We have a winner! Congratulations, Fedora Chen! You are Mia’s giveaway winner. She will be in touch with you. Thanks to you and everyone for stopping by!
Such fun to introduce you to best-selling author and fellow Tule Publishing author, Mia Heintzelman, whose Love and Games series is just delightful! We had a wonderful chat!
Mia is a polka-dot-wearing, horror movie lover, who always has a book and a to-do list in her purse. She writes fun, flirty, unforgettable romance about strong women and men with enough heart to fall for them. When she isn’t busy writing fictional happily-ever-afters, she is likely reading, playing board games, or eating sweets. She currently lives in Las Vegas, Nevada with her husband, two kids, and fluffy golden doodle.
N: Welcome to the blog, Mia. I’m so delighted to have you with us today. So, opening question, what comes first—characters or plot?
A: Can I say both? I have Pinterest boards and mile-long notes with detailed what-ifs that include character descriptions, settings, and wild conflicts. For example, what if a classic board game fanatic and game shop owner, to save her store, ended up in a Monopoly tournament and faces off with a distractingly hot opponent who challenged her skills…and her self-control?
N: Your new novel, Monopolove just released on April 6. Tell us how that story came about.
A: Let’s just say, I’m a board game junkie. I used to host loud, raucous, fun game nights. With a pandemic, social media, and Zooms, I’d been feeling like we were losing that kind of human connection and fun that goes with family game night. So, I decided to give my characters this gift that I love so much. Naturally, my head went straight for the classic, Monopoly. The fact that I’d read about tournaments felt like the perfect setup for a rivals to lovers romance.
N: What is the most surprising thing you discovered about yourself while writing Monopolove?
A: How unabashedly nerdy and corny I am! LOL Oh my goodness, I cringed at myself an inordinate number of times during the drafting stage. When you read all the Monopo-lingo in this book, you’ll get it. I’ve got my heart set on connecting with some fun-loving nerds out there.
N: I’m crazy about the whole idea of your Love and Games series. Talk to us about your love of board games and how that influenced this new series from Tule Publishing.
A: This goes straight back to family game night. Before social media took over my life and the world went digital, I was playing Taboo, Monopoly, Trivial Pursuit, Clue, Scrabble, and Scattegories. These games have cross-generational appeal because they bring us together. Oh, and I’m super competitive with firm no-cheating rules, too. Given my love of board games, it was only a matter of time before they showed up in my books. After I chose Monopoly for book one, it was easy giving my other two heroines their favorite games. Sidenote: There are three books in this series, but I’ve left room for more.
N: Give me three words to describe your heroine Harper Sloane and three to describe your hero Declan Wilde.
A: Harper is fun-loving, feisty, and loyal! Declan is broody, romantic, and smart!
N: What do you hope your readers will take away from this book?
A: A chance to laugh and get lost in a fun, flirty read that’ll make them forget about life’s hang-ups for a couple of hours.
N: What is the most difficult part about writing for you?
A: Getting out of my head and into the character’s. I’ve got all this life stuff that comes barging into my story, and I need to shut them out while I write. Cozy Coffee Shop jazz on YouTube, candles, notepads, and headphones usually do the trick.
N: You write about friends who have a games store in this new series—what a cool idea! Is that a dream of yours? Would you ever consider opening a games store?
A: I 100% would open a game store! If this whole romance author gig doesn’t work out, I’ve got a backup plan. LOL
N: Writing can be an emotional, stressful pursuit. Any tips for aspiring writers?
A: Yes, I’ve got lots of tip but my go-to is this: Everyone is going to come to you with nifty tips and surefire tricks to write the next great novel. Take what you need—what works for you— and throw the rest back.
It’s something I had to learn to do. What works for someone else may not work for me, and that’s okay.
N: What did you want to be when you grew up?
A: Funny enough, I knew I wanted to be a writer since the third grade. I wrote a book called, Darrot and the Parrot, and won a trophy that I still have. I may have taken the scenic route, but I’m here.
N: Favorite book when you were a kid?
A: Amelia Bedelia.
N: And here is my signature question that everyone loves: If you could choose three people, living or dead, to invite to a dinner party, who would they be and why?
A: Oprah Winfrey, my great grandmother, Kennedy Ryan, and Emma Stone. Can we make this happen?
GIVEAWAY! Mia is giving away a signed paperback with a custom art card, bookmark, and stickers. (US Only) Just comment below with your favorite board game.
If Harper Sloane has learned anything, it’s that you can’t throw money at a problem. So, when she learns the beloved game store she owns with her sister and best friend is struggling, instead of mortgaging her pride and grabbing the pile of uncashed checks from her absentee father, she rolls up her sleeves and enters the city’s Monopoly tournament to save Love & Games.
Declan Wilde is a handsome, new-in-town doctor looking to set his karma straight. When he pays for Harper’s coffee, she’s horrified. She quickly repays her debt—with interest—to prove she doesn’t need his charity. But when Declan turns up at Love & Games to enter the tournament, refusing his business isn’t an option.
Forced to see each other at every practice, the tension starts to feel like a challenge beyond the game board. As they go over strategies for play, is their rivalry still just enemies playing games, or has it turned into something more?