Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Then Came You Blog Tour: Guest Post + Giveaway


Then Came You JustRead Blog + Review Tour

Welcome to the Blog + Review Tour for Then Came You by Rachel D. Russell presented by Susan May Warren, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

Then Came You

Title: Then Came You
Series: Deep Haven Collection #4
Author: Rachel D. Russell presented by Susan May Warren
Publisher: Sunrise Publishing
Release Date: July 6, 2021
Genre: Christian Contemporary Romance

He doesn’t need any trouble. She can’t seem to escape it.

Detective Daniel “Boone” Buckam is more than burned out. After fourteen stellar years on the job, one bad judgment call—and, fine, a whole lot of cynicism—has forced him into a mandatory vacation in Deep Haven. If he can get his head on straight, there’s a job as Police Chief waiting for him back in his Minneapolis suburb. And then, he meets Vivien. 

Actress Vivien Calhoun isn’t really a drama queen. Sure, she gets swept up in the emotions of life—but please, she’s an actress. Or, um, was until a stalker made her flee the bright lights of Broadway. Now, she’s passionate about directing her local theater production. But when she accidentally ropes an uptight police detective on vacation into her cast, she can’t help but wonder if he might be the leading man she’s always longed for. 

Boone can’t help but like Vivien. He might even have a type—vivacious and bubbly, with a penchant for attracting danger. He can smell trouble even if she can’t, and is pretty sure her stalker has hunted her all the way to Deep Haven. He’ll have to stay by her side—even if it means being in her silly play—to keep her safe. But Vivien is more than he expected as she helps him discover a part of him he’s locked away…the part that said he could never love again. 

It’s summertime in Deep Haven, and the fun is heating up in this laugh-out-loud, charming story. 

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & NobleBook Depository | IndieBoundChristianbook | BookBub


 SMW & Rachel Russell

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.

CONNECT WITH SUSAN: Website | FacebookInstagram | Twitter

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.

CONNECT WITH RACHEL: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter 

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. 

CONNECT WITH SUNRISE: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | admin@sunrisepublishing.com

From Idea to Publication: On Bringing a Novel to Life

Rachel D. Russell


Early in my novel-writing career, I suffered from the fanciful view that good writers sat down and wrote well.

Like, on the first try.

Not with a variety of stops and starts that would make a new driver in a stick-shift stopped at the light going uphill look smooth.

My novel writing looked more like the latter, rife with doubt and uncertainty in my skills. To be completely transparent, I still suffer from those beliefs sometimes.

One great benefit of working with Susan May Warren as a mentor is having that driver’s ed teacher in the passenger seat. Someone who can speak direction and help you avoid any serious wrecks. Someone who can say, “You’ll get it. This is a totally normal struggle. It’s hard work.”

So, how exactly do I work through the entire story from that initial idea to an actual published book in-hand? I’m going to pull back the curtain a bit so you can take a peek at what my current writing life looks like—how exactly the novel takes shape and form over time.

It starts with a vague idea and a loose concept of who the characters are. I often come up with my meet-cute before anything else—the “meet-cute” being the moment the hero and heroine meet. (I know that’s a really funny phrase.)

From there, I fully flesh out the characters using a technique Susan May Warren calls the “SEQ,” or Story Equation. It helps a writer build a character from the inside. Those things that will motivate them, character flaws, deep wounds, the lies they believe.

I need to know these things in order to understand completely who my characters are and where the plot will need to take them.

Because a story is a character in a crucible. Tests and trials that will shape them. Choices will need to be made.

Since I write romance, that means I also have the tricky job of intertwining two characters into the journey of change. And, let’s be real—they’re going to fall in love. They don’t know it yet, but I do and the reader does.

I plot the journey using a technique that Susan May Warren calls the LINDY HOP. That’s an acronym for the pieces of the story. Life, inciting incident, noble quest, etc. Essentially, a ladder has to be created, whereby these two characters enter the story at life—who they are on page one, and then build in the pieces of the story by asking questions.

What happens next? Why? So then…but what happens?

By the time I sit down to write the story, I have a map of where I’m starting, milestones along the way, a destination.

And a blank page.

Through those fits and starts, grinding gears and killed engines, I work my way through the entire story. This involves a lot of prayer and I’m not being facetious.

Let’s be clear—knowing the questions, the characters, and the plot plan do not make the answers to those questions obvious. Maybe in time it will be become more natural. Maybe with greater experience, I will find the rhythm.

Right now, it is hard.

I keep writing. Deleting. Rewriting. Watching that word count go from zero to sixty-thousand over months, and, in the case of Then Came You, all the way to eighty-five thousand.

Then re-reading it. Adding layers. Filling in blanks I’ve left behind.

I’m in regular contact with my fellow Deep Haven Collection authors, Andrea Christenson and Michelle Aleckson. Because we’re writing books simultaneous that affect each other, we need to connect to ensure we have various details consistent throughout the series.

I’m also contacting my prayer warriors because, at this point, I’m usually certain the manuscript is terrible and it will take a bonafide miracle to save it.

Once I’ve cleaned up all those jagged edges, I send it in. This may involve hovering my mouse over the “send” button for several minutes before I can actually force myself to click it.

I’ll go to bed relieved, then wake up, remembering something I forgot and make a note to fix it during the rewrite.

With the mentorship model on Still the One and Then Came You, Susan May Warren conducted a macro-edit, helping me move big pieces around (in Then Came You, I added three scenes and re-arranged several more during the first rewrite). She showed me areas to go deeper, add storyworld, add emotional layers.

Then, back for another review and on to the line editor.

A line editor has very special skills in not only seeing the details of the story, but also the overall picture.

At this point, I print a copy of the manuscript because it helps me conceptualize the edits and keep track of physically where each scene is in the story. Many authors have told me that it isn’t uncommon to get a manuscript back and have to touch every page in some way or another.

I have found this to be true. Some of them are minute details, like accepting a grammar correction. Other times, it might take a bit more brain power to resolve.

Once complete, this is when the manuscript is really starting to feel like the real deal.

Then, off to proofreaders, who catch any of those last little niggling issues. By this time, the cover is done and it’s so close to completion.

A few weeks later, I’ll get to hold a copy in my hand and I think—Yep. It’s a miracle. I don’t know how I did this, but I didn’t do it alone.


(1) winner will receive a $15 Amazon gift card + 3 Then Came You ebooks (one ebook for the winner and two to give to friends)!

Then Came You JustRead Giveaway

Be sure to check out each stop on the tour for more chances to win. Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway began at midnight August 3, 2021 and lasts through 11:59 PM EST on August 10, 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.


Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

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