Friday, March 31, 2017 | By: The Write Way Cafe
The most essential gift for a good writer is a built-in, shock-proof, shit detector.
– Ernest Hemingway

Thursday, March 30, 2017 | By: The Write Way Cafe

Nancy C. Weeks Shares New Release

AuthorThe Write Way Café welcomes Nancy C. Weeks. Nancy shares a peek into her new release, inspiring words, and a wonderful giveaway.

Tell us a little about The Eyewitness.
      The Eyewitness is the first book in a new series. I explored the world of forensic science in this story. My heroine, Emersyn D’Azzo is right out of grad school and starting her first job at the state police forensic lap. But tragedy strikes [no spoilers here] and plans change. The one man who may be able to help her work through the trauma is Alec Pearce, her father’s younger, sexy partner. Emersyn and Alec have a nasty history and he’s the last person she would trust—until there is no other option.
     The suspense element in The Eyewitness was inspired from a page out of the tragic sniper shootings in Maryland in 2002, The Beltway Snipers. My villains—the way all three series are connected—copy-cat on that event. Here is a short blurb:
     Fans of TV’s Blue Bloods will love this dynamic new suspense series.
     Maryland PD forensic scientist Emersyn D’Azzo has an explosive past with her father’s younger, sexy partner, Detective Alec Pearce. Then an ill-timed kiss destroys the thin line of trust between her and her dad, just before tragedy strikes and someone guns down her father.
     The fatal bullet turns out to be tied to the ongoing spree of random sniper kills across the state, but Emersyn knows this wasn’t a random act of violence and is determined to find the killer.
     To do so, she’ll need to rely on help from Alec, whom she doesn’t quite trust but just can’t resist. When they discover a connection to a decades-old disappearance of a college student, their investigation takes a deadly twist. Can they learn to trust each other with their hearts to save their lives?

If The Eyewitness was made into a movie, who would play your main characters, and why?
     Boy, what a thought. From this interview to a great screenwriter’s laptop. I think for Emersyn I would love to see someone like Nicole Gale Anderson. I loved her in CW’s Beauty and the Beast. Alec Pearce is a complex character, wears his rage over ‘the tragedy’ mentioned above like a second skin. I think someone like Robert Patrick "Robbie" Amell or maybe Steven Amell would make a great Alec. Robbie was Ronnie in the The Flash. I miss that character. And then there is Steven, his cousin. The way Steven plays Oliver Queen in Arrow is freaking amazing.

How is this book related to your Shadow and Light series?
     I decided to keep my characters in the same world as the Shadow and Light series for one reason– it’s so hard letting go of my sexy, amazing McNeil brothers. One or two of them may just find time to pop into this new series.

Who is your intended audience and why should they read your book?
     My ideal reader is someone who loves suspense, mystery, and romance, but a wonderful happy ending. My stories revolve around family, usually a big, loud opinionated, but loving family. Some of my readers will love the romance, the journey my characters take to find love, something we all want in our life. But other readers will love the suspense element, and enjoy the ride I give them. It starts in chapter one and doesn’t let up until the very end. I twist things around in such a way that hopefully nobody can figure out how my hero and heroine will ever come together until I’m ready for them to experience their well deserved happy-ever-after.

Who is your favorite character from your book and why?
     Very interesting question. For The Eyewitness, I have to choose Joe D’Azzo. While the story is Emersyn’s, Joe had such an overwhelming impact on her every move. In fact, every member of the D’Azzo family of characters was influenced by the kind of man he is: Emersyn, his daughter, Alec, his partner, Grace, his wife of thirty-five years, and even Oliver Gates, his boss. What will be interesting to see if he has that same effect in the next two books in this series. I’m writing Emersyn’s sister, Tessa’s story now.  And yes, he’s right there with her.

How about your least favorite character?  What makes them less appealing to you?
     My least favorite character, or in this case, characters are my villains. I’m trying so hard not to reveal too much here. The common denominator is their moral compass is set by their needs above all. There may be an ounce of goodness in one of the villains. But I think my readers will determine it is only visible when it benefits him.

Tell us a little bit about your cover art. Who designed it? Why did you go with that particular image/artwork?
     My cover was designed by the art department at Crimson Romance. I love it! The woman on the cover was just how I imagined my heroine, Emersyn.

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
     I believe I can be mentored by almost any writer. Just yesterday, I sat down with a new author. Andy G wanted to share his excitement about his first novel. He has only been writing for a few months. As it turned out, I walked away from that meeting with a whole new outlook on my work in progress. It would be a dream come true to sit down with my favorites like Nora Roberts, Kat Martin, Jennifer Crusie, Julie Garwood---or the list is a mile long.  But then again, Andy G passed along the best advice about writing I have heard in a long time.

Do you have any unique talents or hobbies?
      Hummmmm, unique…well, my kids would say my super power is I make a mean cookie—and chocolate cake. Since this question hit something ‘underneath the skin’, I’ll share that too. If I have a unique talent, it’s being able to put myself into others’ shoes. I see the best in people and expect their best---and in turn, get it back tenfold, especially in children and young adults.

Do you have any tips for readers or advice for other writers trying to get published?
     Just write. That’s the biggest hurdle. Seek out workshops and conferences in your genre where you can really develop your craft. The publishing world isn’t always a nice place. Rejection is real, hard to deal with, but part of the dream. Don’t allow it to stop you in your tracks. Stay persistent, committed. When you are ready to jump into the pool, feel free to seek me out. I’ll hold your hand through it like so many authors held mine. Here is what I had taped to my laptop. Improve. Develop a thick skin. Write through it all.

What can readers who enjoy your book do to help make it successful?
     Sharing is caring! I won’t ask you for a review, but I really need one. If you love a book, tell a friend and then take a moment to post a review where you purchased the book. Reviews don’t have to be elaborate. Just a short sentence has so much value.
     Also, I just launched a new closed group on Facebook called Nancy’s Corner. It’s a place where readers who enjoy romantic suspense can have a weekly personal relationship with me. I encourage them to drop in and invite their friends who they think might like my books. It’s a page where if you just would like a happy thought sent your way or a prayer, then that’s what we’ll all do for you. Any promotional giveaways, Advance Reader’s copies of my books, this group gets first dibs.

    I can’t thank you enough for inviting me here today. I loved your questions…and I hope your readers will enjoy reading my responses. I can’t leave without sharing my GIVEAWAY.
     My simple pleasure is sipping my favorite coffee while reading a great book. I’m passing that on to you. Answer the question below for a chance to win a digital book from my backlist—including The Eyewitness, and winner’s choice of a $5 Starbucks or Teavana tea gift card.

Question: It’s so simple and inspired by HiDee and Lynn at The Write Way Café.
What is your unique talent?  Easy out---you can just say hi too.
Hugs Everyone!

Excerpt for The Eyewitness –Enjoy!
     Emersyn opened the driver’s door then faced Alec. He moved in close, the back of his finger brushing away the moisture on her cheeks. She didn’t pull away when his hand rested on her waist.
     “I’m sorry, Alec. I thought clearing my father’s office would help.”
     “You don’t owe me an apology. I get why you came here, and it is me who should apologize. I took my mood out on you.”
     He tucked a loose strand of hair behind her ear. Emersyn ached to press her hand over his and feel his heat on her face. But at the same time, a new sense of self-preservation prickled across her skin. Who could she trust? Her own mother had warned her that she really didn’t know the man in front of her.
     Fear had a way of distorting reality. Her world had become so damn confusing she couldn’t find balance. She slipped her hand into her pocket and fingered the flash drive. The small piece of plastic could be nothing—or it could be everything.
     “Em, where did you go?”
     She faked a smile. “Just thinking about work. I keep expecting an email from security requesting my badge.”
     He drew her close, wrapping his arms around her, his warmth calming her immediately. She couldn’t pull away. She needed this—something else she couldn’t understand.
     He finally dropped his arms and took a step back. “I know Angela McCain well. Regardless of how she feels about you right now, she will get to the bottom of what happened yesterday.”
     “I keep running the events through my head. The fire had to come from inside the walls, but there was no burning smell.”
     “The fire marshal and CI team are on scene. This wasn’t a lab accident, and they aren’t treating it as one.”
     “Why haven’t they questioned me?”
     “I’m sure they will at some point.” He lifted her chin. “Something else is wrong. I see it in your eyes. What else happened?”
     “You are a terrible liar.” He let her go, resting his arm on the roof of her car. If he was trying to make her feel trapped, it worked.
     “From my house to here, what could have possibly happened?”
     “What do I have to do to get you to trust me, Em?”
     The annoyance in his voice set her back up. “I’m not getting into this with you in the parking lot.”
     “Answer my damn question.”
     And they were right back where they always seemed to fall, at each other’s throats. She tossed her shoulder bag into the front seat. Hell, if it was a fight he wanted, then maybe a good bitch-slap was what she needed to clear her head. “For starters, you can stop pissing me off with things like this.” Emersyn knocked his arm off her car so she could drop into the seat. He blocked the door when she tried to close it.
     “How, Em? I walk into a room, and your blood starts to boil.”
     She couldn’t get the shields up fast enough. “You could at least pretend you don’t despise me, maybe treat me once in a while like you treat Tessa.”
     He knelt and reached for her hand. “I don’t despise you.”
     “Now who is lying?”

Buy links to The Eyewitness:  Amazon         Barnes and Noble

Nancy C. Weeks has loved happy-ever-after romances since her early teens. While still in college, she met and married her hero. She spent the next several years honeymooning and working overseas. Today, she lives in suburban Maryland with her husband of more than thirty years. With her two grown children out of the nest, she enjoys spending her days writing suspenseful happily-ever-after adventures outside on the deck as the local bird population keeps her company. When she is not writing, Nancy loves to blog about fascinating people, both real and fictional. The one quote that kept her dream alive: Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up. ~Thomas Edison~

Find Nancy at:
Twitter: @NancyCWeeks        Amazon        Goodreads       Pinterest

Tuesday, March 28, 2017 | By: The Write Way Cafe

Tuesday Special: Tethered by Beth Caudill

Beth Caudill

Beth Caudill

     Evelyn Brooks lives with the freedom only her kind can know—in her human form as a photographer, and in the skies as a falcon. When a stalker drives her from her home, Evelyn discovers a beautiful, wild sanctuary in North Carolina. After a bolt of magic knocks her from the sky, leaving her helpless, she realizes too late that danger invaded her refuge.
     Park ranger Lawke Morgan’s day goes from bad to worse when his ex-wife unexpectedly drops off their 13-year-old daughter in the beginning of a dangerous storm. His life takes a turn for the bizarre after he finds an injured Peregrine falcon that transforms into a lovely woman. 
     When his daughter is kidnapped by an Aztec priest, one who should have been dead for centuries, Lawke learns that Evelyn holds the key to the priest’s demands. Together they must confront blood sacrifices, defy ancient gods and find a way to trust each other when a young girl’s life hangs in the balance. 
     Can a woman used to soaring amongst the clouds embrace love with a man firmly rooted on the ground?
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Although Beth grew up in West Virginia, she currently resides in North Carolina with her husband, two sons and a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel who makes an excellent lap warmer. Blending the analytical and creative sides of her brain, she delights in creating fantasy worlds for others. Catch her online most days except when NCIS and Once Upon a Time air.

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Friday, March 24, 2017 | By: The Write Way Cafe
You cannot swim for new horizons until you have courage to lose sight of the shore.
Thursday, March 23, 2017 | By: The Write Way Cafe

Writing Real-Life Issues in Romantic Suspense by R.T. Wolfe

The Write Way Café welcomes R.T. Wolfe, who discusses how real-life concerns and issues, such as endangered species and human trafficking, play in her books.

Can I first just say how much I love your blog? The two of you are dedicated and awesome. Thank you for having me back!

Tell us a little about Savage Alliance.
Duncan Reed’s need to bring closure to his Nickie’s history of human trafficking captivity morphs into an addiction. In Lima, Peru, following a lead discovered on a mole’s computer, Detective Nickie Savage and Duncan are undercover as traffickers. The plan: infiltrate the compound. Rescue the children.

Nickie hadn’t planned on pinning the trafficker who abducted her as a child. But discovering the King Pin’s identity, the very person who sold her into slavery, just might bring Detective Nickie Savage to her knees. And this time, escape is not an option.

Here is a single link to all purchase options at all retailers.

If Savage Alliance was made into a movie, who would play your main characters, and why? 
Ashton Kutcher would play the hero mostly because of his real-life involvement with trafficking. Check out and Like his Thorn Facebook Page. The heroine could be … I don’t know. Help me out here. I am asked this question all the time, and I’m always at a loss. I need someone who’s strong but has a load of issues. She’s smart and blonde and uses her sexuality when needed in a case. She brazen and unrefined and bit crazy, but when it comes to helping those who cannot help themselves, she is careful and warm. Yep. I got nothin’. Haha

How is this book related to your Nickie Savage series?
Savage Alliance is the fifth and final book in the Nickie Savage Series. Bittersweet and surreal all wrapped up into one. 

Who is your intended audience and why should they read your book?
Readers of either gender ages 20-99 who enjoy a PG-13 cop fiction/mystery. 

How did you become involved with the subject or theme of your book?
I like to learn something as I read my fiction novels. Irony. LOL. So, as with most of my books, I start with a conservation/non-profit organization to help me with authenticity. And as with all of my books, I soon become steeped in their cause. Endangered whooping cranes, protected bald eagles, sea turtles…and human trafficking. I write intelligent mysteries for today’s romantic suspense contemporary reader with some pretty amazing real-life facts and stories you can sink your teeth into. In each R.T. Wolfe novel, someone dies and someone hooks up, but the characters are somehow involved in making this planet a better place.

Who is your favorite character from your book and why?
Detective Nickie Savage. She was raised a debutante, but with her history, she becomes a brass, unrefined, intelligent train wreck who not only gets herself into all kinds of trouble, but lives to save the day. She is, most definitely, my favorite. 

How about your least favorite character?  What makes them less appealing to you?
The antagonist in the Nickie Savage Series is awful. The character is heartless. I mean the kind of heartless that has no emotion whatsoever. I have a hard time relating and Nickie has a harder time finding bread crumbs from a person with no feelings.

Tell us a little bit about your cover art. Who designed it? Why did you go with that particular image/artwork?
This is actually an interesting story. When authors sign a contract with a publisher, the book no longer belongs to the author. Technically, the publisher can make whatever edits they want. The author has very little say on the cover as well. My first book, Black Creek Burning, had a previous publisher. When my current publisher took over the contract, they wanted a face on the cover rather than the creek, rocks, and trees the previous publisher had chosen. 

However, I had created a trailer with this first book. Here is the link:  It was just for fun. My niece was the model, my son wrote and composed the music, and the photo shoot was done in my backyard and even features Goldie, my golden retriever. It had 1,000 hits on YouTube at the time and since there was a face out there in the world connected with this character, my publisher used it on the cover. 

10 books later…all four of my sister’s daughters are on the covers of my books. They are completely amazing humans and perfect cover models of romantic suspense books that are heavy on the suspense.
Give us an interesting fun fact or a few about your book or series.
I was first published in January of 2013 and hit bestseller the very next month. Humbling. I have worked with the East Coast Center for Conservation Biology, Operation Migration, Master Gardeners of Illinois, Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch & Shorebird Monitoring, as well as Child Rescue and Catalyst Ministries human trafficking prevention organizations. 

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor? 
Nora Roberts regarding the way readers learn something (how to train a rescue dog, what fire chasers do, in’s and out’s of running a vineyard, etc.) when they read her books as well as her talent for character diversification. 

Do you have any unique talents or hobbies?
Unique? Hmm. I raise and release endangered monarch caterpillars in the summer months, am a complete eagle nest cam addict, am dedicated to anything sea turtle conservation related, rescued a Saint Bernard adolescent puppy, have been to Liberia and Haiti, and have been found viewing a flying over of highly endangered Whooping cranes. Now, I have loads to share with my psychiatrist this week. 

Do you have any tips for readers or advice for other writers trying to get published?

Tips for readers? Reviews are a scam and you can find amazing authors who are indie published. 
Tips for authors? Get a shrink. You’ll need one. 

What can readers who enjoy your book do to help make it successful?
Okay, but I’m going to contradict myself here…leave an honest review. Tell others about said book(s). 

What can we expect from you in the future?

I am presently working on the next book in the Island Escape Series. It is light and funny, sexy, and full of missing treasure and whodunit murder. 

Thank you for having me back, lovely ladies. It is always an honor.

Duncan has finally found his life's purpose—rescue trafficked children—while Detective Nickie Savage still seeks closure.

In Lima, Peru, following a lead discovered on a mole's computer, Nickie and Duncan are undercover as traffickers. The plan: infiltrate the compound. Rescue the children. Blow the place up.

Then Nickie goes radio silent. Recognized by the man who abducted her as a child, she's once again in his hands. And this time, escape is not an option.

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R.T. was born and raised in the beautiful Midwest, the youngest of six ornery children. She married at a young age and began her family shortly after. With three amazing small boys, life was a whirlwind of flipping houses, working two jobs in between swim lessons and Candyland. Now that her boys are nearly grown, R.T. spends much of her time on the road traveling from one sporting event to another serving as mom and cheerleader. She works to assist the several non-profit organizations that have supported her books and promote the work they do for those who cannot help themselves.

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Tuesday, March 21, 2017 | By: The Write Way Cafe

Tuesday Special: Mary E. Thompson

Mary E. Thompson


Does this shapely woman have the guts to risk her heart, and her job, for her stunning boss? 
by Mary E. Thompson
     Love isn’t in the realm of possibility for Lexi Mack. After her parents manipulated her love to get their way before and after their divorce, she knew love wasn’t something she ever wanted. It would just leave her hurt, and she’d had enough pain to last a lifetime. 
     Sex was another story though. Lexi could handle that. She needed it, and Mike Peterman was the perfect man to help her get that release. 
     Until Mike wants to change things. 
     When he becomes her boss, she’s ready to end their friends-with-benefits relationship, but he wants to take things to a completely different level. 
     Can Lexi get over her opposition to love, and dating the boss, and let Mike in? Or is she destined to be alone forever? 

Available now in EBOOK
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Mary E. Thompson grew up loving to read, like a good little girl. Many nights she would fall asleep with the flashlight still turned on as she hid under the covers trying to finish the last few pages of a book. As an adult, the light from her ereader means she doesn't need a flashlight, but she still stays up way too late to finish a book.
     When Mary's not reading, she's playing with her two kids or living out her own real life romance novel with her hubby. She has a weakness for chocolate, especially when it's paired with peanut butter, and has been known to have a bad day just because there's no chocolate in the house. Unless there’s wine. Then everything is okay.
     Mary grew up in Buffalo, New York and swears she's the only local to never ski or snowboard. Soccer was always her sport, with a couple adventures white water rafting and skydiving to keep things interesting. Mary moved to South Carolina for college but missed Buffalo every day. Yeah, she thinks she's crazy, too. She somehow convinced her South Carolina born and bred hubby to return to Buffalo to raise their kids and live out their lives. He’s still not sure what he was thinking.

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Friday, March 17, 2017 | By: The Write Way Cafe
Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn't. 
- Mark Twain

Thursday, March 16, 2017 | By: The Write Way Cafe

Heating It Up Easter Egg Hunt by Elizabeth Harmon

The Write Way Café welcomes Elizabeth Harmon, who encourages readers to go Easter Egg hunting in a unique way!

Who loves an egg hunt?  

Nothing against bunnies and chocolate, but the Easter Eggs I love best have zero calories. Sometimes they’re out in plain sight, others you need a keen eye to spot. My favorite Easter Eggs are the hidden references tucked into books, movies and TV shows, for savvy fans to find.

Stephen King frequently mentions of the towns of Derry and Castle Rock, and characters with the same last name (Halloran, Deschamp, Flagg) show up in unrelated books. Turns out, King loves to hide Easter Eggs that weave together his sprawling story universe.

Series romance readers are familiar with reunion scenes in which the earlier books’ happily-partnered characters, and often their children, return to inspire (or annoy) the newest heroine and hero along to their own HEA.

All well and good, but if I’m jumping into a series late, I often skim these scenes because I don’t know any of the characters. If I’m picking up a book mid-series, it can feel like I’ve walked into a movie that’s half over.

For my Red Hot Russians series, I wanted the books to be truly stand-alone stories, that a reader could enjoy and follow no matter which one she read first.  I also wanted the flexibility to leave my primary story world of elite figure skating—like I do in my new release Heating It Up: A Red Hot Russians Novella, which is set in Antarctica.

But readers expect that series books will feel connected, so I describe my books as stand-alone stories with recurring characters. Carrie and Anton from Pairing Off appear as coaches in Getting It Back, as does their training center in Lake Shosha, a fictional town outside Moscow.  The Lake Shosha center’s rising star, Daniil Andreev, will be front and center in Shining Through, the next full-length Red Hot Russians novel, which comes out this fall.

But there are more subtle references too, and here’s where the eggy fun comes in.

Without giving too much away, I’ll hint that two future heroes make cameos in Pairing Off, and we learn a little about the perils awaiting one of them after he leaves figure skating.   Book two, Turning It On, is set in reality TV, and continues that troubled ex-skater’s story. It also offers a glimpse at the successful new career of Pairing Off’s smarmy, snarky villain, Cody deWylde.  (Cody’s also the villain in Turning It On, but he still gets some of my favorite lines.)  Getting It Back’s heroine Amy is a fan of Turning It On’s reality show, while Misha, the hero, knows one its stars. We also learn that Misha’s brother Alexei, lives in Antarctica.

Heating It Up: A Red Hot Russians Novella is Alexei’s story. There are subtle references to Turning It On, Getting It Back, and the upcoming, Shining Through--which contains several EEs of its own. Heating It Up also hints at a few ideas I have for future stories set in the Amity Bay world, including one that brings a Red Hot Russians supporting cast member down to Antarctica for a romantic adventure.

I don’t plan what eggs I’ll hide or where I’ll hide them ahead of time, the situations seem to present themselves organically.  But it’s fun for me as a writer, and even more fun when I hear from readers who’ve found them.  So grab a Red Hot Russian and happy hunting!

Red Hot Russian Alexei is king of the Ice…Antarctic style

by Elizabeth Harmon
Alexei  Zaikov loves his life in remote Amity Bay, Antarctica, until a new luxury guesthouse threatens the community’s future.  As head of Amity Bay, he’s driven to save it, but first must discover who is hiding out in the supposedly deserted lodge…and why.

Nora Bradford has lost everything; a promising career and the man she loved.  Glacier Ridge Lodge, the architectural masterpiece she designed but was denied credit for, seems like the perfect place to grieve her loss, until a ruggedly handsome Russian arrives on her doorstep, determined to bring her in from the cold.

Desire sparks, leaving them hungry for more. But will the truth about Nora’s role in Amity Bay’s demise, doom their romance?

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Contemporary romance author Elizabeth Harmon loves to read and write romances with a dash of different. She is the author of the Red Hot Russians sports romance series. Her debut novel Pairing Off is a 2016 RITA® Award Finalist.

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Tuesday, March 14, 2017 | By: The Write Way Cafe

Tuesday Special: If Wishes Were Earls with Luanna Stewart

Luanna Stewart

Luanna is giving away a prize. Read to the end to discover how to enter!

A mysterious letter and an enchanted keepsake promise to lead Miranda to her heart's desire. Or does her heart secretly yearn for more than a sexy earl?

by Luanna Stewart
When a mysterious note directs Miss Miranda Large to a tiny village in Cornwall to find her heart's desire, she has no choice but to go. An enchanted keepsake heightens her curiosity. A snowstorm forces her to accept the hospitality of a sullen, albeit sexy and handsome, earl and Miranda's wish doesn't seem so out of reach.

Edward Penhallion, the 12th Earl of Claverlock, is not in the mood to start his search for a new wife. He wants to be left alone with his books and his dreams of revenge. But the arrival of a headstrong, sharp-tongued spinster forces him to play the charming host. Not a difficult task, given her intelligence and beauty. Suddenly, he’s not terribly eager for her to leave.

But as the snow falls and the winds blow, Edward discovers there’s more to Miranda than a lively wit and a lovely face. And Miranda wonders if the trappings of wealth are enough for true happiness.

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Luanna Stewart has been creating adventures for her imaginary friends since childhood. As soon as she discovered her grandmother's stash of romance novels, all plots had to lead to a happily-ever-after.

Born and raised in Nova Scotia, Luanna now lives in Maine with her dear husband, two college boys, and two cats. When she's not torturing her heroes and heroines, she’s in her kitchen baking something delicious.

Writing under the pen name Grace Hood, she has two novellas published with The Wild Rose Press.

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Have you ever had a wish granted? One commenter will receive a hand-knitted (by me) washcloth and a bar of hand-crafted soap. (USA and Canada only)

Friday, March 10, 2017 | By: The Write Way Cafe
Abandon the idea that you’re ever going to finish. Loose track of the 400 pages and write just one page a day – it helps. Then when it gets finished, you are always surprised.
– John Steinbeck
Thursday, March 9, 2017 | By: The Write Way Cafe

An Interview with Mary E. Thompson

The Write Way Café welcomes Mary E. Thompson. She shares what inspires her and where she finds her stories.

When did you first have the thought you'd like to write a book? Was that first thought related to writing romance?
     I always loved to read. Growing up, it was my go-to. I read constantly, but I didn’t consider writing a book until I was much older. After my kids were born and starting school, I wanted to make some changes. I took a serious look at my life and tried to come up with something I would enjoy. I started reading again and writing seemed like a natural step! It hasn’t always been easy, but I’m so happy writing that I know I’ll keep doing it!

What was your path to getting this book written and published? What type of research did you do?
     I think no matter which path I take, it’s always a little twisty! This story was brewing in my mind for a few years, waiting for me to have the time to focus on this series. Since I’m a very content indie author, publishing was just a matter of finishing the book! My research though, that was the fun part! My husband and I traveled to the Finger Lakes area of central New York. We spent a few days touring vineyards and visiting small towns and falling completely in love with the area. It was my first research trip and we had a blast!

Where did the idea for your story come from?
     Book titles always come to me first. I don’t remember where this one came from, but I liked the idea of flipping the script, so to speak, on a common phrase. The rest of the books in the series all have similar titles - phrases we all know, but altered in a way to relate to the story. In Never A Bridesmaid, Always A Bride, I envisioned a woman returning home after multiple failed marriages over the many years she was gone. I even wrote the opening scene a few years ago.

Why did you pick the setting you did?
     I live in Western New York, outside Buffalo. I love my area. There are so many beautiful places in New York State that are stunning, but don’t get much attention because they aren’t New York City. New York City is beautiful in its own way, but I’m not a city girl. I’ve set most of my stories in the Buffalo area, and I felt the need to branch out, to leave Buffalo, but stay close. I visited the Finger Lakes when I was in middle school and still had memories of how gorgeous the area was. It made sense to showcase it in a new series. As an added bonus, they make wine! I can’t ever say no to wine!

Did you face any blocks while writing the book, and if so, how did you handle them? If not, what's your secret?
     I’m very lucky. I have not yet faced writer’s block. I have my moments where I’d rather binge watch Arrow (my not-so-guilty pleasure), but I also love writing. This is my 30th book and I have ideas for the next 30 (I wish I were joking - they kind of make me crazy!). It’s a fun job, and I try to keep in mind that I chose this. No one is forcing me to write. I wanted to write. After being in a job that I wasn’t happy at for many years, it’s easy to focus on what I love about this career.
     I also read a lot. If I find myself floundering, I pick up a book by one of my favorite authors and find myself getting inspired to write again.
     Or I look at cute men on Pinterest for a whole different kind of inspiration!

What did you learn? For instance, what did you learn about yourself, your process, the writing world; about handymen, vineyards, and family relationships?
     I learned a ton! Since I have ten books planned centering around the vineyard, I’ve had to learn a lot about how to operate a vineyard. Since neither of them were very hands on in the vineyard in this book, a lot of that knowledge didn’t come out, but it’s there, waiting! I learned about operating a business with a lot of different tasks - the inn, the restaurant, the gift shop, the tasting room, and the vineyard. There’s a lot to it.
     As for everything else, I’m always learning. This is the longest book I’ve ever written. It includes two separate love stories that intertwine. Each new series I write, I push myself in one way or another. My challenge with this series is the two love stories, which means four points of view and a whole lot more figuring out how to weave them. I really enjoyed it though. It wasn’t easy, but this was my favorite book, so far, to write.

Tell us about your writing space and how or why it works for you.
     My writing space is a bit of an issue for me honestly! We moved two years ago and I gave up my desk. The tiny one I have doesn’t work for me. So I write on the couch.
     The best part, and what I will keep in mind when I finally have an office, is that I love the space! I am a plotter so I always have a notebook next to me, usually open to the page I’m working off of. I have other scattered notebooks and my planner and a water bottle… it gets busy. It’s in my living room so the tv is always on, playing music softly, because I need the background noise to keep me from getting distracted by everything outside. Sometimes my cat joins me, curling up next to me. I guess it’s really not that bad!

What are you working on now?
     Right now I’m focusing on my next release. It’s book 11 in my Big & Beautiful series, Curvaceous & Captivating. On the heels of that, I’ll be writing book 3 of Raise A Glass, Love At First Fight.

If you were not a writer, what would your dream job be?
     This is a really hard question for me. If I absolutely had to do something else, I could go back to engineering, but it would definitely not be my dream job! I think running a review blog would be a ton of fun because I’d get to read all the time. I considered being an editor and think I would enjoy that, again, because I’d get to read all the time! At this point, I don’t see myself doing anything else, but if I did, I think I’d stick close to the writing community.

What aspect of writing gives you the most trouble?
     Editing! Maybe I shouldn’t admit that, but I’ve always struggled with editing. I know I need to go back through and make sure everything is written correctly, but when it’s done, I’m ready to go on to the next one! I have to force myself to slow down and edit the right way.

     Alyssa Morgan thought she’d never set foot on her family’s vineyard again. Fifteen years was a long time to be away, but not nearly long enough when she has nothing to show for her time. Unless you’d count three failed marriages, two parents she barely spoke to, one disastrous attempt at a college degree, and zero friends to count on.
     Jake Monroe thought about leaving Amavita Estates many times after Alyssa left him. Over the years, her family became his family. They accepted him. Loved him. Healed him. Her family was the family he never had, and without her around to remind him otherwise, he could pretend he was one of them.
    Until she walked back into his world looking nothing like the girl he used to know.
     Alyssa knows she needs to stay away from Jake. Jake wants nothing to do with her. But the chemistry that drew them together fifteen years ago is stronger than they are.
     Especially when Jake glimpses the vulnerability she’s trying to hide. His old protective instincts kick in. He wants to soothe her old hurts, and maybe her new ones, too. But Jake doesn’t know if he can move beyond their past to be friends, let alone what he thought they would become. And Alyssa doesn’t know if she can lean on him again when there’s still another woman in his life.

Available at Amazon, Kobo, B&N, or iBooks!

     Alyssa Morgan stepped out of the cab at the foot of the driveway on Highway 89. She looked around at the sprawling vineyard before her, wishing she were anywhere but there. Amavita Estates was her home for 18 years but Alyssa had run from Bereton, New York and the Finger Lakes the first chance she got.
     The only daughter of a single mom, she wanted to get out. She needed excitement, activity. More than her small home town had to offer. Yeah, she had eight cousins that she grew up with, but they all had siblings. She was on her own, even within the crowd. Her mom, Marie, was the oldest of the Richliano sisters. Alyssa loved her mom, but she fought with her a lot as a teenager.
     Fifteen years later, Alyssa couldn’t help but wonder if she and her mom would actually get along. Alyssa had grown up a lot since she’d left home. She’d also screwed up a lot.
     In truth, Alyssa wasn’t ready to face her family, but she didn’t have anywhere else to go. Nor did she have a choice. She had been summoned by her mother. Alyssa didn’t know what was going on, but she knew when you were told to come by one of the sisters, you answered.
     Alyssa looked down at her four inch heels and wondered if she should have asked the cab driver to take her down the drive to the main house, the inn where she’d lived growing up. No, she thought, walking would be good for building up her resolve before she faced the family. She’d barely kept in touch with any of them since she left and hadn’t seen anyone except her mom. Marie was there for Alyssa at her weddings. All three of them. None of her aunts or cousins had come though.
     Within a few steps Alyssa realized how tough the gravel would make dragging her suitcases. Her heels were proving to be deadly to her ankles, but the cab was long gone and she was going to have to deal with it. She’d gotten tougher over the last few years.
     The vineyard looked the same as it always had. Alyssa took in the sloped land leading to Cayuga Lake. The beauty of the Finger Lakes region in New York State always struck Alyssa. Most people loved visiting New York City or even Niagara Falls, but there was simply nothing more picturesque than the vineyards around the Finger Lakes.
     Not that it had been enough to hold Alyssa there. She had bigger dreams. Dreams that involved getting to know her father, a big city job, and letting the love of her life be free to be happy. In fifteen years, she’d accomplished exactly none of her goals. She still had a shitty relationship with her father, even after living in the same city as him for five years. That big city job she thought would fall into her lap after college never happened since she never finished her degree.
     She’d even tried to move on with her life, and forget about Jake Monroe. Jake was the one reason she’d considered staying in Bereton. He was everything she wanted in a man when she was eighteen. When she left, she planned to come back, but the longer she was away from Jake, the more she realized he deserved someone who wanted the same things he did.
     Someone like Lana.

About Mary
     Mary E. Thompson grew up loving to read, like a good little girl. Many nights she would fall asleep with the flashlight still turned on as she hid under the covers trying to finish the last few pages of a book. As an adult, the light from her ereader means she doesn't need a flashlight, but she still stays up way too late to finish a book.
     When Mary's not reading, she's playing with her two kids or living out her own real life romance novel with her hubby. She has a weakness for chocolate, especially when it's paired with peanut butter, and has been known to have a bad day just because there's no chocolate in the house. Unless there’s wine. Then everything is okay.
     Mary grew up in Buffalo, New York and swears she's the only local to never ski or snowboard. Soccer was always her sport, with a couple adventures white water rafting and skydiving to keep things interesting. Mary moved to South Carolina for college but missed Buffalo every day. Yeah, she thinks she's crazy, too. She somehow convinced her South Carolina born and bred hubby to return to Buffalo to raise their kids and live out their lives. He’s still not sure what he was thinking.

Visit Mary online!
Website        Twitter        Facebook         Pinterest
Goodreads         Amazon Author Page         Newsletter

Tuesday, March 7, 2017 | By: The Write Way Cafe

Tuesday Special with Mark R. Hunter

Mark R. Hunter

Mark R. Hunter
     Kirsten Veiss is setting a record for bad days: She’s broke, lost in rural Michigan, sunburned, and without transportation after her van hits a deer. When she hears a nearby radio personality making fun of the classical music she loves, it’s the last straw.
     Aaron Debolt just wants to bring classical to a wider audience, and he thinks a shock jock approach might do it. But he’s shocked himself when a sunburned, wild-eyed redhead bursts into the radio station late at night, brandishing—a tailpipe.
     Soon Aaron has his hands full in more ways than one, and Kirsten has a temporary on-air job under the name Radio Red. Now all they have to do is prove she’s not the one sabotaging the station’s operation.  

Simon and Schuster        Amazon        Kobo        

Google Play          Barnes & Noble

About Mark:  In addition to Radio Red, Mark R Hunter is the author of two romantic comedies, Storm Chaser and its sequel, The Notorious Ian Grant, as well as a related story collection, Storm Chaser Shorts. He also published a young adult adventure, The No-Campfire Girls, and a humor collection, Slightly Off the Mark.

In addition, he collaborated with his wife, Emily, on the history books Hoosier Hysterical: How the West Became the Midwest Without Moving At All;  Images of America: Albion and Noble County; and Smoky Days and Sleepless Nights: A Century or So With The Albion Fire Department. Mark’s work also appeared in the anthologies The Very True Legends of Ol’ Man Wickleberry and his Demise,  My Funny Valentine, and Strange Portals: Ink Slingers’ Fantasy/Horror Anthology.

As if that wasn’t genre enough, Mark’s currently putting the finishing touches on—a space opera!

Mark and Emily live in rural northeast Indiana with their dog, Baewulf (yeah, the spelling’s right), and a cowardly ball python named Lucius. There he works as a 911 dispatcher and volunteer firefighter, serves on various town boards, and puzzles over the concept of free time.

All of the books, and a link to Mark’s blog, can be found on his website at, and he has an Amazon Author Page at
Mark can also be found on social media, including:
Facebook       Twitter        Goodreads        Tumblr

Friday, March 3, 2017 | By: The Write Way Cafe
You know you’ve read a good book when you turn the last page and feel a little as if you have lost a friend.
– Paul Sweeney

Thursday, March 2, 2017 | By: The Write Way Cafe

An Interview with LeAnne Bristow

romance authorThe Write Way Café welcomes LeAnne Bristow, who discusses writing surprises, obstacles, and dreams coming true.

When did you first have the thought you'd like to write a book? Was that first thought related to writing romance?
I’m not sure exactly when I realized I wanted to write a book, but it was definitely related to romance. When I was a teenager, one of my aunts would bring me a shopping bag full of Harlequin romances every time she came to visit. I devoured every book she brought. At some point, I ran out of books and started scribbling my own stories while waiting for her to bring me more.

What was your path to getting this book written and published? What type of research did you do?
I started this story back when I was in high school. In 2011, my husband pulled a box out of our shed and asked if he could throw it away. Turns out, it was all the old stories I’d written. So I started editing this story and rewriting it. First, I submitted it to a few contests and soon discovered that my writing sucked. No, really. It sucked. And the judges used phrases I’d never heard before. Things like, shallow POV, and telling instead of showing and my favorite, head hopping. I had no idea what any of those things were. So I started taking some classes and joined a writer’s organization.  A year later, my story started placing in contests but had gotten rejected by every publisher I sent it to. After landing an agent in 2014, the story got another rejection, but the editor suggested that my voice might be better suited for their sweet contemporary line. Until then, I’d been targeting the Love Inspired line at Harlequin. With my agent cheering me on, I edited it again and submitted it to Heartwarming. One revision and six months later, they offered me a contract.

Because my story revolves heavily around a group home for children and teens, I had to do a lot of research on how children’s homes are run. Luckily, I have a childhood friend who helps run a wonderful home in central Texas. She answered random questions for me for months. I also read a lot of articles and by-laws online.

Where did the idea for your story come from?
I came up with Tony’s character while I was in high school. I grew up in the era of the big hair bands and I was obsessed with their bad boy persona. I wanted my own bad boy and since my hometown was full of farmers and cowboys, I created my own. Because my town was a very small, conservative town, I could just imagine what would happen if a bad boy got mixed up with one of the good girls in town.

Why did you pick the setting you did?
All my stories take place in small, rural towns because that’s all I know. I tried out a lot of different settings for “Her Texas Rebel” but in the end, I had to go with a town similar to the one I grew up in. After all, that’s where I first got the idea for Tony, so in a way, we both returned home for this story.

Are your main characters completely imaginary or do they have some basis in real people? Do they reflect aspects of yourself?
I got a little inspiration from lots of places. Tony was imaginary and easily formed in my mind, but it took me a lot longer to come up with the perfect girl for him. I based Sabrina on a combination of 2 girls I grew up with that really were the ultimate good girls. They were selfless, caring and kind.

Did you face any blocks while writing the book, and if so, how did you handle them? If not, what's your secret?
All the time! When I decided to revise the book to go from Love Inspired (55k words) to Heartwarming (70k words) I stared at a blank screen for weeks. How was I going to remove the integral faith element from the story and add more than 20k words?!? Whenever I would get stuck, I would call up one of my writing buddies and have a freak out session. Immediately, we’d start brainstorming ideas. I also spent a lot of time re-reading my favorite craft books. I discovered that every time I got stuck, it was usually because I’d either strayed too far from my original plot, or there was a hole in the plot that I hadn’t noticed before.

What have been surprises you've encountered while writing the book and after?
The entire publication process has been a whirlwind and amazing. I had no idea how any of it worked. My lifelong dream has been to be published with Harlequin. After the thrill of getting offered a contract subsided, panic set in and I was afraid I would do something wrong or screw something up. After all…this was Harlequin. One of the best known names in romance. They could have anyone, so I better mind my P’s and Q’s. Only they were AMAZING. My editor was available any time. I don’t know how many times I would send her an email full of questions while I was going through my edits. She responded immediately and even called me several times to see how things were going. The entire team was warm, friendly and super, super supportive. That was probably my biggest and best surprise.

What did you learn? For instance, what did you learn about yourself, your process, the writing world; about single mothers, bullying, and oppositional defiant disorder?
First, I learned that I have no idea what my writing process is. I started out as a pantser and found my story floundering (pre-pre-pre-publication). Then I latched onto plotting and got so deep in the plotting process that I never got around to writing. Luckily, writers are some of the most generous and supportive people in the world. Every time I got stuck, someone was willing to listen to me, encourage me and give me ideas.

Second, I really had to dig deep into my research to make Levi’s situation believable. Most kids with true Oppositional Defiant Disorder go way beyond just arguing with adults. It is a deep seeded need to be in control and will oppose anyone in authority at all costs. In all my years of teaching, I’ve only encountered one truly ODD student and the behavioral issues shown at home and school can disrupt the lives of everyone around them. I wanted Levi to be like his dad, Tony. A heart of gold but wouldn’t back down for something he felt was right. I had to give Levi a reason to be in trouble but I had to keep him likeable, too.

Tell us about your writing space and how or why it works for you.
Currently, my writing space is being overhauled. We moved to a new house in July and our new home doesn’t have as much room, so my desk wouldn’t fit into the corner of my bedroom anymore. I found a great computer armoire that is in the corner of my living room. I love it because I can post my sticky notes all over the inside of the doors and close it up to hide my mess. While I loved the desk, it’s hard to write in the living room while my husband is watching television. My daughter just moved out, so I’m going to convert her old bedroom into an office. I can’t wait!

What are some of your favorite books and why?
My standby favorites are any of Janet Dailey’s American series books. I read one of those when I need to be inspired. I also love The Secret Garden. It may be a children’s story, but I love the use of description and emotions in the story. I’m also a huge fan of Marsha Canham’s Robin Hood Trilogy.

What are you working on now?
Right now I’m working on a story about pride and forgiveness. After serving 7 years in prison for a DUI accident that killed his best friend, Caden is determined to make it up to the girl his friend Daniel left behind. But the heroine is too busy trying to keep her mother in a quality healthcare facility and her small store from going under. The hero is compelled to try to fix everything for her and falls in love with her in the process. But how can he earn her love when his past destroyed her future?

Would you like to try your hand at writing a different genre?  Which one and why?
Someday I would love to write a historical romance. I absolutely love reading the genre. I’m a huge history buff and I’m afraid I’d get so caught up in the research I’d never get the book written!

If you were not a writer, what would your dream job be?
I would love to be an archeologist. With my love of history, it would be the perfect job for me!

What aspect of writing gives you the most trouble?
Right now I’m struggling to find time to write every day. I’m a public school teacher during the week. I leave school at 3:30 and go straight to the tumbling business that I own and run. I teach from 4:00 to 7:30 Monday through Thursday and by the time I get home, I’m exhausted. On Saturdays, I babysit my granddaughter and there is no writing going on when she’s there.  Currently, the only time I can really count on writing is from 5 am to 6 am, the time between when my husband leaves for work and I have to start getting ready for school. Somewhere in there I have to fit in laundry, cooking and housekeeping.

Who is your favorite hero/heroine?
Wow.  That’s a tough question. Of the books that I’ve written, my favorite hero is Caden (sorry, Tony), the hero from the story I’m working on now. My favorite heroine is Sabrina from Her Texas Rebel. I love that she is willing to give up what she wants to protect her son.

There are lots of stories that I’ve read over the years and some characters really stick with me. My favorite hero is Jamie Frazier from Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander. My favorite heroine in Brenna from Marsha Canham’s The Last Arrow (Robin Hood Trilogy).

Harlequin Heartwarming by LeAnne Bristow

He abandoned her when she needed him most, just as she'd discovered she was pregnant with his baby. And now, ten years later, Sabrina Davis has returned home in search of refuge for her at-risk son as the struggling single mother works toward becoming a nurse. Except Tony Montoya, now a cop, has also returned to Sal Creek, Texas.

Recovering from being shot in the line of duty, Tony plans to use this time in his hometown to make amends for the trouble he caused as a youth. Amends that included breaking Sabrina’s heart. But trouble seems to follow the police officer no matter where he goes, and he doesn't want to hurt the woman he never stopped loving… or the son he just found.

Amazon        Harlequin        Barnes & Noble        iTunes

About LeAnne:  LeAnne Bristow may have been born and raised in central Texas, but she’s a desert rat at heart. She calls southeastern Arizona home, even though her husband wouldn’t let her claim the title Arizonan until she’d officially lived in Arizona longer than Texas. It only took twenty years. When she’s not arguing with the characters in her head, she enjoys hunting, camping, and fishing with her family.  Her day job is teaching kindergarten, but now that her three kids are grown, she’s determined to teach her granddaughter how to catch lizards and love the desert as much as she does.

Facebook       Twitter: @leannebristow       Website