Rachel Hauck is a New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal Bestselling author. She is a Christy Award Winner and a double RITA finalist. Her book The Wedding Dress was named Inspirational Novel of the Year by Romantic Times Book Club. She is the recipient of RT’s Career Achievement Award. Her book, Once Upon A Prince, was filmed for an original Hallmark movie. The Wedding Dress, The Wedding Shop and A March Bride have all been optioned for film. She’s been acclaimed for her split time novels and royal romances.
Carrie Padgett is a second generation native Californian married to a third generation native. She’s lived in northern, central, and southern California and declares them all wonderful places. Carrie writes contemporary fiction with romance. She believes in families, fun, and happily ever after.
In this interview, Rachel and Carrie talk with us about their new novel, One Fine Day, which kicks-off the new Hearts Bend Collection Series.
FF: What was it like to write in Rachel Hauck’s Hearts Bend storyworld?
Carrie: Sometimes I felt like I was a like riding a roller coaster in a scuba suit. I was equally parts having a blast, terrified I was doing something wrong, and feeling woefully unprepared. But overall, it was lots of fun. It helped that I was already a fan and familiar with Hearts Bend, some of the businesses and people who lived there.
FF: Are you a football fan, or did you have to do lots of research to make Sam Hardy and his quarterback role authentic?
Carrie: I’d describe myself as a casual fan. I watch my local college team (Go Fresno State Bulldogs!), but I’m not nearly as knowledgeable as Rachel is. I definitely had to research. Which means I’ve added a few favorite players I really like and a couple of stadiums to my list of places to visit when my husband and I get to travel. On Super Bowl Sunday, I shocked several people in the room with trivia about the Manning family’s football history.
FF: Are you a baker like your main character, Chloe?
Carrie: I’m competent in the kitchen. I know which end of a stand-mixer to fasten the pasta attachment to and where the paddle fits. Since my husband retired, he’s taken over most of the day-to-day cooking, but I still handle the baking, especially anything with yeast. One of my daughters claims she scared of yeast breads. I don’t know why, since I’ve never given her the impression they’re intimidating. Both my daughters could easily be on the Great American Baking Show. They’ve created amazing cakes and cookies while I stick to the basics.
FF: What is the prevailing theme of One Fine Day?
Carrie: The prevailing theme of One Fine Day is, I believe, forgiveness. Chloe has to forgive her husband for dying and leaving her with unresolved feelings and business to deal with. Sam must forgive his parents before he can fully heal, emotionally and physically. They realize that to forgive others means they can then open themselves to receiving God’s healing and forgiveness, both for themselves and each other. The secondary theme is family. All my books are about family and how we need each other. God put us where He knew we needed to be.
FF: Why do you think readers have fallen in love with your Tennessee town of Hearts Bend?
Rachel: Small town stories are the heart of most romance or women’s fiction. I think readers love small town stories because they join in a cast of friends and get to be one of them. We love stories where “everybody knows your name.” Hearts Bend is fun if not a bit magical. A town with a wedding chapel and wedding shop, a town with a royal family and a country music star. And now a pro quarterback. I think if any of us were to go to Hearts Bend, we know we’d fit in and if we met one of the heroes or heroines, they’d invite us to Ella’s for a slice of pie.
FF: What was it like to have another author writing in your world of Hearts Bend?
Rachel: I always believed Hearts Bend was a place for more stories. I knew I couldn’t tell them all, so I was thrilled to have Carrie come up with a story idea set in Hearts Bend. I love getting to see and know more of Hearts Bend citizens.
FF: What will readers love most about One Fine Day?
Rachel: Readers will love returning to Hearts Bend, seeing some of the old “stomping grounds” but also meeting a whole new cast of characters. One Fine Day is sweet and charming, with yummy baked goods and a sigh worthy romance! Readers can look forward to the next Hearts Bend Collection novel, You’ll Be Mine, that I’ve written with debut writer Mandy Boerma this August.
One Fine Day
Hearts Bend Collection #1
Rachel Hauck & Carrie Padgett
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Release Date: May 24, 2022
All she wants is a fresh start…
Chloe Beason LaRue left Hearts Bend after high school, determined to never look back. She shed her unrequited crush on Sam Hardy, moved to Paris, went to pastry school, found a good job, fell in love, and got married. She was happy in France. Then her husband tragically died. Now, Chloe just wants to move forward…but when her mom’s health is in jeopardy, Chloe heads right back to Hearts Bend where she’s hired as head baker for Haven’s, the premier bakery in town. She has no idea that moving home will push her right into the arms of the man who broke her heart.
He’s not looking to fall in love…
Nashville Titans quarterback Sam Hardy has too many broken memories in Hearts Bend to Return. But when he’s sidelined by an injury, he desperately needs to invest in something to safeguard his future. Haven’s Bakery is up for sale—and his business partner believes the deal is too good to pass up. He has no idea that the owners have hired the one girl he can’t seem to forget…and the last thing he expects is to be her boss.
But it’s a recipe for romance…
Back in Hearts Bend for the first time in ten years and thrown together at Haven’s Bakery, Chloe and Sam have a second chance at first love. Indeed, the more time Sam spends selling pastries, the more he sees a new future. But when Paris beckons Chloe back, where does her heart belong? Can they find the recipe for leaving regrets behind and start something new?
Escape to Hearts Bend for a sweet story of romance, faith, and an unexpected happy ending.
Buy One Fine Day from the FF Store HERE!
Buy One Fine Day from Amazon HERE!