Book: Vhonnelle’s Heart: More Precious Than Rubies
Author: Natalie L. McKinney
Genre: Christian Fiction, Christian Romance
Basic Description: Many struggle to believe that true love stories can still come true and that one day, they can actually have a love story of their own. Vhonnelle’s Heart is a beautiful love story of a couple’s journey to forever.
Vhonnelle’s story is one that will encourage all who read it to have hope in the power in love once again. This story serves as a message of hope for singles and married couples as well. As you read this story, know that love still exists, and it can be yours. However, the most beautiful love story begins with you loving you.
Arden’s Thoughts: Ah, love. It’s a vital need. Everyone wants it but so few of us really know how to give it. I was reminded recently of why I’d rather wait on the right person for me to date than settle for someone who is someone else’s Mr. Right. I’m a gal who wants to be romanced and for me, that includes making a plan, asking to participate in said plan days in advance, and honoring me as a woman. Plus, take out my trash.
What I enjoyed so much about Vhonnelle’s story was the lead character had the confidence in herself to stay true to her vision of her forever. Yet, she allowed room to be pursued by a man (who eventually captured her heart) even though she wasn’t totally sold on him at first.
This book is character-driven with lots of dialogue. Readers get to experience the characters getting to know each other, and experiencing some trying times, through their words. I think some folks will read this book and really want a relationship like what Vhonnelle and Simeon experience. However, these same folks will not believe it could happen for them.
Here’s what I think… I think what Vhonnelle and Simeon have is the ideal. And, no, most people won’t get the ideal. Not because it’s not their story, but because they don’t wait for their story.
I recently interviewed the author of Vhonnelle’s Heart, Natalie L. McKinney. I think you’ll enjoy how she sheds light on her book, and her main character.
Arden: V seems so personal to you as the writer, more than any of the other characters. How much of you is in V?
Natalie: It’s interesting that you pose this question; this is actually not the first time I have been asked this. Succinctly, yes, I do see pieces of myself in V. Friendship and sisterhood are cornerstones of my life and I wanted to highlight that in my book. My best friends push me to be great and I make it a priority to do the same for them. V can testify to the power of sisterhood as well. So, on that front, we are completely alike. In the book, the younger version of V struggles with self-esteem and the ability to truly love herself for who she is. I too, struggled with self-esteem and the ability to love myself was something that I had to work at for a while. So, as I created V in terms of a character, I wanted to make that connection between myself and Vhonnelle because I know other young women out there have struggled with something similar and I wanted to show that there is hope for the girl who doesn’t always like the person she sees staring back at her in the mirror every day. Additionally, I would say that V and I are alike because she’s a go getter. V has goals and at all costs she intends to achieve them. Plus, she’s brilliant and she loves any and everything that has to do with the 90’s.
Arden: Who doesn’t love the 90s?!? Haha! Faith is such almost an additional character in your book. Is there a reason why you chose to focus on it instead of a more worldly dating point of view?
Natalie: This is also a great question. I wanted to show how sweet relationships can be when they are ordained by God. In the world we live in I think many people date for the sake of dating without truly consulting the One that not only made them, but also the One who created their future spouse as well. Also, many people confuse the terms dating and courting. Dating can lead to many things both good and bad. But courting leads to the altar, it leads to marriage. In the book, readers will get a glimpse into courting and I think it will be a refreshing take on relationships. The last point that I would like to highlight with this question is that what V and Simeon have is a mirror of what my parents had (My father is deceased). I am grateful that I was able to see that example because if I hadn’t seen their love, honor, and connection to each other that was ultimately fueled by their individual connections to Christ, I may not believe that such a relationship goal is attainable.
Arden: Yes, I really saw the courting process within the characters. Seeing this caused me to rethink a thing or two in hopes that I’ll meet a Simeon of my own one day. With that said, is Simeon based on any man in particular or the perfect fantasy?
Natalie: Simeon is based off of my father. Simeon is strong in his faith; he has the desire to raise a family, to cherish and protect his wife, and to be a champion in his workplace and community. Often times in movies or books, when a male love interest is presented, the audience only sees that character as having one of these traits and maybe two at best. But, Simeon has a great drive to be all of these things. My father was just like this. To be honest, when I get married I want the traits of my father and the traits of my husband to match because I have experienced the power of man who possess them and I would want the same experience for my own children.
Arden: We haven’t talked about one of the other characters in the book yet, Kanissa. What are your plans for Kanissa? Is her story one you plan to tell?
Natalie: I don’t want to give everything away now but Kanissa’s story is one that I plan to tell in my next venture as an author. Just as my audience has been touched by V as a character, I would like to introduce them in the same manner to Kanissa. Kanissa and V are a yin and yang and I would do a disservice to only serve my audience one piece of the pie.
Arden: I was hoping you’d say that about Kanissa! I feel like her story is just getting started. So, I know my viewers and readers will want to get this book. Where can they find it?
You can find my book on Amazon! The easiest way to purchase it would be through my website: www.thenatalielmckinney.com
Arden: Perfect! I’ve got links throughout this post too. Is there anything else you’d like to say to the readers?
Natalie: I would just like to say to my readers that nothing you go through is ever wasted. Sometimes when we go through things we wonder why it is us that are experiencing those things. You may even consider throwing in the towel; but don’t do it. If I had not gone through certain issues earlier in my life, I would not have been able to write a story that has the power to change the outlook of other people. Your gift assigns certain trials to your life, and on the other side of those trials is not only a story of how you made it over them, but also a path for you to be able to help someone else. The characters in my book have triumphed over the hurdles in their lives and you can too. If you are looking for proof of this, read Vhonnelle’s Heart.