Welcome to the Blog today, Rachelle! Please tell our readers a bit about yourself.
I like to call myself a professional daydreamer. I’m blessed to be a full-time mom and writer. Besides writing, I enjoy reading, traveling, and gardening. I love to explore new places and learn new things. Curiosity fuels me in all facets of my life.
And can you give us a teaser of what your latest book is about?
Zoey Wright returns to her hometown to work with her ex, Noah Kidwell, on a special collaboration. She needs the project to succeed so she can earn a promotion. Dealing with Noah isn’t her first choice, but she’s a professional and can handle him. Noah can’t believe she’s back and is determined to show her he’s changed. Will they be able to forgive the past and forge a new future?
What is the inspiration behind your story?
Her Unlikely Homecoming is the second in my four-book series, Home to Harmony. The story and series were inspired by a feel-good news story about a small-town in the Midwest undergoing a resurgence thanks to a group of millennials (my generation) returning to start businesses. I love second-chances and incorporated that in both the romance for this story and the community throughout the books.
Noah is an unlikely fashion mogul. Focused on growing his business to support the town, he’s also been hoping to get his high school sweetheart ex’s attention with his success. The book starts with Zoey returning to town. Noah finally has his chance to win her back. But they’ve both changed.
Who was your favorite character to create?
My favorite character was the hero’s mom. She is loosely based on a friend’s mom. In real life, she is one of the sweetest, most generous people you’ll have the pleasure to know. I hope I’ve conveyed that on the page.
How did you come up with the names of your hero and/or heroine?
I figure out how old the hero and heroine are and look up the popular names for their birth years on the Social Security website. As far as last names, I keep a list of all the characters I’ve ever created so I don’t accidentally create too many siblings/cousins across my books. I was inspired by their personalities in creating their last names. Noah Kidwell was the class clown. Zoey Wright was the studious bookworm.
Are you a plotter or a panster?
I am a plotter. When I started, I was a panster. My first couple manuscripts took over a year to write because I had no sense of what needed to happen in the story. I meandered to the end and often hit moments of writer’s block. Once I started outlining and plotting, I improved my process. On days I don’t want to write, I can still sit down and work because I’ve left notes about the next scene.
What are your three favorite books?
Jurassic Park, Anne of Green Gables, and Pride & Prejudice. Number 4 is Frankenstein and I have to add it because it was such an expected favorite the first time I read the novel during high school.
What does your family think of your writing?
My mom reads everything I write and isn’t shy about sharing her opinions. My children want to know when my books will be turned into movies (one of my huge goals). My husband and my dad are very supportive and proud.
Are you part of a writing group?
I am! I joined Chicago-North Romance Writers four years ago and being part of a community has encouraged me to keep going through tough times (and writer’s block).
Here is Rachelle’s gorgeous cover and back cover blurb:
Back Cover Blurb:
Following a tragic accident over a decade ago, Zoey Wright vowed to never move home to Harmony, Illinois. When her career stalls, however, she’s back in town and working with her high school sweetheart, Noah Kidwell, on his company’s special collaboration. Dealing with her ex is the last thing she wants to do, but she has to take the opportunity to snag a much-needed promotion. Besides, she a professional—she can handle Noah for a few days, right?.
Determined to prove he’s not the same irresponsible guy she left behind, Noah works one on one with Zoey to launch his new clothing line. Learning her true motives, he realizes she’s not the same person anymore, either, and when he confronts her, she resorts to doing what she does best—she runs. This time, though, he’s not letting her get away. Will they be able to forgive the past and forge a new future? Or is it time to move on for good?
Please share your favourite excerpt from Her Unlikely Homecoming:
With a huge purse on her shoulder and wheeling a suitcase behind her, Zoey “Always” Wright, strode in his direction.
He gaped, and his throat went dry. Shutting his mouth required some presence of mind; he could hardly process what he saw. She’d been so careful to avoid him since his brother’s funeral, that awful day forever burned in his memory with hot, sticky pain. The one who got away and swore to never see him again. The one he continued to try to impress even though he knew she’d never notice. The one now strolling toward him?
Pressing a cell phone to her ear, she turned her head.
Her auburn hair caught the sunlight. For a second, she glowed like the flashing red lights on an emergency vehicle. He should move away or at least to the side so she could pass him easily. In a decade, he never got so close to her physically. Mentally, she was as distant as always.
She met his gaze and nodded.
He gulped. At his side, he curled his fingers into fists and slowly straightened them, doing so several times as his body thrummed with memories. They’d been everything to each other until they were nothing. And it all went wrong in a flash.
“Yeah, I’m here now. Okay, great. Thanks.” She slipped her phone into her purse and stopped a few feet away.
He stared, only just stopping his instincts from turning to glance over his shoulder and see who she meant to address.
“Hi, Noah. It’s been a while.”
Shutting his mouth, he cleared his throat. “Yeah. It has.” A million other, better retorts danced on his tongue. Some cheeky, some sarcastic, but all of them with a lot more than three syllables.
“Right.” She readjusted the giant purse on her shoulder, gripping it with both hands. “Let me get to the point. I’m the liaison from Fulham’s. I’ll be working with you on your project.”
“You?” He stumbled backward. Righting himself, he locked his knees to hold his position. She almost knocked him over. This outcome was beyond the best-case scenario he imagined while signing the contract.
She nodded. “We both have a lot to lose and gain from how well this partnership proceeds. I trust you can’t build your career without professionalism. I’m here solely to focus on the task at hand. We don’t need to be involved in anything other than business, correct?”
Did he imagine the icy tone? He studied her steely expression. The woman who represented all of his regrets stood before him. She gave no hint of warmth or emotion. “Sure.” He scrubbed a hand over his face, wiping his eyes.
She extended a hand.
Frowning, he stared at the outstretched arm. Shake her hand. He reached for her and shook; her soft skin delivered a tight, firm grip and then an instantaneous release. Warmth spread through him.
“I’ll see you tomorrow morning at the store. Nine a.m.” With another nod, she gripped the suitcase behind her and continued on her way.”
©2022 Rachelle Paige Campbell
Thanks so much for sharing that with us! You can buy Her Unlikely Homecoming and the first book in the series at:
Where can readers find you online?
Readers can come and hang out with me here:
- Website: https://rachellepaigecampbell.com/
- Newsletter: eepurl.com/dEjzZz
- Instagram: https://bit.ly/3xBTyXp
- Twitter: https://bit.ly/3jKuZj6
- Bookbub: https://bit.ly/3jKH9s0
- Amazon Author Page: https://amzn.to/3KRvKCy
- Goodreads: https://bit.ly/3uNu1c0
Thanks so much for being here today, Rachelle, and good luck with your series! If anyone would like to ask Rachelle a question about her writing, just pop it down in the comment section.