Today Nicole hosts Author Natalie Walters!Nicole: I am thrilled to have author Natalie Walters join us today at Inkwell Inspirations to discuss her debut novel, Living Lies (Book #1 in the Harbored Secrets series). Natalie, thank you so much for joining us today!
Natalie: Thank you for having me!
Nicole: Living Lies has characters in the storyline who deal with various mental health issues, such as depression, suicide, and PTSD. Even today, people are often afraid to discuss these issues openly in society due to the stigma regarding mental health. This book can be a great conversational starter for people to have the needed discussions. What message or inspiration do you hope that people will get from reading Living Lies?
Natalie: My biggest hope is that it will, in fact, start conversations. I want anyone who is struggling with mental health to know they are not alone. They are loved, supported, and are not defined by the disease.
Nicole: Where did you get your inspiration for your characters, and did you base their physical descriptions off of real-life people and/or celebrities? I always like hearing about if authors used specific photos or had specific people in mind as a basis for writing their character descriptions.
Natalie: I don’t normally use real-life people but I will sometimes draw the characteristics I see in people I know and add them to my characters to give them a layer of depth. I’m also a visual person so I try to find an image of someone that most closely resembles what I see in my mind for each character. Often times, this ends up with me using celebrities because their faces are all over the internet (LOL). Now, for Living Lies, I did end up using my grandparents as inspiration for a couple of the characters. Ms. Byrdie was inspired by grandmother who shares the same name. And Pops is loosely based off my paternal grandfather, who I also dedicated the story to.
Nicole: As you know, I absolutely love the character of Deputy Charlie Lynch from Living Lies. I think I’ve told you that numerous times already! Like Ms. Byrdie said, “Sometimes second chances come tall and in a uniform.” Without giving away any spoilers, what can you tell us about books 2 and 3 in the Harbored Secrets series, and does Charlie play a part in those two books?
Natalie: *Sigh* Charlie is so dreamy isn’t he? Oh, wait, you’ve already told me! J
Deadly Deceit (Harbored Secrets Book2) brings readers into the life of Deputy Ryan Frost as he investigates a case involving a tenacious reporter (readers might remember her), Vivian DeMarco and her dead boss. Charlie is basically Ryan’s best friend and but plays a brotherly/supportive role.
Silent Shadows (Harbored Secrets Book 3) invites readers one last time to Walton where they’ll meet a spunky nurse, Pecca Gallegos, who doesn’t just tackle her patient, Captain Colton Crawford’s physical’s struggles—she actually, physically tackles him! Charlie plays a role on the field and off the field in this final chapter of the series.
Nicole: I read primarily Christian fiction and love discovering new authors. As a member of the Avid Readers of Christian Fiction Facebook group, I have found so many new-to-me authors and my to-be-read list is always growing. Who are some of your favorite authors?
Natalie: Oh, goodness, this a tough question. I have so many. Okay, well off the top of my head here they are:
Bethany Turner writes the most hysterical romantic comedy stories! If you love your best friend, buy TWO copies of Bethany’s books and buddy read!!
Joanna Politano is amazing!! She has this poetic style of writing that reminds me so much of Charles Dickens. Getting lost in her books is one of my favorite things to do.
Jaime Jo Wright has this incredible talent to freak me out. Her split-time novels are mysterious and haunting but also beautiful.
Melissa Tagg is a must-buy author for me. The way she creates community makes me believe her characters actually exist somewhere in the world and I must find them.
Joel C. Rosenberg. There’s always that question what author do you wish you could sit down and have dinner with…this is the one. SO GOOD.
And because I always feel bad leaving people out, here’s my version of the really quick rolling credits of authors I HAVE to mention:
Becky Wade, Ronie Kendig, Kara Isaac, Nicole Deese, Randy Singer *and cue the music* Irene Hannon, Kristy Cambron…
Nicole: We have several favorite authors in common! I love Becky Wade, Jaime Jo Wright, and Melissa Tagg’s books too! I also recently discovered Bethany Turner’s books and you are right…she is hilarious!
I went to Hawaii on my honeymoon 10 years ago, and it was so beautiful there. That was the best trip of my life. I would love to move there someday, but I don’t think it will ever happen! How has your experience been living in Hawaii, and have you encountered any challenges during your writing process since you are away from the mainland and in a different time zone?
Natalie: Oh, I hope you get to at least come back for a visit!! I’ll take you to the best place to have shaved ice!!
My husband is from Hawaii, so I’m pretty fortunate that I get to visit here once a year but living here has been a whole new experience! I’m pretty sure winter lasted only a day when the temperatures dipped to 65 and I’m not joking when I say people here were freaking out!
I think the biggest challenge has been the time difference. When I wake up in the morning the day is already half way done on the East Coast. This makes me feel like I’m running behind, which I hate, and do math, which I also hate, to figure out what time it is somewhere for scheduling purposes. I guess it’s a small price to pay considering how beautiful it is here in Hawaii, which it definitely is! J
Nicole: Natalie, thank you again for joining us today! This has been so fun chatting with you. I can’t wait until November when Deadly Deceit releases.
Natalie: This was SO fun! Thank you for having me and for these fun questions!!
Natalie Walters is a military wife of 22 years and currently resides in Hawaii with her soldier husband and their three kids. She writes full-time and has been published in Proverbs 31 magazine and has blogged for Guideposts online. In addition to balancing life as a military spouse, mom, and writer, she loves connecting on social media, sharing her love of books, cooking, and traveling. Natalie comes from a long line of military and law enforcement veterans and is passionate about supporting them through volunteer work, races, and writing stories that affirm no one is defined by their past.
“If there’s one thing I know about God - He’s a God of second chances. And sometimes second chances come tall and in a uniform.”
Natalie Walters takes readers on an incredibly emotional and thrilling ride in her debut novel. Living Lies immediately captures the readers’ interest and keeps them invested in the storyline throughout the entire novel. Readers are introduced to the handsome and charming former Marine Charlie Lynch, who just started a new job as a deputy in the town of Walton, Georgia. He is immediately thrust into a murder investigation when he encounters the distraught Lane Kent, who has just discovered the dead body of a young woman in the woods. The investigation takes many twists and turns, with Lane finding herself in extreme danger, while still dealing with the guilt regarding the death of her husband. Lane and Charlie find themselves attached to each other, but Lane worries that her mental health issues make her undeserving of love. Charlie’s Aunt Byrdie is an extraordinary source of inspiration and provides encouragement through love and faith to those around her, especially Lane and Charlie.
Natalie Walters portrays several difficult issues in a realistic and compassionate manner, such as suicide and attempted suicide, depression, anxiety, and PTSD. There is frequently a stigma in society regarding mental health issues, and people often do not feel comfortable discussing these issues out in the open. This book provides a wonderful opportunity for people to have the needed conversations regarding mental health issues. This is a story of second chances, forgiveness, and love. Readers will fall in love with the handsome Charlie Lynch and will eagerly anticipate the second book of the Harbored Secrets series which features Charlie’s co-worker Deputy Ryan Frost. Who doesn’t love a man in uniform?! Living Lies is highly recommended for fans of romantic suspense, and readers who enjoy novels by authors such as Lynette Eason, Lynn H. Blackburn, Elizabeth Goddard, and Rachel Dylan.
*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell Publishing and was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine.
Available in digital ebook, paperback, hardcover and audiobook:
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In the little town of Walton, Georgia, everybody knows your name--but no one knows your secret. At least that's what Lane Kent is counting on when she returns to her hometown with her five-year-old son. Dangerously depressed after the death of her husband, Lane is looking for hope. What she finds instead is a dead body.
Lane must work with Walton's newest deputy, Charlie Lynch, to uncover the truth behind the murder. But when that truth hits too close to home, she'll have to decide if saving the life of another is worth the cost of revealing her darkest secret.
Debut novelist Natalie Walters pulls you to the edge of your seat on the first page and keeps you there until the last in this riveting story that will have you believing no one is defined by their past.