Category Archives: Robin Lee Hatcher

The Story Jar

In time for Mother’s Day giving…

by Robin Lee Hatcher and Deborah Bedford


A lovely novel of three women, their stories threaded together through the concept of

The Story Jar…

The jar itself is most unusual —not utilized in the ordinary way for canning or storing food, but as a collection point for memories. Some mementos in the jar: —hair ribbons, a ring, a medallion–are sorrowful, others tender, some bittersweet. But all those memories eventually bring their owners to a place of hope and redemption in spite of circumstances that seemingly have no solution.

Fresh, insightful, yet courageous in the face of difficult life issues, this collaboration by two talented writers first profiles a pastor’s wife with two young daughters who faces cancer just as her own mother did before her; and then a remarried mother working through a difficult relationship with a rebellious runaway daughter. The third woman, alone with two teenaged boys who no longer pay much attention to her and seem headed for trouble, discovers the long-lost “story jar” and its significance. She comes to realize she can bring her own sorrows and frustrations to the feet of the Good Shepherd, the Great Physician, the Healer of the brokenhearted. She too will have memories for her own story jar.

“…It captures with surprising sensitivity …communion with God, and some excruciatingly exquisite moments of parental love.…” Publishers Weekly

Included in the book are heart-warming tributes on motherhood from novelists such as Jerry Jenkins, Francine Rivers, Karen Ball, and Debbie Macomber.



Robin Lee Hatcher is known for her heartwarming and emotionally charged stories of faith, courage, and love. She makes her home in Idaho where she enjoys spending time with her family, her high-maintenance Papillon, Poppet, and Princess Pinky, the kitten who currently terrorizes the household.

When Deborah Bedford isn’t writing, she spends her time fly-fishing, cheering at American Legion baseball games, shopping with her daughter, singing praise songs while she walks along the banks of Flat Creek, and taking her dachshund Annie for hikes in the Tetons where they live.


by Robin Lee Hatcher

In September 1998, I received a story jar as a thank you gift after speaking at a writers’ conference in Nebraska. The small mason jar, the lid covered with a pretty handkerchief, was filled with many odds and ends – a Gerber baby spoon, an empty thread spindle, a colorful pen, several buttons, a tiny American flag, an earring, and more.

The idea behind this gift was a simple one. When a writer can’t think of anything to write, she stares at one of the objects in the jar and lets her imagination play. Who did that belong to? How hold was he? What sort of person was he? What does the object represent in his life?

Writers love to play the “what if” game. It’s how most stories come into being. Something piques their interest, they start asking questions, and a book is born.

A week after receiving my story jar, I attended a retreat with several writer friends of mine, Deborah Bedford included. On the flight home, I told Deborah about the jar. The next thing you know (after all, what better thing is there for writers to do on a plane than play “what if”?), we began brainstorming what would ultimately become The Story Jar. We decided very quickly that we wanted this to be a book that celebrates motherhood, that encourages mothers, that recognizes how much they should be loved and honored.

The Story Jar was first published by Multnomah in 2000, but eventually went out of print. Thus Deborah and I are delighted that Hendrickson wanted to bring it out in a new, revised version because we believe these stories can inspire others, just as it did this reader back in 2001:

“I am an avid book reader and have read thousands of books ––maybe more–– since the age of 5. I can honestly say that [The Story Jar] has touched me more than any other I have read. I cried, I laughed, and I relearned things that I had forgotten long ago as well as realizing things I never knew. Thank you for sharing your stories with your readers. They are truly inspiring. I plan on giving it to all the ‘mothers’ in my life for Mother’s Day.”

You don’t have to be a writer to want a story jar. It can be a family’s way of preserving memories. Consider having a family get-together where everybody brings an item to go into the jar, and as it drops in, they tell what it means to them, what it symbolizes. We can learn something new about our loved ones when we hear their memories in their own words. Or do what my church did a number of years ago to create a memory for a retiring pastor. Inspired by The Story Jar, members of the congregation brought items to the retirement dinner to put into a story jar or they simply wrote their memories on a piece of paper to go into the jar. It was our way of saying thanks to a man and wife for all of the years they’d given in God’s service.

A story jar can be a tool for remembering all the wonderful things God has done in our own lives. As Mrs. Halley said, not all of God’s miracles are in the Bible. He is still performing them today in countless ways, changing lives, healing hearts.

In the grip of His grace,
Robin Lee Hatcher

The Story Jar on Amazon:

The Story Jar on ChristianBook:

Robin Lee Hatcher

Deborah Bedford

A Matter of Character by Robin Lee Hatcher

by Robin Lee Hatcher
Historical Romance
June 2010

Who says a woman can’t keep a secret?
It’s 1918, and Daphne McKinley, heiress to a small fortune, has found contentment in the town of Bethlehem Springs. But Daphne has a secret.
A series of dime novels loosely based on local lore and featuring a nefarious villain known as Rawhide Rick has enjoyed modest popularity among readers. Nobody in Bethlehem Springs knows the man behind the stories … except Daphne.
When newspaperman Joshua Crawford comes to town searching for the man who sullied the good name of his grandfather, Daphne finds herself at a crossroads, reassessing the power of her words, re-thinking how best to honor her gifts, and reconsidering what she wants out of life.
View the book trailer here:

About the Author:

The author of over 60 books, best-selling novelist Robin Lee Hatcher is known for her heartwarming and emotionally charged stories of faith, courage, and love. She makes her home in Idaho where she enjoys spending time with her family and her high-maintenance Papillon, Poppet. She invites you to drop by her web site and her Facebook Page to learn more about her and her books.

Web site:

By the way, I interviewed Robin and her dog, Poppet a couple of weeks ago, so if you missed it you might want to read it now!

Robin Lee Hatcher and her dog, Poppet!

Hi, y’all! Sorry I haven’t blogged in a couple of days. I was out of town and fell behind, then fell sick. But I’m better now and so excited to have Robin Lee Hatcher here with us today! And also, her adorable dog, Poppet! Please help me welcome them!

Le: Hi, Robin! Thanks so much for being here today! What is your favorite kind of a pet? Dog, cat, guinea pig? And why?

RLH: I have owned lots of different kinds of pets (dogs, cats, guinea pigs, hamsters, parakeet). I like most animals, although I prefer to keep a distance from snakes and mice. But if forced to choose just one favorite kind of pet, I guess I would have to go with dogs because they truly want their humans’ company. As much as I like cats, they are often perfectly content to never see their humans, as long as they have food and water.

Le: That is so true. How many pets do you have today?

RLH: Just one.

Le: Have you ever rescued an animal?

RLH: Yes, a number of my pets over the years have come from the local shelter.

Le: Do you ever incorporate animals into your novels?

RLH: Frequently. Dogs, cats, and horses mostly. And one of my dogs was included on the cover of one of my books , and that really endeared that cover to me.

Le: I bet! How wonderful! What was your favorite character animal?

RLH: LOL! I’m laughing because in my second book, the reader is put into the POV of a wild stallion. Had to love that, especially now that I see it as a “slight” POV problem. I suppose that my favorite animal character would have to be the Irish wolfhound “puppy” named Joker in my historical, When Love Blooms.

Le: I think we’ve all got things like that in our earlier novels. ☺ Has one of your own pets been the inspiration for a pet/character in a novel?

RLH: Yes, my border collie Misty was the inspiration for the dog in Dear Lady.

Le: What is the funniest thing you’ve seen one of your animals do?

RLH: Sometimes Poppet will get all wound up with excitement and will race around the house, hopping onto the sofa and then down the hall and then looping back to do it all over again. In my previous home, she could run a full circle going from room to room (living room, hall, kitchen, dining room, living room). She runs as fast and low to the ground as a rabbit or a fox. She’ll run like crazy until she’s exhausted and lays down.

Le: Ah, that’s so cute! Is there a secret that only Poppet knows?

RLH: Maybe she’s the only one who knows if I snore since she sleeps with me?

Le: I love her name by the way. What is Poppet’s pet peeve about you?

RLH: That I don’t just drop everything to play with her when she wants to.

Le: What is your pet peeve about your Poppet?

RLH: She loves to bark at any activity going on outside (people walking or talking, car doors closing, UPS or FedEx trucks, the mailman, other animals). And her bark has a very high pitch to it, so it hurts the ears.

Le: I can understand that! I have three that bark at everything. Even butterflies. Thank you so much for taking the time to be with us! Now, I’d love to ask Poppet a few questions. Don’t forget to give your sweet pet a treat afterwards. ☺

Le: Hi, Poppet! You are so cute! Come here and let’s talk. What would be the title of your autobiography?

P: SHE’S SO CUTE! Because that’s what everyone said when they met me as a puppy and lots of humans still say when they see me today.

Le: It is very fitting indeed! If you were to write a novel, would Robin inspire one of the characters?

P: Sure. My human is my best friend.

Le: That’s so sweet! What’s your favorite movie?

P: My Dog Skip.

Le: Oh, that’s a good one! What musical instrument would you like to play?

P: Drums. They’d go nice with my barking.

Le: Ah-ha! You like to make some noise, don’t you? What do you think about cats? Dogs?

P: Cats should not be allowed to tease and torture me from the other side of my fenced yard. If I could get to them, I’d teach them that.

Dogs are usually okay, as long as they understand I’m the alpha female in the neighborhood and should be obeyed at all times.

Le: Of course! Where do you sleep at night?

P: In my human’s bed, against her hip while she’s reading, then I move over to my own space when it’s time to sleep.

Le: What do you do when Robin is writing?

P: Usually I lay on the floor nearby.

Le: What is your idea of bliss?

P: Chasing the Frisbee or tennis ball in the backyard.

Le: What is Robin’s idea of bliss?

P: Being with her kids and grandkids and other family members.

Le: I’m sure being with you brings her bliss too. You’re a cutie! Thanks for being with us today! You take care of Robin now, ya hear?