Behind The Words With Nicole M. Miller

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Today, we welcome debut author Nicole M. Miller. Her first novel is a romance, but also explores the little know history of Janów Podlaski Arabian Horses. Welcome Nicole, first give our readers a quick look at UNTIL OUR TIME COMES.

Until Our Time Comes is about a woman who has dedicated her whole life to working with
Polish-bred Arabian horses, with the hopes of importing the best horses to America. But the German invasion of Poland and the continent-wide occupation shift her focus entirely and bring a British spy to her aid. Together, they attempt to save the horses that are caught in the tumult of war, and they wrestle with their own emotions amid an uncertain future.

Until Our Time Comes is based on true events that occurred in Poland during the Nazi occupation in World War II. How did you learn about these events?
This whole story originated based on a few paragraphs from a book about legendary Arabian horses throughout history. I was fifteen years old and entranced by the story of Witez II, who had endured Nazi occupation in WWII. The detail that jumped out to me was how the stable hands in this Polish stud farm had slathered the beautiful stallion with mud and cut his long tail to try to hide his identity from Axis soldiers. (This was in an era when horses were more like celebrities.) I dug into the story further and uncovered a biography of that same stallion written by an author in the 1960s. I’d already loved World War II history, and the blending of these two interests ignited so many possibilities within me.

Your female protagonist, Adia Kensington, is a horse trainer working at the famous Janów Podlaski stables in Poland. How does her role with the horses take an abrupt shift when the Nazis arrive?
Once the Nazis capture the horse farm, Adia’s role as caretaker of the priceless animals remains steady and true in a lot of ways, but her role also shifts into one of guardian and Allied spy. There is a massive underground resistance to the German occupation, and many citizens of Poland play a part. Adia is no exception. She treasures the horses and the country she has come to consider a second home and fights alongside the people.

When does Adia first meet Bret Conway, and how does he become involved in her life?
In the summer before the war, Adia meets Bret at the marketplace, near Janów Podlaski stables, after the orphan boy who tags along with her steals Bret’s heirloom pocket watch. Adia, who is a natural protector of all things rejected and helpless, stands up for the boy and ensures the watch is returned, and there’s instantly a tension and spark between her and Bret. They are thrown together by circumstances when Bret, an undercover British operative, realizes that the horse farm is a central location to gather intelligence once the invasion begins.

Adia and Bret’s desire to save hundreds of prized Arabian horses is an overwhelming and taxing undertaking. What type of experiences do they encounter in this process? In the uncertainty of the German invasion, Adia and Bret believe evacuating the horses closer to the USSR border might better protect them from the Germans—and in that process, they find both physical barriers and unexpected enemies from the opposite direction. Air raids, hoof injuries, and criminal elements all come into play with hundreds of horses and only a few dozen handlers. Bret and Adia discover that even with the best- laid plans, it only takes a few seconds for everything to descend into chaos.

Until Our Time Comes covers several time periods and locations all centered on World War II. How did you organize your book to reflect these times?
The real-life plight of these horses is almost stranger than fiction, and there were so many elements I wanted to tell through Adia and Bret’s story. I broke up the novel into three sections that really marked the rise and fall of danger, hope, and expectations. These horses (along with Bret and Adia) cover almost every location throughout the Western Theater of WWII, and I wanted to take readers along for that ride. At each point in time, new players enter the story and influence the steps forward. There’s even a minor appearance of the infamous horseman and soldier, General Patton.

You claim you’ve been horse-obsessed since birth. When did your love for horses also tie in with your love for history?
Since day one, I was riding rocking horses, playing with horse figurines. As I grew, I began to take more of an interest in horse bloodlines and thus the history of specific breeds such as Arabian horses. I’d always liked history, too, and was an avid reader of historical fiction my whole life, so everything just came together with the story of the infamous Witez II and the Nazi occupation. I also learned later in life that my horse, which I’ve owned for twenty years, is distantly related to the horses who survived World War II.

What do you hope readers will gain from reading Until Our Time Comes?
I hope readers walk away from Until Our Time Comes with a sense of how complex
wartime truly can be, and also how hope and perseverance can win out. In this story, not all the characters are what you expect them to be. Still, we care for the helpless and wrestle with what is worth saving in times of turmoil.

How can readers connect with you?
The best way to connect is through my Facebook or Instagram pages: Facebook.com/NicoleMillerWriter and Instagram.com/NicoleMillerWriter. I also have an email list for readers to get the latest updates—sign up at NicoleMillerWriter.com. I’d love to hear from readers, and I’ll be sharing a lot more fun and interesting historical bits along the way.

Where can readers purchase a copy of Until Our Time Comes?
At all major booksellers including Baker Book House, Amazon, Barnes & Noble.

Nicole, thank you for joining us today, and giving us a look at a piece of little know history, wrapped in romance. 

Readers, here’s a quick look at UNTIL OUR TIME COMES….

American horse trainer Adia Kensington is living her dream of working at the famous Janów Podlaski stables in Poland, where they breed the best Arabian horses in the world. But her plans to bring the priceless stallion Lubor to the US are derailed when the German army storms into her adopted country in 1939. Little does she know this is just the beginning of six long years of occupation that will threaten her beloved horses at every turn.

Bret Conway is at Janów Podlaski under the guise of a news reporter, but his true mission is intelligence gathering for the British. That and keeping Adia safe, which is harder and harder to do as she insists they must evacuate 250 horses to save them from being stolen, sold, or eaten by the invading forces. What follows will test their physical, mental, and emotional strength, as well as their faith in God, humankind, and each other.

Drawn from true events of World War II, this epic story of escape, capture, resistance, and love from debut novelist Nicole M. Miller will thunder into your heart like a herd of beautiful horses across a raging river.