Welcome to the blog today, Rachelle! Please tell our readers a bit about yourself:
I write contemporary romance novels filled with heart and hope. I earned my masters’ degree in Fine and Decorative Arts from the Sotheby’s Institute of Art in London. I love to include Art History elements in my novels, so I have an excuse to research.
That is fascinating! Please describe your new book briefly:
When Samantha Holt discovers Newcomb art pottery in the wall of a historic home, she knows the pieces are valuable. If she can sell the vases with her family’s auction company, she can bring in much needed funds for both the historic home and her family business. But she needs a second opinion and calls an expert from Chicago. The man arrives with his daughter and nothing goes according to plan.
I love single parent stories! What was the inspiration behind this one?
I wanted to write a story about finding treasure because it happens more than you’d think and in unexpected places. A lot of small towns in the Midwest were bustling during the nineteenth century thanks to the Mississippi River. Go look at your attics!
Were there any surprises that came up as you wrote your story?
I loved writing the historical elements of this story. I first discovered romance books through the historical subgenre. While I don’t think I’d be able to write a full historical romance, I had a lot of fun putting myself into the mindset of the time for one element of this book (no spoilers about what it is!).
Who was your favourite character to create?
My favorite character(s) to create in this book were the little girls. I have two of the funniest kids, and I loved incorporating some of their personalities as five-year-olds into Isla and Olivia.
Let’s see your gorgeous cover and back blurb for your book:
Her One in a Million (Home to Harmony #3)
While renovating the MacKinnon mansion, Samantha “Sam” Holt discovers three prized ceramics in a wall. The one in a million find could provide much needed funds for the restoration—and her family’s struggling auction business. She calls a Chicago expert for a second opinion.
Zachary Reynolds arrives with his five-year-old daughter in tow, intending to leave with the vases immediately. Partly because the pottery won’t reach its six-figure potential in a small-town sale, but mostly because the ceramics will secure his job in an impending merger with a larger firm—and he needs that guaranteed stability for his daughter.
Sam and Zach both need the pottery for very personal reasons, but only one can emerge victorious. As they research the history of the pieces and the mansion, however, the best choice isn’t clear-cut. Add in romantic feelings neither of them expected and things become even more complicated. With the odds stacked against them, can they both achieve the financial and personal success they crave?
Barnes & Noble: https://bit.ly/3U7d6f7
Apple iBooks: https://apple.co/3BF8xl7
And here’s an excerpt from the book:
“It looks like a scary house,” Isla murmured.
He chuckled. To a child, the faded and flaked paint on the shutters indicated ghosts. When he studied the house, blood coursed through his veins with enough energy to propel him through a marathon. Old homes held treasure. Maybe enough to save my career.
“No, sweetie.” Bending, he rested a knee on the sidewalk and pointed a finger to the building. “It’s just old. But someone is fixing it up. See the light colors on the side of the house between the windows?” He wasn’t sure how else to explain new cedar shingles to a child.
“You mean the polka dots?”
He smiled. “Sure, that’s a better description. Would anything scary live in a place with pretty polka dots?”
“I guess not.” She nibbled her lip and dropped her chin. “I like polka dots.”
With a hand on her shoulder, he squeezed and stood.
She reached for his right hand with hers and interlaced their little fingers.
He raised the pinkie promise to his lips and kissed his side.
She did the same.
Their unspoken oath meant more to him than anything. Her faith in him would never be misplaced. Filling the role of both parents grew more complicated with every year and major milestone. Thinking ahead overwhelmed him. He took each situation one at a time and prayed he wasn’t screwing up. He wasn’t in a rush to deal with adolescence.
“Shall we go inside?” he asked.
He pushed open the front gate slowly, anxious any groan or squeal of rusty hinges might agitate his daughter again. When he studied her, however, he only saw delight.
“Look at how pretty.” She pointed with her free hand to the facade. “It looks like a princess house.”
Once inside the fence with the gate shut, the shrubs on the perimeter offered a green buffer, hiding the outside world. While the house looked imposing from the street, standing before the place, it seemed perfectly sized and welcoming. A wraparound porch hugged the house from the turret past the front door, extending around the side. He scanned over the grass to neatly mulched flower beds, planted with mums.
He studied his companion and arched a brow. “Want to see the inside?”
She nodded, grinning.
He led the way along the path and up the front steps. At his side, his daughter bounced in time to his large steps. Maybe today would be fine. After a rough start, he prepared himself for the rule of three and waited for the next disaster. Since arriving in town, however, his luck changed. Maybe someone is watching over me. On the porch, he dropped his grip of Isla’s hand and pressed the doorbell.
Leaning forward, he strained to hear the echoing ring. “I don’t think that worked.”
Raising a fist, he rapped on the door and stepped back, reaching for Isla.
The heavy door opened, swinging inward.
A woman filled the empty frame.
He blinked several times, clearing his vision. Dressed in a dark pink sweater and black slacks, the blonde’s golden hair sparkled by comparison. With a smile stretching her cheeks to her blue eyes, she extended a hand.
Realization slammed into him. The woman from the bakery. He studied her slim fingers in midair. She didn’t align with the voice on the call yesterday. He shook his head, dislodging the ambiguous wrinkling face from his mind. He’d been annoyed and caught off-guard at her insistence for the in-person meeting. He was here and needed a second chance at a better first impression.
“It’s you,” Isla said. “Is Olivia here?” On tiptoe, she danced side to side.
“Good morning, again,” the woman from the bakery replied. “No, I dropped her off. She’s home with her mom.”
“That’s not you?” Isla asked.
The words sounded equal parts bitter and tired, a croak strangled from a tight throat. He squeezed Isla’s hand once. If anyone should appreciate how tender the subject of mothers could be, she did.
Isla looked at the ground, rolling her shoulders. “Sorry. That was rude.”
The woman held up a hand. “No need to apologize. Olivia is very well-mannered and a treat to spend time with. I was helping her mom.” She extended her hand again, hovering her fingers in midair. “I’m Sam Holt. I’m guessing you’re Mr. Reynolds?”
“Yes.” He grabbed her hand and shook in an exaggerated up and down motion. His clammy grip didn’t improve on yesterday’s first impression.
©Rachelle Paige Campbell 2022
What does your family think of your writing?
My family are my biggest supporters, and I’m so grateful. My parents, my husband, and my kids hold the only opinions that matter to me. They have all encouraged me from the start and celebrate every step of the way.
What’s next for you as an author?
I have the fourth—and final—book in the Home to Harmony series in the works. It is a Christmas book that includes baking, a nativity play, and all the festive fun of the season. In a series about forgiveness, the last book has the toughest hurdles for the characters.
Where can readers find you online?
If you want writing updates, sales alerts, and information about new releases first, sign up for my newsletter: https://eepurl.com/dEjzZz
I’m also very active on Instagram https://bit.ly/3xBTyXp
and my blog https://bit.ly/3DunsA1