Tuesday, August 22, 2017 | By: Cafe

Tuesday Special: Mr Congeniality with Sherry Lewis

Sherry Lewis

Dean Sheffield has been hurt-in more ways than one. The car accident that robbed him of his baseball career also took away the woman he loved. Now he’s starting over with a new business, the Eagle’s Nest Dude Ranch in Whistle River, Montana. He’s also been asked to take his teenage nephew for the summer, but Dean has no idea what’s in store for him. The only thing he does know is that women are the last thing on his mind.

Annie Holladay is also starting over, gearing up for a new career and spending a few precious months with her daughter before Nessa moves in with Annie’s soon-to-be ex-husband. Annie also has her hands full working at the Eagle’s Nest for the summer, especially after she realizes that she and Dean are attracted to each other.

It’s too bad they agree it’s not the right time to start a relationship because the attraction between them is becoming a distraction for them both.

Available in paperback:
AmazonUS     AmazonUK     AmazonDE     AmazonFR
AmazonES     AmazonIT     AmazonJP

Available for your Kindle or Kindle Reading App:
AmazonUS      AmazonUK      AmazonCA
AmazonAU      AmazonIN

About Sherry:  Sherry Lewis is a national bestselling, award-winning author who writes across several genres. Along with her writing career, she is the owner and instructor of Dancing on Coals Workshops for Fiction Writers, where she has been teaching writing workshops for more than 20 years.
     In 1993 Sherry launched her mystery-writing career with the sale of her first three books in the Fred Vickery mystery series to Berkley Prime Crime. In early 1994 she sold her first romance to Harlequin Superromance, launching her career as a romance writer.
     As Sammi Carter, she wrote the Candy Shop mystery series set in Paradise, Colorado and featuring Abby Shaw. As Jacklyn Brady she wrote the Piece of Cake mystery series set in New Orleans, featuring cake artist Rita Lucero. She is a long-time member of Romance Writers of America, where she served several terms on the board of directors, including one term as president. She is listed on RWA’s Honor Roll.
     Originally from Montana, Sherry spent several years living at the base of Utah's Wasatch Mountains. She now lives a block from the beach along Florida's Emerald Coast. It's a dirty job, but somebody has to do it.

Facebook     Twitter: @SherryLewis      Google+     LinkedIn     Pinterest     Tumblr

Friday, August 18, 2017 | By: Cafe
To handle yourself, use your head; to handle others, use your heart. 
– Eleanor Roosevelt
Thursday, August 17, 2017 | By: Cafe

Revisiting My Favorite Post

Following Lynn's "revisiting" theme this week, I am revisiting one of my favorite posts. I hope you enjoy it!

*Punch* the keys, for God's sake!

“Watch the movie – before you write another word, watch the movie,” a friend insisted as he handed me a video.  I glanced at it.  Finding Forrester sported a cover that read “In an ordinary place, he found the one person to make his life extraordinary.”  Below the words was a head-shot of an older, very serious-looking Sean Connery.  Behind him stood a young black man – basketball in hand.

What the heck did this have to do with writing?

As I watched, I found myself scribbling notes, rewinding at times to play something a second time.  It was an excellent movie.  Sean Connery plays William Forrester, a reclusive Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist who wrote only one book.  Rob Brown plays Jamal Wallace, a talented 16-year-old basketball player with a secret passion for writing.  Forrester befriends and mentors Wallace, and in his own way, Wallace becomes a mentor for Forrester.

So what did I learn from Sean Connery aka William Forrester?

The purpose of a question is to obtain information that matters to us and no one else.
When we plot, or when we outline, it is necessary for us to know information that may never become a part of our books.  We ask questions of our characters so we know who they are, who they have been and who they will become.  We ask questions like “Why? What if?” because those questions reveal things we need to know for the creative process.  That doesn’t mean we have to reveal all to the reader.

The words we write for ourselves are so much better than the words we write for others.
Have you ever tried to write about something you weren’t interested in?  It’s difficult. We write because we feel passionate about something, and we inject our passion into our writing.  So if we write something we don’t feel passionate about, doesn’t it make sense for us to struggle to inject passion into that article or story?

Write your first draft with your heart.  Rewrite with your head.
We are all passionate about writing when we first start.  Unfortunately, some of us lose the passion as we create because we aren’t able to finish a project quickly.  It’s hard to maintain passion and rhythm amid the distractions of everyday life.  But why not try? Turn your mind loose on the page, let the creative juices flow!  So what if it doesn’t always make sense?  So what if you have glaring grammatical errors or blank lines you have to go back and fill in later?  The important thing is to get your ideas down on the page.  Capture the mood while you can and you’ll be off to a good start.  You can always patch up the holes and cut out the bad parts when you rewrite with your head.

The first key to writing is to not think.
This really is a good point.  How many times have we messed up a scene by “thinking” about it too much?  We edit and revise and edit and revise, and then we end up putting it back like it was when we started!  Just let the words flow.  Your goal is to write - editing is a tool to be used later.

Just typing gets you from page 1 to page 2.  When you begin to feel your own words, start typing them.
Put yourself in someone else’s shoes.  Pretend you are the author writing the book you’ve just read and loved.  Re-type it.  Just typing will draw you into the writing rhythm - you don’t have to think about it.  Just type. You’ll begin to feel what the characters are feeling.  You’ll become absorbed in the book.  Then suddenly you’ll realize you want to type something of your own.  Maybe you want to change the dialogue, or enhance a character or setting.  When you feel this urge, just do it.  Type your own words. 

The final lesson may well be the most important of all:

We walk away from our dreams not because we are afraid of failing, 
but because we are afraid of succeeding. 

Reposted from The Write Way Cafe on 7/10/12. The title of this post is a quote from the movie.  Parts of this post are excerpted from an article originally written for Romancing the Prairie, newsletter for Prairie Hearts RWA.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017 | By: Cafe

Tuesday Special with Me, Lynn Crandall

Tuesday Special with Lynn Crandall, 
who invites revisiting series 
for the pleasure of it.

A welcome visitor to The Write Way Cafe just recently commented about the fun of reconnecting with a favorite series. She mentioned the sweet nostalgia of revisiting the characters who feel like old friends. I so agree. I would add slipping into the familiar setting also feels like being welcomed home. I invite you to revisit or get to know, which ever is the case, the "family" of were-lynxes in my Fierce Hearts Series.

Fierce Hearts series:

An epic showdown will pit love against evil in this shapeshifter romance series as the were-lynx colony faces off with the all-powerful Nexus Group determined to wipe them out. Only the strong and dedicated will survive - and only those willing to risk it all will find their soul mates in this thrilling and value-priced digital collection.

Secrets: Casey Mitchell has always kept his identity as a were-lynx secret. But he's drawn to Michelle Slade, and when he begins to help investigate the circumstances surrounding a mysterious disappearance, the situation soon spins out of control. Their survival depends on trusting each other with secrets better left unspoken. Will these two lonely souls triumph and find true love . . . or lose everything?

Cravings: A victim of kidnapping and torture, were-lynx Kennedy is suspicious of everyone and unsure of her path forward. Sportswriter and were-bobcat Asher Monroe has been trying desperately to ferret out the truth behind why the sinister Nexus Group is kidnapping and experimenting on were-cats. As their need for the truth takes them into escalating danger, they discover explosive secrets that could bring Kennedy and Asher together - or rip them apart forever.

Heartfelt: When investigative reporter and were-lynx Asia Blue suspects the Nexus Group is behind her mother's disappearance, she reaches out to former friend and colony mate Conrad Pike, now an investment banker and serial heartbreaker. They must once again join forces to save their tribe, but will this strong-minded duo risk opening up their hearts and owning up to their long-simmering attraction?

Probabilities: Bubbly were-lynx Tizzy Sands planned to teach kindergarten, eventually marry, and start a family. But cancer changed that goal, and she's now determined to take down the nefarious Nexus Group - and steer clear of any romantic involvements. Quinn Arons's genius IQ makes him the least socially skilled were-lynx in the colony, but he might just be the man to show Tizzy there's more to life than saving their world.

Unstoppable: When veterinarian Lara Monroe's fellow colony cat - and secret crush - Booker Chase needs help, she's willing to use her special healing touch to help him survive his emotional hell. As a top-notch physician, he's not convinced anything can repair his soul, broken from the loss of his wife and burdened with PTSD from his service in Afghanistan, but Lara is showing him flashes of what might be. But they can't grab this second chance at love unless the colony takes its biggest risk of all to shut down the Nexus Group forever.

Website      Amazon Author page      Facebook

Twitter: @lcrandallwriter      Simon & Schuster

Amazon      Barnes & Noble      iTunes

About Lynn:  
Lynn Crandall lives in the Midwest and writes in the company of her cat. She has been a reader and a writer all her life. Her background is in journalism, but whether writing a magazine or newspaper story or creating a romance, she loves the power stories hold to transport, inspire, and uplift. In her romances, she focuses on vulnerable, embraceable characters who don't back down. She hopes that readers discover, over and over, stories of ordinary people who face ordinary life challenges and are transformed by extraordinary love. 

Friday, August 11, 2017 | By: Cafe
Protect the time and space in which you write. Keep everybody away from it, even the people who are most important to you.
- Zadie Smith
Thursday, August 10, 2017 | By: Cafe

An Interview with Madge Gressley

The Write Way Café welcomes Madge H. Gressley, who has the best of both worlds with her dream job and writing.

When did you first have the thought you'd like to write a book? Was that first thought related to writing romance?
     I have always loved reading, and I often thought, as many do, "I can write a book." But, that was as far as it ever went. Since I could pick up a crayon, I have been an artist—drawing, painting, etc., but never really thought seriously about writing until my husband passed. He was my greatest cheerleader for my art and with his passing went my desire to pick up a brush or pencil, but the creative part of me still needed to be fueled. When I stumbled across the Twilight series, that was the spark I needed.
     At that point, I was not sure what I wanted to write about, but I knew I had to write something. What genre I would write in never occurred to me as I put my fingers on the keyboard and typed away. The words whirling in my head needed to be put down.

What was your path to getting this book written and published? What type of research did you do?
     I don’t let things simmer. When I start a project, I carry it through to the end. You could say that I get a little obsessed with the project. I started the book in June and had 500 pages written by the end of August. I asked advice from friends who were authors what I should do next. They were accommodating. I lined up an editor and went to work polishing up my draft. Finally, I broke the story up into a three-book series.
     I spent hours on the internet researching the different aspects of the book. At one point, I became a little paranoid with all the news stories talking about how some government offices was checking the internet for search words that might indicate terrorism, and since I was looking for different types of weapons and ammunition as well as human trafficking, I thought I might be a candidate.  Apparently, my searches didn’t have any “trigger words” because no one came knocking on my door. Whew!

Where did the idea for your story come from?
     Now that is a difficult question to answer. When I started writing, a scene appeared in my mind with two people. I tried writing what I thought they should be doing, but after several attempts to force the scene, I gave up and started writing what I saw in my mind. It was almost like watching a movie but in my head. The words just flowed. The plot just unfolded. It was like I had no control over what the characters would do next.

Why did you pick the setting you did?
     I didn’t. My characters did. I had no control over it. As I said, things just appeared in my mind, and I wrote them down.

Are your main characters completely imaginary or do they have some basis in real people? Do they reflect aspects of yourself?
     The only character that is anywhere close to anyone I know or have met is Darcey. She has a little of me in her with her "Damn the torpedoes. Full speed ahead." attitude and she is a graphic designer which is what I do for my day job. The rest are completely imaginary.

Did you face any blocks while writing the book, and if so, how did you handle them? If not, what's your secret?
     I did not have any blocks with the Inescapable series. However, with some of the books since, there have been times that the words just wouldn't come. When that happens, I do what I call "free writing." I start writing whatever comes to mind. It could be related to the story I am writing, or it could be something entirely different. The object is to put something on paper. I find that as soon as I quit trying to force the words, they start coming on their own. It is tough to explain, but that is the best I can tell you.

What have been surprises you've encountered while writing the book and after?
     The biggest surprise was finding out just how many authors there are writing today. The internet has been a boon to the independent author who struggles to find an agent or publishing house for their book.

What did you learn? For instance, what did you learn about yourself, your process, the writing world; about Morocco and human trafficking?
     While researching the tragic and awful business of human trafficking, I decided to do a "what if" and wrote my character Luis Vargas as a somewhat "good" villain. I know that is an oxymoron, but I wanted to portray him as a person with mixed moral values who was trying to do good while still living outside the law. I must tell you when he first came on the scene, he was not a good guy, but somehow, I felt he had goodness in him, unlike another character later on in the book who has no redeemable qualities.

Tell us about your writing space and how or why it works for you.
     My space is now in my bedroom which forces me to make my bed every day, something I have been lax on over the years. It was always so easy to just close the bedroom door. (Don't judge. :-D) When my mother-in-law passed, we converted her mother-in-law quarters into my office, but now since my granddaughter has come to live with me, I have moved my office into my bedroom so she can have that space. It works well for both of us. I have my computer, my TV, radio, phone, everything I need to keep me working, and of course the door to shut out the world when needed.

What are some of your favorite books and why?
     There have been so many over the years that it is hard to pick just one. However, if I have to, I think Stephen King's The Stand would have to be my favorite. I have read the book at least five times and it still never gets old. A close second is Frank Herbert’s Dune. I have read it equally as many times. I also have the CD of the movie. When I need to get away and just chill out, I pop the CD in, and it takes me lightyears away from the maddening crowd.

What are you working on now?
     I am working on a historical romance and a time travel. The third book in my Sophie Collins mystery series is percolating on the back burner, too. I have been exploring different genres like I did with different mediums when I was doing fine art. I feel variety is the spice of life and I don't want to be pigeonholed as one particular thing. I also have two children’s books that I wrote and illustrated—Dexter’s Wonderful Day and Totally Terrible Tommy.

If you were not a writer, what would your dream job be?
     I already have the best of both worlds. I have my dream job and write, too. I am a graphic designer by trade and co-owner in Art & Graphic Innovations, LLC, a full-service graphic design business.

What aspect of writing gives you the most trouble?
     I guess what gives me the most trouble would be when my characters won’t do what I want them to do. Sometimes it is like herding cats. I have even gone so far as to delete a character because they wouldn’t play nice with the others.

Who is your favorite hero/heroine?
     I guess I will be telling my age, but I have always loved Nancy Drew. She is who I patterned my Sophie Collins character after. I loved her strong personality, her strength, and fortitude. My cousin and I spent many youthful summers at our aunt's farm reading Nancy Drew mysteries with the kittens in the hay loft of the old barn in 100°+ heat.

When Darcey Callahan, tumbles for Brad Daniels, it starts her on a dark and perilous journey that quickly turns into her worst nightmare. Believing Brad has gone missing—while investigating an attempt to sabotage his top-secret project in Peru—Darcey dashes off to find him, setting in motion a series of events beyond her control. Awakening from a near-deadly car crash, she finds herself with no memory and a prisoner in the dangerous world of human trafficking, murders, and espionage. Held captive in Morocco until she can be “sold,” she doesn’t know whether to trust the stranger who has come to rescue her. Is he really willing to help her, or is this a nightmare from which she may never wake up?

Black Opal Books       Google Books       Kobo

Barnes & Noble      Amazon       Smashwords

About Madge:
       I grew up in the Midwest, specifically Sedalia, Missouri, home of the Missouri State Fair, and for over 60 years, I have been a visual artist.  From the early years in elementary school where I drew horses and horses and horses (I like horses) for my classmates to the present, I have been honing my skills as an artist, winning numerous awards along the way.
     Unfortunately, my life took a drastic turn in 2011 when my husband and biggest cheerleader passed away. At that time, I totally stopped painting or drawing. But, the growing need to create would not go away. I tried many times to bring out my brushes again, but to no avail. The excitement for the paint was just not there. So, I made the decision to channel my energies into my graphic design business.
     Then in 2013, I was introduced to the “Twilight Saga” and that changed everything. My family can attest to how obsessed I became. I bought the books, the DVDs, the CDs, and anything else “Twilight” related did not escape my grasp. One day, while surfing the web to add to my obsession, I came across a website totally dedicated to the “Twilight Saga,” and that was the beginning.
     The site was full of thousands of other “Twilight” followers, some even more obsessed than I was. Hard to believe, but I assure you it is true. Among the many obsession-filled pages were the pages featuring Fan-Fiction. Some of the stories were extremely good while others were so-so, but I enjoyed the creative bent they all took on Meyer’s work. Slowly, as I read, I felt a small creative fire developing. It finally exploded into a full-blown inferno when I put pen to paper, or in this case fingers to keyboard and turned out my first 500-page novel, later separated into three books for my “Inescapable Series.”
     The “Inescapable Series” has been picked up by Black Opal Books and the first book in the series came out in April 2017. Book two is scheduled for release in October 2017. In the meantime, I have been keeping busy writing my young adult series “Sophie Collins Mysteries.” Sophie is my vision for a modern-day Nancy Drew. “The Red Coat” is book one in the series. I have just finished book two “The Secret of Trail House Lodge,” which has just been released.
     I have also written and illustrated two children’s picture books—“Dexter’s Wonderful Day” a Purple Dragonfly Book Awards winner, and “Totally Terrible Tommy” a 5 Star Readers’ Favorite choice. I also have a short story with four other authors in the romantic anthology “Now & Forever.”
My granddaughter and two dogs (Pixie and Lily) live with me. I enjoy working from home where I squeeze in my writing in between my jobs for my graphic design business and letting the dogs in and out—a full-time job in itself.

“INESCAPABLE: The Beginning”  Paperback or eBook on Barnes & Noble
“The Red Coat”
“The Secret of Trail House Lodge"
“Dexter’s Wonderful Day”
“Totally Terrible Tommy”

Follow Madge on TwitterFacebook, or Facebook Author Page 

Tuesday, August 8, 2017 | By: Cafe

Summer Reading @lcrandallwriter

I don’t know about you, but I’m really enjoying the summer weather. In Indiana, there have been frequent storms and some very hot days. There also have been mild temperatures, but the main thing I am enjoying is the variety. The sun shines, storms come, the sun comes back out. Perfect days for summer reading. Even though it is August, there is still plenty of summer left to fit in some reading.

I don’t get a lot of time to read, one of my favorite things to do, so when I find a time to sit down with a book I want it to give me a satisfying experience. I tend to stick with favorite authors, but I’m venturing more and more into new-to-me authors lately. After all, I am a new author to those who have not yet found my books, so I like to give new authors a chance.

For a number of summers, I’ve included books in the Dresden Files series by Jim Butcher and that tradition continues this year. Since I was late to discover these gems, I still have plenty to choose from. I’m presently finishing up Changes. Love it, as I do all Jim Butcher books. If you don’t know, Butcher’s main character Harry Dresden is a paranormal private investigator who trudges through different realities filled with a variety of humans, fairies, vampires, and monsters.

I’m a big Kelley Armstrong fan. This summer I’ve been reading a collection of her stories titled Otherworld Chills. I finished her Women of the Otherworld series long ago, but this anthology gave me a chance to revisit her paranormal characters and come away with big sighs. I love getting my Kelley Armstrong fix.

Seawitch, a book in the Greywalker series by Kat Richardson, finally came off my to-read stacks. The main character in the series, Harper Blaine, is a pararnormal detective, and a strong female protagonist. The plots are interesting and Richardson’s descriptions are immersive.

It wouldn’t be summer without a Christmas in July, err, August book. That’s what Captured by Christmas is. An anthology featuring two seasonal short stories that celebrate sentiments of the holiday season, The Mistletoe Effect, a contemporary romance by Lainee Cole, and Snowbound, a paranormal romance by me. 

I also have read and am reading books by authors I haven’t read before in my summer reading stack. Because there are so many talented authors out there offering really great books, that stack is tall, but I’m enjoying the new-to-me writers. Some of these writers are published by Crimson Romance, which is celebrating its fifth anniversary this year. Here’s a peek at just a few of its authors. https://youtu.be/9czGSclk6Fo . A few I suggest readers take a look at include Protecting Her Secrets by Dana Volney, a romantic suspense, and Slopeside, a romantic suspense trilogy by Angela Smith, set in the Montana mountains. Another Crimson author, Rena Koontz, released a romantic suspense from Soul Mate Publishing titled Broken Justice, Blind Love, a 2017 Rone award nominee. Who doesn’t like to read about cops and serial killers?

It wouldn’t be my blog post if I didn’t introduce some of my books to you. I’m working on a romantic suspense novel right now, but until it releases, I invite you to put my books in the Fierce Heart series  on your summer reading list. I’ve set up an instafreebie 
https://www.instafreebie.com/free/uzQfA for you to get a quick intro to my writing with Finding Finn, a paranormal romance spin-off of my series. All you have to do to get the download is sign up for my newsletter. In every issue, I discuss my writing and feature books by other authors for you to consider, as well as run monthly giveaways. I hope to connect with you soon.

Meanwhile, happy summer reading! What books are on your list?

Friday, August 4, 2017 | By: Cafe
I am simply a 'book drunkard.' Books have the same irresistible temptation for me that liquor has for its devotee. I cannot withstand them.
-  L.M. Montgomery
Thursday, August 3, 2017 | By: Cafe

An Interview with Cate Tayler

The Write Way Café welcomes Cate Tayler, author of Love Me Now, shares her career path and how accepting failure is a good thing.

When did you first have the thought you'd like to write a book? Was that first thought related to writing romance?
I actually wrote my first books when I was 7. It was a series of stories about a little girl named Lisa and the many adventures she had. I even did my own illustrations! As I grew older, I continued to write the occasional story, and for a while I was focused on creative nonfiction – essays, articles, blog posts. I didn’t start writing romance untiI had the seed of an idea about three years ago. Now I can’t imagine what took me so long!

What was your path to getting this book written and published? What type of research did you do?
I took a lot of classes on craft and storytelling technique. I still do, because there is always something new to learn and always a way to improve. Once I had the story written as best as I could, I hired a developmental editor, who helped me make it better. I did pitch the concept to a few agents and editors, and I received interest from several of them. But mostly it came back to loving the writing, but already having a client with a similar book. That’s when I decided to publish this story independently. I took classes and seminars, asked questions, and learned at the feet of a few masters of the indie. It was time consuming and it’s a lot of hard work, but I realized how much I loved having total control over my own book. It’s pretty exciting!

Where did the idea for your story come from?
I draw much of my inspiration from music. There’s an old Jann Arden song, “Insensitive”. Listening to the song, I started thinking about how devastating it would be to think you and another person are all-in on a relationship, just to have them take it all back. It gave me the germ of an idea about a woman who falls madly in love with a guy, and believes he’s falling for her, too. But then, out of nowhere, he pushes her away and leads her to believe it was all one-sided. From there, I spent a few months fleshing out plot points and the how’s and why’s of their behavior.

Why did you pick the setting you did?
I grew up on the CT shoreline, and I love the beach (especially now that I’m landlocked and can’t enjoy it as often as I used to take for granted!). There is something so romantic about the sea, about the shore. I love how the tide rushes in and deposits new treasures, before it goes back taking a piece of the beach with it. There’s just so much to discover and appreciate about it, and for me at least, it’s the perfect companion for a love story.

Years ago, after my husband returned from deployment, we spent a few days making up for lost time at this little B&B just outside Mystic, CT, on a place called Groton Long Point. I never forgot it and as the stories in my head began to take shape, I knew I wanted the setting to be that place. I’ve taken a lot of liberties with the small community, but I’ve tried to stay true to most of the geography and surrounding towns.

Are your main characters completely imaginary or do they have some basis in real people? Do they reflect aspects of yourself?
I share Calista’s insecurities about herself. I think it’s something a lot of young women can relate to. I’ve also felt the pressure of doing things, denying yourself opportunities, out of obligations to others. So I tapped into those feelings. But other than that, it’s pure fiction.

Did you face any blocks while writing the book, and if so, how did you handle them? If not, what's your secret?
I wouldn’t say I was blocked, more like I lost focus. I have four children at home and a husband who, up until this past month, was on active duty in the Air Force. So I had a lot of wear and tear on my SuperWoman cape. Managing my family took a lot of my time, so I would often go days between writing spurts, which is a very bad thing. I would lose the thread of my story and my creative drive suffered. I’ve had to teach myself – and my family – to treat my writing not as something to squeeze in, but rather as something I squeeze other things around. My husband has been a tremendous support to me in doing that. He always does his best to make sure I’ve got the time and tools I need to write and doesn’t make me feel guilty when he comes home and the house is a wreck, dinner is drive-through, and the kids are bouncing off the walls from the sugar I bribed them with to let me get a chapter one. I’m very lucky. 😊

My critique group and writing partners were also critical to helping me get over any humps in the story, and by letting me know what was working and what wasn’t. They helped keep me accountable to my writing time and to the story itself. They still do! I couldn’t be on this writing journey without them.

What have been surprises you've encountered while writing the book and after?
I’ve been surprised at how supportive people in my life have been. I knew my husband supported me, he always has in anything I’ve ever done. But I didn’t expect it to the level he has given me. I’ve also been surprised by the number of people who’ve come up to me to say they bought my book. It’s really humbling, the encouragement and support I’ve gotten.

What did you learn? For instance, what did you learn about yourself, your process, the writing world; about Greek diners, land developers, and billionaires?
You read books and you think to yourself, “I can do this” because the best authors make it seem so effortless. Then you begin to write and you realize, “Maybe I can’t do this.” That’s when I think most people give up. They either don’t know what to do next or they don’t even want to try because it’s too much work or they’re afraid of failing. One thing I’ve learned: it’s okay to fail. My very first manuscript (not this book) was a hot mess. Every editor/agent who rejected it was completely in their right minds. I could’ve given up at that point. But I didn’t. I went back, learned more about the craft and industry of writing than I ever thought possible, and tried again. And again. I’m still trying. With every new story I write, every new book I publish, I’m trying. I still fail, but I don’t get defeated.

Tell us about your writing space and how or why it works for you.
I can tell you about my writing space, but it doesn’t really work for me. However, I make do. I have a corner in my bedroom with a desk, my reference books, a bulletin board covered in notes and inspirational phrases, and white boards on the wall. I can shut my door and block out most of the noise. But after a few hours, I get restless.

My favorite place to write is outside when it’s not buggy or humid or too cold or too hot. Living in Maryland, that gives me about five good days out of the year when I can move my workstation to the gazebo or to a picnic pavilion in one of the surrounding parks. 😊

What are some of your favorite books and why?
My all-time favorite book is A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving. I can’t explain exactly what it is about the story, but it moves me.

Anne Morrow Lindbergh’s A Gift from the Sea spoke to my heart at a pivotal moment of my life.

Anything from Kristan Higgins and Brenda Novak. Both of those romance authors know how to send their readers on an emotional roller coaster. I also love to read thrillers and mysteries, especially Jeffery Deaver and James Rollins. Come to think of it, they know how to toy with reader emotions, too, so I guess I tend to gravitate toward stories that make me feel, that break my heart and put it back together again, that can scare me, make me laugh… make me feel alive. It’s my ultimate goal with my stories to make readers feel as much.

What are you working on now?
I just sent the next Mystic Point book to my editor, and next on my list is a lacrosse-focused novella that will be released exclusively to my newsletter subscribers. After that, a prequel novella for the Mystic Point series and the next book in a trilogy about female war veterans. I completed the first book last spring.

Would you like to try your hand at writing a different genre?  Which one and why?
Probably romantic suspense or New Adult. I love to read both of those and I would like to try to see if I could do justice to those genres. I always joke that someday I was going to publish erotica, but under a totally different pen name so I don’t scandalize my children. 😉

If you were not a writer, what would your dream job be?
Astronaut. It’s what I always wanted to be. But since I’ve been wearing glasses since I was 3, and my eyesight is worsening, it just wasn’t in the cards.

What aspect of writing gives you the most trouble?
The middle. I love beginnings and I love endings, and I can write and rewrite them to death. But the middle kicks my butt. It’s hard to keep it fresh and lively, and not “soggy”.

Who is your favorite hero/heroine?
That’s an almost impossible one to answer because my reply could probably change on an almost daily basis. It also depends on whether we’re talking literary, Hollywood, real life, etc. Growing up I always wanted to be Wonder Woman, so I’m thrilled that there’s a modern version for my girls (and me) to look up to. That’s my answer for today. Wonder Woman.

A sassy good girl. A rebellious billionaire. A pretend proposal. What could possibly go wrong?

Calista Markatos is failing miserably at saving her family's Greek diner. Without a miracle, her parents will lose everything. And it's all the fault of a land developer whose big ideas are destroying her family's livelihood.

Driven by guilt over his brother's death, Miles Gardner plays the role of dutiful son. But he rebels against his father's choice of a bride. A fake engagement can help him avoid the marriage trap. All he has to do is convince the Greek goddess to go along with his plan.

She doesn't have to like him to pretend to love him.Thirty days later, they'll both get exactly what they want—and maybe something they didn't know they needed.

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Cate Tayler is a beach baby, born and raised on the Connecticut coastline. She met the love of her life while serving in the US Air Force, and after extensive overseas travel, they are now raising their four children in the wild suburbs of Maryland.

When she’s not living her own happily ever after, she’s creating them in her small-town romances. Because the world always needs more happy endings!

In addition to writing, her passions include cooking, everything 80s, sappy Hallmark movies, Arrow (specifically, Stephen Amell’s abs), and the Miami Dolphins.

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Tuesday, August 1, 2017 | By: Cafe

Tuesday Special with Sherry Lewis

The Write Way Café welcomes Sherry Lewis, who takes us behind the scenes of That Woman in Wyoming. 

Good morning, everyone! I’m delighted to be here at the Write Way Café again and excited to share a few things about my contemporary romance novel, That Woman in Wyoming. On my own blog, I have a feature I call “Behind the Scenes,” in which I share a few secrets about a book, and I thought I’d follow that format here, as well.

That Woman in Wyoming is set in fictional Serenity, Wyoming, a small town nestled in the mountains near Jackson. (For those of you not familiar with the area, Jackson Hole is the valley. Jackson is the town, although many people call the town “Hole” as well.) It’s one of my favorite areas on the planet, and I love sharing it with readers.

Reagan McKenna is a single mom who is raising two teenage daughters. They came to Serenity after Reagan’s husband, a police officer, lost his life in the line of duty. All she wants is a quiet place to raise her kids and a chance to move forward with her life. Max Gardner is a bounty hunter on the trail of a minor criminal. When that trail brings him to Serenity, life changes for both of them in a big way.

With that background, here are five things you may not know about That Woman in Wyoming in no particular order:

Photo credit: Photo by Javier Molina on Unsplash
#1 – In my first draft of the book—the one I submitted to my editor for approval—I wrote a “meet cute” scene for Reagan and Max set at Serenity’s local drive-in. My editor felt that it was too clichéd and asked me to revise it, which I did. At the time, I was a bit annoyed. After all, my version was…well, cute!...but I’ve since come to realize that she was right. My meet-cute version has been done so many times in books and movies it’s almost eye-roll worthy. In fact, I learned a lot about clichés during the writing, revising, and editing process of this book.

#2 – The Chicken Inn in Serenity is based on Larry’s Spring Chicken Inn located in Morgan, Utah. I’ve eaten at Larry’s many times. Especially on Memorial Day, it was the place to be. My kids and I would visit the cemetery and then drive down the hill to Larry’s where we’d inevitably run into aunts, uncles, and cousins. In later years, when my parents moved back to Utah, they joined us every year. I also went to a few movies as a kid when the building was a theater. I never lived in Morgan, but I have lots of family there, so during our annual visits to Utah when I was a kid, if I was lucky, we’d go to the movies. Larry’s really does serve the best chicken anywhere. I’ve never found better. I had a great time revisiting the restaurant with Max and Reagan. If you’re anywhere near Morgan, Utah, and you haven’t gone to Larry’s to eat, you really should!

Photo credit: Sherry Lewis#3—I liked Serenity so much, I set another book there. The Christmas Wife (aka Christmas Homecoming) and I’m seriously contemplating revisiting the town a few more times in future books. If Serenity were a real place, I’d move there. Too bad it only exists in my head. It does make me wonder, though, why I’ve never moved to a small town. When I was working at other jobs, I had to live closer to the city. Now, I suppose I stay where I am because my daughter needs to live closer to the city. I do appreciate the diversity and choices available in a bigger town, the proximity to stuff like groceries and gas stations. But there’s something about the pace of a small town that appeals to me, and though it’s true that everybody knows everybody else’s business, it’s still appealing, which is probably why so many of my books are set in small towns.

Photo credit: Photo by Dawid Zawiła on Unsplash#4—Creating the character of Travis Carmichael was my way of dealing with a family issue I was struggling with at the time. I have two daughters, and the oldest had become involved with a guy I tried to like, but just couldn’t. I desperately wanted her to see some of the things I saw about him, but for a while she wore rose-colored glasses where he was concerned. Nothing I said or did made any difference. Even worse, nothing he said or did seemed to make a difference. Eventually, she did see him for who he was, just as Reagan does with Travis, but it was a struggle for a while. Writing the characters and getting into their heads helped me realize that someone else’s epiphany isn’t going to happen just because I want it to or think it should. Letting Reagan slowly realize what kind of person Travis was helped me develop patience for what Older Daughter needed. This is one of the reasons I love writing so much. It’s just so powerful!

#5—One of my favorite characters in the book is Max’s partner, Donovan. Even though he only
Photo credit Photo by Allef Vinicius on Unsplashappears in a couple of scenes and plays a very minor part in the story, I liked him immediately. He’s one of those “gentle giants” who act tough and look intimidating, but who are really good guys with hearts of gold. After revisiting him in this book, I might have to find a way to make him a bigger part of another book. I’m not sure quite how to do that. Since he’s already appeared in one romance, logic tells me he should be part of another romance, but to make him the hero of a novel I’d have to get rid of his wife and that seems a bit cruel. I’d really like to get to know him better, though. Maybe one of these days I’ll figure it out.

written by Sherry LewisAnd there you have them: 5 things you might not have known about That Woman in Wyoming before today. The book is available in Kindle format and in paperback, and it’s free to read if you have Kindle Unlimited. I hope you’ll give it a try!


About Sherry:  Sherry Lewis is a national bestselling, award-winning author who writes across several genres. Along with her writing career, she is the owner and instructor of Dancing on Coals Workshops for Fiction Writers, where she has been teaching writing workshops for more than 20 years.
     In 1993 Sherry launched her mystery-writing career with the sale of her first three books in the Fred Vickery mystery series to Berkley Prime Crime. In early 1994 she sold her first romance to Harlequin Superromance, launching her career as a romance writer.
     As Sammi Carter, she wrote the Candy Shop mystery series set in Paradise, Colorado and featuring Abby Shaw. As Jacklyn Brady she wrote the Piece of Cake mystery series set in New Orleans, featuring cake artist Rita Lucero. She is a long-time member of Romance Writers of America, where she served several terms on the board of directors, including one term as president. She is listed on RWA’s Honor Roll.
     Originally from Montana, Sherry spent several years living at the base of Utah's Wasatch Mountains. She now lives a block from the beach along Florida's Emerald Coast. It's a dirty job, but somebody has to do it.

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