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.
Title: The Secret of Willow Inn
(Willow Falls #1)
Author: Pat Nichols
Publication date: January 10, 2019
Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas
If you were to describe yourself using three adjectives, what would they be?
Determined. Loyal. Creative
If you were to describe The Secret of Willow Inn using three adjectives, what would they be?
This new novel also means the start of the Willow Falls Series. Could you please tell us more about it?
Like Jan Karon’s Mitford novels, and Ane Mulligan’s Chapel Springs books, The Willow Falls Series will continue for an indefinite period of time. Book two is scheduled for release January 2020 and I’m currently writing book three. The stories follow Emily, Rachel, and Sadie, three strangers whose lives are united by tragedy and a long-held secret. It includes a cast of quirky characters; some long-time Willow Falls residents, others newcomers to town. Although The Secret of Willow Inn takes place in Atlanta and Willow Falls, the dying north Georgia town’s struggle to survive is central to the series. What does this series means to you? It’s an opportunity to follow Emily, Rachel, and Sadie as they pursue their dreams and a town’s efforts to become a tourist destination.
What inspired you to write this book?
I wanted to write a story that is heart-warming and heart-wrenching with a healthy dose of humor and characters that grab readers’ imaginations.
What’s the character you love most to write about in this story?
If I have to choose one, it would be Emily, because she is an aspiring author.
How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?
Before I begin writing I create a chapter by chapter synopsis on an excel spreadsheet. It serves as a guide and gives me the flexibility to move content around as the story unfolds.
Could you please share a happy photo and tell us a bit about that moment?
This is the moment my high-school-sweetheart, fifty-plus-year hubby first read the dedication in my novel. “To Tim, my husband and the love of my life. Thank you for believing in me and always encouraging me to move beyond my comfort zone and reach for the stars.”
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).
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