Friday, October 28, 2016 | By: The Write Way Cafe
And as a writer, one of the things that I've always been interested in doing is actually invading your comfort space. Because that's what we're supposed to do. Get under your skin, and make you react. 
- Stephen King

Thursday, October 27, 2016 | By: The Write Way Cafe

Meet Rachel Bartlett with Augustina Van Hoven

The Write Way Café welcomes Augustina Van Hoven.  She would like to introduce readers to Rachel Bartlett, heroine of The Bloom of a Rose, the last book in the Rose Series, which will be released in December.

Can you tell us a little about yourself?
My name is Rachel Bartlett.  I’m the daughter of the late governor, Russell Bartlett.  I was an animation student at an art college in Georgia.  My parents asked me to skip two quarters and help with my father’s campaign.  I never expected to lose him.  I’m grateful that I was able to spend some more time with him.  Now that he’s gone it’s just me and my mother and we do not get along.

What is your goal in the story?
I want to go back to school and finish my education.  I have only one year left to get my degree.  My teachers say I have great talent and can make it as an animator for Disney.  I have a plan to make it back to school but it there are a lot of things in my way, all of them placed there by my mother.

What is your favorite hobby?
I love to draw.  I have several ideas for some graphic novels as well as some animated features.

What challenge are you trying to overcome during the story?
There’s something strange going on and it gives me the creeps.  I want to leave but my mother is determined to keep me in Idaho and create some sort of political dynasty.  She says I owe it to my father’s memory to stay.  I don’t think my father would want this kind of life for me.

I’m so grateful that I met Paul Miller.  Without him I would not be able to stand all the pressure my mother is putting on me.  I’m afraid of what my mother will do when she finds out about Paul since he is on the opposite political team.

Augustina Van Hoven was born in The Netherlands and currently resides in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, two dogs and three cats.   She is an avid reader of romance, science fiction and fantasy.  When she’s not writing she likes to work in her garden or in the winter months crochet and knit on her knitting machines.

The Kiss of a Rose
The Thorn of a Rose
The Bloom of a Rose – coming in December

Twitter: @augustinavhoven
Pinterest: Augustina Van Hoven, Author

Tuesday, October 25, 2016 | By: The Write Way Cafe

Tuesday Special: Buried Secrets with Elizabeth Meyette

Elizabeth Meyette

by Elizabeth Meyette
When Jesse Graham almost runs over a “body” in the road one night, she is plunged into a labyrinth of secrets, lies and murder. All Jesse wants is a simple life teaching at St. Bart’s… and a chance at love with Joe Riley. She realizes that plan has been thwarted when puzzling occurrences at St. Bartholomew Academy for Girls get increasingly dangerous. The danger doesn’t just spring from the ghost who haunts the grounds of St. Bart’s, but from a sinister presence that is not ghostly at all. As she digs into the mystery, threats on her life and the life of her student escalate.

Which danger threatens her life the most? The ghost haunting her student or the secrets buried in the school?

Buried Secrets is available on Amazon

About Elizabeth Meyette
Author, blogger, poet, and believer in dreams-come-true, Elizabeth Meyette has journeyed through a career in education to a career in writing. To coin a friend’s phrase, she’s not retired, she’s “refired” and loves her current career as a writer. Her first two novels, Love’s Destiny and Love’s Spirit are historical romances set during the Revolutionary War in America. Her third and fourth novels, The Cavanaugh House and Buried Secrets are mysteries set in 1968 in the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York.

Elizabeth and her husband, Rich, enjoy living in Michigan surrounded by the beauty of the Great Lakes. They made an agreement that she cannot cook on writing days after he had endured burnt broccoli and overcooked chicken.  Fortunately, Richard is an excellent cook.

She credits her muse, Boris, for keeping the stories coming. When Elizabeth is not working on a novel or poetry, she is busy keeping up with her blog Meyette’s Musings.

All of Elizabeth’s books are available at:
Visit Elizabeth at
Website      Blog       Goodreads      Facebook page
Twitter       Pinterest

Friday, October 21, 2016 | By: The Write Way Cafe
I know that books seem like the ultimate thing that's made by one person, but that's not true. Every reading of a book is a collaboration between the reader and the writer who are making the story up together.
- John Green

Thursday, October 20, 2016 | By: The Write Way Cafe

For a Tail-Wagging Good Time...


Pre-order available now.  Release date: October 24, 2016

It's a tail-wagging good time for these ten animal-loving couples as they find their happily ever afters with their best four-legged friends' blessings.

Lessons in Magic: Recently unemployed and rudderless, Phoebe agrees to get her late aunt Edna's house ready to put on the market. While cleaning up cobwebs, she unexpectedly discovers her latent family talent for summoning a demon, who arrives disguised as an irresistable puppy. Noah Rossi, wizard in training, comes to the rescue, but can he save her from accidentally destroying the universe?

Text Me: Abigail Jeffries gets a random text from a stranger only to discover the sender, Carter Coben, isn't so strange after all. Soon she's caught up in a game of assumed identities with the same gorgeous guy she got fired from his job. Carter has no idea that "She Hearts Dogs" is the girl who blew his world apart. They'll have to navigate mixed signals, mistaken identities, and misunderstandings to find real love.

All About Charming Alice: Quirky Alice Treemont gives up hope of finding love in rural Blake's Folly, Nevada, where she spends her time rescuing unwanted dogs and protecting the most unloved creatures on earth: snakes. That is, until dashing and well-to-do author Jace Constant comes to town to research his new book. Opposites indeed attract, and soon the whole town is determined to make a love match.

Wildflower Redemption: Luz Wilkinson returns to tiny Rose Creek, Texas, to lick her wounds and toughen her resolve against love's sting. She wants nothing more than to spend her days caring for discarded animals. But will Aaron Estes, her riding student's widower dad, spur her to try again?

Atonement: A former marine sniper suffering from PTSD, Deputy Nicolette Rivers hides her own deadly secrets from everyone but detective Con O'Hanlon, who, along with his military dog Cadno, is more than willing to help cover up the fallout. But is he too late to prevent Nic's dark, downward spiral? Or is Con the one man stronger than her demons?

Fated Hearts: Sheriff Carter McAlister and his dog, Dublin, have their lives upended when he offers mysterious newcomer Henley Elliott a job as his assistant. Breaking through her carefully built shell proves to be a near-impossible task, and now a dangerous new presence in the Cove seems to be targeting Henley. To get a second chance at happily ever after, Carter and Henley will need to leave their secrets and scars in the past.

Sweet Texas Kiss: Veterinarian Gavin Cooper can't wrap his mind around why country music superstar Macy Young would end up inheriting his family home. Seeing his childhood memories handed over to his high school rival - the first woman to break his heart - stings. Luckily, Macy can't sell the house for one year - plenty of time for him to find a way to get it back. Can they find a way to bury their animosity and rediscover their first love in the process?

Unstoppable: When veterinarian Lara Monroe's fellow cat shifter - 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 they can shut down the Nexus Group forever.

Bloom: When L.A.'s charity fundraising maven Ava Bennett heads out to the middle of nowhere to check on a friend for her rock star client, she never expects to tangle with infamous music producer Nate Robinson, nor endanger his dog's health. Can a career woman find love with a virtual hermit?

What a Texas Girl Dreams: They are opposites in so many ways, but the more veterinarian Trickett Samuels gets to know footloose and fancy free Monica Witte, the more he wonders if he can convince this Texas girl that having roots will only help her soar higher.


Barnes & Noble 


Tuesday, October 18, 2016 | By: HiDee

Roll, Adapt, and Carry On!

2016 has been a year of changes and challenges.  I’ve always prided myself on my ability to roll, to adapt and carry on.  Then this year, hormones happened.  I found myself in unfamiliar territory.

Women often take care of everyone but themselves.  It’s easy to fall in to this habit, especially when we are part of the sandwich generation.  We have children to raise, relationships to nurture, and aging parents who need care.  The children have extra-curricular activities that demand more and more of our time.  There are bills to pay, dishes and laundry to do, and significant others who need attention.  Somewhere within our 24 hours each day, we are supposed to exercise, eat well, and get enough sleep. And when are we supposed to fit in “me” time? When am I supposed to fit in sufficient writing time?

I don’t know about you, but there are not enough hours in my day to get it all done, let alone do it all well!

The beginning of my end was a routine doctor appointment.  I knew my blood pressure was up that day, but when it was high enough to alarm the nurse, I tried to brush it off as white-coat syndrome.  I think I might have had her fooled until she asked if my children were healthy.  Both of us were caught off-guard by me suddenly dissolving in tears.  Thankfully my NP is like a friend.  My words tumbled out.  What a relief to finally be able to say all the things I hadn’t even realized I needed to say! 

She admonished that I need to take care of me. While it’s admirable to want to be superwoman, I have to take care of myself FIRST.  Physically and mentally.  Soon, a low-dose anxiety medicine had me feeling more in control. I was sleeping again, had energy to exercise, and was even motivated to eat better.

Then life threw me another curve ball, and although it was expected at some point, I wasn’t quite ready. My youngest moved out.  While I’m feeling empty and unneeded, my hubby is feeling his oats and acting like he’s 18 again!  Adjusting to an empty nest has been… interesting!

By making myself a priority again, I've found it easier to juggle the responsibilities on my plate. Daily walks, drinking more water, trying to eat better, and sharing my concerns with Hubby and trusted friends all contribute to feeling more balanced and capable. Writing has become even more important because it's a creative outlet for me.

Changes and challenges will probably continue, but I’ve rediscovered my ability to roll, to adapt and carry on. 

Do you have any tips for keeping your life balanced?  Please share!

Friday, October 14, 2016 | By: The Write Way Cafe
The smartest thing I ever did as a writer was hire a retired conservation agent to blaze a hiking trail for me. It's nothing fancy - just a narrow path that meanders for a little over a mile through the woods near my home. But that trail through the trees has become my therapist, my personal trainer, and my best editor. 
- Kate Klise
Thursday, October 13, 2016 | By: The Write Way Cafe

Meet Aspiring Author D.K. Dailey Write Way Café welcomes aspiring author D.K. Dailey, who will take readers on a remarkable three-generations story of strong women in Pearl Passing.

When did you first have the thought you’d like to write a book? Was that first thought related to writing romance?
     I always wrote and read but never thought about writing a book until I took a college class on dramatic screenplay writing. For this class I wrote a ninety-minute play and about two years later I’d written three books. Two will never see the light of day and aren’t even on a computer, though I do have printed copies and the third was a very, very rough draft of Pearl Passing, my African-American historical. I didn’t think of romance in particular when I started writing, I just wanted to write stories. But since I was exposed to romance because my mom reads it heavily and I used to steal her books and read them, I knew my books would have romance, too.

What are you working on now?
     Most often, I’m simultaneously working on multiple projects. So on any given day or week, I could be working on something different. The switching keeps my mind active and engaged. I’m currently working on editing projects I just got back from two different editors. One novel is Pearl Passing which is about three generations of African American woman who bond over shared life experiences and a passed down pearl necklace. The other novel is about a witch, alien, and an orphaned girl who are apart of intertwined prophecies. So as you can see, the stories are very different.

Where did the idea for your story come from?
     The idea for Pearl Passing came around 2012 or 2013. I thought of one of my favorite movies as a kid, Polly: Coming Home, which was adapted from Eleanor H. Porter’s book Pollyanna. In the story an orphaned eleven-year old girl with a great spirit moves in with her spinster aunt and ends up changing a small town’s way of thinking. So originally, not finding my voice yet, I made up a story about practically the same thing not knowing it. I had two readers and was at a lost for what to do once I received their feedback. During the time they read (about a year), I kept writing, researched the business, read a lot, met other writers and participated in NaNoWriMo.
     The story stayed in the back of my mind and while going over the reader’s notes, I outlined a new story and began writing pieces over the years as I became a better writer and found my voice. I probably kept 15-20% of the original story, I think but most of it I trashed. One of the readers suggested I bond the women with something. I bonded them with this pearl necklace and got the idea to make a three part family saga where each woman’s story could stand alone but together was a braided narrative.
     In the following years, I had a co-worker who wanted to read my stuff but wasn’t interested in the YA I normally wrote so I told her about my story on the backburner and she said that was the story she wanted to read. When I told others who weren’t interested in YA either, I had the same reaction—hurry up and finish it already! But I had to come back to the story naturally. That’s when I thought, what if I could tell a story that not only encompassed the past but also merged the past with experiences from the elders in my family? So when it comes down to it, I wrote Pearl Passing with the knowledge of the past and the present as my guide, and many people in my family as inspiration and fuel. Pearl Passing became a story that at the heart was about the bonds in an African American family and their struggles for a quality life.

How do you do research?
     I did tons of internet research. For this book I read and referenced a few books and found articles, newspapers, time period paraphernalia (such as images and trinkets my parents own). I also relied on personal written accounts of events. I had a few real life sources for this novel too since I based some incidents on stories my parents and family told me growing up, I was able to ask those people questions.

Why did you pick the setting you did?
     My father was born in Catchings, Mississippi, and migrated to Oakland, California, around 1948-1949 on the California Zephyr train. His family was a part of the Great Migration, in which more than six million African Americans moved from the rural South to the North, Midwest, and West (during a fifty-four year period) in search of better opportunities and less racism, including the unequal treatment and murdering of blacks. I felt both places—Oakland and Mississippi—provided the perfect backdrop for the kinds of situations my characters would be involved in. Since the heart of the story deals with family ties, racism, fighting against the norms in society, and finding out who you are, I wanted places that fostered this storyline.

Are your main characters completely imaginary or do they have some basis in real people? Do they reflect aspects of yourself?
     Pieces of my main characters were drawn from real people. Bethal and Mrs. Abel were drawn from my grandparent’s era, while Sherie and the teens (Grace, Elsie, and Cooper) were drawn from my parents, aunts, and uncles. When I write, there’s never one character I can definitively say is a true representation of someone real. They’re all patchworks of people I’ve known, know, read about, watched, heard about, or dreamed of. I believe all artist/creatives are inspired by the world around us.

What do you consider your greatest writing strengths? What gets in your way of writing?
     My greatest writing strength is that I am a learner, watcher, and listener. I place writing at the top of my priority list. I have done my research on the industry and have a plan for my career. I take advice, go to workshops and conferences, and am always looking to improve. Because of these reasons, I have become a quick writer and editor.
     Nothing gets in my way of writing because I truly enjoy it. Writing is my therapy. I always say if I wasn’t a writer, I’d be crazy, and I mean that in every sense. It’s how I’ve amassed fifteen books in the last six years. Sometimes I get in hermit mode and have to pull myself away from writing. Usually I try to plan things with friends and family and write among other writers when I can, so that I stay social and sane. Currently, I don’t have kids or a husband so it’s easy to write whenever and for however long I want. The hard part will be adjusting and balancing a future that does lend well to this sort of writing routine.

Do you have a favorite playlist for when you write? Classic, rock, pop, none of the above?
     I don’t have a favorite playlist when I write. Sometimes I’m stuck on certain songs and have them on repeat in the car and in my ear buds when I’m writing in public places. But I don’t create song lists for books. I am, however, inspired to write songs, which I’ve found is a way to incorporate my creativity in a different way. Once I am published, I’ll work on releasing songs.

What is your likely choice for publication, a publisher or self-pubbed?
     I want to be a hybrid author. So I’d love to be published by a traditional press, a successful indie (small press) publisher. I’d also self-publish, as well, but I want to brave these waters once I establish my author platform. For Pearl Passing I’d like to traditionally publish so it has the best chance of getting to the masses. I think this is the kind of story that could continue and start worthwhile conversations about race relations.

Tell us about your writing space and how or why it works for you.
     I write mostly in my bed lying on my side or sitting up, though I have a small computer table I also use, and a desk in my guest room I rarely use. Lying down works for me because I have injuries to my back, so sitting up all day isn’t the best.

What are some of your favorite books and why?
     Any book that takes me to another place and I can connect with makes me happy. Growing up, I read anything by Roald Dahl, Beverly Clearly, and Maya Angelou. I loved Aesop’s Fables, The Coldest Winter Ever (Sister Souljah), Zane and Omar Tyree’s books. As an adult, I came to adore the Harry Potter books, Twilight, Hunger Games, Jeaniene Frost’s Night Huntress series, Ann Aguirre’s Razorland trilogy. Nowadays I devour tons of YA books. All these books at whatever times I read them made me excited about other worlds and concepts and made me think.

Who is your favorite book boyfriend? Why?
     I have two that I can think of right now. Bones (Crispin) from Jeaniene Frost’s Night Huntress series. I like Bones because he’s an Alpha male who loves his woman to death. He’s loyal, funny, sexy, a gentleman, powerful, and unapologetic. Also Daniel Best from Beverly Jenkins’ Belle because he is an all-around sweetheart: well-mannered, considerate and caring.

Who are your greatest support people for writing?
     My family because they listen to me drone on about writing and continue to read some of my stuff even though I’m not published yet. I’ve also found many supportive writers from the two groups I joined, To Live and Write in Alameda, and Romance Writers of America San Francisco chapter. Participating in NaNoWriMo by going to write-ins has also allowed me to meet many great writers as well.

If you were not a writer, what would your dream job be?
     A (successful) singer/songwriter or lawyer. Lawyer because my parents always said I’d be a good one. And singer because I write songs, though I can’t sing to save my life. But this is a dream right? So I’d be a mix between Beyoncé, IndiaArie, and Alanis Morsette—something unique.

What line from a book left an impression on you and/or your writing?
     Not a line from a book but something a great writer said, “If there’s a book you want to read that doesn’t exist then write it.” It is what started me writing again. There has always been a lack of diversity in the market and I’ve had to search to find books about people of color. Today this lack of diversity is just starting to be addressed with campaigns like We Need Diverse Books (#WNDB) and Writing from Color and Native Voices (#WCNV), and I felt like my voice needed to be heard among many others. I was also tired of writers publishing stories of the other (marginalized voices) who weren’t a part of those groups nor did they have similar experiences. So that’s what prompted me to start writing diverse stories—stories I wanted to read and I wanted to write.

What is the quirkiest thing you’ve done to your character/s?
     I can’t tell you because that book isn’t out and it’s a surprise, but let’s just say it involved a new way to kiss someone.

Pearl Passing
Part 1
     In 1929, as a country girl living in Mississippi, Bethal Gramm has a lot to learn about life and love. When a chance meeting in the woods threatens to change her version of normal, she must make tough decisions to discover who she wants to be.

Part 2
     When Sherie Parker moves to the South to escape the expectations of who she should be, she never pictured being wooed by a White man, yet finds herself falling in love. Can she endure the ridicule of being in an interracial relationship in the 1950s?

Part 3  
     In 1964, Grace Jiles has seen more death than most teenagers. Forced to move across country to live with her aunt due to uncontrollable circumstances, she’s thrown into rising race relations activity and must learn to adapt to a different world—and a whole different way of doing things.

D.K. Dailey has a problem: kind of like I see dead people but for writers. She often says, if she wasn’t a writer, she’d be crazy. Dailey’s writing journey started as a child when she began writing sci-fi short stories, a result of watching countless hours of Star Trek on a shared TV with her parents. With an inborn passion for telling stories, writing songs and poems, her hobbies erupted into a career path after she penned a play in college in 2009 and a book in 2010. Although she isn’t published yet, for the last 6 years she has been honing the craft by writing, reading, revising, entering contests, working with editors, beta readers and writing groups.
Visit for more information on author.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016 | By: The Write Way Cafe

Tuesday Special: Broken Justice, Blind Love with Rena Koontz

Rena Koontz

Leave a comment (and your email) for a chance to win an e-copy of Broken Justice, Blind Love!

He is a suspect. An accused killer. And Trish Kleerey is the law. Patrolman Kleerey stands tall, speaks assertively, and sees right and wrong as clearly as her black and white cruiser. Commit a wrong and face the consequences. But her strict moral code is challenged when her investigation into a series of murders incriminates the man she loves. Her training tells her to arrest him. Her heart screams otherwise.

Bryan DeJewel feels the line between love and the law blur when Trish questions him about the serial killings. The Trish Kleerey he knows is soft, warm, and capable of bringing him to his knees with desire, but that passion isn’t enough to build a lasting relationship. It’s as plain as her black and white cruiser: If she loves him, she must trust him.

Her suspicious nature already cost her a lifelong friendship.  She couldn’t turn her back on the physical abuse she suspected her friend suffered but, once again, her questions alienated a person she loves. Believing Bryan means turning her back on hard evidence, breaking the rules and risking her career to prove his innocence.

Meanwhile, the real killer watches and waits, hoping she’ll fall into his deadly trap. Trish’s dilemma: listen to her heart and choose love, or strap on her gun and enforce the law?


About Rena:

     Former newspaper reporter and North Port (FL.) resident Rena Koontz announces the Oct. 5, 2016 release of her newest romantic suspense novel Broken Justice, Blind Love.
     The novel, published by Soul Mate Publishing, will be available on initially as an e-book. The paperback version will release in 2017.
     Broken Justice, Blind Love is Ms. Koontz’s fifth novel, all featuring police and law enforcement as the good guys. And in Ms. Koontz’s world, “the good guys always win.”
     Ms. Koontz’s books are loosely based on her experiences as a reporter in Pittsburgh, PA. and Cleveland, OH., writing for two of the country’s top 20 newspapers, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and The Cleveland Plain Dealer. The veteran journalist relies on her reporting experiences to create fictitious stories based on actual crimes. A romantic at heart, Ms. Koontz magically weaves love, romance and a happy ending into all of her books.
     She promises “enough suspense to satisfy the reader's desire for action as well as enough heat to burn the pages.”
     Broken Justice, Blind Love blends an intricate tale of serial murder and domestic violence into a love story between the police officer and the murder suspect. A common theme of trust runs through all of her books and Broken Justice, Blind Love is no different.
     The heroine must choose between her head and her heart – believe the evidence against him or follow her heart and find the real killer.
     Ms. Koontz’s earlier novels are available electronically and in paperback through most e-retailers.

Website     Facebook Author Page       Twitter @RenaKoontz

Friday, October 7, 2016 | By: The Write Way Cafe
People who love reading are often called bookworms — but that’s the wrong way around. It’s not you that worms into a book; it’s books that worm into you.
- Amanda Craig
Thursday, October 6, 2016 | By: The Write Way Cafe

The Bride Brigade: Rachel by Caroline Clemmons

Don't give up. Don't let anyone steal your dream. The Write Way Café welcomes Caroline Clemmons, who shares this advice and interesting information about her book, Rachel.

Tell us a little about your RACHEL and the Bride Brigade Series.
     Mail-order brides are popular in western historical romances and I’ve written several. For this series, I wanted to twist the idea and had a wealthy young widow go East to recruit suitable young women to bring back to her town of Tarnation, Texas. Many of the bachelors there need wives but hate to take a chance on a mail-order bride. A couple have even moved to larger towns with a more diverse population. The women who come to Tarnation are (in the order of their books) JOSEPHINE, ANGELINE, CASSANDRA, OPHELIA, RACHEL, LORRAINE, and PRUDENCE.
     RACHEL has just been released from three years in prison for a crime she didn’t commit, embezzling from the firm for whom she is bookkeeper. Only her older brother and his fiancée believe in her innocence. She needs a fresh start and applies to the young widow and her friend to go west. Once there, she is interested in the owner of the freight company and agrees to keep his books. She worries about what would happen if he learned of her past. He’s a former Pinkerton agent and that complicates her fears.

If RACHEL was made into a movie, who would play the main characters in your book, and why?
     Chris Hemsworth as the hero, Zane Evans, and Jessica Alba as Rachel. They are closest to the images in my head. However, the characters in my head are unique and not like any movie or television stars. That fact makes this a hard question. ☺

What or who has been instrumental in or to your writing journey?
     A lot of people have helped me along the way. However, my husband has been my greatest supporter. He has encouraged me every step of my journey and did his best to ensure I have a good computer, comfortable desk chair, and other writing aids. Now that I’m self-publishing, he is my formatter and uploader as well as assisting me any way he can. Since he retired, he does the cooking and his laundry so I have more time to write. You can see why I call him Hero.

What’s the best writing advice you’ve been given?  What’s your best writing advice for others?
     Don’t compare yourself to other writers.
     To other writers I advise: Hone your craft. Find good critique partners who are strong in your areas of weakness. Don’t give up. Don’t let anyone steal your dream.

What “keepers” are in your home library?
     Keepers are books that I reread plus all the books by Louis L’Amour, Jayne Ann Krentz (all 3 writing names), Nora Roberts, and Agatha Christie. Those I reread include PRINCE CHARMING by Julie Garwood, LORD PERFECT by Loretta Chase, THE PROMISE OF JENNY JONES by Maggie Osbourne, and FALLON by Louis L’Amour.  Of course, I have my critique partner, Geri Foster’s, WOMEN OF COURAGE and her Falcon series.

If you could be a character in any book you’ve read (or written), which character would you be and why?
     Taylor Stapleton in Julie Garwood’s PRINCE CHARMING. She was an elegant woman who adapted to every situation. She had compassion and skills she needed to achieve her goals.

What book do you wish you could have written?
     There are so many that fall into that category! Any of those that are my keepers plus many of my current favorites, which include Linda Lael Miller. There are so many good authors.

What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?
     I try not to react to bad reviews because we all have our preferences but one was hard not to answer. A person who (from her profile) usually only reads Christian books gave me a 1 star review on a book that was a top pick by Romantic Times. Her reason—it had sex. Since the description online states “sensual”, I had to sit on my hands not to reply to her.
     Best compliments are emails from fans telling me how much they enjoy my books or a book in particular. Fans are the best!

We’re adding books to our Café menu.  Would your book be a drink, an appetizer, an entrée or a dessert?  What would you call it?  
     RACHEL has enough meat to be an entrée, but since it’s under 50K words, I think it should be labeled an appetizer.

What is your favorite social media?  Why?
     I guess I’m a Facebook junkie. I love connecting with readers and other writers who live across the country/globe. Through Facebook, I can interact with people with whom I’ll never meet in person and keep up with those I see only occasionally.

And now for the fun stuff!  

What is your biggest shopping downfall?
     Books are my Achilles heel. I have tons of research books (which I like in paper) and the fiction that I reread. This is in addition those I have on my Kindle.

Are you a glass half empty or glass half full personality?
     I’m a glass half full person. I have a Pollyanna-ish outlook and always expect things to get better/turn out well.

Are you a dog/cat/other person?
     I guess other because I love cats and dogs. We have three cats, but our little dog died this week, so we’re missing him a lot and are sad now.

What is your favorite season and why?
     Definitely fall. Weather is cooling off and we have the holidays to look forward to. Also, we have the lovely fall leaves. And, we know we have months before the weather turns hot again.

Do you have any strange writing habits (like standing on your head or writing in the shower)?
     Although I wake up about seven, I’m pretty much on autopilot until ten or eleven mornings. I enjoy writing until about two or three when the world is quiet.  While this seems strange to my early-to-rise husband and eldest daughter, I know many other writers who work late at night.

A shameful past…

Rachel Ross secret haunts her. She joins other women leaving Virginia for Texas, object matrimony. Vowing never to trust again, she is rebuilding her life. She likes the dusty little town of Tarnation and is attracted to Zane Evans. Her past has made her cautious, but she allows him to court her.

Zane Evans is a former Pinkerton agent who wants to forget all he saw in that profession and the war and found a good life in Tarnation, Texas. He has carefully planned his future. When he meets Rachel, he is instantly attracted.

One event reveals her past in a spectacular way. Will Zane forgive her silence?


About Caroline:

Caroline Clemmons is an Amazon bestselling and award winning author of historical and contemporary western romances. A frequent speaker at conferences and seminars, she has taught workshops on characterization, point of view, and layering a novel.

Caroline and her husband live in the heart of Texas cowboy country with their menagerie of rescued pets. When she’s not indulging her passion for writing, Caroline enjoys family, reading, travel, antiquing, genealogy, and getting together with friends. Find her on her blog, website, Facebook, Twitter, GoodreadsGoogle+WattPadShelfari, and Pinterest. Subscribe to her newsletter here to receive a FREE copy of the novella Happy Is The Bride.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016 | By: The Write Way Cafe

Manly Characters and Masculinity

Check my romance novels covers and you’ll see that several of my paranormal romantic suspenses boast a sexy, muscled man on the cover. I’m told this type of cover attracts readers’ attention and sells well. It makes sense to me. Readers enjoy reading romances for not only the pleasure of following development of relationships but for romance and the characters made of hero material. I enjoy that, too, about romances.
Masculinity in our society is defined with physical, mental, and emotional aspects. Typically, the hero is very strong, very fit and muscular, able to handle anything, and maybe not have much need for emotions other than to love the heroine fiercely. He may not be able to communicate very effectively, but he drives a heroine to ecstasy with a delicious kiss. Although I feel the romance genre has expanded to define heroes in more variety, “fantasy” of the super hero type, whether a cowboy, werewolf, or billionaire, still dominates. I love them all. 

But a couple things have occurred that have made me consider what the impact may be of romantic heroes who illustrate an idealized type of man who fits our society’s image of masculinity. Maybe it’s just pure fun and we all know that. Or maybe it frames a context for how we expect males to behave.

I began my marriage to my husband with the desire to be taken care of. I worked at a well-paying job. I was a grown woman who believed in strong women. But deep down I held an idea of what my husband should be for my children and me. After some intense inner work, I had a shift in how I saw my husband. In fact, I told him I didn’t need or want him to be a superman. It was more important to me that I see who he really was and love him for that. It took him back a bit.

I had grown to treasure who he was in truth over an idealized man, and who he was was so much more than a superman because it was real. He was much more fascinating and we could become truly engaged in meaningful ways when I could allow that to happen.

Beyond being the wife of a good man, I’m the mother of three sons. When I’ve heard women over the years make remarks about how stupid men are or how insensitive they are, I have quietly disagreed in the blanket statement. My sons are individuals, not blanket statements. With that in mind, I have tried to write heroes who have humanity in them, who try to engage with heroines in meaningful and healthy ways. Of course, I’m writing romances, so these male characters also have the attributes readers, and I, enjoy in our heroes. I want to write well-rounded, maybe quirky, heroes with inner conflicts real people face, but with sex appeal.

The other thing that occurred recently to make me consider how I illustrate masculinity was watching the documentary, The Mask You Live In. It was created by the The Representation Project and it shines a light on what it’s like to grow up male in a society that tells young boys they need to be tough, invincible, and tears-free, no matter the occasion. According the project’s website, “The Mask You Live In follows boys and young men as they struggle to stay true to themselves while negotiating America’s narrow definition of masculinity.” It’s very enlightening and at the same time heart-breaking.

This is a very serious topic. Where’s the fun here? It’s just food for thought. And I’d love to know yours.

Published first in my newsletter, In My Backyard.