When inspiration strikes!

Her One in a Million (Book 3 Home to Harmony) was a book overflowing with very specific details and references from my real-life.

While the series kicks off with the attempted purchase of the MacKinnon mansion, the books haven’t had a chance to delve into the history behind the home. Until now! I am so excited for you to come along on the twisty journey to happily ever after.

As a kid, I loved history. I was sure I’d work in historic preservation (like Amy in book 1). To that end, I volunteered as a docent at a historic home in my town during high school.

The Reitz Home Museum

Built in 1871, the Victorian home is a true time capsule of a bygone era. I loved learning the history and helping on tours. The MacKinnnon Mansion was built during the end of the nineteenth century. Like Evansville on the Ohio River, the fictional Harmony, Illinois owes its success and growth to the mighty Mississippi River. Many towns and cities developed during these years thanks to the rivers.

As much as I love old homes, I didn’t pursue historic preservation. In the end, I studied Art History and my first job out of grad school was at a local, family-run auction house. Like the heroine in this book, I worked for a few months at a small company that handled estate tag sales as well as major farm and land auctions.

My dream was a move to Chicago, and I was lucky enough to do just that and land a job as a specialist in furniture and decorative arts for a city auction, like the hero in this book. Working in a city meant instead of the antiques as an afterthought, collectors came to us to help sell their items.

It was fun to explore the differences and similarities (and the challenges) of both sides of the business with the hero and heroine.

They are brought together by the discovery of a set of Newcomb Pottery. Newcomb College (originally a college for women and now part of Tulane) produced many fine works of American art pottery. While I worked in a broad category at my auction house job, I learned a lot about many things. Art pottery remains one of my favorites and I love to continue learning! I have one piece of Rookwood that I inherited from my maternal grandparents.

If you’re interested, this is a fun clip about Newcomb from a PBS show called Kentucky Collectibles

I hope you enjoy Her One in a Million (now available). Happy reading!

Welcome, Suzie Waltner!

I’m delighted to host debut author, Suzie Waltner, on the blog today. Her first book is out now (from Anaiah Press). If you finished Her One in a Million, you had the chance to read a sneak peek of Midnight Blue. (I’ll wait while you grab your copy of the book and skip to the end!)

Click here for the Amazon page for Midnight Blue

A series of heartbreaking setbacks behind her, Scarlett Sykes is now focused on creating the best life possible for her daughter. One where innocence and joy is not colored by rejection or loss. While finances are tight and Scarlett’s job isn’t ideal for a single mother, her child will always know she’s loved. Especially since Harmony’s father wanted nothing to do with them.

As lead singer and the face of a successful country band, Jake Turnquist’s closest friends depend on him, but life in the spotlight is quickly losing its appeal. At a party celebrating another accomplishment, he’s stunned to discover Scarlett assisting the caterer. Almost ten years have passed, but he’s never forgotten his first love.

In the hours after a surprise revelation, Jake scrambles to orchestrate a way to spend time with Scarlett and Harmony—the family he’s always wanted but never knew he had. He once gave her up to pursue his music. What will he have to surrender to win her back?

Tell us three things we’d find if we looked under your heroine’s bed? How about the hero’s?

If you took under Scarlett’s bed, you’d a box of photo albums and keepsakes from her parents’ home, some crayons or books that Harmony (Scarlett’s nine-year-old daughter) left in the room, and a dust bunny or two—because being a single mom and working as a waitress doesn’t leave a ton of time for cleaning.

There are random papers with scribble song lyrics beneath Jake’s bed as well as the first guitar he bought and his boots, which he kicks off before crashing into bed after touring on the road.

What is the theme of this book? If it’s part of a series, how does this book fit into the series?

The theme of this book is how God can take some of our biggest regrets and grow us through them to give us an even better outcome. He is a God of grace who heals our hurts and heartaches in ways we can never imagine.

Midnight Blue is the first book in the Love in Color series. Each book will feature a member of Jake’s band and will explore more of God turning those heartaches (whether of their own making or that of others which have affected the characters) into something beautiful.

Why do you write this genre? What inspired this story? Do you write any other genres?

My favorite genre to read is contemporary romance, so when I started writing, that’s what I gravitated toward.

The inspiration for Midnight Blue came from where I live. Again, it’s sort of a “write what you know” thing. I have lived in the Nashville area for over twenty years, so I know the city well. And what is Nashville best known for (other than bachelorette parties, which us locals roll our eyes at)? Country music (which I did have to research a bit for this book).

I do not write any other genres, but I did have a dream once and when I woke up, I thought it would make a good opening for a romantic suspense story. I wrote it down afterward, so it’s there if I ever want to branch out.

Any tips to share with fellow authors/aspiring authors? What’s the best advice you’ve ever heard.

I have gotten so much great advice and tips over the years from fellow authors. In fact, I believe authors (especially in the Christian fiction genre) are some of the most encouraging, generous people I have met.

Some of the tips I can share are just write, connect with other writers (this can be online, via local writers’ groups, at conferences, etc.), learn the craft, and let others (who are not related to you) read your work.

The best advice I’ve ever heard is that every journey is different. As authors, it’s tempting to let discouragement take root as watch others get an agent after one meeting or a contract on their second submission. Imposter syndrome is prevalent in the writing world, but if you have a story in you, write it—even if it is just written for one person.

Click here for Midnight Blue on Amazon

Want to learn more about Suzie?

Check out her website:

https://suziewaltner.com

And Goodreads:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/61797935-midnight-blue

Enter to win an Amazon gift card, Antiques Roadshow DVD, and MORE!

To celebrate our new releases, I’ve teamed up with fellow Anaiah Press authors Suzie Waltner and Michelle Lowe for a fun giveaway!

Giveaway includes: Antiques Roadshow DVD, ebook copy of The Maritime Cure by Michelle S. Lowe, Jeremiah 29:11 adult coloring book, Nashville streets puzzle, Nashville magnet, 12-oz handmade Orange Spice candle (coconut wax candle), and a $50 Amazon gift card!

Giveaway is not affiliated with any platform or retailer. Physical prizes open to US mailing addresses only. Digital prizes open internationally where accepted. Giveaway ends at 11:59 EST on September 30, 2022.

Enter to win now! Click here