I am positively delighted to chat today with the fabulous Nicole Deese about her new book, All That It Takes!
Nicole Deese’s humorous, heartfelt, and hope-filled novels include her award-winning Love in Lenox series and her bestselling standalone novels published with Bethany House Publishers. When she’s not working on her next contemporary romance, she can usually be found reading one by a window overlooking the inspiring beauty of the Inland Northwest. She lives in small-town Idaho with her happily-ever-after hubby, two towering-over-her teenage sons, and one princess daughter with the heart of a warrior. Learn more at nicoledeese.com.
ALL THAT IT TAKES by Nicole Deese
GENRE: Inspirational Contemporary Romance
PUBLISHER: Bethany House
RELEASE DATE: April 5, 2022
When the ever-cautious Val Locklier moves cross-country with her son for a secure job, everything she’d planned unravels within the first week. After Val reluctantly agrees to rent an apartment from her best friend’s brother, an unexpected chance at an elite filmmakers’ mentorship ignites fresh hope for a dream career. But as Val’s community begins to expand, so do her insecurities, especially those heightened by her growing attraction to a certain friendly landlord.
Pastor Miles McKenzie returns home from a short-term mission trip to discover that not only does he have an intriguing new tenant living upstairs, he’s also been reassigned to a local ministry on life support. Disillusioned and restless, he distracts himself by throwing his energy into a host of new projects–not the least of which is pursuing Val–without stopping to consider the future.
As Val struggles to stop hiding behind the camera and Miles wrestles with shattered expectations, they’ll find that authentic love and sacrifice must go hand in hand.
Hi Nicole! Welcome back to the blog!
Nicole: I’d love to say BOTH, but it’s rare I don’t have an audiobook going whenever I have a second of downtime. (Roughly 90% of all my reading is done with my ears these days. Audiobooks are my favorite invention.)
Carrie: I wish I could get into audiobooks because I could get sooooo much more reading done that way!
Carrie: haha you don’t sound too sure… 😛
Nicole: Though I love water views, I couldn’t live without the mountains.
Carrie: Me either!
Nicole: There are few things in life as perfect as a multi-layered sandwich—and now I’m craving a turkey, pepper jack, tomato & avocado on sourdough.
Carrie: oops – sorry lol
Q: Tell me some good books you’ve read recently.
Nicole: Under the Magnolias by T.I. Lowe is absolutely stunning! I simply can’t stop gushing about this story. It’s in my TOP FIVE reads of all time.
Love and The Silver Lining by Tammy L. Gray scores HIGH on romantic tension and redemptive, heartfelt endings. I loooooved Bryson.
Between the Wild Branches by Connilyn Cossette has THE. BEST. HERO. I’ll #teamlukio for life.
Carrie: i – to my great sadness – have not read any of those yet but they are all on my MUST READ NOW list!
Q: Do you have any strange writing habits/quirks?
Nicole: One thing I’ve added to my writing routine over the last few years (that I couldn’t live without now) is choosing my “scene music” before I start to write. It’s not uncommon for me to spend 15-20 minutes searching for a song (most of the time with lyrics) based on the mood or overall feel of the scene I’ll be attempting to write that day. I’ll generally put my song selection on repeat and listen to it in my air pods so many times that it eventually becomes a sort of white noise in my head. Sometimes I’ll listen to the same song upwards of 100 times before the scene is finally finished and then I’ll add it to the playlist for that book.
Carrie: oh wow!
Q: Building off of your previous answer, what were the songs that inspired you as you wrote All That it Takes?
Nicole: A few songs I listened to on repeat during some of the more pivotal moments in this book were: Available by Elevation Worship, If I’m Honest by Megan Brown, Turn the Music Up by NF (The wallball scene with Miles and Pastor Curtis), Who Else by Bethany Bernard, Overthinking by Jake Scott, Worthy by Madison Watkins
Carrie: excellent choices!
Q: Did you have a whole plot outlined before you started writing All That It Takes, or did you let the characters dictate what came next?
Nicole:Funny you should ask—LOL. Truthfully, I had about three plot outlines for this book during the drafting period and still these characters took me on a wild goose chase. I wrote and rewrote more scenes/chapters than I care to admit, but finally we all made it across the finish line together… mostly unscathed.
Q: Some authors like to hide little thing in their stories. Is there anything you’ve hidden in this novel?
Nicole: I often “hide” the last names of people in my real life who have some kind of connection to the storyline I’m writing at the time. In All That it Takes, I used the last name of a dear friend of mine (Wardell) who is both a nurse that volunteers in a women’s clinic much like the one described in my book as well as an adoptive mommy.
Carrie: aww i love that!
Q: What is one of your favorite quotes from All That It Takes and why do you love it?
Nicole: “Maybe that was the thing about finding stillness in God–it required nothing and everything, all at the same time.”
This quote shows up during a pivotal scene when my hero, Miles, is struggling to wait on God’s direction and timing. And goodness, do I resonate with this moment so very much in my own life. I cried the night I first wrote this scene because I often find myself wishing there was a way around the “waiting seasons” in life. I am a multitasking junkie by nature so slowing my mind down long enough to give God my undivided attention and heart is one of my ongoing struggles. And yet when I do it, when I pause long enough to seek His guidance and ask to partner with His plans, He is always faithful to meet me right where I’m at with an abundance of grace and kindness.
Carrie: i can absolutely relate to this – what a beautifully poignant quote!
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.
Nicole: I recently turned in the first draft of a brand new contemporary romance (title TBA soon) that will release with Bethany House Publishers in the spring of 2023. It’s the first book in a three-book series I’m SUPER excited about! Book one is FULL of romantic angst, promises and secrets, childhood friendships and unbreakable bonds, high-stakes drama and mystery, and MANY BOOK-LOVING CHARACTERS GALORE.
Carrie: WOOHOO!!! Can’t wait!
Nicole Deese is offering a signed,print copy of All That It Takes to one of my readers! (Continental US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.) This giveaway is subject to Reading Is My SuperPower’s giveaway policies which can be found here. Enter via the Rafflecopter form below.
What about you? What makes you want to read All That It Takes by Nicole Deese?