Saturday, March 24, 2018

Authentic Storytelling, Great Writing Tips, & Spring's Eternal Song: My Interview with Romance Author, Katie Mettner

Today, I am thrilled to welcome romance author, Katie Mettner, to talk about her latest release, Spring's Eternal Song, and many other writing/reading related topics. Spring's Eternal Song was an amazing 5 star read. You can check out my review HERE

Where did the idea for Spring’s Eternal Song come from?
The idea behind Spring’s Eternal Song came from a real life event, which is still ongoing in a city in Wisconsin. However, my twist on it is purely fiction. I take a college town, add a river and a supernatural element, and you have Spring’s Eternal Song. I loved Spring and Vince so much as a couple I wrote this book in six days. It was just one of those fun stories to write. It has been over a year since I finished it, and now, four edits later, I’m extremely excited and happy with how Spring and Vince’s story has been delivered to the reader.

You’re a pretty prolific writer. Remind me how many books you have out now. Also, do you have a writing routine?

Some say I’m prolific, but I like to think of it as addicted. I’ll consider myself prolific when I hit the Nora Roberts number of 225. I am currently finishing my 34th and Spring’s Eternal Song will be my 30th published book, which I’ll take as a good omen!

My writing routine has developed over the years slowly. I start writing when my husband and kids leave for school about 6:30. I love that hour and a half before the rest of the world wakes up to get a lot of words down on the page. Since I write with voice recognition due to arthritic hands, I can get a lot of words put down at once. I break for a bit in the morning to work on household things, and then go again in the afternoon after rereading and editing what I did in the morning. I write that way during the week, and on weekends I still get up at 5:30 a.m. and write until 8 when everyone else wakes up. Once I have 3 full manuscripts done, I go back and start editing them. The do my first edit on one and it goes to the editor while I start the second. We switch them back and forth until she’s done two edits and I’ve done three. It sounds very complicated, but it works for us! In the summer, I only write from 5:30-8 a.m. because my whole family is home, and there’s no way to write a love scene when your teenage son is yelling, “Mom! Where are my socks?!” 

Which of your titles that you’ve written is your favorite and why?
Oh boy, I love all my couples, but this one is easy, Sugar’s Dance. It was my first book, and I probably broke every single writing rule there is, but Sugar and Van will always be in my heart. I wrote Sugar’s Dance when I was at my lowest in my life. No matter how bad my leg hurt as I learned to walk on a prosthesis, I knew at the end of the day, I would have an hour to escape into Sugar’s world and tell her story. There were nights I couldn’t sleep from phantom pain, and I would spend it in Duluth with Sugar and Van. Sugar’s Dance was supposed to be the “one book I had inside me,” but there turned out to be three more before her story was told. After I released the book many readers contacted me and told me Sugar was a balm for them as well. When you’re disabled, you rarely get to read about a kick a** disabled hero or heroine who can be strong and vulnerable. One who feels undesirable because of their challenges, but when the right person comes along they can slowly learn to love themselves again. As a disabled woman you read about the sexy baseball players courting the movie star, but you know that’s not real life. Sugar’s Dance was real life for a lot of readers, and I’m proud to be able to continue to tell the stories of those who want to be loved for the abilities, not their inabilities All told, I have a reason each book is my favorite, but for all those nights of pain and doubt Sugar’s Dance got me through, it’s the reason she will always be at the top of that list.

Which of your titles has evoked the most reactions from readers?
This would be a toss-up between Sugar’s Dance and October Winds. Never were two books more opposite than these two, but both tell a story that has resonated with readers. As we discussed, my books have a main character who is physically disabled, but October Winds has a main character who is emotionally disabled. October is equally as brave as my characters who are struggling physically, but she’s caught up in a bad situation. These two books specifically ring true to readers for their honesty and their message of hope when there’s shouldn’t be any. I was surprised when October Winds took off the way it did because the storyline is a topic so many people pretend doesn’t exist, human trafficking.

One of my favorite things about Spring’s Eternal Song is that both Vince and Spring are presented realistically. They come across as authentic people with flaws and issues and baggage just like every person I know. Was this a purposeful decision? How important is it to you to present romantic relationships in a genuine way?

Yes, definitely purposeful! And I’m thrilled to know it came across that way to the reader. I mean, we all love to read about those rocker bad boys, and sexy successful women who love them, but it’s hard to put down a book like that and go back to real life. Real life has flaws, issues, and baggage to deal with. I can honestly say I don’t know how to write about a rocker bad boy with no flaws or baggage, nor would I want to. I yearn for books with characters who are multidimensional, which makes me strive to be sure my characters are the same for someone else to discover. What you may overlook in their experience, is something another reader may pick up on, but what you pick up on, they might overlook. That’s what I yearn for, diversity within a character. That’s why I write broken, flawed, and genuine couples for readers to fall in love with, because anything else is cheating the reader of what is really at the heart of the story, the characters. When you strip away all the events in the story, the meet-cute, the sexual tension, and the resolution of the story, all you have left are the characters. If I don’t do my work with them, then the whole book collapses like a house of cards.

You managed to add what I’ll call a supernatural element to this book in a way that it is completely believable and natural. It is one of my favorite things about this book. For many writers, this would be a risk, but you did it seamlessly and beautifully. Did you have any reservations about this element of the story?
I so appreciate knowing you loved that aspect of the story. I did have huge reservations about the supernatural or metaphysical aspect of Spring’s gift because paranormal romance is kind of out as a genre. I don’t see this as your traditional paranormal romance, however. There are no vampires, werewolves, or fairies. There’s just a woman who experiences two different realms, and because of that she’s suffered in her personal relationships. To anyone walking past her on the street, Spring is any other Midwestern woman on a warm spring day, but when Spring walks past someone on the street, she can see the souls who follow them, yearn for them, and cry out for them. She has to deal with an onslaught of trapped people who need her help, all while trying to stay grounded on this plane of existence. Her gift made Spring who she is and made her the woman Vince was meant to love. When I wrote in the metaphysical aspect of it, I did it for an all call from a publisher. However, as I wrote the story, it became such an important part of who Spring was, there was no way I could change anything about it when the publisher passed on it. They said it wasn’t paranormal enough. There were no vampires or werewolves. When I got the rejection email I smiled because vampires and werewolves aren’t real, but the people walking around our neighborhoods who see scary, life crippling, and heart breaking situations in other worlds are. I wanted to tell their story in a way that showed the struggles of dealing with such a gift in everyday life, and in a romantic relationship. I prayed I could pull it off, but your approval tells me I did. I can relax now knowing when the book releases others will feel the same way as you, and that her gift is just another facet of who Spring Lewis is.

Do you have a favorite scene in Spring’s Eternal Song?

I do! I love the meet-cute, but my favorite part actually refers to the question above about authentic people with flaws. It’s the scene where she gets mad at Vince and tells him he doesn’t know what it’s like to live her life and he should go to hell. My favorite part of that scene is where she is able to see even through her anger that what he said was right. She came to understand what he said had validity, and he helped her take an important step, even though he angered her by saying it. Spring is learning to accept love from another person, and she realizes she hurt him and is desperate to apologize. It was a pinnacle scene as they built their relationship of trust.
Many writers would not be able to write at the pace you keep up even if they had nothing but time and even though they have plenty of ideas. Do you have any tips for other writers for getting their stories on the page quickly?
Definitely utilize voice recognition! You can speak faster than you can type, and you can always go back and edit, make changes, add quotations and punctuation etc., but getting those words down makes all the difference. Suddenly you have a tangible word count to look at and be encouraged about. I have my voice recognition on my computer and even got a new phone that allows me to use voice recognition in my note app there. If I’m killing time for ten minutes in the car while I wait for the kids, I grab my phone and finish the scene I was working on before I left. I spent a lot of time taking my kids to music practice and have a lot of downtime waiting, but the computer isn’t always practical to carry with me. But, we always have our phones. It’s easy then to email it to myself and copy and paste into my document. I’m giving away all my secrets here! But seriously, I would give this secret away to anyone because it’s a fast way to make that word count for the day, or when you’re feeling inspired but you’re not by your computer.
What is the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever gotten? 
Can I go with the worst piece of advice that I’ve made the best? Because I’m going to! The best writing advice I ever got was ‘don’t write what you know, write what’s hot, and don’t put your own personal touches on the stories.’ How did I interpret that as a new writer? Be someone I’m not. Why was it the best advice I ever got? Because it reminded me pretending to be someone I’m not never works out in the end.
I’ve been writing for seven years and I only write what I know, I’ve never written what was ‘hot’ (Because why? The trend will change before the book is released anyway), and I always put a personal touch on each story. Am I a bestselling author? Nope. Am I the most talked about and shared author in the indie world? Nope. Is the person who told me that a bestselling author? Yup. Is she shared and talked about? Yup, well, she was, until all of her books became the same storyline with a different character. Now, I’m not so sure, I don’t follow her anymore. All I know is, when I release a book it’s a book that makes me proud. It’s also a book that stays true to what my readers are expecting from me, which I think is more important than being a bestselling author where people buy the books but never actually read them. Sure, maybe I would have found raging success writing billionaire, tattoo, man-bun, step-brother leading men, but it wouldn’t be sustainable. What’s sustainable is being true to who you are, your beliefs, and your readers. I love to play inside the genre, like I did with Spring’s Eternal Song, to keep things fresh, but I also want readers to know when they pick up a book from Katie Mettner the overall message will be of trust, hope, and love.

The age-old question every writer gets asked over and over—are you a panster or a plotter? Do you outline all your stories or just go where it takes you?

Oh, I’m a total panster. I’ve never plot out a book until I get myself in trouble and don’t have a choice! If my idea is solid and my characters are well developed, the story usually just happens. I know if I tried to plot out a book it would cripple me to the point I would never get it written. Instead of being a panster, I prefer to call it being easy going 😉

If you had to cast Spring and Vince for a movie, who would you choose to play them?

This one is always a fun question, and I usually have a great answer like Jude Law and Hilary Duff or something of the sort, but not in this case. Spring and Vince are such unique characters I would go full indie with them. Vince is half Native American and I would give an up and coming Native American actor the chance to play him. I would also try to cast someone with the same kind of sensitivities as Spring has to play her. Why would I go indie? Because the town this book is based on has a huge indie community of actors, singers, musicians, and writers, which I would like to tap into and promote. I also think we need fresh faces of diversity to tell stories about real, authentic, diverse characters.
What is next for you? 
I have the second book in 3 different series in edits right now. While that’s going on, I’m writing the final book in the Dalton Sibling Serie, the first being Inherited Love. It’s another series about a group of siblings with metaphysical gifts, which is set in California instead of the Midwest! After I finish that book I’ll have to take a break as my first baby bird is leaving the nest for college. I can’t believe she’s graduating already, but I want to spend as much time with her as possible, so I’ll be doing my usual morning writing this summer and that’s it. Of course, first I’ll need another book idea! Kidding, of course. There’s always another damaged couple waiting in the wings for their story to be told, and I’m always waiting by the keyboard to document their lives and remind readers that even in our darkest hours, a light will shine in the darkness to bring us comfort and hope.


He stopped my hands and forced me to make eye contact. “They don’t know, do they?”
I gave my head barely a shake and focused my attention back on my shoes, taking them off and slipping them under the coffee table. I wasn’t going anywhere tonight. I barely had the energy to go to bed. “No one knows at work.”
He rubbed my shoulders to relax me again. “Why haven’t you told them? I would think the medical community would be the most likely to understand these types of abilities.”
“You would think wrong, then,” I said, standing abruptly and hightailing it to the kitchen. I yanked opened the fridge and dug out a soda, intent to take a long drink of it, but he spun me around before I got it open. He backed me up against the counter and trapped me there with his long arms.
“Sarcasm isn’t helpful, Spring. Educate, don’t infuriate,” he said.
I shoved him away and ducked under his arm. “Don’t treat me like one of your students, Professor Roundtree,” I snapped. “I don’t need a lecture in your teacher voice about anything tonight, or ever, for that matter. When you walk in my shoes, then you can tell me how to live my life! Now, I’m going to bed, you can show yourself out.”
I spun on my heel and ran to my bedroom, slammed the door behind me, and twisted the lock over. I stomped to the bathroom and cranked the shower handles around. When the water was hot I stepped in and let it run over me while I cried wracking, painful sobs of anger, hurt, and frustration. The dead kids, Ms. Davis, and Mallory were hard enough to deal with, but his disregard of all of them was the hardest for me to bear.

I woke slowly, my eyes grainy from crying and still tired, but Oliver clearly had other ideas. I put my feet on the floor and gazed at the clock. It was after nine already and I remembered the night before, and my anger at Vince. There was pounding on the door and for a moment I contemplated not answering it. What if Vince had a break and decided to come over? How would I face him after last night?
After my shower, I fell asleep wet on my bed and woke up a few hours later, cold, and alone. Only then did I venture out to the living room and found he had left, but not before he left a note that simply said. I’m sorry. If I wasn’t already feeling crappy about my outburst, his note sealed the deal and made me cry all over again.
I got to the door in time to whip it open as the person jogged down the three steps to the sidewalk. “I’m here,” I said, out of breath.
The young kid returned to the stoop and checked the card on the vase of flowers. “Spring Lewis?” he asked, and I nodded. He thrust the vase into my hands, told me to have a good day, and beat it out of my yard.
I closed the door with my foot and inhaled the sweet scent of the spring flowers in the vase. There was a card attached to it with my name on it. I probably didn’t have to read the card to know who they were from. I set them down on the counter and made a pot of coffee, waiting for it to brew while I stared at the flowers. As if my guilt wasn’t steep enough, now I had flowers to face. I lifted the card from the bouquet and opened it, reading it to Oliver.
Spring, let me take you to dinner. I promise not to say anything stupid. If you don’t want to go, text me. If you do, I’ll pick you up at seven. I hope I don’t hear from you. Vince.”
I groaned and laid the card down on the counter, setting the flowers in the middle of the table. They made the room feel sunny and bright, something the gloomy outdoors didn’t do. In a way, you could say my life is the opposite. Sunny and bright on the outside, but gloomy on the inside.
I poured a cup of coffee and sipped it, one arm across my chest. I want to go to dinner with him, but by not texting him and just letting him pick me up, it keeps him feeling like it was his fault for the rest of the day. By not hearing from me he feels like he needs to atone for something he didn’t do. I finished the mug of coffee and set the cup in the sink. I had a few things to take care of, which meant I better get going if I was going to make things right before seven p.m.


Katie Mettner writes from a little house in the Northwoods of Wisconsin. She's the author of more than thirty romance novels, all featuring a disabled hero or heroine. Most of her series are set in the Midwest and are a mix of new adult and romantic suspense.
Katie lives with her soulmate, whom she met online at Thanksgiving and married the following April. Together they share their lives with their three children and one very special leopard gecko named Gibbs. Katie has a slight addiction to Twitter and blogging, with a lessening aversion to Pinterest now that she quit trying to make the things she pinned.
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Wednesday, July 26, 2017

A Year Without A Book

So many of my readers continue to ask me when something new is coming out. My last new book was Cold-Blooded and that was released in 2015. Before that, I had something new at least once a year. 2016 was my first year without a new book. Not because I wasn’t working on stuff, but because other crazy stuff was happening in my life. So, if you’re interested in the real reason that 2016 was my year without a book, read on.

In February of 2016, my daughter, husband and I were sitting down to dinner when my daughter reached up to brush her hair behind her ear and realized her earring was missing. On further examination, we realized it hadn't merely fallen out of her ear--the earring had been pierced too low and had actually worked its way out of her ear altogether, leaving her with a cleft earlobe.

We had no idea the crazy path that this small moment would set us on.

We took her to the plastic surgery department at our local Children's Hospital to have the earlobe repaired. During one of the visits to plastics, a nurse practitioner there noticed that her head was an unusual oblong shape. We were approached by the staff there and asked if we would be open to having a CT of our daughter's head performed. We met with the head of craniofacial surgery to discuss the shape of her head. They suspected she had something called CRANIOSYNOSTOSIS. You can Google if you want, but be careful. There are some unsettling surgical images that come up. It's mostly found in infants but occasionally, it can be found in older children. Our daughter was 8 years old.

The skull is made up of plates, the surgeon explained to us. They fit together along these openings. The openings are called sutures. There are several. They all have different names. They're supposed to stay open for various periods of time--each suture closes at a different time. The main point is that they're supposed to remain open for a good deal of time--especially when you're a child--to allow room for your brain to grow. This way, as your brain grows, your skull expands. The sutures accommodate all this glorious brain growth when they stay open. When a suture closes early, it can cause all sorts of neurological problems. Developmental delays, cognitive deficits. If you can imagine walking around all day in a shoe that is too small for your foot, that is essentially what happens to the brain, the skull becomes too small to accommodate it.

Now imagine all the things that the brain is responsible for--it's everything, right? Walking, talking, seeing, thinking . . . everything! So imagine all the things that can go wrong if your brain is being constricted. Believe me, I've thought about it. A lot.

By the way, there’s only one remedy for craniosynostosis. That is surgery. The kind where they take your kid’s skull apart and rebuild it. (In some cases of infants with cranio, they can do a less invasive, endoscopic surgery but for a child my daughter’s age, that’s not an option.)

We agreed to the CT scan. We reassured our daughter that her head was just fine. We would just get this one scan, you know, just in case. Two long, horrific, torturous weeks after the scan (during which I fell and broke my foot; my daughter fell and broke her nose and had to get surgery; and I went to the ER thinking I was having a heart attack to find out I had gallstones and needed surgery) we finally sat down with the surgeon for the results. By that time, blessedly, our daughter had forgotten all about the entire business so we let her go to school while we met with the surgeon.

"Her sagittal suture is completely closed," he told us.

I remember those were his exact words. I remember because the bottom of my world fell out from under me in that moment. I had known. Of course I had known. I had been Googling the hell out of craniosynostosis 24/7 since the first time I heard the word. I hadn't slept or eaten in two weeks, had cried every time I was alone, had been a hot fucking mess the entire time, wondering if my kid was going to need surgery. But hearing it, finding it out, knowing it was real was a terrible feeling.

Our daughter was lucky that she had no cognitive deficits or developmental delays. She had had headaches since age 6 that were becoming worse, more frequent, and debilitating—but the cause of which couldn’t be pinpointed. There was some clumsiness that couldn’t be explained and a few things we didn’t even realize were cranio-related until after the surgery. But the CT told us all we needed to know. There was scalloping on her brain. Her brain was already looking for room that simply was not there.

Then they talked to us about the surgery--the doctor and his nurse practitioner. The words "disassemble the skull" were actually used. They typically did two surgeries--one to address the back of the skull and a second six months later to address the front of the skull although it was possible, at Morgan's age, that she might only need the first surgery. That remained to be seen. They would start with the back. They would have to shave a strip of hair. She would have a very large scar from ear to ear, but they'd open her up in a zig zag fashion so that when the hair grows back, the scar would be less noticeable. (About a week before the surgery, when the surgeon told her it would be like Harry Potter’s scar, only bigger, that sealed the deal for her.) They estimated it would be a five hour surgery. Five days in the hospital. The neurosurgeon would take the skull apart and our craniofacial surgeon would rebuild it.

Lots of stuff went on after that but the short story is that a retinal exam didn’t show any pressure on our daughter’s optic nerve so we were able to wait a few months for her to have the surgery. She was able to finish second grade and have a pretty good summer before we dropped the bomb on her that her skull needed to be reconstructed. We kept it secret from her—and from just about everyone else we knew—for nearly 5 long months. It was hell. I could go on about the feelings my husband and I cycled through. Not just knowing that our child had to have this serious surgery but knowing that until she did, she was a ticking time bomb of sorts. (“I don’t want to upset you,” another cranio mom told me at one point. “But one day she could just wake up blind.”)

Don’t get me wrong. We understand how lucky we are. This was something that was caught before any irreparable damage was caused by the cerebral constriction. This was something that could be fixed. We weren’t looking at an uncertain outcome. We weren’t looking at a terminal disease or an illness or syndrome that would negatively affect her for the rest of her life. We weren’t looking at putting her on a transplant list. There were so very many other things that could have happened to her that would have been a million times worse. Believe me, we saw the parents of children with much more serious health issues every time we went to the hospital. We are grateful—so incredibly, unbelievably grateful—that this was the hand she was dealt. But still, all surgeries come with risks and possible complications. No parent wants to hear that their child’s skull needs to be disassembled. You just don’t. That’s not fun. Not a good time for a parent, much less the poor kid who has to endure it. So let’s just say that it was stressful.

We didn’t tell her until about two weeks before the surgery and she took it better than we could ever possibly have imagined. Of course she did. Because she’s pretty awesome. What she actually said to us after we explained everything to her was, “It’s not cancer.” Even at 8 she had perspective about it. She was brave beyond belief. I’ve never seen anything like it. As an adult, I was struggling with the fact that she had to go through this but she was pretty cool about it. I think what made it easier on all of us was knowing that if she didn’t have the surgery, things could be so much worse. I actually had a dream right after we found out that she was thirteen and having all kinds of neurological problems and we were taking her from doctor to doctor trying to get answers and finding none. That could have been our life. Her life.

The surgery took place on 8/18/16 and it took longer than expected. The pressure in her brain was so great that her skull plates had adhered to the dura covering her brain. So when they took the skull plates off, it lacerated the dura in several places. Thank God and the Universe that our neurosurgeon was able to stitch everything up just fine and she had no complications from that. Still, it was quite scary.

The brilliant craniofacial surgeon reconstructed the back of her skull. Also, they told us that when they took the plates off, her brain was “really squished down in there” and it expanded once the plates were off. So her brain definitely needed more room. We went into the surgical waiting room, surrounded by several members of our amazing family, at 8:30 a.m. and the doctor met with us sometime around 3:30 or 4:00 p.m. to tell us everything had gone well other than the dural lacerations. We had to wait until 7 to see her in the ICU. The scar was something to see. But on the whole, she looked wonderful. It was amazing what these surgeons had done to her skull.

She spent four days in the ICU struggling with pain; noise and light sensitivity; and lack of appetite. She was so weak by the time we brought her home that she couldn’t walk on her own. But her spirits were intact. It was a tough recovery. I won’t lie. The first ten days were especially hard. But then like magic, she turned a corner and things became more manageable. Suddenly she was back to her old self, dancing and playing and joking like nothing had ever happened. Three weeks after the surgery she was cleared to return to school—with some restrictions. She wore a hat over her scar until the hair grew in somewhat and she just got tired of wearing the hat.

We saw the cranial surgeon for a follow-up on Tuesday and he said everything looked good and he will see us in a year. On August 18, 2017, we’ll celebrate her one year cranioversary.

We were able to get through all of the insanity—getting the news, living with it, preparing for surgery, her having the surgery, and the recovery—because we have the most wonderful family and friends anyone could ever ask for. The show of support we received from everyone we know was nothing short of astounding. I can’t even count the moments of love and support that took my breath away—there were so many. It still takes my breath away to think about it. If I spent the rest of my life thanking our incredible loved ones for everything they did for us during that time, it wouldn’t be enough. I wish they could know how grateful we are, and I hope they do. Any time I lose faith in humanity or the fate of the world as we know it, I think about that time in our lives and the way people supported us and lifted us up and I think, we can’t be doomed if there is that kind of love, kindness, compassion and generosity in the world.

So yes, 2016 was a year without a book. I was working on one—little by little when I could concentrate or find time. That book is called Losing Leah Holloway and it will come out in October of this year. But I didn’t release anything in 2016 because the year was so full of blessings, good luck, good fortune, wonderful people, courageous nurse practitioners, amazing surgeons, and one awe-inspiring, fiercely brave 8-year-old that there just wasn’t room for anything else.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

$120 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway Ends December 18th

A few of my favorite authors invited me to be a part of this awesome holiday giveaway. So we're giving away one $120 Amazon Gift Card to one lucky winner. This giveaway ends December 18th. All you have to do is sign up to be on one or more of our newsletter/mailing lists. Each author's newsletter counts as an entry. So if you sign up for just mine, you're entered to win the gift card once. If you sign up for six newsletters, you'll be entered six times. Plus, each author is giving away some of her ebooks to some lucky readers! This giveaway runs till December 18th so please enter and share the word!

Go HERE to enter!

Below you'll find a bit about the lovely ladies hosting this giveaway!

Katie Mettner writes inspirational and romantic suspense from a little house in the Northwoods of Wisconsin. She's the author of the four part epic family saga, The Sugar Series, Sugar's Song being runner up for sweet romance in the eFestival of Words contest. Her other romance series, The Northern Lights Series and the Snowberry Holiday Series, are both set in Minnesota and are a mix of new adult and romantic suspense.

MK has always been a voracious reader. After hitting a dry spell of reading material, she decided to write the kind of book she'd like to read. This resulted in the creation of her debut novel, Intentional. (Award for Best Sweet Romance - eFestival of Words- August 2014) Unintentional, the second book in the series, is based on the life of one of the characters in Intentional (Cade - an engineer/rock star). Unintentional was written as a stand-alone book.Breaking Braydon, another stand-alone book, is now available on Amazon. Taking Tiffany (A spin-off) is available now.When she's not writing novels, she likes to spend her free time traveling the world, splashing in mud puddles (She lives in Seattle, what can she say?), watching movies and reading.

Dana Mason is happily settled in a small valley amongst the California grapevines with her husband and three children. Author of the romantic suspense, Embrace Series, she's written about a group of friends from Northern California who learn just how short life can be when you don't hold on to what's important. Second chances don't come easy...but sometimes love is worth the risk. When not writing, Dana specializes in professional development and training. She's also a board member on the local Art's Council and does what she can to support the art community.

Nancy S. Thompson is the double award-winning author of two dark romantic thrillers, The Mistaken, her debut, and Leverage, the sequel. She is a California transplant currently living in Seattle, Washington with her husband and son, their giant snow dog, Jack, and his kitty, Skye. Besides moonlighting as a freelance editor, she also has her own interior design business within the model home merchandising industry. When she's not writing, editing, reading, or designing, Nancy keeps herself busy by cooking and baking.


Lisa Regan was born in Philadelphia, a product of two large Irish Catholic families whose roots run deep in her neighborhood. From the moment she was able to put words onto the page, she was writing: poems, stories, and even novels. In 2002 she finally finished her first adult novel, which remains on a flash drive in her nightstand. In 2006, she finished what would become her first published novel: Finding Claire Fletcher. After being passed over by more than 150 agents and then more than a dozen publishers, her first novel was published in December 2012, followed by her second novel, Aberration, in June 2013. Finding Claire Fletcher won Best Heroine and was runner-up for Best Novel in the 2013 eFestival of Words Best of the Independent eBook Awards. It was a finalist for the Kindle Book Review's Best Kindle Book Awards in 2014. In December 2013, the novel reached number one on Amazon's Bestselling Kidnapping Crime Fiction list; in the same month, her second novel, Aberration reached number one on Amazon's Serial Killer Crime Fiction Bestseller list. Lisa currently resides in Philadelphia with her husband and daughter where she works full time and works on her future novels while waiting in line at the local post office.

Julie writes romance from her home in Melbourne, Australia where she lives with her hot romance hero husband and two sons. She loves a good story, pumpkin pie and lots and lots of coffee.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

A $120 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway!

A few of my favorite authors invited me to be a part of this awesome holiday giveaway. So we're giving away one $120 Amazon Gift Card to one lucky winner. All you have to do is sign up to be on one or more of our newsletter/mailing lists. Each author's newsletter counts as an entry. So if you sign up for just mine, you're entered to win the gift card once. If you sign up for six newsletters, you'll be entered six times. Plus, each author is giving away some of her ebooks to some lucky readers! This giveaway runs till December 18th so please enter and share the word!

Go HERE to enter!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Taking the Leap Into The Romance Genre: Nancy S. Thompson's STIRRED

I am thrilled to welcome Nancy back to my blog as part of her blog tour. Today she'll be discussing transitioning from the thriller genre to the romance genre with her new book, STIRRED. I really loved her new one. I think it has a little bit for everyone and I hope you'll check it out. You can read my review of it on Goodreads here.

And now, Nancy:

I’m so excited to be here to chat with you all about my newest book, Stirred, a contemporary erotic suspense and my first foray into real romance. My first two novels, The Mistaken and Leverage (books 1 and 2 of The Mistaken Series) are dark romantic thrillers, and although they revolve around the romance between the male and female protagonists, both books are thrillers at their core.

While chock full of suspense, Stirred is definitely a romance at heart. The plot is centered around the relationship between Eden MacLaird—a wealthy, forty-one-year-old owner of an elite Montessori school, as well as a newly-minted best-selling author of dark erotica—and Sean Bennett—a whip-smart, twenty-four-year-old grad student on the cusp of finishing law school.

Though Eden is sent reeling after discovering her husband’s lurid affair, she balks at getting even by equal measure. Sean’s persistent though, and shows her what she’s been missing for the last twenty years while married to a controlling sociopath. What starts out as an impulsive, one-time hook-up soon evolves into a full-fledged affair of the heart, until the unthinkable happens. Then, not only is Sean and Eden’s affair exposed, their lives and freedom are at stake. With so much on the line, can either of them be sure the other hasn’t set them up to take the fall?

With two dark romantic thrillers under my belt, I was nervous about changing genres, but the heat level in Leverage was considerably high and well-received, so I thought, why the hell not? I will admit, I was a bit uncomfortable at first as some of the language often seen in erotic romance is a little on the vulgar side for me, but I adapted. And while Stirred is erotic, it’s not erotica, where typically, the only plot is for the characters to have sex—not that there’s anything wrong with that. I just prefer more substance.

I think readers will appreciate how the progression of the relationship between Sean and Eden drives the suspense and plot forward, that although the love scenes are explicit, they are also tasteful, and, most importantly, directly affect the story and overall theme of trust. So I feel pretty comfortable with my shift from thriller chick to romance debutante, and I hope you do, too!

About Nancy:

Nancy is a California transplant currently living in Seattle, Washington with her husband of 23 years, their son, a student at Seattle University, their giant snow dog, Jack, and his kitty, Skye. She works as a freelance editor for her publisher and writer friends and also has her own interior design business within the model home merchandising industry. When she's not writing or editing, Nancy keeps herself busy by cooking and baking.

Get it here:

Find out more about Nancy here and check out STIRRED on Goodreads:


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Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Shameless Promotion of My Fellow Authors: Nancy S. Thompson's New Release, STIRRED

I'm so very excited to tell you about STIRRED by Nancy S. Thompson. Nancy is one of my favorite authors. Period. (Disclaimer: Yes, we are good friends but it was actually Nancy's writing talent and her first novel, THE MISTAKEN that drew me to her in the first place. It was that book that made me feel like, "Wow! I need to know more about this lady!" A friendship developed.)

Anyway, her first two novels, which are brilliant, were dark romantic thrillers. They are two of my favorite thrillers. Her latest, STIRRED is a bit of a departure from those two in that it is more focused on the romantic and sexual relationship between the two main characters but it had more than enough suspense, mystery and intrigue to keep a finicky suspense/thriller reader (me) satisfied and turning pages well into the night.

So I say unto you: Go forth and buy STIRRED! It's out TODAY!!!!!

I will have Nancy back here on December 1st for a guest post. But until then, here's the skinny on this awesome book:

I’m Eden MacLaird, and Fate screwed me good at the age of twenty-one, stole my first love, then my first child. Twenty years later, I still haven't found my happily-ever-after. Sure, from the outside, I have it all, including Declan, my gorgeous, rich-as-sin husband. But things aren't what they seem, and catching Declan in bed with my best friend destroys any dreams I harbor for love, much less sexual fulfillment. 

Then in walks Sean Bennett...

Just months away from earning his post-graduate law degree, Sean's smart, driven, and serious, but an unexpected encounter between us in a bar one night changes everything. His best friend, Trinitee, warns against getting too involved, but the heat between us is beyond intense, and neither of us are willing to walk away. 

With my marriage in shambles, I'm eager to make a go of it with Sean, despite our sixteen-year age difference. But while I relish my sexual reawakening, I fear giving up the posh life I've grown accustomed to. That life, however, and everything in it, comes crashing down as bodies start piling up around us, and all clues point to me and Sean. 

Secrets, betrayal, and revenge threaten to destroy not just my carefully-crafted reputation, but my very life. With our freedom at stake, Sean and I join forces to uncover those plotting against us. But as doubt and evidence mount, I must choose: give in to my suspicions and save myself, or trust our new-found love and save us both.

About Nancy:

Nancy is a California transplant currently living in Seattle, Washington with her husband of 23 years, their son, a student at Seattle University, their giant snow dog, Jack, and his kitty, Skye. She works as a freelance editor for her publisher and writer friends and also has her own interior design business within the model home merchandising industry. When she's not writing or editing, Nancy keeps herself busy by cooking and baking.

Get it here:

Find out more about Nancy here and check out STIRRED on Goodreads:


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Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Shameless Promotion of Fellow Writers: R. Mac Wheeler's Newest!

Book 3 of the 6 Ways Series

At eighteen it’s tough to decide a life path when the threat of pandemic hangs over the world, your brother is the genius who engineered the plague, and you’re repeatedly drawn into the fight against the terrorists spreading it. Plenty of people would kill an Abernathy on sight so it would be wise for Mar to visit the dojo, otherwise play invisible, but her brother is manipulating her into another adventure.

If you haven't read Book 1 or 2, and like to start at the beginning...

Alcoholic parents treated Margarite as an unwelcome stranger, then left her at fourteen with her thirty year old autistic brother. At sixteen, things really sour, thanks to her brother. A medical researcher, Reggie engineers the ultimate plague. Fanatics seek to control him. The government pursues them as terrorists. Margarite witnesses ruthlessness, compassion, and competence she couldn't imagine from her brother, but the world needs a miracle. The best she and Reggie can do is wing it.

Nightmares. Panic attacks. Depression. Margarite is hammered by the typical issues of a seventeen year old loner, whose parents sympathized with insane people intending to collapse civilization. The few who care about Mar have more concerns. Her drinking. Fighting. Jumping out of airplanes.

Her brother engineered the plague that’s breaking out across the globe and she holds a little guilt for not stopping it. Or being one of the first to die. Still, conspirators behind what they call The Correction are not done with her.

The Author
R. Mac Wheeler writes about characters with a lot of baggage, men who make many men look like wimps, tough chicks that can whip most men...puts them in situations that push them to the worlds that don’t overly stretch the imagination.

A former IT professional,  he now focuses full time on suspense, paranormal, science fiction, and fantasy  that leverages the quirkiness and baggage of real life more often than the far fetched.

Visit his Home Page: WWW.RMACWHEELER.COM