1988.

Jesus Is with Me When I Go to the Park, illustrated by N.C. Gary and David Acquistapace, David C. Cook (Elgin, IL), 1988.

Jesus Is with Me When I Have a Babysitter, illustrated by N.C. Gary and David Acquistapace, David C. Cook (Elgin, IL), 1988.

Jesus Is with Me When I Help My Mommy, illustrated by N.C. Gary and David Acquistapace, David C. Cook (Elgin, IL), 1988.

"MRS. ROSEY-POSEY" SERIES; JUVENILE

Mrs. Rosey-Posey and the Chocolate Cherry Treat, illustrated by Bill Duca, Chariot Books (Elgin, IL), 1991.

Mrs. Rosey-Posey and the Treasure Hunt, illustrated by Bill Duca, Chariot Books (Elgin, IL), 1991.

Mrs. Rosey-Posey and the Empty Nest, illustrated by Bill Duca, Chariot Books (Elgin, IL), 1993.

"CHRISTY MILLER" SERIES; FOR YOUNG ADULTS

Summer Promise, Focus on the Family Publishing (Pomona, CA), 1988, revised edition, Bethany House Publishers (Minneapolis, MN), 1998.

A Whisper and a Wish, Focus on the Family Publishing (Pomona, CA), 1989, revised edition, Bethany House Publishers (Minneapolis, MN), 1998.

Yours Forever, Focus on the Family Publishing (Pomona, CA), 1990, revised edition, Bethany House Publishers (Minneapolis, MN), 1998.

Surprise Endings, Focus on the Family Publishing (Pomona, CA), 1992, revised edition, Bethany House Publishers (Minneapolis, MN), 1998.

Island Dreamer, Focus on the Family Publishing (Colorado Springs, CO), 1992, revised edition, Bethany House Publishers (Minneapolis, MN), 1999.

A Heart Full of Hope, Focus on the Family Publishing (Colorado Springs, CO), 1992, revised edition, Bethany House Publishers (Minneapolis, MN), 1999.

True Friends, Focus on the Family Publishing (Colorado Springs, CO), 1993, revised edition, Bethany House Publishers (Minneapolis, MN), 1999.

Starry Night, Focus on the Family Publishing (Colorado Springs, CO), 1993, revised edition, Bethany House Publishers (Minneapolis, MN), 1999.

Seventeen Wishes, Focus on the Family Publishing (Colorado Springs, CO), 1993, revised edition, Bethany House Publishers (Minneapolis, MN), 1999.

A Time to Cherish, Focus on the Family Publishing (Colorado Springs, CO), 1993, revised edition, Bethany House Publishers (Minneapolis, MN), 1999.

Sweet Dreams, Focus on the Family Publishing (Colorado Springs, CO), 1994, revised edition, Bethany House Publishers (Minneapolis, MN), 1999.

A Promise Is Forever, Focus on the Family Publishing (Colorado Springs, CO), 1994, revised edition, Bethany House Publishers (Minneapolis, MN), 1999.

From the Secret Place in My Heart—Christy Miller's Diary (companion diary to the series), Bethany House Publishers (Minneapolis, MN), 1999.

Until Tomorrow, Bethany House Publishers (Minneapolis, MN), 2000.

As You Wish, Bethany House Publishers (Minneapolis, MN), 2000.

I Promise, Bethany House Publishers (Minneapolis, MN), 2001.

The Christy Miller Collection (includes Summer Promise, A Whisper and a Wish, and Yours Forever), Multnomah Publishers (Sisters, OR), 2005.

"SIERRA JENSEN" SERIES; FOR YOUNG ADULTS

Only You, Sierra, Focus on the Family Publishing (Colorado Springs, CO), 1995.

In Your Dreams, Focus on the Family Publishing (Colorado Springs, CO), 1996.

Don't You Wish, Focus on the Family Publishing (Colorado Springs, CO), 1996.

Close Your Eyes, Focus on the Family Publishing (Colorado Springs, CO), 1996.

Without a Doubt, Focus on the Family Publishing (Colorado Springs, CO), 1997.

With This Ring, Focus on the Family Publishing (Colorado Springs, CO), 1997.

Open Your Heart, Focus on the Family Publishing (Colorado Springs, CO), 1997.

Time Will Tell, Bethany House Publishers (Minneapolis, MN), 1998.

Now Picture This, Bethany House Publishers (Minneapolis, MN), 1998.

Hold on Tight, Bethany House Publishers (Minneapolis, MN), 1998.

Closer than Ever, Bethany House Publishers (Minneapolis, MN), 1999.

Take My Hand, Bethany House Publishers (Minneapolis, MN), 1999.

"GLENBROOKE" SERIES

Secrets, Questar Publishers (Sisters, OR), 1995.

Whispers, Five Star (Unity, ME), 1995.

Echoes, Palisades (Sisters, OR), 1996.

Sunsets, Palisades (Sisters, OR), 1997.

Clouds, Palisades (Sisters, OR), 1997.

Waterfalls, Palisades (Sisters, OR), 1998.

Woodlands, Multnomah Publishers (Sisters, OR), 2000.

Wildflowers, Multnomah Publishers (Sisters, OR), 2001.

The first six titles above were formerly part of Questar Publishers's "Palisades Pure Romance" series and all were reprinted in the "Glenbrooke" series by Multnomah Publishers, 1999–2000.

"SISTERCHICKS" FICTION SERIES

Sisterchicks Do the Hula!, Multnomah (Sisters, OR), 2003.

Sisterchicks on the Loose, Multnomah (Sisters, OR), 2003.

Sisterchicks in Sombreros, Multnomah (Sisters, OR), 2004.

Sisterchicks Down Under!: A Sisterchicks Novel, Multnomah (Sisters, OR), 2005.

Sisterchicks Say Ooh La La!: A Sisterchick Novel, Multnomah (Sisters, OR), 2005.

OTHER

God's Mountains, Meadows, and More: A Book about Places God Has Made (juvenile), illustrated by Dawn Lauck, David C. Cook (Elgin, IL), 1994.

Mothering by Heart: Celebrating the Moments That Last Forever (gift book), Multnomah Books (Sisters, OR), 1996.

Departures (juvenile; novellas about Christy Miller and Sierra Jensen), Bethany House (Minneapolis, MN), 1999.

Tea at Glenbrooke (gift book), Blue Cottage Gifts (Sister, OR), 2001.

Gardenias for Breakfast (fiction), WestBow Press (Nashville, TN), 2005.

Also author of the "Billy 'n' Bear" series of six books for toddlers, Concordia, 1985; contributor of articles to periodicals, including Virtue, Christian Parenting Today, Christian Herald, Decision, Focus on the Family Publishing (Colorado Springs, CO), Worldwide Challenge, and Brio.

SIDELIGHTS: Robin Jones Gunn—author of the popular "Christy Miller" series for young adults as well as several series of picture books for children—was a storyteller from an early age. Overcoming an initial lack of self-confidence, Gunn started her first young adult novel after helping her husband, a pastor, in his work with a youth group. She became concerned about some of the books she saw the teenage girls reading, but she could not find many books she liked better at the local Christian bookstore. So Gunn began writing stories she felt teenagers would enjoy, and then she tested her ideas on her junior high Sunday school classes. The students often made helpful suggestions and even came up with new ideas. The result of their input was the "Christy Miller" series, which combines adventure and romance with Christian values.

In each book in the series, teenaged Christy faces a moral dilemma involving peer pressure, her desire to be popular, or her interest in boys. However, she is able to count on her Christian values and her relationship with God to help her make good decisions. The "Christy Miller" series also offers young adults an opportunity to share in adventures, such as when Christy visits Hawaii in Island Dreamer and goes on a missionary trip to Europe in A Promise Is Forever.

Gunn's "Glenbrooke" series is a set of "novels for women," the author once told CA, noting that "the first six titles were formerly part of the 'Palisades Pure Romance' series by Questar Publishers." One book in the series, Wildflowers, tells the story of a once happily married woman named Genevieve who thinks she may be falling out of love with her husband, an airline pilot who is often not at home and, as Genevieve feels, not there when she needs him. The novel follows Genevieve as she goes through a self-examination and looks at her relationships with her husband and God. Writing on the Romance Reader's Connection Web site, Jacki Franklin called the novel "a wonderful story that reminded me that harbored bitterness or unforgiveness towards a loved one is a sure root into a darkened soul." In a review of the second book in the series, Whispers, Franklin commented that the tale of a simple vacation that turns into a romantic adventure for heroine Teri Moreno is a "heart warming story." In Woodlands, the seventh book in the series, the author tells the story of Leah Hudson, the youngest of six sisters, who is viewed by others as special but who sees herself in a less-flattering light until she meets the new man in town, Seth Edwards. Franklin called the novel a "light romance with a twist of suspense thrown in."

In 2001, Gunn concluded her Christy Miller series with I Promise. Christy becomes engaged to Todd Spencer and the reader follows the heroine as wedding plans are made and various problems arise, mostly because of Christy's aunt, who is paying for the affair. Shelley Towsend-Hudson, writing in Booklist, noted that series fans will "enjoy all the particulars as well as the satisfaction of the sweet ceremony."

Gunn has also produced the "Sisterchicks" series of books. "The Sisterchicks books focus on two women who are best friends and have some kind of out-of-the-ordinary experience that changes them," the author said in an interview on the Focus on Fiction Web site. In Sisterchicks Do the Hula!, Hope loses her fiancé and seeks solace from her friend Laurie. They plan to vacation in Hawaii to help Hope get over it, but their plans are never carried out because Laurie meets her future husband. Years later, both women are now in their forties and happily married when they decide to finally go on their Hawaiian vacation. "Laurie and Hope make for a fine tale as their friendship is the way relationships should be and their spouses add love and depth," wrote Harriet Klausner on the AllReaders.com Web site. In Sisterchicks in Sombreros, the two heroines are sisters in real life and go to Mexico to inspect some property they have inherited. A Publishers Weekly contributor noted that the author "writes with humor and a deep understanding of the power of women's intimacy." Sisterchicks Down Under! finds Kathleen in Australia, where she meets Jill, who helps make her trip a good one. Tamara Butler, writing in the Library Journal, called the novel a "good afternoon read."

Gunn is also author of the novel Gardenias for Breakfast, which focuses on the relationship of several generations of women in the same family, from twelve-year-old Hannah to her ninety-two-year-old great-grandmother. A Publishers Weekly contributor called the novel "one of Gunn's best offerings to date." Tamara Butler, writing in the Library Journal, commented that the effort is an "above-average mother-daughter tale."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Booklist, May 1, 1998, John Mort, review of Waterfalls, p. 1503; January 1, 2002, Shelley Towsend-Hudson, review of I Promise, p. 841.

Library Journal, February 1, 2000, Melanie C. Duncan, review of Woodlands, p. 66; June 1, 2000, Melanie C. Duncan, review of Until Tomorrow, p. 106; February 1, 2004, Tamara Butler, review of Sisterchicks Do the Hula!, p. 66; September 1, 2004, Tamara Butler, review of Sisterchicks in Sombreros, p. 134; November 1, 2004, Tamara Butler, review of Gardenias for Breakfast, p. 70; April 1, 2005, Tamara Butler, review of Sisterchicks Down Under!, p. 76.

Publishers Weekly, September 27, 1999, review of Departures, p. 98; August 23, 2004, review of Sisterchicks in Sombreros, p. S16; November 8, 2004, review of Gardenias for Breakfast, p. 34.

ONLINE

AllReaders.com, http://www.allreaders.com/ (November 30, 2005), Harriet Klausner, reviews of Sisterchicks on the Loose and Sisterchicks Do the Hula!

Faithful Reader.com, http://www.faithfulreader.com/ (November 29, 2005), "Robin Jones Gunn," interview with author.

Focus on Fiction, http://www.focusonfiction.net/ (November 29, 2005), "Robin Jones Gunn," interview with author.

Robin Jones Gunn Home Page, http://www.robingunn.com (November 29, 2005).

Romance Readers Connection, http://www.theromancereadersconnection.com/ (November 29, 2005), Jacki Franklin, reviews of Wildflowers, Whispers, Sunsets, and Woodlands; Kelly Ross, reviews of Sisterchicks in Sombreros, Sisterchicks Down Under!, and Until Tomorrow; Shelby Bagby, reviews of Secrets and Echoes; Amanda Killgore, review of Clouds.

Sisterchicks Web site, http://www.sisterchicks.com/ (November 29, 2005), Susan E. Richardson, "Meet the Original Sisterchick—Robin Jones Gunn."