A boisterous puppy named Jolene beats her master up the driveway, greeting a visitor with a combination of jumps and face licks. Joyce Maynard, wearing a bright red tunic, her trademark sneakers, jeans and a radiant smile, is as welcoming as her pooch. Within minutes, the prolific author of “Labor Day” and “To Die For” is rummaging in her pantry for black tea amid a racket of rooster crowing outside her Lafayette home. In her rambling house, Maynard has been catching her breath between weeks of appearances for her latest book, “The Best of Us,” in which she chronicles a Match.com-made romance with the man who became her husband, and left her a widow after a lengthy struggle with cancer. Though she moved to the Bay Area 20 years ago (first to a house on Mount Tamalpais in Mill Valley), when asked where she’s from, Maynard, 63, still says New Hampshire. She spent the summer there at a lake cabin she bought sight unseen because she enjoys swimming and prefers quiet when writing. Her Hunsaker Canyon home in the East Bay was built in the 1970s and features an open kitchen and an expansive first floor lined with books […]

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