Nan Reinhardt, Author

Grown-up love stories, because we’re never too old for a little sexy romance…

Celebrating Seasoned Romance: Kathleen Lawless

February3

I was delighted to be able to sit down for a chat with romance author, Kathleen Lawless, who told me her earliest memories are of wanting to be a writer. To create stories that would touch the lives of others who love to read the way she does.

She said, “I’m working on my 24th novel and it’s amazing to see the changes in traditional publishing, including e-books and the opportunities writers have to interact with their readers.” She enjoys pushing the boundaries of traditional romance, romantic suspense, women’s fiction, and stories for young adults.

Kathleen also knows firsthand about happy endings. “Can you believe I wrote A Hard Man to Love with a hero named Steele, years before I met my own hero named Steel? His proposal to me on a remote island in the Caribbean was more romantic than anything I could have written about.”

Her books have garnered numerous awards including Romantic Times K.I.S.S., a Scarlett Letter, and a Golden Quill, along with rave reviews, such as:

“…The story is fresh…The dialogue snappy and unique.” Romance Junkies

“HIGHLY ENTERTAINING… Imagine Nancy Drew meets Sex in the City!” Roundtable Reviews

“…Lawless weaves romance, intrigue, and excitement into an impressive tapestry.”

Romance Reviews Today

“An amusing, spirited, adventurous tale.” Romantic Times

I hope you enjoy our conversation as much as I did!

NAN: Tell us what you are currently working on or promoting.

KATHLEEN: Since the topic is seasoned romance, I thought I’d talk about my recent novel which is a bit of a departure for me, Fabulous at Fifty. I took the chance that I’m not the only baby boomer out there who is tired of reading about a heroine just starting her adult life and finding out who she is. Like my heroine Rachel Fontaine, women are constantly re-inventing themselves during every aspect of life. Rachel’s situation is an interesting one that I think a lot of readers will be able to relate to. I hope readers find Rachel inspiring and empowering.

NAN: What genre(s) do you write in?

KATHLEEN: I write both historical and contemporary romance, dabble in a bit of romantic suspense, enjoy pushing the envelope into “romantica” which is very sexy romance without being erotica, and have one YA out there. I’ve also written extensively for magazines including Cosmopolitan and Teen.

NAN: Do you have an agent and/or publisher, or are you self-published?

KATHLEEN: I have worked with a wonderful agent at Curtis Brown and been fortunate to write for HarperCollins, Simon and Schuster, Kensington and Harlequin. I knew traditional publishers wouldn’t be interested in a fifty year old heroine, so FABULOUS AT FIFTY is self-published, along with several of my older titles that are no longer in print.

NAN: What advice would you give to an aspiring author?

KATHLEEN: Network, network, network. Join professional writing organizations, take courses and webinars, attend conferences and seminars. Writers are the most generous professionals when it comes to sharing and helping others; you will learn far more that way than from any how-to book or article.

NAN: If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

KATHLEEN: To join RWA the second the group was formed. I heard about it from an agent and mistakenly thought it was something I should join after I was published. My biggest regret is not joining earlier. The group has changed a lot over the years, but back in the day it was life-changing for a lot of authors.

NAN: Is there an idea out there you wish you’d thought of?

KATHLEEN: Absolutely! I wish I had written Bridget Jones’s Diary. That story was fresh and funny and women around the world related to Bridget. Chick-lit might have had its day since, but Bridget Jones will never go out of style. Wait till the millennials discover her!

NAN: Have you had to make sacrifices for your writing, and if so, what are they?

KATHLEEN: I’ve seen this with a lot of other writers and it’s something I have been very careful not to do. Balance is really important to me. To be the best writer I can be I need to exercise, to get enough sleep, to have girlfriend time, family time, ‘date time’ with my love, and most importantly ‘Me’ time. Keeping that balance is far more important than a clocking a certain number of words on the page every day, and sacrificing my health in the bargain.

NAN: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

KATHLEEN: As soon as I could put pencil to paper. Writers write, and I was always writing. Considering myself an author was a whole other matter. It was probably that magic day when I saw my first published novel in print at an RWA conference and joined the autograph party with the other “real writers.” I was no longer a “wannabe.”

What show have you recently binge-watched?

KATHLEEN: My fiancé and I recently inhaled the new season of Grace and Frankie. So refreshing to see an intelligent and brilliantly written, brilliantly acted show with the main characters well past middle age and still having a blast.

NAN: What question didn’t I ask that you wish I had?

KATHLEEN: Why Romance? I’m a born romantic who believes in Happy-Ever-After. I also believe romance novels fulfill a very real need of empowering women everywhere. They tackle topics that are often difficult, and not that long ago rarely talked about, let alone written about. Today’s romance heroine is strong and independent and capable, a great role-model for future generations. She doesn’t sacrifice herself for love, she doesn’t need a man to complete her, but with the support of her one true love is able to channel her powers for the betterment of society. Also, studies show that women who read romance novels have a far more satisfying love life.

Catch Kathleen on social media and her website and don’t forget to sign up for Kathleen’s newsletter to receive a free download of THE PLEASURE CLUB. 

Website: www.kathleenlawless.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/kathleenlawless

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kathleenlawlessnovels/settings/?tab=settings

Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/kathleenlawless/

Blog:  https://gemsintheattic.blogspot.ca/

Fabulous at Fifty

Rachel Fontaine has it all! Or so she thinks, facing down the dragon that is the big 5-0.

Then the unimaginable happens. Her job is made redundant; her role taken over by two millennial wonderkids. Seeking solace from her boyfriend, she finds him paying much-too-much attention to a young pupil at the golf course where he is the pro. Apparently it is start-over time yet again. But Rachel is a fighter. She has her daughter. She has her friends. She deals with her mother. And her ex-husband.

In the midst of her re-invention and re-evaluation she becomes a grandmother. Forced to view herself and those around her through newly-opened eyes, she works her way through a succession of lovers, while not getting emotionally attached. Eventually, beset by laughter and tears, friends and foe, betrayal and forgiveness, Rachel lets down her safe barriers as she learns to love and accept herself and those around her. Finally she is ready for her close-up.

Excerpt:

CHAPTER ONE

Previously…

Rachel sat very still in the reclining chair, trying not to flinch as the doctor inserted a needle into the ‘frown muscle’ between her eyebrows. Fifty units of Botox, her 50th birthday gift to herself. Would the tiny vial of magic really live up to its promise of eternal youth?

Rachel squinted into the mirror, then leaned closer, eyebrow pencil poised for a direct hit. How unfair the way some body hair thinned while other hairs grew fast and thick in places no one wanted them. She’d promised herself she wouldn’t freak about her birthday. It was only a number. Fifty was now the new forty, or so the advertisers would have you believe. Nothing wrong with marketing. So what if she was no longer ‘the babe’, turning heads when she walked into a room. She had a great job, a wonderful daughter and a nice boyfriend, not to mention her health. So much to be grateful for. She squinted again. Were her forehead muscles frozen, as promised?

Find Fabulous at Fifty on Amazon

Celebrating Seasoned Romance: Jan Scarbrough

February1

I had such a great time celebrating Indiana Romance Authors last month that I decided to ask some of my fellow writers of seasoned romance to stop by. So all during the month of February, I’m featuring authors who primarily write novels about characters in the prime of life.

First up is Jan Scarbrough, who is the author of two popular Bluegrass series, and writes heartwarming contemporary romances about home and family, single moms and children, and if the plot allows, about another passion—horses. Living in the horse country of Kentucky makes it easy for Jan to add small town, Southern charm to her books and the excitement of a Bluegrass horse race or a competitive horse show.

With author Maddie James, Jan has written the Montana McKenna series, the story of the family of James McKenna, a Montana rancher whose death changes the lives of his wife and children.

Leaving her contemporary voice behind, Jan has written paranormal gothic romances, Timeless and Tangled Memories, a Romance Writers of America (RWA) Golden Heart finalist. Her newest book, My Lord Raven, is a medieval story of honor and betrayal.

A member of Novelist, Inc., she has published with Kensington, Five Star, ImaJinn Books, Resplendence Publishing, and Turquoise Morning Press. Today she self-publishes her books with the help of her husband. She lives in Louisville, Kentucky, with two rescued dogs, one rescued cat, and a husband she rescued seventeen years ago. She needs a weekly horse fix and takes horseback riding lessons at Premier Stables.

You’ll find Jan on social media and on her website:

Website: http://www.janscarbrough.com/
Twitter @romancerider
FB https://www.facebook.com/Romancerider/

Take it away, Jan!

A heroine doesn’t have to be twenty-something any longer

Sometimes books take many paths to publication. And sometimes you just have to write what you want to write.

I wrote the novel Secrets a few years ago, choosing to explore a romance about a woman caught between the past and her desire to create a new life for herself. She would deal with her grown, twenty-something daughter, and her sixty-something mother—a sandwich story.

My intent was to submit the manuscript to a traditional publisher, but I was advised by another published author that this publisher did not like forty-year-old heroines. Huh? So, I wrote the book anyway, and I titled it A Father at Last. A small press published it. Well, I do read my reviews, and when one reader said the title gave too much away, I changed the book to Secrets.

Flash forward. The small press went out of business. I got my rights back. By that time, I’d learned books do better in a series. I decided to make Secrets part of a new series called Bluegrass Homecoming where I explore my favorite theme of second chances.

I figured I needed a lead-in story, sort of a prequel to the reunion story in Secrets. So, I wrote the love story of baby boomers Howie and Grace. Ta-da! The Prequel was born. Their granddaughter Colleen takes center stage in the third book, Nom de Plume.

And you know what is so ironic? Since the time several years ago when I wanted to write about a forty-something heroine, “seasoned” romance has come into wider acceptance.

What about you? Will you read a romance about an “older” heroine?

Read the Prequel for free all the time, and Secrets for 99 cents for a short time promotion.

Prequel: http://amzn.to/2d8peXr

Secrets: http://amzn.to/2e9ry6e

Nom de Plume: http://amzn.to/2tP8zlm

Secrets Paperback: http://amzn.to/2iVToRV

 

Celebrating Indiana Romance Authors: Mary Gardner

January31

It’s the last day of my January celebration of Indiana Romance Authors, so it seems appropriate to end the month with an budding author–Mary Gardner. Mary is as yet unpublished, but she’s doing all the right things to move her career in that direction. Mary wears many hats as a Christian, mother, grandmother, writer, reader, and manager of her homeowner’s association. She writes romance and romantic women’s fiction with small town settings. Although she is not yet published, she has been a finalist in several contests and won her category in a few. She was a 2007 RWA Golden Hearts finalist and the 2nd runner up in the 2008 – Harlequin Superromance® Conflict of Interest Contest. Mary is a member of RWA and is a RWA PRO. She lives with her cat near her family in a small town in Indiana.

NAN: Mary, I’m so glad you could stop by today. Tell us what you are currently working on or promoting.

MARY: Thanks for having me, Nan. Currently I’m finishing Missing for the Christian/Clean Reads market.  I am also working to build my platform and mailing list. Since I don’t have a book to give away, I’m holding a monthly contest and giving away books by authors I know and/or whose work I have enjoyed reading.

NAN: What genre(s) do you write in?

MARY: I write Christian Contemporary Romantic Women’s Fiction.  If I had to break down the blend of that genre I’d say 60% romance and 40% women’s fiction. I like the freedom of adding other character’s POVs and telling their stories as well as the romance.

NAN: Do you have an agent and/or publisher, or are you self-published?

MARY: I have always wanted to be traditionally published.  In December, I signed with Cyle Young who is an Agent at Hartline Literary Agency LLC.  I am working with him and Bethany Morehead, his Jr. Agent.  They are currently sending my proposal for Missing to publishers.

NAN: What advice would you give to an aspiring author?

MARY: Follow your own vision when it comes to your writing. That doesn’t mean you may not have to revise, but don’t follow a trend or base your writing on what someone else thinks you should do. There are plenty of writers and nonwriters, who mean well, but can steer you down wrong paths. Be careful about the advice you take.

NAN: If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

MARY: Be confident in yourself. Invest in yourself without feeling guilty about the money you need to spend. Don’t let others put you down because of your interests. Don’t try to make your writing fit into a genre that you aren’t comfortable writing. Learn as much as you can about writing, by whatever means you have available to you. Read books on writing. Read even more books in a variety of fiction genres with an eye for what works in fiction and especially for what you like. Never sell out by writing to a market or publishing path that is working for someone else because it might not be right for you.

NAN: What great advice, Mary! Is there a theme/message underlying your book(s) that you hope comes across?

MARY: All of my books have an underlying theme of love, trust, hope, forgiveness, and honesty.

NAN: How do you keep sane as a writer? 

MARY: Hmmm.  No one has ever accused me of being sane.  I think when you spend time with your character’s voices in your head the definition of sane becomes something different to a writer than those who do not write.  I had a period of time in my life when my characters were not talking to me and I didn’t feel sane. During that time, I felt lost and sad because my friends had left me. I am grateful to have them back, even though I wish they’d let me sleep a little longer some mornings.

NAN: Would you rather have one giant bestseller or a long string of moderate sellers?

MARY: I don’t believe there is a writer who doesn’t want a giant bestseller, but one book doesn’t make a career. If I am to be totally honest, I want a string of giant bestsellers. Since I know how rare that is, I’d be happy to have a long string of moderate sellers.

NAN: Do you think a writer should write every day?

MARY: I think a writer should write the way it works best for them.  There isn’t a right or wrong answer. If you write every day and that works for you that’s great. If you binge write on the weekend and it works for you that’s great too.  It’s not about how often you write, it’s that you write.

NAN: What do you do in your spare time?

MARY: I spend time with family, granddaughters.  I read, and watch tv.

You can find Mary Gardner online at:

Website:  www.marygardner.net

Facebook. My personal page is https://www.facebook.com/mary.gardner.581525

My Facebook Author page is: https://www.facebook.com/marygardnerauthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MaryGardner6

Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/marygardner413

Excerpt from Missing

“Ladies and gentleman, it gives me great pleasure to introduce you to South Dakota’s newest lottery winner, Maddy Parker.”

Maddy had never been to a press conference. She didn’t like having the media attention directed at her. With her heart racing, perspiration dampened her face. She didn’t need a mirror to know red blotches were popping out on her neck, they felt like branding irons pressed against her skin.

The lottery director turned to her. “I’d like to present you with this ceremonial check for two hundred fifty-three million, two hundred eighty-five thousand dollars.”

Fastening her fingers on the edge of the lightweight, oversized check, she tried to inhale normal but she felt a light headed.

Her ticket numbers had matched the winning numbers but it still didn’t feel real.

She glanced around expecting someone to rush out to claim there had been a mistake, but no one came forward.

Two weeks ago, her life had been normal. Living in the small town of Cartersville, South Dakota, real excitement didn’t happen. Every Saturday, whether she needed gas or not, she stopped at Quick’s Convenient Store and bought one lottery ticket. Each time Sara, the weekend clerk, tried to talk her into buying two and they’d joked about her ticket being the winner.

Buying a lottery ticket was as much fun as anyone could have in Cartersville unless you went to one of the two bars in town. Since Maddy didn’t drink, buying her lottery ticket, ordering a pizza, and renting a movie had been her weekend fun after coming back to her hometown to teach third grade in the Cartersville Community School. She followed her wild Saturday night with a quiet Sunday morning breakfast, a church service with Jim, and checked her lottery numbers on the internet to see if she won a free ticket.

Winning the big lottery happened to other people. People like her dreamed about what they’d do with the money. She never believed for one minute she’d ever win and was unprepared when all of her numbers matched.

Thinking there had been a misprint, she’d driven to Quick’s Convenient Store and asked them to print out the winning numbers for her. When they matched too, she rushed to the City Police Station where she’d hoped Jim House would be in his office. As the Chief of Police with a small staff, he didn’t take much time off on weekends.

She’d lived next door to Jim as long as she could remember. Over the years he’d become more father than friend. He’d been the first person she wanted to share her news with and the person she trusted to help her figure out what she needed to do to cash in her ticket. He’d never let her down. He didn’t this time either. Jim not only helped her figure everything out, he’d driven her the three hours to the lottery headquarters in Pierre.

“What do you plan to do with your winning?” The lottery director asked.

“I think I’ll take a vacation.” She forced a smile.

“Do you plan to quit your job?” a reported shouted.

“Not right away.” she said.

Except it wasn’t quite true.     While she didn’t have a real plan, once her adoptive family realized she’d told them the truth about winning the multi-dollar lottery, she’d have to move if she wanted peace.

Sharing her wealth with them wasn’t the problem. Nothing short of giving them all of the money would make them happy, especially her mother.

Leaving Jim behind in Cartersville would be hard.

She hadn’t told him yet, but he knew. She’d seen it in his face. His smile had been forced when she came out of the camera light toward him.

Maybe they could talk about it on their drive back home.

 

Celebrating Indiana Romance Authors: Melanie Jayne

January29

I’m pleased to welcome my IRWA chapter buddy, Melanie Jayne, today. Melanie tells me she doesn’t know what she wants to be when and if she ever grows up. She’s worked retail, recorded hearings in a Federal Courtroom, worked behind the scenes with security at a casino, and currently she is living her dream writing Romance.

She plots and plans from her farm in central Indiana that she shares with her husband and two mastiffs, Ginger and Duncan Keith. When she isn’t creating she can be found watching sports, searching for the perfect mascara and reading. She also loves questionable TV: Any Real Housewives, The Steve Wilkos Show, and Live PD. Plus she is addicted to the TMZ app on her phone.

NAN: So glad to have you, Melanie!

MELANIE: Hi Nan and Nan’s fans.

Thank you so much for inviting me to introduce myself to your readers. I’m Melanie Jayne and I write contemporary romance featuring characters over the age of 35. I published my first book in March 2015 and just finished my eleventh. I love to meet readers. I attend many conferences and signings. Please take a moment to introduce yourself and tell me what you are currently reading.

And by the way, Nan and I are country neighbors and I wave at her house every time I drive by.

NAN: Tell us what you are currently promoting?

MELANIE: On February 27, my fifth book in The Change Series, A Change of Plan will be released.

This book took me by surprise. Osi had about six lines in Best. I admit that they were good and they came at a dramatic time but he was a minor character. However, readers responded. I kept getting questions about when would he get his book? With a character as great as Osi and his love, Ramsay, it was easy to write.

NAN: What sets you apart from other authors in your genre?

In the beginning, I wanted to be a “cool girl” erotic romance author like the majority of my author friends. I tried but I couldn’t do it. So I read Jill Shalvis and The Queen, Kristen Ashley, and tried to emulate their style.

My characters are older. I think the correct classification is Seasoned Romance. Many of my ladies are size 16 and larger and unapologetic about it. They tend to have the attitude that they are bigger by current standards, but their clothes size is way down on their priority list.

My characters are diverse. I have written African-American characters, Latino characters, and this fall I will publish my first m/m that features an African-American and Latino males.

I write what I know, what I see, and what I want to read. My world is made up of different people and so are my books.

NAN: What advice would you give to an aspiring author?

MELANIE: Today, is the day where you begin to make your dream come true.

I published my first book at 51. Sit your butt down, grab your laptop, and write. For me, learning to sit and write without thinking of a hundred things that I should be doing was difficult. Just do it.

And if you need encouragement, you can always contact me. I was a cheerleader in high school.

NAN: Is there a theme/message underlying your books that you hope comes across?

MELANIE: Yes. If you don’t keep moving forward, then you will be left behind. My books are very pro-women taking charge and making changes. If you don’t like it, then do something about it.

I’m a problem solver so it makes me crazy when someone complains and complains, yet does nothing different.

NAN: How do you keep sane as a writer?

MELANIE: Sanity is so overrated and I have learned that Romance writers can be high maintenance. My husband is very down to earth so he keeps me grounded. My Admanistrative assistant, David, listens to my complaints and fears and then rolls his eyes or tells me “enough.” I make it a practice to talk to non-writers, and I’m not counting the dogs, I mean humans. I try to leave the house although during the recent bitter cold snap I was home for 8 days straight.

NAN: What obstacles, if any, have you encountered in being a writer?

MELANIE: I came into this business with my eyes wide open. I’d been around Romance writers for several years and asked questions. Plus, I’ve seen my share of bad behavior, shade throwing, snubs, whispers, the silent game of “who’s the top-ranked author at my table?” But I wasn’t prepared for the quiet jealousy that I’ve encountered.

Now keep in mind I’m not a huge seller. I’m not even mid-list so I was shocked that others, especially one “friend” who was on the same journey as me, were showing signs of jealousy—OF ME?? I’m plodding along minding my own business, when I started hearing some things from trusted people.

It hurt and was confusing but I didn’t engage. (Am I too old to quote a Taylor Swift song?) I remind myself that I can’t control how other people choose to behave so I ignore it. I try to focus on the positive and be positive. That doesn’t mean that I don’t know what’s happening, I’m very aware but my time is better spent doing other things.

NAN: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

MELANIE: Getting the alert when my first book was available for sale was exciting and fulfilling. However, I felt established like a real author last June. While at a reader event, three different women were reading my book, Best. They would find me and discuss a scene they had just read. I loved seeing their responses and connection to my characters. It was amazing and made me so joyful.

NAN: What is the hardest thing about writing a series?

MELANIE: Get out of my head! I’ve been having this conversation with the Manny since November.

Keeping track of names. **New authors make a book bible even if you don’t intend for your book to become a series.

Moving the series forward as you focus on each couple. It’s a circle within a circle.

Deciding how much to put in about the other characters. Plus writing a scene with six people is hard.

Figuring out when to stop. We’ve all loved a series that went on too long. I’ve done a trilogy and The Change Series has three more books and two novellas and that’s it.

NAN: What five words would you use to describe yourself?

MELANIE: -Leo- look up the characteristics and my photo is there.

Opinionated- Guilty, but I am willing to learn.

Selfish- I make every decision from the place of “me.”

Loyal— I don’t give it easily, but once you are on my list, I’ve got your back. I’m a ride or die kind of chick.

Entertaining—I can tell a joke, dance, gossip, and break it down if needed. You can find me in the middle of the fun.

Follow Melanie:

www.ReadMelanieJayne.com

Facebook-www.facebook.com/MelanieJayneAuthor

Twitter- www.twitter.com/1MelanieJayne

Change of Plan

It was supposed to be casual. I never wanted a relationship but I keep coming back for more. When Osi Browne looks at me, I know that he is waiting for the right moment to demand my surrender so I take off.

Ramsay Kent is elusive and I enjoy the chase, but I’m tired of waiting. The woman has a life plan but mine is better for her, me and for us.

The lovers are resourceful, successful, and very stubborn. Who will give in first?

Excerpt:

Osi

“Five, four, three, two, one, Happy New Year!” The party guests counted down in unison.

I already had one arm draped around Ramsay’s slender waist. She allowed me to roll her into my body so that we were touching from chest to pelvis as I kissed her long and hard. “Better than last year’s.” I grinned.

She pulled away from me and gave me a haughty look, raising one eyebrow. “What’s that supposed to mean?”

I didn’t loosen my hold. God, she’d lost weight working so hard on, first, Tye and Billie’s wedding, then Cress and Brian’s, and finally this annual extravaganza. I could feel the knobby bones along her spine. “Last year, I had to track you down for my kiss. This year, you’re by my side.” Where you belong, I added silently. Ramsay Kent was an elusive woman. Although we’d been involved to some degree for over a year, we’d yet to make our relationship official. But I’m a patient man. One of the reasons I’m good at what I do. With Ramsay, I could settle in and wait a while longer.

“Well, I suppose kissing you is better than making out with some random guy.” She turned her head to look around at the other party guests, her green eyes narrowing as though to assess their kissability.

I gave her a hot glare. “Not going to work, Ramses.”

“What?” She drew her eyebrows together in confusion, as if she didn’t know what she was doing.

“You aren’t going to push me away or make me mad. Not tonight,” I said, resolution ringing in my words.

A hint of something like panic entered her gaze. “I’m working… I don’t know what time I’ll get out of here tonight, er, this morning.”

I shrugged, pretending I didn’t see her fear. “It’s not a problem. You know I like to watch you work.”

One side of her mouth hitched upward in consternation. I could almost see her plotting a way to make me go. Before she could blurt out something I didn’t want to hear, I bent toward her. “If I get bored, I’ll head back to my place and send a car to bring you home.” Of course, I wouldn’t get bored. I got off on watching her run the show. Ramsay in command was a thing of beauty. She could multi-task as well as any military strategist—make that better. Handling the rest of this party would be a breeze for her, just like breaking down and reassembling my rifle was second nature to me.

A faint line appeared between her eyebrows. “Are you sure?”

I placed a light kiss on her vibrant red lips, not caring if I now wore the same color. “Go make someone miserable.”

“Asshole.” She snorted as she fought a smile.

“Shouldn’t they be putting out the food?” I asked innocently.

“Shit,” she hissed and spun around on her three-inch heels. “I’m seriously considering cutting the gratuity Tye left for them.” She took off in the direction of the kitchen. Perhaps it was the way her long legs ate up the ground or the red tint to her hair, the guests moved out of her way.

I was admiring the sway of her ass encased in some kind of silky material that was as sleek as her naked body, when I heard my name being called.

Preorder Now on Amazon

**All books in this series can be read as standalones!

Celebrating Indiana Romance Authors: Ravenna Tate

January27

Today’s featured author is Ravenna Tate–another Indiana author that I haven’t met yet. I’m hoping I will meet her at the next IRWA meeting! Ravenna lives in the Midwest where it’s cold six months out of the year, but inside her stories you’ll find plenty of heat. The sex is hot, the men are alpha, and the women give them a run for their money. We had a fun interview together, and she has inspired me to start watching Game of Thrones.

NAN: Tell us what you are currently working on or promoting.

 RAVENNA: The sixth and last book in my Demons on Wheels MC series – Vassago’s Reckoning – released this Wednesday. The Demons on Wheels MC series was my foray into writing MC – motorcycle club – romance. These are generally one percenters, meaning they’re outlaws, rogue, or a club that stays outside the fringes of society.

NAN: What genre(s) do you write in?

RAVENNA: I write erotic romance for Evernight, mostly contemporary, but I’ve also written sci-fi and paranormal (shifters). Within those sub-genres I write lawless, MC romance, and dark romance as well.

NAN: Do you have an agent and/or publisher, or are you self-published?

RAVENNA: I currently write for Evernight as Ravenna Tate, but also have titles under the pen name Tara Rose with Siren-Bookstrand.

NAN: What advice would you give to an aspiring author?

RAVENNA: Learn your craft. That is the number one rule. Followed closely by learn the industry and the market you intend to write for. Without those two, you’re stabbing in the dark. After that, keep learning both. This is a business. And if you don’t treat it as such, you will never be successful in it. Just as you’d learn all you could about any field in which you chose to work, you must give the same care and consideration to the publishing industry, even if you decide to self-publish. And then write. Every day. Writers write. You can research and read about writing, but none of that will get the book from your head onto the paper. You have to do the work.

NAN: Have you had to make sacrifices for your writing, and if so, what are they?

RAVENNA: I still work a full time job outside the home. I’m up every morning during the week at 4:00 a.m. to get my promo done, and sneak in some writing. I write on my breaks at work. I write on weekends, usually all day long. We make time for the things we love, and right now, I can’t do this full time, so I make it my priority during off-work hours at the day job.

NAN: What obstacles, if any, have you encountered in being a writer?

RAVENNA: Romance is the number one selling genre and has been for over fifty years, and yet there is still a stigma attached to it. And erotic romance, especially. I’ve had people tell me I write porn. I have had 96 titles published under three pen names, and I still have people ask me when I’m going to write a real book. And unfortunately, sometimes it’s other authors who throw up obstacles by behaving in ways that bring us all down. Because when one of us wins, we all do, and when one of us makes an ass of herself or himself, it reflects on the entire community.

NAN: What do you like best/least about writing?

RAVENNA: Least: I need more time!

Best: Everything else. I adore it. I love creating worlds and characters to fill it. I love crafting a story, and I love it when those characters tell me where their story should go. I can’t imagine not doing this.

NAN: Did you learn anything from writing your books, and what was it?

RAVENNA: I learn something new from every single book I write. Whether it’s a craft issue, a better way to convey something to the readers, or a new twist on an old trope. This is not a profession where you arrive one day and are THERE. You constantly evolve and grow as a writer.

NAN: What show have you recently binge-watched?

RAVENNA: Game of Thrones! And now I’m waiting impatiently for the last season to arrive!

You’ll find Ravenna and her books all over social media:

Website: http://ravennatate.blogspot.com/

Evernight Author Page: http://www.evernightpublishing.com/ravenna-tate/

Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/RavennaTateAuthor

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/11283785.Ravenna_Tate

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/ravennatate/

The Romance Reviews: http://www.theromancereviews.com/RavennaTate

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00RPMN0BM

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/ravenna+tate?fs=0&_requestid=93611

BookStrand: http://www.bookstrand.com/ravenna-tate

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/ravenna-tate/id957971043?mt=11

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/ravennatate1

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/search?query=Ravenna Tate&fcsearchfield=Author

Vassago’s Reckoning

Jimmy Vaccaro, the Demons on Wheels MC Treasurer known as Vassago, hasn’t seen Marie Vitale for nineteen years. When she shows up unexpectedly in Creek Ridge with Digger, Vassago is hit by the Thunderbolt. Marie was only 11 the last time he saw her, but she’s all grown up now, and Vassago must have her, no matter the cost.

Digger and Vassago have plans to take care of rival Mob boss Roberto di Stefano on their own. But when the real reason Marie tagged along with Digger from Brooklyn is revealed, it throws the entire MC club into danger, and puts a major kink in Vassago’s plans.

Marie worshiped Vassago from afar when she was younger. But once he discovers the mess she left back home, she’s convinced she will never be more to him than a casual fling. And that’s if he survives the danger she brought along.

Excerpt:

Jimmy Vaccaro, known to his Demons on Wheels MC Brothers as Vassago, believed in the Thunderbolt—the Colpo di fulmine—as much as any Sicilian man did. But when it hit him, he was as shocked as if the sky suddenly turned orange and collapsed on itself.

“Jimmy? Is that really you?” Marie Vitale had been an eleven-year-old kid when he left Brooklyn. He hadn’t laid eyes on her in nineteen years, not since he was twenty-three. But there she stood, next to Digger, all grown up and so drop-dead gorgeous he struggled to speak.

“Yep. It’s me.” That’s all you can say?

“You look the same. I swear to God you do. All these years and you haven’t aged.”

Digger snorted. “Yeah, he has. He looks like crap now.”

“Ignore him, Jimmy. He’s been in a bad mood since we left Jersey.”

“I’m known as Vassago around here.” What the hell did she care about his road name?

Her amused smile lit up the entire back hallway. “I’m still gonna call you Jimmy.”

Digger mumbled something under his breath that sounded suspiciously like an insult in Italian. Behind Marie and Digger, Gorgon and Phenex exchanged an amused glance.

Marie shot Digger a nasty look. “Your cousin once removed has been that rude to me this entire trip.”

Digger, whose real name was Daniel Basile, was Donny Messina’s nephew, and Vassago and Donny were first cousins. Did that make Digger his cousin once removed? No clue and who cares. There was no blood in Vassago’s brain right now, so for all he knew, it made Digger his grandfather.

 

 

Celebrating Indiana Romance Writers: Sydney Scrogham

January26

I have to confess that I’ve never met today’s author, but once I read her bio, I was dying to, so I am really happy for a chance to interview Sydney Scrogham! Here’s her bio in her own words:

I’m Sydney, and I’m a heart healing writer and writing coach. I love helping people write for heart healing who are struggling with insurmountable emotional pain or a lifeless manuscript. My clients love how I understand and guide them when we work together. But at the end of the day, what really matters is that you get a vibrant, fulfilled life, and a story with soul.

I’m more than just a writing coach – I’m a heart healer pursuing wholeness daily. I can’t wait to try what’s next for me, which is launching a course about writing for heart healing. I live in Indianapolis, Indiana with my Selle Francais gelding named Snowdy.

My style working with clients is a mix of nurturing and breakthrough. I use strategic questions to help them process emotions or share about how to write a story projecting your struggles onto your main character.

I draw inspiration from my own heart healing journey and hope to inspire you to be true to yourself and passionate about your writing. I work with writers to help them find truth for the lies they’ve believed so they get a gripping, real story and a healed, fulfilled life with tools to face the future.

NAN: Tell us what you are currently working on or promoting.

SYDNEY: Wrapping up the 5th book in my Guardians of Agalrae series. It’s Narnia meets a horse-themed Tarzan.

NAN: What genre(s) do you write in?

SYDNEY: Fantasy Romance

NAN: Do you have an agent and/or publisher, or are you self-published?

SYDNEY I started off with a traditional publisher and that relationship did not end well. (They pulled my book, and yet still had copies for sale.) I had to do a major rewrite and then went hybrid, the I discovered I liked being in charge of the whole book, so I self-published after that!

NAN: What advice would you give to an aspiring author?

SYDNEY: Write, study your craft, and don’t be afraid to do what no one else is doing if that’s where your heart is leading you.

NAN: What are you currently reading?

SYDNEY: I’m reading Under The Never Sky by Veronica Rossi.

NAN: Is there a theme/message underlying your book(s) that you hope comes across?

SYDNEY: I love writing about good versus evil, people discovering that they can be (and like) their true selves, and that love endures for a lifetime and beyond.

NAN: Has reading a book ever changed your life? If yes, which one and how?

SYDNEY: Absolutely! I was going through a hard time with a day job, and I read Spirit Bridge by James Rubart. It helped me gain spiritual insight into my situation and gave me peace about moving forward into the unknown. It’s one of those books I won’t forget.

NAN: If you could marry a fictional character, who would it be?

SYDNEY: Sean Kendrick from The Scorpio Races. The way he handles those water horses… *swoon*

NAN: What question didn’t I ask that you wish I had?

SYDNEY: What kind of animals do I have? 😊 I have a “rescue” Selle Francais (French Thoroughbred) named Snowdy and a miniature Dachshund named Zoe. Many people love following my story with Snowdy – he broke his elbow two years ago and I document our journey together in my social media. You can find us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

Find Sydney on social media and on her own website:

Mailing list with exclusive reader giveaway (no spam, ever!): https://mailchi.mp/3d5b8fd17293/guardians-of-agalrae-starter-kit

Website: https://www.sswriter.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SydneyScroghamWriter/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sydneyscrogham/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/sydney_writer

Chase: The Promised Guardian

Forced to sell her horse, Lauren takes drastic steps to get money to keep him. She pursues an escaped genetic experiment worth a ten-thousand-dollar reward, but she doesn’t anticipate her search taking her to an unfamiliar land—Agalrae, where she meets a man raised by Alicorns.

Excerpt:

Lauren’s frowning at me.

“I can help you,” I say quietly, and now she jumps when I speak. “If you—can you—come.” I push the door to the bathing room all the way open so maybe she’ll understand what I can’t tell her. I lick my lips a few times and squish my tongue between my teeth. What is wrong with me?

For a horrible moment, she doesn’t move and I don’t move, and there’s no barrier between us anymore. She’s leaning her head away from me again and the left corner of her mouth twists down into a little grimace.

“That’s okay,” she says. “Never mind. Do you have a phone? Mine died, and I need to call someone to come get me.”

Something died. I have no idea what she’s talking about, and she reads my body well because my uncertainty shows up on her face and she cowers back against the white wall of the bathing room.

“Please go away,” she says, and her voice shakes.

My shoulders sag, and her words confuse me because with her body she’s created space for me to come in. If she’s a Guardian, she’s supposed to work with me. I haven’t given her my scent yet. How will she find me if she needs me? My foot slides into the bathing room and she shrieks loud enough that I leap back and cover my ears.

“Get away from me!” Now her body says shoo, because she’s turned her face to the wall and holds up a foot. So, she’d strike at me then, like Sylt. And I, the boss of the boss mares, do something I’ve never done before. I run, and with every step, my body is smaller and colder.

Guardians of Agalrae Series on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B078NNWQFL

 

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Celebrating Indiana Romance Authors: Aleatha Romig

January24
Today, I’m pleased to welcome Hoosier Romance Author Aleatha Romig to the blog. Aleatha is a New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author who lives in Indiana. She has raised three children with her high school sweetheart and husband of over thirty years. Before she became a full-time author, she worked days as a dental hygienist and spent her nights writing. Now, when she’s not imagining mind-blowing twists and turns, she likes to spend her time with her family and friends. Her other pastimes include reading and creating heroes/anti-heroes who haunt your dreams!

Aleatha impresses with her versatility in writing. She released her first novel, CONSEQUENCES, in August of 2011. CONSEQUENCES, a dark romance, became a bestselling series with five novels and two companions released from 2011 through 2015. The compelling and epic story of Anthony and Claire Rawlings has graced more than half a million e-readers. Her first standalone smart, sexy thriller INSIDIOUS was next. Then Aleatha released the five novel INFIDELITY series, a romantic suspense saga, that took the reading world by storm, the final book landing on three of the top bestseller lists. Next, she ventured into traditional publishing career with Thomas and Mercer. Her books INTO THE LIGHT and AWAY FROM THE DARK were published through this mystery/thriller imprint. In the spring of 2017, Aleatha again ventured into a different genre with her first standalone, fun, and sexy romantic comedy with the USA Today bestseller PLUS ONE. ONE NIGHT followed. And then Aleatha revisited her dark with with RIPPLES, A Consequences stand-alone and UNCONVENTIONAL, her sexy novella with a fun twist. 2018 brought the much acclaimed release of RESPECT, an Infidelity Novel.

Aleatha is a “Published Author’s Network” member of the Romance Writers of America and PEN America.  She is represented by Kevan Lyon of Marsal Lyon Literary Agency.

Take it away, Aletha!

Hi, Nan! Thank you for having me here today! I’m excited to announce my 20th release! Wow! It’s hard to believe all that has happened since my first release in August of 2011. It’s been a wild and crazy ride.
Yesterday, RESPECT, released. This is an INFIDELITY novel. (No, it’s not about cheating. It’s the name of a company).
RESPECT is set before my bestselling Infidelity series, beginning over 30 years before. It can definitely be read without reading my series. RESPECT has been branded as The Godfather meets Love Story. It is “The making of a man.”
This is Oren Demetri’s story of love, sacrifice, devotion, family, and most of all, respect.
Here’s what one reviewer said about RESPECT:
Respect is a powerful tale of one man’s life story (within the New York mafia). Rippling. Riveting. Striking. Opulent. Regal. Respect told a layered and intriguing plot of the inner making of a man. It will pull you in. It will demand your attention. I simply devoured this book. I only slept, ate, and drank Respect.” ~ The Romantic Angel Blog
Let me share an excerpt from RESPECT.

Copyright owned by Romig Works LLC

Angelina Costello was the only woman to ever take my breath away. I couldn’t not speak to her. “I haven’t seen you since NYU.”

“I’ve been living overseas, studying history and architecture in Italy.”

“Italy! Molto bene. And now you’re back?” I asked.

“I am.”

“To stay?”

“I believe so.”

“Perhaps we could see one another,” I proposed, all the while hoping that she would say yes and saying a prayer that she would say no.

Her lips curved upward. “I see you now.”

Si, and I would like to see more.”

With a glint to her gaze, she said, “I never forgot you. I thought at one time…” Her head tilted innocently as her lip momentarily hid behind her teeth. “Are you sure you aren’t still scared of me?”

“Angelina, I’m quite certain that I’m terrified of you.”

Her smile grew. “Bene. Then let me give you my number.”

RESPECT, by Aleatha Romig, is not a romance. It is a LOVE story! 

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Celebrating Indiana Romance Authors: Anna Hague

January23

Welcome Anna Hague, another of my fellow Indiana RWA Chapter mates. Anna tells me that when she’s not taking orders from her characters, she is a free-lance sports writer for various newspapers in Indiana. She loves covering high school sports, but she’s obsessed with IndyCar racing, and have covered the sport for 17 years at the Indianapolis 500. Anna’s married to the best cheerleader and husband any girl could want, and they live in Central Indiana with a dog and three parrots. They’ve parented eleven foreign exchange students, finding some of their greatest joy in living with teenagers. Anna’s credo is that no one takes the same path to love. Love has its own agenda, and we are just along for the ride.

NAN: Anna, I’m so glad you could stop by for a chat today. What are you currently working on?

ANNA: Thanks for having me, Nan. Right now, I’m doing edits for the first book in a series for Wild Rose Press. The series will be published in their Wilder Roses division which is the high heat level division.

I am also working on a self-published work called Risk, Reward, or Ruin which is a romantic suspense, I’m really enjoying writing this book because my hero, while he is very wealthy and visible, he has some social anxieties. My heroine is a former college basketball star, has no filters, and is taller than my hero. This book should be out in July.

Nan: If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

ANNA: To quote Nike, “Just do it.” I have tablets of paper in a box with several partial stories written. I was afraid of trying. After years of being a sports writer, I now know I can put at least two sentences together. I just wish I’d started earlier.

NAN: Has reading a book ever changed your life?

ANNA: Yes. The was non fiction called A Walk Across America by Peter Jenkins, The book was written in 1979 so the pictures of clothing and hairstyles are hilarious, but the story brought out every emotion I had. The story is about Peter Jenkins who didn’t have a job so he and his dog started walking across the U.S. The story made me so aware of other’s people’s lives. It was such a reality check for me at age 20 that the world revolves around everyone and not just me. That book had a huge impact on me as I began to move around the country,

NAN: What keeps you sane as a writer?

ANNA: I have a dog and three parrots so I’m interrupted several times a day. My dog is old and has to go out a lot. My parrots talk and make me laugh all of the time. Also, I have a really great family and friends who really support me.

NAN: If someone wrote a book about your life, what would it be called?

ANNA: The Grass Never Grew Under Her Feet.  My husband and I have moved seventeen times since we’ve been married. We weren’t military, but lived in six states. I think all of those moves and experiences has given me, not only ideas for my stories, but also the feel for how people live in different parts of the country.

NAN: What is the hardest part about writing a series?

ANNA: I keep forgetting the last names of my characters and the names of their places of employment. I need to keep a book of facts about my characters, I’m trying, but I’m a terrible organizer,

NAN: What do you like best/least about writing?

ANNA: I get very excited about what happens next, and I can’t wait to get to next big scene, The least: when I go back to edit and think “Wow, did I really say that?”

NAN: If you could marry a fictional character who would it be?

ANNA: I am so in love with Jacob from Aleatha Romig’s Light series, I can’t even explain why. I guess he fits my personal ultimate hero guidelines.

NAN: Is there a theme or underlying message that you hope comes across?

ANNA: I do. I think my books will all be different because I want to portray that love takes many forms and happens in so many different ways. There are many paths to love,

NAN: What do you do in your spare time?

ANNA: My husband and I are big sports fans, especially IndyCar racing and basketball. We like live music and travel, and of course, I love to read,

You’ll find Anna here:

https://www.annahague.com/home

https://www.facebook.com/AnnaHagueAuthor/

@AnnaHagueAuthor

annahagueauthor on Instagram

Captured Hearts: Unimaginable Choices, Undeniable Desire

When his parents were murdered when he was sixteen, Jamey Marcum had to make difficult choices. Choices that often changed others’ lives. Now he’s made a decision to change one more life. Allee Jones. Allee Jones is the perfect target. No family. No friends. No one will miss her if she never shows up to her job again. Because of her anxieties, she is a social pariah. When Jamey abducts Allee, he never imagined she would be the one to slip into his sealed heart, and emotions could get both of them killed. Still, he delivers her to a ruthless woman who enslaves Allee to the whims of deviants and predators in a hidden Pacific Northwest location housing dozens of abducted women. In the midst of the nightmare she faces, Allee has to decide to trust her abductor or die, but she has her own attraction to the man who grabbed her off the street. Together they must fight each other’s demons to face their undeniable desire, exposing even more of Allee’s secret afflictions. Once rescued from the operation, their challenges reach far beyond what transpired between them. Terror, guilt, forgiveness, and love all collide on a path to an uncertain future.

Excerpt:

As he pulled into the drive at the church, Jamey remembered the last time he came to have a serious talk with Mark. Months ago he brought a stranger to his home—a stranger who pulled at his heart like no other. His determination and guilt propelled him to make their relationship work, but then he was quite unaware of what life would be like with her. Now he knew. Holding Allee when she was having an episode was not easy. Even as thin as she was, when Allee was fighting against his hold, she was very strong, and keeping her from hurting them both was draining. However, the most draining was the mental pain of not really knowing what to do.

No matter how hard things were, Jamey knew he could never abandon her. He loved her too much. While he went back to get her out of that hell hole, he knew she, in fact, was the one who saved him. He had been drowning in his work. Every day that he spent undercover was a day he lost of himself.

Allee challenged and tried him, but she touched his heart in a way no one had ever before. She tried very hard not to show her vulnerability. She was, in fact, a concrete will with a brain that often betrayed her. In the time he’d lived with him, Jamey learned a lot about Allee. She was smart, but her dyslexia was a constant roadblock to reading. She was an extraordinary baker even though she never used a recipe. She could be funny and sarcastic. What Jamey found more than anything else was that she needed someone to love her, because she didn’t even understand the concept of loving another person.

Easy didn’t describe their lives, but what he thought was attraction had turned into love very quickly. She had never told him she loved him, but Jamey was sure she was happy. She never acted as if she didn’t care for him, except when she struggled to hit him during one of her explosions. One day, Allee would love him. Of that, he was sure.

Buy Captured Hearts at Amazon and other fine online book retailers.

 

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Celebrating Indiana Romance Authors: Ava Cuvay

January22

This month of celebrating my fellow Indiana romance authors has been so much fun and today is real treat as my guest is not only a great writer, but she’s a funny, warm, smart woman. Ava writes out-of-this-world romance featuring sassy heroines, often-alien-but-always-sexy heroes, and an alcoholic beverage or two… Set in a galaxy far, far away. She resides in central Indiana with a hubby who makes her laugh and kiddos who are growing up way too quickly. She believes life is too short to surround yourself with negative people, everything is better with champagne, and Han Solo shot first. When not writing, Ava is thinking about writing. Or wine. And she’s always thinking about bacon. I’m lucky enough to be her editor and happy to call her a friend. Take it away, Ava!

Hello and Thank you, Nan, for hosting me on your blog! I don’t know about all of you, but my love of the winter weather lasted, oh, about thirty-five minutes. And now, I’m ready for summertime!

Unfortunately, Summer is taking her sweet time getting here, so in the meantime, I’ll have to make do with summery reads to keep me warm. If you’re in that same boat (you know, that boat that is frozen in the middle of a snowy tundra under grey skies with no hope of thawing out for months 😉 I’d like to introduce you to my current favorite summery read: The Lake House Anthology.

I love this book, which is a collection of short stories, on multiple levels, only one of which is the fact that I have a short story of my own in it. I love the fact that it includes short stories by other Indiana authors, all of whom are dear friends and some of whom will be/have been spotlighted this month here on Nan’s blog. I love the fact that it is a collection of multiple genres, each story tied together by the concept of a Lake House. It is truly something for everyone: different genres, different heat levels, different voices…

And I mostly love that it raises money for local literacy initiatives. The joy of reading is such a gift, and the Crossroads Romance Writers uses this anthology to help share that gift and joy with others!

I wish I could share excerpts from everyone’s short story here (they are all their own unique adventures!), but I’ll stick to just a short excerpt from my story, “Better Where It’s Wetter.” It’s a mermaid tale, which was both fun and challenging diversion to write. Hope you like it!

You’ll find Ava all over social media:

www.AvaCuvay.com

Ava Cuvay Amazon Author Page

Goodreads Author Page

Excerpt from “Better Where It’s Wetter”

Kindle Cover

Below the hem of my Painters do it with Broad Strokes nightshirt, where there should have been two long and pale legs, was a sheath of emerald green covered in iridescent scales, ending with a long, flowing fin. Not sure how or when he and Eartha had encased my legs in this sheath. Normally, I’d be thrilled to wear a mermaid-skirt, but this practical joke had quickly worn thin.

I wiggled my legs inside the skin-tight material. Nothing happened. Not just that my legs didn’t move, but I couldn’t feel them. Couldn’t sense them as separate limbs with inner and outer thighs, kneecaps, and ankles. I tried to wiggle my toes and the soft rays of my lush va-va-voom tail fin fanned and flicked.

My gut wrenched with the truth. My heart sang with the possibility. “I’m a mermaid.”

Lake House Anthology buy links:

ITUNES: https://itunes.apple.com/…/book/the-lake-house/id1225033012

AMAZON: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0768F8N15/

 

 

 

Celebrating Indiana Romance Authors: Jeana Mann

January20

Today I’m featuring award-winning Indiana Romance Author Jeana Mann. Doesn’t that fabulous smile just make you want to invite her out for a night of wine, food, and fun? Jeana was born and raised in Indiana where she lives today with her two crazy rat terriers Mildred and Mabel. She graduated from Indiana University with a degree in Speech and Hearing, something totally unrelated to writing. When she’s not busy dreaming up steamy romance novels, she loves to travel anywhere and everywhere. Over the years she climbed the ruins of Chichen Iza in Mexico, snorkeled along the shores of Hawaii, sailed around Jamaica, ate gelato on the steps of the Pantheon in Rome, and explored the ancient city of Pompeii. More important than the places she’s been are the people she has met along the way. Jeana is a member of Romance Writers of America (RWA), Indiana RWA, and Celtic Heart RWA.

NAN: What genre(s) do you write in?

JEANA: I write steamy contemporary romance.

NAN: What advice would you give to an aspiring author?

JEANA: Here are the things I wish someone would have told me when I started out. 1) Write, write, write. Never stop writing. 2) Don’t worry about what other people are thinking. Just write what you like and look for an audience who enjoys your style. 3) Every author gets bad reviews. Be grateful that someone read your book, even if they hated it. 4) Find your own path. What works for one author might not work for you. If something fails, scratch that idea off your list and go on to the next one.

NAN: Is there a theme/message underlying your book(s) that you hope comes across?

JEANA: All of my books deal with second chances. I love writing about characters who have made terrible mistakes. I think it’s a theme everyone can relate to. We’ve all made poor choices in our lives and most of reality is dealing with the mistakes that we’ve made. I love to take an unredeemable character and make him or her grow into an admirable person.

NAN: Have you had to make sacrifices for your writing, and if so, what are they?

JEANA: I’ve made quite a few sacrifices for writing. Because I work a full-time job outside of the literary world, I’ve had to sacrifice my free time. Every spare minute is given to writing, editing, and promoting. Writing is my main source of income, and it’s a time-consuming occupation. Most authors will tell you that it’s not a nine-to-five job. It is, however, the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done.

Did you learn anything from writing your books, and what was it?

I’ve learned to be confident in my capabilities. Writing has definitely brought me out of my shell. It’s also given me a thicker skin. In the beginning, I would cry over a harsh review. After 21 books, I’ve learned that not everyone will like my books and that’s okay.

Would you rather have one giant bestseller or a long string of moderate sellers?

I would be happy with a long string of moderate sellers. I write because I love it and I’d continue to write even if no one ever bought another one of my books.

What is the hardest thing about writing a series?

The hardest part is keeping all of the characters and plot points straight in my head. The Pretty Broken Series now has nine books. I need to make a series bible, but I haven’t gotten around to it. Sometimes I have to reread a book because I can’t remember what happened or who the characters were in that particular story.

Do you think a writer should write every day?

Yes. Absolutely. I believe that writing requires practice. I think of it like a muscle. The more you exercise, the better your flexibility and strength. Whenever I take time away from writing, it takes a few days or weeks before I can get into the flow of creativity again.

What show have you recently binge-watched?

I just binge-watched The White Queen on Showtime over the Christmas holiday. Wow. That series has everything; intrigue, deception, and romance. I’ve always been a history buff, so this show hit all of my requirements.

What five words would you use to describe yourself?

Introverted. Open-minded. Adventurous. Procrastinator. Humorous.

Jeana is everywhere on social media–connect with her here:

Website:  http://jeanaemann.net

Facebook:  www.facebook.com/JeanaEMann

Twitter:  www.twitter.com/JeanaEMann

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/JeanaEMann

Her newest book Pretty Broken Hearts is available at all the major book retailers:

iTunes:  http://apple.co/2sC1SRW

Amazon:  http://amzn.to/2u6p0wb

Kobo:  http://bit.ly/2hlkLIq

Nook:  http://bit.ly/2uXaKEr

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Pretty Broken Hearts

One special girl plus one hot widower equals a love story to make you laugh, cry, and shout for joy.

Rhett:  My days are haunted by regrets and unpleasant memories until Bronte Hollander serves me coffee at the local java shop. I can hear her counting under her breath. I’m counting too—the minutes, the hours, the days—until I can see her again. I want to move past the tragedy of my previous marriage, but the thought of beginning again is terrifying. Bronte’s courage gives me hope for the future. Society says she’s flawed, imperfect, but I think she’s perfect for me.

Bronte: I’ve been ridiculed my entire life for being different. People call me “special”, but I’ve never believed in labels. Rhett Easton sees past my flaws, my thick thighs, my red hair, my need for order. He gets me like no one ever has. And he respects my love for numbers, my need for rituals. I want to trust him, but life has taught me that guys like Rhett don’t go for girls like me. I’m ready to prove life wrong.

This is the story of an obsessive-compulsive girl, a broken guy, and their improbable love for each other. Join them as they navigate through the difficulties of family relationships, past loves, high school bullies, and self-imposed limitations to find a love that transcends their broken hearts.

EXCERPT:

Suit Guy stared out the window, his expression pensive. He sighed. His gaze flitted to the empty chair across the table then returned to the busy street outside. What made him so melancholy? No one ever came to the shop with him. His phone never rang with incoming calls or texts. I shrugged and went back to business. Maybe he silenced his phone before breakfast. Or maybe, like me, he didn’t enjoy talking on the phone.

When Jo had topped off the coffee, I carried the tray to Suit Guy and placed his order on the table. He glanced up, his brow furrowing like he’d been deep in thought. The walls of my throat constricted, but I managed to choke out, “How are you doing today?”

His eyebrows lifted. They were glorious eyebrows, thick and perfectly arched, the same rich color as his hair. “I’m fine. How are you?”

Now, don’t get me wrong. I wanted to answer. More than anything in the world. But I just couldn’t get my lips and tongue to cooperate. For the last six weeks and two days, I’d dreamed of chatting with Suit Guy. In my head, we conversed about fun things like Game of Thrones and Schrodinger’s cat, and the words flowed from my mouth like water from a pitcher. Some dreams, however, weren’t meant to come true.

“Um,” I said. Heat rushed up my neck and into my cheeks. He cocked his head, his eyebrows arching higher. I turned and fled to the backroom. On the way, I tripped over the chalkboard easel next to the register and sent it crashing to the floor.

 

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