Friday, February 2, 2018

Take Care of You - A Valentine post!

This Valentine’s Day (and every day), give yourself the gift of self-care.
Get the blood flowing. You don't have to go at it like a ninja; anything you do will help. Go for a walk. Play music and move to the beat. Ride your bike. Dig out those exercise and yoga DVD's and pop them into the DVD player. Develop a habit of stretching to keep your muscles flexible. 

Exercise is vital; so is giving yourself some down-time. Find ways to cut into the madness of your hectic day. Take a short nap. Watch a movie. Get a notebook and journal your feelings. Color in one of those adult coloring books. Sketch something, even if you don't consider yourself to be artistic. Read a book. 

Eating healthy is huge! "You are what you eat" is spot on. If we adopt that mantra, we'll do great things for ourselves. We're also human; some days it might be blueberries and carrot sticks; while others is all about chocolate cake. Don't beat yourself up about it. Have the cake (unless you're diabetic, then have something equally decadent but sugar-free) and then get back on track. 

They say laughter is the best medicine. Give yourself a healthy dose, by going out to lunch with someone who will give you a good belly laugh. Talk about the silly things you used to do (or might still do). 

Give yourself an unusual Valentine - with a mammogram or by getting other yearly tests done.  

Watch less news coverage. Yes, you need to be informed, but too much of life's grunge can wear you down.

Be the best version of you, by being kind to yourself. Kick dirt over the stuff that didn't go quite right, celebrate the things that did, and steer clear of negativity. You'll feel better on the inside and it will show on the outside!

Have a great Valentine's Day (and a great Valentine's week, month, and year)! 



Saturday, November 18, 2017

Only one way to be - Big On Christmas!

I loved writing this story! ♥ There are a few subplots within it that made my heart smile! 

* In this scene, Cassie is making homemade ornaments and taking care of Luke's father, to give Luke time away from the responsibility. His dad had drawn inward after his wife (Luke's mom) passed away a year earlier. He hasn't spoken since.* 

"You have a lot to be proud of, William. You raised a hard-working, kindhearted son." She nudged him with her forearm. "Not to mention he's so good looking I can barely breathe when he's around." She chuckled at the notion that the elder Stennett was storing everything she said for future use. "Do you want to know the reason I had a shovel in the car?" She spilled a container of beads. Kneeling to pick them up, she looked at William and winced. "For protection."

William coughed and set his eyes on her for the tiniest of moments.

Did she get through? Her heart jumped in her chest. His expression was still a blank slate so it was probably a fluke that he made eye contact. "One of these days you're going to be a human diary and expose all my secrets. That's okay. If it means you're back in Luke's life, you can tell the world that I'm a technology heiress who had a shovel in her car to ward off possible paparazzi. They probably won't believe you because I'm not fancy or swanky by any stretch of the imagination. I like blue jeans, t-shirts and sneakers. I'm a misplaced soul, of sorts. I have a ton of money that I didn't earn and I'm in Vermont trying to find myself. Weird huh?"

♥ If you'd like to read this heartwarming Christmas story and find out more about how Cassie Newman and Luke Stennett get their happy-ever-after, you can find it on Amazon ♥


Monday, November 6, 2017

Spotlight on Barrie Hill Reunion by Lisette Brodey

Welcome, Lisette! It's a pleasure to have you as my guest and to hear about your latest book release, Barrie Hill Reunion

For those of you who aren't familiar with Lisette, here's her bio:

Lisette was born and raised in Pennsylvania. After high school, she moved to New York City where she attended Pace University and studied drama. After ten years in New York, several of them in the radio industry, she moved to Los Angeles for four years where she held various positions at Paramount Studios in Hollywood and CBS Studio Center in Studio City, CA.

Back on the East Coast, she worked for many years as a freelance writer, specializing in PR and the entertainment industry. In 2010, she returned permanently to the Los Angeles area. 

She's the author of seven novels that encompass General/Literary Fiction, Coming-of-Age/Literary Fiction, Women's Fiction/Chick-Lit, and YA Paranormal. She's also penned two short stories that are published in an anthology. 

Lisette also edited and published a book of her mother's poetry, which was written 50 years earlier.

Her eighth book, due in 2018, will be a collection of short stories in the literary fiction genre.

Now that we know a little bit about Lisette, let's get to the interview:  

The Algonquin Hotel sounds luxurious, rich in architecture and history. You came up with the concept for Barrie Hill Reunion when your grandmother took you to the hotel for brunch when you were eighteen. She told you about the Algonquin Round Table, a group of literary New Yorkers who met for lunch every day. The tale and the place made an impact on you. The setting for your story takes place in a hotel based on the Algonquin. Can you give us a feel for it?

* The Algonquin most certainly is rich in history and architecture. However, as my visit was so long ago, I cannot remember any details, only the impact that the visit had on me. But what I can share is a tiny snippet from my novel that captures what I initially felt. Luckily, some descriptions survived from my original writing: 

Fatigued from suppressing her anticipation, Clare took a deep breath and turned to look around the room at the tired yet grand decor. Behind her, the massive velveteen drapes, adorned by gold tassels, had dulled over the long years, perhaps from the invasion of sunlight or possibly as a protest from the years of gossip that danced merrily and unmercifully upon their exquisite fabric.

You originally started Barrie Hill Reunion as a short story, then a one-act play, then a two-act play, but eventually it morphed into a novel. Was there a certain amount of difficulty or ease to add to/and convert it from one form of entertainment to the other?

* It has been many years since I turned my unfinished story into a one-act play. I felt the passion and the anguish of the characters so much that what I wrote came easily. Even years later, when I turned it into a two-act play, it wasn't very difficult to extend the conversation.

When I went to write the novel, that's when things changed somewhat. As in all of my novels, I like to write multiple story arcs that intersect with one another as I suppose that is how I see the make-up of the world around me. The creation of additional stories,  however, was a natural extension of some of the stories only hinted at in the play. But most importantly, while I still retained the soul of the characters, I made some fundamental changes in their lives, outlook, history, and basic nature. My purpose by this time was to write a great book, not to merely turn a play into a novel. I did follow some of the play in the beginning, and throughout, there is still some original dialogue. But for the most part, I just let the characters guide me as I wrote their stories.

It was a different experience to write a novel with characters that I'd known my entire adult life ... a most interesting one.

In the story, the characters had gone to college together in the 1960's and meet again twenty years later after graduation, in 1986. To do them justice, you had to 'know' them as they were in the 60's, then had to bring them up to the 80's. What kind of things did you have to pay attention to since you were actually dealing with three time-frames? (The 60's, 80's, and as the writer in 2017)

* Great question, Jan. First, I think that if I had created this story in 2017, it would have been more difficult. But as I had always known the characters to live in a world without the technology we know today, it was much easier not to rely on its existence and the subsequent changes in our society. As a matter of fact, the story relied very much on technology not existing.

I wasn't yet of college age in the 60's, but I chose that decade for the characters to have attended college because it was a colorful time, rich in history. Also, had I chosen to place them in the 70's, I couldn't fast-forward twenty years without too much technology creeping into the story, and I didn't want that.

What I believe most important about the characters in the 60's were the prevalent attitudes about free love, protest, the Vietnam War, and much more. That said, these attitudes don't define the characters, but are a part of their coming-of-age into adulthood.

I spent a good deal of time researching 60's fashion, too. There were some wild, colorful, wacky designs from that era, and I wanted to make sure to include them in the characters' memories.

Aside from all of that, I had to do a good deal of research in the 80's to remind myself what was happening and what was not. It's so easy for decades to merge into one another and not become the separate and distinct periods in time that they were.

Like most of us, we're very different from how we were twenty years ago. I'm sure your characters changed along the way too. Can you tell us a little bit about which characters grew better/worse/or didn't change one bit? Or is this something we as readers need to determine? 

* I think most of the characters evolved, though there is one who clearly devolved. I can't really answer this question without revealing too much about the story, but I can tell you that the evolution of character is definitely a part of this novel. 

There are eight characters. How was it to work with this cast? Did you find any of the characters troublesome? 

* It's not easy to have eight people having one conversation. But because I knew the characters well, things happened pretty naturally. I did create a graphic of where everyone was seated in a room so that all of my physical descriptions would match and make sense. I taped this graphic (and another of the meal seating) to my wall and referred often to them as I wrote.

That said, there are many scenes where there are only two or three characters. It was important for me to break it up so that the book had a good and natural balance.

A special nuance to your story about how this one-act play (and now a full-length novel) finally came about is that for a while it resided with a good friend who was supposed to 'Xerox' copy it and return it to you. The friend got busy and it was forgotten. Tucked away for years, she finally found it and put it back in your hands. Your book had basically been put on hold. Everything happens for a reason. Do you suppose it was so you could grow as a writer to do the story justice?

* I'd like to say yes, but remember, once I got the story back, I then turned it into a play and then waited years to write the novel. I do think the passage of time between completing the different versions of the play and now, definitely gave me the time to write the book as it was meant to be.

Because there are eight characters, will there be some spin-off stories? Perhaps a series as their lives progress?

* Well, interesting you should ask. There are two characters in particular that have won my heart in a huge way. In my head, I've already written a long spin-off story for them. It's actually quite detailed. And I have ideas for the others as well. But I don't see myself writing a spin-off novel at this time. That could change. I'm sure you've noticed that life has a way of taking us places we never thought we would go.

There are many matters of ethics in Barrie Hill Reunion that could prompt a lot of great discussion. What are your thoughts on a book club for the book?

* I had two editors work with me on this book. I finished the edits from the first editor, made a lot of changes, then gave it to another editor. (Yeah, I really wanted to get this right!) What surprised me was that the second editor had a very surprising view about one character. At that moment, I was reminded just how differently we all view people, matters of ethics, and just how much gray area really exists in so much of our lives.

The characters are struggling with many different personal situations, and yes, I think a reader discussion about them could make for a very lively conversation. 

Last question, I promise. Have you been back to The Algonquin Hotel since you had brunch with your grandmother? 

* No, sadly, I haven't. But the next time I go back to New York City (my favorite city), I absolutely will do so. 

Thanks for having me on your blog again, Jan. Always an honor and pleasure.

It's been a joy having you, Lisette. Come back anytime.  
If you would like to read this amazing novel you can find it here --

Here's how you can follow Lisette and her career: 



Friday, October 20, 2017

Nancy Christie: author interview, rafflecopter giveaway, and special deal

Today's spotlight is on fellow Ohio author Nancy Christie! 

Welcome, Nancy!

Hi Jan and it’s so nice to be back in Ohio! All month long, I’ve been on a blog tour and even though the travel is virtual, for some reason I’m still as exhausted as if I flew everywhere! But it’s all been great fun and I can’t thank you enough for having me here!

Nancy is here today to discuss her latest book release, RUT-BUSTING BOOK FOR WRITERS. As a published writer myself, I’m especially interested in hearing what she has to say regarding this incredible book. I thought readers and aspiring authors would also like some insight into the things that writers go through during the writing process. First, let’s find out a bit about the woman behind the book –

Nancy Christie wears many hats in the writing world. She’s an author of fiction and non-fiction, an editorial consultant, writing instructor, blogger, and so much more. Nancy has been writing since second grade—she would have started sooner but she had to learn how to print first—and, except for some “life intermissions,” hasn’t stopped since. A writer by profession and preference, Christie began her writing career working for newspapers and magazines, branched out into copywriting for companies and ad agencies, and eventually added writing workshops to her repertoire. Her articles, fiction and essays have appeared in numerous print and online publications. The founder of “Celebrate Short Fiction” Day, an annual celebration of short stories and those who write them, Christie is a member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors (ASJA), Short Fiction Writers Guild (SFWG), and the Florida Writers Association (FWA).

Now that we know a little about you, Nancy, can you tell us about your book, RUT-BUSTING BOOK FOR WRITERS and what inspired you to write it?

Rut-Busting Book for Writers is actually an outgrowth of presentations I’ve been doing: my “Rut-Busting” workshop series. And they are the result of my first book, The Gifts of Change. When that book came out in 2004, I created a “Rut-Busting” Workshop to help people embrace change and get out of their ruts.

Then I developed one just for writers—“Rut-Busting” Workshop for Writers—and this past spring, I decided it was time to put all the tips I developed plus all I learned from the authors and writers I have interviewed over the years on my blogs (One on One, Focus on Fiction and The Writer’s Place) and voila! A book is born!

Jan's review for Rut-Busting Book for Writers:

Whether you're an aspiring writer or published author, this book is a valuable resource. I read it not knowing what to expect, but I'm always on the lookout for advice that will make me a better writer and help me deal with the self-imposed pressure I put on myself in my career. What I found in Ms. Christie's book is practical information. One chapter in particular spoke to me. It was the one about forgetting where you are in the writing process and in your career. Another chapter hit home for me. It involved identifying the rut I was in. Face it, at some point, we all dig a rut and it isn't always easy to climb out. Ms. Christie stressed defining goals (for me it was redefining my goals). I smiled when I read the part  about not being afraid to celebrate success. There are so many common sense things in this book that I already knew, but I have to admit there were a lot of important things I'd forgotten. Not only does the author share her advice, but also advice from others. I found this book incredibly helpful. 

Nancy, would you care to say a few words regarding your other published books?

I’d love to! (What author doesn’t want to talk about her babies?) My “firstborn” is The Gifts of Change—an inspirational book about helping people make the most of the changes that come into their lives, even the ones they don’t want! It’s available through Atria.

My second book, Traveling Left of Center and Other Stories, from Pixel Hall Press, came out in 2014. It’s a literary short story collection about people who can’t or won’t get their life on track so they keep going “left of center.” Some stories are funny, some serious, and a few more than a little weird in a Shirley Jackson-ish sort of way. Two of the stories, “Annabelle” and “Alice in Wonderland” are also available as e-book singles.

I’ve had two short stories published in Woman’s World Magazine, but the experience only gave me a limited understanding of writing freelance. Can you tell us more about the freedom, joy, fear, and challenges you've experienced as a freelance writer?

Well, I actually separate my freelance writing life into two categories. There’s the professional part: that’s how I earn a living, pay my bills and keep the cats fed. I write primarily for ad agencies and PR firms, everything from 4-minute on-hold scripts to several-thousand-word case studies. When I started freelancing, it was for newspapers—back before computers!—then I shifted to magazines, and now do almost exclusively the corporate work. More money and faster payments!

The good side: having the freedom to work on my schedule—which generally translates to 7 days a week! Seriously, though, when my mother was ill with cancer, it gave me the flexibility to travel to where she was and spend weeks with her. Then, when my father was diagnosed with cancer, I moved him from Florida to live with me, and being self-employed enabled me to provide him with the level of care he needed without losing my income, although I did have to cut back as the cancer spread.

The bad side: the instability of the income and the need to be constantly looking for work. While I have some regular clients, I have learned that you should never stop prospecting so that’s what I do: send emails and make cold calls in search of writing assignments. My fantasy is to someday win the lottery so I can relax, just a little. But until that happens, I am always job seeking!

The other category is my passion for writing. That's the essay/fiction writing. I do it because I love to write, especially fiction, so although I don't turn down any money someone might offer me for a piece, my primary motivation is first just to write it and only then to try to get it published, if possible. I've had some short stories published, have the first collection out and have finished a second collection, Peripheral Visions and Other Stories, that I hope to release next year. 

I’ve also finished two novels, one of which has interested a publisher to the point where she wants to see it again after I do some rewriting and editing and polishing and perfecting. I love the story and I know it needs some renovating so that’s on my list for 2018!

You’re an amazing author, but also a great champion of other authors as well. You host an incredible blog called, One on One: Insights Into the Writer’s Life. Can you tell us about this project? 

Thanks for the compliment! (Imagine me blushing…)

As for the One on One blog, it came about after I fought tooth and nail against doing any kind of blogs at all! Then I started the one for The Gifts of Change (Make A Change blog), Focus on Fiction (originally named Finding Fran) and The Writer’s Place (for writers of all genres).

I had an idea that I wanted to write a book about living the writing life but didn’t want it to be just my experiences—I don’t think that would be very interesting!—so I decided to start by interviewing other authors to see how open they would be to answering my questions. God bless them all, they were and it’s been fabulous, with a lot them also contributing to Rut-Busting Book for Writers.

But I still want to write the book that triggered the blog idea so that’s on my To-Do list (which keeps getting longer and longer and longer…)

Writing is clearly your passion. When you’re not writing, what do you like to do? What helps you clear your head and recharge your batteries to go back to writing with eagerness and a fresh perspective?

I love to be outside! That comes from me being such a tomboy when I was a kid, always playing outside. I work in the garden or the yard, run, walk, bike ride—anything to get the blood flowing and work out the kinks. This summer, I hauled out my rototiller and redug my garden, then moved shrubs and saplings, then trimmed branches (the ones the storms hadn’t already knocked down!) and hauled countless bags of mulch and topsoil. My poor car—I treat it like a truck!

Physical activity is perfect for when I am feeling frustrated or frightened or tired—and sometimes I feel all three at the same time!

Two questions you posed to me when I was on your blog, made me smile. I’d like to pose them to you as well to see how our answers are alike or different. What’s the worst advice anyone gave you about being a writer? What’s the best?

Hmmm… the worst advice... Well I don’t know if it qualifies but it was something someone (who shall remain nameless) said to me when I was in one of my “bad” writing times. I just couldn’t write anything—this was before I started writing professionally—and was desperately afraid that I would never be able to write again. And that person said, “Why don’t you pick another hobby?”

So here’s the thing: in the first place I didn’t choose writing. It chose me. As for the idea of never writing again—well, that would be akin to not breathing. I can’t imagine not writing. I certainly am thrilled that I have had some work published and that I have several books out, but those are all bonuses. Even if I were never going to be published again, even if no one ever would read my work again, I would still have to write. It’s what I do and who I am. (For heaven’s sakes, my license plate reads “Writer 1” and that costs me $100 a year to have!)

Best advice? I’ve been given a lot over the years and it all distills down to don’t give up. Keep writing. Keep perfecting your craft. Keep stretching your abilities. Keep raising the bar.

If you can, describe your writing life in one sentence.

It’s the framework on which the rest of my life rests and the addiction I have no desire to beat—the thing I love most to do and that makes me feel whole and complete.

You have something special for my blog followers for the month of October. 

I do, Jan. Thank you for mentioning it. If they order the paperback or digital version of RUT-BUSTING BOOK FOR WRITERS through the My Book Orders webpage and use code RBBW02, they will receive a 15% discount off the price. 

** Now on to the rafflecopter giveaway that runs from October 23rd through October 25th. One lucky winner will receive an ebook version of RUT-BUSTING BOOK FOR WRITERS. Be sure to enter for a chance to win this amazing book:

a Rafflecopter giveaway  


Keep up the great writing, Nancy! Thank you for being my guest today. You’re welcome to come back anytime.

My pleasure and thank you for having me! And I’d love to hear from any of your followers about any of my books, especially my new little one: what they liked, found useful or were amused by. Drop me a line or post a review. We writers live for readers’ comments!

If you’d like to follow Nancy and her career, you can find her here:

Twitter:  @NChristie_OH

To request an interview or schedule an appearance or workshop by Nancy Christie for your event or organization, contact  or

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Did I Flub?

We all have moments of doubt where we question if we did the right thing. I'm faced with a particular self-inquiry right now. It's regarding the title and cover art for my latest release, CHARRED SNAKE FOR TWO. The interest has been low since I launched it in the early part of August, so I had to take a step back and examine why. Is the title off-putting? After all, it's a romance. But it's also about danger, survival, and conquering your fears. I posted this question on social media: 

"I've gotten mixed reactions for the title of my latest book -- CHARRED SNAKE FOR TWO. Some have said it 'would' scare people away. Some have said it 'might' scare people away. Others have said, it was a cool title. I've given serious thought to changing it, but the rebel in me wants to keep it. Any thoughts?"

So far, the comments are split 50/50. Half think the title and cover are intriguing. (Some who read the story think I'm spot-on) The other half think I should make changes because the title and cover don't fit the genre. ♥

All the comments were great, regardless if they were for or against the title and cover. I appreciated the input so much. What's an author to do? Heed the candid advice of those who feel I missed the mark? Acknowledge my flub and give my book a makeover? Or let the rebel inside reign for a while longer and see what happens? 

Here's the blurb...

Unable to get her head and heart back on track after her marriage crumbled, Alexandra Henry signed up to take part in an expensive, radical self-help, self-esteem program that would put her on a secluded island for seven days with someone just as broken. Together they would team-up to survive, renew trust in the opposite sex, and grow mentally stronger through candid conversation, while taking on nature at the same time.

Expecting someone tired and downtrodden, Alexandra was shocked when they delivered energetic, dark-haired, cocky, Adonis - Carson Jack.

How could someone like him know about heartache? Hope fizzled on the spot. She wouldn't come out of the experience any better than when she went in. Or would she?

Which side of the debate would you choose? Keep things as they are? Or revamp? 

(I just enjoyed a piece of Dove dark chocolate and here's what the wrapper had to say. 'Give them something to talk about and Choose less ordinary.' Is it a sign? *grins*)

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

October Winds! by Katie Mettner

Today I have the pleasure of introducing Katie Mettner's new book:


October Halloran left her past behind and found happiness in a tiny northern Minnesota town working at a local truck stop. At least she was happy, until Sheriff Jett Raven started asking questions she didn’t want to answer.

Jett didn't buy the story ‘Sarah Banks’ sold the rest of the community. Smitten since the moment he first laid eyes on her, he knew she wasn't who she claimed to be. It wasn't until she stumbled across a dead body that he had a reason to dig into her past, and bring her into his home.

Murdered truckers and attempted kidnappings lead October and Jett to the startling truth. With dozens of girls’ lives on the line, it’s up to October to discover who’s after her and why. It’s up to Jett to keep her alive.

I flicked my hood up over my head, staying clear of the camera when I exited the building, after Lanny buzzed me out. We didn’t have a lot of cameras on the outside of the building, which most would say isn’t very smart, but the opposite is true. Truckers like anonymity. They want to be able to do whatever they want to do, or to let whomever they want to do, into their trucks. We have cameras on the gas pumps, because no trucker pulls off the road and doesn’t put gas in their tank. We always get a license plate at the very least, but usually a face as well. Once they drive their truck behind the building, they’re free to do as they please. I know our privacy first policy is the reason we’re always full of trucks while other stops are empty. Truckers appreciate their privacy. The majority of truckers are also men, which is why I had to come out here twice a day and clean up after them.

I stooped to pick up cigarette butts someone decided shouldn’t go in the cigarette receptacle, and wiped off the plastic tables we leave out for them to sit at. Sometimes a group of guys will get together, smoke cigarettes, drink beer, and play cards. Once they’re drunk and broke, they head back to their cabs to sleep it off. At least I hope they sleep it off and don’t drive a metal death machine drunk. Since I had a pair of gloves on and an empty bucket, I cleaned around the outside of the truck stop picking up crumpled wrappers, empty soda bottles, and condom wrappers. I told you my job is glamorous.

While I wandered about I kept my eyes peeled for anything helpful to me because winter is fast approaching. Sometimes truckers buy new clothes inside the store and leave the old ones in the dumpster. I opened the lid to dump in the trash when I noticed a hooded sweatshirt and jeans lying at the bottom. It must be my lucky day! Even if the jeans were too big I could wear the sweatshirt to stay warm at night. I set the bucket down and glanced around for anyone who might be watching me. I was alone, so I dove in and grabbed the hood, yanking up on it. I expected it to come out easily, but it was caught on something. I bent over the edge of the dumpster as far as I could and used both gloved hands to tug on the shirt. The hood was finally loose, but there was a human head lying in the dumpster, still wearing the sweatshirt and jeans. I let go of the hood and backed up several steps, my heart pounding.

He was dead. How did I know? He was gray and stiff, which meant rigor mortis had set in. Breathe and think, October, I ordered myself, my mind using my real name to shock me back into reality. I couldn’t be the one to find a dead body in the dumpster. Something of this magnitude would open me up to investigation, which can’t happen. What do I do? I can’t dump the trash in there now, they’ll know I saw the body and didn’t report it. They’ll accuse me of killing this guy, and then what? Then I’m in hot water and I can’t afford to defend myself. Then the US Government will find out October Halloran still exists, and then my next address will be in a cell at the Shakopee Correctional Facility. I lowered the lid on the dumpster then picked up my bucket and strode to the loading dock doors to gain entrance without Lanny seeing me.

I marched through the lounge, each step purposeful as if it were any other day. I dumped the bucket of garbage inside the garbage can in the women’s bathroom and tied the bag closed. I lifted it from the waste bin and set it next to the bathroom door. The gloves were stuffed in my pocket because if I threw them away, someone might find them, too. I would burn them later in the fire. Now all I had to do was convince Lanny to take out the trash for me and she would be the one on record to find the body.

I moseyed up to the front where she ran the cash register and pointed at my watch. “You need a smoke break?” I asked and she held her hands in the prayer pose.

“Please, more than anything in the world.”

I laughed and motioned her out from behind the counter. She grabbed her purse and then stepped aside so I could take her place. “I’ll watch the register for you, but don’t dawdle. I’m not the best at this.”

“I won’t be long, I promise.” She took her pack of cigarettes and a lighter from her purse and handed the rest back to me.

She was a few steps from the counter when I called her name, hoping it sounded relaxed and nonchalant. “Would you grab the bag of garbage by the bathroom on your way out?”

She saluted and weaved her way through the shelves to the back of the store. Once she was out of sight I had to wait until she buzzed the door to see if she had the bag. When the buzz sounded, I jumped, my heart racing. I forced my heart to stop pounding and opened the door. She was carrying the garbage and I let out a sigh of relief. Thank goodness the cameras didn’t film the dumpster, or there was no way I could claim I wasn’t the first person to find the body. A full body shiver skittered up my spine as I waited, knowing she would reappear soon. When she did, she hit the button as if it were any other day, but the way she glanced around her told me she found the body.

I buzzed her in and she was up to the counter in a matter of seconds. Her finger was pointing backward and she could barely form words. “There’s, there’s a dead, dead guy in the dumpster.” The only indication she was freaked out was how she spoke through her teeth with a smile so fake the Joker would be jealous.

This was an incredible book! It dealt with some of the worst conditions a person could find themselves in - homelessness, parental abuse, sex trafficking, and more. Katie handled the story with sensitivity, yet she conveyed the brutal truth of those horrible circumstances through her character, Sarah Banks/October Halloran. There were many great themes throughout the book - how you can run only so far and so long from your past until you're forced to face it, how resilient the human spirit can be, how even the most broken person can learn to love and trust again if the right person comes into their life. Katie made it clear that homeless people matter. It was amazing what Sarah/October did to survive. Her heart, body, and soul had been battered to the point most people would have given up. She was strong, but without Sheriff Jett Raven's help she probably would've perished. She followed her instincts and finally her heart. The descriptions, dialogue, settings, and characters were powerful. I felt like I was there, witnessing the scenes as they unfolded. I also liked the Native American elements to the story. 

Katie Mettner writes inspirational and romantic suspense from a little house in the Northwoods of Wisconsin. She's the author of the four part epic family saga, The Sugar Series, Sugar's Song being runner up for sweet romance in the eFestival of Words contest. Her other romance series, The
Northern Lights Series, The Snowberry Holiday Series, Kupid's Cove Series, and The Magnificent Series are all set in the Midwest. If you love romance and romantic suspense, her books are for you.

Read about more of Katie's adventures as an amputee writer at
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Are you a Pinner? Pin with Katie at Sugarsballroom

Katie lives with her soulmate, whom she met online at Thanksgiving and married in April. Together they share their lives with their three children and two leopard geckos. After suffering an especially bad spill on the bunny hill in 1989, Katie became an amputee in 2011, giving her the much needed time to pen her first novel, Sugar's Dance. With the release of Sugar's story, Katie discovered the unfilled need for disabled heroes and heroines! Her stories are about empowering people with special circumstances to find the one person who will love them because of their abilities, not their inabilities. Katie has a slight addiction to Twitter and blogging, with a lessening aversion to Pinterest now that she quit trying to make the things she pinned.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Have you ever...?

...been smitten at first sight? Or been mystified by the physical pull you felt right away for someone? 

In my lighthearted romantic suspense -- STAY CLOSE, NOVAC! Jessi is disturbed by a tug toward Ian. ♥   

Jessi exchanged her shorts and T-shirt for the light pink camisole and matching stretchy Capri's she used as pajamas. She fell onto the bed and hugged the pillow. "Ahhh" whooshed out of her. Finally, peace and quiet. No hammers, power tools, or stalkers. She inhaled a deep breath and then slowly exhaled the tension of the last twenty-four hours. The second she closed her eyes, an image of Ian flashed through her thoughts. "Oh no you don't." She clamped her eyes really tight thinking it would send him away. But he didn't leave. In fact, he strutted across her brain like he owned it. She could see everything from the plain white T-shirt that stretched across phenomenal pecs to his boyishly handsome face. His sparkly green eyes were the next thing to keep her from drifting to sleep. Actually, it was a toss-up between his eyes and those darn lips.

Ugh. What the heck was she doing? She was supposed to be hiding out and getting some rest and relaxation. So far, no hiding out. No R & R. Only drooling over the clumsy nephew of the guy who owned the adjacent cottage. She was struck by a daunting thought. What if Ian wasn't who he said he was? Maybe he was the heavy breather and the author of those explicit notes. What if falling off that ladder was deliberate; to reel her in and win her trust? And then when she let her guard down... Jessi's hand went to her throat. She bolted to a sitting position.

P. S. The cute little dog on the cover is named Gordon! 

If you'd like to read more about Jessi, Ian...and Gordon, you can find Stay Close, Novac! at Amazon