Local author’s second novel set in Darlington
Julianne Kuykendall Rhodes, a local author, has self-published her second Christian fiction novel, “The Renter Next Door,” set in Darlington.
“Just like my Christmas novel, I would describe this book as a good mix between a Christian fiction novel, a Lifetime movie and a Hallmark movie,” Rhodes said.
In this novel, one of the main characters, Amber Flowers, an English teacher at Darlington High School, enjoys decorating her rental home, formerly her grandmother’s home, and always prays for her renters as she views her rental home as a ministry.
When a seemingly single, young, mysterious girl walks in her yard looking for a place to rent, Amber is skeptical, but goes with her heart when she rents to her.
Will Amber’s marriage to her handsome husband, Jake, survive the renter next door?
Plus, Amber believes that God has a reason for this young girl to be living next door, but will that ultimate reason shock Amber to the core?
This novel takes place largely in the town of Darlington, with portions taking place in Myrtle Beach and the North Carolina mountains.
As Darlington natives travel through the pages of this novel, they will recognize many landmarks including the NASCAR racetrack and the Darlington Square.
Also, the fictional “Hal’s Barbeque” in the novel is based on Darlington’s own “Nick’s Barbeque” and the “Studio 843” salon is based on Darlington’s “Studio 36” salon.
The timeline of the novel is from April through December 2020.
“When I wrote ‘The Renter Next Door’ in January, February and early March of 2020, we were not yet in the coronavirus pandemic so, even though this novel begins in April 2020, the churches and schools and so forth are open,” explained Rhodes.
Rhodes was born and raised in the mountain town of Canton, N.C., west of Asheville. She is a graduate of Gardner-Webb University in Boiling Springs, N.C., and The Focus on the Family Institute in Colorado Springs, Colo.
Her husband, Wayne Rhodes, is a Darlington native and longtime employee of Nucor Steel in Darlington.
“The Renter Next Door” is now available for purchase on Amazon in the Kindle format or in regular print paperback or large print paperback. Or, for information in purchasing a signed copy, e-mail Rhodes at firstname.lastname@example.org.