Shannon here: Pat Nichols shares how she met her husband and how her characters meet in ther latest Contemporary Fiction Novel, The Secret of Willow Inn. Comment or answer the question in this post to enter the drawing for an e-book copy. If you already have a copy, Pat is offering an e-book copy of The Trouble in Will Falls. Deadline: Nov 9th, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Pat:
Thursday, August 2nd, 1962 was an ordinary day, or so I thought. Two days earlier I had returned home to Orlando from an overnight slumber party at Cocoa Beach celebrating a friend’s sixteenth birthday. With my hair in giant rollers—my on-going attempt to straighten unruly curls—I donned a scarf and walked across the street to spend the afternoon with another friend. Most likely to assess her ever-expanding collection of nail polish.
Little did I know that Tim, a seventeen-year-old from a neighboring town, had recruited a mutual friend to introduce him to some of his female classmates. He’d just broken up with his girlfriend and was on the hunt for a new one. Thus, they spent the better part of the day driving around town, talking to girls. Seems no one met with his approval.
Then late in the afternoon, in a last ditch attempt they stopped at my house. Mom informed them I was across the street at Freya’s. Tim had never heard the name, so he didn’t know if I was visiting a boy or a girl. Regardless, they pulled onto her driveway and knocked on the door.
Here’s where the story differs a bit. I remember meeting Tim, thinking he was a cute boy with what I called a Fabian-style haircut. He’d recently moved from California and hadn’t succumbed to a crewcut or buzzcut popular in Central Florida. Tim claims the moment he met me it was love at first sight, sparked by my big green eyes and brown short-sleeve sweater. Years later I teased him claiming it was more likely lust at first sight. He always says whatever it was he still has it.
Anyway, a few days later he called and asked me out. Neither of us remember where we went on that first date. Although a few weeks later we drove to Cocoa Beach where under the moon we kissed for the first time. After we’d dated a few more times and I’d made more than one comment about his not-so-cool hairstyle, he visited a local barbershop and ditched his California look. I suppose it really was love at first sight.
This year we celebrated our fifty-fourth wedding anniversary. Through all the peaks and valleys we’ve experienced, our love for God and each other has remained a blessing that continues to enrich our lives. Tim is my best friend and number one fan. I adore him and am grateful every day that we found each other all those years ago.
Although I write contemporary fiction about women pursuing their dreams amid life’s challenges, the Willow Falls series includes love story subplots, including one between Rachel Streetman and Charlie Bricker. As you can tell from the following excerpt, she is sick with a cold when they meet in The Secret of Willow Inn.
Excerpt from The Secret of Willow Inn by Pat Nichols:
Rachel dug in her purse for a mirror, touched up her lipstick, and dabbed her watery eyes. A sneeze prompted her to pull a bottle of hand sanitizer from her desk drawer. She checked her image again, buzzed Nancy, and stood to greet her guest.
A medium-height, muscular man, with brown hair and hazel eyes moved toward her. “I’m Charlie Bricker, it’s a pleasure to meet you.”
Rachel reached across the desk and held her hand out to him. “I sanitized, so it’s germ free.” His grin and touch sparked an electrifying quiver in her limbs and sent heat creeping across up her cheeks. “You don’t look anything like your father.”
After her father heard they’d met, he claimed Charlie was a thirty-five-year-old playboy and demanded she not date him. Desperate to keep him from controlling her personal life, she ignored his request. Their first date was in the Sun Dial Restaurant atop the seventy-three-story circular Peachtree Plaza Hotel.
Rachel and Charlie’s uncertain relationship continues in The Trouble in Willow Falls, which releases November 11th, and in books three and four. Theirs isn’t the only romance in The Trouble in Willow Falls. You’ll have to read the books to find out more.
About Pat: Retired from a twenty-seven-year corporate career, Pat Nichols draws on her experience in seven different management positions working with hundreds of amazing women from all walks of life to create stories about women facing challenges in the pursuit of their dreams. Her debut novel, The Secret of Willow Inn, Willow Falls series book one, released January 2019. The Trouble in Willow Falls, book two in the series releases November 11, 2019. Pat received a 2018 NGCWC Georgia Peach Award for her short story, The Vet and Valentine’s Day and a 2019 NGCWC Georgia Peach Award for Willow Falls series book three. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Word Weavers International. She has been featured on WATC Television Atlanta Alive and in Voyager Magazine Interview with Pat Nichols. Learn more and connect:
About the book – The Secret of Willow Inn
Two women fighting for their dreams, one who’s long lost hers, are united by tragedy and a long-held secret.
Pregnant with her first child, Emily Hayes is eager to help her mother finish transforming an estate into the Willow Inn and write a novel about Willow Falls’ colorful history. A tragic event threatens her parents’ plan to refurbish an abandoned hotel and transform the obscure Georgia setting into a tourist attraction.
Sadie Lyles left Willow Falls a murderer who’d killed the town hero. She returns a despised felon and seeks solace in the town’s cafe. Emily struggles to unite the close-knit community and becomes Sadie’s biggest advocate. She strives to uncover the truth about the crime and save her town from dying.
To appease her father, Rachel Streetman, a VP in his Atlanta real-estate-development firm, relegates her acting dream to secret performances for imaginary audiences. After meeting charming, flirtatious Charlie Bricker, manager for Willow Falls’ future vineyard, she vows to break free from her father’s control.
The tragedy and Willow Inn’s secret past launch Emily and Rachel on a collision course with destiny and truth.
Can’t wait for the drawing or worried you won’t win? Get your copy now!
Question for Readers: What’s the weirdest tactic you’ve tried in hopes of a good hair day?
Come back Nov 1st for Lindsey Brackett!