I always love chatting with author Nicole Deese, so I’m thrilled today to welcome her back to the blog to share some behind-the-scenes facts about her newly-released novel, The Words We Lost!
THE WORDS WE LOST by Nicole Deese
SERIES: Fog Harbor Romance #1
GENRE: Inspirational Contemporary Romance
PUBLISHER: Bethany House
RELEASE DATE: April 11, 2023
Three friends. Two broken promises. One missing manuscript.
As a senior acquisitions editor for Fog Harbor Books in San Francisco, Ingrid Erikson has rejected many a manuscript for lack of defined conflict and dramatic irony–two elements her current life possesses in spades. In the months following the death of her childhood best friend and international bestselling author Cecelia Campbell, Ingrid has not only lost her ability to escape into fiction due to a rare trauma response, but she’s also desperate to find the closure she’s convinced will come with Cecelia’s missing final manuscript.
After Ingrid jeopardizes her career, she fears her future will remain irrevocably broken. But then Joel Campbell–the man who shattered her belief in happily-ever-afters–offers her a sealed envelope from his late cousin, Cecelia, asking Joel and to put their differences aside and retrieve a mysterious package in their coastal Washington hometown.
Honoring Cecelia’s last request will challenge their convictions and test their loyalties, but through it all, will Ingrid and Joel be brave enough to uncover a twice-in-a-lifetime love?
“The Words We Lost is thought-provoking and tender, capturing the transformative beauty of surviving.”–T.I. LOWE, bestselling author of Under the Magnolias
“A poignant, masterful exploration of the enduring power of friendship and love.”–IRENE HANNON, author of the bestselling Hope Harbor series
Ten Behind-the-Scenes Facts about The Words We Lost
by Nicole Deese, author of The Words We Lost
The Words We Lost is set in a real Victorian seaport town off the coast of the Olympic Peninsula in Washington state. In my pre-writing life, my husband and I visited Port Townsend on our first anniversary nineteen years ago—I never forgot the charm and beauty of this fascinating, history-centric town. Fast forward to June of 2021 when I was deciding where to set The Words We Lost and Port Townsend surfaced in my memories. We drove six hours for a weekend research trip, and I instantly knew this was the right place to set such an emotive, atmospheric, second-chance love story. After my final draft was turned in, my sweet writing sister and friend Connilyn Cossette surprised me with this beautiful map she created of the town which includes the key landmarks noted in The Words We Lost (note: most of these landmarks are fictional, but a few are real!). It was such a kind gift to me and to my readers. Enjoy!
The Words We Lost has a nautical mystery woven throughout the plot, as well as a secondary character who claims his Nordic ancestors were Vikings. To get into the “mood” to write these scenes, I listened to Nordic folk music on a continuous loop. It actually really helped spark some ideas!
There is a lot of symbolism having to do with sea glass in the story (black sea glass or “pirate sea glass” in particular). After hours of research, I ended up finding a sea glass jeweler online and buying a sea glass ring as a little memento to honor Ingrid, Joel, and Cece’s story. I wear it every day, and I love what it represents.
The novel Island of The Blue Dolphin by Scott O’Dell holds special significance to Ingrid and Joel in The Words We Lost, but the inspiration behind using that classic novel came from my twelve-year-old daughter who was reading it with her fifth grade class last year. Shout out to Mrs. Francis and her great taste in literature!
Because the Fog Harbor Romance series is set in a fictional publishing house in San Francisco, California, and called Fog Harbor Books, I had to ask my own editors A LOT OF QUESTIONS during drafting. Thankfully, my editors helped me better understand the legalities involved in intellectual rights and the rules that apply (or don’t apply) after a contracted author passes away. Super interesting stuff!
Visual inspiration photo for Ingrid Erikson:
Visual inspiration photo for Joel Campbell:
Visual inspiration photo for Cecelia (Cece) Campbell:
The Campbell Hotel is inspired by a real waterfront Victorian building in Port Townsend, Washington, called The Hastings Building which was built in 1890. It’s currently under renovation to become a hotel!
Tattoos play a role in each of my main characters’ lives, and while I won’t give away any spoilers, I will leave you with this inspirational picture below.
Nicole Deese’s humorous, heartfelt, and hope-filled novels include her award-winning Love in Lenox series and her bestselling standalone novels published by 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 teen sons, and one princess daughter with the heart of a warrior. Learn more at nicoledeese.com.
Bethany House is offering a print copy of The Words We Lost by Nicole Deese to one of my readers! (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 The Words We Lost by Nicole Deese? Which of her behind-the-scenes facts most stood out to you?