Welcome to the Blog + Review Tour for Still the One by Rachel D. Russell presented by Susan May Warren, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours! I’m honored to have Rachel on the blog today to chat about her debut novel!
Title: Still the One
Series: Deep Haven Collection #1
Author: Rachel D. Russell presented by Susan May Warren
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.
BOOKS IN THIS SERIES
Hi Rachel! Welcome to the blog!
Rachel: Apples—they travel well and my horse likes them too.
Carrie: plus they’re yummier 😉
Rachel: Summer—I love the sunshine, long hours of daylight, and deep blue skies.
Carrie: if only it wasn’t so hot lol
Rachel: Cats—Our dog broke our heart when she passed and now we have three rescue cats.
Carrie: Dogs do take over your heart, don’t they? ♥
Rachel: Over—It’s how I was raised.
Carrie: we’ll agree to disagree haha!
Q: Around here I like to say that reading is my superpower. If YOU had a superpower, what would it be?
Rachel: I can turn any conversation into a song. I’m not saying they are good songs, but, I sing them nonetheless.
Now, if I could pick a superpower, I would love to know what animals are thinking. I’m not entirely sure how useful that would be, but I love animals and they fascinate me.
Carrie: both sound like really fun superpowers to have 🙂
Q: Which books are ‘on your nightstand’?
Rachel: My current stack has my Bible, Jen Wilkin’s books Women of the Word, In His Image, and None Like Him, (I’m not being compensated for that endorsement!), Mark Divine’s The Way of the Seal, and Gary Chapman’s Love Language MinuteDevotional for Couples. My Kindle sneaks in, too, and it has my current fiction read, Lynette Eason’s Active Defense.
Carrie: ooo I love Jen Wilkin! (and Lynette Eason too)
Q: Writing spaces are as diverse as authors and books. Where is your favorite space to write?
Rachel: I have an office with large windows that have a Japanese maple, daphne shrubs, mountain laurel, lavender, and heather outside. My writing desk faces the windows. I love the smell of daphne—it’s soft and sweet and infinitely romantic. In spring, I open the windows so I can write while inhaling the fragrance. There’s also a gingko tree, which has artful branches and a river birch whose bark is a tapestry.
Carrie: oh my goodness – that sounds so gorgeous & peaceful!
Q: If Hollywood wanted to produce Still the One as a movie, who would you want to be cast as the lead roles?
Rachel: Brant Daugherty would play Cole Barrett. My inspiration for Megan Carter was Abbie Cornish—although, in real life, she has an Australian accent and is several inches taller than Megan.
Carrie: is the fact that I had to look up both of these actors a sign that i’m old? lol
Q: Did you have the whole plot outlined before you started writing, or did you let the characters dictate what came next?
Rachel: The over-arching plot was determined ahead of time—it needed to be because of the collective, over-arching threads and overlapping characters that are seen throughout the new Deep Haven Collection. There were three of us writing books simultaneously, but those books in their fiction-world timeline, take place consecutively. We needed to make sure we were in alignment. On the page, however, my characters often surprised me with how they showed up on the page, things they said, and the spiritual changes they experienced.
Carrie: Oh i didn’t realize all the books took place consecutively – how interesting!!
Q: What is something God taught while you wrote Still the One?
Rachel: I had to really lean into God while writing this novel. I look back and I don’t know how I did it—and, I didn’t. Not alone. It was not by my power that I accomplished this. It was a really hard year—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.
Carrie: that sounds like a powerful scene!
Thank you so much for taking time to talk with me! 🙂 Before we say goodbye for today, tell us what‘s coming up next for you.
Rachel: Thank you for having me! 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 write. At this point, I know how the novel starts, but haven’t had time to put too much onto the page.
Carrie: oh yay!! How fun to be able to connect both of those great series by writing Boone’s story! And I’m so glad you’ll be giving David his story too 🙂
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 Susan at www.susanmaywarren.com.
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 Rachel at www.racheldrussell.com.
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.
(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.
This giveaway is hosted by JustRead, not RimSP
Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!
*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.
What about you? What makes you want to read Still the One by Rachel D. Russell & presented by Susan May Warren?