Hello, reader friends! Author Rachel D. Russell is stopping by for a quick visit as part of a JustRead Publicity Tours blog tour and giveaway celebrating her new release presented by Susan May Warren, Still the One!
about the authors
Susan May Warren is the USA Today best-selling novelist of 80 books. With more than 1.5 million books in print, she is beloved by reviewers and readers around the world. Visit her website or connect with Susan on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.
Rachel D. Russell is a member of Oregon Christian Writers and My Book Therapy’s Novel Academy and is a regular contributor to the Learn How to Write a Novel blog. The mother of two teenagers, she often interrogates her husband on his own military and law enforcement experience to craft believable heroes in uniform. The rest of her time is spent cantering her horse down the Oregon trails. Visit her website, or connect with Rachel on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.
Merging the creative energies of best-selling authors Susan May Warren and Lindsay Harrel, Sunrise Publishing is the matchmaker for established authors who want to build on their current success for future growth and aspiring authors looking to break out, build an audience, and hone their writing skills. Visit their website or connect with Sunrise on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or via email email@example.com.
What is your favorite activity or hobby not related to books?
R: My favorite activities outside of books would be horseback riding. I have a quarter horse I enjoy riding and hanging out with. She has a puppy-dog personality and is incredibly sweet.
B: I’ve not had the privilege of spending much time around horses but I am fascinated by them. I do however have a great fondness for puppy-dog personalities!
Do you have a bookish habit your loved ones tease you about?
R: I have an ever-changing stack of books that follow me around the house because I’m usually reading several books at a time. It’s become a joke with my family. If we ever have to evacuate, my husband says I’ll need a wheelbarrow for my books.
B: Ah, a fellow tandem-reader! Your husband should see this as an opportunity for heroics by supplying said wheelbarrow and necessary manpower.
Share your inspiration behind something from Still the One.
R: Megan likes to bake and that was inspired by a bit of my real life. My husband is now retired from military service, but he’s the reason I enjoy writing military heroes. When we were first getting to know each other, I would bake him all kinds of goodies and drop them off while they were still warm. Chocolate chip cookies, brownies, scones, fresh bread—even toffee.
B: Megan’s baking habit is drool-inducing! Clearly baked goods are the way to a man’s heart.
What are some of the challenges you faced while writing Still the One?
R: I wanted to honor the existing characters of Deep Haven and create a story that would fit in seamlessly with those that went before. There were so many details to keep track of! We also had a lot of moving parts because the three of us (four, if you include Susie’s prequel), were writing simultaneously and we had to also keep track of the details of those new novels while they were in the motion of being created. They all had to match up, too—so I had to be careful not to write something that would disrupt the other novels and vice-versa.
I also still work a day job, so it was a pretty exhausting year to work my day job, then write into the late evening hours—and, because I’m a slow writer, I had many long days. I knew it would be challenging going into it, but knowing it will be challenging is different than actually living the challenge.
B: Amen to that! Reality has a way of smacking us around at times.
What did you learn or discover about yourself while writing Still the One?
R: This process has deepened my faith. I look back and I know that it was not by my power that I accomplished this. It was a really hard year—as I mentioned, I have a day job and had some health issues during the year. There were some really tough days and for the longest time, I clung to my own power—the false power and control I thought I had—in order to attempt to force completion on the required timeline. Much like my characters, God brought me to my knees. I had to release it to Him.
There’s one particular scene that I’d written and knew it wasn’t right—it wasn’t the scene it needed to be, but I didn’t know how to fix it. I prayed and anguished over it for weeks. Then, I literally woke up one morning and I had the answer. I knew how to completely change and rewrite the entire scene. It was an incredible gift. I cried while I wrote that scene because I felt it so deeply. It’s a really emotional scene and I don’t want to give it away—but it’s one of Cole’s scenes in the last half of the book, as he deals with his grandfather.
B: I love that! What a wonderful testimony of His faithfulness.
What is your next release and/or what are you working on now?
R: I’m currently in the rewriting process for my second Deep Haven novel, Then Came You. It’s book four in the new collection and—wow—if I hadn’t put enough pressure on myself already, I asked if I could write Boone Buckam’s story. (Yeah, not sure what I was thinking! Talk about tough!) Boone is from the PJ Sugar series and he is such an amazing guy. He’s taking a trip from Kellogg to Deep Haven. I hope fans enjoy seeing him again as much as I am enjoying giving this amazing hero his own HEA.
I’m also starting to noodle out my next novel. The character David, who is a secondary character from Still the One, is the hero in the next novel I plan to write. At this point, I know how the novel starts, but haven’t had time to put too much onto the page.
B: I’m so delighted to “meet” you and eagerly anticipating your future stories! Thank you so much for taking the time to visit with us, Rachel!
about the book
Still the One by Rachel D. Russell presented by Susan May Warren (Deep Haven Collection book 1)
Publisher: Sunrise Publishing
Release Date: January 12, 2021
Genre: Christian Contemporary Romance
It’s never too late to finish a love story…
Cole Barrett, former Army Ranger, has a new mission objective. Sell his grandfather’s house and put Deep Haven, a place that holds too many hurts, in his rearview mirror as fast as possible. Recently divorced, single, and unattached, Cole just wants a new life as a US Marshal. One where he can forget the past and start new.
Unfortunately, there’s a tenant in the garage apartment who’s refusing to move. Even worse? It’s his childhood crush, Megan Carter, and her son.
Wedding planner and single mom Megan Carter loves Deep Haven. To her, it’s the place where she makes dreams come true—at least, everyone else’s. Her big dream is to purchase the Black Spruce Bed & Breakfast to turn it into a premier event venue and, if she can stay booked for enough weddings over winter, she’ll have the needed funds to buy the inn, move out of Grandpa Barrett’s garage apartment, and finally give her nine-year-old son, Josh, the life he deserves. She just needs four thousand dollars in the next thirty days.
Still, she’s oh, so close…until Cole Barrett returns to Deep Haven. Even if he’s not back to fulfill a silly childhood promise to marry her, but she never expected him to evict her! The last thing she needs is more expenses. Or for another man to walk into her heart…and break it.
When a blizzard strikes Deep Haven, and Megan is overrun with wedding catastrophes, it takes a former Ranger to step in and help. Besides, the more he comes to her rescue, the sooner she’ll be able to move out…and he can move on. And that’s what they both want, right?
Return to Deep Haven with this magical tale about the one who got away…and came back.
Still the One is actually my first read of 2021 and what a delightful way to kick off the year! As an avid Susan May Warren fan, I’ve been following the creation of this series on social media and trying oh so hard to keep my expectations in check. I have to say, Rachel D. Russell has knocked it out of the park!
The familiar comfort of Deep Haven greets readers while Russell’s wit, humor, and heart make the visit an absolute joy. I literally laughed out loud and insistently read aloud several portions of the book to anyone who would listen. Points of conflict within the plot kept me on the edge of my seat and the characters’ journey of faith and forgiveness warmed my heart.
Bravo to Sunrise Publishing for their vision of mentoring and launching debut authors into the arms of eager readers. I highly recommend Still the One for both its familiar setting and fresh new voice.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher and was under no obligation to post a review. Additionally, as a co-owner of JustRead Publicity Tours, LLC, I received compensation from the publisher and/or author to coordinate a promotional tour for this title. The opinions expressed are my own.
(1) winner will receive a $15 Amazon gift card + 3 Still the One ebooks (one ebook for the winner and two to give to friends)!
Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway began at midnight January 18, 2021 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on January 25, 2021. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.
Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.
Follow along at the link above to learn more about Still the One by Rachel D. Russell presented by Susan May Warren and earn more giveaway entries!