I'm excited to welcome Toni to Diamond Mine. She shares more about her wonderful story and is giving away a paperback copy to a reader. US addresses only, please.
PLEASE COMMENT FOR A CHANCE TO WIN BY JUNE 8.
In Search of a Prince is a Christian Contemporary Romance Published by Bethany House.
Welcome, Toni. Thank you so much for joining us.
Toni Shiloh is a wife, mom, and multi-published Christian contemporary romance author. She writes to bring God glory and to learn more about His goodness. Her novels, Grace Restored, was a 2019 Holt Medallion finalist, Risking Love a 2020 Selah Award finalist, The Truth About Fame a 2021 Holt Medallion finalist, and The Price of Dreams a 2021 Maggie Award finalist.
A member of the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and of the Virginia Chapter, Toni seeks to encourage authors in the writing industry. She loves connecting with readers and authors alike via social media. You can learn more about her writing at http://tonishiloh.com.
Readers would love to know more about your inspiration and ideas behind the book.
1. Would you give us a summary of your new book, In Search of a Prince.
Brielle Adebayo is a middle school civics teacher when her mother drops a bombshell: she’s a princess and heir to the throne of Ọlọrọ Ilé. The king, her grandfather, is dying and needs to establish her as his official heir. It’s then that the royal council finds an old edict that dictates she must be married in order to become the next ruling monarch. She’s given a list of eligible bachelors and grapples with the enormity of the situation. Can she be the queen the people of Ọlọrọ need? That is the journey I take the reader on between the pages.
2. In Search of a Prince is primarily set in the fictional country of Ọlọrọ Ilé. Can you tell us a little about this place?
I’d love to. I set the country in the Gulf of Guinea, a little to the west of Bioko Island. It has a tropical climate like that of Bioko, but I used a lot of Nigerian influences to develop the country. It is ruled by a king, one of the few African nations that still maintains a monarchy. Their council is also made up of tribal elders to represent the different regions of Ọlọrọ.
3. What different cultures influenced the creation of this story?
I had so much fun exploring the tribes of Nigeria. I also looked at how the colonization of Nigeria, Sao Tome & Principe, and western Africa as a whole influenced the current cultures. It was with all this in mind that I developed the culture of my fictional country.
4. One of the underlying themes in In Search of a Prince is learning to trust God and His will—no matter where it may lead. How does this theme come into play in the life of your female protagonist, Brielle Adebayo?
Trust is such a huge theme for Brielle. She’s been thrust into a life that looks nothing like what she’s used to. She doesn’t want to do anything outside of God’s will, yet life is filled with so many new trials that it’s hard to distinguish what is what. That’s where trust comes in, and we get to see how her walk with God develops on this new journey.
5. What do you think this novel contributes to the inspirational fiction genre that we haven’t seen before?
Diversity! It’s not often you get to walk into bookstores and see a lot of fiction with ethnic characters. It’s my hope that Black women (young and old) will see this book and see themselves. That it allows them to dream and be inspired by what God can do.
6. What was the inspiration for In Search of a Prince?
I was inspired by the union between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. It was amazing to see their love, but it also made me wish for stories that celebrated Black princesses. So I dreamed one up. ☺
7. What do you hope readers gain from reading your new novel?
My biggest hope is that they see God in a new way. That they’re able to trust that He has good plans and that nothing takes Him by surprise, so we can trust in Him and rest in those truths.
8. What do you love most about writing contemporary romance novels—specifically stories about royalty?
There’s something about showing that romance and faith can still exist in the midst of our trials and tribulations. Add the royal factor of caring for an entire country, and it only shows how awesome God can be.
9. How can readers connect with you?
Thank you for joining us, Toni. I look forward to your next novel, To Win a Prince, featuring Brielle's best friend, Iris.
Readers, remember to comment by June 8 to have a chance to win a paperback copy of In Search of a Prince. U.S. addresses only, please.