Shannon here: Pat Nichols shares the inspiration behind her latest Women’s Fiction title, The Trouble in Willow Falls. Comment or answer the question in this post to enter the drawing for an e-book copy. Deadline: Nov 7th, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Pat:
Four years ago, while finishing my second manuscript, an idea for a series centered in a small southern town struggling to survive emerged. An ongoing story following the lives of three women, strangers raised without siblings, inspired by my mother, an only child who longed for a sister. In The Secret of Willow Inn, the women are drawn together by tragedy, a long-held secret, and one man’s dream to plant a vineyard and build a winery.
Emily Hayes an aspiring author and newspaper reporter for the bi-weekly Willow Post. Married to Scott, her high-school sweetheart, she strives to support her parents’ mission to transform Willow Falls into a tourist destination and rescue it from a slow, painful death. Until tragedy strikes and changes everything.
Rachel Streetman relegates her acting dreams to secret performances for imaginary audiences to fulfill the life her father chose for her. Working long hours as an executive in his Atlanta based real-estate development firm leaves little time for social life and a non-existent list of potential suitors. After meeting the charming son of a client, she vows to ignore her father’s demands to stay away from Charlie Bricker and focus on following in his footsteps.
Sadie Liles, paroled after serving a thirty-year prison term for killing the town hero, long ago abandoned her dream of meeting prince charming and finding a happy ending. Blamed for the town’s downfall, she returns to Willow Falls and grapples to adapt to a new normal.
Although the Willow Falls series is women’s contemporary fiction with shades of cozy mystery, romance weaves through the characters’ lives. In The Trouble in Willow Falls Rachel’s relationship with Charlie conflicts with her fledgling acting career. Having escaped the invisible shackles created by her father’s vision for her life, she waffles between loving Charlie and pushing him away. A surprise move by both men gives her hope for a bright future.
A day before the town’s July Fourth celebration Sadie meets Brick, Charlie’s divorced father who purchased land two miles from Willow Falls to create Willow Oak Vineyard and Winery. Although they enjoy each other’s company, she doesn’t believe an educated, successful businessman could fall in love with an ex-con who has a high-school diploma and a couple of on-line management courses under her belt. Until one magical night.
In Star Struck in Willow Falls, book three scheduled for release February 2, 2021, a Hollywood film crew and famous movie stars swoop into Willow Falls to film a full-length motion picture. Their presence throws the town’s new normal as a popular North Georgia tourist destination into chaos.
Wedding bells are threatened as Rachel fears her life-long dream to act is drifting into oblivion and leaving behind bitter regret. She wonders if auditioning for a role in the movie will boost her lackluster career or open the door to a lifestyle incompatible with the small-town life she has come to accept.
Sadie’s world is turned upside down when a stranger clinging to the past arrives on the scene. Residents who once hated her rally to her defense.
After I retired from the corporate world and pursued a writing career, I chose to create stories about women facing tension-laced challenges and heart-warming triumphs in the pursuit of their dreams. Through a blend of drama, southern humor, and light-hearted moments I also wanted to convey a sense of community and family. Needless to say, the following reader comments warm my heart.
Finding true love, fulfillment, community, enduring friendship, home, and family in the midst of adversity. Emily and Rachel are great examples of two different types of women juggling their own personal goals and those of the town. Such heart-warming stories of life’s various trials and tribulations along with miraculous recoveries. Pat Nichols does a fabulous job of weaving the various storylines to a satisfying conclusion. Rachel and Emily each have a dream and as they work to fulfill their promised dreams, we are treated to mystery, romance, creativity, and fun!
Following the February release of Star Struck in Willow Falls, will the story continue? Book four is finished and if all goes well will find its way to publication in 2022.
About Pat: Retired from a twenty-seven-year corporate career, Pat launched career number two and is proving it’s never too late to follow your dreams. Her debut novel, The Secret of Willow Inn, is a 2020 Selah Award finalist. She 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 Star Struck in Willow Falls.
Pat is the mother of two and grandmother of four. One precious granddaughter lives with the angels. She and Tim—her high-school sweetheart and number one fan—continue to celebrate their fifty-plus-year marriage. They volunteer for church guest services, participate in two social organizations, and spend time with family and friends. She was born in Illinois and grew up in Orlando before Disney arrived. She has called Georgia home since the eighties. She is grateful for God’s unconditional love through life’s peaks and valleys. Learn more & connect:
About the book – The Trouble in Willow Falls:
Rachel Streetman is one audition away from landing the lead in a play written by a respected director and jump-starting her lackluster acting career. An unexpected incident sends her fleeing back to Willow Falls. After collaborating with Emily to revive the town’s theater, an invitation to audition for a play in Atlanta’s premiere theater forces her to choose between loyalty and her life-long dream.
Months after submitting her first novel to publishers, Emily Hayes receives one response—a rejection. When famous artist Naomi Jasper offers her much-needed cash to finish writing, then cast and direct a play about Willow Falls’ colorful history, Emily faces a difficult decision—postpone rewriting her novel or accept the offer. Aware the project has a high probability of failure she recruits the one person who has the experience she needs.
When a scathing blogger review and a negative Atlanta television newscast threaten Willow Falls’ premiere as a North Georgia tourist destination, the quirky, opinionated, lovable residents dig deep to invest their time and limited resources to boost the town’s appeal. As they prepare for Redding Arms’ grand opening, five newcomers with troubled pasts and one British tourist test the locals’ capacity for tolerance and grace.
Can’t wait for the drawing or worried you won’t win? Get your copy now!
Question for readers: What three factors do you feel lead to a successful romantic relationship?
Come back Nov 3rd for Debbi Migit!