Today we welcome the author of the first story in our recently released contemporary romantic novella collection, “Always a Wedding Planner”. If you missed the blog posts over the past few days about this collection, take a few minutes to go back and read them.
And now, Toni, tell us about your story, Finally a Sweetheart.
Thanks, Leeann. I am really excited to be here. And dear readers, if you’d like to be entered into a random drawing from all comments left in this series of blog posts, read all the way through.
First, let me tell you about the heroine and hero of my story.
One of the first things I do when preparing to write a story is to discover who my characters are. I want to know everything about them! Of course, some are stubborn and refuse to share. Others are an open book and tell me all I need to know!
When I wrote Finally A Sweetheart, the characters unveiled themselves pretty quickly. I knew that Felicity Edwards wanted a family, had a heartbreaking backstory, and loved God with all her heart. Once I knew those details (and more), I had to make sure to find an inspiration photo that went with the woman taking shape in my mind. Enter: Gugu Mbatha-Raw. She played Belle in the movie of the same title. She embodied everything about my character. I could see the grace that I imagined Felicity had. Could see a little heartache in the eyes. She fit perfectly and I happily moved on to the next character. Will Davenport also came easy to me because in the novel he’s a barber and own his own business. My mind jumped to Michael Ealy who played a barber in the movie Barbershop. With these two cast, I was ready to start writing!
And now, about the setting.
More often than not, my books are set in a place I’ve never been to. Or even better, I create a fictional world I can get lost in. When I wrote Finally A Sweetheart, it was with the understanding that the setting would be in Loveland, Colorado.
Just so you know, the closest I’ve probably been to Loveland was driving through the state on a road trip. I vaguely remember stopping at a gas station in Aspen and seeing mountains. For the most part, I slept (what I do on most road trips). So for the Always a Wedding Planner collection I had to go virtual. I pulled up Google maps and zoomed in until the “browse street images” feature popped up, AKA, the orange man.
I also did a lot of internet search for people who had visited. I also looked at pictures on Pinterest. All in all, I hope I did the setting justice for those of you who actually live there. If not, my sincerest apologies from a virtual traveler.
Takeaway: “Trust in God”
In my story Finally a Sweetheart, Felicity Edwards is a wedding cake baker who dreams of having a family one day. She deals with the conflict of knowing when to be vulnerable, feeling like she’s worthy of love, and opening her heart to new possibilities. The biggest takeaway I hope readers will leave with is that you can trust God with it all. He’ll see you through the trials and tribulations. He’ll strengthen you when you’re weak. Bless you with wisdom when you’re conflicted on an issue. I hope that people see the humanity in Felicity and the desire to be better as a person.
Story Behind the Story:
When I was first presented with the opportunity to join the Always a Wedding Planner collection, I immediately jumped at the chance to have a character who was a wedding cake baker because . . . cakes! Although I have no experience baking on that level, I do love to bake. So, I delved into the world of cake baking and pinned way more cakes then was necessary on my Pinterest board for inspiration.
But I also wanted to create a character who had a deep desire to be married but couldn’t. Through brainstorming and maybe inspiration I saw through real life, I came up with a character who wasn’t able to have kids.
Felicity Edwards never knows when the perfect time is to tell a guy she’s dating that she’s infertile. This is a major conflict in her life and the reason she feels she’s remained single. But when Will Davenport walks into the story, she has to decide if being vulnerable is worth the risk.
Buy link: https://books2read.com/u/bxj7Zq
Toni Shiloh is a wife, mom, and Christian fiction writer. Once she understood the powerful saving grace thanks to the love of Christ, she was moved to honor her Savior. She writes to bring Him glory and to learn more about His goodness.
Blogs I’m part of: www.inspyromance.com ; http://diversitybetweenthepages.wordpress.com