Toni Shiloh is a wife, a mom, and an award-winning Christian contemporary romance author. Her novel In Search of a Prince won the first ever Christy Amplify Award. It has also been praised by Oprah Daily, POPSUGAR, Library Journal, and Booklist, and is a Parable bestseller. Her books have won the Selah Award and have been finalists for the Carol Award and the HOLT Medallion. As a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), Toni loves connecting with readers and authors alike via social media.

In this interview, Toni talks with us about her new book, A Run at Love.

FF: A Run at Love is the second book in your Love in the Spotlight collection of novels. Can you share a little bit about this story with us?
I’d be happy to. A Run at Love is the story of best friends Piper McKinney and Tucker Hale. Piper owns a racehorse that she wants Tucker to train and get to the Kentucky Derby. Their story is one that explores identity, friendship, family, and victory. There’s so much more I could say, but you’ll have to read the book!

FF: Piper McKinney grew up surrounded by the unique industry of horse racing. What led you to make this a part of Piper’s story?
I was in the car one day when Piper just appeared in my mind. I saw her riding a horse, and immediately I began to wonder about how she ended up in Kentucky. It was always in my mind that she was an avid equestrian and in Kentucky.

FF: Piper’s passion for horse racing birthed her dream to one day win the Kentucky Derby. Why is this significant to the storyline?
I love exploring Black people in minority places. I didn’t know a whole lot about the Kentucky Derby before I started writing this book. When I began to research the history of horse racing and saw that Black jockeys had won repeatedly, it made me wonder about owners. I saw Piper as an owner, not a jockey or trainer. I wanted to see her reach for the stars, and in this case, that’s the Kentucky Derby.

FF: What fun elements and what challenges do the Southern setting and the culture of the Derby present to the story?
There are so many fun elements. Writing a story in a location I’m not familiar with gives me the opportunity to learn about another culture and setting. I loved learning about the slang and foods from Kentucky, and just imagining the Southern hospitality the locale brings.

FF: Can you tell us a little bit more about Piper’s relationship with her parents as an adoptee?
Piper is adored by her parents, and she in turn adores them. However, I knew there would be some tension as an adult because she grew up a minority. I talked with friends I know who have transracial adoptees, and I listened to podcasts with adults who were raised in the same situations. It was interesting to hear the perspective of the parents and listen to the grown kids describe how they struggled with their identity but also completely loved their adoptive parents. I wanted to show the same dynamics in Piper’s story.

FF: What are you most excited for readers to experience as they pick up this romance?
Honestly, I hope they love this story in all the ways. I hope they get the Kentucky Derby experience, love the friends-to-more romance, and experience the transformation faith brings.

FF: What aspect of this story did you enjoy writing the most?
I definitely enjoyed putting Piper and Tuck together. I’ve loved them since they appeared as secondary characters in The Love Script.

FF: As a romance reader yourself, are there any romance tropes in this book that you think readers will find especially entertaining?
I know so many readers love reading romances that develop between friends. I think they’ll root for Piper and Tuck as they work through their assumptions to find each other.

FF: What are you working on next?
I’m actually working on the third book in the Love In The Spotlight Series. This one features Chris Gamble and the woman he falls in love with.

A Run at Love
Love in the Spotlight Series #2
Toni Shiloh
Bethany House
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Release Date: May 7, 2024

ISBN-10: ‎0764241516
ISBN-13: ‎978-0764241512

Book Summary:

As a Black woman in a field with little diversity, Piper McKinney is determined to make her mark on the horse-racing world. Raised on a Thoroughbred farm in Kentucky, Piper’s dream is for her horse to win the prestigious Kentucky Derby. With the help of her best friend and trainer, Tucker Hale, she gains national attention but must grapple with the complications that arise when a journalist delves into her past as a transracial adoptee.


In an effort to win Piper’s heart, Tucker formulates a plan to train Piper’s horse to victory, hoping to prove himself to her, her parents, and his own self-doubts. Then a shocking scandal hits the media, implicating both Piper and her parents, and she and Tucker will have to survive the onslaught to find their way to the winner’s circle—and each other.



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About The Author

Toni Shiloh is a wife, mom, and Christian fiction writer. Once she understood the powerful saving grace thanks to the love of Christ, she was moved to honor her Savior. She writes to bring Him glory and to learn more about His goodness.