Arianna Banks never committed to anything, whether a relationship, a job, or her education. Carrying a damaged reputation because of an atrocious childhood incident, Arianna’s poor self-image has been her downfall. When her parents die unexpectedly, awash with grief, she wonders what her purpose is. She makes several changes, including quitting beauty school to work at a charity call center. Convinced she is doing important work, Arianna isn’t prepared when a coworker named Marc Arnold challenges her to achieve her dreams through her suppressed passion for writing. Coming off a nasty breakup, Arianna grows closer to Marc, but she tells herself she won’t be at another guy’s mercy. But Marc isn’t ready to give up on her. Now Arianna must choose to walk away or invite him in. But inviting him into her heart means sharing who she really is, ugly scars and all. In the midst of navigating her heart, Arianna excels at her telemarketing job, but does she choose what’s familiar or dare to pursue her heart’s song, as Marc encourages her?
Arianna is the great-granddaughter of Lorna and Tristan Blake from the Lorna & Tristan Series.
Have you already started writing a new book?
Yes! I’m always writing. I have another whole unpublished manuscript and two works in progress.
Can you start writing a new story immediately after finishing the previous one or do you need a break first?
Like I said, I’m always (or almost always) writing. I sometimes have to take breaks during a project, but I don’t necessarily take breaks between projects. I take breaks as life demands, meaning usually due to my kids.
Do you prefer researching certain locations or do you like inventing your own?
My books take place in the Cleveland area, which is where I’ve lived my whole life. They say to write what you know, so since I know this area, I stick to it. I have invented a fictional suburb, just to avoid using a real city name. Since I don’t write fantasy, I don’t have to worry about much world building.
How do you come up with a title for your book?
It varies. For Arianna, it’s pretty straightforward, as that’s the main character, and this story is all hers. For others, I have used locations or metaphors.
How do you pick a cover for your book?
I look for covers that compel me. I’m not a fan of covers with faces, so I prefer to go with mood or some element from the narrative.
Do you sometimes get up at night to write because the perfect idea suddenly popped up?
Yes! My first idea to write a novel came in the middle of the night, although generally, I prefer to write in the afternoons now. As I’ve gotten older, staying up late hasn’t worked out well.
Which book is the next one on your ‘to read’ pile?
My “to-be-read” pile is huge! I lie to myself and others when I say I won’t buy any new books until I’ve read what I already have. Anyway, White Rose Network (WWII historical fiction) by Ellie Midwood is next. Her books are amazing.
Do you finish every book you start reading?
Almost, although I’ve abandoned a few. If I get 10% in and can’t get into the story, I stop. Why waste my time on something I’m not enjoying?
Do you always read the blurb before you start reading a new book or do you want to be surprised?
Yes, I like to know what I’m investing my time in.
What makes you choose a book in a bookstore: the catching title, the name of the author, the fascinating cover or a combination?
A combination. If I’ve read the author previously, I’m likely to read more from them. There are definitely eye-catching titles and covers that fascinate me as well.
Thank you, Cynthia Hilston and Rachel’s Random Resources
About the author
Cynthia Hilston is a stay-at-home mom of three young kids, happily married, and lives in the Cleveland, Ohio, area. Writing has always been like another child to her. After twenty years of waltzing in the world of fan fiction, she stepped away to do her debut dance with original works of fiction.
In her spare time – what spare time? – she devours books, watches Supernatural and Outlander, pets her orange kitty, looks at the stars, drinks wine or coffee with good friends, and dreams of what other stories she wishes to tell.