Part #3 of our chat with @ToniBlake LUV: After some time off from writing you have returned to writing the Destiny series. What makes this series so special to you? Toni: Yes, after the recent death of both my parents, I took a long break. Not only to mourn, but because, being an only child, there was a lot to do – closing down my father’s business, sorting through every item they ever owned, selling tools and cars and farming equipment, etc. It was pretty overwhelming. When I was ready to get back to work, I wanted to create something that would feel like a gift to my longtime readers, and also to me – something that would feel at once “fresh” but also like coming home. And that led me straight back to Destiny. My Destiny series remains a fan favorite, and it’s special to me because of the depth I was able to achieve there – individually and collectively, the books are a big small town interweaving of romance, passion, friendship, humor, drama, angst, betrayal, tragedy, secrets, and heartbreak. And it’s also special to me because it’s special to readers. I confess that when I ended the series in 2017 at seven books (and ten if you count the closely-related Coral Cove trilogy), I was ready to do something new, but readers have never stopped asking me to come back to Destiny. I was quite sure the series was done … but never say never, right? What once had started to feel “old hat” to me now became refreshing and new as I wrote Return to Destiny, about a couple who were high-school sweethearts in the early Destiny books. It was fun to rediscover them ten years after they first appeared, and to also revisit all the characters readers still loved. I had a lot of fun with this book, writing my first sports hero, an ousted NFL quarterback who ends up helping out the hometown high school team he once led to a state championship while trying to win back the girl whose heart he broke ten years earlier. I also loved including lots of fun autumnal stuff like the town apple festival and a Halloween party. As a person who loves football and recently went to the Superbowl (Go Bengals!) and who has also been known to throw a mean Halloween party, I felt like this story reflected some parts of me that don’t always find their way into the books. It’s been a great return to the keyboard, and readers seem to love it so far.

Posted by LUV Team at 2022-07-20 19:00:49 UTC