Welcome to the Blog Blitz & Giveaway for The Secret of Willow Inn by Pat Nichols, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours. Today Pat is giving us a behind the scenes look at the town the book is set in!!
ABOUT THE BOOK
Title: The Secret of Willow Inn
(Willow Falls #1)
Author: Pat Nichols
Publisher: Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas
Release Date: January 10, 2019
Genre: Inspirational Contemporary Fiction
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’ plans to refurbish an abandoned hotel and transform the obscure Georgia setting into a tourist destination.
Sadie Lyles left Willow Falls a murderer who’d killed the town hero. She returns as a despised felon and seeks solace in the town’s café. 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, 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.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Pat Nichols is proving it’s never too late to follow your dreams.
During the spring, summer, and early autumn of her life this side of heaven, she and her high-school-sweetheart husband struggled and triumphed through life’s peaks and valleys. They raised two children, welcomed four grandchildren—one is with the angels—bought a Corvette, and ticked off every item on their travel bucket list. Now approaching her winter years, she ignores the minor aches that come with age and is grateful she can still paint her own toenails and dance with her hubby.
Following twenty-five years in six different management positions with an international beauty company, Pat launched career number two as a novelist and freelance editor. She chose women’s fiction to honor her daughter’s strength in the face of significant health issues and the loss of a child. Her corporate experience, working with hundreds of amazing women from all walks of life, inspires her to create stories about women who confront challenges in the pursuit of their dreams.
Although she writes five days a week, she and Tim—her best friend and number one fan—continue to celebrate their fifty-plus-year marriage. They lead a small group, volunteer for church guest services, participate in two social organizations, and spend time with family and friends. She thanks God for the blessings that brought her joy and the challenges that continue to strengthen her faith, skills, and resolve.
Pat was born in Illinois, grew up in Orlando, and has called Georgia home since the eighties. She lives in an Atlanta suburb, is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Word Weavers, Christian Pen, and Gwinnett Church (a campus of Northpoint Ministries).
The Genesis of Willow Falls
Turning from County Road onto Main Street, Willow Falls’ visitors drive past seven expansive two-story homes built in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The last home on the right, at the corner of Main and Falls, is now the town’s hospital. Across Main, adjacent to a southern style house in the final stages of transitioning to the Willow Inn, sits an abandoned four-story brick hotel. Beside it, a lake-side park. A row of picturesque, century-old storefronts—each with a unique façade—faces the park. Hayes General Store, a focal point and potential tourist attraction, sits perpendicular to the stores where Main Street turns right.
Although Willow Falls is a figment of the author’s imagination, it is a compilation of charming little towns and villages she’s visited throughout the United States and abroad. She enjoys strolling along main streets with her husband, visiting quaint shops and restaurants, and chatting with residents.
After outlining The Secret of Willow Inn plot, she drew a map pinpointing the story’s key locations. It included Pepper’s Café, Willow Post headquarters, a boarded-up cinema, and Pearl’s Hair and Nail Salon. The visual helped her craft descriptions. As the story progressed, so did the map.
The name Willow Falls is derived from a fifty-foot waterfall a mile from town and willow oaks gracing Main Street. Hayes General Store is patterned after North Carolina’s Mast General Store. In The Secret of Willow Inn—book one of the Willow Falls series—the store’s unique history is referenced but not fleshed out. In fact, she didn’t know the details until mid-way through book two, which is scheduled to release January, 2020. It’s interesting how the story dictated the store and the town’s past.
Set in Willow Falls and Atlanta, The Secret of Willow Inn contrasts life in a close-knit community to big-city living. Her favorite aspects of Willow Falls are the cast of quirky characters and the delight and messiness of living in a fish bowl. Everyone knows everything about everybody. At least they think they do. Truth is, there are secrets, which makes for a fun story and an ongoing saga.
Does she live in a small town? Not exactly. She and her husband reside in one of the numerous little communities comprising metro Atlanta. Their subdivision is located in a heavily wooded area bordering the Chattahoochee River. Every morning deer roam through their back yard. A hawk family resides in one of her neighbor’s trees. The neighborhood is home to red fox, racoons, an occasional coyote, and armies of pesky squirrels and chipmunks. In a way it’s like living in the country with big-city amenities close by. Perhaps the best of both worlds.
(1) winner will receive a $25 Amazon Gift Card from the author.
Enter via the Rafflecopter giveaway below. Giveaway will begin at midnight October 27, 2018 and lasts through 11:59pm November 3, 2018. Open Internationally. Void where prohibited by law. Winners will be notified within a week of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.
Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.
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