Shannon here: Pat Nichols shares insight into her characters from her Will Falls series. Comment or answer the question in this post to enter the drawing for a paperback or e-book of her latest Women’s Fiction title, Bridges, Books, and Bones. Deadline: June 4th, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Pat/Rachel:
My name is Rachel Streetman Bricker. I’m one of the main characters in the Willow Falls series. I met Charlie in The Secret of Willow Inn. He proposed in The Trouble in Willow Falls. We were married in Star Struck in Willow Falls and now in Bridges, Books, and Bones we are weeks away from our first anniversary.
- How did you meet Charlie?
Four years ago, before I resigned to pursue my dream to act, I was a Vice President in my father’s Atlanta based real estate development firm. I was suffering from a nasty cold the day Charlie came to my office to thank me for helping his dad make a decision about where to plant a vineyard and build a winery. His dad, who everyone calls Brick, had hired Charlie to manage the project. Anyway, when I told Charlie I felt better than I looked, he said I must feel terrific because I looked like a million bucks. That’s when I knew he was a gentleman and maybe seriously near-sighted. A few days later he invited me to dinner at the Sun Dial restaurant atop the Peachtree Plaza hotel in downtown Atlanta.
- How soon after meeting Charlie did you know he was the one?
I have to admit it took a while. Don’t get me wrong, I was attracted to him the moment we met. But I thought he was a thirty-five-year-old playboy. The first clue I might be wrong came when he picked me up for our first date in his truck—not at all what I’d expected.
- What’s the most romantic thing Charlie has ever done for you?
Just as my acting career was about to take off, an unscrupulous director compelled me to turn down the lead in his new play. Needless to say, I was devastated. So Charlie invited me to dinner at the house he was renting in Willow Falls. When I arrived, he told me to close my eyes and prepare to fall in love. Moments later he placed a writhing bundle of fur the color of wheat in my arms. Her name’s Brownie. He knew I’d always wanted a puppy, but never had one. Perhaps that was the moment I understood how deeply I loved him.
- Do you and Charlie have a favorite romantic restaurant?
Hands down the dining room at the Redding Arms hotel in Willow Falls. Thanks to my sister, Emily, the hotel was finished and opened thirty years after construction stopped.
- Do you and Charlie have a favorite song?
Funny you should ask. You see, Charlie is a big-time country music fan. I never considered that genre sophisticated enough for my taste. Ever since our first date when he tuned his truck radio to a country-music station, he’s tried to win me over. I admit, he’s made a lot of progress. Our favorite song? Perhaps The Way You Look Tonight.
- Where did you and Charlie go for your honeymoon?
We spent a week in Paris, France. That was nearly a year ago. Now, I’m on location in Venice, Italy to star in my second movie. The city is even more romantic than Paris. I’d hoped Charlie would fly over to celebrate our first anniversary, but he claims too much is going on with the winery’s first harvest for him to take time off. I can only hope something will make him change is mind.
Pat here: Writing Bridges, Books, and Bones was especially fun because Venice is my husband’s and my favorite destination outside the U.S. We spent our fortieth anniversary in that city and stayed at Hotel Danieli. Revisiting the sites on Google Earth brought back so many wonderful memories. Of course, only half the story takes place in Venice, which explains Bridges in the title. The other half is set in Willow Falls. Books refers to the release of Emily’s second novel, about the town’s phoenix rise from failure, which is upstaged when a bulldozer unearths a skull and bones. The story is Christian women’s fiction punctuated with romance and cozy mystery.
About Pat: After retiring from the corporate world, Pat pursued her passion to write. Now as an award-winning author she’s proving it’s never too late to follow your dreams. Pat and her high-school-sweetheart husband of fifty-plus years call the Atlanta area home. They have a son, a daughter, and four grandchildren. One precious granddaughter lives with the angels.
Pat will release Jenny’s Grace, her first standalone contemporary romance this fall. Her second women’s fiction series, The Butler Family Legacy, will release in 2023.
About the book – Bridges, Books, and Bones:
An unsolved crime and a monogrammed cigarette lighter transform Willow Falls’ residents into tent-city dwellers and amateur sleuths.
Small-town newspaper editor, Emily Hayes, can’t get a break. The release of her novel about Willow Falls’ phoenix rise is upstaged when a bulldozer unearths a skull and buried bones. The small-town drama compels curious residents to set up camp at the dig site. After a crime investigation television crew arrives on the scene, the sheriff recruits Emily and the new mayor to shadow the lead investigator, nicknamed She Dragon. Will a decades-old letter and rumors from the past help solve the crime or send one of the town’s most vocal residents packing?
Emily’s twin, Rachel Streetman, flies to Venice, Italy, to star in a major motion picture. The six-week trip forces her to face the grim truth. She’ll spend her first wedding anniversary an ocean away from Charlie. Adding to her anxiety, a ruthless publicist initiates a social media fiasco that threatens her reputation in Willow Falls, the town she’s grown to love. After she learns how her female costar’s career affects her family, Rachel questions if living the dream comes at a price she’s unwilling to pay.
Willow Falls award-winning, contemporary, women’s fiction series celebrates strong women with soft hearts who discover the love of family and the joys and challenges of a small town populated by quirky, argumentative, lovable residents.
Can’t wait for the drawing? Worried you won’t win? Interested in Pat’s other titles?
Question for Readers: What is the most romantic or sweetest thing someone you love has done for you?
Come back May 31st for Hope Bolinger!